Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Get Ready for Persecution" Says UK Cabinet MInister to the Churches

From the Catholic Herald in the UK comes this story about the impact of the Equality Bill, which is currently being pushed forward in the final months of Labor's rule before the next election, which will almost surely result in the defeat of the Blair-Brown monstrosity:
"A government Minister has predicted that the Equality Bill will create a torrent of hostile legal actions against the Church.

Michael Foster, the Minister for Equalities, admitted that the legislation would open the floodgates to a tide of sexual and religious discrimination cases. He advised the Church to start preparing to defend itself in the court from such people as ideological secularists who seek to squeeze religion from the public sphere.

“Both sides [the Church and the secularists] need to be lining up [their lawyers] by now,” he told journalists. “Government is used to the fact that its legislation should be challenged. People feel very strongly about these issues. We can’t do anything about this and we wouldn’t want to.”

. . .

Nor did he deny claims made by the Catholic bishops that the Bill would allow non-Christians who work in church premises to sue for victimisation if they were offended by crucifixes on walls. Instead, he said he thought such a scenario “unlikely”, even though an atheist last month successfully sued the Italian government over its policy of having crucifixes in schools."
The Equality Bill marks the nadir of church-state relations in Britain, as can be seen by the fact that even the Archbishop of Canterbury is criticizing the Labor government he normally supports. With this bill, the focus moves from creating space for non-Christians to be tolerated in the sense of having full civil rights to putting pressure on Christians to conform to the new secular, liberal orthodoxy or face persecution.
"The Bill represents a low point between the churches and the Government and its debate in the Lords came just days after Anglican leader Dr Rowan Williams accused Ministers of treating religion as a “problem”, an eccentricity practised by “oddities, foreigners and minorities”.

Neil Addison, a barrister and expert in religious discrimination law, said it was “completely misleading and untrue” for the Government to claim that the Bill simply consolidates existing law.

“It is not, it is changing it,” he said. “The trouble is that the Government is passing vague legislation and then saying ‘well, the courts will sort it out’,” he added.

“But the law should be as certain as possible. Courts should not become the arena in which these issues are fought out. The Government and Parliament should make policy instead of fudging it, waiting for the courts to make the decision and then saying ‘it has nothing to do with us’, which is what is happening.

“The Equality Bill is a very dangerous piece of legislation because it is unclear.”
Old Christian England is writhing in her death throes and the "Brave New World" that is being born is a post-Christian wasteland of materialism, individualism and hedonism policed by an increasingly aggressive and controlling nanny state.

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