Now, the Christian Legal Centre of the UK informs us further on the Johns foster parenting case:
In responding to the case, Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, observed:
The Judges have claimed that there was no discrimination against the Johns as Christians because they were being excluded from fostering due to their sexual ethics and not their Christian beliefs. This claim that their moral beliefs on sex have nothing to do with their Christian faith is a clear falsehood made in order to justify their ruling. How can the Judges get away with this?
There is a great imbalance in the law at the moment, resulting in ordinary people suffering. The situation must be addressed by Parliament as the Judiciary have failed to stand for civil liberties but have capitulated to the agenda of the homosexual rights lobby. We cannot have a society where you are excluded just because you don’t agree with the sexual ethics of the homosexual lobby. Britain is now leading Europe in intolerance against religious belief.
With the recent rulings in the UK, we have reached the sad point in our civilisation where the shameless pornographic portrayal of drug-besotted, manipulated and intimidated women is celebrated as "freedom of expression"; whilst, conscience-based principled questioning of the morality of homosexual habituations and linked homosexualisation of law, state and culture, is viewed as intolerant, infectious -- notice, the connotations of that telling metaphor: a communicable disease to be contained and if possible eradicated -- "prejudice."
Indeed, as bigotry. To be crushed by state-sponsored court actions and rulings under the false colours of allegedly anti-discrimination law; backed up by ideologised, unsound scientific pretensions. (Cf. here, especially here.)
That is why Mike Judge's recent plea to pause and think again is so apt:
Something is plainly wrong.
My right to a particular view cannot justly secure the additional right to censor and crush principled, conscience based objections (as opposed to mere spiteful shouting of bullying threats and intimidation). This, especially in regards to behaviour that -- as a matter of observable fact -- is inescapably disordered and damaging. My right not to be discriminated against cannot justly secure a "right" to discriminate in turn against those who have such principled questions or objections.
Simple consistency, fairness and equality should tell us that.
Nor should one be seeking the backing of the state's human rights departments in turning anti-discrimination law into a sword against people of conscience and principle. And when one then finds oneself not only interfering with the livelihood of others, but also breaking into people's families and homes, claiming that the mere possibility of moral objections to potential cases of homosexual behaviour disqualifies people from continuing as foster parents, that should give pause. For if such a premise is able to strip people of their status as acceptable foster parents, it automatically implies that they are unacceptable as adoptive and natural parents as well.
Let us boil that down:
Who would rob me of the sanctity of my home, and of my family, would rob me of my posterity.
Who would rob me of my freedom of conscience, would rob me of my soul.
And yet, we seem to mainly hear a deafening silence in response to the choking canaries in the mines.
Instead of a roar of public outcry and a demand to fix the problem, we see and hear but few voices, making the gentlest of remonstrances, only to be met with yawns and studied, pointed silence in the media at large. Or worse, we now often find cynical misrepresentation and caricaturing of issues, people, their concerns and even the basic facts.
Somehow, in our region, most of us have not even heard about and understood that there is a serious problem that we need to think about, discuss and address. (No thanks to the BBC's, CNN's, etc. . . . )
For those few who have, too often the blatant contradiction fails to move us to urgent action, and some are even quietly consenting: those hypocritical Holier than Thou Christians are getting a deserved come-uppance . . .
Thus lies revealed the utter bankruptcy of radical secularisation of what was once the ever so inspiring vision of freedom and rights under just law and democratically elected rulers accountable before the people and a free, uncensored, responsible press.
For, as Plato's parable of the cave long ago foreshadowed, our media and education systems ought not to be allowed to become manipulative shadow-shows serving the interests of powerful and unaccountable manipulators behind the scenes; making cynically calculated plans for the rest of us behind closed doors.
Beneath the wreckage, we see the exact problem of utter amorality that was also warned of ever so long ago by Plato, in his The Laws, Book X.
For, those who reduce all to matter and energy evolving blindly and purposelessly under the impact of chance circumstances and undirected natural forces, can have no grounding IS strong enough to be a basis for OUGHT. So, to such, "the highest right is might." Or, as more modern thinkers have put it: might makes right.
Putting that another way, a priori evolutionary materialism -- even if dressed up in a lab coat and speaking in the name of "science" -- is inescapably amoral, as well as undermining the credibility of the mind to think, decide and act reasonably. It is therefore utterly absurd and irretrievably morally bankrupt. As Law professor and design thinker Philip Johnson aptly summed up:
Going back to Plato, we may read him speaking in the voice of the Athenian Stranger in his The Laws, Book X:
[[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might, and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [i.e. domineering political ideologies and movements], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [such ideologies lead to tyrannies], and not in legal subjection to them.
As a direct result, of such concerns, it is plainly unsafe to try to restructure our civilisation on an explicit or implicit evolutionary materialistic foundation. Instead, we can see that the only safe worldviews to build law and policy on are those that have in them a foundational IS that can ground both our equality and moral worth, thence the OUGHT that flows from that. In short, a worldview grounded in the good, reasonable and just Creator God. Individuals may be free to dissent from accepting such a God as their personal Lord and pivot for their worldviews, but -- as the events now unfolding in the UK show (as had happened previously in Russia, China, Germany and even C18 France) a civilisation as a whole cannot afford that luxury.
Not if it wants to remain free, just and stable.
For, equality and justice need to be built on a sound, ably argued and credible worldview level foundation that cannot only stand the test of open, unfettered and free debate in the marketplace of ideas, but also the tests of adequately grounding, preserving and enhancing liberty and justice for all. The exact test that is now being manifestly failed by radically secularist evolutionary materialism. Yet again.
