Friday, 29 August 2008

You put your left leg in...

Patsy McGarry, thank you! The sectarianism of our society would be laughable if it wasn't so bitter. I would have liked to hear more of the detail behind this story: that a Donegal Atheist has had to be buried outside Donegal - in Derry City Council cemetery - because Donegal graveyards require a religious ceremony (possibly because Churches own and maintain the ground). I'm sad that Christians can't find room for atheists - even dead ones - in their churches.

But I did laugh when I read that the cemeteries department employee, when asked whether the deceased in question had been interred in a new Atheist section of the cemetery, they replied "No, we're putting her in with the Protestants." That doesn't sound like the way a Protestant would express it. I guess that's appropriate enough. Atheism is a form of Protest, after all.

It all ties in with the frustration my NZ friend is having, filling in job application forms, and having to designate herself as Protestant or Catholic etc for the Equal Employment Opportunities Monitoring Form. I know it's meant to protect against discrimination. However, there are times when the requirement to choose between apparently mutually exclusive options just doesn't represent reality

or sanity.

1 comment:

Alan in Belfast said...

If the forms were better worded, they could be asking a more specific question.

The Equality Commission's sample wording asks folk to

"Indicate your religion or the religion to which you would be perceived to belong by ticking the appropriate box below:

I am a member of the Protestant Community

I am a member of the Roman Catholic Community

I am a member of neither the Protestant nor the Roman Catholic Community"

Though it's still a please label yourself as quickly as possible to allow us to count you in one of three boxes metric - but accurate enough to allow monitoring.