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Christianity is so yesterday, says UK high court

There is no place in British law for Christian beliefs, despite centuries of Christianity, two High Court judges have held.
Michael Kirke | 2 March 2011
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This was inevitable – and it is only beginning. Everyone is blaming the judges for the decree handed down by the High Court in Britain on Monday that Eunice and Owen Johns, a Christian couple, married almost 40 years, could no longer foster children aged between five and 10. They are deemed unsuitable, in law, to do so any longer because they are unwilling to promote a homosexual lifestyle to a child. Neither Mr nor Mrs Johns has anything against gay people but they are not in favour of sex before marriage, whatever an individual’s orientation.

But this is not the fault of the judges. The law is not an ass. That is too easy. It is the law-makers who are asses. As soon as the steamroller of “gay liberation” got rolling on its relentless way and sought to have legislation to back all the rights it set itself up as having, the law-makers began to make asses of themselves. And this goes for every other politically correct tom-foolery which late twentieth century men and women allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by and sought legal standing for.

Commonsense has been abandoned. These laws are so flawed and so full of inherent contradictions in the context of the whole fabric of the common law system that they inevitably lead to the kind of judgement which has just been handed down from the British High Court. The confusion, the anguish and the distress of two innocent people is the outcome of this debacle

The statement issued by Owen and Eunice Johns after the judgement reveals the depths of their anguish. “We are extremely distressed at what the judges have ruled today. All we wanted was to offer a loving home to a child in need. We have a good track record as foster parents. But because we are Christians, with mainstream Christian views on sexual ethics, we are apparently unsuitable as foster parents.

“The judges have suggested that our views might harm children. We have been told by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that our moral views may ‘infect’ a child. We do not believe that this is so. We are prepared to love and accept any child. All we were not willing to do, was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing.”

But all this is part of a campaign to obliterate any common sense and rational approach to dealing with ourselves as human beings. The language of the Equality and Human Rights Commission that the moral views of the Johns may ‘infect’ a child says it all. This is now a society where the Church of the Equality and Human Rights is the arbiter of morality and all other moral viewpoints are dangerous infections against which society must be immunised. British society – and by extension and in time all western societies – are now being defined in such a way that the Church of Human Rights will rule supreme.

These two British judges have now solemnly declared and defined English society to be a “largely secular”, multi-cultural country in which the laws of the realm “do not include Christianity”. The judges remarked that it was not yet “well understood” that in British society the law really has no place for Christianity. “Although historically this country is part of the Christian West, and although it has an established church which is Christian, there have been enormous changes in the social and religious life of our country over the last century,” they said.

Homosexual rights campaigners of course welcomed the judgment which they describe as putting “21st-century decency above 19th-century prejudice”. The ruling in this case is only the latest in a series of judgments in which Christians have been defeated in the courts for breaching equality laws by manifesting their beliefs on homosexuality. Part of the problem here is that the question of homosexuality is being kept in the realm of “belief”. This protects the lobby from having to engage in rational debate about this issue on health, scientific or simple sociological grounds. As soon as anyone raises these issues there are screams of homophobia, prejudice, and bigotry.

All one has to do to get a glimpse of the depth of hatred towards anyone who questions the politically correct orthodoxy on this matter now is to read the comments on the story in the newspapers. The Daily Telegraph in London, as I write, has already clocked up over 1500 responses to just one of its stories on the subject. An Irish parliamentary candidate in the election there last week who has a somewhat nuanced position of the gay rights issue – she supported civil union legislation but considers marriage per se to be, in the interests of children, something for a man and a woman. The volume of hate mail and abuse which descended on her smelt very much like a jihad.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Anglican bishop of Rochester, described the High Court judgment as absurd. “However, what really worries me about this spate of judgments is that they leave no room for the conscience of believers of whatever kind. This will exclude Christians, Muslims and Orthodox Jews from whole swaths of public life, including adoption and fostering.”

The judges saw their predicament as follows: “We sit as secular judges serving a multicultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to ‘do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will’.”

It was in this context that the Daily Telegraph leader article put the blame firmly in the court of the law-makers. It had no qualms about declaring that we were now witnessing the emergence of a modern, secular Inquisition.

“The reason that they were even asked about their views on homosexuality was because Parliament passed the Sexual Orientation Regulations, making it an offence to discriminate on the grounds that someone is heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. These are the same laws under which Peter and Hazelmary Bull, Christian owners of a guest house, were fined last month for refusing to let a gay couple share a room. But in the case of Mr and Mrs Johns, where is the victim? They were not turning anyone away. Quite the contrary – they were offering a home to children who will otherwise end up in care, and there are precious few people who will. Furthermore, since the children would be aged under 10, matters of sexuality are hardly relevant – or is it being suggested that they should be? Astonishingly, the High Court suggested that it was not so much their Christian faith as the moral certainties of the Johns that were potentially harmful to children.”

There is another troubling aspect of this case, the Telegraph concluded.

“Equality laws are supposed to uphold the rights to religious belief. Yet the High Court ruled that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation “should take precedence” over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds. Why has it been left to judges to decide whose rights trump those of others? This should have been decided by Parliament but, yet again, another sloppily drafted measure will have far-reaching consequences for freedom of conscience in this country. Already the Roman Catholic Church has had to close its adoption agencies because they cannot conform to the law. Perhaps there is a historical irony here, because we are witnessing a modern, secular Inquisition – a determined effort to force everyone to accept a new set of orthodoxies or face damnation as social heretics if they refuse. Parliament and the courts should protect people like Mr and Mrs Johns, but have thrown them to the wolves. It is a disgrace.”

But then, what do asses really know about human nature?

Michael Kirke is a freelance writer in Dublin.  He blogs at Garvan Hill.

Copyright © Michael Kirke . Published by MercatorNet.com. You may download and print extracts from this article for your own personal and non-commercial use only. Contact us if you wish to discuss republication.

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