It’s official: Conservatism is now a religion
The moment the state begins to define ‘religion’, and then attempts to apportion rights and liberties under the guise of an enlightened tolerance of relativist equality, there is no logical end to the official recognition of all manner of weird cults, strange sects, spurious beliefs and pseudo-religions, all of which have to be equal under the law irrespective of the common good and irrelative to the inherent counterknowledge believed or propagated.
If you wish to believe that a carpenter from Nazareth can rise from the dead, you are free to do so. But in the age of ‘equality’ and ‘non-discrimination’, this is no different from believing that a middle-eastern illiterate warmonger had a direct line to Allah; a man can walk around with the head of an elephant; you should never cut your hair; you can be cremated in the open air; you believe that a mortal man may speak infallibly; and if you walk around Tesco in a hoodie carrying a light sabre you are in harmony with ‘The Force’.
And if you want to worship Satan, that is perfectly cool. If you want to take Pagan holidays, that is accommodated. And if you want to believe in man-made global warming, the courts have already decreed that your devotion to such a philosophy is indeed the same as religious faith.
And now we learn that vegans are to enjoy the same protection against discrimination as religious groups.
And if they, why not vegetarians, non-dairy consumers, wheat-eschewers and teetotallers?
Oh, and Atheists are to be given the same protection as well.
Professor Dawkins will be very happy.
Now, this is going to get very interesting indeed.
An atheist in the House of Commons who presents himself in the chamber during parliamentary prayers will have the right in law to object to the affront. Those of all faiths and none will have the right in law to object to the 26 bishops who sit in the House of Lords, which is a manifest discrimination against not only Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists, but also the Nonconformists and Roman Catholics.
And it is difficult to see how the prohibition on the Monarch being or marrying a Roman Catholic can survive this Bill.
Especially if His Majesty or his spouse were to be a non-dairy-consuming, non-meat-eating, non-alcohol imbibing, non-leather-wearing, rarest kind of Roman Catholic: it would be entirely possible to challenge the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Treaty of Union 1707 on a plethora of grounds.
Cranmer can hardly wait for the embattled Trevor Phillips of New Labour's super-quango – the Equalities and Human Rights Commission – to sort out the mess.
Their official guidance points out that the 'ethical commitment' of vegans to animal welfare is 'central to who they are'. And the guidance explains: ‘A belief need not include faith or worship of a god or gods, but must affect how a person lives their life or perceives the world.’
Inherent to conservatism is an undeniable ‘ethical commitment’ which is ‘central’ to who we are: conservatism has a distinct theology, articulated and expounded by Edmund Burke, which does not demand the worship of a god or gods (though neither does it preclude it), but it most certainly affects ‘how a person lives their life or perceives the world’.
And the EHRC code of practice further explains that religions need not be mainstream or well-known for their adherents to gain protection.
Ergo, the fact that few have ever recognised the conservatism is a theo-political creed is no reason for adherents to the philosophy not to be granted their rights under the law.
We could have a bit of fun with this.
The Equality Bill makes it a legal requirement for all public bodies to consider the impact of all their policies on minority groups.
At (say) the BBC, those of a conservative disposition are a distinct minority. Since, it now appears, that the burden of proof in cases of alleged discrimination falls upon the accused to prove their innocence, perhaps there ought to be a stream of cases brought against (say) the BBC by every conservative (or Conservative) who happens to be rejected for a job.
The EHRC says: 'Parliament makes the law, the courts interpret it and the commission offers factual and proportionate guidance to organisations where necessary. We are providing guidance on the implications of the equality bill.'
If the legislation covers 'any religious belief or philosophical belief', or ‘a lack of belief', and even now recognises cults such as Scientology, Cranmer is hard-pressed to understand why homosexuality may not also be recognised as a religion. To be sure, it is undeniable that a homosexual’s sexuality is ‘central’ to who they are: if one believes the likes of Peter Tatchell and Stephen Fry, it most certainly affects ‘how they live their life or perceive the world’.
Pope Benedict is right to point out that this odious Bill restricts religious freedom and violates natural law.
If any sinister sect, trivial ‘-ism’ and ephemeral ‘-ology’ are now no different from the Great Faith which forged the laws and culture of this nation, it is difficult to understand why political beliefs are not covered by the legislation.
Who has decreed that Islam is a religion and not a political philosophy?
How is the state distinguishing betweeen those religions which overtly espouse a political objective and those which purport not to?
Why does pacifism trump Marxism?
Why does humanism trump fascism?
Why does every ‘-ism’ and '-ology' under the sun trump Christianity?
Why does the non-belief in a god merit protection under the law, but not the belief that liberalism is antithetical to conservatism because of the consequent emphasis on individual autonomy and the rights of man?
Why is the decision not to eat meat merit protection under the law, but not commitment to conservatism which manifests itself in patriotism, custom, respect for the law, loyalty to a leader or monarch, and in the willing acceptance of the privileges of those to whom privilege is granted?
Why do those who decide not to wear leather merit protection under the law, but not those who in some deeper part of themselves yearn for a social order which is motivated and consoled by the forces to which the conservative instinct is attuned?
Why is the commitment not to imbibe alcohol worthy of protection under the law, but not the conservative tradition of social concern and action which is rooted in the historic Christian faith?
How can fashion and matters of eating and drinking be more important than one’s theo-political worldview?
Do Labour not yet know that it is not what goes into the mouth that a makes a person unclean, but the absurd policies which are spewed out of it?