Tuesday, March 01, 2011

“...the laws and usages of the realm do not include Christianity, in whatever form”


This was the rather disconcerting, not to say utterly astonishingly ignorant judgment in the High Court yesterday of Lord Justice Munby (left) and Mr Justice Beatson (right), in the case of Eunice and Owen Johns, from Derby, who went to court after a social worker for Derby City Council expressed concerns when they said they could not tell a child a ‘homosexual lifestyle’ was acceptable.

His Grace is not going to go recount the details of the case: he has done so previously in 2008 and 2010, and the summary facts are reported in both The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail.

His Grace wishes instead to focus on two aspects of this judgment, which raise important issues of considerable concern for religious liberty.

A few years ago, the Supreme Court ruled on what it is to be Jewish: a court which has existed for just a few years presumed to overturn 3,500 years of Jewish orthodoxy and tradition by divorcing ethnicity from Judasim.

Yesterday, the High Court swept aside 2,000 years of Christian orthodoxy and tradition by divorcing sexual ethics from Christianity.

Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that there was no discrimination against Mr and Mrs Johns as Christians because they were being excluded from fostering 'due to their sexual ethics and not their Christian beliefs'. It is a manifest falsehood for High Court judges to claim that a believer’s moral beliefs about sex have nothing to do with his or her Christian faith.

While not dismissing the incontrovertible fact that Christians have diverse beliefs on the issue of homosexuality, it is equally incontrovertible that there is a canonical context for believing that homosexual behaviour meets with divine disapproval. And, unlike matters such as slavery and the subordination of women - concerning which there are tensions between the Old and New Testaments and counterposed witnesses - the biblical witness against homosexual practices is univocal.

That is not to say that exegesis is straightforward and that there are not hermeneutic problems in drawing out a Christian theology of homosexuality, not least because it is an utterly minor, not to say peripheral concern compared to, say, economic injustice. But half-a-dozen references is sufficient to formulate a biblical ethic. Of course, we must be mindful that these scriptures may be and are variously interpreted, but that is not the issue here. For Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that Mr and Mrs John were unsuitable to be foster parents ‘due to their sexual ethics and not their Christian beliefs’, as though those beliefs are not causal; as though the ethics are not informed by or contiguous with the faith.

It is a matter for the Johns as to whether they appeal, but this aspect of the judgment against them is easily refuted. Genesis 19:1-29, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is actually irrelevant to the topic (being concerned with gang rape and sex with angels [cf Jude 7]), but it has often been adduced throughout church history as being concerned with homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are more useful, being quite obviously concerned with homosexual behaviour and being unremittingly negative in their judgment. To insist that obedience to these scriptures may not constitute a Christian ethic on homosexuality must mean that the traditional beliefs on adultery, incest and bestiality (Lev 20:10-16) may also not constitute a Christian sexual ethic. It is to be observed that ‘lying with a man as with a woman’ is categorically proscribed. This is an unambiguous legal prohibition which stands as the foundation for the universal rejection of same-sex intercourse within Judaism.

Of course, quoting levitical law does not settle the question for Christian ethics. But the early church did consistently adopt the Old Testament’s teaching in matters of sexual morality (1 Cor 6:9-11; 1Tim 1:10; Acts 15:28f). The fact that malakoi and arsenokoitai are mentioned as wrongdoers who will not inherit the kingdom of God is sufficient in itself to refute the assertion of Munby and Beatson. Yes, the terms are open to interpretation, for neither translates directly as ‘homosexual’. But malakoi is pejorative Greek slang for ‘passive’ sexual partners – often young boys – in homosexual activity. And arsenokoitai has traditionally been interpreted as a male who lies with a male, directly linking it to Leviticus 18:22.

But perhaps the most crucial text for Christian ethics concerning homosexuality is Romans 1:18-32, which sets condemnation of the act in an explicitly theological context. This is also the only passage that refers to lesbianism. Rebellion against God leads to depravity, among which is listed sexual activity between members of the same sex. For Paul, homosexual acts are sinful and, indeed, evil.

When you set these scriptures in the context of God’s creative intention for human sexuality (Gen 1; Mk 10:2-9; 1Thess 4:3-8; 1Cor 7:1-9; Eph 5:21-33; Heb 13:4), it is as clear as the light of day that Christian beliefs can determine a particular ethical stance on homosexuality. Ergo this part of the Munby-Beatson judgment is profoundly in error.

But they further said:
We sit as secular judges serving a multi-cultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to "do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will." But the laws and usages of the realm do not include Christianity, in whatever form. The aphorism that 'Christianity is part of the common law of England' is mere rhetoric; at least since the decision of the House of Lords in Bowman v Secular Society Limited [1917] AC 406 it has been impossible to contend that it is law.
It is interesting that they designate themselves ‘secular judges’, since, as judges, they have sworn an oath ‘...by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second in the office of ________ , and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will’.

Setting aside that it is a strange secularist that swears by Almighty God: it is of more immediate concern that they have sworn allegiance to the Queen, whose Coronation Oath demands the maintenance of the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law.

Perhaps the High Court might remind itself that the XXXIX Articles of Religion as found in the Book of Common Prayer still constitute the law of the land. And Article 37 is quite clear:
The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction.
This has not been repealed and forms part of the British Constitution through the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Act of Union 1707. The clergy of the Church of England are still required to acknowledge that the Articles are ‘agreeable to the Word of God’ (Canon C15 of the Declaration of Assent). And clergy are also obliged by law to baptise, marry and bury. And as Church courts are courts of the Realm, and Measures of the General Synod have the effect and status of Acts of Parliament, this part of the Munby-Beatson ruling is quite bizarre.

In fact, you really don’t need an LLM in Canon Law to determine that they are utterly wrong on this matter also.

But their judgment follows that of Lord Justice Laws last year, who, sweeping aside the centuries-old Anglican Settlement and the constitutional position of the Queen (not to mention manifesting scant comprehension of the Christian faith), determined: ‘The precepts of any one religion - any belief system - cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other.’

It is becoming increasingly evident that the ‘aggressive secularism’ of which Pope Benedict XVI spoke on his visit last year is becoming even more aggressive.

The Christian faith is intricately bound with the constitutional and legal basis of British society. Our values and virtues stem from a Judaeo-Christian foundation. The Laws-Munby-Beatson judgments fly in the face of our history, our institutions and the Constitution.

It is ironic indeed that we are winding back the clock on the 1689 Act of Toleration and 1829 Roman Catholic Relief Act, and moving towards the reintroduction of a religious bar to holding office. Political candidates are sacked for supporting the Act of Settlement or for articulating an orthodox Christian (and Jewish and Islamic) view about homosexuality. Christian magistrates, registrars, paediatricians, GPs, teachers and nurses are finding it increasingly difficult to manifest their faith without risk of disciplinary action, dismissal or prosecution for offending the ascendant secular religion.

Interestingly, Munby and Beatson dismiss the application of Article 9 of the European Human Rights Act, as this only provides a ‘qualified’ right to manifest religious belief, which is ‘particularly so where a person in whose care a child is placed wishes to manifest a belief that is inimical to the interests of children’.

If traditional Christian sexual ethics are ‘inimical’ to the interests of children, what does the law say about the millions of parents who seek to bring up their children in accordance with the precepts of their faith? Are Christian schools inimical to these interests? Are church youth groups?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission thinks so. They intervened in the Johns’ case, suggesting to the Court that a child should not (in their words) be ‘infected’ with Christian moral beliefs. The suggestion that Christian moral beliefs on sexual morality could ‘infect’ children is an extraordinary position for a taxpayer-funded statutory body to take.

You can just imagine the outcry if the EHRC had referred to Jewish or Muslim religious beliefs ‘infecting’ children.

What is clear from this judgment is that freedom of religion is now universally subordinate to the rights of homosexuals, and we see the long-prophesied triumph of the Act of Sexual Uniformity. Munby and Beatson have stated unequivocally that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation ‘should take precedence’ over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds.

This court ruling appears to suggest that, should the Government proceed with its plans to permit the blessing of civil partnerships in places of worship, and should that place of worship refuse, then ministers and bishops may be liable to prosecution because of this precedent. If the upholding of the traditional Christian view on homosexuality does not constitute a religious belief, then there is no basis in law for an exemption for any religion and no guarantee of protection from prosecution, whatever Parliament may say or however they may expressly word the Act.

Yesterday, His Grace was concerned to observe that, although the Church was subject to Parliament, Parliament may not re-write Scripture by redefining marriage. Today, he observes that Scripture is being interpreted and church history revised by the Courts.

It is ironic that while, on the one hand, the Government is overhauling the adoption guidelines to ensure thousands of children go into loving homes irrespective of ethnicity, yet on the other, the Courts are preventing children from going into loving homes on the basis of religion.

Michael Gove said only last week:
"Every day they wait is a day they're denied the loving home all children deserve. But politically correct attitudes and ridiculous bureaucracy keep many of those children waiting far too long. Edicts which say children have to be adopted by families with the same ethnic background, and which prevent other families adopting because they don't fit leftwing prescriptions, are denying children the love they need."
If it is morally right for a politically-correct policy of ethnic restriction in child adoption and fostering to be reversed, a fortiori it is morally right for an unjust policy of religious restriction to be reversed.

For if Christian morality is harmful to children and unacceptable to the state, how long will it be before our children are forcibly removed from us, lest they be ‘infected’ with Christian moral beliefs?

129 Comments:

Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

On Wednesday they will accuse Judaeo-Christians of child abuse for merely holding Judaeo-Christian beliefs.

