Conservative MP explains his parliamentary defence of religious freedom

Gary Streeter, conservative MP for South West Devon, has explained his reasons for defending religious freedom through his Early Day Motion in the House of Commons. Gary Streeter is the chairman of Christians in Parliament:

‘This is about freedom of religion for everybody in this country, including Christians in their own country. A lot of people feel people of faith have been marginalised, and it’s time to debate that.  We have been over-tolerant to a number of groups, apart from Christianity. There’s a sort of snarling anger if you do believe what the Bible says.’

He denied the petition condoned refusing services to gay people, as critics suggest. Mr Streeter said: “Where does it say that?”

He said the motion does not back breaking the law by, for example, banning gay couples from hotels. Mr Streeter added: “I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body. I believe in ‘live and let live’.’

Mr Steeter’s Early Day Motion states:

”This House welcomes the decision of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to intervene in support of four cases involving discrimination against Christians that are presently with the European Court of Human Rights; notes that this is a long overdue recognition of the need to defend religious liberty and marks an important development in relation to a better understanding of the role of faith in public life; and further welcomes the commission’s advocacy for reasonable accommodation in the workplace as an acknowledgement of the place of conscientious objection for those with religious belief.’

The homosexual press are reporting that at least two liberal MPs have withdrawn their names from Gary Streeter’s EDM seemingly as a result of accusations that signing it was homophobic. Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South Mike Hancock explained why he withdrew his name to Pink News, a homosexual news service as follows:

‘I hadn’t looked closely enough at all the implications. I do believe, very strongly, that people’s beliefs should be taken into account when they are working, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of people of whatever religion or sexual preference living as equals in our society.

“I have removed my name from the motion. I’m not sure that was what its author intended, and it’s certainly not what I would want, so I have removed my name. I am not a homophobe, and neither am I someone who forms opinions about people because of their religious beliefs.”

Protect the Pope comment: Gay activists are furious that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission have proposed the legal principle of ‘reasonable accommodation’. They are furious that there is an EDM supporting the EHRC’s U-turn.

They were more than content with Christians losing their jobs because in conscience they couldn’t officiate at civil partnerships or counsel homosexuals with sexual problems.

However, no homosexual would be denied services if the principle of ‘reasonable accommodation’ was enshrined in law, it would just mean Christians and other religious believers could arrange for other colleagues to provide the service. But this isn’t acceptable to homosexuals, they want Christians to be forced to do their bidding or lose their jobs.

The homosexual lobby machine is now at work attempting to coerce MPs to withdraw their names from the EDM and intimidating others from signing through the usual accusation of ‘homophobia’. Here’s hoping that enough MPs have enough backbone to stand up to these  tactics.


12 comments to Conservative MP explains his parliamentary defence of religious freedom

  • Robin Leslie

    What on earth does ‘homophobia’ mean? I have yet to be given a satisfactory or substantive account of this term which, in the lack
    of explanation, appears to be an empty slogan to forestall criticism of gay behaviour. We are all open to criticism of ourselves if only because we have some parts of ourselves in others,
    we affect them by what we do, we are not solipsistic selves constructing our own identities. Gays do not live in circumstances
    in which they entirely shape their own identities, none of us do!
    The mistake of modernity has been to undermine remorse and responsibility towards and for the other, the awareness that we acknowledge one anothers being and identity, because of this loss we resort to an abstract idea of entitlement and of claim over others. Whilst some protection for Christians against any further discrimination seems necessary, legal measures in themselves still leave us all unconnected. It is only through the awkward and difficult labour of negotiating and contesting that we can resolve these matters. Threatening and bullying people is a sign of weakness and shows a refusal to engage and live through difficult times.

    • Tim

      “What on earth does ‘homophobia’mean?” ….”we have some parts of ourselves in others”

      that is something to do with it yes.

  • Pedro

    This would be the EDM that currently has a whole 19 signatures?

    “However,no homosexual would be denied services if the principle of ‘reasonable accommodation’ was enshrined in law,it would just mean Christians and other religious believers could arrange for other colleagues to provide the service.”

    How do you know that? Many smaller registry offices aren’t that overstaffed that they could possibly make such a guarantee.

