An insomniac Scots Calvinist looks at the Church and the world and wonders where it all went wrong

Posts tagged ‘Nadia Eweida’

ANYONE FOR EMBROIDERY?

Orwell taught us that if you control the language you control the thoughts, and that leads ultimately to control of society. The lesson has been well learned.

Jesse Jackson, one time civil rights campaigner and now professional race baiter and experienced language manipulator, put it clearly: “When a photographer takes a picture, he or she decides what is in the picture, and what is left out, what is highlighted and what is blurred.  Two photographers shooting the same scene can create totally different images of it. The same is true with issues. If you have the power to define an issue, you go a long way to determining what is relevant and what is not. In doing that, you can have a huge effect on who wins and who loses.”

Yesterday Christians were the losers. We were told quite clearly that putting into practice our Christian convictions is out of the question if it can possibly be construed as upsetting the sensitivities of any politically powerful  minority.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that wearing a small cross is permissible under certain limited conditions.  If, however, as in the case of Shirley Chaplain, a local health authority decides that a small cross which has been worn at work for thirty years without incident or comment suddenly constitutes a significant health and safety hazard then goodbye cross.

Whilst we can be glad for Nadia Eweida, the BA employee censured for wearing a tiny cross who did win her case, it has to be faced that yesterday saw no victory for Christians. The vast majority of practicing Christians, we don’t mean the David Cameron weddings and carol services only type, would never dream of wearing a cross. The only circumstances under which many would wear a cross would be if the government said that we couldn’t.

Due to the ECHR rulings in the other two cases Christians can now be legally excluded from certain sectors of employment or social activity. Gary McFarlane and Lillian Ladele both lost their cases for wrongful dismissal after being disciplined for asking to opt out of giving sexual counselling to homosexuals or conducting civil partnership ceremonies. Their respective employers made no attempt to accommodate their beliefs or to work around them. Compliance had to be absolute. The court agreed with the intolerant employers.

To express opposition to homosexual marriage is to become potentially unemployable by a local council or charity. If Christian teachers in a state school have scruples about teaching that homosexual marriage is compatible with biblical teaching will they have any defence against being sacked? If potential foster or adoptive parents state that they will bring children up in a Christian home will they be allowed to care for children?

Ministers and priests still have freedom, within the doctrinal stance of their denominations, to preach and teach what they will in their churches. However, if they wish to work as chaplains in industry, hospitals or prisons they had better not voice biblical opposition to the latest progressive tool for the restructuring of society.

We have allowed progressives to frame the debate in terms of freedom of worship when the debate is actually about freedom of religion. The ruling, which is in accord with the prevailing progressive ethos, says that Christians can do what they want within their churches, as long as it doesn’t offend any sensitive souls, but they cannot carry their faith into their daily lives.

We have freedom of worship and can meet in buildings and sing hymns and pray. We cannot, however, come out of those buildings and allow our faith to inform how we live our daily lives. We do not have freedom of religion.

Yesterday’s rulings are another step towards marginalising the Christian faith and turning it into a private hobby. In the eyes of the ECHR Christianity is akin to train spotting or embroidery, interesting if you like that sort of thing but with little impact on the day to day world.

We know who won and who lost, what is allowed to be in the picture and what is left out. Christians are once again being told by the progressive establishment that there is to be no place for us in the public square.

Make Them Work for Our Votes

At a recent public meeting concerning homosexual marriage I was puzzled. One of the speakers said that he was surprised that the Conservative Party was so indifferent to the concerns of Christians. I was surprised at his surprise. Why should anyone expect the Conservative Party to have any concern for Christians and their values?

Benjamin Disraeli, Creator of the Modern Conservative Party

Probably the greatest of Conservative Prime Ministers and a creator of the modern Conservative Party, Benjamin Disraeli, described his party in power thus: “A Conservative government is an organised hypocrisy.”

The Conservative Party have always been frightened of ideology, which is why they promote so few conviction politicians. Margaret Thatcher was a conspicuous exception, and was hated by the Tory grandees for it. For Conservatives conviction politicians are dangerous. This is one of the reasons why at their last internal election the Conservative Party rejected David Davis and instead chose David Cameron, a conviction free zone, as their leader.