On Friday officials from local SS units will start knocking on our doors to remove from our custody our sons and daughters.

1 March 2011 at 09:37  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Your Grace was warned about his naivety in the previous thread, far too unworldly. The interesting fact is that this case does not hinge on anything done...no actus reus...but on mens rea. It is almost treated as conspiracy to answer when asked about homosexuality.

It is not "tolerated" but to be "appreciated". If foster parents, not adoptive, but foster are to be told that nothing negative is to be said about homosexuality then we have reached a litmus test equivalent to the Test Acts 1673, 1678.

Now it is clear that such Tests are used in appointing Judges. It would be interesting to see the Manuals from the Department of Justice and the Guidelines issued to Judges.

When the legal system split from the Church around the time of Henry VIII with Thomas More, the core Christian values continued to influence lawmakers and Common Law judgments.

This ruling now unanchors Law from anything we understand

1 March 2011 at 09:47  
Anonymous Voyager said...

at what point do people cease to obey law and obey conscience ?

We are in the Zone of Uncertainty with the judicial system now becoming capricious and turning matters on their head. What was "tolerated" must now be "revered" as a Supreme Belief transcending all others.

It is as if Gender Politics is the new West European Shibboleth and the core belief of the European Union.

If so it is impossible to admonish Muslims for refusing to integrate. The Turkish PM Erdogan yesterday gave a speech in Duesseldorf urging Turks to preserve their culture, teach Turkish before German, and that Germany should consult Ankara in all matters pertaining to Turks in Germany.

Maybe societies in Europe are going to fragment into sub-communities and the core states will disintegrate. Maybe we need a National Covenant as in 1637 ?

1 March 2011 at 09:52  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Another triumph for progressive thinking. Light at the end of the tunnel of dark and supersticious folklore. Yay!

1 March 2011 at 09:56  
OpenID realgrasshopper said...

His Grace should go to the source and read the whole judgement: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/375.html

1 March 2011 at 10:06  
Blogger Botogol said...

society has moved on, and the end of the established church is tantalisingly in sight.

meanwhile in theology
"(Gen 1; Mk 10:2-9; 1Thess 4:3-8; 1Cor 7:1-9; Eph 5:21-33; Heb 13:4), it is as clear as the light of day that Christian beliefs can determine a particular ethical stance on homosexuality"

No gospel references, though, are there? That's quite telling, isn't it - Christian ethics not based on the teaching of Christ...

1 March 2011 at 10:07  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

My contention is that if one wants a position in public life then it is best to put "being blind to common sense" as top of one's CV skills. Followed closely by " having a craven desire to undo the moral fabric of society" and "never admit to anything".

We have a leadership led by invertebrates!

1 March 2011 at 10:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A new National Covenant is not needed. The old one remains in force for Scotland and the Solemn League and Covenant for the three kingdoms. If we must lose property, children, liberty and life, let it be for Christ's Crown and Covenants.

1 March 2011 at 10:14  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Putting to one side for a moment the arcana of the differences between sexual ethics and Christian belief, the immediate outcome of this judgment is that some young children who would otherwise have been fostered in a loving family will now not be. It has had the effect of increasing the totality of human misery. Good old us!

Also, I'm struggling to understand how the Johns's attitude to homosexuality could have the slightest impact on children in the 5 to 10 year old age range. Do the judges think that the Johns will be sitting at the dinner table discussing gay rights with such yound children?

1 March 2011 at 10:21  
Anonymous Voyager said...

realgrasshopper, the judgment suggests that a) Diamond did nothing but issue declarative statements b) the entry of the Equalities Commission deluging the Court with 200 pages of documents swayed matters.

c) that there was in essence no case to answer simply a request for clarification from Derby Council hi-jacked by the Equalities Commission

1 March 2011 at 10:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sirs

I am astonished at the abominable injustice done to Mr & Mrs Johns.

The judges have behaved like fascists, picking on the weak, bullying people of faith. The deluded mindset they suffer from is the essence of inequality, where the so called human rights dogma is used to persecute and discriminate people of faith.

It is type for Christians to speak out and stand against the neo-fascist dogma of political correctness.

What are you/we going to do about this?

Be bold in the faith.

Jesus spoke of these times in Luke 21 when He said "And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake."

The state hates people who are Christian and persecutes them. We are back in the Middle Ages. If this alarming trend continues the thought police will soon take kids into "care" out of Christian families.

I pray that the return of Jesus Christ to the Earth, to destroy all this evil and wickedness will be soon.

Even so come Lord Jesus

@EnochCarpenter at twitter

1 March 2011 at 10:34  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace

It is has been clear for some time that an Englishman's home is not his castle. It is now clear that an Englishman cannot think what he likes or say what he thinks either with out legal sanction.

One can only be astonished at the hypocrisy of the judgement. It is patently obvious that the Court has discriminated against the Johns on religious gronds. As Mr Voyager says, they have been penalised for their opinions and not for any act. Deemed guilty out of hand and yet denied a chance to prove their innocence.

A dark day indeed that sets a dangerous prcedent.

Let us hope that Dave intervenes before he is physically sick.

1 March 2011 at 10:41  
Anonymous Paul C said...

The reason the Johns were not allowed to foster was because they did not "value diversity".

Hmmm...so in the name of diversity no Christians, Jews or Muslims are allow to foster (and adopt of course).

Irony?

1 March 2011 at 10:44  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

So the high priests of secularism (who made an oath to Almighty God) have determined that secular heretics cannot provide love & care to vulnerable children.

I have long held the opinion that it is now very hard to commit contempt of court since they are so obviously & wilfully contemptible. Senior judges have obviously spent so long in their ivory towers that their reasoning faculties have left them (and/or they are sodomites themselves trying to salve their consciences).

It would be interesting to see the effects of a "national strike" of Christian fosterers. I suspect the system would collapse. O course, no such action will take place since they are motivated by love rather than ideology.

How long til there is a "Summerskill Creed" which all must recite & swear allegiance to before you allowed any public life?

The last verses of the book of Judges seem entirely appropriate:"In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes".

[@bogotol ... can you tell me at what point in history Christianity abandoned everything but the gospels for determining standards of righteousness?]

1 March 2011 at 10:48  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Botogol said...

No gospel references, though, are there? ...


Here's one for you:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them." Matthew 5:17

1 March 2011 at 11:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It feels like we are heading for Pol Pot's year zero, so far without the bloodshed.

1 March 2011 at 11:11  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

The judges said

The aphorism that 'Christianity is part of the common law of England' is mere rhetoric; at least since the decision of the House of Lords in Bowman v Secular Society Limited [1917] AC 406 it has been impossible to contend that it is law.

We live in a society in which the laws are grounded in secular values. These laws enshrine your right to worship who or whatever you like, but not to discriminate. Claims that discrimination motivated by divine authority or religious practice should be exempted are clearly not acceptable in a humane and civilised society.

1 March 2011 at 11:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realise that some may think that I have a naive and simplistic attitude to life but surely this is just discrimination in disguise? WHY can't we just treat each other as human beings and respect each others faith and beliefs. If my Christian beliefs don't suit you, you are as free to disregard them as I am to believe them.
Just because I believe that God does not condone homosexual acts, does not mean that I dictate your lifestyle to you. My firm belief is that we should "hate the sin, love the sinner". It is only because of my love for mankind that makes me care. My nephew is homosexual but I do not love him any the less. Just because you are gay, does not mean I wil dislike you. Just because you are straight, does not mean I will immediately be your friend. I will like you, or not, because you are you and for no other reason, just as expect others to like me, or not, because of the person I am, not whether I am a Christian or not.
Soon we will re-enter the dark days of inquisition - we are nearly there!
I told you, you would call me naive.

1 March 2011 at 11:32  
Anonymous Voyager said...

in the name of diversity no Christians, Jews or Muslims are allow to foster (and adopt of course).

Funnily enough Derby Social Services claimed that Orthodox Christians and Muslims were fostering ....but as the Judges noted in their Judgment failed to produce any evidence that this was true

1 March 2011 at 11:40  
Anonymous Douglas McLellan said...

The problem with taking the Bible to its word is that every believer on this planet is now picking and choosing what parts to adhere too as if it were some great moral and ethical buffet.

Take some of the passages that the Archbishop has highlighted - extolling people to be put to death for a number of things related to sex. Some of which people only do when mentally ill. Yet who really wants to kill because the Bible says they should?

Exodus 32:2 says people should be killed for working on the Sabbath.
Exodus 21:7 allows for the selling of daughters into slavery.
There are a large number of things in the Bible that people are not supposed to eat yet they do. Why is that instruction from God ignored yet homosexuality is so knicker-twisting to Christians?
Leviticus 19:27 commands that hair not be cut yet barbers up and down the land do this every day of the week.

Given the irrelevancy of so much of the Bible (unless you think going around killing people for deviating from instructions that are over 2000 years old) why is it that this issue is so vital to Christians?

1 March 2011 at 11:53  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Graham Davis ... Were you born stupid or did you become it?

These people were not discriminating. They were being asked what their beliefs were. These beliefs were considered unworthy of someone wanting to continue to provide love & care to children as they have done for many decades.

And, as usual, you are wrong. Discrimination is entirely lawful (and necessary). This case has proved that only difference is on what you are allowed to discriminate.

1 March 2011 at 11:57  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Jared Gaites said...
Another triumph for progressive thinking. Light at the end of the tunnel of dark and supersticious folklore. Yay!


REALLY?? God help us!

