Christians allowed to wear discreet crosses, but not allowed to follow consciences – European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Christians should be allowed to wear crosses in the workplace, but only if they’re discreet, and in situations where our freedom of religion and freedom of conscience come into conflict with the rights of homosexuals in the workplace we are no longer covered by the European Convention’s freedom of religion or freedom of conscience.

As  Keith Porteous-Wood of the National Secular Society has concluded from the ruling, Christians now have the freedom to lose their jobs, lose their livelihoods and put their families and homes at risk if our rights come into conflict with the rights of homosexuals. Keith Porteous-Wood, who is a homosexual, said:

‘”Religious people who feel elements of their job go against their conscience can always find employment that better matches their needs. That is true religious freedom.”

Here are extracts from the European Court of Human Rights ruling:

Christians allowed to wear discreet crosses

‘Ms Eweida’s cross was discreet and cannot have detracted from her professional appearance. There was no evidence that the wearing of other,previously authorised, items of religious clothing, such as turbans and hijabs, by other employees, had any negative impact on British Airways’ brand or image…The Court therefore concludes that, in these circumstances where there is no evidence of any real encroachment on the interests of others, the domestic authorities failed sufficiently to protect the first applicant’s right to manifest her religion, in breach of the positive obligation under Article 9.’

Christians not allowed to follow their consciences

However, for the Court the most important factor to be taken into account is that the employer’s action was intended to secure the implementation of its policy of providing a service without discrimination. The State authorities therefore benefitted from a wide margin of appreciation in deciding where to strike the balance between Mr McFarlane’s right to manifest his religious belief and the employer’s interest in securing the rights of others. In all the circumstances, the Court does not consider that this margin of appreciation was exceeded in the present case.

Protect the Pope comment: The European Court’s decision to allow us to wear crosses, so long as they are discreet shows the extent to which we have lost our freedom to determine our own lives.  Employers and courts have no inherent right to determine if we can wear crosses in the work place, they have seized this right through employers assuming total control over their employees as if they were mere units of production and through the State and its courts assuming they have total control over every aspect of our lives because we are citizens. Both employers and the State enforce their control over our lives through the threat of violence, our financial ruin through being sacked, fined and imprisoned.

However, we do not owe our religious freedom to the State and its courts, our freedom is inherent as creatures made in the image and likeness of God and as adopted children of God through the grace of Christ.

The European Court’s ruling that the rights of homosexuals supersede our rights to religious freedom and freedom of conscience confirms the fact that David Cameron’s quadruple lock safe-guarding the churches from being forced to conduct same-sex marriages are just empty words signifying absolutely nothing. The European Court has made it clear that when balancing the rights of homosexuals with the rights of Christians, it will always give precedence to the rights of homosexuals. The Catholic Church in this country should begin putting plans in place to deal with this certainty.

http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-115881#_ftn1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19467554

87 comments to Christians allowed to wear discreet crosses, but not allowed to follow consciences – European Court of Human Rights

  • comte de Frebonius

    It seems that the ECHR has by its decision thrown the Christian the scraps by ruling in favour of one, while denying the other three, since that would go against the cardinal rule of PC and that must never happen.

  • Pedro

    Deacon Nick Donnelly (who is a heterosexual) said:

    “The Catholic Church in this country should begin putting plans in place to deal with this certainty.”

    Awwww…. did the nasty European court go and take away your right to persecute The Gays?

    BAD court! BAD court!

    • Hamish Redux

      The Catholic Church has not been persecuting “gays”. That’s really rather a foolish claim to make, as it is not backed by any evidence at all.

      • Sam Mace

        You’re right just opposing every piece of civil rights legislation since wolfendon, calling the homosexual condition disordered and stating those who commit gay acts morally evil, not persecution maybe but discriminatory and possibly even bullying certainly.