Between leaving Eton and Oxford and becoming a full time politician Cameron has had only one job in the real world outside of politics. Cameron took what one of his friends described as a “borderline respectable” job as a PR man with Carlton TV. He has sharpened his skills and continued in his trade since becoming firstly an MP and now PM.

A few days ago David Cameron spoke to Christian leaders gathered at Downing Street. His speech, ably dissected in his excellent blog by Cranmer, was one in which he used Easter as a time to try to reconnect with Christians.

A nominal Christian, Cameron clearly regards Christianity as an agnostics guide to holistic living, a small dose of Christianity will help you be a nicer person. Apparently Cameron has no appreciation that if you ignore Christianity any society built on it will eventually crumble. It appears, however, that Cameron thinks that Christians should be more up front about their faith, something with which it is hard to disagree. But how well do Cameron’s actions measure up to his own statements?

It is his government which is:

  • Pressing for homosexual ‘marriage’
  • Going to the European Court of Human Rights to oppose the right of Christians to wear a cross at work
  • Doing nothing to help promote marriage in taxation legislation
  • Doing nothing to protect Christian health workers who have no wish to participate in abortions
  • Set on repealing Sunday trading laws in England and Wales

The list goes on. It is clear that Cameron has lost none of his PR habits, saying one thing to cover up contrary actions.

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter and the first cabinet member to enter into a civil partnership, has attacked Cameron’s plans to legalise homosexual marriage as “pure politics” and insists that Britain’s homosexual community do not need such “marriages.” When he argues that Cameron is pushing this proposed legislation as a public relations exercise because he wishes to show that the Conservative Party has modernised it is hard to disagree with him.

As Bradshaw said, “This is not a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights (within civil partnerships).”  It is, however, a “passionate” priority for David Cameron who appears more concerned about image than substance.

Christians should not be surprised when politicians of any party propose policies which are antithetical to a biblical position. They are in the power business, not the principles business. Neither should we be surprised when, like Cameron, they treat us like gullible idiots. At least not whilst we act like gullible idiots.

Neither of the two main parties now represent the views of their core vote. Even the Lib Dems have betrayed their supporters. All have abandoned their essential political ideologies and camped on the nebulous, meaningless middle ground which they think represents middle Britain. It doesn’t. And yet we allow ourselves to be treated by them as voting fodder. Gullability is not a particularly attractive characteristic. We should make politicians realise that if they want our votes they have to work for them.

The homosexual lobby have done this supremely well. Homosexuals make up a tiny minority of the population. According to the Office of National Statistics male homosexuals, lesbians, bi-sexuals,  the transgendered and all the variations, permutations and deviations thereof make up 1.5% of the population. A minority of that tiny minority wish the legalisation of homosexual marriage. Yet it is homosexual marriage which all the parties, including the Conservatives, are pushing and which the hugely influential media supports. All credit to the homosexual lobby, they know how to work the system.

Meanwhile Christians sit back and moan and for the most part let politicians do what they wish to do and not what we, their masters, wish them to do. If we accept this we deserve the contempt with which they treat us.

Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin claim that they were discriminated against when their employers barred them from wearing crosses. They are taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights. The government document prepared by Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, and approved by Home Secretary Theresa May, for presentation to the European Court of Human Rights  basically says that Christians must be content to keep their faith for their own time. Yet another Tory privatisation.

We need not acquiesce. We can approach our friends, relations, people at work, fellow Christians, those who share interest groups with us and reason with them on all issues of concern to Christians. Christianity need not be a secret service, even MI6 and the CIA advertise today. Politicians, of all parties, should be continually presented with calm, reasoned arguments against their un-Christian plans.

Following a recent post I was told that reason would not work. The alternatives, however, are unattractive, civil unrest or apathetic surrender. One problem is that we have not, as a body, tried reason. A few lone voices can be safely ignored. A mass of voices presenting reasoned arguments from a biblical position cannot be ignored.

We will be rejected at first, but reason will prevail. All truth is God’s truth and will win through.

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