Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Much is said about equality and diversity. But it seems that some people are more equal than others"

A reasoned and eloquent statement by Hazelmary Bull following a court judgment and fine of £3,800 for breaching the provisions of Labour's 2007 Equality Bill (full judgment HERE).

But in this case there was no bias or 'prejudice' against homosexuals. Mr and Mrs Bull sought to honour the biblical teaching and uphold Church tradition that sexual intercourse ought to be confined to the context of marriage. Their policy applied equally to heterosexuals.

While the British Humanist Association are crowing (as they are wont to do), His Grace thanks all of those Christians, agnostics, atheists and homosexuals who have expressed support for Peter and Hazel Mary Bull. This judgment has profound implications for the liberties of us all. It persuades His Grace even more of the rightness of his 'Mind Your Own Business' census campaign, to tell the Government where to go with their invasive data collection and where they can stick their question on private matters of religious belief.


Anonymous Julian Mann said...

Thank you for highlighting this very significant case and the distress it has caused to these two servants of Christ. The Sexual Orientation Regulations were ideologically driven. They were part of New Labour's drive to entrench the anti-Christian, politically-correct, Stonewall establishment agenda in legislation. The 'injustice' those regulations were purporting to address was purely illusory.

The significant political question now is what your Conservative Party is going to do about the attack on religious freedom represented by idelogically-driven prosecutions under the SORs.

I wrote to Mr Graham Brady MP, the chairman of your 1922 Committee, before the judgement, asking him to address the very serious threat to religious freedom raised by this case.

Is there anyone in your party with the spiritual, moral and political courage to stand up to Stonewall for the sake of the Judaeo-Christian values that have historically shaped the mainstream political parties in the UK, including yours?

18 January 2011 at 16:39  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Prejudice, it seems, is a one-way street. Homosexualists may be prejudiced against Christians with impunity.

When the law was otherwise, homosexualists had no compunction about breaking it or trying to get it changed. Now they complain that people should not be allowed to break the law on account of their beliefs.

Civil disobedience (which has not been exercised by Mr and Mrs Bull) is looked on as a fine thing when it is deployed in certain causes, but not in others.

Christians need to continue to act according to their faith, neither expecting nor demanding privileged treatment by the state, and taking the consequences as did Jesus and Paul. 'We should obey God rather than men,' is the principle that was applied by the apostles, and it needs to be ours.

Mr and Mrs Bull have by their actions declared and practised their worship of God in a far more persuasive manner than all the liturgies, fancy buildings, clergy and synods can do.

They need not expect their adversaries to listen to or sympathise with their point of view. Prejudice is a one-way street.

18 January 2011 at 16:46  
Anonymous Voyager said...

British Humanist Association is a gay front organisation run by Porteous-Wood and his cohabiting boyfriend/civil partner Terry Sanderson who graces Amazon with his published works.

I really do not comprehend why Christians are so self-effacing and supine in interviews - they are almost apologetic

18 January 2011 at 16:58  
Blogger Gary said...

'Gentle' and 'gracious' are the words you are looking for Voyager, I think.

18 January 2011 at 17:13  
Blogger Anne said...

You might do well to read the full text of the very measured judgement in this case http://bit.ly/fH28wW
The judge concluded that Mr & Mrs Bull broke the law- not a 'Bill' but an Act of Parliament. That is why he found against them and awarded costs against them. it is open to anyone to try to change the law through Parliament if they disagree with it.

He acknowledged the Judaeo-Christian origins of law in this country, but also that things have changed. Points 6 - 8 in his judgement are particularly relevant to those who think this judgement is unfair, or prejudiced.

Believing Christians nowadays have different attitudes to many matters of morality, including homosexuality, as the present disagreements in the Anglican Communion bear witness. Therefore we should try to discuss these things without using pejorative terms about those ( whether Christians or non-Christians) who think differently from us.

And I really don't see what on earth this judgement has to do with the question about religious affiliation on the census.

18 January 2011 at 17:19  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The state is like a bully happy to be hostile until someone retaliates.

These christians have shared the fate of criminals but Jesus tells us "Whoever has no sword must sell his coat and buy one"

Don't go overboard two should suffice.

18 January 2011 at 18:15  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

In response to Anne, I have read the judgement (thanks for the link -- very useful), and would make the following comments:

I recognise that Mr and Mrs Bull broke the law. I have already made the point that, as the judgement states, the law should not be framed to give special privileges to Christians.