      • Pedro

        “The Catholic Church has not been persecuting “gays”. ”

        No, you’re quite right. You just opposed legalization, civil partnership, gays adopting children, gay marriage, any attempt to create equal rights. You tell gay children they’re disordered, that they must forever forgo a loving partner in life, that such a lifestyle is worse for the planet than an ecological disaster (Pope Benedict, Christmas 2008, if you need to look it up). You even feel compelled to put the word “gays” in quotes. How would like it if I referred to “Catholics”, not very nice is it?

        But as is frequently pointed out here, it’s really The Gays who have been persecuting you by having the temerity to object to all of the above. You’d think they’d be more grateful, wouldn’t you?

        • Christopher

          The opposition of Homosexual Marriage is entirely justifiable on numerous grounds, just two will be given:
          1) It’s unnatural given the biological nature of man. Male and Female are complementary (obivous given their sexual organs).
          2) Darwinian approach it is also unnatural. Homosexuals cannot reproduce, given that the purpose of marriage is to provide a stable life for children to be raised up in.

          The opposition of Homosexuals adopting children is also justifiable on the grounds that such an act would constitute as child abuse, neglecting the Child of a natural right to have a mother and father. This is biologicaly justifiable given again the nature of man, the role of marriage and the family, and the fact that the Male is masculine and the Female is feminine.

          Your stattement that this is an attempt in opposing equal rights is unsupported and rather illogical. Are you saying that in order for homosexuals to be treated equally in society, they should have the capacity to function like a heterosexual marriage? Rather than the fact that the Church opposes Homosexuals being unjustly prosecuted for their disorder? (The Church has Homosexual members http://couragerc.net/Encourage.html)

          Also, what about the fellow homosexuals who oppose Homosexual Marriage? Are your fellow homosexuals holding you back on this ‘equal rights issue’? Your opposition seems rather based on emotion than reasoning. Addressing the issue that homosexual children are disordered, why is this such a problem? When one addresses an autistic childn, one addresses the child as disordered in someway, not as to categorise and ostracise the individual, but to identify the issue, tt is an illness, and leaving it unchecked because of some sentimentality can produce more harm than good. One only needs to look at the ratio of HIV/AIDS among homosexuals and heterosexuals, the act is literally Russian Roulette.

          URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI CHRISTMAS 2008 which you referenced contains no mentioning, so your either misinformed, referenced the wrong speech, or being malacious. The reason why ‘gays’ are in quotes is rather simple, it is not the correct terminology in reference to homosexual behaviour. Gay means happy, one group cannot exactly call itself happy especially when the terminology is incorrect, Homosexual is the correct terminology given the Latin/Greek meaning, Man/Same respectfully. If you wish to refer to Catholics in quotations, feel free to do so, Catholics have been insulted for over 2,000 years, burtn to stakes, beheaded and fed to lions, a mere quotation around the word Catholic isn’t going to upset us for not being very nice.

          One has not even started on the issues pertaining to a direct attack upon the Church itself, mainly that given the tyrannical equality laws would force the Catholic Church to violate it’s own beleifs, and not just the Catholic Church, but heretics such as Protestants and Muslims and even Jews. We Catholics have a right to oppose what is biological unnatural, and to defend our Church from coercion of secularists.

          God Bless.

    • Michael B Rooke

      Pedro you may be interested to note that sodomy was a capital offence under Henry VIII with the Buggery Act of 1533.
      The Act was repealed in 1553 on the accession of Catholic Queen Mary.
      It was re-enacted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1563.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buggery_Act_1533

      • Christopher

        You may also be happy to know that this whole ‘Kill the Gays Bill’ which is supposedly supported by the Catholic Church in Uganda is nothing more than mere lies.

        Source [http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/840276/-/wh9b6q/-/index.html]

        The Vatican itself has spoken out against the the ‘Kill the Gays Bill’ Source[http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/vatican-speaks-out-against-uganda-anti-gay-laws]

        Those commentators are either misinformed, or are deliberately being malevolent, either way, lie debunked.

