Saturday, February 03, 2007

David Cameron: ‘sexuality trumps religion’

In The Daily Telegraph, David Cameron states: Of course I want to keep the Roman Catholic adoption agencies. They do an amazing job in placing hard to place children and they perform a vital role but I’m passionate that in this country we have one law that is obeyed by everybody.
And this is vitally important in the whole debate about how we need to sweep away the failed multiculturalism. I don’t think it would be right to allow carve outs for Muslim groups or Hindu groups or whoever, so that means one law that everyone has to obey. And that’s why I don’t think a block exemption for catholic adoption agencies would be right but by all means give them time to find a way through the new rules.

Unfortunately, Mr Cameron’s knowledge of Conservative philosophy is as insecure as his knowledge of the Constitution of the United Kingdom.

The violation of a person’s dignity by refusing goods or services because of their sexuality has an equivalence in law, which is the violation of a person’s dignity by refusing goods or services because of their race or religion. The provision of anti-discrimination legislation in the minority area of sexual orientation does not negate the provision of anti-discrimination legislation in the minority area of religion. Under Human Rights legislation, one has the right to freely practise one’s religion, and therefore exemptions to this law must be permitted. If not, there will emerge a hierarchy of rights in which sexual orientations override all religious rights. How does the Equalities Minister intend to resolve this? What says the new Commission on Equalities and Human Rights?

As for those communicants who have sent Cranmer some rather nasty correspondence, accusing him of bigotry, hatred, ignorance, ‘Cathophobia’, and a host of other unpleasantness, he asks them to consider:

Prior to 1 January, when the SOR were to become law in Northern Ireland, there were protests from thousands of Christians, their leaders, and prominent Protestant politicians. The Government, and the Opus Dei Equalities Minister, ignored the lot.

Prior to the incorporation of the legislation into English law, hundreds of Bible-believing Christians, along with some Muslims, held a peaceful protest outside Parliament. The Government, and the Opus Dei Equalities Minister, ignored the lot.

But the very moment a Cardinal of the Church of Rome writes to the Government, the Opus Dei Equalities Minister seeks an exemption. Not for Christians, you understand, but for Roman Catholics.

In the vernacular of some of His Grace's North American communicants: ‘Go figure.’


Anonymous Nicholas Bennett said...

Your Grace confuses the hypocrisy of nuLab minister with the views of most of her co-religionists.
She may have said nothing about the the NI regulations but it is not true that the Catholic Church was silent. Both the bishops and the Catholic Union ( the 'political' arm of the lay church)have spoken out against them and prominant Catholic peers like Lord Alton opposed the NI regulations in the Lords.

'Ms' Kelly clings to office despite this direct attack on freedom of conscience and religious belief.

3 February 2007 at 15:00  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Cameron believes in social standing and is typical of a certain type of Anglican. It is the lightly-worn social visits to churches rather than any understanding of theology or scripture which is the hallmark of many Anglicans.

He does not see it as anything more than a golf-club or Henley and is more concerned to be true to the sybaritic lifestyle money has entitled him to.

I don't think we should have any expectations of Mr Cameron beyond his career in PR

3 February 2007 at 15:24  
Anonymous Steven_L said...

We've lost track of the debate. When they voted in gay adopted the government minister concerned stated that it wasn't 'about gay rights' and that 'no one has the right to adopt'.

Adoption should not be defined as a 'public service'. I see it as a collective act of a compassionate society. If a service is being provided to anyone it is the child.

This will all help adoption targets though - less people will put their kids up knowing there's the chance that gays might adopt them.

And the 'Equality Act' has nothing to do with the Human Rights Act, it goes much further than the HRA ever did. If anything it creates a body to enforce the anti-discrimination principals of the HRA which would never have applied in this way to adoption. Adoption is controlled by sound specific legislation.

3 February 2007 at 15:54  
Blogger Tom Tyler said...

As I see it, the heart of the matter is that in our legislation (and indeed, in our whole philosophy of debate around these issues) we have thrown out the central question "What is right?" and have replaced it with "What is my right?". P

3 February 2007 at 16:29  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Steven I - the Equality Act 2006 is implementation into British Law of an EU Directive of 13 December 2004 it is nothing to do with the Human Rights Act which is predicated on the ECHR of 1950 and which has always been applicable to the UK though not in UK Courts until the HRA.