Many contributors to the comments on this blog hold the view that this is a Christian country, and that its laws should in some way favour Christianity. On a number of occasions I have stated my opposition to that idea, and said that Christians should live according to their beliefs and take the consequences, holding that we ought to obey God rather than men.

The judge says that the claimants 'did some research on the internet and liked the look of the Chymorvah Private Hotel.' I too have looked at the hotel's web site and can find no indication of the proprietors' views on letting double rooms. If the site is the same one that the claimants looked at, then they could not be expected to know their presence would be unwelcome. That's a mistake on the part of the Bulls.

Para. 35. 'Regulation 3(4) comes into play. There is no material difference (for the purpose of this regulation) between marriage and a civil partnership.'
Para. 45. 'Regulation 3(4) says that there is no material difference between those who are married and those who are in a civil partnership.

Probably the judge is right here. In that case, Mr and Mrs Bull take the view that the regulation is wrong, and that it should differentiate between marriage and civil partnership. That would be my belief. In which case, I would have to reject the law, as many in the past have rejected laws they considered to be immoral.

I do not think the judgement is prejudiced. I think Stonewall is prejudiced. I think the organisation goes out of its way to pursue people like the Bulls, and in so doing it exercises prejudice that the Bulls' position is wrong without ever having asked them to defend it or to present any facts or arguments concerning it. Stonewall have made up their minds. Their rights must always trump those who disagree with them. I regard that as prejudice.

As for the changing attitudes of Christians in our time, Anne is regrettably correct. I say regrettably because the teaching of the New Testament on these matters has not changed.

18 January 2011 at 18:51  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

I have made a mistake. This statement appears clearly on the booking form:
'Here at Chymorvah we have few rules, but please note that as Christians we have a deep regard for marriage(being the union of one man to one woman for life to the exclusion of all others).

Therefore, although we extend to all a warm welcome to our home, our double bedded accommodation is not available to unmarried couples – Thank you.

Who knows if it was there when the complainants made their booking? In any event, it is in the wrong place, as telephone bookers will not see it. It should be on the site's home page.

18 January 2011 at 19:08  
Anonymous len said...

These words of Christ point out to us that in the last days there will be found lawlessness in society. This sign of lawlessness, as the other signs, will increase in intensity as the time of Christ’s arrival draws near. We will see more and more violence and immorality in society as time progresses.Jesus warns us what will happen in the last days.
Matthew 24:12 (King James Version)
'And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.'

The signs of Lawlessness will increase this will not mean a state of anarchy but the laws of the Nation will not conform to God`s Laws. Society Jesus says will turn away from God`s law.

God`s law ,His Moral law is the very fabric which holds Society together, we seem to be in a time when secular man is blatantly trampling on it .

Isaiah 5:20-21 (New International Version, ©2010)

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.'

18 January 2011 at 19:30  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

"But in this case there was no bias or 'prejudice' against homosexuals. Mr and Mrs Bull sought to honour the biblical teaching and uphold Church tradition that sexual intercourse ought to be confined to the context of marriage. Their policy applied equally to heterosexuals."

This is a rare occasion where I cannot entirely agree with Your Grace. Those men were in a civil partnership, which is as close to a marriage as a homosexual can get.

If they were in no way legally attached then it could be said to be equal, but seeing as their test is marriage (I wonder if a a secular registry office marriage is OK by them or does it have to be signed off by the church?) it is a test that no homosexuals can ever make. Is that not therefore discriminatory or therefore an argument to allow gay marriage?

The difference between a registry office wedding and a civil partnership is what exactly? Why do they feel differently about those two concepts? Neither is mentioned in the bible. Because unless they can explain a religious reason why those two are different then it is surely a religious belief in the wrongs of homosexuality that is the real cause of their denied entry.

Of course whether or not they should be allowed to discriminate on grounds of their choosing is another argument.

18 January 2011 at 19:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This saga is reminiscent of Animal Farm. The Equality Act is the opposite of what it purports to be. The values of gays are respected while religious beliefs are trampled. The regulations are an assault on liberty which forces religious business people to act contrary their deeply held convictions or cease trading. So let us not confine protest to the invasive religious question on a census form. Why should the State profit from any voluntary co-operation by the religious until this legalised inequality is repealed.

18 January 2011 at 20:16  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I wish I could see this turn of events as just an unhappy coincidence like you do Anabaptist.

Alas, the guest house had received gay rights literature in the post, and received a 'warning' from Stonewall just days earlier.