1 March 2011 at 11:58  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

There are a number of conclusions that can be drawn from the case.

1. Christianity is not part of the common law of England (para. 39).
2. There is a divide between the secular and sacred (para. 41).
3. Article 9 (freedom of religion) permits justified negative discrimination against Christians (para.102);
4. A ‘religious test’ is relevant as Judaeo-Christianity informs attitudes to sexuality (although the judges divorced the reality that religion informs our attitudes to sexuality): ‘our conclusions that the attitudes of potential foster carers to sexuality are relevant when considering an application for approval…’ (para. 109).

Thus, it is unnecessary for officials from SS units to inquire about a potential carer’s religion. Excluding Christians from fostering (and employment (para. 102)) can be concealed by merely asking them about their attitude to sexuality.

In short, as applied by the courts, it is a matter of public policy that the law gives State officials the discretion to exclude Christians from the public square.

1 March 2011 at 12:10  
Anonymous philip walling said...

What it says is that the state will dictate what kind of people can foster and adopt children.

But many of the children taken by the state have come from parents whose lives have fallen apart because the state promotes a secular individualism that fails to teach them that sense of obligation and self-denial (called love) that is necessary properly to bring up children.

It is ironic that the state wants to perpetuate homeless children's misery by rejecting as parents people who would be more likely to love them and give them to people whose self-love would seem to be stronger than their self-denial.

It's plain wicked of the law to deny the truth that this couple have fostered children lovingly for decades and are now prevented from doing so, not because of anything they've done, but for something they believe, which when coupled with something else they believe (that they should love the sinner and hate the sin) is likely to increase the love they give to children in their care.

1 March 2011 at 12:18  
Anonymous yarnesfromhorsham said...

Your grace - at least we know where we are now, in that if one is white and christian one might as well leave the country.

1 March 2011 at 12:22  
Anonymous Douglas McLellan said...

@yarnesfromhorsham

What about black and Christian. Should they leave as well?

The couple in question are black.......

1 March 2011 at 12:34  
Anonymous Matthew Hewitt said...

You would think from the judgement that it is an automatic fact that a chld they adopt would be homosexual, and that will therefore be discriminated against - I assume, however, that all children awaiting adoption are not, so this is presumably not the case. The effect of this and the pervading culture of "human rights" is robbing us of all notions of diversity and tolerance of any views which do not fit in with the "liberal progressive" mindset, which is actually anything but. Presumably it will soon be wrong to tell children that theft is wrong, on the basis their rights might be infringed if they are thieves.

1 March 2011 at 12:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think an interesting point in this case is that this couple were willing to adopt 5-10 year olds. Why social workers thought it right to ask this couple's views on sexuality is odd indeed. What also is interesting is that we seem to have rule by the courts, as any lady driver will now realise.

1 March 2011 at 12:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also add in response to Mr Davis that we cannot have law grounded in "secular values". One because many of our laws predate such things and are in fact grounded in Christian and Jewish morality - You shall not murder, You shall not steal etc. Second, what are "secular values" - they are highly subjective, thus the clash of "rights" that we constantly see in the courts.

1 March 2011 at 12:52  
Anonymous Richard said...

@ Douglas McLellan

"There are a large number of things in the Bible that people are not supposed to eat yet they do"

This was superseded by New Testament teaching. See the episode of Peter's vision in Acts 10.

The same applies to your other arguments.

In Christian theology the Old Testament law can be regarded as being in three parts: the moral, the ceremonial and the civil. The moral law remains (as summarised in the 10 commandments) but the civil and ceremonial are of the past. Huge chunks of New Testament teaching relates to this (Romans, Galatians, Hebrews ...)

Hearing these arguments makes me want to tear my hair out in frustration.

Christians are, well, Christians ... not Jews.

1 March 2011 at 12:53  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Isn't the Oath of Office that judges take based on Christian thinking? Don't most people giving evidence in court swear on the Bible?
So if I go to this judge's court, I can swear an oath on the Bible, and then lie through my teeth as the oath would be totally meaningless.

1 March 2011 at 13:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this an inevitable outcome of the seperation between State and Church?

Once you divorce the two and put democratic liberalism in its place Satan has full freedom to take advantage of our fallen natures.

The temptation to disregard natural and divine law sanctioned by liberal democracies can lead to an abandonment of the message of the Gospels.

Man can now freely choose between the message of Christ and sucumbing to the temptation of evil. He can even find a priest in one of the plethora of Christian churches to support his choice.

The State makes it increasingly difficult because in the name of 'freedom from' and 'freedom to' it permits all the sin exposed in the First Testament. Further, it undermines the institutions of the Church.

I quess we have to rely on our faith and live our lives the way God intended and to ensure we receive a correct interpretation of the Good News.

Interestingly, on a secular note, it is still a legal duty of the State to ask parents the religion of children admitted to care and to meet the religious needs of the child. However, this duty is frequently overlooked.

1 March 2011 at 13:12  
Anonymous Roland said...

This is truly an alarming development. When will the Church wake up to what is happening? The wolves are at the door, and now is time to pray and fast for God's mercy to save us. God bless you Archbishop Cranmer. May the Church follow your lead in speaking out against this encroachment of the State into the affairs of the Church.

1 March 2011 at 13:30  
Anonymous Douglas McLellan said...

@Richard

So the new testament was all goodness and light until Jesus died on the cross?

Matthew 11:21-24 - Jesus cursing towns that did not find His work mighty.

Matthew 8:21 - Jesus not letting a man bury his father.

And as the Archbishop quoted - the punishment cited by Paul in Romans 1:18-32 calls for the death of homosexuals.

So perhaps the Supreme Court looked at this and thought - since we do not follow the killing people part any more, how relevant is the actual prohibition of the sin?

In 1 Peter 1:20 it is argued that Jesus was pre-destined prior to the creation of the Earth to arrive and save us. I then have to ask what was all the bother with booting Adam and Eve out the garden of evil or the Noahs flood. Neither action was necessary since the only route to salvation was Jesus.

1 March 2011 at 14:31  
Anonymous malvoisin said...

Church? god? These have nothing to do with it,it is politics plain and simple. Why are the readers of this blog so upset? They have voted for this and much,much more through apathy and voting for the Multiculti Lib/Lab/Con trick. It is time to wake up people or it will only get worse

1 March 2011 at 14:42  
Anonymous Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Your Grace

Ernst was having a 'Nice Quiet One' today, only to be horrified that the secularist hornets are buzzing round 'His Nibs' urn for making a few choice comments..a welcome return to form, old chap!

Young Jared Gaites warbled gaily.1 March 2011 09:56

"Yay!" You sound positively triumphant but every so Barbie-ish. Deluded on the former but on the latter.. very revealing! Get a grip, my sweet girl.

Old Bluehound wisely woofed 1 March 2011 10:41
"As Mr Voyager says, they have been penalised for their opinions and not for any act." A glimpse into the future, perhaps, for what awaits those of christian belief?

Scallywag Graham Davis said
"We live in a society in which the laws are grounded in secular values." WRONG, they are merely viewed through humanist spectacles by people like yourself and said 'Unbiased Secularist Judges' but are founded and entrenched in Christianity, my young man.

I think you will find that a famous non secularist said
'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself' and 'Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.'

Not from Dawkins, Hawking, Darwin, Voltaire, Mao, Stalin..It always amuses old Ernst, how secularists and atheists want to attach themselves to ideas or words that have never derived from them or their ideology and are largely missing in their vocabulary until it suits them!

At Which school were you educated, Voltaire of the blessed deluded.

Rebel Saint asked 1 March 2011 11:57

"@Graham Davis ... Were you born stupid or did you become it?" WILLFULLY SELFMADE THAT WAY. Look at the label underneath the secularist and it reads..Made in Hell, my good fellow.

Yarnesfromhorsahm said 1 March 2011 12:22

"Your grace - at least we know where we are now, in that if one is white (irrespective of colour if you think they will not discriminate for the next category) and christian (Definitely) one might as well leave the country."
I think they are giving us our coat and pointing us in the direction of the EXIT with the help of the Judiciary security staff.

All political parties declare they want 'all the peoples' to enjoy freedoms but THEY are the one's implementing the laws that are causing the concern but standing back and allowing the judiciary to interpret them as they see fit.
Oh, they may then make a few choice challenges of the cases in Courts, to try and quell public anger but find because they did not put in descriptive caveats it is then viewed through HRA, that trumps all.
It is a bit like 'what's your favourite colour'..now explain why you chose that colour and not any other..High subjective, as the laws on freedoms are now becoming!