        God Bless.

  • Joseph Matthew

    Homosexual rights trump religious freedom again. And when homosexual “marriages” are legal, the European Court would favour homosexual rights.The atheist homosexual Mr Porteus-Wood is telling us to find work in our parishes and stay way from hospitals, Courts etc. In other words, get into your closet and stay there.

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Joseph, you’ve captured the intent behind Mr Porteus-Wood’s words perfectly. Deacon Nick

      • matt

        And why would Christian rights trump everyone else?

        • Lola

          And why would homosexual rights trump everyone else’s?

        • Haslam

          I do not think that they should. Rights that belong to one group only are not rights they are privileges.

          But I would argue that the right of all people (all people, including but not limited to Christians) to act in accordance with their conscience is a rather important right and one that the state should seek to protect as far as possible.

          the talk of some rights trumping others can get out of hand. The rights of opposing groups do not come into conflict as much or as seriously as some people like to think. So the right of gay couples to have a civil partnership registered are not really in conflict with a single registrar’s refusal to participate certainly not in a busy place like Islington where an alternative Registrar is surely at hand.

          • Haslam

            …just to add to my earlier comment, there are local authorities where marriage registrars have been premitted to decline to be registered as civil partnership registrars. In those places a conflict of right has been avioded. Consciences are protected and gay couples are able to exercise their legal right to civil partnerships. Noone’s rights are trumped by anyone elses.

        • Jonathan Marshall

          No-one’s suggesting that they should.

          So your point is…..what, exactly?

          • Haslam

            My point is that good fences make good neighbours, and that conflicting rights need not always come into conflict in practice.

    • Lynda

      There is no such objective reality as “homosexual rights”. Reason tells us that sexual attraction to a member of the opposite sex is disordered, misdirected sexual desire, and ought not to be acted upon. Certain “rights” or “freedoms” accrue to persons (individual human beings) by dint of their inherent human nature. One of the most fundamental is the right to recognise through one’s faith and reason one’s duty to worship God and live according to objective morality (not be forced to act against it).

  • matt

    Nick. You constantly denegrate gay people. Face it. You are a homophobe who hates anyone who doesn’t meet your narrow view of who should exist. Perhaps you should live in Ugandga?

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Matt, I reject your accusation that I am a homophobe who hates anyone, etc. Maybe sometime in the future anti-Catholics such as yourself will win the right to deport us, but until that time I have the right to express and defend the Catholic faith in my own country. Deacon Nick

      • matt

        And I reject your accusation that I want you “deported”. I also have the right to express my views. You have said very little about the kill the gays bill in Uganda supported by Catholic bishops. That to me shows the true face of Christianity.

      • Pedro

        “Maybe sometime in the future anti-Catholics such as yourself will win the right to deport us,”

        Deacon Nick, no one is arguing for the deportation of Catholics. Even your much vaunted scare story, that Catholic Churches are going to be forced to perform gay marriages, is completely hypothetical. I can assure you, that if that ever came to pass, I would be right there at the barriers with you, protesting for *your* rights.

        Unfortunately, I have to agree with Matt. Even the other day you had a go at a lesbian for being appointed to a religious radio show. You seemed entirely unwilling to give her the benefit of the doubt or wait to see how well she performed her duties as a presenter. You may not like the word, but your seeming obsession with homosexuality means that your blog, far from spreading a positive message, is becoming well known as an anti-gay hate site.

    • Karla

      *Yawn* the cry of homophobia is used often  to avoid having a real discussion about issues, to shut debate down, as in this case. I suggest people who use that word look up what it actually means, because your claim of homophobia denigrates real examples of homophobia in the world

      • matt

        *Yawn* perhaps you need to check the news. I’ve read about people being murdered in this country because they are gay. Do you think the evil comments on this website help?

      • Pedro

        In some ways you are right Karla. There are plenty of people out there with bricks, bottles and bars who are willing to inflict extreme violence on homosexuals.