The gay mafia are a proactive bunch. Even just a cursory reading of some of their material and blogs will reveal the extent to which they employ agents provocateurs to entrap and/or harass ... head teachers who won't allow homosexual propaganda, photographers who won't cover civil partnerships, I even remember them publishing the name & address of some 2nd hand car dealer who happened to be a Christian ... can't remember what his sin was.

They are very bitter people.

18 January 2011 at 20:25  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

I think that there is an anti-traditionalist feeling abroad. Whether one is a Christian, of another belief, or an agnostic, any tenets of traditional (handed down) creeds are sullied and traduced by modernist co-religionists in some devilish pact with the secularists.

However, I also think some Christians do themselves no favours. This guest house couple could well have invited these two men into their house without the need to doubt their integrity. They were not being asked to witness sodomy or to embrace homosexual practices in anyway. These two men did not announce their intention to engage in homosexual activity. If it had been me I would have let them in. I cannot see how on earth they could have influenced by beliefs anymore than an atheist, marxist, sado-masochist or any other ist.

It all has the touch of Basil Fawlty trying to stamp out adultery in his hotel. We are call to keep OURSELVES unspotted from the world, not to try to unspot others. This does have some of the hallmarks of pharisees.

Think of it this way. What difference is a guest house from God's House? Sinners go to church. Are only saints permitted in guest houses?

18 January 2011 at 20:38  
Anonymous Pausingplace said...

@Anne - well said.

I blogged today on the broader jursiprudential issues raised by the case: how our statutory framework plays a part in our divergence from the Judeo-Christian roots of the common law. You can read about it here: http://tiny.cc/op94o

The fact is that statutes are passed by government and government is democratically elected by us. So we cannot simply stand aside and say "ah but we are Christians"; nor sit on a thorn and yowl. In my humble opinion. Nor should we oversimplify what is a very complex argument.

18 January 2011 at 21:56  
Blogger English Viking said...

Old Slaughter,

Homosexualists are perfectly capable of getting married, and having children for that matter.

They have exactly the same choice as a normal person; marry a nice lass.

PS Don't call me a bigot for the use of the word 'normal'. It won't work.

18 January 2011 at 23:02  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Rebel Saint
The gay mafia are a proactive bunch.

They certainly are, the question is why are they, and so where do they get the funding, for their organization, and therefore MO from?

As usual FOLLOW THE MONEY. You will find that the money not only comes to a large extent from the same extremely rich people that corrupt just about everything else in our society, from our Trades Unions, MSM, organized religions etc etc etc, to ALL of our political institutions, it is also given in large enough tax free as well as tax subsidized cash.

The truth is, that our own establishment are not only deliberately and systematically corrupting the very fabric of our once cohesive society, very much with a Common Purpose, they are using our taxes to help them do it.

Yes, it really is that awful, not only that, we can now plainly see that our present s/elected government would not be doing anything to stop this sort of thing, even if it had achieved an overall majority.

Indeed Cameron's Big Society positively encourages this sort of thing.

WORSE, if that were possible, if Christians for example, started independently raising money to oppose this sort of deliberately divisive policy, using the same MO, it would only succeed in dividing society even further.

In other words a seemingly 'Lose, Lose' situation.

However, I have this message of hope for any REAL Christians, should there actually be any reading this.

REAL Christians have been murderously victimized for now 2 thousand years. Over this time REAL Christians have fared no better then the Jews, or pagans in relative terms. REAL Christians have survived to this day, and so will most likely survive for a long time to come, one way or another.

I fear however that the same cannot be said for The Protestant Church, for that has had its particular writing on the wall for a few hundred years.

I am sure you will all agree that Jesus was many things, but being smart was certainly one of them.

He knew even then, that money had the power to destroy even money itself, especially if enough of the potentially evil stuff fell into a very few amount of the wrong sort of hands.

19 January 2011 at 03:41  
Anonymous REACH said...

Yes, in this world,there's alwyas some people are more equal than others.

But I am not one of that.

19 January 2011 at 05:56  
Anonymous gladiolys said...

What Old Slaughter said.

English Viking = poo-stirring weasel. If they wanted to marry a nice lass, they wouldn't be homosexual. If they went ahead and married her anyway, how wonderful it would be that two lives would be unfulfilled and unhappy. Not.

19 January 2011 at 08:42  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

The aspect of civil disobedience which elevates it above ordinary law breaking is the gracious way in which those using it, acknowledge what they consider to be an unjust law and accept the consequence.

It is sad that certain gay activists cannot adopt a similar gracious attitude and say that whilst they have a right to insist upon facilities at the home of folk like the bulls, they will choose not to do so. I would admire them for such restraint.

