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← Bishop of Winchester: legal system discriminates against Christians

Bishop of Winchester: legal system discriminates against Christians - Comments

William33's Avatar Comment 1 by William33

I fail to see why christians should be allowed to discriminate purely because of their bigoted views.

This is the 21st century, right?

You can't be expected to have power and influence in society and manage to discriminate against part of that society.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:04:11 UTC | #569237

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 2 by Tryphon Tournesol

We are persecuted and suppressed, blahblahblah,we are right without reason blahblahblah, we should have more rights than others blahblahblah

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:07:14 UTC | #569238

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 3 by Marc Country

Funny, I thought Cherie Blair was a judge.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:14:57 UTC | #569241

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 4 by Steve Zara

Bishop of Winchester: legal system discriminates against Christians

Of course it does. The point of the legal system is to discriminate. It discriminates between those who obey the law and those who don't. Laws involve compromise, and it has been decided in the UK that the rights of people in a same sex relationship to not experience prejudice outweighs the rights of others to discriminate against them.

Saying that there is discrimination against people because of their religious identity is no argument. There has to be a reasoned case put forward as to why their belief that their need to discriminate against others should be respected by law when they are providing a public service. If there is such a case, let's hear it.

Perhaps if religion could be classified as a psychological illness, that might help such a case?

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:20:17 UTC | #569244

some asshole's Avatar Comment 5 by some asshole

God I fecking LOVE that I'm alive to see religion circling the drain! I am loving this, loving the hell out of it, so to speak. (I'm not saying that we'll be free of religion anytime soon. You know what I mean, don't nitpick.)

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:28:58 UTC | #569248

bujin's Avatar Comment 6 by bujin

Oh, do f*** off, Rev.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:33:26 UTC | #569250

JackR's Avatar Comment 7 by JackR

I must be having an attack of stupid because even though I have logged in to that site I cannot for the life of me figure out how to add a comment. What am I missing?

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:38:53 UTC | #569254

The Plc's Avatar Comment 8 by The Plc

No, it just holds people with religious belief to the same standards as anyone else in civil society.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:40:42 UTC | #569256

NH King's Avatar Comment 9 by NH King

It is a sad day indeed when the good Christian values of hate, discrimination, and persecution complexes are denied by law. Why do people hate Christians so much that they must discriminate against us and claim they are being persecuted? Was it not Jesus who told us to love our enemies? It's about time the heathen scum began loving us, according to our savior's law!

I'm paraphrasing the bishop, of course, but I think I've done justice to the gist.

What I would like to know, and perhaps Dennet and Harris may have some ideas, is does this man realize how full of dung he is? Does he get how ironic it is that not allowing the church to discriminate is not discrimination, or that hating hate is not hate? Can it be that one of the world's most powerful and influential organizations is headed by men of such stupefying ignorance?

Or are they semi-intelligent, simply following the American evangelicals and protestants in the idea (proven effective, sadly) that most of your followers are just that, followers, and will not reflect with critical thought on any bizarre claim you might make?

What I want to know is is this man mentally or ethically handicapped? Or maybe both?

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:45:07 UTC | #569257

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 10 by Alan4discussion

“Probably for the first time in our history there is a widespread lack of religious literacy among those who one way and another hold power and influence, whether it’s Parliament or the media or even, dare I say it, in the judiciary.

”The risk would be that there are increasingly professions where it could be difficult for people who are devoted believers to work in certain of the public services, indeed in Parliament.

“Anybody who is part of the religious community believes that you don’t just hold views, you live them. Manifesting your faith is part of having it and not part of some optional bolt-on.

..So if they can't or won't follow the laws, the codes of conduct, or the rules, they are unfit for the job and should not be employed in that capacity!

“Judgement seemed to be following contemporary society, which seems to think that secularist views are statements of the obvious and religious views are notions in the mind. That is the culture in which we are living.