        Then there are people on blogs who smugly dissociate themselves from all of that, content to point out that homosexuals are disordered and undeserving of equal rights, pretending that there’s no connection between the two.

        • ms Catholic state

          Pedro….there are people out there, many of them gays….who would love to inflict violence on traditional Catholics. I see hate speech like that so many times on Twitter. So don’t paint yourselves as eternal innocent victims. You’re not.

          And homosexuals have equal rights….sometimes they even have more rights than Christians. But homosexual activity is sinful…and unlike heterosexual activity it has no reproductive function. And that makes it unequal to heterosexuality even by secular natural standards.

        • Karla

          Homophobia defintion:

          1. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
          2. Behavior based on such a feeling.

          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/homophobic

          To question homosexuality as disordered is not homophobia, whereas to dislike or hate people because they feel homosexual inclinations is homophobic, there is a major difference

          • Deacon Nick Donnelly

            Karla and everyone, I think challenging the accusation of ‘homophobia’ made by homosexuals is a waste of time. It’s their big stick and nothing we say will get them to question it. Deacon Nick.

    • Lynda

      Deacon Donnelly has not denigrated anyone. To act immorally is to denigrate oneself. To refuse to approve of a person’s desire to, or demand of approval to, act immorally is to refuse to accept, reinforce, that person’s self-denigration and to show respect for him, by holding up to him his dignity as a person made in the image and likeness of God, to acknowledge that he does not have to be enslaved to sin. We are all much greater than our sins or weakness against sin.

  • “The Catholic Church in this country should begin putting plans in place to deal with this certainty.”

    The most effective plan we can put in place is for the bishops to start getting serious about applying Canon 915:

    Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.

    If those obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin were to be excluded from the sacramental life of the Church in accordance with Can 915 and Christ’s injunction in Matt 18, then there would never be any test cases arising in practise. When he was Cardinal Ratzinger the Pope issued an instruction saying that Can. 915 should be applied to politicians who voted for abortion. As far as I am aware, no bishop has had the cojones to act on his words publicly. His instruction would be just as applicable to those politicians who vote for same sex “marriage”, and those whose choice of living situations might want to make them attempt a same sex “marriage.” The same should apply to heterosexuals who live in sin, but who are apparently widely tolerated in the communion line these days. The only sacrament which should be available to any of the above is the Sacrament of Penance.

  • Karla

    THIS is the court that can be expected to hold up the rights of the Catholic Church to deny to marry gay couples?

  • “Religious people who feel elements of their job go against their conscience can always find employment that better matches their needs. That is true religious freedom.”

    As long as we are happy not to be: health-care professionals, registrars, relationship counsellors, members of the Green party, hoteliers… Dawkins is right. It is abuse to bring someone up a Christian: you will be denying them employment.

  • amator Dei

    ‘I have the right to express and defend the Catholic faith in my own country,’ you say. Yes you do, thanks to secular democracy, but like everyone else you have to do this within the law. If you don’t like certain laws you can argue and seek to persuade others that they are wrong, but so long as they stand you must respect them, for without the rule of law there is no freedom for anyone. There are plenty of places in the world where Christians do not have the right to express and defend their faith, but the UK is not one of them. Militant Catholics might start acknowledging this and seek to work with society, not against it.

    • Michael Petek

      You’re missing the point, amator Dei. Parliament and the courts may decide what the law is. We Christians decide, by the power of God that is given to us, whay the law is not. Secondly, we must take note that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state, and that a ‘family’ in this sense is something which can be founded only by a man and a woman united in lawful marriage. The protection which society and the state owe to the family must be secured by all means necessary in the circumstances, not excluding the impeachment of public officials and the repression of agitation and propaganda derogatory to the God-given truth about marriage. If that means persecuting a few militant secularists and homosexualists, then so be it.

    • Haslam

      I certainly agree with this.