One of the arguments which the early gay rights movement advanced against earlier laws was that what happened in the privacy of their own homes was nobody else's business. When there are so many
options readily available in other establishments, I feel that a little charity towards those with the Bulls now slightly "old fashioned" views would not have gone amiss.

We may have seen an advance for 'equality" but I cannot help thinking that we have lost out on equally old fashioned tolerance.

19 January 2011 at 09:03  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

If you must entertain nasty prejudices based on religious beliefs (as many here do) then please keep them to yourself. If you are running a business you cannot discriminate, period! I am sure that you would be the first to complain if my guest house did not allow Christians to stay.

Voyager said...British Humanist Association is a gay front organisation run by Porteous-Wood and his cohabiting boyfriend/civil partner Terry Sanderson who graces Amazon with his published works. Nonsense as well as incorrect, they run the NSS not the BHA

19 January 2011 at 09:26  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

Cranmer, Do you know any address or fund or whatever where supporters can contribute towards the Bull's fins? I for one would like to contribute, and if we all do ...

19 January 2011 at 10:21  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I have a couple of homosexual acquaintances, and they are very much against all the militant gays whom they consider are making life far more difficult for them and also making people more polarised on the subject. They just want to get on with their own lives, have no desire to upset anyone or go around flaunting their homosexuality, and are happy with the good old fashioned idea of "live and let live". They are quite prepared to accept that many people don't like their way of life and find this perfectly acceptable. They know my views on the subject and its simply left at that. For that reason, I am quite happy to join them in a social group at the pub on an equal basis with many of my other acquaintances.

19 January 2011 at 10:51  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mr Graham Davis @ 09.26 said,'I am sure that you would be the first to complain if my guest house did not allow Christians to stay.'

Actually, no. Any privately owned business should have the right to decline business at the proprietors discretion. If you are looking for a public service, talk to the Government.

19 January 2011 at 11:02  
OpenID scottspeig said...

Of course, Mr and Mrs Bull's mistake was to inform them why they were not able to have the bed, for, if they had just said "I don't like the look of you, clear off", then there would have been no legal redress.

That clearly is the way to go.

19 January 2011 at 11:05  
Anonymous JayBee said...

The Equality Act is a classic piece of Socialist deception. It purports to do one thing and disguises the true intention of doing the opposite. The right not to be offended is now legally superior to the right to hold a religious belief. This was always the intention but it has now been exposed to public and media scrutiny and recognised for the unhealthy imbalance and threat to freedom it undoubtedly is.

This is not equality. This is inequality disguised by Doublethink mental gymnastics and New-speak twaddle. The Act is a corrosive subterfuge, driven by politically correct atheism and part of government strategy to reshape society in the Stalinist mould. This case is straight out of Animal Farm and the latest fulfilment of Orwell's prophetic statement of the true nature of “equality.”

19 January 2011 at 11:16  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

bluedog said...

Any privately owned business should have the right to decline business at the proprietors discretion. If you are looking for a public service, talk to the Government.

Very “Christian”! So you would be happy to ban people with red hair or big noses, just because it is part of your “belief ” system?

What has privately owned got to do with it? Presumably you wouldn’t approve of a brothel just because it was privately owned?

19 January 2011 at 11:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you imagine any Moslem B&B owners being taken to court for refusing to allow ‘gays’ into their establishments?

Why doesn’t Cameron’s government repeal this Marxist inspired law and abolish the tax guzzling, ridiculously named, Equalities and Human Rights Commission? I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the Conservative Party exists now in name only – nothing more than a convenient facade to dupe gullible Tory voters into voting for more and more liberal left pro-EU legislation. Democracy is a delusion in this country at present. We are effectively governed by one party with three names.

Rise up people. Drag yourselves away from Facebook, East Enders and Coronation Street for a few days. If the Tunisians can take to the streets and free themselves from a repressive, greedy, self-serving elite, so can we.

19 January 2011 at 12:13  
Blogger srizals said...

The Tunisians are Muslims, do you want to copy them?

19 January 2011 at 12:36  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...


Your own words condemn your argument. It needs little help from me.

'Homosexualist', oh dear, let me guess, its a 'lifestyle choice'.

And BTW, I do think you a bigot for various reasons, I won't however engage in your six-form semantics of 'what is normal'. By the ridiculous logic you would no doubt employ, nobody is a 'normal' person as each maintains a minority characteristic.

19 January 2011 at 13:11  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...


"flaunting their homosexuality"

What constitutes 'flaunting' I wonder.

