In war, sitting out protects one’s bodily safety. Sitting out of the morally messy struggles typical of adult human life protects one’s sense of superiority and innocence. Doing the good sometimes requires an odd courage: accepting the risk of getting the soul’s hands dirty. But how and how much to dirty one’s hands are difficult to discern.
On Tuesday January 15, the European Court of Human Rights delivered a long awaited judgement. Four British citizens had sought from it a ruling that, on account of their religion, legal rights belonging to them under the European Convention (EC) had been breached. They claimed they had been breached first by their employers and subsequently by employment tribunals and the national appeal courts who ratified the treatment of the employees by their employers.