      I am pleased to see that the Government has agreed to strengthen our freedom of speech by removing “insulting” from the Public order Bill. http://www.christian.org.uk/news/section-5/ this will strengthen the rights of Christians to speak out against homosexual behaviour. But have you heard any support for this change from the RCC?

      personally, I am greatful for the work that the Christian institute and the National Secular Society have jointly done on this. Just shows what can be achieved when folk work together despite their differences.

    • Nicolas Bellord

      Amator Dei: It rather depends upon what you mean by “the law”. There seems to be a common view that Parliament is absolutely sovereign and can enact whatever law it wants. That was a view promoted by Rousseau who spoke of the “will of the people” being expressed by Parliament and anyone who opposed that will was an “enemy of the people” who should be put to death. I would dispute that view of the “law”. Firstly we have a constitutional monarch who at her Coronation made certain promises about upholding Justice etc and that is part of our law which I believe not even Parliament should abrogate. Secondly, historically, the Courts followed the Common Law and that was tempered by the law of Equity. The Lord Chancellor, invariably a priest prior to St Thomas More, acted as the Christian conscience of the Monarch, and laid down the principles of Equity to prevent unconscionable use of the Common Law. For instance although a contract might specify that if you were a day late in paying your rent you would be turned out into the street and your lease forfeited Equity provided relief from forfeiture if you had acted with clean hands. The whole law of Trusts where trust and good faith were promoted was founded by the Chancellor’s court – Chancery. Thirdly there is something called the Natural Law. Parliament cannot decree that two and two make five, or that the force of gravity is other than 32 feet per sec per sec, or that elephants are a kind of whale or that marriage is other than between a man and a woman.

      Of course many will disagree with my view of the “law” but I do think not many serious legal academics would agree with the Rousseau model of “law”.

      • amator Dei

        What I mean by the law is the law of the land as enacted by Parliament. In a democracy it is Parliament that is sovereign and people who do not like the laws Parliament enacts can vote to change it. One could argue whether particular laws do or not agree with the various concepts of law you mention, but if you live in a democracy and want the benefit of democratic freedoms you must respect the rule of law. Catholics should not consider themselves to be exempt or in any way above the law. Like everyone else they have the freedom to express their beliefs and argue against particular laws (which they certainly do not have in many other parts of the world), but they have no special right for their view to prevail or to be accepted by Parliament. That’s the way it is whether they like it or not.

  • Augustine

    According to Wikipedia (yes I know it’s not always right about everything!) the term homophobia is a blend of the word homosexual, itself a mix of neo-classical morphemes, and phobia from the Greek φόβος, Phóbos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear.

    But in the absence of rational argument the term homophobe is often used merely as a term of abuse.

    For the record, in 2008, the Roman Catholic Church issued a statement which “urges States to do away with criminal penalties against homosexual persons.” And in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the death penalty is rejected – even for the most serious crimes (CCC 2306). (But try telling that to most American politicians.)

    So there is absolutely no support from the Roman Catholic Church for some of the extremist anti-homosexual views recently expressed by some politicians in Uganda.

    But some people in Uganda may be homophobes because they remember the actions of Kabaka Mwanga.

    • amator Dei

      2008? The UK did away with criminal penalties against homosexuals in 1967. Could the Catholic Church have learned something from secular relativism?

      • Augustine

        Secular relativism has nothing to teach anyone.

      • Augustine

        As has already been pointed out, the Metropolitan elite want to pretend that they do not teach anything as objectively true but that they respect everyone’s views. Any first year Philosophy undergraduate could see that this is incoherent since the principle of relativism is itself taught as an absolute truth which nobody may deny.

      • Lynda

        Sodomy was a crime. There is no such thing as a group of persons called “homosexuals”.