Grumpy Old Ernst

1 March 2011 at 15:06  
Anonymous MrJ said...

FYI_Munby educ. Magdalen College School and Wadham, Oxford (Who's Who)... "... Jack Straw, has appointed the Honourable Mr Justice Munby to be Chairman of the Law Commission for three years from 1 August 2009....called to the bar in 1971. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1988 and then appointed as a High Court Judge in 2000, assigned to the Family Division and the Administrative Court. The Law Commission is an advisory non-departmental public body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice and established by the Law Commissions Act 1965. It exists to keep the law of England and Wales under review and to recommend reform where needed. Its recommendations are designed to make the law as fair, modern, simple and cost effective as possible." source: http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/newsrelease030809b.htm

"The Rt. Hon Mr Justice Beatson FBA... currently a Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court. Formerly Chairman and Rouse Ball Professor of English Law, at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, he is founding director of the Centre for Public Law and Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. Between 1989 and 1994 he was Law Commissioner for England and Wales (primarily responsible for work in contact and commercial law, civil evidence, damages, administrative law, and financial services). He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford and in 2001 became Fellow of the British Academy. His many distinguished publications include: Human Rights: The 1998 Act and the European Convention, 2000 with S. Grosz and P. Duffy; New Directions in European Public Law (joint editor with T. Tridimas) 1998; Administrative Law: Cases and Materials ( 2nd ed 1989), with M. Matthews; Anson’s Law of Contract 28th ed 2002 (also 27th ed 1998); and Chitty on Contract, 29th ed., 1999 (editor responsible for chapters on The Crown, Public Authorities and the EC, Restitution) – and editor of the 25th, 26th and 27th editions. source: http://www.cpl.law.cam.ac.uk/conference_extreme_speech_and_democracy/the_rt._hon_mr_justice_beatson_fba.php

1 March 2011 at 15:11  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Please delete inadvertent repeat of FYI_...

1 March 2011 at 15:35  
Anonymous Richard said...

@ Douglas McLellan

"the punishment cited by Paul in Romans 1:18-32 calls for the death of homosexuals."

No it doesn't. It states the principle that sinful actions deserve death. But God forgives those who repent. Romans 1:32 is not a theonomic proof text.

We could ding-dong all day about this stuff. Irrespective of what you may feel about the pointlessness of events prior to the arrival of Jesus, you need to be better informed about what the Bible teaches and what Christian's actually believe ... rather than what you think they believe.

1 March 2011 at 15:55  
Anonymous Douglas McLellan said...

@Richard

You may be right about being better informed. But which Christians should I listen too/learn from? There are a number of different groups. Hundreds if not thousands of different Bibles (how many words of God does that make?). There are Christians who take the Bible as the actual words of God and others who interpret meaning from the Bible. So there are some Christians who are not bothered about homosexuality and others who attribute natural disasters to permissiveness in society.

So what do Christians actually believe?

1 March 2011 at 16:07  
Anonymous Legal Beagle said...

Windsor Tripehound has picked up the point missed by the court in this case and in the catholic adoption agencies case. The battleground between gay rights and freedom of religion is the lives of our most vulnerable children. The catholic adoption agencies took on the difficult to place children - those with severe problems. Likewise, the Johns were offering respite, by definition to foster carers of children with severe difficulties.

If Christians with traditional views cannot be respite carers for under 10s, then Christians, Jews and Muslims with conventional, traditional beliefs are to be automatically excluded from fostering, and in due course from adoption too. This is striking millions of people from the available pool of foster carers and adopters. The inevitable result will be more and more children unplaced.

Munby LJ, an experienced family law judge, should be ashamed of himself. Beatson J demonstrates that while Baroness Hale was, as a recruit from academia, a triumph as a judge, academic ability does not necessarily translate into judicial wisdom. Both show astonishing ignorance of the development of administrative law and its roots in Christian precepts of justice.

1 March 2011 at 16:12  
Anonymous Voyager said...

There are a large number of things in the Bible that people are not supposed to eat yet they do"

Book of Common Prayer Art VII

Of the Old Testament
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore there are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.

1 March 2011 at 16:19  
Anonymous MrJ said...

MrJ respectfully concurs with Leagle Beagle.

1 March 2011 at 16:21  
Anonymous Richard said...

@ Douglas McLellan

You make a good point.

All I can offer is my position and refer you to those in the "mainstream" Christian traditions who stand by the historic creeds and confessions of the Church (Apostles creed, Nicene creed (and for me, the Westminster Confession) etc), which we (those who adhere to them) believe summarise the teaching of the Bible.

I think you'll find the majority of such Christians in agreement, certainly where sexual ethics are concerned, until they started to cave in to cultural pressures about 20 years ago.

Many modern "Christians" have so revised and re-defined the faith to the point that it is barely recognisable.

1 March 2011 at 16:26  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The etymology of the word Kingdom does not mean domain of a King but domain of your Kin, these courts have no jurisdiction in the Realm of our Kin.

This is the reason we need juries of 12 freemen to overturn the judges unlawful decisions.

Progressives like Jared do not see the dark at the end of the tunnel if this power grabing goes unchecked.

1 March 2011 at 16:44  
Anonymous Voyager said...

You may be right about being better informed. But which Christians should I listen too/learn from?

Read The Bible cover to cover and then think about it

1 March 2011 at 17:26  
Anonymous Alfie Doolittle as possible said...

Bred in the bone sung 1 March 2011 16:44

"Progressives (Dengenerates?) like Jared do not see the dark at the end of the tunnel if this power grabing goes unchecked."

Jared's always throwin 'his goodness' at you;
But with a little bit o' luck,
A man can duck!

'With a little bit... with a little bit...
With a little bit o' luck he'll see the light!
With a little bit... with a little bit...
With a little bit o' bloomin' luck!'

Sung Comments (by) courtesy of the estate of;

Alan Jay Lerner

1 March 2011 at 17:30  
Anonymous not a machine said...

mmm I dont think I can add much and bluedog was nearest to what I think , although some posts have been most illuminating (I dont know why I should be surprised at christian legal minds , but I am).
The clarity of the explanation (cough) of what exactly they should teach the children was even more interesting , hinging on the you should not desuade them from homosexual behavior or criticise it, if that is what they want/feel .
forgive me but being as teenagers are useually finding out things it is pretty clear that having a parental role means that you should desuade them from things which may not be fully understood in the adult sense .
what if they were in a homosexual developing relationship that was inappropiate , by that I mean a big age difference or perhaps someone who was known to be in a civil partnership , or translated into a more regular scenario , of being a bad group.
whilst perhaps the issue of "when your old enough " is understood the issue of suceptability isnt .This also may distinguish between birth and adoptive parent , birth parents may hold there own views on homsexuality , but foster parents cannot .
Not all parents can have the mind of top lawyer and I rather fear , that parents/parenting has just become somthing far more legalistic rather than commonly understood law .
undermining the confidence of parental rules until you are old enough may not help a large majority of parents , who perhaps get by on a more basic framework than the liberal state class.
I have no problem with law that protects children from abuse and violence in those cases the parent is wrong , also what about arranged marriages is that not an abuse , can a foster family who believe in arranged marriage put there foster children forward ?.

good parents, fosteres , yes we all benefit , but a legalistic parental dialogue and understanding will be a wide net for poor society to become entangled in.

1 March 2011 at 17:48  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Reading various comments above on the interpretation of the Bible regarding Homosexuality, is it not plain that the Bible tells us it is wrong and how one interprets that is pretty irrelevant. Yes we shouldn't stone or kill people for homosexuality any more but that still doesn't make it right for man to lay with man and to say that because we no longer do those violent things we can ignore the message as well, is plain daft.

1 March 2011 at 18:06  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Douglas McLellan: "So there are some Christians who are not bothered about homosexuality and others who attribute natural disasters to permissiveness in society."

Are the latter ones you refer to there by any chance the people behind the christchurchquake website, now taken offline by the look of it but still available in the google cache?

1 March 2011 at 18:27  
Anonymous Oswin said...

malvoisin @ 14:42 : is correct!

I've said before, and I sincerely believe it to be true: our government's inability to face up to, and to counter the problems and inquities of Islam, has lead to a stasis of wise judgement.

It cannot, or will not, address the issues at hand, and chooses instead, to admonish ALL religion in the hope of arresting the growth of Islam.

In the meantime, into this nonsensical vacuum-like moribundity, flow the many faceted forces of secularism; and, together with fringe proponents of strident homosexualty, serve to wrest power for themselves (Arden Forester @ 10:11).

Yet again, a failure to address the crucial problems that face Britain, Europe and indeed, the entire world.

These so-called 'progressives' are nothing of the sort; they are purblind, and/or self-serving. Content with their own massive bigotries, they will squat, knitting, as the tumbrils roll towards a new reign of terror; and yet again, under the guise of 'reason and enlightenment'!

1 March 2011 at 18:34  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

I'm just reading through the judgement now. I see Mr Diamond has not endeared himself to the court. :)

1 March 2011 at 18:45  
Anonymous len said...

Man has set about and is determined to reverse Gods Laws and replace them with his own.
Gods laws(OT) were put in place to restrain evil until the possibility of redemption was available.
The present overturning of Gods law is the attempt by man to'normalise ' the very evil God was trying to restrain.What we are about to witness now , in the near future are the 'brakes coming off 'as restraints are cast aside. What man perceives as his 'coming freedom' is in fact the unleashing of forces he cannot control and certainly does not understand.
Man it seems cannot learn by the warnings given in Gods Word, but will have to experience the utter depths of depravity and disorder before he comes to his senses.Even then many will revel in that situation.Man it seems cannot even learn by History , past mistakes,or to take a realistic view of the path he has set himself upon.
There is a way which seems right(for man) but will end with his destruction.
All it seems that Christians can do is stand at the sidelines and shout warnings(bit like Noah)but he was laughed at and we will be too(by most)

1 March 2011 at 18:48  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

55 "The general law may of course protect a particular social or moral position which is espoused by Christianity, not because of its religious imprimatur, but on the footing that in reason its merits commend themselves."

Hurrah!

1 March 2011 at 18:58  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Actually their entire quote of Laws LJ in section 55 is bloody marvellous.

Very interesting constitutional argument by His Grace though. I'd like to see that put forward.

1 March 2011 at 19:10  
Anonymous Oswin said...

DanJo :

knit one, pearl one ...

1 March 2011 at 19:16  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Slippery slope argument by any chance, Oswin?

