Can we render sexual ethics unto Ceasar?
They are not terrorists, murderers, thieves or drug dealers.
They are Pentecostal Christians whose beliefs are deemed to be antithetical to the effective fostering of children.
It appears that if a homosexual couple wish to foster or adopt, they may do so without let or hindrance.
And if this couple wishes to inculcate anti-Christian (or any other religion) doctrine or induct those children into a way of life which is consistent and harmonious with their same-sex domestic arrangements, they may do so with impunity.
But a Christian couple who happen to believe in the superiority of heterosexuality are apparently barred from fostering children, presumably because they might wish to inculcate children with an understanding of 'sin' and sexual ethics which is consistent with the traditions of the Church and the teaching of Scripture.
Those who support Mr & Mrs Johns hope that this case might set a precedent for the rights of Christians to foster children without having to compromise their faith.
Those who oppose them hope, once and for all, that the religious bigots will be prevented from religious child abuse and their insidious doctrine will be expunged from the public sphere once and for all.
It is all, of course, a logical consequence of Labour’s equality legislation, by which 'gay rights' now trump the rights of Christians.
In an open letter, senior Church of England bishops have intervened in this case. They include Lord Carey, the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt (Bishop of Winchester); the Rt Rev Peter Forster (Bishop of Chester); and the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali (former Bishop of Rochester). They write:
The High Court is to be asked to rule on whether Christians are “fit people” to adopt or foster children – or whether they will be excluded, regardless of the needs of children, from doing so because of the requirements of homosexual rights.According to the summary in The Daily Mail, Eunice and Owen Johns have fostered almost 20 children over the years but were rejected by Derby City Council 'because they would never tell children a homosexual lifestyle was acceptable'.
Research clearly establishes that children flourish best in a family with both a mother and father in a committed relationship.
The supporters of homosexual rights cannot be allowed to suppress all disagreement or disapproval, and “coerce silence”.
Mrs Johns said: ‘The council said: “Do you know, you would have to tell them that it’s OK to be homosexual?”
‘But I said I couldn’t do that because my Christian beliefs won’t let me. Morally, I couldn’t do that. Spiritually I couldn’t do that.’
And so Derby Council deemed them to be 'homophobic'.
It is curious, is it not, that discrimination on the grounds of religion preceded Labour's 'gay equality' legislation by seven years.
And yet it remains quite acceptable for foster carers to criticise orthodox Christian beliefs (and those of any other religion), but foster carers may not hold a critical view on homosexuality.
Why is it acceptable for Christian foster carers to teach children that extra-marital sex is wrong, but these same carers may not pass any judgement upon homosexual practice?
Since civil partnership is not marriage, it would appear to be something of a contradiction to permit one ethical teaching whilst prohibiting the other.
If today local authorities are declared omnipotent in deciding that Christians are barred from caring for the the most vulnerable children in our society, and that decision is made solely on an issue of sexual morality, then Caesar has extended his brief.
In the Mail, there is a quotation from Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the gay rights charity Stonewall. He said: "Too often in fostering cases nowadays it’s forgotten that it is the interests of a child, and not the prejudices of a parent, that matter."
So why should the best interests of the child be subsumed to the prejudices of those who insist that 'equality' should come free with every condom?