Thinking Anglicans

More media coverage of the foster care case

Updated again Wednesday afternoon

Stephen Bates reports for the Guardian Anti-gay Christian couple lose foster care case

John Aston and Jan Colley, PA via Independent Anti-gay Christian couple lose battle to become foster parents

The Telegraph has huge coverage, including this Leader Foster parents defeated by the new Inquisition

Tim Ross
Foster parent ban: ‘no place’ in the law for Christianity, High Court rules and
Foster parent ban: ‘extreme distress’ of ‘anti-gay’ Christians’ over ruling

and the following additional articles:
Foster parent ban: ‘this is a secular state’, say High Court judges
Foster parent ban: ‘we have not received justice’

Fostering row commentary: would-be parents must be non-judgmental

Foster parent ban: Lord Justice Munby ‘avid supporter of open justice’

Foster parent ban: Mr Justice Beatson ‘UK’s best academic lawyer’

Updates

Peter Ould has written Breaking – Christians with Traditional Moral Views can still be Foster Parents

Cranmer has written “…the laws and usages of the realm do not include Christianity, in whatever form”

Ekklesia has written Court rejects foster couple ‘Christian discrimination’ claim and Misleading claims about discrimination against Christians

The Christian Institute has published Christian Institute responds to foster carer court case and there is a fuller statement available as a PDF over here in which the Christian Institute is at pains to note that it is a completely separate organisation from the Christian Legal Centre.

Ruth Gledhill has posted a video on UTube which contains comments from Eunice and Owen Johns and also from Andrea Minichiello Williams of the Christian Legal Centre. See it here.

Symon Hill has written at Left Foot forward Lazy journalism surrounds the latest foster parents furore

Melanie Phillips has written for the Spectator The judges’ atheist inquisition

The UK Human Rights Blog has an analysis by Rosalind English Analysis: the place of religion in foster care decisions

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rjb
rjb
10 years ago

This all seems a bit silly and pointless. Philip Larkin probably basically had it about right when it comes to parents (“they may not mean to but they do,” etc.), but generations of us have somehow managed to grow up tolerating our parents’ archaic prejudices, and are not (much) the worse for it. Some of us even still manage to love our parents occasionally, despite their manifold and glaring human imperfections. It’s hard to see who benefits from this verdict. Why, after all, should the law prescribe such imposing moral standards on those wishing to care for other people’s children,… Read more »

John
John
10 years ago

The Telegraph’s coverage is disgraceful. Surprise. In particular, the last one seems to flirt with anti-Semitism. There are conservatives/traditionalists with whom – because they are fundamentally decent – we should strive at all costs to maintain communion. Then there are the other sort – whom we should fight, fight, fight.

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
10 years ago

rjb – there WAS no judgement.

Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

This ruling, recently upheld by a High Court Judge in the British Courts, delineates the difference between what might be permissable in a theocratic state, whose laws uphold the tenets of a particular faith system; and what is both permissible and desirable in the U.K., which is not a theocratic state – even though the Church of England still has ties with the British Crown. This ruling has caused ructions within the more evangelical sodality in the UK, who would like to have their mores imposed on all citizens there – whatever their ethnic or religious constituency might be. Natural… Read more »

Stuart
Stuart
10 years ago

To repeat Laurence’s point: there was no ruling.

The court declined to make a ruling.

The couple concerned have not been banned from fostering.

It’s hard to hang on to facts amongst all the media hysteria, but the judges’ statement concludes: “For the reasons given we have concluded that we should make no order.”

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
10 years ago

Excellent article by Peter Ould.

I too was somewhat taken-aback almost ten years ago hearing (in parliamentary debates) and reading government ministers talking of our secular democracy.

Perhaps that has been the mantra for much longer but I had not been attentive.

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
10 years ago

They say ‘secular’ to distance themselves from the crazy, nasty, extreme views expressed by ‘churchmen’, particularly on a variety of sex related issues. They often manage to be insulting or condescending to citizens who are minding their own business, from couples who family plan (RCC); the sex lives & loves of people who happen not to be married (RCC; Christian Institute, Evangelical Alliance;lesbian & gay individuals & couples (RCC; CofE; etc); civil partners (CofE;RCC); women seeking termination of pregnancy (RCC). Also, people who think for themselves conscientiously & creatively within the Churches and in society generally (CofE; RCC etc). This… Read more »

Rosemary Hannah
10 years ago

I think we should allow for the possibility that Rowan Williams has actually changed his mind totally and utterly. to me, that is the only thing which makes sense of his position and statements.

Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Here’s one person hoping that Archbishop Rowan Williams has not changed his mind on the LGBT issue – he may be simply biding his time, awaiting the opportunity for a new, vibrant, living Communion to arise up out of the ashes of the old conservative, Victorian, one. WE sometimes fail to see the need for a cautious approach for any Church Leader to bring good out of the not-so-good, by awaiting the right time for a cogent renewal of the Church’s attitudes towards matters of biblical hermeneutics, and gender and sexuality. After ell, it has taken decades for the Church… Read more »

Randal Oulton
Randal Oulton
10 years ago

They say about holocaust topics, who cares about them except Jews and old Nazis. And not without some brutal germ of truth in saying it.

The same with this topic. Who cares about this, except gays, and extreme far-right Christians?

The general population is not talking about it in line-ups for their cappucinos.

Sara MacVane
Sara MacVane
10 years ago

Comment on Rosemary’s: Then it would be honest to say so: I have utterly and competely changed my mind on what I wrote in The Body’s Grace for the following reasons…..

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
10 years ago

Anne Atkins also implied that there had been a judgement on this morning’s Thought for the Day, saying that the couple had been denied the right to adopt.

Laurence C.
Laurence C.
10 years ago

And for an hilarious parody of what Atkins said, go here:

http://www.platitudes.org.uk/platblog/index.php

Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Reading through the Peter Ould article, I find that the following paragraph, from his assessment of the reports about the court case on the suitability of anti-gay foster-carers, to be in line with the reality: that Christians need to ‘obey Caesar’ when to do so is clearly for the ultimate harmony of the community. Here is the paragraph: “One consequence of this (ruling)is that Christians need to grow up and realise (a) that they no longer live in a country which gives the Christian faith a pre-eminent position in the jurisprudence of the land (the judgement in para 30 recognises… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
10 years ago

Comment on Rosemary’s: Then it would be honest to say so: I have utterly and competely changed my mind on what I wrote in The Body’s Grace for the following reasons…..

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Thursday, 3 March 2011 at 6:22am

Yes, and an apology. By God, he’s got some explaining to do.

And even if he now recants (makes me think of his illustrious predecesor who recanted X 2), it does not mean the rest of us have to. Those who didnt hear it, may still read it (obtainable from LGCM) and decide for themselves.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
10 years ago

Fr Ron
“After ell, it has taken decades for the Church of England to ‘allow’ its clergy to avail themselves of Civil Partnerships”

The Civil Partnership Act dates back to 2005 and clergy were immediatley permitted to enter into a civil partnership, provided their relationship remained celibate.

That’s grudgingly making sure you don’t break the law without conceding any ground.
I don’t see anything remotely positive in it.

David Wilson
David Wilson
10 years ago

Father Ron

Since when should Christians render children to Ceasar, surely Jesus was referring to taxes.

After all Caesar would have us worship him rather than worship Jesus. At some point the antichrist will inspire those in authority, but we are asked as Christians to stand firm to the end. It is to Jesus we must bow our knee not Caesar.

Laurence C.
Laurence C.
10 years ago

“It is to Jesus we must bow our knee not Caesar.” David Wilson

Which is all well and good in the private sphere – you can bow all you like and no-one can, nor wishes to, stop you.

One more time : the law does not give special privileges to citizens who choose to have a Christian or any other faith. It really isn’t a difficult principle to grasp.

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
10 years ago

He set a child in their midst.

Randal Oulton
Randal Oulton
10 years ago

@ David Wilson

And here I thought the anti-christ had come and gone. At least, the Southern Baptists believed Abraham Lincoln was the antichrist because he opposed slavery, while they were convinced the bible endorsed it.

Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

David Wilson: Certain religious leaders used to offer children to Moloch. That’s not what I’m proposing. What I’m asking for is that foster-parents (care-givers) do not impose their own religous bigotry on the children they are meant to care for. The primary charism needed for the proper care of children is loving concern – not bigoted pseudo-guidance.

MarkBrunson
MarkBrunson
10 years ago

You’re not following the very Scripture you claim to, David Wilson.

And. . .

You’re dissembling. The question isn’t whether to “offer” children to anyone, but whether the government has a right to protect children from foster parents who might damage them. The ones demanding sacrifice of children are the religious conservatives.

John Roch
John Roch
10 years ago

@ David Wilson
“. . . surely Jesus was referring to taxes.”

That’s an interesting (and to my mind entirely erroneous, restricted and untenable) way of looking at it.

If “things that are Caesar’s” are merely taxes, what are the “things that are God’s”?

I’m no Biblical scholar, but I feel that such an interpretation would not be acceptable from a child in Sunday School.

Or perhaps (as an organist) I’ve been reading my Sunday paper through too many sermons.

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