Hey Bayblab,This was expanded upon in response to my response in which I argued that yes, some beliefs do disqualify you from certain jobs.
Sorry to come so late to the Gary Goodyear convo. I tried to post a reply, but it doesn't seem to be working. You guys usually have such level headed positions that it has shocked me that you'd fall into the traditional bigotry expressed by 'progressives.'
The Gary Goodyear situation is a typical 'just asking questions' meme. The way these 'questions' (read character assinations) are phrased and presented it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't condition. Mr. Goodyear rightfully refused to respond to the question, and look at where we are. Imagine if he had responded in faith with his true beliefs;
Goodyear is a conservative, and he's a devout christian. Just because he believes in a literal interpreation of the New Testmant in his private life (which he's FULLY entitled to under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms) doesn't mean he can't take positions that are in the best interests of Canadian scientific community in his public life.
Let's be clear; Goodyear has never once been accused of navigating his cabinet duties according to his devout Christian beliefs. There isn't a shread of evidence to suggest he has. Not one shread. And I was under the impression that you all in the Barb lab were good Scientists.
This is a clear cut example of anti-christian bigotry, which is the only acceptable form of bigotry Canada.
Imagine if the media had asked a gay, lesiban or transgendered minister about their personal beliefs and if they're in conflict. Or a muslim for that matter. People would be calling for heads to roll at the media outlet. But because it's a conservative, and a christian on top of that, it's only 'asking questions.'
For a good debate on this exact topic see;
Hi Kamel,So rather than keep this discussion confined to private emails, I'll turn it out to our readers. What do you think? Is it OK to question Goodyear about his personal beliefs without justification (eg. job performance indicators, dumping tax dollars into the Discovery Institute, etc.)? If not, has his performance to date given such justification? Was this a case of anti-Christian bigotry, or a reasonable investigation into the qualifications of our science minister? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and hopefully our letter writer will return to respond.
Sure, you can post my email if you'd like. I do completely agree that if, for example, he were a biologist then his opinions on Creation vs. Evolution may be important to gauge his authority as a biologist. However he's not a biologist, he's a politician. More to the point and this touches on something you mentioned; there is absolutely no evidence that his private Christian beliefs guide him in Public service. If Mr. Goodyear were to have donated money to, or set aside public funds for, an anti-scientific organization like The Discovery Institute, then I could see this line of questioning as legitimate. However there is no foundation for such lines of questioning in Mr. Goodyears Public performance. So the questions are posed entirely because of his identified faith. The presumption of how someone will act based on their social categorization is the very definition of bigotry. The fact that this presumption is still maintained with an abundance of evidence to the contrary only compounds the bigotry.
Recently there was a quote in the Victoria Sun where Mr. Goodyear qualified himself and said he believes in evolution. However, his subsequent comments made it clear he doesn't understand evolution at all. I don't believe he should have even had to further qualify himself as his Public performance in no way has been guided by his private beliefs. That said, with this qualification are we to disqualify him as Science and Technology Minister because he doesn't understand evolution? It is the founding principle of biology after all. How about complex physics concepts? He is the Science and Technology minister, and science and technology isn't only relegated to biology. I'm sure you can see where this is going. The point is his Public record as the Minister of Science and Technology holds no evidence to suggest that his private beliefs are guiding his public life. So these sorts of questions are direct attempts are character assassinations and overtly bigoted.
My point is that if this weren't a Christian MP there wouldn't have been any questions regarding faith. Could you imagine the Globe asking a devout Muslim Science and Technology Minister "do you honestly believe you are a descendant of Mohammed?" I think we both can agree heads would roll. But because this is a Christian MP, it's all par for the course, and in fact people defend it as 'only asking questions'. And even more than that; The people who point out the bigotry are accused of trying to silence opinion.
I hope you agree that no form of bigotry is acceptable, even if it's targeted towards identified majorities, or convenient targets. The fact that such highly educated people who contribute to your BayBlab blog have not seen the bigotry inherent in the Gary Goodyear story is worrying to say the least.
You can post this as well if you feel it would contribute to your blog. I feel discussions about socially accepted forms of bigotry are probably some of the most important discussions people can have.