Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Religious freedom shouldn't be used as a cloak for prejudice"

No sooner had His Grace posted on one gay matter, that another has reached a court judgment.

In light of Labour's Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, the outcome of this case was perhaps entirely predictable.

Yet His Grace has a slight problem with one comment made by Ben Summerskill, the Director of Stonewall.

He said: "Religious freedom shouldn't be used as a cloak for prejudice."

His Grace is not persuaded that the belief and practice of Peter and Hazelmary Bull - not to permit any unmarried couples (homo or hetero) to sleep together under their own roof - was, in fact, an incidence of anti-gay prejudice.

Surely it is one of discrimination.

Which should not need to be made behind 'a cloak'.

Even the 'victims', Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy, use the word 'discrimination'.

And discrimination is not synonymous with prejudice.

If religious freedom no longer permits the believer to discriminate against the non-believer, what manner of freedom is it?

We are told that by their decision to run their home as a hotel, their private home became a commercial enterprise: 'This decision means that community standards, not private ones, must be upheld.'

If, as the Judge asserts, 'changing social attitudes' are responsible for the imposition of moral uniformity, then religious liberty is no more. This case does not concern the use of public money, as was the issue which enforced the closure of Roman Catholic adoption agencies: it is concerned with the state regulation of private commercial enterprise.

If 'community standards' must be upheld in all enterprises open to members of the public, the day is indeed coming when churches will be sued for refusing to 'marry' homosexual couples, for that is surely a manifestation of an outrageous 'prejudice'. And if there, how dare any church bar anyone from receiving bread and wine on account of their marital status, for that, too, is an outrageous 'prejudice' and a very public libel.

The Judge wisely gave Mr and Mrs Bull permission to appeal.

His Grace advises them to do so, if only to clarify in the minds of people like Ben Summerskill the distinction between 'prejudice' and 'discrimination'; not, His Grace avers, with any expectation of winning. But to have this matter established in case law at the highest possible level of jurisprudence. He simply wishes to know what manner of 'religious liberty' we now possess if we may not discriminate against those who do not share a particular worldview.

And whether, in practice, the diminution of that liberty applies solely to Christians.

59 Comments:

Anonymous non mouse said...

Dear Father Almighty.

Please send your Son back - before the euSSR deprives us of every right to choose anything.

Or give us the strength to stop paying them taxes, and to ignore them completely.

Please.
Amen.

18 January 2011 at 12:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The phrase
"Religious freedom shouldn't be used as a cloak for prejudice."
was not said by the Judge but by Ben Summerskill the Director of Stonewall

18 January 2011 at 12:11  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

@Anon 12:11,

His Grace is appreciative, and has amended. In a sense, the fact that the inference was drawn by such a high-profile gay rights campaigner makes an appeal all the more necessary.

18 January 2011 at 12:18  
Anonymous Dan said...

Why isn't this a simple case of property rights?

Even as an Atheist and supporter of Civil Partnerships I'm worried about this case.

18 January 2011 at 12:32  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

Note that public money was used to fund Stonewall's prosecution. So we all paid for this.

Ignoring all the excuses, let's look at what this all means. It means that Christians cannot run adoption agencies in the UK. It means that Christians cannot run hotels or B&B's, and that those who are doing so must choose between their faith or their livelihood, or else await the approach of the informer and the agent provocateur. And no doubt there is a long list of businesses that Christians will not be permitted to run, once we see Stonewall's full agenda.

Never mind the words wrapped around this. How is this NOT religious persecution?

It is worth remembering that the seizure of the monasteries was not done by making them illegal. It was done by a combination of legal acts and state-sponsored harassment, by creating people who stood to gain from forcing the monks out.

Likewise the atrocious persecution of the presbyterians after the Restoration was not done by making presbyterianism illegal, but by forcing the ministers either to abandon their beliefs or their parishes; and when they did the latter, by forcing them to live more than 5 miles from the town in order to prevent their parishioners feeding them, and creating a climate of fear and informers.

The terror has returned again to modern Britain. The corrupt judge, the packed jury, the hate-filled minority lusting to seize the property of those they hate ... it has all come again.

It doesn't matter what the chosen pretext is. At the restoration it was the 1662 prayer book; now it is gays. The issue is chosen simply because it is known that Christians won't accept it, as a tool with which to persecute for non-conformity. It could be anything. And indeed it need not be Christians; it could be anyone the establishment doesn't like.

But what to do?

Why on earth is David Cameron funding this?

