Friday, March 4, 2011

The Anti-Christian Bias in England

How long before Christians are actively persecuted? To quote from The Brussels Journal:
I think it would be useful to begin this article with a brief statement of the facts. Eunice and Owen Johns are an elderly couple from Derby, who fostered a number of children in the 1990s, and who recently offered their services again to Derby City Council. Their offer was rejected on the grounds that, as fundamentalist Christians, they might teach any children in their keeping that homosexual acts were sinful. They took legal action against the Council, arguing that their beliefs should not be held against them. On the 28th February 2011, judgment was given against them in the High Court. The Judges ruled that, where the laws against discrimination are concerned, sexual minorities take precedence over religious believers. Because Mr and Mrs Johns might not remain silent about sexual ethics, there was a danger to the “welfare” of children taken from their homes by the Council.

The Judges insisted that this did not represent a “blanket ban” on the fostering of children by religious believers. There was no issue involved of religious liberty – no precedent being set for wider discrimination by the authorities. It was simply a matter of child welfare. You can read all this for yourself on the BBC website....

We are moving towards a persecution of Christianity because Christians believe in a source of authority separate from and higher than the State. Until recently, it was the custom of absolute states to make an accommodation with whatever church was largest. In return for being established, the priests would then preach obedience as a religious duty. Modern absolute states, though, are secular. Such were the Jacobin and the Bolshevik tyrannies. Such is our own, as yet, mild tyranny. In all three cases, religion was or is a problem. Though a Catholic, Aquinas speaks for most Christians when he explains the limits of obedience:
“Laws are often unjust.... They may be contrary to the good of mankind... either with regard to their end - as when a ruler imposes laws which are burdensome and are not designed for the common good, but proceed from his own rapacity or vanity; or with regard to their maker – if, for example, a ruler should go beyond his proper powers; or with regard to their form – if, though intended for the common good, their burdens should be inequitably distributed. Such laws come closer to violence than to true law.... They do not, therefore, oblige in conscience, except perhaps for the avoidance of scandal or disorder.” (Summa Theologiae, I-II, 96, 4, my translation)
Certain kinds of bad law do not bind in conscience. And there may be times when even the avoidance of scandal or disorder do not justify obedience. Then, it will be the duty of the Faithful to stand up and say “No!” It will be their duty to disobey regardless of what threats are made against them. Any ruling class that has absolutist ambitions, and is not willing or able to make an accommodation with the religious authorities, will eventually face a wall of resistance. It will eventually go too far, and command things that cannot be given. The French Revolutionaries were taken by surprise. The Bolsheviks knew exactly what they were doing when they hanged all those priests and dynamited those churches. Our own ruling class also knows what it is doing. The politically correct lovefeast it has been preparing for us throughout my life requires the absolute obedience of the governed – absolute obedience to commands that no fundamentalist Christian can regard as lawful. Therefore, the gathering attack on Christianity.


Gareth Russell said...

In fairness - and I don't agree with the ban - I think it is their particular denomination which has caused problems. There is a legal precedent in Northern Ireland where fostering has been denied to couples belonging to various Protestant denominations, which shall remain nameless, because of their extremely aggressive attitudes towards other Christian communities - obviously, Catholicism but also "fallen" Protestant denominations, like non-subscribing Presbyterianism and Methodism. They too decried it as 'discrimination,' but it might be worth remembering what impact it would have had on Northern Irish society if children were allowed to be reared by such a virulently sectarian environment and that was considered acceptable because it's the teachings of a church which still reveres to the Vatican as "the whore of Babylon."

The denomination Mr and Mrs Johns belong to does not teach that homosexuality is sinful - which is the standard position of at least three-quarters of the Christian congregations in the modern West (if not more) - but that it is something that should be punished, in this life. Which is very different case to the way certain alarmist newspapers are trying to spin it. It also teaches that non-evangelical and non-fundamentalist forms of Christianity are denied Salvation and it was active in protesting state funding for the recent visit to the United Kingdom by the Pontiff. Their denomination is not mainstream; it's "fundamentalist," not conservative. It's not like even a particular zealous form of Baptism; it preaches an extremely virulent form of Creationism and "born-again" eschatology. Which is why the judge was so clear on the fact that this was not a blanket ban on religious individuals fostering, since 70% of the United Kingdom is still registered as a religious affiliation, 85%+ in areas like Northern Ireland and north Scotland. This is an unusual and individual case and I don't think it's the harbingers of something more extreme. It's also particularly important that, at some point, the British legal system establish stricter parameters on what children are exposed to, considering the rise in racially-based politics in the north of England and the fact that if something like this wasn't established as legal precedent, there would literally be no way they could deny sending foster children to racist families. Unfortunately, I think it's kind of the laws job, in the end, to be unfair to everyone. Although I should clarify that I don't know the couple personally and, for all I know, they could be every bit as lovely as the gesture to foster undoubtedly implies.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you for the clarification, Gateth!

Anonymous said...

What do you mean "though a Catholic" in regards to Aquinas?

Gareth Russell said...

I can assume the author, in The Brussels Journal, which is quoted here and not written by our blog author, who is herself a practising Catholic, is implying that since Thomas Aquinas is venerated as a saint only in the Roman Catholic Church, some individuals might assume that his teachings and philosophy is only applicable to those Christians in communion with Rome. However, the writer believes that this would be to overlook the alleged universal applicability of Aquinas's teachings on a Christian's role in regards secular obedience. Hence he says "although a Catholic," not to denote that his Catholicism makes him suspect, but to highlight that his Catholicism does not make him irrelevant to non-Catholic Christians.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Astrid on my Philologica blog, this article in French and prolonged so as to include even a reference to The Night's Dark Shade.