Such language usually indicates one who would rather they would just disappear, as if life would be improved in the ignorance that they do not exist. I wonder if your acquaintances are conditioned to say what helps them get by.

19 January 2011 at 13:14  
Anonymous len said...

I used to think there was some way way of averting the terrible times that would occur in the Biblical 'last days'.
I though that the preaching of the Gospel( the Good news) of Jesus Christ would turn men from their wicked ways , that they would repent and get saved.
Apparently not! A few will get saved,just a few, not even many!.
This word is setting itself up for God`s Judgement, when God`s wrath will be poured out on all wickedness and unrighteousness.It will be a terrible time.
When God says 'come out of her my people' I believe He is saying come out of this corrupt Humanistic World system(Political and Religious.)
It is only a matter of time...........

19 January 2011 at 13:26  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Graham Davis ... I happen to think any private business should be able to discriminate on any basis they wish ... people with red hair or big noses or left handers or children. Indeed, as keeps getting pointed out, many businesses do discriminate on lots of things. My local corner shop has banned (i.e. discriminates against) a certain family who he believers are guilty of shop-lifting. Another bans school children from entering the shop more than 2 at a time. My local bank discriminates against people who wish to wear motorcycle helmets (but not burkas!).

But on the particular case in point .... the Bull's weren't exercising their right to discriminate about who they have as paying guests in their home, they were exercising their right to discriminate about the BEHAVIOUR that they entertain in their own home. They are willing to have homosexuals stay, or indeed heterosexuals or bisexuals or metrosexuals, or transexuals. What they don't want to entertain is certain sexual ACTIVITY so they reserve their double beds for married couples. Not that difficult to comprehend really. Their home. Their rules.

If you open your home to paying guests I don't think you should be obliged to entertain Bible studies.

19 January 2011 at 13:44  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Rebel Saint said

Their home. Their rules.

No problem if that was the case. When you open your home to paying guests it is no longer a home, it is a business.

Their business premises. Society’s rules.

19 January 2011 at 14:51  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Are there any limits to matters of conscience that are driven by religious belief? My religious beliefs may drive me to discriminate against anyone over with red hair. My god has given them red hair in order that we should know that they are unclean. My discrimination against them is therefore “morally” just.

If you think that that is ridiculous then I have made my point.

19 January 2011 at 15:07  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Why do we talk about this case in manners that do not relate to it?

In our society it is generally looked down on if one discriminates based on appearance and also if one discriminates based on many things that cannot be changed. Whether I support the right to discriminate on these grounds, or whether I would if I could (I wouldn't) is irrelevant.

In the case involved, the B&B in question discriminated (treated differently) based on those who were married from those who weren't. They did not, however, refuse service to homosexuals or those unmarried based on their status. This is the most important case and should definitely be taken into account, especially in the light of how the Government should respond to discrimination in law.

In British society discrimination is rampant. It is even enshrined in many (nearly all) aspects of British law. Of course I am talking about discrimination based on behaviour. If you burgle, then HM will discriminate against your right to burgle; if you murder, then she will discriminate against your right to kill; if you refuse to pay tax, then once again HM will treat you differently to those who do.

So there's discrimination based on action and discrimination based on status. In this case, the discrimination was based on action and not status. The B&B did not refuse service, but refused a double bed.

It is highly important that I stress that discrimination based on action can be justified only when it is relevant. To put it another way, if I want to discriminate against a thief, I must do it not because he is a thief, not because he has thieved, but because I fear he will steal again.

In the same way, the B&B owners discriminated not because the couple were homosexual, not because they had practised homosexuality, but because they were likely to practise it in their home.

Mr Davis, I understand your misunderstanding as only Rebel Saint has so far picked up on this point. But in the unlikely instance that you still cannot comprehend, I ask whether it would be possible to relevantly discriminate based on the behaviour of those with red hair?

19 January 2011 at 16:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Your Grace remembers well, Thomas Cromwell introduced his Buggery Act in 1533 (25 Henry VIII, ch. 6).

Sodomites were hanged in England until 1836. It must have acted as some sort of disincentive, must it not?

As yesterday's judgement so rightly points out, social mores have been completely reversed over the course of a generation. Why can't Christians be allowed to act on their faith, not just believe things privily in their own closets (which, incidently, is where homosexualists ought to keep their acts against nature, if they still insist on practising them).