18 January 2011 at 13:00  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

The important distinction between "discrimination" and "prejudice" seems to have been lost long ago.

When I spoke to my ex-Labour MP regarding the sexual orientation regulations he told me that "employers should not be able to discriminate". I told him that all employers discriminate, that is why they have application forms and interviews. He didn't know what to say!

Similarly, I have pulled up a school I worked with for saying that they had "zero tolerance" towards discrimination. When I pointed out that it is the job of a school to be teaching the children discrimination ... in what they read, in their speech, in their viewing, in what they eat, in assessing evidence, ... they seemed bemused! To this day the children are still taught not to discriminate & to be tolerant whilst they are simultaneously taught that there is zero tolerance towards certain behaviour!!

The gay mafia are well organised and have lots of friends in high places due to their over representation in the media. However the feeling amongst the population at large - particularly the C2DE's - is still disgust and antipathy (go read the comments on the Sky News website for example). Alas, they can't be bothered to vote so the gay mafia win.

The BBC are simply the media arm of Stonewall.

18 January 2011 at 13:08  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Non Mouse Said 18 January 2011 12:01

Ditto!

It also appears that there are no Hotels or B & B run by others of different faiths other than Christians? Or are the 'Targets' planned to get the appropriate response.

Makes you wonder, does it not, if Stonewall and its 'Undercover Provocative Agents' have considered booking into the same types of accomodation in Birmingham or would this bring about a much feared confrontation??

It appears we are indeed 'lambs to the slaughter'!

So says KINGOFHIGHCS

18 January 2011 at 13:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear readers, please sign the petition in support of Peter and Hazelmary Bull. This will be sent to David Cameron.

http://www.gopetition.com/petition/41726.html

We live in hope!

18 January 2011 at 13:41  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Note that public money was used to fund Stonewall's prosecution.
Stonewall is a fake charity funded out of taxation, so we are paying for it all the time.
Why on earth is David Cameron funding this?
He isn't. We are.

18 January 2011 at 13:43  
Anonymous non mouse said...

While I'm ready to do whatever I can to support the Bulls, I am utterly revolted at the idea of grovelling to any politician, let alone Cameron, for anything - especially something as basic as this. We shouldn't have to petition these traitors; they should be trembling in face of our demands!!!!!!

It really does show how far we have fallen.

18 January 2011 at 13:54  
Anonymous Voyager said...

There is a Christian B&B Brochure which these men buy and then entrap Christian B&B owners using the Equalities Commission to fund their prosecution.

It is however amusing that Gay B&Bs, Clubs, Bars etc are EXEMPT from this legislation and may discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation.

The EU Directive which made all this possible was passed under the Single Market rules and was designed to "remove obstavles to employment for minorities"

Thus the EU used Employment Legislation to IMPOSE a new SOCIAL Order.

18 January 2011 at 14:05  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

One could accuse the the proprietors of being judgemental making an assumption about sexual activity but otherwise they did display a notice highlighting the house rules. For years there have been restriction: no smoking, no dogs, no children, abstainers only and doors locked at 10pm etc. What about their religious rights?
Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

18 January 2011 at 14:07  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Voyager said 18 January 2011 14:05

Thank You, I was unaware of the information you have provided.

Unbelieveable!

So Says KINGOFHIGHCS

18 January 2011 at 14:17  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

"She now faces being stripped of her accreditation to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) for venturing her opinion."

Blatant entrapment indeed. She was in a no win situation. What if she declined to counsel this deceitful being?
No doubt a refusal to do so would then be quickly seized upon as "discrimination" anyway, and against his "rights" to receive counselling.
Clearly any judge adjudicating should be able to discern that the man was seeking to use the law only as a means of inflicting damage to another.
It should never be brought to court, and if so, thrown out with contempt.

18 January 2011 at 14:40  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

I hope that Judaeo-Christian lawyers on appeal may be able to quote from the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786) drafted by Thomas Jefferson:

‘Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do;

‘that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical;

‘that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind;

‘that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right; that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;

‘that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;

‘and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:…’

18 January 2011 at 15:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

I hope that Judaeo-Christian lawyers on appeal may be able to quote from the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786) drafted by Thomas Jefferson:

‘Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do;

‘that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical;

‘that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind;

‘that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right; that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;

‘that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;

‘and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:…’

18 January 2011 at 15:07  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Why is anyone paying attention to anything the euros say is law anyway?

Why aren't we all furiously protesting the illegality of their imposition --- instead of fighting the battle as they define it?

