Thank Cheesus: Some Good News

California's State Supreme Court has struck a blow against "conscience clauses" and ruled unanimously today that doctors practicing in CA cannot withhold medical care from gays and lesbians because of religious beliefs. Because of the state law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, doctors have "neither a free speech right nor a religious exemption from the state's law" and the antidiscrimination obligations it compels.

Because I need someone to yell at today, I'll just briefly reiterate my position on the physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers who whinge about their rights being violated because they can't refuse to treat patients that make them feel oogy: Only in an environment where "freedom of religion" is deliberately misconstrued to mean "the right of a particular strand of conservative Christianity to not have to follow the rules everyone else does" could an expectation to provide legal healthcare services constitute religious discrimination. Only in this atmosphere could not being able to pick and choose which patients you want to serve, thusly redefining your entire profession on your own terms, be considered tantamount to having no choice at all.

Here's your choice: Do what you were hired to do or get another fucking job.

This culture of victimhood among conservative Christians is ridiculous in the extreme. It is—yet again—predicated on the flawed assertions that their version of Christianity is the only version, and that it is the exclusive source from which morality can be derived. The morality of all the other Christians, all the people of other religions, and all the non-religious people who don't have these personal issues on the job don't figure a whit. Of course they don't—because if they did, the barking lunatics who equate oppression with a requirement of compliance with one's basic job description might have to face the reality that there's not some insidious siege upon religious freedom, but instead just a minority group whose religious beliefs make them intrinsically unfit to hold positions as healthcare providers.

Asking for on-the-job exemptions from primary duties based on religious beliefs is nothing less than the "special rights" conservatives are incessantly accusing the LGBTQI community, women, and racial minorities of seeking. Those groups just want baseline equality. Christians who want to use their interpretation of the Bible to rewrite their job descriptions want an inequality that caters to their personal whims. It's no one else's responsibility to indulge your conscience. Particularly in the field of medicine, where lives depend on people who don't hesitate, who put patients' needs before their own desires, such a willful dereliction of duty is contemptible.


[Thanks to Shaker Kathy for the heads-up.]

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