Friday, 30 April 2010

McFarlane: more reports and views

Updated twice

James Meikle Guardian Ex-archbishop attacks judges over gay counselling ruling

Independent
Jerome Taylor Church’s call for religious judges is rejected by Court of Appeal and
Robert Verkaik Lord Carey’s proposal is a step back to medieval days and
Steve Clifford If Christians are marginalised, it is not just the fault of secular society

Steve Doughty Daily Mail Judge rules Christians have NO special rights as he throws out case of sex therapist who refused to work with gay couples

Telegraph
John Bingham Gary McFarlane: judge’s assault on ‘irrational’ religious freedom claims in sex therapist case and
Gary McFarlane: the counsellor whose case led to warnings of ‘civil unrest’ and
Michael Nazir-Ali The legal threat to our spiritual tradition

Andrew Brown Cif belief Carey slapped down by senior judge

Neil Addison What is Religious Discrimination ?

Heresy Corner Laying down the Laws

Philip Henson Cif belief Carey’s intervention backfires

And here is an older article by him , written before the judgment, which I failed to link to previously.
The church cannot claim ‘superior right’

Christian Institute Christian counsellor appeal turned down

Letter to The Times (Saturday edition) Christian courts

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 7:35am BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: equality legislation
Comments

"a self-important and alarmist twit" is good enough for me.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 9:28am BST

"Lord Justice Law's judgement on the Gary McFarlane case in the Court of Appeal - that legislation for the protection of views held purely on religious ground cannot be justified - has driven a coach and horses through the ancient association of the Christian faith with the constitutional and legal basis of British society - Michael Nazir-Ali -

Another ex-prelate of the Church of England (besides Lord Carey) bemoaning the emancipation of British citizens from the 'coach and horses' ethic of past legal and religious attitudes of endemic homophobia which obtained formerly in both of those environments.

It seems both Carey and Nazir-Ali need to be brought up to speed with the facts of modern life, where the world has moved on from institutional ignorance of the real facts about gender and sexuality. What they have obviously not realised is that their post-paternalistic-power base has actually disappeared. They are no longer the designated spokes-persons for the Church of England and, as such, ought to leave the field clear for more enlightened theologians to deal with the real needs of Church and Society - without the prejudice they were able to exert in their former positions of power. They are an embarrassment to this 'Thinking Anglican' - and probably to most others.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 9:57am BST

"When Christians paint a portrait of persecution, not only do we diminish the real suffering fellow believers worldwide experience, but we force ourselves to the margins. If Christians are marginalised in the UK, we must take at least some of the blame." - Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance (The Independent) -

Perhaps if Lord Carey and Bishop Nazir-Ali had taken the trouble to 'indaba' with their Evangelical Brethren in the Church of England, they might have saved the Church from this latest debacle. How long are we to 'suffer' the pathetic outbursts of these reluctant-to-let-go clerics?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 11:16am BST

Now Carey & Nazir-Ali have something on their own doorstep to hoot & holler about. Less time for interfering in other folks' business. Excellent.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 2:31pm BST

"For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes." Deuteronomy 10:17

" 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly" Leviticus 19:15

"Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism"" Acts 10:34

All humans are God's creations, all humans are entitled to justice and compassion, to with hold counselling and succour on the basis of sexuality is to refute God's inclusive plans for such individuals. Treat GLBTs just as you would want heterosexuals to be treated. Treat non-Christians as you would want Christians to be treated. Treat females as you would want males to be treated.

Failure to do so leaves anyone who purports to uphold universal values without credibility, and no right to complain if justice or compassion is withheld from them. Christians can not complain about injustice, cruelty, selfishness, or abuse in other religions/philosophies if they do not tackle and overcome the same issues within their own religion and paradigms. No other religion is going to "get it right" unless Christianity is also held to account to "get it right".

"So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law." Malachi 2:9

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 2:42pm BST

"a self-important and alarmist twit" is good enough for me.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne

Me too! Let´s hope Lord Carey keeps his ¨twitting¨ in the United Kingdom as his idea of being ¨special¨ as in Christian means the supporting of bigots and poachers in the United States who undermind the canons of TEC!

Can´t this man find something constructive to do in say Haiti?

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 3:28pm BST

"...their post-paternalistic power base has actually disappeared." Thank you, Fr. Ron, for stating the reality of the situation so succinctly. Your words can also be applied to the current situation in the Vatican.

It is so detrimental to the proclamation of the Gospel that the Church continually has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the acceptance of new revelation. From Galileo to the present moment.

Posted by: Old Father William on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 5:12pm BST

Steve Clifford of the Evangelical Alliance says 'Because when Christians paint a portrait of persecution, not only do we diminish the very real suffering that our fellow believers across the world experience, but we force ourselves to the margins. If Christians are marginalised in the UK, then we have to take at least some of the blame.'