1 March 2011 at 19:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apart from the fact that it says so in the Bible, please could the Christians here explain what it is about homosexuality per se that they think is evil?

1 March 2011 at 19:35  
Anonymous MrJ said...

FYI_comment by CLC see:
http://www.christianlegalcentre.com/view.php?id=1248

For the HOUSE OF LORDS ruling in BOWMAN AND OTHERS, APPELLANTS;_AND_SECULAR SOCIETY, LIMITED, RESPONDENTS. [1917] A.C. 406 see:
http://www.uniset.ca/other/cs5/1917AC406.html

Paul Diamond (the barrister for Eunice and Owen Johns) has not been afraid to try the patience of the judges and the Bar Council: "What was your most memorable experience as a lawyer? Actually, it involved the prosecution of me by the Bar Council. The High Court judge offered to “strike out” the case if I made an application that I had been treated unfairly by the Bar Council. I declined and demanded that the prosecution against me continue so that I could cross-examine members of the professional conducts and complaints committee. The committee then dropped the prosecution against me, stating that it had reconsidered the case. But I want my day in court.....Why did you become a lawyer? I am a frustrated politician...Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time? I would like to enter the political fray. (December 6, 2005) http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article745736.ece

1 March 2011 at 19:42  
Anonymous Sneaky Person said...

Some anonymous character snided 1 March 2011 19:35

"Apart from the fact that it says so in the Bible, please could the Christians here explain what it is about homosexuality per se that they think is evil?"

If you could advise what evil is, as defined by your own secularist/atheist 'beliefs' and put a moniker on it, maybe some SuperVillain will enlighten you.?

An equally sneaky person, anonymously, of course

1 March 2011 at 19:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I refer His Grace and his communicants to my comment of 28 February 2011 20:15 to his post

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2011/02/government-are-not-about-to-force-gay.html

If you want to see the way things are going to go in this country, just take a look at the way the German Government persecutes Christians who try to home-school their children.

Alfred of Wessex

1 March 2011 at 19:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True Christians must be as "innocent as doves", full of goodwill and the joy of their Cross-assured salvation in the face of the Enemy's attacks. They must pray and tend the outcasts which now appear to be their own Brethren. They must exhibit perfect purity and innocence to reflect Christ, and to shame the Age. Then they will have God on their side, fighting for them. He only blesses those that do all they can to obey His Word. It is a time of testing to purge the Church - only the true branches of the Vine are chastened to become strong through faith and the power of His Holy Spirit.

1 March 2011 at 20:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sneaky person:

"If you could advise what evil is, as defined by your own secularist/atheist 'beliefs' and put a moniker on it, maybe some SuperVillain will enlighten you.?"

I would prefer a Christian to explain what it is about homosexuality that is supposedly intrinsically evil.

Several such Christians here have merely reasserted the biblical assertion that it is evil, but the morally enquiring mind is still bereft of an explanation of why.

1 March 2011 at 20:11  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

@ Anonymous 20:11

Oh I don't know, I could give you several reasons off the top of my head but His Grace would probably delete them. My idea of what if funny isn't always the same as everyone else's, lol!

1 March 2011 at 20:32  
Anonymous len said...

Anon 20:11
No easy or quick answer here!.
Does God condemn'gays'? well I should say no more than liars , adulterers,thieves,etc.
It is not the individual acts of sin that are the problem but the fact that man has inherited a sin nature which is the problem, this sin nature compels man to sin .Sin is defined Biblically as activities derived from a spiritual source other than God, a spiritual source opposed to God.

No man will be condemned for his sin, man condemns himself for his refusal to accept Gods solution for sinners (which is redemption through a spiritual re-birth attained through the atonement on Calvary by The Lord Jesus Christ.)

1 March 2011 at 20:40  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

As first and foremost a libertarian, I consider this to be an issue which should be a primary concern to libertarians.

This is not an attack on organized religion, as that should be able to take care of itself, if it chooses not to do so, then that it organized religions problem, not ours as a community of individuals.

This is an attack on individual human rights, or should I say, yet another one?

Property rights.

We own our families, and our children, they are not the property of the state. We own our own minds, as these are not as yet, the property of the state. We still barely hold dominion over our own homes, whether we personally own them or pay rent for living in them. For how much longer, only time will tell. At the rate we are currently going, may be no more then a decade or so.

If we wish to hate, or believe homo-sexuality is either bad, evil, or just plain undesirable, for whatever reason, rational, religious, or otherwise, then we must have the right to personally discriminate against it, within our own minds, homes and families.

Also if we believe homosexuality to be a perfectly moral or desirable way of running our own personal affairs then that is also just fine and dandy.

It is a matter of preserving individual choice, in a liberal democracy, backed up by constitutionally protected property rights.

You remember, I hope, the sort of country we used to think we lived in, or shortly would be. Not the one we currently do, which is becoming more like a repressive Orwellian mad-house every day.

Can any of you people come up with a rational explanation as to why the more 'liberal' this country is said to have become, the more illiberal has as actually become?

No, I thought not.

I of course have done so many times, yet it would seem no one seems to be paying any kind of proper attention.

Which is a shame, but in no way surprising.

It is interesting to note that the primary reason given for allowing homosexual men to adopt children was to expand the pool of available foster parents.

It would seem therefore ironic that the issue of homo-sexuality is now being used to reduce same.

It is not ironic, it is mind control, designed to drive normal people, and therefore normal cohesive society half insane, and so despise their own country, its history and also national government.

In other words to turn as much of society upside down in as many respects as possible.

As any really nasty establishment learnt many noons ago. When a nation is to be radically changed, it must first be effectively destroyed. This is usually done by first not only deliberately and systematically making it as mad as a box of extremely pissed frogs, but to make it most clearly so, to even the most obtuse observer.

In the same way that a brand new St Pauls Cathedral cannot be built on the same site, until the last one has been DELIBERATELY burned to the ground.

1 March 2011 at 20:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

len:

"Sin is defined Biblically as activities derived from a spiritual source other than God, a spiritual source opposed to God."

Yes but why specifically does the bible, and by extension I presume God, condemn homosexuality as sinful.

Lying, adultery and theft seem at least prima facie evil as they involve, inter alia, the deception of people who ought not to be deceived and depriving property from people who ought not to be deprived of their property. What though is the morally aggravating fact about homosexuality?

Or more generally, what principle comprehensible to the necessarily limited human mind is God applying in his condemation of homosexuality as sin?

1 March 2011 at 20:55  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

Don't forget Anon 20:55, the moral laws can also have health implications, hence the need for them.

1 March 2011 at 21:18  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"the morally enquiring mind is still bereft of an explanation of why" homosexuality is evil. (I take it you mean homosexual practices)
If your enquiring mind is bereft of the explanation, that means you used to have it. Perhaps psychoanalysis?

1 March 2011 at 21:19  
Blogger MFH said...

Your Grace gets to the point in his conclusion.
My whole life as God helps me is framed from his word, including bringing up my children in nurture and admonition of the Lord.
That includes tell them that lying, stealing, killing, idolatry, and homosexuality are wrong .. because God says so.
Where is the strong message from our Graces successors on this. The Archbishop Druid says nothing. York told christian England to wake up. We need leadership now.

1 March 2011 at 21:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LeucipottomySpoon82:

"Don't forget Anon 20:55, the moral laws can also have health implications, hence the need for them."

So smoking, playing contact sport, hard, dirty, backbreaking work and comforting lepers are also evil because of the negative effects on health?

1 March 2011 at 21:30  
Anonymous bluedog said...

MrJ @ 19.42, are you suggesting that the ruling against Mr & Mrs Johns was nothing more than pay-back?

1 March 2011 at 21:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

little black sambo:

"f your enquiring mind is bereft of the explanation, that means you used to have it."

Not according to the Oxford Concise English Dictionary.

Bereft: Deprived of something. Her room was bereft of colour.

But in any case, if you know the answer please do tell us.

1 March 2011 at 21:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MFH:

"...lying, stealing, killing, idolatry, and homosexuality are wrong .. because God says so."

Yes, he does seem to say so according to the bible. But perhaps you could explain what principle God is applying in his moral exhortations. Surely you are not implying he is just speaking on a random whim?

1 March 2011 at 21:41  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

"So smoking, playing contact sport, hard, dirty, backbreaking work and comforting lepers are also evil because of the negative effects on health?"

Yes indeed. Let's not also forget the one about not letting the door hit you on the way out because you might hurt yourself. Doors can be evil.

1 March 2011 at 21:44  
Blogger MFH said...

anonymous - you clearly don't understand the concept of God - He defines everything. God doesn't have to explain himself, he is the authority. Things that are evil are contrary to his being, and his divine will. he knows what is best for us.
Religion is a matter of faith... trusting in God. If we could explain and see everything we wouldnt need faith.

1 March 2011 at 21:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LeucipottomySpoon82:

"Yes indeed. Let's not also forget the one about not letting the door hit you on the way out because you might hurt yourself. Doors can be evil."

I think you are being facetious LeucipottomySpoon82, because God does not describe these things as sinful, either the bible is silent on them or it encourages us to do them and morally lauds them.

I think we have successfully ruled out health as a reason; which is progress of a kind.

So please, don't be shy, have another go at explaining the principle God has in mind when he says homosexuality is evil.

1 March 2011 at 21:52  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

I think you too are being facetious and, having had a gut full of certain types of people (refraining from the kind of language that His Grace would certainly not be happy with) today, I would respectfully ask you to take a hike.

1 March 2011 at 22:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MFH:

"God doesn't have to explain himself, he is the authority. Things that are evil are contrary to his being, and his divine will. he knows what is best for us."

