Choose your weapons

Monday 28 September 2009 3:19 AM

Apparently Rob Hulls stands guilty of protecting unenlightened disrespect, hatred and religious prejudice in this state. But then again, the undercurrents of this debate reflect a far-from-helpful use of language.

A discussion in which only the most negative, emotion-charged vocabulary is permitted has little chance of being conducted with reason or equanimity, and thus still less chance of an "enlightened" outcome. Our gracious legislators, it seems, are permitting religious organisations to continue to practice "discrimination". So - it's intrinsically bad but we're letting you do it anyway?

One person's "discrimination" is another's common sense. Every day job candidates are screened according to their capacity to support the company's values or mission. Someone with radically socialist views on wealth distribution is unlikely to be made Telstra CEO, should they apply. Would that be "discrimination" or just sensible? An outstanding cricket coach is unlikely to coach an AFL side. A radical pacifist would be passed over for military field command. No one cries "prejudice!"

Rethink the vocabulary, and an intelligent debate may be possible.