Friday, December 04, 2009

European Commission 'lobbied Parliament’ to pass Equality Bill

More is emerging on Cranmer’s report last week on the intervention of the European Commission into the business of Parliament. The Government were told that its Equality Bill must subordinate the religious conscience to homosexual equality. The Commission said: ‘exceptions to the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for religious employers are broader than that permitted by the directive’.

Now Mark Harper MP has accused the European Commission of lobbying Parliament on the run-up to this week’s vote. An amendment had been proposed to the Equality Bill by Labour MP David Drew which would have protected the religious liberty of churches and would have safeguarded the right of religious organisations to restrict the appointment of key staff to people whose conduct is consistent with their historic traditions and interpretation of Scripture.

The amendment was defeated by 314 votes to 170.

Mr Harper quoted the European Commission as saying: “We welcome the proposed Equality Bill and hope that it will come into force quickly.”

He observed: “The European Commission has no business telling the Parliament of the United Kingdom whether we should pass legislation.”

Mr Harper appears not to understand the political implications and legal obligations of our membership of the EU: it is most certainly the business of the European Commission to tell the Parliament of the United Kingdom what legislation it may or may not pass. The Treaty of Lisbon is quite clear: European Union law is superior to and takes precedence over all forms of national law, national authorities are required not only to observe all forms of European Union law; they must also implement and give effect to them in the respective Member States.

But Cranmer is just a tad puzzled now with regard to which church positions may be restricted to those whose ‘private conduct’ is consistent with the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics. Presently, leadership positions may be reserved for the purposes of ‘organised religion’, which includes jobs like that of a youth worker.

But under the Equality Bill the Government is specifying that exemptions can only be made for posts which mainly involve leading worship or explaining doctrine. The Bill’s explanatory notes make it clear that this protection ‘is unlikely to permit a requirement that a church youth worker who primarily organises sporting activities is celibate if they are gay, but may apply if the youth worker mainly teaches Bible classes’.

In what church does the youth worker primarily organise sporting activities?

Cranmer is all for healthy bodies, but churches are by definition primarily concerned with theological enlightenment and spiritual development.

A church that is not is not a church. It could not even be termed an ecclesial community.

How can a church determine if its youth workers are celibate if they are gay, or if they are gay at all? Certainly, after the declaration of Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, Roman Catholic gay youth workers may be particularly keen to emphasise their sporting prowess.

But why, if the equality exemption may apply to the youth worker who teaches Bible classes, did the Bishop of Hereford lose the discrimination case brought against him by a gay youth worker?

The law is no longer an ass; it is a rainbow.


Blogger D. Singh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4 December 2009 at 08:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

The reason why the Bishop of Hereford lost the discrimination case is because the Church of England tolerates sin and unrighteousness.

The Employment Tribunal made a critical distinction between non-clergy and clergy posts: ‘we do not think it would be in accordance with the issues [on Human Sexuality] statement to require [unmarried] lay persons to commit to celibacy.’

In other words, the Church of England doubts itself, in this area.

4 December 2009 at 08:53  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

I promise not to post anymore today. May I with your kind permission jus add one more point?

The Employment Tribunal concluded that since the job applicant on the day of his interview was single and had said he intended to remain then fulfilled the job’s requirements. It concluded that that was ‘wholly logical and rational because the future is not known to any person.’

The judgment applies only to the Church of England. It would be wise for all churches to draft a consistent and solid position in this area.

The direction that the law is travelling in is this: the more fundamental you are the greater the degree of protection.

Thank you, Your Grace.

4 December 2009 at 09:35  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

It is lamentable that religious conviction can be discriminated against in what is supposed to be non-discriminatory legislation. The suppression of Christianity gathers pace and it will be interesting to see if other faiths are equally mistreated. We can find legal ways round this problem with a bit of ingenuity, at least until every job has to be advertised, every email and phone call is monitored, and every conversation intercepted by a listening device.

Still its good to see the EU gets a mention for its timely involvement. Doubtless they will receive similar accolades as the reality of Lisbon sinks in.

4 December 2009 at 11:20  
Blogger Crap said...

This "equality" nonsense it just a way of discriminating against white males.