19 January 2011 at 16:16  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

"The gay mafia [gaystapo] are a proactive bunch" Yes they are; what we must ask is why we, orthodox Christians, are not? It's because we have been in a good, privileged, position for a long time. In Britain, we've lived in a civilised, Christian country for a long time (our slumberous habits are ingrained) - but no more, forget all that. Awake (despite the lack of leadership) and get militant! Now is the time! We did it before - upturned society - and, while that was 1800 years ago, or so, we can do it again. One thing's certain: there'll be a gi-normous reaction, one day, to the decadence and moral bankruptcy of our society.

19 January 2011 at 16:17  
Blogger oldmaid said...

I expect Hall, Preddy and likeminded gays are no doubt 'cock the hoop' with this ruling.

Interestingly, there are cases going on in mainland europe that have been brought by muslims who are 'offended' by others who have dared to quote, not defame but quote from the Koran, what islam stands for. Geert Wilders is one case that has been adjourned partly because of the judges known partiality towards Islam, yes that right, you read that correctly because of the judges partiality toward Islam and finding one that isn’t.

Another case, against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was this week also adjourned, until 15th February. Interestingly to be continued with the following caveat. "The judge has introduced a new point: discrimination against religious beliefs. Elisabeth’s lawyer was not prepared for this".

One wonders what the deliberations will be on these cases. However, without doubt if found against Wilders and Sabaditsch-Wolff , it is only a matter of time before cases are brought against gays for offending islam and I trust Hall and Preddy will feel the same conviction then as they do now bringing their private lifestyle into the public arena....

This is not a threat, just a reality when two demanding polar opposites want to rule the roost.

That, is the reality of what they created when they opened their seedy insidious entrapment can of worms in their quest for the limelight. Myopic spiteful fools.

19 January 2011 at 16:24  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

It is even more important to consider this when we look at the types of discrimination legislation that came about originally (e.g. colour) and why they differ from the more modern types (religion and sexuality).

1. The first groups of people do not share behavioural traits that are common to all of them
2. Any traits that are commonplace in these groups are not solely found within these groups
3. Therefore one cannot justifiably blanket discriminate against these groups because there is no behavioural link

With religion and sexuality we have different constructs

1. Each group shares behaviours (with the religious it might be customs and rituals and with sexual groups it is the type of sex)
2. Sometimes the group may even be defined by these traits, leaving those who do not practise them outside of the group
3. Therefore when it is relevant, one should be able to discriminate against them

Note that there is a difference between religion and belief. Religion is the profession of belief. The only way to change belief is to be persuaded otherwise and it cannot be changed willingly.

19 January 2011 at 16:26  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

lakestar91 said

I ask whether it would be possible to relevantly discriminate based on the behaviour of those with red hair?

If my religion so decreed then according to your logic I would be obliged to.

There is nothing intrinsically “evil” about homosexuality; it is common in many other species. Its evolutionary purpose may be unclear but it does no more harm than having red hair. That so many here are freaked out by it says more about them than it does about homosexuality.

19 January 2011 at 16:50  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Your Grace,

I have been reflecting upon this matter during teh day as I am sure many have and although some simply conclude "This is the Law of the Land" it occurs to me that this cannot be an end to the matter.

The Human Rights Act supercedes the Law of the Land ( rightly or wrongly) as we have seen for example in the ruling that prisoners must be allowed to vote.

If the Right to religious observance is to meaningful it must surely connote occasions where its priority must not be infringed by the Law of the Land - otherwise why have the Right under the Article in the first place?

The closer analogy is with Halal slaughter. Ordinarily we insist on pre-stunning, but we make an exception so that other's religious rights to observe the customs of their faith are accommodated.

19 January 2011 at 17:23  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

@ 16:16 anonymous.

Is that a drive by bit of bigotry? Why no name?

You seem to be suggesting that you would rather people denied who they were for fear of death than have homosexual acts committed. Wow. Is it any wonder atheism is growing so fast?

@Rebel Saint.

I won't argue with your assertion that folks should be able to discriminate any way they like. That is a valid point of view.

However, your shopkeeper example is discriminating post-judice. The B&B owners were acting pre-judice. See the difference there?
As for your point that they are discriminating against a type of behaviour rather than a type of person, is that true? They allow sex between man and woman in wedlock, they (apparently) don't allow sex between man and woman out of wedlock. The behaviour of the people is the same, the legal status of their union isn't.

19 January 2011 at 17:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Methinks christians are an easy target for the gay brigade. But muslims? I never hear the gay brigade say anything about sharia law.