      • Bain

        To back up Lynda, the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 explicitly amended the law of England relating to homosexual acts between adult males in private, but it by no means inaugurated a free-for-all. A homosexual act (as defined) by a male aged over 16 remains subject to penal sanction if the other party was a male aged under 16, and homosexual acts performed in public remain subject to criminal sanction (for these purpose, if more than two persons take part or are present the “act” is treated as occurring “in public”). I am not aware that in English law there were ever any laws against homosexuals as such.

    • chidiock tichborne

      There has indeed been support for the Kill the Gays bill by the Church. Rebecca Kadaga, the Catholic speaker of the Ugandan parliament reintroduced the bill late last year – and within weeks of doing so was personally greeted by Benedict XVI in Rome. Uganda is a predominantly Catholic country – the Bishops initially opposed the bill when it first emerged in 2009 but have since been part of a conference of religious leaders that expressed support (though whether they fully agreed is not clear – they have been notably silent recently.) Uganda already has very strong anti-gay laws so why don’t the Bishops there speak out loudly? The death penalty remains in the bill despite claims to the contrary (it cannot be removed in committee stages – though it might be removed later. The proposers have often said they have removed it – only for it to still be there in the next stage.

      As a Catholic descended from many martyrs and recusants (including, indirectly, my nom de plume) I find all this talk of gay rights being some sort of return to Catholic persecution just bizarre. Civil marriage is granted by the state and I fully support it being extended to gay couples. I think there are many more important things for Catholics to worry about these days without persecuting gays.

  • ms Catholic state

    They granted us one victory – for now….to keep us happy and subdued. But we should begin to organise ourselves and spread our Faith regardless. Let’s all display a Cross in our home windows as well as about our person….and please please may the Pope decree that all Catholics must say the Angelus everyday at 12 midday…..duties permitting. Let them try to ban that if they can.

    • Amanda Peter

      Acts of homosexuality are gravely morally wrong. Truth is Truth yesterday, today and forever. The relationship between a man and a woman is NOT EQUAL to the non complementary relationship between two people of the same sex. What an outrageous cheek to try usurp the word marriage to a union that is the preserve of a man and a woman. Only women can bare children. Trying to change the law in the name of equality they would tell God from now on men can fall pregnant and bare children too. Why God you are discriminating against men they would say . Only in this case even if they change the law that men can become pregnant too, GOD will not change mans anatomy . We are living now in a diabolical age of disobedience. The Devil , Satan , Lucifer, the great deceiver is behind all of this. His cry ” Non Serviam” is louder now than ever. People who say ” To hell with God I will do it my way. ” If they do not acknowledge their sin and ask, beg God for mercy like King David then on their death bed God will say to them ” To hell with you , you did it your way.” Think about the future of your soul. Think about your death to come and your personal day of judgement. Think about the result. Heaven or Hell. To lose ones soul is the worst tragedy that can happen to a person. Mary Mother of Jesus be a Mother to us now.

  • John

    Does anyone know which instance of the Court took this decision? In the case of the crucifix on the walls of Italian schools the lower court ruled unanimously that this breached the rights of the Finnish atheist who brought the case. The higher court ruled unanimously on appeal that it didn’t.

    • Michael Petek

      It’s the lower court. Appeal lies to the Grand Chamber within a time limit of three months.

    • Haslam

      AIUI, it was the first instance. There is a posibility (but I don’t know if it is likely) that it could go up to the Grand Chamber to be looked at again. I am not sure what the conditions for this would need to be though. I have a feeling that there needs to be more than simply one party not liking the decision for there to be another appeal.

      • John Dare

        You are right, not liking a judgement is not an acceptable reason in law for appeal. Without getting into technicalities, judges have an aversion to hearing obsessives playing legal ping pong into infinity.

  • Karla

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/uk-govt-agrees-to-repeal-wording-in-law-banning-insulting-speech

    ‘UK gov’t agrees to repeal wording in law banning ‘insulting’ speech

    Earlier this evening, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the government will not contest a decision by the House of Lords to remove wording in the Public Order Act that banned “insulting” speech or signage. The statute has been used as a bludgeon to silence politically incorrect speech, mainly against Christians and conservatives, particularly those who had expressed disagreement with homosexuality.’

