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more on the equality regulations

The Sun newspaper came to the support of the Bishop of Rochester: Gay law is bashed by bishop.

Two columns on Comment is free do not support the bishop’s point of view:
Andrew Brown The view from the inside (the URL is more descriptive than the title) and the strap is:

When religions discriminate against a minority group, they are also fighting for something fundamental about the freedom of religion.

and Theo Hobson Divine judgment on religion

The church is meant to signify unity between Christians, but the gay crisis has completely undermined this concept.

Meanwhile, the Evangelical Alliance has issued a Call for consultation, Andrew Marr interviewed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor on BBC TV on Sunday, and the Christian Institute issued this briefing on the Northern Ireland regulations (PDF file).

The latest statement from the Lawyers Christian Fellowship is here and also here. This Word document here is slightly older but is the source of some material attacking the regulations seen elsewhere, such as the Christian bookshop and Christian printshop examples of alleged difficulty.

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Göran Koch-Swahnemynsterpreost (=David Rowett)Christopher ShellCraig Nelsonlaurence Recent comment authors
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Simon Morden
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Simon Morden

Downthread I noted that if you repeat the same lies often enough, people will begin to believe them. This more of the same, with a dash of added hysteria. The Christian Institute’s ‘briefing’ (in quotes since it barely qualifies for its dictionary definition) is a tissue of coulds, mights and maybes tied together with nothing but insubstantial conjecture dressed up as fact. Really, Colin – is this the best you can do? Perhaps I should apply to the Charity Commission to have you stripped of the name ‘Christian’, Exeter CU-style. I am embarrassed and ashamed that you use that title.… Read more »

maniple
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maniple

TA says, “The Sun newspaper came to the support of the Bishop of Rochester”.

The report seems quite neutral to me, neither supporting nor opposing the BIshop. Is it because it’s the Sun that it’s assumed to be supporting the Bishop?

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

It’s a rather warped view of reality which insists that religions benefit by discriminating against minorities. I don’t recall Andrew Brown fulminating against the Church because it does not treat adultery and marriage equally, although adulterers are thankfully still a minority group. Or complaining about its refusal to ordain people under the age of 22 – there’s discrimination for you in secular terms! But that is how the gay campaign is conducted – label your opponents as victims of an irrational phobia and denounce them as bigots for acting according to their principles. Perhaps Andrew Brown is secretly jealous that… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

Hobson’s point as always is to remind us that he is a disestablishmentarian.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I enjoyed both Andrew Brown and Theo Hobsons’ pieces. I particularly liked Hobson’s final paragraph: “At first I was angry that such a marginal issue, as I then saw it, was grabbing such big headlines. But now I give thanks for the crisis, for it has taught me that institutional religion is a sinking ship.” Christianity did not have a church per se when it first started out. Institutions by their nature will self-preserve. Full-time officials within institutions by their nature will attempt to empire build and jockey for resources. They can evolve into a corrupt court that seek to… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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J. C. Fisher

There’s unjust discrimination, and then there’s just ordering of society. Certainly, it’s true that BOTH sides (in this particular debate) play a game of “here’s how our opponents engage in the former, while here’s how our side supports the latter.” I’m just noting this reality of rhetoric. As to this particular example of it: “I don’t recall Andrew Brown fulminating against the Church because it does not treat adultery and marriage equally, although adulterers are thankfully still a minority group. Or complaining about its refusal to ordain people under the age of 22 – there’s discrimination for you in secular… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The Christian Institute brief says: “Regulation 16 provides some partial exemptions from the discrimination law for religious organisations and ministers. For example, they will be permitted to restrict church membership to those who uphold their doctrinal beliefs on homosexuality. However, a church could still be sued for harassment over the way it turned down a homosexual for membership. The exemptions are totally inadequate.” Much to ponder here “… sued for harassment over the w a y it turned down…” I thought this applied to a l l situations in life (and all laws). “… totally inadequate.” – what do they… Read more »

Raspberry Rabbit
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Raspberry Rabbit