19 January 2011 at 18:02  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

With all due respect Mr Darvis you haven't answered the question I posed. I made no mention of religion in either of my posts. You can consider what I wrote from any position, religious or not. The question refers to the point of my post. Can you make a RELEVANT discrimination against those with red hair based on their BEHAVIOUR.

If you want my Christian position on the subject of discrimination, I don't believe we should discriminate based on someone's status or colour but on aspects of their behaviour that are associated with the discrimination. You can read my previous posts for the details of what I mean.

19 January 2011 at 19:04  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

lakestar91 said

Can you make a RELEVANT discrimination against those with red hair based on their BEHAVIOUR

My apologies I didn’t answer your question and you are right that behaviour and physical appearance are different. However in this instance neither occurs as a result of personal choice so to that degree they are similar and neither have any moral significance that is unless your morality is warped by religiously based intolerance. There is nothing wrong in being gay; homosexuality is as old as humankind and its prevalence in the population has probably remained constant, driven underground by (invariably religious) persecution and appearing at its natural level in the population when society allows it, for example in classical Greece.

19 January 2011 at 19:43  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

But you see they weren't refused service, but a double room. The discrimination was entirely against their likely behaviour, not their inclination or past behaviour. I've nothing against homosexuals, and what they do with each other is between them and God so long as it is truly private; however I see a massive difference between what they do in private and what they do in public.

I believe we should tolerate homosexual behaviour in the same way we do with unmarried cohabiting couples (the two being morally equal) but not approve or condone them. Were the B&B owners to have allowed the double room rather than single rooms it would have been approval; were they to deny any service it would have been intolerance.

I hope you see my point though. It is not hatred or intolerance that brings me to my conclusion but belief in the right to disapprove. Christians are called to tell a brother that he is sinning but if he doesn't listen then we let go. But just because we let go does not mean we should facilitate his sin.

'However in this instance neither occurs as a result of personal choice...'
The B&B owners refused a double bed because they believed (justifiably) that the couple might use it for sex. The act of sex between consenting adults is always personal choice.

'...homosexuality is as old as humankind...'
Age cannot justify anything more than it can condemn. Spirituality and religion are just as old, but it does not necessarily mean they are right. Murder is as old as mankind also, but once again it does not justify it. I must clarify that I am not saying that homosexuality has nearly the same gravity as murder, I'm just making a point.

'...its prevalence in the population has probably remained constant...'
as above this makes no difference to its goodness or lack thereof. The proportion of criminals has remained roughly similar as well.

'...appearing at its natural level in the population when society allows it, for example in classical Greece'
Modern notions of polar sexuality weren't really known to the Greeks (or even the Victorians). For them, sexuality was culture more than attraction and was not prevalent between grown men (see below). To the Romans it was dominance rather than attraction. Besides it's usually a bad idea to portray the Greeks as a positive example of free male love, as they were horrible pederasts.

Once again, just to re-iterate, the point is not that I or we are picking out homosexuals as a target. The only problem most (sensible) Christians have is of its forced acceptance as an equal moral substitute to heterosexual married love and the effect the normalisation of hedonistic sexual practises have on the rest of the population.

By the way it's Lakester not star; I'm not a chav it's just Lakey was taken :P

19 January 2011 at 20:38  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Graham Davis ... do you have to work hard at being so stupid & obtuse or does it come naturally?

I think Lakester has rebutted your 'arguments' on a number of occasions already ... though you keep ignoring them. You are fixated on the homosexuality part. The B&B did not discriminate on sexuality ... their rule applied EQUALLY to homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals.

"When you open your home to paying guests it is no longer a home, it is a business.

Their business premises. Society’s rules."

Not true. As I already pointed out, PRIVATE businesses are able to practice discrimination for all sorts of reasons ... many for reasons purely of appearance and not behaviour e.g. dress codes.

And a person's home does not cease to be their home when they open it up to paying GUESTS.

20 January 2011 at 09:07  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

@Rebel Saint,

"No dogs, blacks and Irish". Is that legally ok with you? Or rather should it be?

Barring somebody from a nightclub for crappy shoes is not the same as barring somebody for a fundamental disposition of theirs.

As for it still being their home, no, different rules now apply. If they want to maintain the same control over their premises, don't open it for business.

As for it applying equally, I don't believe that. Otherwise somebody needs to answer my original point. What is the religious difference between a registry office marriage and a civil partnership.
Unless one can explain the difference then surely this is on the grounds of their sexuality.

Furthermore, have there actually been cases of unmarried heterosexuals turned away by this couple? I would like to see the evidence of that.