They're dividing/conquering again - and we shouldn't let them.

They're setting the rules, the goalposts, the boundaries and the lines. And it's our field. Not theirs.

18 January 2011 at 15:10  
Anonymous RJ said...

It is a ridiculous situation that such a prosecution can be succesfully brought, utterly indefensible unless one believes the government should impose a sort of atheist's theocracy. But I see no prospect whatever of any government changing it, the present government having chosen to acquiesce in passing the previous governments "Equalities Act".

18 January 2011 at 15:31  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

They should inform all guest both hetro and homo that buggery is unacceptable on these premises without discriminating.

Then when guests check just ask them do they like it up the arse.

18 January 2011 at 15:34  
Anonymous Voyager said...

EU Directive

Discrimination based on religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation may undermine the achievement of the objectives of the EC Treaty, in particular the attainment of a high level of employment and social protection, raising the standard of living and the quality of life, economic and social cohesion and solidarity, and the free movement of persons.

18 January 2011 at 15:38  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Bred in the bone

Tee hee ... harrumphs! :o)

18 January 2011 at 16:15  
Anonymous Caedmon's Cat said...

Every victory of the evil one is Pyrrhic. Whatever is achieved in the interests of the anti-Christian forces, greater is He who is with us than he who is in the world. We must never forget that the opposition of the secularists is not against merely against Christianity: it's against God himself. They may appear to gain the upper hand - but they're ultimately unable to win.

18 January 2011 at 16:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My house, my rules.

That's basically how I see it.

Owners of hotels should be able to ban whoever they want, at the end of the day it's always going to be a small minority who do this.

*It means that Christians cannot run adoption agencies in the UK.*

Depends where the kids come from, if they where removed by goverment dictat, then you don't "own" them so can't choose who they go to other than "will they look after the kid".

If the kids are put up for adoption by consenting parents, well then that's between you and them who the kid goes to.

18 January 2011 at 16:56  
Blogger killemallletgodsortemout said...

I wonder when there will be a debate in the House of Commons regarding the way that homosexuals are perceived and treated by Muslims.

I doubt that even the brave agents-provocateur of Stonewall would try to carry out such a sting on a Muslim-owned, small-business hotel.

Now there's an elephant in a room if ever I saw one.

18 January 2011 at 17:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets all book this hotel every time we go to cornwall, i certasinkly will.

18 January 2011 at 17:50  
Blogger Pollik said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 January 2011 at 18:06  
Blogger Pollik said...

For some reason, some of my posts are not getting through. Is there an upper character count limit?

18 January 2011 at 18:11  
Blogger Geoff said...

Religious freedom is the freedom to worship the God of your choice. Not the freedom to run a public service and then discriminate against your customers because you don't like their religion, their sexuality, their colour, their gender etc.

18 January 2011 at 18:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were not running a public service. They were running a private business in their own home.

18 January 2011 at 18:54  
Blogger Pollik said...

Private in what sense? Their website seems happy to attract anyone who wants to book. Indeed, they accepted this booking from the wider, non-private public.

I think that, if the hotel was truly private, it would not have been possible for this couple to book it because they would have been required to show proof of eligibility. But no, the booking was welcomed and accepted.

18 January 2011 at 19:10  
Blogger Pollik said...

@Voyager, if that is true, then that is inequitable.

Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy state quite clearly that they were not engaged on an entrapment mission. If you think that they are lying, you will need to provide some evidence. If they were lying, then they could probably be charged with perjury.

@Little Black Sambo @Roger Pearse - Stonewall is not publicly funded. "Stonewall receives no public funding and raises all its money itself in a range of ways including donations, sponsorship, and fundraising events." http://www.stonewall.org.uk/about_us/2532.asp . As charity, they get tax relief...as do religions

OK, I am done here. I really am terribly disappointed at the degree of double standards shown in the comments here, with the fact some of the comments contain verifiable lies and the degree of ridiculing and name calling. I expected better.

I guess some of you are working from a different version of the Bible to the one I know.

18 January 2011 at 19:13  
Blogger Polly said...

OK. I will go away and leave you in peace. I was hoping to get an mature conversation, and there have been some excellent points, and I have learned a bit. Sadly, though, it seems to me that much of it is getting lost in the similar kinds of selective thinking and derogatory epithets that activists are accused of.

Some parting comments:

@Anonymous - a single fellow, it is true, but it is a single fellow who is a spokesman and had authority to speak for the BACP. It is a cheap diminish to wilfully diminish the evidence offered.