  • Karla

    3 Christians that lost their appeals are appealing to the final court, Grand Chamber. This is not over

  • Kinga Grzeczynska

    I wear my Crucifix with love for my Faith. It is part of me and I am a part of It. The two cannot be divided or separated.

    So much of our Catholic Faith has been watered down in recent years. We need to speak up and speak out and defend what we know to be The Truth.

    A large percentage of Catholic homes do not have a Crucifix/ Cross/ Sacred Heart of Jesus picture etc. Homes do not have such and yet there is a outcry that schools or Government buildings are not encouraged to have such on a wall, here or on the continent.

    We read about court cases abroad and the utter waste of public money in imposing a judgement to remove the Crucifix or Cross from display on a wall or in this country to stop a person wearing one. It is senseless. The only winners here are my learned colleagues – the lawyers.

    In my office there is a Crucifix and a Holy Rosary. Nobody touches them not even the cleaners.

    We have to respect each other and work together. We need to move forwards and not create barriers. Also, we need to defend our Faith – in the home, at work and socially.

    Kinga Grzeczynska

  • Michael B Rooke

    Health and safety issues aside the rulings are the yoke of Satan. You can proclaim that you are Christian before we force you to do evil.

  • Spesalvi23

    All European bodies of government and legislation are about control and tight, strict regulation.
    Whomever is running the show there will push for their ideology to be installed as the status quo.
    I assume that, after the socialist leaning gender/ feminism freaks have reached retirement age, a new kind of ideology will replace theirs. Who knows what it will be. Many young, educated kids are rediscovering tradition and traditional values. At least in this part of the continent. Who knows how much longer this part of the continent is willing to play along…

    The decision making of any of those bodies has nothing to do with rationality, or equality, or common sense. Their main dogma: tolerance is ditched the second you disagree with them.
    Regardless of who it is: EU, ECHR… democracy is not a factor there.

    I wonder how much longer we will just sit there and watch them redesign our society.

  • The Christians and all people of good will should do what people in France did…It’s time to stop radical homosexuals and militant atheists while it can be done peacefully.

  • Mike2

    Those criticising the Christian complaint against the decisions of the court have some basis for their opinion. We do live in a democracy (of sorts) and we are required to abide by the laws. But that is not the point. The point is that certain human rights are guaranteed by international convention and one of them is freedom of religion. These international conventions over-ride domestic legislation: hence the appeal to the ECHR. The issue is the balance to be struck between that right and other rights which are granted by law. The judges took a particular view of this matter but that does not make them correct. There are plenty of cases where courts have been found to make a wrong decision. The judges are just fallible human beings like anybody else and they are, no doubt, subject to their own prejudices and leanings. Some people in this country are currently happy with those decisions and take a high-minded view of their superiority based on those decisions but they should exercise a little humility (something which is not always apparent in their comments) and remember that times can change and that courts may not always rule the way they wish them to. A little give-and-take in a democracy is no bad thing. At the moment there is one group who want to do all the taking and have no desire to do any giving. However, I wonder how far a minority has to be down-trodden by the majority before the ‘human rights brigade’ start to take a sympathetic interest.

  • Ioannes

    Stephen Fry was at pains to point out on his QI programme that ‘phobia’ does not mean dislike or hatred, but irrational fear or anxiety. He stressed ‘irrational’, saying that you cannot have a phobia about, for example, man-eating lions. The problem with literally meaningless terms like ‘homophobic’ or words with no precise definition, like ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’ is that they can be made to mean what people want them to mean, and are simply terms of abuse.

