Comments: Just cause?

Is it BECAUSE you have an established Christian church that Lord Carey and others feel beseiged?

We get our share of this silliness on our side of the pond, and it's tiresome.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Friday, 10 December 2010 at 1:44pm GMT

Yes, Great Britain, welcome to the world the US has been living in for the past decade at least. For members of the overwhelmingly dominant religion in a nation to claim they are being discriminated against is to live in Cloud Cuckoo Land. In both your country and ours, the birth of the savior is a national holiday. His resurrection--while not accorded the same recognition--is still celebrated in song and story on a yearly basis by the culture as a whole. Our holy book is more quoted in general speech than any other work except perhaps Shakespeare.

What these people call "discrimination" is, rather, the moral and legal request that they treat other religions with the respect they demand for their own.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 10 December 2010 at 6:52pm GMT

Hear, hear, Pat O'Neill!
The Christians you speak of who scream "discrimination" usually feel that way because they can't discriminate against others.
There is real discrimination, harassment, and oppression of Christians in many countries around the world. For bishops sitting in the upper chamber of a country's parliament by right, not by a vote, to shout "discrimination!" demeans those Christians, makes a mockery of the term, and sounds to this Yank very much like men used to leisure and privilege who haven't seen the real world in years.
England and the USA are no longer our grandfathers' countries. Without irony, I say "Deo Gratias!" "Thanks be to God!"
The CofE may be the established church in England, and mainstream Christian Protestantism may once have been the USA'a unofficial civic religion, but the days of "Because our religion says so" justifying discriminatory laws are dead, mostly.

Posted by peterpi at Saturday, 11 December 2010 at 12:24am GMT

Would the whiners please show a single issue on which they have been discriminated against -- except those connected with samesex relations.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Saturday, 11 December 2010 at 7:40am GMT

How these Christians see sin everywhere, even where there is none. I have shared a bed with a straight friend on many occasions abroad without so much as a kiss between us but I bet these Christian Guesthouse people would have refused us. Isn't it called judging - something Christians are warned against?

Posted by Tom at Saturday, 11 December 2010 at 10:46am GMT

Spirit:

Oh, didn't you know it is a case of extreme discrimination if I'm not allowed to wear my dangling cross around my neck where it might get caught in the machinery I'm operating?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Saturday, 11 December 2010 at 12:12pm GMT

There is a letter from one active and one retired Church of England bishop in support of one of these cases in today's Telegraph, at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/8194948/The-violence-of-demonstrators-intent-on-mayhem-in-London-showed-up-the-inadequacies-of-the-police.html
Scroll 80% down the page. Text follows:

Bedroom principles

SIR – We wish to record our great concern that liberty of conscience is being eroded. Next week, two Christian pensioners, Mr and Mrs Bull, will appear in court because the guesthouse that they own and operate in Cornwall has a policy that couples must be married if they wish to occupy a double room (report, December 8). They offer single bedrooms to unmarried couples.

Mr and Mrs Bull’s understanding of marriage is the same as that of English law and the Christian Church. Their guesthouse is also their home. Their policy may seem traditional but, of itself, there is nothing wrong with that.

Surely in the interest of tolerance and diversity, we must accept that people may live by different principles, even if others don’t necessarily agree with them.

Yet they are being taken to court by a homosexual couple who were denied a double room at the guesthouse.

Liberty of conscience must not be confined to the mind. It is meaningless unless it includes the freedom to stand by our principles publicly.

Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt
Bishop of Winchester
Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali
Bishop of Rochester, 1994-2009

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 11 December 2010 at 5:05pm GMT

I wonder whether they allow remarried divorcees to share a bed, or condemn them as adulterers and send them packing?

Posted by Fr Mark at Saturday, 11 December 2010 at 5:17pm GMT

I remember years ago going with my choir to sing at a village in Cornwall where some of us stayed in a parishoner's B&B. When it was realised that my partner was male there was a hurried swapping of allocated rooms so that we had one with a single and a double bed. Needless to say we slept in the double!

Posted by Richard Ashby at Saturday, 11 December 2010 at 5:34pm GMT

Nothing obliges Mr. and Mrs. Bull to have a gay couple or an unmarried couple sleep together in their house. They are free to cease operating their home as a guest house at any time.
__________________________________________

SIR – We wish to record our great concern that liberty of conscience is being eroded. Next week, two Christian pensioners, Mr and Mrs Cow, will appear in court because the guesthouse that they own and operate in Devon has a policy that couples must be of the same race if they wish to occupy a double room. They offer single bedrooms to mixed race couples.

Mr and Mrs Cow’s understanding of marriage is the same as that of English law and the Christian Church until just a few decades ago. Their guesthouse is also their home. Their policy may seem traditional but, of itself, there is nothing wrong with that.

Surely in the interest of tolerance and diversity, we must accept that people may live by different principles, even if others don’t necessarily agree with them.

Yet they are being taken to court by a biracial couple who were denied a double room at the guesthouse.

Liberty of conscience must not be confined to the mind. It is meaningless unless it includes the freedom to stand by our principles publicly.

Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt
Bishop of Winchester
Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali
Bishop of Rochester, 1994-2009

Posted by Malcolm French+ at Sunday, 12 December 2010 at 4:44am GMT

I found an apposite quote on facebook the other day: 'The new Christian martyrdom: Being denied the "right" to feed OTHER people to the lions.'

People should be free to wear a pendant cross or even neckties with the pietistic message, "I love Jesus". They should enjoy the protection of the law to do so, if needs be. Just as Muslim women have the right to wear burqas and head scarves, and Sikhs to wear turbans.

But what I think comes screaming out of the article in The Tablet is that there is a type of Xian wants to be allowed to hang on to beliefs which - though posited as "orthodox" (a complete misnomer) - are nevertheless as inherently disordered as "orthodox" Christian beliefs approving slavery, racial discrimination and women's subordination to men. [Those have been, or are being, stamped out by the laws of enlightened societies in which Christianity is nevertheless permitted to flourish.]

There should be no sympathy in the United Kingdom - or anywhere else - for homophobia. No matter how much it is preached, taught and practiced by "orthodox" Christians.

To that extent Messrs. Scott-Joynt and Nazir-Ali are peddling nonsense. As they often do.

Oh. And why is it significant that the couple discriminated against is "biracial" ?

Posted by William at Thursday, 16 December 2010 at 7:02am GMT

Hear, hear William. I suppose it's indicative that Bp. Scott-Joynt doesn't actually take a fundamentalist view of scripture or he'd be stoning adulterers instead of remarrying them in church, ie. he has practised....let's call 'aggiornamento'....on that particularly awkward part of Jesus's teaching (note, not Leviticus which is apparently not so awkward for him or his buddy exB. Nazir-Ali).

As for the Bull's why do they feel they have to police people's bedrooms when there all sorts of other things they might be doing that the Bull's would not approve of but would rightly consider was none of their business? Do they check that their guests are in a state of grace before they are allowed to enter under their roof? When they say they only allow 'married' people to share a double room, does this only apply to baptised people who are in Christian Holy Matrimony or would two unbaptised atheists in a Civil marriage or two muslims where the husband had left his other three wives in Saudi Arabia be allowed to stay?

Posted by Tom at Thursday, 16 December 2010 at 1:03pm GMT
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