It's Not Just Muslims: Christians Play the Victim Card, Too
Ms. Ladele stated that she holds "the orthodox Christian view that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others" and that civil partnerships are "contrary to God's law." Perhaps they are, but so too is the re-marriage of divorcees. Why not be consistent and separate, in both cases, the sacred from the secular? Render unto Islington what is Islington's, and to God what is God's.
Consistency is not always admirable in matters of conscience, certainly not if it means that we fail to distinguish a lesser wrong from a greater. Ms. Ladele may well have felt that marrying divorcees was a compromise she could make, but "marrying" gays was not. She is fully entitled to her view and to take a principled stance on it. But how principled was her stance?
Before bringing her tribunal case, Ms. Ladele demanded that others conduct civil partnership ceremonies in her place. She was, it seems, happy for her colleagues to "sin" more so she could "sin" less, and for them to make sacrifices -- by rearranging their working patterns -- to accommodate her religious sensibilities. When they grew tired of this, she sued -- at taxpayers' expense -- and won a "large payout." There's profit in principles.
What Ms. Ladele did was wrong. When the requirements of a job change such that they conflict with one's conscience, the right thing to do is resign. This is what Ms. Ladele should have done. She should have explained her reasons without trumpeting her virtue.
Resigning is not an easy thing to do. It may be hard to get another job. Fewer jobs are open to a man with a conscience. For a Christian, this is the cross he has to bear, but he has no right to force another man to bear it.
Islam is different. In the case of the hijab and the hairdresser, the Muslim demanded that the non-Muslim bear the cost of her piety. In my Pajamas Media piece on that case, I wrote:
Islam is doing what Islam has always done: taking territory by any means possible. For Muslims in the West, tears are more effective than guns.
Christianity is better than this. A Christian who uses victimhood as a weapon is letting the side down. Jesus said his yoke is easy, but he didn't say it came with a compensation payout.
For believers and non-believers alike, it is not in the public interest that victimhood should be lucrative. Islington Council has appealed. I hope that it wins and that this dangerous precedent is overturned.