  • Karla

    Abp Mamberti responds to European Court of Human Rights judgement

    http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=656095

    • Ioannes

      While it is true that anyone, believer or not, baptized or not, has a right to marry in the Established Church, this is on the Established Church’s terms. For instance, you can’t claim the right to marry your sister. Since changes in civil marriage law do not affect the CofE, I can’t see how suing for wrongful discrimination can succeed.

  • John Dare

    I must admit to a lot of confusion.

    Forget the individual contributions, which, frankly are all over the place. What is Nicks view on a few thoughts:

    1. Should the courts have the right to decide on all questions?
    2. If not who should and why?
    3. Should religious objections to all proposed laws be bowed to by HMG?
    4. If the answer to 3 is yes, or maybe, does that extend to all religions?
    5. What happens if the objections of different religions confilct?
    6. Does Nick think there should be special rules for each religion where their rules confict with legisaltion?
    7. What happens if the special rules conflict with what non religious people want?

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      John, I’m busy for the next couple of days so won’t be able to address your questions until next week. Deacon Nick

    • Haslam

      I can give you my personal take on some of these questions.

      My starting point is that laws and governments are servants of the people. The question then arrises “which people?”, there can never be a perfect answer to that which is acceptable to everyone and compromises are neccessary in fact essential because the only alternative is a civil war between people of differing views. The best system would seem to be some kind of set-up with elements of democracy, and fundamental rights for everyone (so that minorities get some protection and everyone has the right for freedom of speech to allow them a more or less equal access to the levers of democracy) and appropriate opt-outs to protect people’s conscience of they don’t agree with the prevailing view.

      Such a system is far from perfect but it isn’t a million miles away from what we have at the moment. I know some Christians think that such a system has not served them well and that other groups (like gay-rights activists) have done better out of such a set up. To my mind that isn’t neccessarily a reason to condem the set-up just a wake up call for Christians to use the existing set-up better. All this talk of trying to impose our morality on those who disagree with us (as Michael Patek seems to be big on) would not be needed if we were able to convince more people of our position. This is the stategy that other groups have used successfully and there is no reason why the Church cannot do this as well. If we have faith that we are right then we must have the confidence that others will see that too. TO my mind imposing our will on the unwilling is something that comes from insecurity in one own position in relation to the truth. And history shows us that it usually ends badly anyway.

  • Anne

    Archbishop Fulton Sheen:
    “There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church. ….As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.”
    “Truth must be sought at all costs, but separate isolated truths will not do. Truth is like life; it has to be taken on its entirety or not at all. . . . We must welcome truth even if it reproaches and inconveniences us — even if it appears in the place where we thought it could not be found.”

    “Those who hate Truth and fear Goodness are not far from the kingdom of God. They are fighting against it, and yet they know theirs is a losing battle. The more violently men hate truth, the more they think about it; the more they fear the goodness that demands perfection, the more they know it is what they really seek.”

  • Dominic McCarthy

    Homophobia etymologically should mean an irrational fear of things that are the same {as oneself?}
    Greek ὁμός = the same

    Identical twins, triplets, or quadruplets might be particular sufferers from this condition.

    Otherwise someone who is homophobic might go beserk at seeing a whole string of peas in a pod, or of cars on a Ford assembly line, or of Sacred Heart statues in a Lourdes piety shop…..

    Dreadful condition to be in. Vive la difference!

  • Fr Francis Coveney

    CROMWELL: What did you say?

    RICH: I said to him:’Supposing there were an Act of Parliament to say that I Richard Rich, were to be King, would you not, Master More, take me for King?’ ‘That I would,’ he said, ‘for then you would be King.’

    CROMWELL: Yes?

    RICH: Then he said -

    NORFOLK: The prisoner?

    RICH: Yes, my lord. ‘But I will put you a higher case,’ he said. ‘How if there were an Act of Parliament to say that God should not be God?’

    (From: “A Man for All Seasons” Act 2 by Robert Bolt.)

  • [...] Christians Allowed to Wear Crosses, Not Allowed to Follow Consciences – Dc. Donnelly [...]

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