Oh for the days when ‘discriminating’ did not automatically lead to an indictment by a howling mob. We would say that he was a man with ‘discriminating tastes’ – he knew the difference between fine wine and plonk, he could look into the eyes of a candidate for a job and get a sense of whether this was somebody who was up to the task, he could look through the hype and bad rhetoric and see whether the writer had a point or not. It is the sort of kommissar’s world view that has turned discriminating into something necessarily wrong… Read more »

badman
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badman

Just sticking to the Anglican perspective on the Sexual Orientation Regulations for a moment:- The Primates said at Dromantine in February 2005: “The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us”. The Archbishop of Canterbury said in “The Challenge and Hope of Being an Anglican Today” in June 2006: “it is imperative… to give the strongest support to the defence of homosexual people against… legal disadvantage.” The official position of the Church of England would seem, therefore, to be IN FAVOUR of the equalisation of the… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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I am ashamed enough that some of my fellow Christians want to discriminate against my family.

I am ashamed that some of my fellow Christians imply that their ability to discriminate is somehow a central part of our faith.

I am ashamed that the government feels they should.

I am ashamed that some fellow Christians think that what they are offered is not enough.

I am ashamed to think I already know “what they want instead”?

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

There is one thing that needs to be answered about this site’s view of the proposed legislation:
Surely no-one can support the quashing of any debate on this matter? Debate is fundamental to an honest and fair society that looks askance at any imposition of power by the powerful. No debate equals no honesty and a might-is-right mentality.
It also leads to the question of why it was this specific matter (rather than various others) that was not allowed to be debated.

(2)

Merseymike
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Merseymike

The point is, Alan, that those principles are bigoted. The BNP is bigoted against black people. Some in the church are bigoted against gay people. I think they are about equivalent in terms of the notice which should be taken of them in a pluralist and secular society.

Allowed to exist, of course, but certainly regarded as socially unacceptable.

Gerry Lynch
Guest

Christopher – whoa! That jumbo jet flew right over my head. What particular right to debate is being quashed here? I missed that bit. People can and do argue against homosexuality and against these regulations – as is their absolute right in a democratic society. What these laws will prevent people doing is, for example: a. refusing a gay couple a room for the night in their hotel b. expelling a pupil from their church school for being gay c. turning down a contactor to regrout their parish hall because he is gay. If that a problem for you? If… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

Merseymike says that I am a bigot. It must be true if that is what merseymike says.

Is this what passes for academic method these days in merseyside?

drdanfee
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drdanfee

The fact is, these new regulations are a forthright attempt to address discrimination, since citizen inequalities and unequal access to resources/opportunities detrimentally affects everybody.

If some queer street kid thrown out of her home has the capacity to get educated and help us in the fight against HIV/AIDS, then surely she is most welcome, even if she is not straight.

Send not to know for whom the bell of antigay discrimination tolls, as it were. If it does not toll for you, it surely tolls for your children, relatives, friends, coworkers, or neighbors down the street.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Christopher Shell will be pleased to know that the necessary objections have been laid in Parliament and this matter will be debated. Parliament, in this case, will have the choice of affirming or deleting the regulations. There will be no possibility of amending them. The problem for those who oppose the regulations is they can invent possible “hard case” scenarios but at this time lack the actual parties to their imagined actions. Hence their appeal for “offended” printers etc to come forward….. I am sure that some individuals will be persuaded to tell us how the new laws will contravene… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Alan, I see no such personal remark towards you by merseymike here. He said only that some people were…
Let’s cool it please.

Simon Morden
Guest
Simon Morden

The problem grows. Some non-Christians look in on us and assume that because the only Christian views they see/read/hear on the media are those which oppose the SORs, all Christians are opposed to the SORs. Consequently, they decide they want nothing to do with us. Some non-Christians look in on us and decide that, because there’s so much sound and fury about witholding rights from homosexuals, we’re on the right track. Gays – the mere thought of gays – gives them the creeps. They become interested in Christian matters. The problem is that both groups are wrong. There’s rather more… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“Debate is fundamental to an honest and fair society that looks askance at any imposition of power by the powerful.”

Honest and fair debate is fundamental to an honest and fair Society, that looks askance at any imposition of Power by the powerful over the disempowered.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Gerry

Thanks, I missed that low flying plane too. Did it ever exist?