Very well said from a perhaps surprising source.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 5:34pm BST

A true libertarian would surely back a system whereby compassionate therapy is offered to gay couples AND those who have faith reasons to withdraw may do so. As he was the only person sacked there were clearly plenty of staff available to gay couples....so why not reach a sensible compromise?

This is merely the swapping of one prejudice (against gays) for another (against orthodox Christians). No true liberal would desire a society like that. If we are too small minded to live alongside those with whom we disagree then we are only one step away from social breakdown

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 6:52pm BST

Fr Ed: I don't think it is anything to do with that tired phrase "orthodox Christianity", though. If Gary MacFarlane had a principled objection on the basis of "orthodox Christianity" he would surely have refused to work with unmarried straight couples, or remarried divorcees, as both groups would be incompatible with "orthodox Christianity." If, however, he was happy counselling straight people living in sin but not gay ones, isn't that merely irrational prejudice, to an "orthodox Christian" such as yourself?

Posted by: Fr Mark on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 10:47pm BST

Fr. Ed; so you're still moaning about the perceived 'injustice' you are suffering? Just think of the generations of women who have suffered from being 'silenced' in the Church and the world by the real injustice of misogyny. If you find you have been ordained into the wrong Church, why not just move over - except, as I understand it, you will find zero tolerance of your pathetic complaining under the rule of Pope Benedict. He has enough problems of his own.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 30 April 2010 at 11:14pm BST

Actually, Ed Tomlinson, the "true libertarian" would say that the government has no business telling a private employer that it cannot enforce its nondiscrimination policy. That is what Lord Carey was hoping would happen, and that is what Lord Justice Laws refused to do.

The true libertarian would probably say that if the private employer wishes to adopt the accommodation that you suggest, then that's fine too.

Posted by: Jeremy on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 12:16am BST

The facts are that in nearly all places local "compromises" have held together well since the regulations and other laws have come into force.

The very few cases solicited to tilt at the law are in themselves quite sad, the individuals have sometimes misled their employers and fellow staff. They have rejected "compromises" and failed to win the support of their comrades. In the vast majority of other places this has not been so. My view is that these cases are themselves destabilising and more likely to turn "the trickle" Nazir Ali recognises them to be into a flood he anxiously fears.

We are asked to believe that so called "orthodox" Christians are not bigots or homophobes because they believe we are morally degenerate, intrinsically disordered, and going to rot in hell because we celebrate our love for eachother. Yet because I am not willing to allow my tax£ to be spent employing people who are then not willing to provide me with a service - I am anti-Christian.

Perhaps I have missed something ....

Going back to Nazir Ali's piece he says:
"What we need is a balance between a government's desire (mistaken or justified) to provide rights for one group of people and its duty to provide for the consciences of other groups on whom the granting of such rights might impinge."

But I am happy for these people to register our civil partnership, delighted for them to grant our adoption perfectly content to give me advice on improving our 30 year old sex life -
If they don't want to provide the service why are they happy to take my money?


Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 12:43am BST

And in the end, Mr McFarlane was happy to work on the joys of sex with unmarried couples .....How "orthodox" is that and how adaptable must this willingness to work with people who take a job on false pretenses be?

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 12:57am BST

I wish we had hundreds, thousands! of justices here in the USA like Lord Justice Laws. The English ought to thank God or nature that the English system has judges like him.
I have cousins who are Orthodox Jews. They are perfectly free to not eat pork or not wear garments of mixed fabrics, and the State may not compel them to do otherwise. They are free to persuade, through speech, others to do likewise. However, in a free society, they may not use the State (or the Crown) to compel others to follow their beliefs. They can't compel Christians to not eat pork by persuading the State to ban pork products and the sale of pigs.
Likewise, this counselor is free to believe gays are going to hell and damnation. He is free to work for a counseling agency, however much I loathe such agencies, that counsels gays to that effect. He is NOT free to insist on remaining employed by an agency that does not ascribe to those beliefs. He has NO right to employment by the State (the NHS) for the purpose of promoting such beliefs.
If that makes the State anti-Christian in the eyes of the Lofty Lord and EXABC Carey, so be it. It makes me happy he IS "ex".

Posted by: peterpi on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 1:12am BST

Humility and fairness have never been traits that belong to Carey. The fact that he is a "Lord" after having served as Archbishop only points to his inflated self-importance. It is alarming that this kind of man was the Archbishop of Canterbury. Ignorance and narrow mindedness are poor qualities for a man who once exerted such power over others. Carey really should leave the area of public discourse because he has become an embarrassment and a source of homophobia and misogyny. He really needs to retire to the country side and take a long rest.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 3:57am BST

Father Ron I think you need to lie down and get some help after that outburst.

Please show me where I was moaning about injustice on myself? I was in no way affected by this ruling and am merely commenting that it seems a less than liberal answer.