But then, who could ever be against "equality" without appearing nasty?

4 December 2009 at 11:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a point of detail, both the requirement to transpose European directives into national law and the supremacy of EU law over national law pre-existed the treaty of Lisbon; indeed, they pre-date British membership of the then EEC.

4 December 2009 at 11:41  
Anonymous Dobryden said...

I wonder how much the 'Left Behind' Eschatological mentality has affected the Western church, in seeing the EU as the 'prophesied' beast of Revelation? It might at least go some way in explaining the apathy among Western Christians to combating the EU.

4 December 2009 at 15:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

I am glad that our Lord's rainbows are gracious, unlike cruel (even if innocently imposed) man-made attempts to force people into submission to and worship of "all choices are equally moral and to be embraced and approved of by force, even if against one's conscience".

I'm against genuine hate crimes against anyone and recognise that those who practice homosexuality have been sometimes mistreated. But I support the God-given command and right of churches not to hire those who are currently practicing sexual immorality of any kind, and not forcing any one to act against their conscience.

We are called by our Lord to avoid those who profess Christianity who are practicing certain kinds of sins, including some sexual ones, while also being available to gently help, where wanted, those who are struggling with giving into certain sins, since we are all vulnerable to falling into any sins ourselves.
I was thinking about the scripture to Christians.."we are all priests" from ?Ephesians? Would that protect churches from non-Christian outsiders imposing their employment criteria on churches, including in contradiction to scripture or against conscience?
Will it get to that or other things?

Football clubs have to play according to the rules, principles and conventions of football. Likewise genuine Christian churches look to our Lord in scripture. We aim not serve Him, not man where a coflict exists, though we don't wish for conflict.

It is tragic that people are doing this to people.

4 December 2009 at 15:23  
Blogger Furor Teutonicus said...

So what makes the christians, banning gays, any different to the BNP banning non whites?

You are all the damn same.

"Tolerance is fine, so long as I agree with it".

4 December 2009 at 15:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Furor Teutonicus

The error you commit is to present homosexuality as the moral equivalent of race.

4 December 2009 at 15:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous re Furor Teutonicus

Exactly. If a woman walks down the street you can tell she is a woman. If a black man walks down the street you can tell he is black. This is they way God created them. If a gay walks down the street, you can't tell, because at root it is a moral issue.

4 December 2009 at 16:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Exactly. If a woman walks down the street you can tell she is a woman. If a black man walks down the street you can tell he is black. This is they way God created them. If a gay walks down the street, you can't tell, because at root it is a moral issue."
Weeell- sometimes you can, you know!

4 December 2009 at 18:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4 December 2009 at 19:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weeell blow whistles and howl for recognition!

4 December 2009 at 19:28  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

The case that you mention and D Singh commented on also decided that the position of a Diocesan Youth Worker is protected in the ‘narrow band’ of exceptions. That is good news for the church. Stonewall has consistently argued that any none clerical post should not be protected. Stonewall has been defeated on that point.

This appears to be a blessing in disguise, as it were, D Singh is right, the more Christians refuse to accommodate and compromise; the greater the protection. The homosexuals through New Labour sought to destroy the church through this law. The result is likely to be the diametric opposite, it will drive Christians to be more ‘fundamental’. When they thought they were wise, God made fools of them.

A revival is, now, foreseeable.

(P.S. Don’t be too harsh on him; he tries)

4 December 2009 at 20:12  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Come on you Judaeo-Christians: God wants you to win!

Fear not, He is with us! Can’t you see? Jesus has outwitted them! Jesus is the genius! The Grand Master strategist!

All glory truly belongs to Him!

When they rejoiced over our defeat, God laughed; and the solar system was tickled, until it too laughed!

And the trees clapped their hands! And just before you looked at that red apple, didn’t your soul, just for an instant, glimpsed it was golden?

Things are not what they seem!

Come on you Judaeo-Christians: God wants you to win!

4 December 2009 at 20:53  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

My spirit tells me that the following comment has greatly influenced your communicants:

'Lord Lavendon,

His Grace agrees with you. He has no idea what possesses Mr D. Singh, but it appears to be a greater occupying force than Legion.'

