So yesterday I was tired of reading political blogs. So I started looking for non-political blogs by browsing the blog rolls of people whose blogs I normally read. Mostly I found either blogs I already read or more politics. But Stiletto Philosophy saved me. Her blog roll includes lots of personal blogs. Of course many of them were fairly angst ridden, which wasn’t helping my already low mood.
Then of course I found one with an entry that pissed me off enough to comment on and of course it was political. I just can’t get away from it.
I left a comment, you can read it if you like and got a nice email back from Mac. I asked if I could quote it and my response, because it was getting big enough to be a blog entry all its own. She agreed.
Yes, they are not taking city money, but I mean ALL public money.
That means United Way funds, government funds, general public
The Boy Scouts raise a good portion of their money through member
dues. Technically, it functions as a private club type of thing.
Therefore, they have the right to enact whatever silly rules they want.
My response was:
What I hear you saying is if someone has a religious conviction about something they should not be able to ask people for money.
I can almost understand an argument that says the government – who forces people to give them this money – shouldn’t be allowed to give that money to support a religious system. (Though I don’t really think that’s the case in this instance. Actually it probably is the case, that the government is enacting rules that are based on the philosophical belief that homosexuality is ok and everyone who deals with them must agree to it).
So all churches shouldn’t be able to do any general fund raising? I think the thing people forget is that the Salvation Army is a church, just like the Catholic church – which has the same kind of problem.
As for the United Way, I don’t think of them as a governmental organization, so they can do whatever they want with the money they raise. I don’t give to them because they give to causes I don’t agree with. Why shouldn’t others have to make the same kind of choice? Let them give to whoever they want and if people stop giving to them they have to deal with those consequences.
Another point I’d like to make is the same reason the Salvation Army is out there running their soup kitchens is the reason they won’t support homosexual partners. Both are based on their religious beliefs. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any agency doing the kind of down in the trenches helping of the poor they do that doesn’t do it because Jesus told them to. I may be missing something here, but I honestly can’t think of any.
When I read the story you have posted I see a totally different injustice. I see a government, that does nothing to help the poor, putting a political agenda ahead of the good of the homeless. The Salvation Army isn’t closing their services because they want to, they are doing it because the city is forcing them to. Will the city run these soup kitchens if the Salvation Army doesn’t? I seriously doubt it.
Since then I’ve thought of a couple of other things.
The issue here is really core and really important. When can the government force others to conform to their philosophical beliefs. My answer is rarely. And this isn’t one of those times. I’m going to sound a little Libertarian here, but they should only be able to enforce philosophical mandates when there is a danger to the people they are responsible for.
Quick hypothetical example, say the KKK had a company that built bridges (as opposed to being a bunch of stupid losers). And they built really good bridges. As a matter of fact they were better than anyone else’s. It was scientifically proven that there were 33% less traffic fatalities on their bridges. Now NYC needs a new bridge real bad. This bridge is going to have a million people go over it every day. A study says there will be 30 traffic fatalities a year on the bridge just because of the traffic flow.
You should see where I’m going now. They bid out the project and the KKK has the low bid, but they say they won’t hire any black people to work on the bridge. So the city council comes for a vote on who to award the contract to. How do you vote?
Remember if you give the contract to anyone else 10 people per year are going to die on the bridge that wouldn’t if you give it to the KKK.
On the other hand hundreds of thousands of black NYC tax payers are going to be giving millions of dollars to the KKK.
You know how I’d vote? I against the KKK getting the contract.
Why? Let’s change the scenario a little. Instead of the KKK it is the Boy Scouts. Now the Boy Scouts are bad because they don’t let homosexuals be Scout leaders. (OK, I don’t think they are bad, but Mac and NYC city council do).
Them I would vote for.
How about the National Organization of Women. I’m pro-life and don’t agree with much of NOW’s political agenda. But I’d vote for them too.
So why would I let 10 people die rather than give the KKK a city contract?
Because the KKK with millions of dollars would be an active threat to the populous. They have a history of violence. Maybe they could create some kind of kinder gentler KKK, but I doubt it. They are basically a domestic terrorist organization. So letting 10 people a year die is better than thousands.
But the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts, and even NOW aren’t violent, so they can have the job if it helps people.
You know if the City Council of NYC enacts this particular piece of social engineering, people will probably die on the streets of New York. When it gets cold and there is no shelter to go to, they’ll freeze to death. And who will be the most torn up about it?
The City Council? They’ll be outraged because it is politically expedient, but won’t shed a tear.
The homosexual employees partners? They won’t even realized it happen. They’ll be working for someone else and won’t realize the injustice they suffered at the hand of the Salvation Army caused people to die.
No the people who will cry will be the Salvation Army workers. They’ll still be on the street working in the shelters that are still there. The ones paid for by those people who care about the homeless. They’ll be the ones on their knees in tears asking God why another person had to die on the streets alone.