My point was that a truly liberal society would allow more than one viewpoint to mutually coincide. What we are getting in secular Britain is however a narrowing of what is deemed socially acceptable opinion which makes us all more sterile and less interesting. It also could lead to that paradox that is fascist liberalism and no-one wins then.

Remove the fact that this is about homosexuality and turn it into an argument about something anodyne if that helps you remove the blinkers and get my point. I was neither making a point about homosexuality OR orthodoxy but giving a reflection about our society and the real nature of liberalism which ought to be generous, forgiving and broad lest it becomes the very thing it seeks to destroy

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 7:40am BST

Chris Smith writes - 'Ignorance and narrow mindedness are poor qualities for a man who once exerted such power over others'. Carey was appointed by Mrs Thatcher over the heads of other more suitable candidates she didn't like. He is another legacy of her malign influence over the country.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 9:32am BST

'My point was that a truly liberal society would allow more than one viewpoint to mutually coincide. What we are getting in secular Britain is however a narrowing of what is deemed socially acceptable opinion which makes us all more sterile and less interesting.'

So we must tolerate in public discourse & policy racism, anti-semitism, sexism in order to be more liberal ? I just don't get it. Liberalism is not about anything goes and any vile view that diminishes human flourishing will do. No way.

People's private hateful opinions are one thing, but once they are expressed in public, that is a different matter.

Whether by semi-retired church ministers, therapists or judges.

What contribution do you make to liberal thinking and practice Ed Tomlinson ? Do you really misunderstand what a liberal society and culture are ? Or is it simply a (clever-ish) debating technique ?

What price truth ?

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 1:09pm BST

"I was neither making a point about homosexuality OR (sic) orthodoxy but giving a reflection about our society and the real nature of liberalism which ought to be generous, forgiving and broad lest it becomes the very thing it seeks to destroy" - Ed Tomlinson -

Ed, you don't need to wrap up your statement in any further obfuscation. We all know what your own 'grief' is really about: the fact that the Church of England - the Church into which you were ordained when women priests were canonically accepted as part of the system - is now about to further that canonical process by allowing women to become bishops - a further process. The fact that you cannot go along with this says something about the process of the Church allowing interim (and only interim) arrangements to accommodate your prejudice by the questionable device of 'Flying Bishops' - a very un-catholic ethic - and nothing at all about the sin of misogyny.

Your odd equation of two freedoms is not worthy of being discussed on 'Thinking Anglicans'.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 8:28pm BST

Chris Smith writes - 'Ignorance and narrow mindedness are poor qualities for a man who once exerted such power over others'. Carey was appointed by Mrs Thatcher over the heads of other more suitable candidates she didn't like. He is another legacy of her malign influence over the country.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 9:32am BST

Well said. It is the sad truth. For this reason was he known as 'Thatcher's revenge' -

getting even with the church for offering her an opposition which the offical Oppostion failed to do.

The bishops were very effective and the Church's presnce around the country testifeied to the damage 'Thatcherism' was causing to people and communities on the ground. There was also the 'Faith in the City Report', Industrial Mission and various other voices and actions, from Christians opposing her wicked policies.

They kept on insisting there IS such a thing as society.

And to think now Cameron et al think they can win the Election and start to undermine our society -- yet again !

Shameless ....

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 8:46pm BST

Just a passing observation: It is precisely in those countries that have been perceived as liberal and open in terms of social mores that there are increasingly intolerant and right-wing political activists: Geert Wilders and The Danish People's Party being examples:

For e.g.: http://universitypost.dk/article/gays-and-lesbians-met-city-vote

There are two ways to deal with this whole issue really. The first to is continue to maintain limits on 'hate speech', which is a reduction in the freedom of speech - something which most self-identified liberals here seem to want to have and to accept. You are simply replacing one hegemony with another.

The other way was that taken by the late Pim Fortuyn and seemingly being adopted by Peter Tatchell here: to dismantle or protest against laws on 'hate speech', since that would limit freedom of speech. As the following indicates, Fortuyn, though he was a keen critic of immigration, did not want to have LGBT persons protected by measures designed to prevent people expressing an opinion about them: he rather wanted to contest any such opinions by being equally free to deploy his own counter-arguments, however robust. http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=europes_new_crusade

Being gay or lesbian in other words does not preclude very conservative views, even reactionary ones. Social openness about sexuality or even sex, does not translate necessarily into acceptance and compromise overall. These things are obviously refractions of many societal facets, coloured by particular political circumstances in different countries. But none of this is going to be made better by self-identified liberals shouting "four legs good, too legs better", unless, that is, they are eually prepared to allow, and to hear, the opposite.

I am with Peter Tatchell on this.

Posted by: Achilles on Monday, 3 May 2010 at 7:52pm BST
Post a comment









Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.