20 January 2011 at 10:21  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Lakester (my apologies) Your condemnation of homosexuality seems based on your religious beliefs rather than an impartial moral judgement. So you are asking for those opinions to be given special status and that is neither fair nor just.

Rebel Saint as usual you resort to abuse rather than argument. No business is exempt from discrimination laws, a few private clubs may get away with it but even they would be forced to change if confronted with a legal challenge. In the largely secular society in which we live you have the freedom to believe what you want, in fact it protects those rights better than if you lived in a State run under religious laws.

But that is not enough for you. You are so besotted with your beliefs that you would only be content living under a regime that promoted your own brand of religious totalitarianism where decent people could be demonised under the guise of religious conscience.

20 January 2011 at 12:08  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@old Slaughter

1) There is evidence of the couple applying there rule to unmarried homosexuals. It was presented in court. Indeed, it was applied to members of their own family.

2) If a privately run business did not want to provide their services to those with dogs or blacks or irish then I think that is a despicable choice (in the latter 2 cases at least). However I do not think they should be compelled to provide their labour or service either. A good many animal rights fruit cakes would accuse the no dog sign as being speciest.

3)There is a very fundamental difference between a civil partnership and a marriage. If you really cannot fathom what that is then it really is an indictment on how the gay rights agenda has clouded everyone's thinking.

4)A home that is opened up for the purposes of providing paid for hospitality does not cease to be firstly and foremost a home. Imagine the charges of hypocrisy that would be levelled at Christians if they prohibited certain behaviour in their homes on point of principle but then said, "Oh, well if you're paying me £50 that's a different matter."

20 January 2011 at 12:36  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Rebel Saint,

I like to remind our overly self satisfied liberal media that the Grouch Club does not seem to admit many learning disabled members. Any discrimination there?

My Church admits anybody, gay, disabled.. whatever

20 January 2011 at 17:40  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'Your condemnation of homosexuality seems based on your religious beliefs...'

That's not technically true. Firstly, I wouldn't call it a condemnation but a disapproval (I tried to explain it in my last post, but it might not have been precisely clear). Secondly, my disapproval comes not from religious law, but the same moral stance that religious law comes from. I know the difference may seem trivial, but it is important because it allows even atheists to appreciate its logic.

If one were to look deep and long enough, it would be possible to trace all Christian moral law to a principle that one may nowadays deem 'humanist'. This is that morality comes from an absolute perfect world. Theologically, we could say that God wants us to be happy, and by following God's law, all can be so. Though such a principle may be deemed as idealistic, it differs from other idealisms as it is practical and does not necessitate forced participation for it to work. Happiness comes mostly to the person who keeps the law rather than the people he treats well.

When it comes to homosexuality it crosses three sin types (you may refer to them as moral or ethical types if you wish); sin against others, sin against oneself and (like all sin) sin against God. As an atheist you would of course ignore the third type, but it is transcendent to other sins, incorporating the other two types, so what is moral remains moral.

Homosexuality (the action rather than the inclination) is a sin against the self because it degrades the meaning of sex to the individual by reducing its purpose to pleasure. Lust is generally a sin against the self as it changes the mindset from love to sex, which manifests itself in a sin against others. It is also often medically reckless and involves dangerous practises.

Of course in all sins against the self there is a course to take. We warn the individual that he is on the wrong path and tell him that his actions are self destructive. If he refuses to listen when informed multiple times, then we are not implored to take it any further. We leave him to his fate (whatever that may be). This is my attitude towards homosexuality in private.

However sin against others is a far more serious matter. It is not fair that others should suffer for another's wrongdoing.

The attempts by homosexuals to
a) force the idea that they are morally justified through censorship and legislation
b) to force their culture on the public with pride rallies

are in fact far less acceptable. By equating homosexuality to monogamous heterosexuality it does not raise homosexuality but bring everything else down. Normalising homosexuality has the effect of normalising immoral sexual behaviour amongst heterosexuals. We are told that what they do is normal and just, therefore unproductive lust driven sex between opposite sexes must be justified as well.

I have no problem with normalising homosexuals, but every problem with normalising homosexual sexuality. Part of the problem is that the gay 'community' define themselves almost entirely by their sexuality. Public and private sexuality are two separate things, I have no issue with the former but would object to the normalisation of the latter, gay or straight. I wouldn't support a straight pride rally any more than I would a gay one.

20 January 2011 at 19:36  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"...you cannot discriminate, period!"
Does "period" reinforce your argument somehow? To me it merely seems patronizing and annoying.

20 January 2011 at 22:22  

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