“A Pentecostal Christian couple have lost their high court claim that they were discriminated against by a local authority because they insisted on their right to tell young foster children that homosexuality is morally wrong,” according to a report in The Guardian today.
Of course, this wording is itself immediately prejudicial, the couple aren’t seeking to tell every child who comes through their doors that homosexuality is wrong, what they want is, as the next paragraph of the same report phrases it, to be allowed not to “tell a child a ‘homosexual lifestyle’ was acceptable”.
There are two key points here – firstly that of initiation: Mr & Mrs Johns weren’t intending to raise the subject or ram it down children’s throats, they simply wanted to retain the right to express their beliefs if the subject came up – which presumably with most 5-10 year olds it very rarely would.
The second point is that of semantics – there is a subtle but important difference between ‘condemning homosexuality’ and ‘not supporting a homosexual lifestyle’ (and even more so between the latter and being ‘anti-gay’ as the Guardian headline put it). “We are prepared to love and accept any child,” Mr & Mrs Johns explained, “All we were not willing to do was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing.”
The fact that they were even asked this raises concerns – not to mention absurdities. If the purpose of equalities legislation is to ensure that no-one is discriminated against, particularly in the areas of gender, ethnicity, religious belief or sexual orientation, how is it even acceptable to ask a person for his or her views on homosexual practice?
A comment piece in the Daily Telegraph raises and deals with all these points far better than I can, so I’ll recommend that you read it – just click here, but we need to pray for our nation if judges in the High Court can make such a ruling – and make it specifically on the basis that gay-rights trump religious ones, as explained by a different Telegraph article:
The judges underlined that, in the case of fostering arrangements at least, the right of homosexuals to equality “should take precedence” over the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs and moral values.
In a ruling with potentially wide-ranging implications, the judges said Britain was a “largely secular”, multi-cultural country in which the laws of the realm “do not include Christianity”.
They didn’t seem aware of the irony of making this last statement while sitting under the Royal coat of arms which prominently bears the motto of the monarch – in whose name their judgements are given: “Dieu et mon droit” (God and my right). So rulings made in the name of and with the authority of the Queen, who looks to (the Christian) God for guidance can’t be made with reference to Christianity? Hmmm…