It seems anomalous that in a world where our liberties are being taken from us on a daily basis, you can't move for peoples' rights. There's a very real difference between liberties (the freedom from. . .) and rights (permission to. . .) and over the last ten years especially people have been 'given' rights which overlap and contrast with those of others.
For instance, a publican has the right to deny service to anyone he sees fit. It is his business and his property, hence the marvellous 'Bar Alistair Darling' campaign. If the landlord didn't have the right to bar entry, then that simply wouldn't have happened.
But, hello? What's this? A homosexual couple have just walked in to the Hypothetical Arms. Now I've no problem with homosexuality, it isn't my bag, but then neither is eating sprouts, and I don't hate people who do eat them. Indeed, some of my best friends are sprout eaters. But if that landlord decides he doesn't want gay people in his premises, then he's in a world of trouble.
Well how can you have 'rights' that trump other people's? Does this mean that my 'rights' are less inalienable than others'? Does the homosexual's 'right' to go to the pub outweigh the landlord's 'right' to refuse service to anyone he sees fit? It's a conundrum isn't it?
For what it's worth, I believe it is his property and his business, if the landlord wants to turn away trade and demonstrate he's a twat, then that's his look out. There's plenty of other places where the gay guys can drink quite happily. Even if you weren't barred, because it was illegal, would you still want to give the bloke your money, knowing he wanted to refuse you service but isn't allowed by law?
So imagine my mirth when I read that the Crystal Cauldron Pagan club had been told by the Catholic Church that perhaps Stockport's Our Lady's club wasn't the most suitable venue for their witches' ball and cancelled the booking.
A diocese spokesman said the group was not compatible with the club's "ethos".
You don't say.
"In this day and age I just didn't think that we would get that prejudice from the Catholic Church,"
Said the leader of the group. Why was that then? Perhaps they'd just been sweeping up after the Lesbian Jihadist for Mohammed Jumble Sale when you went in to make the booking? No? You mean to say that this club, owned and run by the Catholic Church, don't want non-Catholic groups using their club? What a bunch of bastards.
"You can't seriously segregate clubs like this by religious values."
Errrrm, yes. Yes you can. Because, and perhaps this wasn't made clear enough, it is a Catholic Club. I doubt the local Mosque will be hiring out its hall for a BNP meeting. I doubt the local golf club would hire out the 4th green for a game of cricket. Nor should they be made to, it is their club and what goes on there isn't anyone's business but their own.
"It's not black witches and pointy hats, and we're not devil worshippers. We respect everybody's religion and we're trying not to have things in the shadows."
Well that's irrelevant, even if there is a racist gag in there. You may respect everyone else's religion, but the Catholic Church doesn't. They respect their own. So quite rightly told you to sod off.
"You don't have to be pagan to come and join us - it's just a fun open night with evening gowns and fancy dress and a fantastic Abba tribute group playing"
Oh, bloody hell. Not a court in the land would convict them. An Abba tribute playing in some church hall in Stockport is never likely to be 'fantastic.' Sounds like a perfectly ghastly evening. It's not often I agree with the Church in any guise, but the Micks have got this one spot on.