I'm waiting to hear about a writing assignment that, if it happens, will drastically change my outlook for the next month or two. It would be very interesting, challenging - and highly lucrative. The three rarely go together for me. But I'll really have my hands full meeting all my deadlines. No more NYC-to-do excursions for a while, and I'll have to resist replying to all your great comments during the day.
Your comments to this post were fantastic. I really appreciated everyone's input and perspectives. Galileo, who I believe is both gay and a practicing Christian, had this to say:
When I first read about the move to allow pharmacists to not carry certain items according to their conscience, I thought, "Gee. That's a good idea. No one should be forced to do something they don't think is right."I admit the line Galileo quoted was meant sarcastically. I don't buy the conscience excuse; I think it's good old-fashioned, puritanical, patriarchal disapproval. But his comment made me consider the possibility more seriously.
But then I thought about it some more. Where does it end? Can an emergency room doc withold treatment from a gang member because he disapproves of gang activity? Can he refuse to treat an injury caused by the patient's own stupidity? What if he wants to withold surgery from someone because they are gay, or a different religion, or a different color? Just because they think it's wrong.
Back to the pharmacist. What if he wants to withold AZT from someone with HIV because he assumes that AIDS is a gay disease and thinks it's wrong? What if he doesn't want to fill a prescription for pain killers because he would choose to tough it out and you should too?
Initially, I was even able to answer these questions with, "So what? You can always go to another pharmacist for your drugs." But if everyone in a conservative town is witholding the same prescriptions, it essentially becomes impossible to get.
I really appreciated this line from your post:
But if you can't do your job properly because your conscience is bothering you, you need to find another profession.
When you sign up to be a pharmacist, you know what you're getting into. It's not like you accidentally got the job; it takes a lot of time and effort. So to all the pharmacists out there, know what you're getting yourself into, then live up to your responsibility and quit complaining about it. Otherwise, find something else that's more compatible with your lifestyle.
When John Ashcroft said that legal abortion conflicted with his religious beliefs, I felt he had to decline the position of Attorney General, since his job would be to uphold the laws of the land, and abortion is still legal. When personal conscience conflicts with the law or the requirements of your job (or both), you can only choose one. If this conscience thing is real, and not just an excuse, well then, Galileo's comment says it all.