Thursday, January 25, 2007

Christianity - the new Socialist thought crime

When NuLabour were elected I warned fellow members of the small church group I attended that it would not be long before Christians would be persecuted over their beliefs on morality, specifically on issues relating to homosexuality.

It was a deeply unpopular thing to say - I think I was one of the few people who voted Conservative in that election in that group.

But now here we are. The likes of Angela Eagle and Ben Bradshaw are screaming that there can be no variation of thought or practice allowed. There's is the truth and anyone who acts otherwise must be prosecuted and imprisoned.

The plan would appear to be to use the incentive of government money and the fist of legal action to undermine the position and teachings of the church. Schools will be next. Gay activists will look to provoke Churches in any way they can to use their new powers of oppression (being forced to act against your conscience is oppression).

This legislation will be used as a constant irritant to push Christians out of the law, police, armed services and anywhere else where their conscience conflicts with the new Sacred Calf of Gay Rights and Fascist intolerance.

Today Postman Pat announced that lessons in British Values etc need to be included in the class room - at the same time as his government moves to crush the historic basis for law and society in our country. Their new variable morality will be baseless and will require ever more draconian measures to back it up.

Next in line for legalisation:

Polygamy : If you have no Christian basis for your laws then I just don't see how this can be refused. Also why shouldn't polygamous families not adopt also ? Only Christian familes will be forbidden to adopt - in case the child they parent should 'want to be gay'. ( My Brother's family were given pushed back from fostering for just this reason. )

Christians in the Labour party need to ask themselves if they can in all conscience stay in a party that is so devoted to attacking their faith.


See BBC report on Blair actively thinking about a decision, or a vote or something... you know everyones got a point and both gays and catholics are good at voting bring up children etc here.

Also Nick Robinson finishes of his blog ( full post here ) with the following:

This is a serious debate about competing rights and strongly held convictions. I am struck by the level of vilification being meted out to those with strongly held religious views. It is stated, as if fact, that Tony Blair is acting under orders from his Catholic wife who's acting under orders from the Archbishop who's acting under orders, presumably, from the Pope.

No-one who has met Cherie Blair would believe that a quick call from a bishop would have her quaking. Ruth Kelly is accused of putting her religion before her principles. One Catholic MP who defended her publicly has since received hate mail.

Gay public figures have, of course, experienced vilification for many years and often from religious people. Allow me to delicately suggest, however, that the attitudes being displayed now towards Catholics in public life must feel to them like a form of prejudice and discrimination.

On this issue Cranmer makes the case for Catholic hypocrisy from a religious point of view here.
( For the record Man in a Shed is not a Catholic. )

Further update:

See this article in todays Telegraph on being rejected for adoption as you are a Christian couple - and the article even suggests most hetrosexual couples are rejected by their local council ! ( This sounds a lot like my borther's experience of applying for fostering ).

...extract below (highlights are mine):

At the end of the home assessment, the report concluded that we had too idealistic a view of family life and marriage and that this might prejudice a homosexual child: a gay child would see the way we live and feel that we wouldn't be able to support him or her in their lifestyle. Why is it there isn't the same concern about placing a heterosexual child with a homosexual couple who might not be able to support a heterosexual child?

Our home assessment report was put before the adoption panel and we were asked to explain our views. We did so, saying that they were based on our Christian faith. We later received a letter saying that we had been turned down as adoptive parents, that we were not suitable for any of the children they had to place and that we would have to reconsider our views on homosexuality.

It was a devastating time: to be turned down after being grilled by social services for a year and a half, and also made to feel we were so much in the wrong. We appealed, but in vain. We have since spoken to a fostering agency, which told us that only one or two heterosexual couples get approved by them.


Ian said...

Roll on the day when discrimination on the basis of sexuality is viewed as repulsive as discrimination on the basis of race by society at large. What you refer to as "variation of thought or practice" is sheer bigotry given a thin veneer of respectability.


Man in a shed said...

One man's bigotry can be another man's freedom.

Its fine to aspire to the day when everyone thinks the same way on something, and even to make reasoned and impassioned arguments for it - quite another to enforce it by law. (Without a religious basis for the legitamcy of the state - which just exists now - then the law is in effect mob rule with no basis for authority other than violence, which seems to be the way things are going.)

There is always a balance between rights, although Angela Eagle refuses to admit it. The problem is that those who derive their morality from a religious basis, rather than the group think of the day, are now going to be persecuted. The nearest analogy I can think of is the persecution of Christians under communism in Europe.

Forcing Catholic adoption agencies to act against their faith is either madness or vindictive spite, especially when there are plenty of alternatives.

Ian said...

I'm aspiring to the day when everyone thinks the same way on something?

Am I hell. I'm aspiring to the day when discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is viewed as equivalently wrong to discrimination on the basis of ethnic background, i.e. utterly.


ian said...

So what defines a religion, and hence the matter of conscience? Why should one person's imaginary friend give them legitimacy? What if my 'religion' decrees that I don't pay taxes to fund a war? What if it requires the weekly sacrifice of virgins? Should these take precedence over the law of the land?