    The question arises why Christians can officiate at any registry office ceremony. Since it is a civil, and not a sacramental ceremony, they are effectively condoning living in sin. This singling out of gay couples is simply typical Christian hypocrisy, picking and choosing those areas from the bible the conform to their own prejudices.

    I believe there’s a line in the Gospel where Jesus says that any sin can be forgiven except calumny against the Holy Spirit. Blaming God for your own hatred of a particular group of people sounds like a pretty good contender.

    • Deacon Nick

      Pedro, not all Christians hold that marriage is a sacrament. The Church of England doesn’t for example. I would have thought by now you’d know you can’t lump all Christians together in this way. Another thing, the Catholic Church recognises civil marriages between non-Catholics, seeing as they haven’t been initiated into the sacraments of the Church. They are not part of the Body of Christ. It would only be sinful for Catholics to enter into a civil marriage. So enough of these accusations of hypocrisy.

      • Pedro

        So a Catholic registrar would refuse to marry two Catholics in a civil ceremony then?

        • Teresa

          “Blaming God for your own hatred of a particular group of people…”

          Pedro, you seem to love to twist things. Your statement makes no sense. How do you qualify your spurious statement that God is being blamed?

          Catholics don’t (or shouldn’t) hate people. Nobody is perfect, and we are all sinners. However, we do our very best to love people – ALL people. Not accepting certain types of behaviour or lifestyle, and sticking by one’s moral principles, does not constitute hatred. I am sure you understand the difference, but don’t wish to acknowledge it.

          Your last post poses an interesting moral dilemma though. I personally would not wish to do so, but would probably try to encourage them to marry in the Church. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be working there in the first place.

        • Tim

          Good question Pedro. I can’t help feeling that gay people are singled out. Christian registrars marry divorcees and adulterers all the time.

          • Deacon Nick

            I suppose that registrars will know that a couple are divorced but I doubt that they’d know if they had committed adultery. There is no obvious sign is there? Most Christian churches accept divorce and re-marriage so that wouldn’t be a problem either. Only Catholic Church doesn’t accept divorce.

          • Tim

            Would you support the right of a Catholic registrar to retain his/her job and refuse to conduct a civil ceronmony for divorcees? Or a registar who refused to marry to Catholics in a civil ceromony?

            It seems to me that you either extend the right of conscience to everything and everyone (including the right of a racist to conduct a mixed-race marriage? or the right of a religious bigot to refuse to marry a protestant to a catholic) in which case the whole administration of civil marriages just grinds to a halt.

            or if you don’t do that it does look like you are singling our gay people for discrimination.

            Or is it just main-stream religions that get a right of conscience or just christianity?

            It saddens me that the issue that Christians have chosen to make a stand on and assert their difference and identity (which is what this is all about) is the issue of homosexuality. It is sad firstly because of the harm it will do to gay people and secondly because it is a battle that the church will loose and it will be harmed a great deal in the process and although I’d like to see religion stripped of its power over those who choose to have nothing to do with it, it undenyablly is very important to many people and I would be sad if they were denied this aspect of their lives as the churches become less and less respectable because of their homophobia to the point were decentfair minded peopel no longer feel comfortable with membership of such organisations.

          • Teresa

            Homophobia is a much overused word and one which is consistently misapplied. However, I would agree that it is a shame that a bigger noise isn’t being made by Catholics about other issues that are immoral and damaging (eg. divorce and co-habitation).

            It is also a shame that you have such an overwhelming misunderstanding of faith and Christianity.

  • louella

    Thank you again Mr Streeter. We will pray for you and for all others who have signed this petition. Believe me… are speaking for the silent majority who are ignored ie the Christians in this Christian nation. Even if they are nominally so.

    You have the backing of most people in Britain….even if you may not have the backing of the cynical ‘trendy’ politicians. How on earth did we get these to represent us in a so-called representative democracy?!!

  • louella

    Having said that….it is necessary that Christians (both Catholic and Protestant) rely on prayer and following the Church Teaching especially in family matters….rather than wanting politicians to solve all our problems for us. Our strenght really comes from our Faith and family.

    Still…it is time a Christian politician decided to represent the interests of the silent majority…Christians. Let us play our part….by increasing our Devotion and living faithfully by the commandments of the Church.

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