ONTD Political

Religious freedom under threat from courts, professor warns

12:21 am - 01/25/2012
Religious freedom in the US and Europe is under threat from the courts, an Oxford professor has warned.

In his latest book, Equality, Freedom and Religion, Roger Trigg, who runs the Centre for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Kellogg College, argues: "There has been a clear trend for courts in Europe and North America to prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger."

He cites a number of recent cases, including that of Lillian Ladele, the Islington registrar who refused to conduct civil partnerships because of her religious beliefs. In that case, he says, "the need to respect the right to equality trumped the freedom of religious convictions".

Ladele brought a discrimination case against Islington council in 2007 after she was disciplined. She is waiting for her case to be heard before the European court of human rights, as is a former British Airways employee, Nadia Eweida, whom bosses asked to conceal under her uniform a silver cross pendant.

Trigg says that rather than some rights being deemed more fundamental than others, those that are likely come into conflict should be more fairly balanced.

The academic, a former president of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion, complains that courts are attempting to determine the nature of religious faith for themselves. "To decide whether or not a British Airways employee could wear a cross with her uniform, the courts have suggested it is not a core part of Christian belief – but this decision shouldn't be up to them."

George Pitcher, associate priest at St Bride's, in the City of London, disagreed. "We need a bit of perspective here," he told the Guardian. "We're not being persecuted in the democratic west. To pretend otherwise is an insult to those who really are being persecuted around the world and, frankly, rather insecure and wet.

"Rather than whinge, we need to be a bit more robust about our faith. I'm not going to say it's about time my fellow Christians got off their knees, but I do wish they would stop complaining that everyone hates them. Because it's not true."


In recent years senior Anglican clerics have increasingly spoken out about attitudes towards Christianity in Britain. In 2009 the archbishop of York, John Sentamu, wrote: "Asking someone to leave their belief in God at the door of their workplace is akin to asking them to remove their skin colour before coming in to the office: faith in God is not an add-on or optional extra."

A year later, Lord Carey of Clifton said: "Christianity, which has given so much to our country, is now being sidelined as never before." The former archbishop of Canterbury has also written a book on the subject. We Don't Do God: the marginalisation of public faith is published in February.

Source

My heart bleeds for them, it truly does.
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roguebelle 25th-Jan-2012 03:28 am (UTC)
"There has been a clear trend for courts in Europe and North America to prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger."

... I don't think "religious freedom" means what you think it means.

To pretend otherwise is an insult to those who really are being persecuted around the world and, frankly, rather insecure and wet.

This is what I sort of want to scream at Christians who claim to be persecuted in the US. I find that hugely insulted to the members of their faith in other areas of the world who really are persecuted -- to say nothing of people of other faiths. I certainly don't expect them to have that much empathy, but you'd think they could at least recognise that their troubles are trivial compared to others of their own religion.
erunamiryene 25th-Jan-2012 04:42 am (UTC)
Most persecuted majority EVAR.

lickety_split 25th-Jan-2012 03:30 am (UTC)
we need to be a bit more robust about our faith.

No actually, you guys are just fine tbh.

In fact, judging by some of those quotes I think some of y'all need to pull back a little.

Edited at 2012-01-25 03:31 am (UTC)
thelilyqueen 25th-Jan-2012 05:00 am (UTC)
I certainly hope what he meant by 'we need to be a bit more robust about our faith' was 'we should not feel threatened just because not everyone agrees with us on religious matters, and throw tizzies over it' and given the context of the rest of the quote, there's some chance he did mean something along those lines. If true though... he could've worded it a lot more clearly.
kazekageshad 25th-Jan-2012 03:32 am (UTC)
A year later, Lord Carey of Clifton said: "Christianity, which has given so much to our country, is now being sidelined as never before."

Good.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
the_gabih 25th-Jan-2012 11:22 am (UTC)
MTE, Gideon.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
redstar826 25th-Jan-2012 03:35 am (UTC)
"There has been a clear trend for courts in Europe and North America to prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger."

Yeah, if by religious freedom you actually mean inequality and discrimination, I'm all for you losing that freedom.
mastadge 25th-Jan-2012 03:39 am (UTC)
placing the right to religious freedom in danger.