And what, between consenting adults, is the objection to polygamy?

And what defines which elements of that religion take precedence over another element : ie: what determines that 'all gays are evil' gets priority over 'love thy neighbour as thyself'?

Man in a shed said...

Ian - good questions.

The underlying assumption to Christianity is that it results from revelation from God. So from that perspective all religions aren't seen as equal as not all religions are seen as true. Therefore from a Christian's perspective it is not required to treat all religions equally.

The dilemma of what to do about a religion that makes what is seen as an unreasonable demand is a vexed one. Clearly every demand framed in term of conscience or religious rights can't just be acquiesced to because its made in those terms. That for example would lead to Sharia law being implemented in areas of the UK.

Christianity in England has traditionally been the religion of the vast majority - now other religions are present in greater numbers and militant atheism and socialism are making claims to different moralities. There may be fault lines created here which are unbridgeable, but we should try to avoid it coming to that if we can. Either that or we will need to separate as a nation into groups whom can accept common law. Remember that secular forces are just as unreasonable and faith driven as those of religious origin, as is being shown at the moment.

Its appears clear to the mainstream of Christians that the practice of homosexuality is wrong. To deny that or by your actions support such activity would thus be to deny your Christian faith. If the law requires that Christian faith is denied then a Christian must break that law. That has been clear since the time of Daniel.

On polygamy I think given the current ways of thinking the secular state will not object. There are reasons why its a bad idea – mostly relating to the wider dynamics of society and the emergent behaviour that may result. Perhaps feminists might also object. But I think its something that we will drift into – without intending to. Another unintended consequence of ill thought though decisions, some of which the current government have taken. Since secular society has no firm grounding or authority it is condemned to drift in the direction of least resistance. My point in raising it is to show how the country will just drift – rather than purposely set out a course to do something or hold firm.

Since I don't know of a religion that say 'all gays are evil' I'll have to take that aspect of the questions hypothetical. In the case of Christianity all people – except Christ – are seen as having sinned. We are also constrained and chastened by the example of Jesus in saving a woman accused of adultery saying let him who is without sin cast the first stone. That's not to say that a Christian could condone or support adultery – just that you want to be very slow and forgiving when you consider the risk you may be judged by your own standards. ( Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others.) Jesus taught that merely thinking about the act resulted in adultery. Its hard to condemn anyone else when held to that sort of standard, but equally its impossible to condone those very same actions.

A religion that requires the police to enforce its moral standards is not one that has much faith. The law should be phrased to consider the wider good, but not to enforce personal choices. But the law should not require everyone to condone those personal choices, as SORs does.

Christians don't approve of sex outside marriage, greed, envy, lying or a number of other things. It is not okay for Christians to support activities that enable these things. If the state requires it then the state will have to be resisted. Leaving a political party that requires such actions and voting against it could become moral duties. Its an unwise governing party that boxes a religious group in like that – but then it is NuLabour in power just at the moment.

C4' said...

Shut up Ian.

I thought that the post summed how I feel perfectly. What New Labour are doing to Christianity is EXACTLY the same as what the communists did to it behind the Iron Curtain.

Northwing said...

Man - totally agree with you, and well said.

There is also a strong Darwinist argument against this supposed 'equal' right to adopt which the atheofascists and LGBT militants conveniently ignore. On the fundamental issue behind this debate, and the equal priority being inferred for same sex adoption, the 'immutable tendencies' of majority society are simply being trampled over.

The practical combined effect of the Adoption Act 2002 and this new Equality Act is to undermine the prior importance of the nuclear family itself. That, is evil.

There was no need for this conflict of 'rights' in the first place. Of course the loss of many of the UK's 4 million Catholic voters won't have helped Nu Lab's chances in the next election - we can at least be thankful for that!

ian said...

You can't have it both ways. Either Muslims should be entitled to break the law, and live by Sharia law; and Christians the same, or both groupings must live within the laws of the democratically elected government, just as I must.

You also invoke tradition, but neglect to mention that this country has a long history of denying catholics what they want, back to Henry VIII and beyond.

And it's a bit disingenuous to attack new labour for destroying christianity when Blair himself used religious justification for the war in Iraq when all logic had failed ("God will judge me"). As always, religion is the cause of thousands of deaths, and probably more wars than anything else.

C4: There are two Ians here. Please make it clear which one you're talking to, so I can choose how to respond.

Man in a shed said...

ian i think your getting close to understanding my point. Let me try a rephrase: I, as a Christian, don't see democracy as a sacred tenant of faith.

Democracy has been able to function and flourish under and to some degree because of Christianity. ( It of course pre-dates Christianity - but is not itself a religion ).

The British Monarchy and hence state derives its authority from God - not democracy.

Some other relgions are, how can we say this, a little less democracy friendly.

I can't be a Christian and accept that secular law as paramount – its a straight contradiction of faith. That's why the NuLabour party would do well not to corner Christians with ill thought out laws and regulations like the SORs.