@graham Wood - the therapist was not in a no win situation. Read my earlier post and you will see that I have addressed the refusal to treat.

The article is incorrect to state that the therapist is being stripped of accreditation for venturing an opinion. The therapist is, in fact, under investigation for providing inappropriate treatment.

18 January 2011 at 19:18  
Blogger Pollik said...

Definitely something odd going on with posts here.

I definitely posted, the post definitely was accepted and appeared here, briefly - see http://picasaweb.google.com/pollikcon/DropBox?authkey=Gv1sRgCJetyICUrruugwE&pli=1#5563610079316348626

The post has definitely vanished.

My Google account definitely noted some unusual activity and tried to lock me.

Make of this what you will. I am inclined to think that it is not malicious from here, but something is not right.

18 January 2011 at 19:34  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Pollick,

Blogger have been informed of this, but there is no apparent explanation. Could you please send His Grace an email (address top right) with a brief account of what you've tried to comment on (in what thread), with approximate times, if possible.

His Grace apologises for the inconvenience.

18 January 2011 at 19:37  
Blogger Pollik said...

Done. Good luck with this.

18 January 2011 at 20:08  
Blogger Owl said...

It is strange that this increase of Christian persecution is not happening on the continent (yet).

It would seem that English speaking countries are being targeted.

Stonewall is also very much an English speaking country phenomenon.

I think if you care to look at the original members of the Fabian Society you will easily see the beginnings of stonewall.

...... and the psycho socialist movement.

Iron Fist is waiting.

18 January 2011 at 22:50  
Anonymous len said...

It seems the state owns your Guest House too!
The State is extending its authority into every area of our lives,it now decides your moral values. How long before it decides your religion?
All this is being done by those who'pull the strings' in the name of ' freedom'.

19 January 2011 at 08:23  
OpenID preacherwoman said...

http://tinyurl.com/67hzh5q Link to the judgement.

19 January 2011 at 08:39  
Anonymous JayBee said...

I agree with Len @ 08:23
Democracy has become a threat to minorities. We have replaced the tyranny of absolute rulers with the tyranny of the majority. Society no longer fears accountability before the throne of Almighty God. “We the people” are answerable to no one. We have deposed God and torn up his statutes. We elect who we like and they can do anything we empower them to on our behalf. In this climate of godlessness there is nothing to stop a democratically elected government legislating any minority out of existence or exterminating its members. But the composition of our society continues to evolve and demographics are against us. Those in the majority today will be in a minority tomorrow. Democracy might prove to be our downfall.

19 January 2011 at 10:10  
Anonymous Kiwi said...

@ Pollik, "I definitely posted, the post definitely was accepted and appeared here, briefly..."
I too have experienced this, the reason is, I believe (although I am not 100% sure), is because you are initially constructing your posts on MS Word, and then copying and pasting to this 'Leave your comment' box. If this is the case, you need to meticulously delete all the punctuation marks, particularly the apostrophes, and simply put them back again using your keyboard. Also, you might need to pay attention to the word count. Sometimes, lengthy responses, need to be posted in sections. Give it a go. Hope this helps.

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

What a mess. It is hard to encourage the Bulls to appeal given the collapse in Mr Bull's health. Indeed reading the judgement, as a layman, it is hard to see the grounds for appeal. The emotional and monetay costs are clear obstacles too.

No,the answer is political. Fence sitting is not an option and Dave must show decisive leadership and attempt to repeal the offending legislation, the Sexual Orientation Regulations. Britain thrived for centuries with out them.

Sometimes a single event acts as a lightning rod and in times of economic hardship the public mood is even more fickle than usual. Minority rights are one thing, but when that minority disgusts and provokes the majority a victory can become very pyrrhic indeed.

In short, Dave needs to confront the reality that the balance of opinion is changing. The gays have over-played their hand and have lost public support. There are more votes in backing the Bulls than in backing their lodgers.

What does the Baroness (Warsi on this occasion) think? Doesn't she have serious form in matters gay?

19 January 2011 at 10:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 'olden day's'These two fine gentlemen would have respected the religion & wishes of the landlord and gone elsewhere.
Today we have an entirely different
mindset,where one'right/belief'
tumps another.
When I was 'dragged up',the person who had the 'thing' first,in this case the religion,trumped the blaggard trying to take it off me.
These two gentlemen will have their money & air time on the telly
While the landlord/landlady have their religious beliefs chucked in the gutter where these two fine young gentleman & the courts believe it should be.
Well done and congratulations to both of these fine gentlemen.
If these two fine gentlemen had kept their gobs shut and turned the other cheek,it would have been far more civil, and both sides would get to keep what they have fought for for so long.
Now murky rules apply to all businesses in the UK.
Let the next battle commence.