But surely the teachings of Jesus, and his parables, and the teachings of the Church are attempts, however imperfect, to explain God's plan for us.

My point is just that mere reassertion of the bible is very poor. Most theologians have done better than that. Surely the Christians here can offer some explanation beyond mere reassertion.

1 March 2011 at 22:10  
Blogger MFH said...

anon:
My point is just that mere reassertion of the bible is very poor. Most theologians have done better than that. Surely the Christians here can offer some explanation beyond mere reassertion.


Theology = study of Theo (God). what better place to do that than the Bible, where he has revealed himself. Anything else is subservant to it. Ps 19 say the heaven reveal his glory.. but nothing like His word does.

It is not for anybody to explain God, or else we are seeking to elevate ourselves above him. Then God is not god

1 March 2011 at 22:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LeucipottomySpoon82:

"I think you too are being facetious ..... I would respectfully ask you to take a hike."

No, I am interested to know the answer to my question. I am open to critical argument. If homosexuality is evil, you only have to explain the principle why, though I can see that you are emotional and moral argumentation is not your forte.

1 March 2011 at 22:20  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

Oh great. Walter Mitty is back.

1 March 2011 at 22:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MFH:

"It is not for anybody to explain God.."

But I'm not asking for anything nearly so difficult or presumptuous. Just for an explanation of the evil of one sin.

Most here could explain the principles why lying, adultery and theft are wrong. What is so elusive and mysterious about homosexuality that it defies such straightforward comprehension?

1 March 2011 at 22:31  
Blogger outsider said...

Your Grace is right to point out that observant Christians do not agree over homosexual practices. Jewish sects do not all agree either.

For observant Moslems, however, there seems to be no interpretive discretion, or "wriggle-room", no choice.

As Legal Beagle points out, this judgment, if allowed to stand, would appear to rule all observant Moslems out of fostering and, probably, ban Moslems from legal adoption.

If so, perhaps the authorities will stop calling for more members of ethnic minority communities, now mostly Moslems, to volunteer for fostering and adoption. They would only be refused if they did.

1 March 2011 at 22:47  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Anonymous 22.31,

One can find apologetics on this matter if one wishes to find them. I am not an apologetic; I am not so able to describe things so well. However, I shall make an attempt.

Homosexuals are guilty of sin when they lust, just like when heterosexuals do. Lust treats another like an object to provide what the luster desires. When they have sex, it is lustful because it divorces sex from marriage (companionship with the opposite natures of the sexes, spiritual unity and procreation). When the true meaning of sex is lost it becomes meaningless, and unavoidably becomes lustful.

On another level one could compare it to gambling (this isn't a great analogy so don't pick any holes you find in it please). When the social aspect of gambling (i.e. poker with friends) is lost, then it almost inevitably leads to gambling for money, which is greed; this leads to problems for both the gambler, those close to him, and in some cases wider society.

Any of these arguments can and should be applied to both homosexuals and heterosexuals. Homosexuals are picked out ONLY because they cannot have sex in its true sense. I must make sure that you understand this, because many people think there is a grudge against them. It simply isn't true; all sexual immorality is seen in the same way, from promiscuity to unmarried lovers to homosexuals.

I hope this goes some way to helping your understanding.

1 March 2011 at 23:12  
Anonymous MrJ said...

bluedog: No. But the barrister is making a point which needs to be made, in a way which he probably knows and intends irritates the the law commissioner judges. See Legal Beagle's comment above (with which I would concur).

1 March 2011 at 23:14  
Anonymous not a machine said...

anon : why is homosexuality deemed sin ?
heres my shot
If you believe in god , you believe the universe is ordained by god (orderd if you like).this order is best held/kept by not sinning (or the fall) , so to sin is to fall from gods grace/order , it mentions homosexuality together with other sins . The law was given unto moses as his people were prone to do as they pleased (the weak flesh) and could not reach the promised land .

The promised land is part of the sentence of redemption from the expulsion from eden ,which jesus fulfills in the end .

so to sin is to stray from god and for gods light to be obscured from you .jesus showed the way with redemption .

To be a little more precise , homosexuality is a weakness in sinful desire of the flesh and not desiring gods order , to be redeemed you would have to give up your desire of the flesh (which in this case is homosexuality but of course there are others some non sexual) to return to gods fold .

it perhaps seems a fete a complie to you , but i am pretty sure i can vouch for the difference between being sinful and not, in what I do/have experienced , and to develope a good countanance where by you do not sin requires a great deal of discpline of the mind/soul

1 March 2011 at 23:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lakester91:

Thank you for that substantive reply.

The two principles involved then are that the immorality stems from:

1. Lust

and in particular:

2. That lust divorces sex from marriage (companionship with the opposite natures of the sexes, spiritual unity and procreation).

Could I ask:

1. Do civil marriages, non-Christian marriages and polygamous marriages count?

2. If they do then could the government not simply sanctify same sex marriage by legislative fiat?

3. Are two people of the same sex incapable of companionship and / or spiritual unity?

4. If procreation is important should post-menopausal women and otherwise infertile people be prevented from marriage and / or is their having sex sinful?

5. If fertility is not that important why is it important that the marriage partners be of opposite sexes?

6. If fertility is important, could a future technological advance enabling two people of the same sex to procreate sanctify the union?

7. If a disaster befell the world and killed most of the people and there was no religious or civil authority to conduct a marriage, would sex outside marriage - even for procreation to repopulate the world - still be immoral?

I am genuinely interested in the answer to these points.

1 March 2011 at 23:51  
Blogger Randal Oulton said...

The bigots and haters are out in full force on this one, flinging their precious lil' bible verses around while ignoring others.

We just have to wait for them to die off, just as we had to on other issues that society has now advanced beyond.

Until then, society just sees them as more nutters on the sidelines, I'm afraid.

1 March 2011 at 23:52  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

"The bigots and haters are out in full force on this one, flinging their precious lil' bible verses around while ignoring others.

We just have to wait for them to die off, just as we had to on other issues that society has now advanced beyond.

Until then, society just sees them as more nutters on the sidelines, I'm afraid."


Indeed. And for people that say they don't believe in what the bible says, homosexuals do seem to know an awful lot that's in it don't they? Although I think the talk about waiting for them to die off is more than a little strong and rather uncharitable.

2 March 2011 at 00:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not a machine:

"homosexuality is a weakness in sinful desire of the flesh and not desiring gods order .."

Again thank you for that reply.

But I am still unclear why homosexual union should be outside God's intended order.

The only substantive difference I can see between homosexual union and heterosexual union is the inability, under currently prevailing technological conditions,of two people of the same sex to procreate.

Also if, as lakester says above, lust is the problem, is masturbation and the use of artificial contraception equally as immoral as homosexuality? Many Christian denominations think not.

Finally, do you think the word 'evil' rather than the less pejorative 'immoral' is appropriate to describe homosexuality and / or other sexual sin?

2 March 2011 at 00:09  
Anonymous not a machine said...

anon : under current technolgical conditions , doesnt really fit as you were made to have union with the opposite sex and not the same , is what the order suggests.

Evil is little more tricky , but I see it as willfull attempt to destroy the order for ones own fullfillment , which perhaps helps in why really depraved criminals are termed evil .They had choice but chose the evil path . Immoral is perhaps not as strong a term as evil and has a broader no good meaning. Sin therefore can be both evil and immoral (although I may be corrected if immoral means values not based on bible also , eg having a child at 12 may be immoral)

Is homosexuality evil ? : whilst I can say it is a sin (it is not illegal) and you do not fully realise god , you can be homosexual but non practicing which allows you to take communion so perhaps continuing to do the act of homsexuality is evil ,as in verb for your sinful nature has not been yet disciplined .

The rest of your points seemed playfull hypotheticals , which perhaps may seem valid to you in splitting hairs , but dont answer my question of if I am sure I experience somthing called god that is different to nonbelieving human conciousness , should I embrace it or dismiss it as nonsense .

Randle oulton: I know but what if jesus did actually exist, those litl bible versus may just be mankinds saviour.

2 March 2011 at 01:03  
Blogger srizals said...

Hello, hello, testing 1,2,3.

2 March 2011 at 06:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone asked for an atheist's definition of evil, "deliberately doing harm to others", would cover it.
I would include in doing harm telling children that homosexuals go to hell. I would not include two (or more) consenting adults doing what the hell they liked with each other whether in or out of bed.
Jobrag

2 March 2011 at 07:05  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"if I am sure I experience somthing called god that is different to nonbelieving human conciousness , should I embrace it or dismiss it as nonsense"

In what way different?

2 March 2011 at 07:13  
Anonymous Gordo said...

In a way I feel sorry for them; they are never really happy. Though I believe that some become very successful in politics, media, even the law!

2 March 2011 at 07:33  
Anonymous len said...

I suppose the question of what is evil, and where does it come from, and who defines it, can only be answered Biblically.
To simplify the answer and to try and make it shorter,man was created to derive his 'value system' from a Spirit being.'made in the image of God', to reflect Gods values and attributes.God knows evil as being some power that lies outside of himself."In Him there is no darkness only light".
When man decided to reject God he then(man was created to receive the attributes of whoever he came under the authority of)received the attributes of the fallen angel, Satan the father of lies and all rebellion against God.
Man then had a knowledge of good and evil by direct experience.
Man tries to be 'good'but has a disposition towards evil and try as hard as he might cannot rid himself of it.Takes a lot of courage to face this! Many will reject truths they find too hard to handle.
Gods solution is a re birth and re attachment to the Spirit of God.
Evil is spiritually empowered but the effects are seen worldwide throughout history.
Evil can only be defined by God as He is outside the ''system'and uncorrupted by it. This is why Jesus HAD to be born by the power of the Holy Spirit through a Virgin.Jesus Christ was born of Incorruptible seed, uncontaminated by sin,(unlike all the rest of us) that is why His teachings are so important.

