Updated twice Thursday morning and twice Thursday afternoon
According to Andrew Alderson in the Telegraph:
Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and other church leaders will urge senior judges to stand down from future Court of Appeal hearings because of “disturbing” and “dangerous” rulings they issued in recent religious discrimination cases.
Senior churchmen do not think they have any chance of a “fair” ruling if the latest significant hearing – due on Thursday – is heard in front of those judges who, they argue, have already shown a lack of understanding of Christian beliefs….
Lord Carey and others will this week support a formal application by lawyers acting for Gary McFarlane, a Christian relationship counsellor, that a specialist panel of five judges with a proven understanding of religious issues and headed by Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, should be established to hear his case and future cases involving religious rights.
Also, Laura Clark in the Mail reported that:
Lord Carey will back an application by Mr McFarlane’s lawyers for the case to be heard by a specialist panel of five judges with an understanding of religious issues.
It would be headed by Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice.
A spokesman for Lord Carey yesterday confirmed the former archbishop has already prepared a witness statement.
He will warn of ‘disturbing’ rulings and ‘dangerous’ reasoning in previous cases. Other senior church figures are also said to have prepared statements.
Responses to this include:
Ruth Gledhill in The Times It can only harm Christians to bleat about persecution and be sure to watch the video version as well.
In Britain Christians cry: “We are being persecuted.” But the lions don’t exist beyond their imaginations or the arena beyond their story books. Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and his fellow victims are giving all Christians a bad name. It is time for liberals to stand up and say: “We will not be slain by this malevolent spirit, not even when the persecutors are our fellow Christians…”
Andrew Brown at Cif belief Carey’s court is an admission of defeat
…But as soon as the church, or Christianity, becomes just another pressure group fighting its corner, it has conceded the power to grant legitimacy to something else, whether this is public opinion or the political process. And from a position outside Christianity, it is absurd to demand that cases involving Christians and their tender consciences be tried by Christians, but corresponding cases involving Muslims should not be tried by Muslims.
Telegraph Peter Hutchison ‘Persecuted Christians’ join forces
The letter mentioned in this report can now be read here (scroll down) or in the comments below.
Press release from CCFON, titled (the quotation marks are theirs!) ‘Christian Victims’ of English Judicial System to Challenge Master of the Rolls – today in Court
Frances Gibb The Times Lord Carey warns of ‘unrest’ if judges continue with ‘dangerous’ rulings
Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, warned today of future “civil unrest” if judges continue with “disturbing” and “dangerous” rulings in religious discrimination cases.
He intervened in a case being brought by a Bristol solicitor and relationship counsellor who wants a special panel of five senior judges to hear his appeal against being sacked for refusing to counsel homosexual couples.
Lord Carey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002, attacked the courts over a series of “disturbing” judgments and accused judges of being responsible for some “dangerous” reasoning which could, if taken to extremes, lead to Christians being banned from the workplace.
“Recent decisions of the courts have illuminated insensitivity to the interests and needs of the Christian community and represent disturbing judgments,” he said in a witness statement.
Lord Carey said it was “but a short step from the dismissal of a sincere Christian from employment to a “religious bar” to any employment by Christians.”
Lord Carey, who said he had the support of several other Anglican bishops and other leading churchmen, also attacked recent decisions by the Court of Appeal on the right of Christians to wear crosses in the workplace…
And also, Peter Hutchison Telegraph ‘Civil unrest’ warning over ‘un-Christian’ rulings
…Paul Diamond, who was applying to the Court of Appeal for permission to challenge an employment tribunal ruling which backed the sacking of Mr McFarlane, said: “There will be a collision between the established faith of this land and judicial decisions which will lead to civil unrest.”
He added that laws protecting religious freedom now “counted for nothing” in the courts.