19 January 2011 at 14:27  
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 16:12  
Anonymous len said...

I think we are heading for a Hell of a time with the rising of Islam and the aggressive promotion of 'gay rights', are they ultimately heading on a collision course?.
Both are claiming their right for expression in society.
How would 'gays'react to be placed under Sharia law I wonder?

19 January 2011 at 17:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ len, 17.45

Think about what's happening in the Netherlands right now.

The late Pim Fortuyn and Geert Wilders have both constantly stressed the threats placed upon Holland's LGBTetc. people by Shari'a-mongering Mohammedians.

There is a rise in attacks against homosexualist men and women by immigrant 'youths'. The old Dutch learned to tolerate differences, whereas the new Dutch would rather build Mecca on the Meuse or Riyadh on the Rhein.

19 January 2011 at 18:52  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

Nice by Anonymous with this drive by bigotry.

£5 says he has the same IP as Viking.

19 January 2011 at 19:25  
Blogger DP111 said...

Christian Counsellor targeted by Homosexual Activist

On Thursday 20 January, a Christian counsellor will be summoned before a Professional Conduct Panel for giving therapy to a homosexual man who pretended to be a Christian wishing to stop practising homosexuality.

http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/sexual-orientation/christian-counsellor-targeted-by-homosexual-activist


Lesley Pilkington, a counsellor with over 20 years of experience, is defending herself against a formal complaint by Patrick Strudwick, a homosexual journalist who secretly recorded two therapy sessions with her by strapping a recording device under his clothing. Mr. Strudwick published an account of the sessions in The Independent and has since received the award of journalist of the year by the homosexual-rights organisation Stonewall.

The journalist met Lesley at a Christian conference and told Lesley that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle and wanted help to change. Lesley confirmed that she would be happy to meet with him but only within a Christian counselling context. Shortly after the conference, and still acting undercover, the journalist contacted Lesley and said that he thought they were on the same wavelength and asked to meet with her.

19 January 2011 at 23:45  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

"All this is being done by those who 'pull the strings' in the name of 'freedom'." (Len) They may now, but they won't always. It has been said that there's no point being a wolf in sheep's clothing if you never discard your sheep's clothing and emerge as you are. The wolves that run things in our society will emerge as they really are - no more pretence - some time soon. Eventually all will have to acknowledge what we're all up against; may be too late by then.

20 January 2011 at 15:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that a lack of hospitality, particularly combined with arrogance, is a sin, and actually the biblical definition of sodomy (Ezekiel 16:49).

This couple of weary travellers were turned away at the inn they had booked, because of judgements made about them by the owners.

Personally I do not see the conduct of the hotel owners as being particularly Christian, just very judgemental and controlling.

20 January 2011 at 19:22  
Anonymous len said...

Should a Christian be 'Judgemental'( which is part of the new vocabulary of the Politically Correct who do not want anyone interfering with their own particular tastes and desires)

(1 Corinthians 2:15-16 NIV says: “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

So, believers should judge all matters and issues!

20 January 2011 at 20:18  
Anonymous len said...

Just to judge people for the purpose of condemning them is un -Christian. This is the negative side of Judging.

But to tell someone they are sinning but God has a solution for them (Jesus Christ ) is the positive side of Judging.People often do not come to God and receive salvation because they are afraid their sins will be exposed and they are afraid they will be judged (see John 3:19-21). They do not understand that God is full of grace and mercy and that it pleases Him when men confess their wrongs.

20 January 2011 at 20:26  
Anonymous DJ said...

As Christina Patterson says: "if you have very strong feelings about other people's sexual behaviour, then you should probably choose a business that doesn't focus quite so heavily on beds."