I have checked back to April 2006 and you have never said that about a communicant before.

Now we know what effect that will have upon communicants.

Please would you state that I am not an agent of Satan?

You have one hour. I am hurt. You have my private e-mail address; even if you communicate through that, that is good enough for me.

4 December 2009 at 21:58  
Anonymous Bag Lady said...

Oh for feck sake!

Can I just say that a certain poster is being a bit arrogant to think that people are not posting on his grace's site becuase of a comment by his grace to said poster, when the comment was well deserved.

Not everyone has the time to post on this blog, it is a friday afterall, but that does not mean that people are not reading it.

So to said poster :

1.Stop being so self-centred.
2.Don't try and blackmail his Grace.

I would add a third. But it would not be listened to.

4 December 2009 at 22:22  
Blogger D. Singh said...

For such an insult, gentlemen would read.

4 December 2009 at 22:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D. Singh

One hour for what?

What if His Grace is busy and misses your post by that time?

I hope you are feeling better.

4 December 2009 at 22:29  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

His Grace is indeed very busy. It is Friday, and the bottle of red beckoned.

4 December 2009 at 22:33  
Anonymous Bag Lady said...

Look D.Singh, you did upset a lot of people with your rants yesterday. His Grace is extremely benevolent not to have deleted them at the stroke of a key. But his Grace is a most illustrious host. But please don't abuse that hospitality. The last thing the blogsphere needs is to have another comment moderated blog.

I also have to say that to upset someone like, Lord Lavendon, who is an absolute gent and cuddle bear (yes I know him personally) you have to have done something quite bad (he is as nutty as you are with some of his right wing views, if you take cursory glance at his blog). So I would not take it as an insult but as piece of advice- saying that soldiers who suffer from PTSD should be shot is likely to upset people.

4 December 2009 at 22:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...


I have to prosecute many duties. Even at a restaurant, in the middle of a meal, my secretary insists I respond.

D. Singh has supported you chaps all the way. He has instructed his own officers to assist you men. I will always support you.

It may be that God will let me be the 'Oscar Schindler' of this site.
I am angry because an alternative argument, that four out of five grunts agree with, was dismissed by using such a device.

I hold His Grace, in great honour, as I do you.

Time is draining. Men understand this.

4 December 2009 at 22:39  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'His Grace is indeed very busy. It is Friday, and the bottle of red beckoned.'




4 December 2009 at 22:43  
Anonymous Billy, Evangelical Preacher said...

D.Singh, you cannot duel with a man of the cloth and certainly not with his Grace's ashes.....

4 December 2009 at 22:58  
Anonymous Bag Lady said...

D.Singh, you cannot be serious about challenging an Archbishop to a duel? I suppose you plan to duel the Archbishop after you have shot a few of your men in fantsy land for 'cowardice'. You have really lost the plot this time.

4 December 2009 at 23:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

I am not writing this to get a reply or to ruin your evening.

FYI I get hacked and a couple of times this week(including in the last 45 minutes) there have been errors which may imply something about where you are located. I wasn't posting anything at the time of the error if that helps locate any problem, if one exists, and there may not one.

I hope Your Grace's selection is from a most pleasing vintage and, after certain comments on the City this week, not French.

4 December 2009 at 23:06  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

Yesterday we were discussing poverty and ended up shooting cowards.
Today was devoted to matters of religious conscience and it ends with a challenge to a duel!
What delights must await us tomorrow?

4 December 2009 at 23:16  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace, your article highlights the need for us to withdraw from the European Union. It is up to Parliament to decide the laws of this land and not some foreign body.

BTW- in respect to the ludicrous idea of D.Singh challenging you to a duel, I can only think that it is he who has been on the bottle of red. In fact, perhaps a Magnum of Red.

4 December 2009 at 23:17  
Anonymous Stewart Cowan said...

I would say that the rainbow logo with the pink cross sums up the airy-fairy attitude of the 'gay Christian'.

What a wretched situation: to commit unspeakable acts and think you can be saved without repentance.

'Gay' first. Christian second.

"...strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Baroness Ashton - Stonewall's Politician of the Year in 2006, now a bigwig in the pro-sin, anti-Christian EU.