The issue of public service relates to public funding. Who receives public funding comes within scope of the law.

Thus the C of E which provides social workers and also Community Centres as a means of keeping certain buildings operational must, in return for public funding, remove any contectual information or symbols defining it as a Christian building.

All Christian charities which engage with or receive funding from the public sector will be forced to deny their Christian
Faith - something which the Church of England seems to have accomplished in its desire to be an extension of The Home Office with salaried priests akin to a civil service.

Denmark's state Church even has a Minister of Religion in the Govt

3 February 2007 at 16:47  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

His Grace would have a field day on the interfering Church of Rome if it should presume to obtain anything on behalf of Canterbury. Ruth Kelly has to answer for her own actions, although it is reported that she opposed the introduction of this legislation. The timing of her objection and her assumed silence when this legislation was introduced in Northern Ireland seems to be His Graces bete-noire.

All NI politics are a mine field, how does His Grace suppose a UK Catholic Ministers comments relating to this heavily religious matter, would have gone down there if she had created a stink, I think there is some wisdom in picking your battles. I wouldn’t mind betting His Grace would take it under advisement before commenting on anything relating to religion in NI.

Even though a Catholic I do not think you can draw the conclusion her objection, like that of the PM, was directly as a result of Cardinal Murphy-O'Conner's letter, anymore than you could draw the same conclusion from to public expression of support from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Muslim Council of Britain or The Federation of Synagogues.

As to his graces last point relating to seeking an exemption only for Catholics, I have to ask, are there any other adoption agencies in the whole of the UK that maintains and objection to placing children with homosexual couples. If His Grace can indicate any then his point is valid otherwise I think it is irrelevant.

3 February 2007 at 18:13  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Ruth Kelly would have done well to consider her Northern Ireland roots, but the simple fact is she needs the job to pay school fees and cannot guarantee Gordon will let her keep it.

I don't consider her important. It would be nice to know Gordon Brown's view on this important matter but he is the brooding thug type who has no public opinions beyond free schooling for the world.

What would have been super is if the Church of England could have mustered some policy on this but since we are in Anglo-Catholic mode on the alternation principle of Evangelical last and Evangelical next, but Affirming Catholicism now we have the Guardian Journalist Rowan Williams who could not lead his flock anywhere but up a blind alley

If Rome has to take the lead it is because Canterbury has vacated the field. With Nazir-Ali or Akinola as Archbishop no doubt the C of E would not have complied so willingly with The Party's demand for cohabiting gay priests and anything else the C of E wishes the Govt to "impose" on a willing church.

I am quite happy for the Church of Rome to make the running. If the Church of England lacks any integrity and continues to warmly embrace secular hedonism and modern Gnosticism so be it. One day the Protestant Soul of the Anglican Church will free itself from this crippled carcass as it lumbers across the landscape looking for somewhere to expire

3 February 2007 at 19:24  
Anonymous John Fisher said...

Does your grace mean to exclude Roman Catholics from the category of "Bible-believing Christians"?

3 February 2007 at 21:36  
Anonymous Colin said...

I apologize for the term Catholophobia and agree with His Grace and Voltaire: "Écrasons l'infâme !"

4 February 2007 at 21:10  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Does it EVER occur to this bloody Government to LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE and NOT INTERFERE?

6 February 2007 at 18:58  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Does it EVER occur to this bloody Government to LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE and NOT INTERFERE?

Perhaps looking at the homes the Harmans, Jowells, Hodges, Browns, Blairs, Milibands, Balls, Coopers - come from should give a clear indication of why they think they have this right.

They start off with a basic contempt and enhance it with self-serving "reports" from their university friends to work out how many new jobs the Therapeutic Salariat needs to afford private school fees.

The simple truth is that The State is the largest single employer of graduates. There are in reality not enough graduate level positions in Britain's rather modest economy, so new public sector roles must be created to employ liberal arts graduates and these must have compulsion embodied to justify long-term employment

7 February 2007 at 06:51  

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