“The judges ought to be religiously literate enough to know that there is an argument behind all this, which can’t simply be settled by the nature of society as it is today.”

I wonder how many texts of different religions you need to read to be considered "religiously literate"? (His ONE perhaps?)

The silly old duffer seems to be saying that judges should be reading sky-fairy-stories - instead of law books and codes of conduct, - in order to accommodade his followers who wish to ignore these!
In other words, judges should follow his lead in being irresponsibly legally illiterate, and make up laws to suit his views!

In view of his followers being clearly identified as A MINORITY (see http://richarddawkins.net/articles/568607-religion-respecting-the-minority), it is probably only a matter of time before he is yelling that the Human Rights Act is protecting the rights of minority groups and his should be included!

There are echoes screams or heresy at the end of the interpretive monopoly when bibles were translated into English for all to read, so priests could nolonger credibly dictate twaddle to dependent illiterate masses!

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:45:47 UTC | #569258

serotonin_wraith's Avatar Comment 11 by serotonin_wraith

Are they against discrimination or not? I'm confused.

They want to discriminate, but don't want to be discriminated by others.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:48:05 UTC | #569259

SRWB's Avatar Comment 12 by SRWB

Blockquote Perhaps if religion could be classified as a psychological illness, that might help such a case?> Blockquote

But to do that would be playing right into the bishop's hands. If religion were even further protected under existing human rights statutes as are many illnesses (like under the Canadian Human Rights Act) then that would give people like the the Bish even more ammunition for their beliefs to be protected and put on a higher pedestal.

No, the solution is to vigorously counter such idiocy with reason.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:51:13 UTC | #569262

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 13 by AtheistEgbert

Not only is this another display of moral bankruptcy from a 'bishop' (see the disgraceful letter by the bishop of Pheonix), but the church has never been moral in the first place.

Human rights should be understood as individual rights. That means, no human has any claim to being more 'special' than any other. Christians and non-christians are equal in the blindness of Justice.

Of course, now Christians are officially a 'minority' in Britain, they want to play the persecution card, because it worked for people who were persecuted by Christians, and so why not?

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:55:53 UTC | #569264

RW Millam's Avatar Comment 14 by RW Millam

...for the first time in British history politicians and judges were largely ignorant of religion and so failed to appreciate the importance Christians placed on abiding by the scriptures rather than the politically correct values of the secular state.

Sounds like things are headed in the right direction. Another small step would be to eliminate the custom of swearing on a bible before giving testimony.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:55:58 UTC | #569265

ridelo's Avatar Comment 15 by ridelo

It's a discrimination to discriminate those who discriminate...

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 15:19:03 UTC | #569276

colluvial's Avatar Comment 16 by colluvial

He could just as well be lamenting the end of slavery and the stoning of adulterers, something I assume the Bishop finds as appalling as the rest of us. On these counts, he can thank his ancestors who exhibited more good sense than he currently does.

It must be difficult being an anachronism.

the death of “religious literacy”

Interesting use of the word 'literacy'. I never knew it was a synonym for 'kowtowing'.

secularist views are statements of the obvious and religious views are notions in the mind

Exactly!

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 15:20:49 UTC | #569278

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 17 by Vorlund

How dare these self serving bastards whine about being disadvantaged? They get to promulgate their nonsense in schools to defenceless and susceptible minors and they get tax breaks that no other organisation receives and yet they still insist their beliefs are held in total reverence and deference by every one else and take precedence over the rights of others. Tough! the world is more enlightened now and they are on the event horizon of annhiliation.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 15:30:32 UTC | #569281

ridelo's Avatar Comment 18 by ridelo

A lack of religious literacy? Then it's a curious fact that atheists seem to be more religious literate then the rest of the population. It's good to know where you are against. Let's educate everybody to more religious literacy. Of all major religions, of course. It only can help us to understand what religion is about. Here in Belgium catholic schools went in that direction to compare religions in the religion classes. The new archbishop is not happy with that and wants to go back to more 'genuine' religion courses.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 15:43:20 UTC | #569286

Vogon42's Avatar Comment 19 by Vogon42

All the bishop is saying is that he wants his lot to make all the rules, the way they used to, and the rest of us to play the part his Iron Age mentors would have liked (being the targets of a nice, exemplary stoning for blasphemy, for example).

