First, I must say I am not a Chistian or, some might say, at best “cultural Christian,” and yet as a libertarian I find myself often defending Christians against the sniping of the “human rights” industry. Those of us who are classical liberals in the true sense of the word (small government, big individual liberty and responsibility), have no time for the authoritarian bullies who have hijacked the word “Liberal” because they don’t like to admit what they really are. True liberals believe in equality but, unlike the authoritarian liberals, do not believe that “some of the animals are more equal than others,” to quote George Orwell.
To put it another way, a true liberal believes in religious freedom, not just for Muslims but for followers of all religions and those of no religion. If there are any misgivings about religion, they centre on those fanatics–Christians, Muslims and Jews alike–who believe their sacred texts lay on them a duty to impose their beliefs on the entire world. Fortunately such people only make up a fraction of the followers of their respective religions.
A true liberal also believes in free speech as a human right and free speech extends to white people being able to criticize (fairly or unfairly) members of the dark skinned races or sexual minorities. It would be easy to make a long list of the areas where the liberal principles of these pseudo-liberal crypto-fascists falls somewhat short of anything that could be considered truly liberal, but that is not the purpose of the article.
As mentioned, my outlook is by no means Christian or in any way religious,but many true liberals are concerned that Christians feel they are being “persecuted” and their faith “driven underground.” Dr. George Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury and man who understands Anglican Christian values probably better than anyone other than Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of South African Anglicans, has said as much and claimed that the courts are failing to protect the religious values, not just of his own church but all Christians and not just in Europe but around the world.
In a copy of his submission to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) released to the press ahead of a landmark case on religious freedom, Lord Carey said Christians were excluded from many sectors of employment because of their beliefs, “vilified by state bodies,” and feared arrest for expressing their views in public. I was shocked at this last assertion but then recalled several members of my blog community have complained in their comments of being warned at work not to discuss even the social side of their church membership in case it offends Muslims or other non Christians.
The ECHR hearing Dr. Carey has addressed will deal with the case of two workers forced out of their jobs after visibly wearing crosses, the case of a relationship counsellor sacked for saying he may not be comfortable giving sex counselling to homosexual couples, and a Christian official registrar of births, deaths and marriages who wishes not to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.
In the submission, Lord Carey said the outward expression of traditional conservative Christian values has effectively been “banned” under a new “secular conformity of belief and conduct.”
The former archbishop detailed how in “case after case” British courts have failed to protect Christian values and urged the European judges to correct the balance. He said there was a “drive to remove Judeo-Christian values from the public square” and argued UK courts have “consistently applied equality law to discriminate against Christians” as they show a “crude” misunderstanding of the faith by treating some worshippers as “bigots”.
Lord Carey, who was archbishop from 1991 to 2002, also wrote this in his submission:
In a country where Christians can be sacked for manifesting their faith, are vilified by state bodies, are in fear of reprisal or even arrest for expressing their views on sexual ethics, something is very wrong. It affects the moral and ethical compass of the United Kingdom. Christians are excluded from many sectors of employment simply because of their beliefs; beliefs which are not contrary to the public good.
It is now Christians who are persecuted; often sought out and framed by homosexual activists. Christians are driven underground. There appears to be a clear animus to the Christian faith and to Judaeo-Christian values. Clearly the courts of the United Kingdom need guidance.
The submission also argues that British judges have used a strict reading of the equality law to strip the legal right to freedom of religion of “any substantive effect.”
What should be of more concern to the non-religious, politically non-aligned centre of society is the politicisation of the law, along with the politicisation of education, healthcare and public services. All the main areas in which the state interfaces with the public have now fallen under the control of politically correct, left leaning activists. We have heard of pupils excluded from school for expressing views that are “off message,” cases of elderly people being evicted from care homes because they refused to answer questions on their sexuality (this was part of a drive by one local authority to ensure that care homes receiving funds from its treasury were meeting their quotas for elderly and infirm gay and lesbian residents). The deeper we dig, the crazier the politically correct antics of the left become.
These loons cannot see what is wrong with their attempts to create a socially engineered utopia, nor can they sense the irony of their backing up overblown rhetoric about “diversity” with attempts to impose a secularist monoculture on all of us.
Keith Porteus-Wood, executive director of the UK National Secular Society, said in a response to Dr. Carey’s submission:
The idea that there is any kind of suppression of religion in Britain is ridiculous. Even in the European Court of Human Rights, the right to religious freedom is not absolute – it is not a licence to trample on the rights of others. That seems to be what Lord Carey wants to do.
Quite how Mr. Porteus-Wood can say there is no persecution of Christians when in several high profile cases Christian workers have been sacked for wearing a small cross visible outside their clothes while in the workplace is a mystery. As if to pile irony on top of irony, Porteus-Wood conveniently overlooks the fact that in none of these cases have the complaints that led to dismissal and prosecution come from Muslims, Jews, Hindus or members of other minorities. They have all come from secularist lefties eager to be offended on behalf of religious minorities.
What this gentleman fails to understand is that while his comment is to some extent true, it also applies in reverse. Equal rights does not extend to depriving society’s mainstream members of their rights and freedoms in order to pander to the demands of politically motivated minorities. And the feelings of churchgoers, people who oppose affirmative action, who can see no benefit in pumping tax revenue into third world nations or the people who dare to attack the left’s sacred cows are of equal value to those of the “right on” minority.
I can only write of what I know, which is British and European news, but I do get the impression that a lot of American citizens feel their freedoms and way of life is under attack from the current administration, political activists in the legal system and public officials too weak to stand up to the unreasonable demands of minorities. All these and a self elected elite that has so homogenised the political system there is no longer any discernable difference in the policies of the main parties. As a result voters have become totally alienated voters from the political process. And that puts democracy in very grave danger.