Saturday, 11 February 2012

Traditional liberty v modern equality

Catching up with wider, non-ecclesiastical news:

In the wake of the ruling forbidding local council prayers, Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, described the High Court decision as "surprising and disappointing".

He said: "While welcoming and respecting fellow British citizens who belong to other faiths, we are a Christian country, with an established Church in England, governed by the Queen.
"Christianity plays an important part in the culture, heritage and fabric of our nation.
"Public authorities - be it Parliament or a parish council - should have the right to say prayers before meetings if they wish.
"The right to worship is a fundamental and hard-fought British liberty.
"The Localism Act now gives councils a general power of competence - which allows them to undertake any general action that an individual could do unless it is specifically prohibited by law. Logically, this includes prayers before meetings."
Full report [here]

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish, has suggested councils use a legal loophole whereby prayers could be said before the start of official business [here] and [a video here]
It could be argued that now is not the time for bishops, however helpful their intention, to try in this way to evade the fundamental constitutional and cultural issues at stake, and that the more combative approach of Mr Pickles is to be preferred.

The owners of a guesthouse in Marazion in Cornwall have lost their appeal against paying damages to a gay couple who they turned away from their hotel. They had denied discrimination on the grounds of sexuality, insisting that they did not believe that any unmarried couple should share a bed, considering it contrary to their Christian beliefs.
At appeal Lady Justice Rafferty stated that a homosexual couple "cannot comply with the restriction because each party is of the same sex and therefore cannot marry". The Appeal Court decided in favour of the original ruling. The appeal was funded by the Christian Institute.
Report from the BBC here

Sir Elton John and civil partner David Furnish are 'undergoing counselling' because of worries that their son will be "stigmatised" and fall victim to prejudice because "one of his parents is extremely famous and because he comes from two dads." [here]
It's perhaps a little late in the day for that realisation, one might have thought, but all that money must be some kind of compensation for the problems of celebrity à la mode.

And another indication of a decidedly off-centre culture, more and more pet owners are having their dead companions freeze-dried and on display in their homes. [here]
No, no, no - for all kinds of reasons!
What will be next?
That question reminds me of this Thurber cartoon:

1 comment:

    Hello Father, sorry to be off topic but I've just tagged you for this meme. For rules of the game and details of this Meme see my Oasis blog.
    Hope you'll join in. Thanks for your blog! I read it every time you post.
    God bless'


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