Oh, that the nation would awake to the truth.

4 December 2009 at 23:41  
Anonymous Paul Barras III said...

I can't believe that D.Singh is challenging an Archbishop to a duel. What is this man on?

5 December 2009 at 00:11  
Anonymous len said...

Apparently legion are kicking off again.

5 December 2009 at 00:15  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

I believe that the legislation being proposed by Her Majesty's government is wrong.

In fact, I am less than enthusiastic about Mr Drew's amendment, because it only seeks to make certain limited exceptions to the principle of non-discrimination. In fact, I believe that non-discrimination legislation should only apply to government, and that all nongovernmental organisations should be free to employ whoever they want. Anti-discrimination legislation is an attack on freedom of association.

That said, I'm not sure that this dire equality bill needs to be such a big problem for religious organisations.

As His Grace wisely says, "churches are by definition primarily concerned with theological enlightenment and spiritual development."

If a church believes that homosexual activity is wrong, it's main concern should not be whether a job applicant is homosexual or heterosexual, or whether the applicant is celibate or non-celibate - it should be with whether a prospective applicant believes and publicly affirms and teaches that homosexual activity is wrong.

5 December 2009 at 10:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Young Mr. Brown,
I agree. Also in government where the "less powerful" have already little genuine access to law, then it becomes a sham. If a crime is committed against someone, deal with the crime. Forms and social engineering which constantly focus people on their differences or labels or try to force them to approve of something don't promoted genuine, spontaneous community or fairness let alone decrease toxic kinds of discrimination. Encouraging fairness is good. Britian like many countries has a problems with workplace bullying (and government bullying). Deal with that core issue. With all the forms and social engineering, we all tend to increasingly think of ourselves in terms of sex, age, race, religious belief, health rather than as people. So it fragments and distorts individuals and community and people rebel against it. It is true that bullying and unfair treatment of individuals based on their "labels" also tends to increase labelling, but the over-prying and over-labelling and over-legislating by government doesn't help.
If someone in a company is paid less than others unfairly - then deal primarily with that issue, regardless of the "motive".
Believe me in some countries where these f"anti-disrimination" and invasive forms are rife, there are lots of work environments where the atmosphere is "hostile". But the hostility doesn't go down. The powerful who choose to have hostile environments don't change - even if something goes to court where it should (and if often doesn't), powerful defendents win the cases and honest witnesses are smeared and genuine cases are lost. the powerful have better lawyers, PR & crisis management teams and they have leverage including with government. The burden to be "fair" falls overly on small businesses and organisations. And insurers want to reduce risk and pay-outs. So the ideals of non-discrimination are compomised.
As a Christian, if I were working in a secular organisatin, I don't care if a colleague boss client or vendor is a practicing homosexual or not - I don't go around looking for "homosexuals under the bed". I would deal with them as people. But I also want freedom for my views to be respected, including not being entrapped into conversions about sexuality or disriminated against becuase of my views. I presume that those who practice homosexuality want that too - equal pay and respect.

But churches and hotel owners and the like have the right to not wish that homoxuality or sex outside of marriage or prostitution or certain other non-sexual sins not be practiced or promoted in their homes or on their property or in their creeds or organisations.
I believe in freedom of conscience. I am against robbing or assaulting or mistreating people. But I have the right to not agree with different sexual activities. And I am also becoming sick of the constant discussion of sexuality. It is a distraction in the church and the country has more pressing needs. It is harming genuine "cohesion" though I dislike that word - it is being misused by some and a diversion. Flooding any country or community with immigrants who will automatically come from other cultures, including different religious denominations or other religions, and including when done by stealth or without comnnunity infomred consent, never helps discrimination against legal or illegal immigrants. It reduces cohesion because it causes a huge change to the community or country, forcing the community to adapt unnecessarily and to protect itself from unasked for and unnecessary change to its own culture and way of life, let alone any increased unemployment.

5 December 2009 at 13:32  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Mr Singh,I find it offensive that you consider yourself to be the Oscar Schindler of this site.
Oscar Schindler had a great appetite for life,a rollicking good
sense of humour and was loads of fun.Get real!

6 December 2009 at 11:19  

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