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 15:44:17 UTC | #569287

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 20 by Stevehill

Highlighting the case Gary McFarlane, a relationship counsellor who was sacked by Relate for refusing to give sex therapy to a homosexual couple, he said that the judiciary now went out of its way to protect the rights of minorities.

Yes, Bishop. That's what elected representatives do in democracies when we ask them to pass laws outlawing the prior rights of religion to discriminate against whoever it likes on whatever grounds it likes.

Happily, we now live in a democracy, not a theocracy, and your Bronze Age views are immaterial.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:05:14 UTC | #569294

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 21 by Stafford Gordon

I heard Woolf's comment on Radio 4; I might have known it would generate a whinge.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:08:48 UTC | #569295

stellier68's Avatar Comment 22 by stellier68

Excuse me Reverend, can I copy+paste your comment the next time a good Christian pastor gets "deported to another parish" instead of going to jail for abusing the altar boys?

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:16:57 UTC | #569297

Kaltano's Avatar Comment 23 by Kaltano

"he said that the judiciary now went out of its way to protect the rights of minorities."

Silly me, I thought it was their duty to go out of their way to protect everyone's rights.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:20:58 UTC | #569298

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 24 by Stevehill

He's wrongly arguing against what he sees as judge made law.

His gripe - which he knows full well - is with the Equalities Act 2010, against which he personally voted. And which, with his fellow unelected Bishops, led to a government defeat (by 5 votes) in the House of Lords on a key provision which would have ended religions' rights to discriminate on employment grounds.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:24:00 UTC | #569301

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 25 by Jos Gibbons

death of “religious literacy”

Our MPs know what Christianity says. It’s not hard to pick up that one in pop culture.

an imbalance in the way in which those with faith were treated compared to sexual minorities

Why should one compare theists to gays? No–one chooses their sexuality. We can prove that. People do, at least to some extent, choose whether they believe certain doctrines, and they definitely choose whether to engage in homophobic activities. And we know exactly what has rattled Scott–Joynt’s cage; sometimes anti–homophobia legislation has trod on the toes of Christians’ plans for homophobic activities. Of COURSE the two groups cannot be treated equally well under law. Either gays are treated as well as straights or they’re not. We can’t protect bigotry at the same time we’re trying to attack it.

McFarlane, a relationship counsellor who was sacked by Relate for refusing to give sex therapy to a homosexual couple, he said [sic] that the judiciary now went out of its way to protect the rights of minorities.

Well, yes!

I’m sorry to have to do this, but I really must compare this to fat people complaining about the seats on airplanes not being big enough for them. As Ricky Gervais said, “No, they’re not – because if they were, we’d only get 12 f***ing people on the plane!”

My point is this: if giving you what you want requires us to do things we shouldn’t, stuff you.

At the same time, for the first time in British history politicians and judges were largely ignorant of religion

On the contrary; only in recent years have British politicians known Catholics deserve to be in politics every bit as much as do protestants, and only in even more recent years have they known anything at all about any religions bar Christianity and Judaism. And what of knowing and caring about the non–religious?

failed to appreciate the importance Christians placed on abiding by the scriptures rather than the politically correct values of the secular state

  1. If Christians obeyed scripture, they’d find dietary regulations next to the stone–gays bit. 2. The C of E? The queen being Defender of the Faith? The default MP oath being religious? 26 C of E bishops in the House of Lords? The BBC constantly doing religion favours? Yeah, a REALLY secular state! 3. If Christians really can’t not hate gays (by the way, they often can), then we still have to oppose homophobia.