But what about the Muslims ? Well I think I understand their case a lot better as a Christian – I just don't think the secular left understands the basis of either faith, just how to trade favours for votes.

Christians don't require a full / unchanging Sharia law, just freedom of conscience. As I said democracy has done well in Christian countries – disastrously in Atheist/Socialist countries. That should make you sit up and think. ( In fairness Hindu's and Jews have run democratic states as of course did the ancient Greeks.)

Your point on oppression of Catholics is valid. The history of Tudor and Stuart England provides the answers and background here. Protestants were much more tolerant of Catholics than in reverse - just ask Cranmer ;-) . The effective religious civil war was halted by Elizabeth having enough sense to let people keep their faith in private, but not to threaten the Protestant state. Its that sort of wisdom and finesse that the current government is lacking.

If Blair hasn't confessed his sins and asked for forgiveness then God is very liekly to judge him, especially as he has effectively invited it. He'll find spin and all the arts of politics of little use. Its only Atheists who think the likes of Pinochet and Blair escape judgement with death. ( The Lords prayer asked not to bring us to the day of judgement - being judged by God is something to be avoided - not invoked.)

The religion causes all wars thing I just don't buy. Socialism - the soviet and national sort, combined with Imperial madness at the start of the 20th century are the major causes of butchery in human history.

One of the early sign that Blair was not to be trusted was his taking Catholic communion when not a Catholic - to the point that he had to asked to desist. An honest/sane man with a coherent view of his faith and the world would never have been placed in that position.

As I have blogged before a honourable man would have resigned after no WMD were found in Iraq. Blair did not. He is no advert for Christianity - as can be seen by his fence sitting in the original issue of this post.

Man in a shed said...

Just looking over Ian Dales Blog and found the following comment left by Peter o. I've shamelessly copied it over in full as it makes one of my points more clearly than I have and provides further context. (Peter I hope you don't mind).

Peter O said...

I've come in late on this but let me raise one or two points.

i) Mutability of sexuality - some of the posts above have argued from the basis that same-sex attraction is immutable. That's simply not the case. In my early to mid twenties I was exclusively homosexual in my attraction. Now in my early thirties I am happily married and predominantly heterosexual in my inclinations. Sexual attraction is fluid, we still have no real evidence of a biological causation, and that leads me to be very cautious of a law that seems to treat sexual orientation (something which we still cannot biologically determine) in the same manner as race or sex (where we only need to have a look at someone's DNA to work it out).

ii) The Executive of this country seem to be forgetting that the Protestant variety of the Christian Faith is enshrined into our very being. The monarch is crowned in an explicitly Christian ceremony; public funerals are Christian; Parliament opens each day with prayer to the Triune God. It seems almost schizoid of the Government to introduce legislation that makes the simple living out of that Triune faith illegal (making a moral choice of actions and the non-supporting of others' actions which would be contrary to Scripture). If we did not have an established religion it would be different, but at the moment the Government seems to want to have what it wants from the churches yet to ignore them on crucial ethical issues.

iii) The far more disturbing aspect of this new Regulation is the ability it gives for anybody to "take offence" of the actions of language of another. While as an ordained Priest of the Church of England I would be protected from prosecution for preaching the Good News of Sexual Redemption in Christ, members of my congregation would not if somebody chose to find it offensive. Furthermore, the law as it stands in NI would leave the accused to prove their innocence, not the prosecutor to prove guilt. Such a basic assault on Habeus Corpus is outrageous. To add to this malaise, the man chosen to decide whether to prosecute such cases is Ben Summerskill in his new role on the Equalities Commission. That's like asking David Cameron to decide whether Blair gets prosecuted for Loans for Peerages...

Right, that's enough for a Friday morning.

9:26 AM

Man in a shed said...

OK - on the Lords Prayer and judgement - I meant that we seek forgiveness not judgement. I wasn't clear there.

ian said...

Surely then, if you regard democracy and the rule of law as little more than a pleasant inconvenience, to be tolerated only when it coincides with your beliefts, then there is little point in voting for, or belonging to, any political party.

In particular, how do you equate a christian, charitable outlook with support for the "no such thing as society" conservatives?

Should all religious believers be given free reign to ignore the laws of the land, as they see fit? And if so, how does one define a religion? Can David Icke's followers be included?

To put it another way, as a secularist, why should other groups be given exemptions to laws they don't like, if I can't be?

It's an interesting debate. I think we agree, though, that Blair is not to be trusted and should go, even if we come to that conclusion from different sides.

Eric said...

You make the point well I think that we should be allowed to stand by our convictions. The concept of conviction is foreign to some people.

I guess also that those of us who are blessed with them should be true to them rather than deceive ourselves that we will find friends by compromising them. I sometimes feel guilty of the above.

One benefit, if any, of this legislation is that it will make people reassess their views - because a clear line seems to be being drawn.

Little Black Sambo said...

A truly excellent discussion. Tony Blair and his unprincipled fellow-gangsters would not understand a word of it.