2 March 2011 at 07:59  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Anon at 23.51

1. No, sorry; marriage is the natural and God given union between a man and a woman, for the three reasons I gave earlier

2. No, it is not for the Government to change morality. They could change the definition of marriage, but it wouldn't mean that all those married couples weren't sinning.

3. They probably are, but as they cannot procreate, having sex is just recreation, which inevitably leads to lust

4. We can define two major types of infertility; pathological and physiological. As infertile young people do not choose the infertile path, it is not fair to say they oughtn't have sex; besides, it is sometimes still possible to conceive and bear a child, even when told it is highly improbable. With physiological changes, they are usually found within a marriage that has been productive before and are a change rather than a state. Homosexual infertility is implied in all cases and is a physiological fact, not a change. Therefore it is inherently unproductive. Without all three tenets of marriage, it is not without sin.

5. See above

6. No not really, such messing with nature is inevitably corruptible. IVF, for example, destroys many healthy lives in order to produce one, therefore is unacceptable for Christians. As the nature of homosexuality is naturally infertile, the point raised in 4 stands. Because special non-sexual measures would have to be taken to ensure productivity, it still divorces sex from procreation. It is the sexual act and sexual thought that is sinful, not the inclination btw.

7. As traditionally, people would simply decide that they were married another way; maybe with a family party or something. In this special case, living by Christian marital ethics would be sufficient for these couples to remain without sin.

I hope that helps a bit, but I must dash for lectures; if you have any more questions please ask and I'll try to address them later.

2 March 2011 at 08:17  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Something like 10,000 foster carers are needed nationally.

So what should be the response of the thousands of potential Judaeo-Christian foster carers when they are asked the question?

Tell the truth.

The result of telling the truth is likely to massively escalate the costs to the State (and consequently we the people).

At some point with the accelerating rises in teenage pregnancies and divorce – the State will be impelled to resolve the problem that it has created.

2 March 2011 at 08:42  
Anonymous GeoffM said...

Could this be a moment when the Established Church might wake up from its century long slumber?

Or have we just been told that, by way of this ruling, the Bishops in the House of Lords have no business being there?

2 March 2011 at 09:04  
Anonymous GeoffM said...

One small point.

Now that people are to be denied the opportunity to foster or adopt if they hold traditional Christian views about the undesirability of homosexual activities, how long will it be before they are denied the right to procreate or keep their children?

2 March 2011 at 09:09  
Anonymous Richard said...

"But I am still unclear why homosexual union should be outside God's intended order. "

Marriage between a man and a woman is a symbol of Christ's sacrificial love for the Church.

Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy"

That is the ordained order. Relations between men and men, or women and women, completely undermine that and I suppose can only symbolise man's love for himself.

2 March 2011 at 09:09  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Gordo: "In a way I feel sorry for them; they are never really happy. Though I believe that some become very successful in politics, media, even the law!"

Gay people, Christians, black people, or foster carers?

2 March 2011 at 09:17  
Blogger William said...

GeoffM 09:09

It is far from being a small point and is the very same question put by HG at the end of his post.

2 March 2011 at 09:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not a machine:

"The rest of your points seemed playfull hypotheticals , which perhaps may seem valid to you in splitting hairs , but dont answer my question of if I am sure I experience somthing called god that is different to nonbelieving human conciousness , should I embrace it or dismiss it as nonsense."

Well certainly points 6 and 7 were hypotheticals, we can leave those to one side if you like. However secular civil marriage and non-Christian marriages constitute the vast majority of marriages in the world.

Why do Christians seem to think that a marriage conducted by a secular state or by some pagan rite would morally count for the purpose of moralizing otherwise immoral sexual unions. And if they don't count then surely it must logically follow that all sex practiced by sikhs, buddhists, atheists, hindus, shinto followers etc. is equivalently immoral and lustful as that practiced by homosexuals?

Regarding your question about if you are sure you experience something called God that is different to nonbelieving human conciousness, should you embrace it or dismiss it as nonsense.

Well instead of dismissing it or rushing to embrace it perhaps you should try to examine your experiences as best you can. You should test your feelings of certainty and try to see if any moral impulses you feel are indeed true.

2 March 2011 at 09:41  
Blogger David Baker said...

Your grace,

I do wonder about the reporting of this case.

See http://www.peter-ould.net/2011/03/01/breaking-christians-with-traditional-moral-views-can-still-be-foster-parents/

and

http://blog.drake-comms.co.uk/2011/02/28/misplaced-outrage-over-high-court-ban-on-christian-foster-parents/

Regards

David Baker

2 March 2011 at 11:15  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Yes David Baker, but the issue is not simply this case, it is the nature of Rule by Judges in a whole gamut.

The system has at its core the notion that whatever our differences we all agree that we accept the judgment of A. N. Other irrespective of his personal prejudices.

That is what Lenin called "Who ? Whom ?" Looking through the instiutional mask to the men involved.

Can we really accept the Rule of Judges in more and more areas of life ? This was a British Court functioning as an Administrative Court - this is a completely different Court System in Continental European jurisdictions.

I can understand that Derby Council needed legal clarification on the 2007 Act which was probably passed as a Standing Order under Secondary Legislation. The intervention of the Equalities Commission with talk of re-education and 200 pages of core-dump is an attempt to bounce judges into empowering it yet further.

I do find the notion of Quangoes using Courts in this way a threat to liberty. They can always outspend the opposition having taxpayer funds. Maybe we should move to the US model of Costs where the wealthier party pays ALL costs and not the loser ?

2 March 2011 at 11:42  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Srizals @ 06:44

Haha, well-done! :o)

2 March 2011 at 16:13  
Anonymous not a machine said...

anon : I have tested my feelings and experiences , many times I have tried to work on rational explanation , and it was beyond what you may term chance .Gods love is extraordinary . It isnt really good enough to say my reasoning isnt good enough and i am limited and bound , I have definitely experienced a force that is outside of my thinking , i appreciate that you may not experience it unless you believe , but i have little explanation when you see lives transformed .

2 March 2011 at 16:57  
Anonymous MrJ said...

David Baker_11.15:
The drake blog which you have brought to our notice is only partly instructive. May I mention again that Legal Beagle above has better understood what is going on, and MrJ has given some explanation above about the way in which the barrister (Mr Diamond) presented the case, which the law commissioner judges evidently found tiresome. The report of the House of Lords ruling in the much earlier case (BOWMAN AND OTHERS, APPELLANTS;_AND_SECULAR SOCIETY, LIMITED, RESPONDENTS. [1917] A.C. 406 see: http://www.uniset.ca/other/cs5/1917AC406.html) is many pages long, but for any serious student of this difficult and disturbing topic, including any journalist or commentator, it is worth the trouble to read the report, perhaps especially Lord Buckmaster, to gain a fuller understanding of what has been leading up to the way in which law commissioners, legislators and judges are now provokong the sort of response which Mr Diamond has chosen to speak up for.

2 March 2011 at 18:25  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"So there are some Christians who are not bothered about homosexuality and others who attribute natural disasters to permissiveness in society."

Reverend Grant Storms, in the news today, was apparently quite bothered about homosexuality. :)

2 March 2011 at 19:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer the question of “What is so wrong with homosexuality?”, it is not part of the creative purposes of God as revealed in the Bible, but one among the many expressions of decay, caused by sin. Restoring God’s original intentions is purposed in the ministry of Jesus Christ. By following the Saviour Jesus Christ, people are changed from all sorts of distortions, among which homosexuality is also to be found. It is just one expression of many moral and spiritual distortions from which all of us suffer.

In addition, as Revd Dr John Stott wrote: “The Biblical prohibitions on homosexuality (i.e. contrary to God’s revealed law) are: Genesis 19.1-3, Leviticus text 18.22. and 20:13, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:8-11. The negative prohibitions makes sense only in the light of the positive teaching of Genesis 1 and 2 about human sexuality and heterosexual marriage. Without the wholesome positive teaching of the Bible about sex and heterosexual marriage, our perspective is bound to be skewed”.

God’s holiness is reflected in two complementary but different sexes, each mirroring different aspects of his Nature, becoming one flesh. Holy Scripture nowhere teaches that practising homosexuality (the Bible treats this differently from homosexual orientation) is part of God’s design for saving men and women. Those of us who believe that Scripture is the revealed will of the God (Jesus endorsed it as such) must therefore assume that loss of eternal salvation is at stake by ignoring these prohibitions.

2 March 2011 at 21:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You write the article well your Grace, and methinks it is time that these two Judges should explain their Judgement in full to those that sit in a higher place for do they not make their solemn Oath to the one who is Head of the Christian Church of England? Do they not so solemnly swear their Judicial Oath on the Christian Bible? Leaving their own beliefs and thoughts deep and still within them-selves. Did they not make their judgement without fear or favour? Did they not hold the Bible in their hand when they first made their oath of allegiance?

2 March 2011 at 22:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 21:50

Yes, we know from the bible that God condemns homosexuality, or at any rate its practice. But all you have done is reassert the bible.

What remains unanswered is why God thinks like this. What is the morally relevant difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality that must be so concerning to God?