22 January 2011 at 09:01  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Case of Lautsi and others v. Italy (echr.coe.int, 18 March 2011)

Lautsi wanted Italian schools to ban the Crucifix

The Italian Crucifix case in the European Court of Human Rights – the opinion of two judges
CONCURRING OPINION OF JUDGE BONELLO
1.1 A court of human rights cannot allow itself to suffer from historical Alzheimer's. It has no right to disregard the cultural continuum of a nation's flow through time, nor to ignore what, over the centuries, has served to mould and define the profile of a people. No supranational court has any business substituting its own ethical mock-ups for those qualities that history has imprinted on the national identity. On a human rights court falls the function of protecting fundamental rights, but never ignoring that “customs are not passing whims. They evolve over time, harden over history into cultural cement. They become defining, all-important badges of identity for nations, tribes, religions, individuals”.1
1.2 A European court should not be called upon to bankrupt centuries of European tradition. No court, certainly not this Court, should rob the Italians of part of their cultural personality.
1.3 I believe that before joining any crusade to demonise the crucifix, we should start by placing the presence of that emblem in Italian schools in its rightful historical perspective. For many centuries, virtually the only education in Italy was provided by the Church, its religious orders and organisations – and very few besides. Many, if not most schools, colleges, universities and other institutes of learning in Italy had been founded, funded, or run by the Church, its members or its offshoots. The milestones of history turned education and Christianity into almost interchangeable notions, and because of this, the age-old presence of the crucifix in Italian schools should come as no shock or surprise. In fact, its absence would have come as a surprise and a shock.
1.4 Until relatively recently, the “secular” State had hardly bothered with education, and, by default, had delegated that primary function to Christian institutions. Only slowly did the State start assuming its responsibilities to educate and to offer the population some alternatives to a virtual religious monopoly on education. The presence of the crucifix in Italian schools only testifies to this compelling and millennial historical reality – it could loosely be said that it has been there since schools have been there. Now, a court in a glass box a thousand kilometres away has been engaged to veto overnight what has survived countless generations. The Court has been asked to be an accomplice

23 March 2011 at 09:32  
Blogger D. Singh said...

2.4 Most of the arguments raised by the applicant called upon the Court to ensure the separation of Church and State and to enforce a regime of aseptic secularism in Italian schools. Bluntly, that ought to be none of this Court's business. This Court has to see that Ms Lautsi and her children enjoy to the full their fundamental right to freedom of religion and conscience. Period.
2.5 The Convention proves to be quite helpful with its detailed and exhaustive inventory of what freedom of religion and conscience really means, and we would do well to keep these institutional constraints in mind. Freedom of religion is not secularism. Freedom of religion is not the separation of Church and State. Freedom of religion is not religious equidistance – all seductive notions, but of which no one has so far appointed this Court to be the custodian. In Europe, secularism is optional, freedom of religion is not.
2.6 Freedom of religion, and freedom from religion, in substance, consist in the rights to profess freely any religion of the individual's choice, the right to freely change one's religion, the right not to embrace any religion at all, and the right to manifest one's religion by means of belief, worship, teaching and observance. Here the Convention catalogue grinds to a halt, well short of the promotion of any State secularism.
2.7 This Court's rather modest function remains that of determining whether the exposure in State schoolrooms of what to some is a Christian symbol and to others a cultural gadget in any way interfered with Ms Lautsi's and her children's basic right to freedom of religion – as defined by the Convention itself.
2.8 I believe anyone could persuasively try to argue that the presence of the crucifix in Italian State schools might possibly offend the doctrine of secularism and that of the separation between Church and State. At the same time I do not believe that anyone can persuasively plead that the presence of a crucifix interfered in any way with the Lautsis' right to profess any religion of their choice, to change their religion, not to have any religion at all or to manifest their beliefs, if any, by worship, teaching and observance, or with their right to reject outright anything they may consider insipid superstitious junk.
2.9 With or without a crucifix on a schoolroom wall, the Lautsis enjoyed the most absolute and untrammelled freedom of conscience and religion as demarcated by the Convention. The presence of a crucifix in a State classroom might conceivably be viewed as a betrayal of secularism and an unjustifiable failure of the regime of separation between Church and State – but these doctrines, however alluring and beguiling, are nowhere mandated by the Convention, nor are they necessary constitutive elements of the freedoms of conscience and of religion. It is for the Italian authorities, not for this Court, to enforce secularism if they believe it forms part, or should form part, of the Italian constitutional architecture.
2.10 Seen in the light of the historical roots of the presence of the crucifix in Italian schools, removing it from where it has quietly and passively been for centuries, would hardly have been a manifestation of neutrality by the State. Its removal would have been a positive and aggressive espousal of agnosticism or of secularism – and consequently anything but neutral. Keeping a symbol where it has always been is no act of intolerance by believers or cultural traditionalists. Dislodging it would be an act of intolerance by agnostics and secularists.
2.11 Millions of Italian children have, over the centuries, been exposed to the crucifix in schools. This has neither turned Italy into a confessional State, nor the Italians into citizens of