[Woolf] agreed that in some legal cases the balance had gone “too far” in tipping away from Christians.

No they haven’t. I direct your attention to here to help illustrate the distinction between 1. giving a religion perks, 2. holding a religion’s followers to the same standards as anyone else, and 3. Actually discriminating against its adherents. It is 3. Scott–Joynt and Wolff have claimed, and they are lying. There are no cases of 3. in our nation, there are many cases of 1. both for Christianity and for other faiths (and of course any examples where they apply to at least one non–Christian faith but not to Christianity may be confused by these charlatans with 3.), and all the legal cases so far identified turn out on close inspection to be of type 2.

attacks on Christianity

Even if the Christians themselves have been attacked, and attack on Christianity is a separate thing. Its praises are constantly sung by all those in power.

The critique of the Human Rights Act is likely to fuel the criticism of David Cameron for failing to abide by a pre-election pledge he made to replace the controversial European rules with a home-grown Bill of Rights.

  1. Has he stated he’s going back on that, or has he just not got round to it yet? He has until 2015! 2. A proper bill of rights shouldn’t give Scott–Joynt or Wolff what they want.

adoption agencies forced by the Government to close their doors after they refused to place children with same sex couples

This is a lie. The decision to close was taken by the agencies themselves. They basically said they wouldn’t care for children unless they were allowed to do so in a homophobic way. The ultimatum wasn’t heeded, so they closed despite the Government not requiring closure.

an imbalance in the legal position with regard to the freedom of Christians and people of other faiths to pursue the calling of their faith in public life, in public service

No faith should be in public life/service, nor should irreligion. Christianity is favoured by the existing violations of this, such as the Christian prayers preceding meetings of the House of Commons.

there are increasingly professions where it could be difficult for people who are devoted believers to work in certain of the public services, indeed in Parliament

Remember, this is entirely because those people refuse to treat fairly all peoples who the rest of us are wise enough to recognise deserve equal treatment. They’re basically saying it’s OK to be anti–gay, but not OK to be anti–Christian when Christians are anti–gay. This makes NO sense. What’s more, there is such a thing as non–homophobic Christianity. Just switch to it (or abandon the faith).

Anybody who is part of the religious community believes that you don’t just hold views, you live them. Manifesting your faith is part of having it and not part of some optional bolt-on.

Again, why believe gays are rubbish? Because the magic book says so in one of the small minority of its verses you actually believe? Just make one more amendment to your cherry–picking, or admit you’re incompetent for those jobs which require fair play.

Judgement seemed to be following contemporary society, which seems to think that secularist views are statements of the obvious and religious views are notions in the mind

Whether “Gays are the same as everyone else and deserve to be so treated” is a religious or a secular view isn’t even the issue here; it definitely is obvious, and anyone who doesn’t agree to it, whatever their reasons or their nature, is an (insert every swear word you know in here).

The judges ought to be religiously literate enough to know that there is an argument behind all this

There are no arguments behind any faith positions. That’s what “faith” means, mate.

Woolf said that the law should be the same for everyone, regardless of faith or lack of it

Exactly. Therefore, whatever straights deserve gays do too. Further, as atheists can’t be anti–gay, Christians can’t either.

We may have gone too far

We won’t have gone far enough until these are open & shut cases.

The law should be developed in ways that, wherever practicable, it allows that faith to be preserved and protected.

Once upon a time Christianity “needed” slavery. Was that a pro–slavery argument then? Is it now? Christians can cherry–pick however they want. If they couldn’t, there would be either no homophobic Christians or no Christians bar homophobic ones. And even if Christianity can’t outlive homophobia, homophobia must go and Christianity would need to go along with it.

Carey put his name to the “I’m Not Ashamed” campaign, which promotes the rights of Christians

If that campaign is really about allowing Christians to engage in homophobic practices in jobs where that’s intolerable yet go unpunished, everyone in it should be ashamed.