Still, if there is a written audit trail proving that one camp has been suppressing, then they need to counteraccuse the other side, because otherwise how do they justify their own behaviour.

More credibility to falsely accuse than take responsibility for one’s own conduct? Adam would be proud.

Doubly ironic when “Eve” hadn’t done it in the first place.

Still, who needs truth when trying to set up a propoganda image?

laurence
Guest
laurence

‘As to the costs of defending a case ruining some poor and unsuspecting Christian defending their conscience – well, I seriously doubt that eventuality – the money will pour in!’ Martin Reynolds.

What price the beatitudes* ?

Jesus’ actual message* is so much less sexy than the anti-gay, anti-women, anti-poor, pro-institutional religion, pro-capitalism, pro-the-nuclear-family, message he Should have given, to satisfy the religious establishement of our own times.

Jesus seems to have had alot of Be-Attitude !

Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

And the debate goes on (and on, and on). We are now (surely) close to the point where everything that can be said will have soon be said, including a fair spread from the sublime to the ridiculous. It all looks rather overblown to be honest. Here, in a nutshell is how I see it – A) The Human Rights Act takes precedence over the regs in any case B) It seems to me that rather then annulling the regs it would simply be preferable to get questions asked of ministers in Parliament about the effect of the regulations and… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Martyn & Gerry- (1) ‘Parliament will have the right of affirming or deleting these regulations. There will be no possibility of amending them’: That’s exactly the point. What possible good is served by quashing debate on possible amendments? (2) Martyn’s point about Christians not actually being disadvantaged is not accurate. For example (in a related arena) Catholic adoption agencies are under serious threat as we speak. (3) It beggars belief to say that there is general agreement on this issue. There is widespread disagreement, indeed (more) a clash of worldviews, as can easily be seen by scanning the secular… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

PS Couldn’t resist adding: Gerry’s ‘Is that a problem for you?’ (like the even more cringeworthy ‘Do you have a prahblem with that?’) is a phrase I have often seen as quintessentially indicative of a particular (untenable) worldview. Just what is wrong with this phrase? (1) It sees everything as subjective. No problem is *actually* a problem in and of itself. It is only a problem ‘for you’. But just try working out a coherent worldview where everything is subjective. (2) It implies that the person who ‘has a problem’ has some complaint for which they need to see a… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Christopher Shell wrote: “(1) ‘Parliament will have the right of affirming or deleting these regulations. There will be no possibility of amending them’: That’s exactly the point. What possible good is served by quashing debate on possible amendments?” Not wasting Parliamentary time and money on futile parlour games? Saving that same Parliamentary time and money for worthier purposes? Using that same Parliamentary time and money for such purposes. I count 3 “possible goods” ;=) Christopher Shell wrote: “(5) The whole attitude of parliament (worryingly – if without argument – affirmed by most on this site) is that there are some… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

But I do agree that both claiming and granting exceptions for “christian” organizations to make them free to discriminate is outrageous.

But the, the courts will tear them to pieces.

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Goran- You are discriminating yourself. You are saying (a bit like the communists or their fascist counterparts of yore) that some people are allowed to follow their consciences and some are not. ‘Some consciences are more equal than others.’ The ones who are allowed to, moreover, are none other than the secular humanists, whose ‘worldview’ (or rather, preferred practice)is responsible for the most cataclysmic set of statistical trends imaginable on all family-related issues. I am sure that nonchristians have often been right where christians are wrong (if less often than the reverse). Where this is the case, one would expect… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I am not, dear Christopher Shell,

I am saying that “being” – for instance a negro – and “opposing” to others being – for instance a negro – are not equivalent.

Morally or otherwise.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

the most cataclysmic set of statistical trends imaginable on all family-related issues

Given that Jesus apparently taught the overthrow of family values, shouldn’t we be celebrating this as a sign of the Kingdom????

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Jesus’s most sharp critizism of Polygamous repudium in Mard 10 with parallels (Jesus sharpens the Law) certainly indicates he was not too keen on the inbalance found in the power structures of his day.