Friday, February 17, 2012

Christians Must Choose Between Religion and Obeying The Law

Well said Sir, though in the reading, there are many who disagree, but then they wouldn't they?

Just as easily as they disagree, do they so easily refuse to see the point. You can't argue that a Catholic apple is different (and better) from an Islamic pear, when you are both holding oranges.

We seem to have been here before quite recently, give me a moment; here you go.

'Your religious values are not superior to the laws of the republic.'

Christians must choose between religion and obeying law, says equalities chief Trevor Phillips
By John Bingham, and Tim Ross
17 Feb 2012

He declared that Christians who want to be exempt from equality legislation are like Muslims trying to impose sharia.

Religious rules should end “at the door of the temple” and give way to the “public law” laid down by Parliament, the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said.

He argued that Roman Catholic adoption agencies and other faith groups providing public services must choose between their religion and obeying the law when their beliefs conflict with the will of the state.

Mr Phillips singled out the adoption agencies that fought a long legal battle to avoid being forced to accept homosexual couples under equality laws.

Last year, following a High Court case, the Charity Commission ruled against an exemption for Catholic Care, an adoption agency operating in Leeds.

Speaking at a debate in London on diverse societies, Mr Phillips backed the new laws, which led to the closure of all Catholic adoption agencies in England. “You can’t say because we decide we’re different then we need a different set of laws,” he said, in comments reported by The Tablet, the Catholic newspaper.

“To me there’s nothing different in principle with a Catholic adoption agency, or indeed Methodist adoption agency, saying the rules in our community are different and therefore the law shouldn’t apply to us. Why not then say sharia can be applied to different parts of the country? It doesn’t work.”

He added that religious groups should be free to follow their own rules within their own settings but not outside. “Once you start to provide public services that have to be run under public rules, for example child protection, then it has to go with public law,” he said.

“Institutions have to make a decision whether they want to do that or they don’t want to do that.”

Mr Phillips’s remarks were condemned as “inflammatory” and “ridiculous” by legal specialists and religious leaders.

Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, called on the authorities to respect the nation’s heritage as a democracy in which the Church of England is the established religion. He described the comparison with sharia as “ridiculous” and called on MPs to find ways of “accommodation” when new laws clash with religious beliefs.

“I have argued in the past that there can be only one law to which all should be accountable. But we are not starting with a blank sheet of paper as far as religion is concerned.

“We are a democracy in which Christianity is established in the Church of England and a nation profoundly influenced by this faith in its Catholic and Anglican heritage. We need lawmakers to respect this heritage and seek accommodation wherever a strongly held faith seems to clash with new legislation.”

Legal experts called on Mr Phillips to clarify his comments about sharia – Islamic law – which many associate with draconian punishments such as stoning adulterers to death.

Neil Addison, a barrister and director of the Thomas More Legal Centre, said: “The EHRC is so obsessed with equality that it has lost sight of freedom. It would prefer people not to do good, rather than to do good on their own terms.” The comments were “inflammatory”, said Andrea Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre. “These comments are deeply illiberal. They are intolerant,” she said. “Trevor Phillips fails to understand the nature of faith and what inspires faith and what makes agencies like Catholic adoption agencies so selfless.”

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said that Mr Phillips appeared to be applying a “totalitarian view of society”.

“Trevor Phillips in the past has argued for respect for Christian conscience,” he said. “I am very surprised that here he seems to be saying that there should be a totalitarian kind of view in which a believer’s conscience should not be respected.”

While the basic principles of sharia contradict Western public law, the issue for Catholic adoption agencies was one of “respect for conscience”, he said. “They are two different issues.”

Mr Phillips’s remarks threatened to add to controversy over the role of religion in Britain.

Last week, a High Court judge ruled that it was unlawful for local councils to include Christian prayers in their formal meetings after a legal challenge by an atheist former councillor who objected.

The ruling immediately pitted the Government against the courts as ministers urged councils to defy the ban. Bideford council in Devon decided last night to appeal against the decision.

Baroness Warsi, the chairman of the Conservative Party, warned earlier this week that the forces of “militant secularism” reminiscent of “totalitarian regimes” were threatening traditional society. Then the Queen made a rare intervention in the debate, arguing that the Church had been “misunderstood” and was “under-appreciated”.

Mr Phillips has been outspoken in his defence of human rights law even when they conflict with religious beliefs.

He has accused some Christian groups of being more militant than Muslims.

During the debate, he praised both the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches for their work in inner cities, particularly through faith schools, but accused some religious groups of growing intolerance.

“There is something rather odd that is happening amongst what I call the righteous brigade, that is people of good will and so on,” Mr Phillips said.

“And that is that if you don’t agree 100 per cent with them and excoriate people who have a different point of view actually somehow you are joining a bad bunch of people.”

Keith Porteous Wood, director of the National Secular Society, said Mr Phillips was “absolutely right”.

“If society has decided that it wants to ensure by law that every citizen of this country has equal rights, then there cannot be endless exemptions for religious bodies or anyone else,” he said.

“There is no such thing as partial equality, and every time an exemption is made, someone else’s rights are compromised.”

In 2008 Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, caused consternation when he claimed that it seemed “inevitable” that elements of Islamic law, such as divorce proceedings, would be incorporated into the British legal system. Telegraph


Anonymous said...
comment (page 29)


Perfectly sensible and logical.

He' simply saying all religion should be separate from state not just one, what's wrong with that? If one religion gets their way then it won't be long before they all cry out for their own exceptions.

This is one way to curb growing Islamisation as it'd fix them to the law too and put an end to any lobbying for Sharia - so why do some object to this guy's perfectly good point?

Bravo to you sir


Bravo to you Toby

Himself said...

Good morning Chuck.

You and Toby both are quite right.

One rule for all, I mean you never hear us Pastafarians asking for special dispensation, even though we KNOW that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the one true God.

The hate mail is normally quite interesting, I shall have a look myself in a minute.

But first glad tidings and joy to the world.

I have had full admission of guilt from BT. I shall have full broadband restored on Monday and they are totting up their overcharging which may go back five years.

I just hope they don't try to pull a credit note stunt and tell me I have free broadband for the hundred years.

How much money is actually involved I have no idea, but it has to be in four figures. Here are just a few that I have, And I remind you, these are for a month's usage.

Your bill came to £106.25
Your bill came to £100.69
Your bill came to £150.62
Your bill came to £103.22
Your bill came to £98.86
Your bill came to £100.04

Serves me right I guess, for never checking a bill, but that's hardly the point is it?

It does prove one thing Maren, screaming and shouting down the phone (which I don't) is nowhere near as effective as screaming and shouting in the pubic domain. (Blog and Twitter)

There is one thing to come out of it though, I am going to treat myself to a new PC. My Geek is going to build me something that will break the sound barrier. Double triple quadruple processors and all that other geeky stuff.

Just noticed on the dashboard this morning, three more posts required to hit 3.333, and that's on this blog alone.

It's funny to think, six years ago, I didn't know how to switch one of these things on.

It's all a far cry from my previous (normal) life. A bit sad in a way, but just another chapter in one's life I guess.

More tea.


Himself said...

By the by, the comments section is no place to improve your English.


Anonymous said...

Leap of Faith: Church of England en route to extinction