The closest you seem to come to supplying an answer is that:

"God’s holiness is reflected in two complementary but different sexes, each mirroring different aspects of his Nature, becoming one flesh."

But Christianity seems to prize celibacy above even two of the different sexes becoming 'one flesh'.

And if each individual man and woman mirrors an aspect of God's nature, then exclusivity in marriage to one necessarily particular individual seems a very poor a reflection of God's holiness. Rather rampant heterosexual promiscuity would be even more reflective of God's holiness if this idea were correct.

3 March 2011 at 01:18  
Blogger Phil Taylor said...

An excellent comment on the situation, Your Grace.
Maybe it's time that Christians looked to the Jewish and Muslim communities (and indeed their religious leaders) to make comment on the matter and see how the judiciary reacts to them?

3 March 2011 at 09:38  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

You might find this from the USA interesting Your Grace:

Muslims given pass on gay issues by Civil Rights Watchdog

I wonder if it will happen here too?

3 March 2011 at 16:39  
Blogger starcourse said...

The citation of Bowman v Secular Society Limited [1917] AC 406 is ridiculous. The point at issue then was whether "assuming that this object involved a denial of Christianity, .. it was ... criminal".

These evil, misguided and unelected judges (presumably appointed by NuLab) must be corrected.

3 March 2011 at 20:56  
Anonymous MrJ said...

starcourse: MrJ respectfully agrees that the judges in the case of Mr and Mrs Owens should be corrected and that their use of the earlier ruling in the Bowman case was misguided, where the judgment reads:

"38 Although historically this country is part of the Christian west, and although it has an established church which is Christian, there have been enormous changes in the social and religious life of our country over the last century. Our society is now pluralistic and largely secular. But one aspect of its pluralism is that we also now live in a multi-cultural community of many faiths. One of the paradoxes of our lives is that we live in a society which has at one and the same time become both increasingly secular but also increasingly diverse in religious affiliation. 39 We sit as secular judges serving a multi-cultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to "do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will." But the laws and usages of the realm do not include Christianity, in whatever form. The aphorism that 'Christianity is part of the common law of England' is mere rhetoric; at least since the decision of the House of Lords in Bowman v Secular Society Limited [1917] AC 406 it has been impossible to contend that it is law." (source: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/375.html).

For reasons in comments above, MrJ is more than doubtful about denouncing the judges themselves as evil-doers, nearly a century after the Bowman decision and the events of that time and after and which are continuing to unfold. The judges have not been guilty of the kind of malfeasance and misfeasance and milder forms of wrongdoing which is too often happening among members of both Houses of the legislature, and many others whose actions or inactions affect the livelihood of their fellow-countryman.

3 March 2011 at 23:19  
Anonymous MrJ said...

starcourse: While MrJ has reservations about denouncing the judges themselves as evil, their judgments and reasoning in this case, as of Lord Justice Laws in another referred to by Cranmer, are misguided and liable to have a malign influence beyond their present understanding.

4 March 2011 at 00:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Johnses were asked by Derby Council:-

#-would you take a Muslim child to a mosque? - answer NO.

#-how would you react to a child who was confused over their sexuality and thought they may be gay? - answer (Mr Johns) "I'd gentle try to 'turn' them round.

#- Mrs Johns stated "I cannot lie and I cannot hate, but I cannot tell a child it's okay to be homosexual"

Now, consider if the Johnses were atheists and asked similar questions e.g:-

#- would you take a Christian child to church on Sundays? - answer NO!

#- how would you react if a child said they thought they may believe in Jesus? - answer "I'd try to 'turn' them round".

#- I cannot lie, I cannot hate, but I cannot tell a child it's okay to believe in Jesus.

Do atheists (or anyone else) have the right to manifest their beliefs in such circumstances - or - have the Judges got it right?

4 March 2011 at 03:40  
Anonymous MrJ said...

In this case, the judges (both of whom are or were members of the Law Commission) were in effect being asked: given that a local authority has certain public responsibilities (prescribed by and under the UK Parliament as the legislator), what should be done having regard to questionable (and possibly conflicting and irrational) enactments of the same legislature (about "discrimination", witholding discrimination or failing to discriminate) if those enactments can reasonably be regarded as intervening to pit some of the population against others, and unfairly to privilege certain militant tendencies against more peaceable persons who live according to other ethical (and often religious) habits of mind which guide their conduct toward others?

The problem as MrJ sees it is: to what extent is this the result of the legislature succumbing to a hostile ideology, open or flagrant or disavowed? how has this come about? and whether it is a wrong that should be redressed without delay?

One thing seems (please give emphasis to seems) fairly clear: that the Courts of this country (other than the Ecclestiastical Courts by law established) are traditionally loath to rule on matters of theology, faith and doctrine: see, e.g., the report of the appeal to the House of Lords in the case of General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland v Lord Overtoun: Macalister v Young [1904] AC 515 (Bannatyne v Overtoun).

FYI_"The Law Commission is the statutory independent body created by the Law Commissions Act 1965 to keep the law under review and to recommend reform where it is needed." source: http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/

4 March 2011 at 08:40  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Now, consider if the Johnses were atheists and asked similar questions e.g:-

#- would you take a Christian child to church on Sundays? - answer NO!

#- how would you react if a child said they thought they may believe in Jesus? - answer "I'd try to 'turn' them round"."

You're guilty of presumption there. If I were to foster or adopt an older child then I would work with what I have in what I think is the best interests of the child as they are.

I don't think being a member of a religious organisation is in the best interests of any child but trying to turn them into an atheist as a child when they have solid Christian or Muslim traditions sounds as bad as trying to turn them into a Christian or a Muslim.

Bizarrely, I'm actually a god parent twice over, once for a child of Catholic parents, and once for a child of parents with strongly Christian grandparents.

4 March 2011 at 14:19  
Anonymous alison said...

The idea asserted by some above that this heralds the end of faith is odd. Persecution simply breeds unity, strength and underhandedness where necessary! I know I've ceased to be a relaxed catholic and my faith is now more important than ever in my life. Many thanks to these judges and other secularists for bringing to my attention an issue I felt sure was blown out of all proportion. If my faith as to no longer free for me to enjoy as I see fit then I will need to work at it to keep it - and share it.

5 March 2011 at 09:42  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Yes to that, alison

5 March 2011 at 10:45  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Persecution simply breeds unity, strength and underhandedness where necessary!"

Indeed. That was what started the Gay Pride movement.

5 March 2011 at 11:47  
Anonymous len said...

And when the 'persecuted' gain enough power they become the 'persecutors'.

The'human nature' of the fallen man is entirely predictable!.

6 March 2011 at 07:51  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

^ As history has shown with Chiristianity. Luckily, gay people for the most part just want to be able to book rooms in hotels like everyone else. The Catholic Church, wanted to suppress what it saw as a heresy and systematically murdered thousands of Cathars by putting them to the sword, hanging them, or burning them alive. It'd be naive to think Christianity, through its followers, is not capable of doing this sort of thing again if it got enough temporal power.

6 March 2011 at 11:08  
Blogger Mark Dowling said...

Your Grace,

The hysteria above is unbecoming. Plainly to deny all religious persons the right to adopt or foster would lead to collapse of the system. Plainly Derby Council had more than a vestigial sense that there would be undesirable consequences.

The argument is that people of religious belief should be able to foster children, who may or may not have homosexual inclinations at a later stage in their lives, and should be able to seek to "turn" them (per Mr. Johns) from this inclination.

This argument (that foster parents should be allowed to impress their belief system and moral compass on the children in their care including reversing the child's self-originated inclinations) is interesting in the light of the frequent opposition by religious groups to the rights of others (gay adults) to apply to care for children. It is argued by some that gay foster parents or adoptive parents might seek to "turn" children gay (on evidence that ranges between thin and just plain assertion) and that outcome would be unacceptable to the point that as a class they should be denied the right to apply where it does not currently exist.

Accordingly, I think that the Johns are merely seeing what comes of a civic society where the desire by co-religionists to score points off a group they fear/abhor/despise (delete as appropriate) leads you to get between those who merely wish to offer vulnerable children a better existence than they have had heretofore.

7 March 2011 at 02:14  
Anonymous MrJ said...

For the record: The Equality and Human Rights Commission issued a statement on 3 March 2011 after writing to Mr and Mrs Johns to apologise": see the EHRC website http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal-and-policy/legal-updates/johns-v-derby-city-council/

This came to MrJ's notice only this afternoon, and others too may wish to know.

"... Unfortunately a mistake within our legal submission led to an inference that we did not intend and which was misconstrued as suggesting that the Commission equates Christian moral views with an infection. This .... does not represent the position of the Commission in any way. Furthermore, the Commission entirely rejects any view (as reported in the media) that rights in relation to sexual orientation ‘take precedence’ over religious rights. The Commission fully upholds the rights of looked-after children to be supported in their chosen religion or that of their family, in the context of the paramount importance of the welfare of the child. The Equality Act provides protection against discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief as well as on the grounds of sexual orientation and the Commission has produced extensive guidance to explain this legislation, which was introduced by Parliament. The Commission has written to Mr and Mrs Johns to apologise."

This makes the attitude of the Court as demonstrated in the judgment even more puzzling. Commentators on other blogs have been unjustly and inaccurately free with the term "bigoted" of persons such as the couple in this case. But the statement from the EHRC invites consideration of the question: is it evidence tending to show that the manner in which the judgment was expressed discloses bigotry on the part of the judges?

11 March 2011 at 18:05  

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