Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Conscience Claws As A Weapon Of Class Warfare

Great piece by John Belisarus over at Donkey Rising on the Conscience Claws and its elitist/classist undertones:
"Drug store pharmacists may have more specialized education and greater responsibilities then other retail salespeople, but when they package and sell a customer a product they personally consider ethically objectionable their individual moral involvement and responsibility - which is what we are talking about here -- is in absolutely no way greater or more direct then that of a ordinary convenience store cashier who sells condoms of which he or she morally disapproves or a supermarket, gas station or 7-11 cashier who sells cigarettes that he or she personally considers addictive and poisonous and therefore deeply immoral on ethical and religious grounds.
Thus, any proposed individual "right of conscience" for retail sales employees cannot fairly or reasonably be limited to only the men and women behind the pharmacy counter. The people operating the cash register in the drug store may have less formal education then pharmacists and asking for age ID may be less complex then reviewing dosages and double-checking for allergies or incompatible drugs, but as human beings with personal moral and ethical standards, the cashier and the pharmacist are exactly and precisely equal and any new legal rights of conscience extended to one cannot properly be denied the other without violating the fundamental principle of every Americans' right to equality before the law.
In order to disguise this uncomfortable fact -- one which clearly makes the proposed laws constitutionally flawed -- the conservative activists managing the current campaign have resorted to elitist arguments that express a snobbery and contempt for ordinary Americans that can only be described as appalling."
After highlighting a number of quotes illustrative of the point he goes on:
"It is difficult to imagine more blatant and arrogant expressions of snobbish class elitism. "Bright" and "talented" pharmacists - "professionals", after all, not just "garbage men" -- have highly developed moral and ethical consciences regarding the products they sell and therefore deserve special legal rights of conscience. The illiterate morons who work at the cash register, on the other hand, aren't smart enough or good enough to deserve such special consideration.
This is so unfair, so un-American and indeed so contrary to the ethics of most sincere Christians as to be literally repulsive - and its time for the honest participants in this debate to start saying so. Either every single American retail employee who sells products to the public deserves to have a newly created "Right of Conscience" guaranteed by law or else we need to agree that existing laws covering the rights of retail employees, including retail pharmacists as well as cashiers, are appropriate as they are.
This is America. In this country we don't pass laws that say that pharmacists are more valuable and worthy as moral human beings then cashiers. "
Nice. Go read it all.

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