24 March 2011 at 08:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

a theocracy. The applicants have failed to unfurl before the Court any evidence at all that those exposed to the crucifix forfeited in any way their complete freedom to manifest their individual and personal religious belief, or their right to repudiate any religion. The presence of a crucifix in a schoolroom does not seem to have hindered any Italian in his or her liberty to believe or to disbelieve, to embrace atheism, agnosticism, anti-clericalism, secularism, materialism, relativism, or doctrinaire irreligion, to recant, apostatise, or to embrace whatever creed or “heresy” of their choice they find sufficiently appealing, with the same vigour and gusto others freely embrace a Christian faith. Had any such evidence been adduced, I would have been strident in my voting for finding a violation of the Convention.
What rights? Right to education?
3.1 Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 guarantees the right of parents to ensure that the teaching their children receive is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions. The Court has to supervise and ensure respect for this right.
3.2 Does the mere silent and passive presence of a symbol in a classroom in an Italian school amount to “teaching”? Does it hinder the exercise of the guaranteed right? Try hard as I might, I fail to see how. The Convention specifically and exclusively bans any teaching in schools unwelcome to parents on religious, ethical and philosophical grounds. The keyword of this norm is obviously “teaching” and I doubt how far the mute presence of a symbol of European cultural continuity would amount to teaching in any sense of that fairly unambiguous word.
3.3 In my view, what the Convention prohibits are any indoctrination, arrant or devious, the aggressive confiscation of young minds, invasive proselytism, the putting in place by the public educational system of any obstacle to the avowal of atheism, agnosticism or alternative religious options. The mere display of a voiceless testimonial of a historical symbol, so emphatically part of the European heritage, in no way amounts to “teaching”, nor does it undermine in any meaningful manner the fundamental right of parents to determine what, if any, religious orientation their children are to follow.
3.4. But, even assuming that the mere existence of a mute object should be construed as “teaching”, the applicants have failed to answer the far more cardinal question of proportionality, intimately related to the exercise of fundamental rights when these conflict with the rights of others – the weighting to be given to the various competing interests.
3.5 All the parents of all the thirty pupils in an Italian classroom enjoy equally the fundamental Convention right to have their children receive teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions, at least analogous to that of the Lautsi children. The parents of one pupil want that to be “non-crucifix” schooling, and the parents of the other twenty-nine, exercising their equally fundamental freedom of decision, want that schooling to be “crucifix” schooling. No one has so far suggested any reason why the will of the parents of one pupil should prevail, and that of the parents of the other twenty-nine pupils should founder. The parents of the twenty-nine have the fundamental right, equivalent in force and commensurate in intensity, to have their children receive teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions, be they crucifix-friendly or merely crucifix-indifferent. Ms Lautsi cannot award herself a licence to overrule the right of all the other parents of all the other pupils in that classroom, who want to exercise the same right she has asked this Court to inhibit others from exercising.

24 March 2011 at 08:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

3.6 The crucifix purge promoted by Ms Lautsi would not in any way be a measure to ensure neutrality in the classroom. It would be an imposition of the crucifix-hostile philosophy of the parents of one pupil, over the crucifix-receptive philosophy of the parents of all the other twenty-nine. If the parents of one pupil claim the right to have their child raised in the absence of a crucifix, the parents of the other twenty-nine should well be able to claim an equal right to its presence, whether as a traditional Christian emblem or even solely as a cultural souvenir.

