To the editor:
Government employees should have the right to refuse service to people on the basis of these people’s religious or philosophical leanings? Seriously?
OK. Suppose that I’m a secular humanist and find disagreeable, even offensive and repulsive, many of the fundamental beliefs of religious conservatives. Especially those terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans. Would I be allowed to query everyone who steps up to my desk?
“I do beg your pardon, but are you one of those terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans? You are?!? I am so sorry, but you’ll have to join that line over there. It’s the one for terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans. My desk is for everyone else. Have a nice day.”
Government employees are paid to serve the people. They are paid by all of the people to serve all of the people. Even socialists, communists, American Nazis, Buddhists, Moslems, anarchists, libertarians, religiously conservative Christian Republicans. Even—gasp!—gays. Yes, even — oh horror of horrors — moderate Republicans and godless secular humanists.
A character in a Ken Bruen novel I recently read made an interesting point. Posed a question worth consideration. There seem to be so many differences of opinion tearing apart Western Civilization right now. Perhaps, this character postulated, a fundamental underlying question binding together these seemingly disparate issues is the question, “How tolerant should we be of intolerance?”
Hmmm. That question’s more than a mouthful. It’s a mindful. It’s a good question for Kansans right now.