He produced a leaflet earlier this month claiming that Christians of “deep faith” faced discrimination and were “under attack” at the start of a campaign to encourage religious people to “wear their faith with pride”.

So why then does the campaign only promote Christians’ rights?

The Human Rights Act has come under increasing criticism in recent years for protecting the rights of minorities including criminals over those of the wider population.

It’s not as if we should be treated gay and straight, black and white etc. criminals differently, and the act fails to go far enough along those lines. It’s not as if we should be guilty until proven innocent and the act gets it the wrong way round. It’s not as if criminals must forever be unable to get a second chance once their debts to society are repaid, and the act gives them an unfair leg–up.

Cameron had promised to scrap the Act in favour of a British Bill of Rights, but ... plans were effectively kicked into the long grass

Do we actually know that?

it emerged that a failed Iraqi asylum seeker who killed a 12-year-old girl in a hit and run accident could not be deported because he had fathered children in this country and the Act upheld his right to a family life.

What’s the problem with this? The man will pay his debt to our society for the accident, as would any citizen who was responsible for it. His children will not be made to suffer for their father’s mistake any further than having a father in prison (for example), nor should they. It’s not as if he came here just to murder Britons.

The case followed that of Learco Chindamo, who killed headteacher Phillip Lawrence but escaped deportation to Italy, his country of birth, on the grounds that he had moved to Britain as a child and had a right to remain in this country.

Since when would we punish legal residents of our nation with deportation? Take me; I am a British citizen in any sense you could name. No matter what crimes I commit, no–one will recommend I be deported anywhere. Why should this be different if I have some Italian descent? The Chindamo case went down the only non–racist avenue available.

Williams ... warned that the Government’s planned programme of welfare cuts could harm the “honest, hardworking” poor as well as those seeking to abuse the system ... he said that the children of the poor had not chosen to live in poverty, and should not be forced to suffer ... he also questioned Mr Cameron’s concept of the “Big Society,” saying that people wanted more concrete evidence of investment in their communities.

So Williams does a couple of sensible things. Why is this relevant in an article which started on the subject of which minorities should get what from whom?

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:33:52 UTC | #569304

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 26 by Cartomancer

High Priest of Tenochtitlan: legal system discriminates against Aztecs.

If there was more religious literacy around, they would understand that the ritual sacrifice of children is a central tenet of the worship of Tlaloc. The rights of observant Tlaloc-worshippers are being infringed by these secular laws against murder and child abuse. It's all gone far too far.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:37:52 UTC | #569305

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 27 by Stafford Gordon

You can't choose sexual orientation, or race, or gender, or height, or eye colour, or hair colour, any more than you choose parents.

Religion on the other hand is elective, and there are a number from which to choose; or not, as the case may be. Or, best of all, you can make one up. What more do you want?

Have faith in your faith say I; faith that it can take the knocks.

Which as things stand is looking increasingly unlikely.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:48:15 UTC | #569309

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 28 by Stafford Gordon

You can't choose sexual orientation, or race, or gender, or height, or eye colour, or hair colour, any more than you choose parents.

Religion on the other hand is elective, and there are a number from which to choose; or not, as the case may be. Or, best of all, you can make one up. What more do you want?

Have faith in your faith say I; faith that it can take the knocks.

Which as things stand is looking increasingly unlikely.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:50:03 UTC | #569310

aliensmack's Avatar Comment 29 by aliensmack

Complete garbage spewing from that guys mouth .

If a balance is to exist in the legal system it cannot by definition lean toward or support christians .

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 17:35:37 UTC | #569323

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 30 by Rodger T

Cmon guys take it easy on the ol Bish, its not like he has ever had to think to do his job,feckin hell Ill bet he has never even worked up a sweat to put food on his own table. Having attendances down in his churches probably means the sad ol git is going hungry. So , a little more respect, thank you.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 17:51:14 UTC | #569330