Church and State: January 2007 Archives

January 29, 2007

Blair to religious bigots: get used to it.

United Kindgom: The Prime Minister has said that churches who want and exception from anti-discrimination laws for faith-based adoption agencies has said they will not get it. Instead, they'll get a 21 month transition period, in which they won't have to consider same-sex couples, but will be obliged to refer them to other, less superstitious, agencies. After that, they will be bound by the law like everyone else. He also reminded us of whose money it is the churches want to use for discriminatory purposes (emphasis mine):

There is no place in our society for discrimination. That's why I support the right of gay couples to apply to adopt like any other couple.

And that way there can be no exemptions for faith-based adoption agencies offering public funded services from regulations that prevent discrimination.

This is likely to be subject to a free vote in parliament, so it's still worth signing the Prattle's petition!

No exemption from gay rights lawBBC News, 29th January 2007.

More on religious discrimination against pooves and dykes

United Kingdom: A correspondent writes to the Prattle:

I think you missed the best part of the story. As per the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6293115.stm... the little bully-mob of Archbishops claims that:

rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well-meaning

In other words, they are claiming that if they want to do something (or perhaps that their Invisible Friend wants them to do something) then the government should not be allowed to tell them otherwise.

Anything.

They are, in fact, demanding the right to be above the law in all cases, should they choose to exercise that right.

Hmm.

Hmm indeed. Our attention is also drawn to a petition on the government website, supporting the law. The end date has been extended, so we are asked to ignore the 17th January bit.

But here at Prattle Towers (Northern Hemisphere) we have our own modest proposal, and have our very own petition: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow religious organisations to discriminate against lesbians and gay men, on condition that they accept discrimination against themselves. You know it makes sense!

Another interesting petition request the extension of the law to cover trans-people: to prohibit discrimination in the provision of goods, services and facilities, includng health care,on the grounds of transsexual or transgender status

January 26, 2007

WWJD?: Lies and Blackmail!

United Kingdom: It came as no surprise that, while the Prattle was down, a number of interesting news stories would come to light, and that others would run and run. In particular, some religious organisations continue to be upset that same-sex couples have the right to be considered as adoptive parents, and will soon have to receive equal treatment in the provision of goods and services.

One church, in particular, is desperate for the right to be bigoted, even though their own members, and people perceived to be descended from members of that church, have been, and still are, on the receiving end of discrimination. Needless to say, the church which pretends to be so concerned about children is the same one that has a long-standing problem with pædophile clergy, and a history of covering up the child abuse committed by their priests (Prattles passim, ad nauseam).

So, what honourable tactics are being used by the men of God?

January 9, 2007

“Christians” ignoring Jesus (yet again)

United Kingdom: Jesus had quite a lot to say about the way his followers should deal with the people around them. Matthew 5:43-47, for example, is the bit where Jesus insists that you should love your enemies, and do good things for people, even if they hate you. Then there's Luke 10: 29-37, otherwise known as the parable of the Good Samaritan. And what does the Bible record of Jesus' words on homosexuality?

 

Which is why Christian organisations are at the forefront of protests against new anti-discrimination legislation in England and Wales, which insists that sexuality not be an issue when it comes to the provision of goods and services. And to prove their point, the alleged Christians have chosen to further ignore the words of their deity when he emphasised the importance of the Ten Commandments in Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19 and Luke 18:20. Three out of the four gospels say that Jesus had a downer on telling porkies, so guess what the fundies have chosen to do? Let Polly Toynbee explain:

They claim the law will force all schools to actively promote homosexual civil partnerships to children (from primary-school age) to the same degree that they teach the importance of marriage. No it won't: the curriculum does not actively promote homosexuality, nor even make sex education compulsory. They claim the law will force a printing shop run by a Christian to print fliers promoting gay sex. No it won't, unless the same printers promote heterosexual porn too. Or how about this one? Force a family-run B&B to let out a double room to a transsexual couple, even if the family think it in the best interests of their children to refuse to allow such a situation in their home. Oh no it won't: it doesn't even cover transsexuals - and what a daft scenario anyway. The National Secular Society has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority. But on and on go the prurient situations the religious homophobes dream up.

It's not just barking mad fundies who want the right to ignore Jesus. The more mainstream churches have got in on the act and demonstrated the degree to which they are devoid of compassion and driven by hatred:

Lord Ferrers in the last debate said hospitals should be allowed to discriminate if they had a Christian ethos. Does that mean they do now? Are they turning away gay Aids patients? He said a pro-life Catholic hospital should be allowed to turn away a lesbian for fertility treatment. (Though any non-Catholic turning to Catholics for fertility treatment needs their head examined.) The Catholic adoption society said it will shut up shop if it has to allow gay couples to apply. Churches say they will never let out a hall to a gay organisation. Christians running soup kitchens say they want to refuse gays shelter and soup. (Soup!) The Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool threatens to withdraw all cooperation over schools and charity programmes if the law goes through. The Bishop of Rochester says it will damage church work in inner cities. (Only if his church shuts down services.) The C of E pretends that the law would force it to bless civil unions (it won't).

Still, if this means that priests have access to fewer vulnerable children, this can only be a good thing.

As Toynbee notes, many of the services provided by churches are funded by the taxpayer (and recent legislation means they can get access to more of our money). Yet they want the right to use government money to discriminate and promote hatred.

Homophobia, not injustice, is what really fires the faithsThe Guardian, 9th January 2007.

January 2, 2007

ID put in its place

England and Wales: At first the headline Creationism gains foothold in schools might seem a little disturbing, and "Truth" in Science seem strangely happy about what is proposed. They clearly are not able to read English, for the government is, indeed, examining how intelligent design can be discussed in schools, but only as part of the Religious Education syllabus.

The response from the Church of England is most interesting:

Opponents in the Church of England dismiss it as fantasy. Colin Slee, the Dean of Southwark, said: Everything needs to be explored, so that children can ask sensible questions. Though I see no huge difficulty with exploring intelligent design or creationism or flat Earth, they happen to be misguided, foolish and flying in the face of all evidence. I see no problem with Darwinian theory and Christian faith going hand in hand.

Canon Jeremy Davies, Precentor of Salisbury cathedral, said: I don't see why religious education should be a dumping ground for fantasies.

Because, my dear Canon, it fits in perfectly with all the other fantasies that fill the RE curriculum. Now, if someone could just teach the Times subs the difference between theories, hypotheses and religious fantasy...

Creationism gains foothold in schoolsThe Times, 31st December 2006 (thanks to Pastor Best OPI).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Church and State category from January 2007.

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