24 March 2011 at 08:16  
Blogger D. Singh said...

CONCURRING OPINION OF JUDGE POWER
This case raises issues as to the scope of certain provisions of the Convention and the Grand Chamber's rectification of a number of errors in the Chamber's Judgment was both necessary and appropriate. The core correction consists in the finding that the decision as to whether crucifixes should be present in state-school classrooms is, in principle, a matter falling within the margin of appreciation of a respondent state (§ 70). In exercising its supervisory role, the Court has confirmed its earlier case law5 to the effect that the 'preponderant visibility' within a school environment which a state may confer on a country's majority religion is not, in itself, sufficient to indicate a process of indoctrination such as would establish a breach of the requirements of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 (§ 71).
The Grand Chamber has also corrected the rather speculative conclusion in the Chamber judgment (see § 55) as to the “particularly strong” risk of emotional disturbance which the presence of a crucifix may pose to children of minority religions or none. Given the critical role of “evidence” in any Court proceedings, the Grand Chamber has correctly noted that there was no evidence opened to the Court to indicate any influence which the presence of a religious symbol may have on school pupils (§ 66). While acknowledging as “understandable” the first applicant's perception of a lack of respect for her rights, the Grand Chamber has confirmed that her subjective perception is not sufficient to establish a breach of Article 2 of Protocol No 1. The first applicant may have taken offence at the presence of a crucifix in classrooms but the existence of a right 'not to be offended' has never been recognised within the Convention. In reversing the Chamber's judgment, the Grand Chamber does no more than confirm a body of settled jurisprudence (notably under Article 10) which recognises that mere 'offence' is not something against which an individual may be immunized by law.
However, there was another fundamental and, in my view, erroneous conclusion in the Chamber's Judgment upon which the Grand Chamber did not comment and which, to my mind, merited clarification. The Chamber referred, correctly, to the State's duty to uphold confessional neutrality in public education (§ 56). However, it proceeded, to conclude, incorrectly, that this duty required the effective preference or elevation of one ideology (or body of ideas) over all other religious and/or philosophical perspectives or world views. Neutrality requires a pluralist approach on the part of the State, not a secularist one. It encourages respect for all world views rather than a preference for one. To my mind, the Chamber Judgment was striking in its failure to recognise that secularism (which was the applicant's preferred belief or world view) was, in itself, one ideology among others. A preference for secularism over alternative world views—whether religious, philosophical or otherwise—is not a neutral option. The Convention requires that respect be given to the first applicant's convictions insofar as the education and teaching of her children was concerned. It does not require a preferential option for and endorsement of those convictions over and above all others.
In his separate opinion, Judge Bonello has pointed to the fact that within the European tradition, education (and, to my mind, the values of human dignity, tolerance and respect for the individual, without which there can be no lasting basis for human rights protection) is rooted, historically, inter alia, within the Christian tradition. To prohibit in public schools, regardless of the wishes of the body politic, the display of a symbol representative of that (or indeed any other religious) tradition and to require of the State that it pursues not a pluralist but a secularist agenda, risks venturing towards the territory of intolerance – a concept that is contrary to the values of the Convention.

24 March 2011 at 08:16  
Blogger D. Singh said...

The applicants complain of an alleged violation of their rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. I can find no interference with their freedom to manifest their personal beliefs. The test of a violation under Article 9 is not “offence” but “coercion”.6 That article does not create a right not to be offended by the manifestation of the religious beliefs of others even where those beliefs are given 'preponderant visibility' by the State. The display of a religious symbol does not compel or coerce an individual to do or to refrain from doing anything. It does not require engagement in any activity though it may, conceivably, invite or stimulate discussion and an open exchange of views. It does not prevent an individual from following his or her own conscience nor does it make it unfeasible for such a person to manifest his or her own religious beliefs and ideas.
The Grand Chamber has found that the presence of the crucifix is, essentially, a passive symbol and it regards this point as being of great importance having regard to the principle of neutrality. I agree with the Court in this regard insofar as the symbol's passivity is not in any way coercive. However, I would have to concede that, in principle, symbols (whether religious, cultural or otherwise) are carriers of meaning. They may be silent but they may, nevertheless, speak volumes without, however, doing so in a coercive or in an indoctrinating manner. The uncontested evidence before the Court is that Italy opens up the school environment to a variety of religions and there is no evidence of any intolerance shown towards non-believers or those who hold non-religious philosophical convictions. Islamic headscarves may be worn. The beginning and end of Ramadan are “often celebrated”. Within such a pluralist and religiously tolerant context, a Christian symbol on a classroom wall presents yet another and a different world view. The presentation of and engagement with different points of view is an intrinsic part of the educative process. It acts as a stimulus to dialogue. A truly pluralist education involves exposure to a variety of different ideas including those which are different from one's own. Dialogue becomes possible and, perhaps, is at its most meaningful where there is a genuine difference of opinion and an honest exchange of views. When pursued in a spirit of openness, curiosity, tolerance and respect, this encounter may lead towards greater clarity and vision as it fosters the development of critical thinking. Education would be diminished if children were not exposed to different perspectives on life and, in being so exposed, provided with the opportunity to learn the importance of respect for diversity.

24 March 2011 at 08:17  
Blogger Jim McLean at Acoustic Village said...

Just thought I'd say I did like Roger Pearse's comments. I also believe there will come a time when people will be crying out for the re-introduction of Christian Values. We do not need another Messiah. We are simply in the dark days and we must all work hard at making sure we stop the erosion.

10 February 2012 at 12:35  

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