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Monday, January 13, 2014

For human rights to flourish, religious rights have to come second

In Britain, discriminatory attitudes – to racism, to women, to homosexuality – have changed quickly and profoundly. But are religious beliefs now hampering progress?

By Deborah Orr
The Guardian
Originally posted December 27, 2013

There is certainly no shortage of one thing in the world, and that's a lack of goodwill to all men. And women. And children. If it isn't Russia introducing laws against homosexuality, then it's Saudi Arabia resisting the idea that women should drive cars. If it isn't Burma, spoilt for choice, decade after decade, as to which ethnicity to cleanse, then it's a bunch of African countries extolling female genital mutilation.

And outrageous as these horrors are, even the countries that we in the UK see as our natural allies, and consider as sharing our values, are hardly perfect. The US clings to capital punishment, thwarted only by a lack of the chemicals necessary to kill. Australia stands against gay marriage. Israel continues to favour the needs of settlers over established populations. Europe continues to harbour virulent antisemitism.

Britain is hardly without problems either. Hardly a day goes by without some giant, discriminatory insult provoking heated indignation.

The entire article is here.

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