May 20, 2011

Belize and Belief

Religious leaders in Belize have taken a typical stand against the decriminalization of homosexual acts. They base this on the usual litany of religious freedom and the threat to society they deem to be inherent in any movement towards toleration of this particular diversity, complete with the full panoply of slippery-slopism. As the signatories, including the Anglican Bishop of Belize, put it,

...Activists have promoted and steadily expanded this right to trump universally recognized rights to religious freedom and expression...
Of course, rights are, well, rights. It's no good trying to play them off against each other. Freedom of religion and religious expression does not mean the freedom to dictate that others must think as one does or be punished. Nor does it mean freedom from living in a society some of whose policies one may find disagreeable. Nor does it mean the freedom to act in an uncivil way and still reap civil benefits such as tax exemptions and government contracts. Besides, religion is a lifestyle choice, not a personal reality. If one wishes to establish a hierarchy of human rights, then surely rights pertaining directly to the human person (life, liberty, property, association) must take some priority over rights concerning beliefs —which of course no law can effectively forbid! It is the expression and practice of beliefs that is at issue, on both sides.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
h/t Episcopal Café

1 comment:

Tim said...

Expression and practice are indeed key points here. There are those who strike the pose of sexual purity in the pulpit and who yet fail to stone their own offspring to death for being L/G/B/T, or who get caught with their own pants down. We cannot sufficiently point the finger at *this* form of hypocrisy to whittle away at the battlements of the conservative right.