Thursday, 3 July 2008

Making others pay for your principles

A hairstylist has been awarded £4000 damages for 'injured feelings', after she was turned down for a job at an 'urban and edgy' London salon because she refused to remove her Islamic headscarf. David Thompson hits the nail on the head:

Isn't the cost of piety meant to be borne exclusively by the pious? Isn't that the whole point, such as it is? If a believer chooses to forgo certain pleasures and opportunities, isn't that meant to be a metaphysical test of some kind - a matter of self-denial - one of supposedly cosmic importance? And isn't demanding exemptions and compensations simply cheating to gain the approval of one's hypothetical deity? If a person avoids certain foodstuffs or swimming with infidels because he believes avoiding those things will please God for some strange reason, then that's a pretty mad formulation. But attempting to circumvent those self-imposed restrictions by imposing on others seems somewhat dubious even on its own, mad terms. Or doesn't God mind if someone else is forced to pick up the tab? And how convenient is that?

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