Nor is this exactly news, for when John Locke set out to ground the principles of liberty in his 1690 Second Treatise on Civil Government, he reached back a hundred years to cite "the judicious" Canon Richard Hooker, from his classic 1594+ Ecclesiastical Polity:
So, we can see that we need not abandon ourselves to a view of morality that is locked up to the war of ruthless factions vying for power and cynically manipulating and using moral perceptions as a club, to batter down those who dare to question their attitudes and behaviour.
Unfortunately, this is not just an academic exercise, a matter of observing what is going on far to the North, on the other side of our common Atlantic Ocean.
For, like a social and spiritual tidal wave, the same problems are propagating into our region.
Not only in overseas territories and provinces directly subject to European Union and national laws, but also for countries dependent on aid and therefore subject to "reasonable" terms and conditions driven by "rights" concerns and "anti-discrimination" provisions. To see that, let us recall what the just past Governor of Montserrat, Mr Peter Waterworth (BTW, a lawyer), said in his final Christmas Message (2010) to Montserrat:
The teeth in that is the anti-discrimination provision in the new Constitution pushed through by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO] (under the implied hint that desperately needed post-disaster aid hinged upon getting though the Draft Constitution much as it stood in May 2010, without further delays), based on the same European Union convention on human rights that has begun to cause so much trouble in the UK:
Notice how -- in a territory that has a history rooted in the struggle for equality and justice in the face of slavery and racism -- the list of yardstick cases is led by "sex" and by "sexual orientation." That serves to warn us that this is an agenda-driven external imposition.
Worse, "sexual orientation" is not a properly defined legal term; it is a broad psychological description that takes in a vast array of observably, plainly and inescapably disordered passions, behaviours and habits.
Ranging from -- excuse me, I must give a yardstick -- whips to -- pardon such a reference -- animals, and worse. But, despite warnings, this was ignored and the above was pushed through.
Compounding all, despite a correction conceded on defining marriage as being between the opposite sexes, the vague term "other status" above in such a context of imposition plainly includes room for the establishment of so-called civil unions equivalent to marriages in all but name. And, once such are set up as protected from "discrimination," it will be gradually argued that ideas such as Mother and Father, Husband and Wife, as well as family based on the natural issue of such a union, are discriminatory and should be edited out of schools and government pronouncements and actions.
Q: How do we know that?
A: Simple: this is what is happening already, elsewhere.So, we must now weigh up the implications of the refusal to entertain a balancing provision along the lines of the suggestion for a protective clause made by an opposition representative last September:
In light of the Johns and Bull cases in the UK (how eerily close that is to the traditional name for the archetypal Englishman, John Bull!), perhaps we should add to this list, "hearth, home, family and means of livelihood," and stress the significance of democratic principles of justice, fairness to all and equality. So, let us further adjust in light of, say, the basic precedent that even a bankrupt must be left in possession of the clothes on his back, and the basic tools and means of his trade or the much older equity provision that the corners of one's field must be left for the gleanings of the poor:
Such a shield clause would tend to prevent the abuse of anti-discrimination law as a club to batter down those one disagrees with, once the accused can show that s/he was acting within the reasonable ambit of fair, civil conduct and moral principle that are not a direct threat to others.
For instance, it is most unlikely that the two men who wanted to rent a double-bed room in the Bull Guest House would have perished of exposure in the separate single-bed rooms offered to them. Similarly, if the Johns have been effective foster parents in the past, it is improper that their Christian convictions and associations are now to be used as a disqualification for seeing them as suitable parents, foster or otherwise. Likewise, the mere holding and expression of contrary opinions -- especially those motivated by reasons of conscience -- should not be made the target for thought police censorship and exclusion.
But, such was blocked for Montserrat, blocked in a context dominated by the UK's FCO. The same UK government where the Human Rights protection agency has been funding anti-Christian, livelihood, home and family-threatening cases before the courts. The same UK government whose duly appointed Governor spoke as cited above. All, without any explanation for why such a potentially dangerous decision was made behind closed doors.
And worse, proposed provisions for a right of petition, law-making initiative, recall and referendum -- similar to those in the Cayman Constitution and to many democratic constitutions around the world -- were also blocked without any explanation.
However, such unaccountable and questionable acts do not block our traditional -- albeit unwritten -- natural right to object, to petition for correction of patently unjust and dangerous law, and to back up such petitions with public pressure and our votes. And in fact the power of legal precedents works both ways. So, if we succeed in correcting the present unbalanced situation here in our region, it can serve to help correct the same imbalances elsewhere.
Similarly, in independent states, we have every right to insist that if questionable agendas are inserted in development aid terms, there should be shield clauses that prevent the abuse of such aid to impose abusive or questionable consequences.
In short, to stand up for our rights here in the region is protective of the rights of all people, everywhere.
And so, the Mordecai challenge goes forth to us, once again: why not now, why not here, why not us? END
ADDED, Mar 17: Some useful references that will give perspective and insight:
1: Spitzer in Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2001, on two orthodoxies regarding homosexuality, in light of his study on possibilities for desired change in same sex attraction.
2: Harren's Homosexuality 101 "what we need to know" primer.
3: Satinover on the state of scientific evidence vs. official and clinical positions in mental health professions.
4: Austriaco on the status of "gay gene" research and the evidence.
5: Whitehead and Whitehead online book, My Genes Made Me do it. (The discussion on the Sambia of New Guinea is particularly significant. Cf also here.)
6: Gagnon on implications of and agendas behind gender identity hate crime laws.
7: Mohler on the attempted homosexualisation of Christian theology.