Religious freedom ≠ freedom to impose your beliefs and values on others. Your religious freedom ends where it starts to infringe on my own freedom of/from/to religion, and vice versa. Your religious freedom does not extend to having your religious values encoded in g'ment policy.
damnthatrogue 25th-Jan-2012 03:45 am (UTC)
This entire post.

johnjie 25th-Jan-2012 11:28 am (UTC)
Father Ted gifs give me life
wikilobbying 25th-Jan-2012 03:59 am (UTC)
There has been a clear trend for courts in Europe and North America to prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger.

and by "religion," i have a feeling you really mean just "christianity"
sihaya09 25th-Jan-2012 04:29 am (UTC)
Pretty much.
aviv_b 25th-Jan-2012 04:03 am (UTC)
"prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger."

Bullshit. As a person of faith, I can say that religious freedom is not in danger. What is in danger (though not nearly as much as it should be) is someone using their faith to discriminate against those who don't believe as they do.

Your religous freedom ends where my freedom (religious or not) begins. You can have whatever rules you want in your religion about conduct of your members, you may not, however, dictate the conduct of your non-members. You may believe anything you like about non-members, you may not take those beliefs and use them to deny equal rights to those non-members.

I really don't think this is a difficult concept, except of course who think only their members merit consideration.
the_gabih 25th-Jan-2012 11:23 am (UTC)
So much word on this.
sihaya09 25th-Jan-2012 04:27 am (UTC)
He cites a number of recent cases, including that of Lillian Ladele, the Islington registrar who refused to conduct civil partnerships because of her religious beliefs. In that case, he says, "the need to respect the right to equality trumped the freedom of religious convictions".

...and this is a bad thing? You work for the government, you play by the government's rules. You want to play by your church's rules? Work for your church.
paulnolan 25th-Jan-2012 04:54 am (UTC)
What about the 26 bishops in the House of Lords?

Yeah, our country is fucked up like that.
erunamiryene 25th-Jan-2012 04:38 am (UTC)
religious freedom under threat



"Asking someone to leave their belief in God at the door of their workplace is akin to asking them to remove their skin colour before coming in to the office: faith in God is not an add-on or optional extra."

Uh ... what.

Edited at 2012-01-25 04:47 am (UTC)
latin_lunatic 25th-Jan-2012 05:18 am (UTC)
I pretty much said the same thing when I got to "...to prioritize equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger."



Edited at 2012-01-25 05:19 am (UTC)
erunamiryene 25th-Jan-2012 04:44 am (UTC)
ALSO ...

Why the Entire Town of King NC Rallied Against an Atheist Afghan War Veteran

Afghan War veteran – Steven Hewett – demanded that the city remove the Christian Flag that was raised over the public memorial to veterans like him. They called him a coward, and threatened to beat him up (and the handful of other supporters). They demanded that people like Steven be run out of town so that any pending lawsuit would lose its legal standing.

Yeah, religious people are really under fire these days. /eyeroll
tigerdreams 25th-Jan-2012 05:35 am (UTC)
...

...

...so much for "Support Our Troops."
shoujokakumei 25th-Jan-2012 04:52 am (UTC)
There has been a clear trend for courts in Europe and North America to prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion

OHNOES. I find myself not giving even a little bit of a fuck!

Edited at 2012-01-25 04:53 am (UTC)
tigerdreams 25th-Jan-2012 05:36 am (UTC)
I knew there was something I forgot at the grocery store earlier! I'm all out of fucks to give!
hinoema 25th-Jan-2012 05:01 am (UTC)
"There has been a clear trend for courts in Europe and North America to prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger.... the need to respect the right to equality trumped the freedom of religious convictions".

You say this like it's a bad thing, article.

If you can't be religious without engaging in discrimination, then you aren't free to do so.

hammersxstrings 25th-Jan-2012 05:27 am (UTC)
whenever i hear something like this, all i can think of is this:

hammersxstrings 25th-Jan-2012 05:29 am (UTC)
btw, i understand the post is UK-related, but it's more the jist of this statement re: religious persecution (a term which, i find, an oxymoron and quite frankly, laughable)

Edited at 2012-01-25 05:29 am (UTC)
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