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Apr 14 2012

Carey gets worse

The Telegraph is again sitting at George Carey’s knee, drinking in his wisdom and insight about the vicious persecution of Christians in the UK.

Carey says worshippers are being “vilified” by the state, treated as “bigots” and sacked simply for expressing their beliefs.

The attack is part of a direct appeal to the European Court of Human Rights before a landmark case on religious freedom.

In a written submission seen by The Daily Telegraph, the former leader of more than 70 million Anglicans warns that the outward expression of traditional conservative Christian values has effectively been “banned” in Britain under a new “secular conformity of belief and conduct”.

His comments represent one of the strongest attacks on the impartiality of Britain’s judiciary from a religious leader.

They also represent a shameless display of dishonesty. If the outward expression of traditional conservative Christian values had been “banned” in Britain, then he wouldn’t be able to yap in the Telegraph every five minutes, would he. He wouldn’t be able to write regularly for the Daily Mail. He wouldn’t have the Telegraph calling him a former “leader.”

The hearing, due to start in Strasbourg on Sept 4, will deal with the case of two workers forced out of their jobs over the wearing of crosses as a visible manifestation of their faith. It will also take in the cases of Gary McFarlane, a counsellor sacked for saying that he may not be comfortable in giving sex therapy to homosexual couples, and a Christian registrar, who wishes not to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.

No. That’s not accurate. McFarlane refused to give sex therapy to homosexual couples, and he then gave his employers an assurance that he would do his job as directed, but in fact continued to refuse to give sex therapy to homosexual couples. It was only then that he was sacked. He didn’t just say, in a conversational manner, that he might not be comfortable giving sex therapy to homosexual couples; he flatly refused to do his job.

He outlines a string of cases in which he argues that British judges have used   a strict reading of equality law to strip the legally established right to   freedom of religion of “any substantive effect”.

“It is now Christians who are persecuted; often sought out and framed by homosexual activists,” he says. “Christians are driven underground. There appears to be a clear animus to the Christian faith and to Judaeo-Christian values. Clearly the courts of the United Kingdom require guidance.”

How’s that for a spot of the old incitement to hatred?  ”Often sought out and framed by homosexual activists” – filthy man.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    karmakin

    I wonder what’s up with that case where the workers were “forced out” for wearing a cross. Was it a violation of dress code? (No necklaces) or was it for something else entirely?

    I couldn’t possibly imagine someone being fired for wearing a cross under their clothes, or even if it was subtly visible. That’s probably what happened ‘tho. It wasn’t subtle in any way shape or form.

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Dress code. It was a cross worn on the outside, on a uniform (British Airways). It’s a rule everyone has to follow. It was all sheer nonsense and fight-picking.

  3. 3
    godlesspanther

    Yeah — poor Christians. Their freedom of speech is being denied.

    How is it that I’m able to read and hear their opinions all over the place?

    Possibility 1.

    I have an unusual ability for telepathic communication.

    Possibility 2.

    They are just lying.

    Which seems more likely?

    Yeah — that’s a tough one.

  4. 4
    chrisj

    There are two parallel cases of workers fighting for their right to wear cross necklaces. One, as Ophelia says, is someone refusing to stick to uniform dress code[1]. The other, even worse, case, is a hospital nurse who insists that she should be allowed to wear a cross necklace outside her uniform even though all dangling jewellery is banned as a known cross-infection hazard.

    In both cases, the workers were told they could wear a lapel pin or broach (if they wanted their cross visible), or wear a necklace provided it remained inside their clothing. Those options were apparently not acceptable to them.

    [1] Which, it should be noted, is not entirely arbitrary; dangling jewellery is forbidden by most airlines on grounds of the potential hazard it represents in an emergency. Not quite the same as the provable risks to patients, but still pretty bad.

  5. 5
    'Tis Himself

    In both cases involving the crosses, any necklaces were forbidden to be worn outside the uniforms. That the necklaces in question had crosses was purely incidental as far as the employers were concerned.

  6. 6
    'Tis Himself

    “Christians are driven underground. There appears to be a clear animus to the Christian faith and to Judaeo-Christian values. Clearly the courts of the United Kingdom require guidance.”

    George Carey never has forgiven Western society for forbidding burning heretics at the stake.

  7. 7
    Walton

    Carey is an embarrassment. His pronouncements have been getting worse and worse for the last few years. He was always reactionary – don’t forget that he was handpicked by Margaret Thatcher to become Archbishop of Canterbury, on one of the few occasions in recent decades that a Prime Minister has interfered with an episcopal appointment – but he seems to be growing more wingnuttish in retirement. This latest paranoid rant about Christians being “framed by homosexual activists” is something I’d expect to hear from the Southern Baptist Convention or Fox News, not from a retired Church of England archbishop.

    I wish he’d take a leaf out of the book of my favourite Anglican primate, Desmond Tutu, who has frequently spoken out in favour of gay rights. Tutu is a moral leader with real courage. Carey is just a right-wing homophobic bloviator.

    As for the cross, while I agree that employees should be free to wear crosses (or any other religious garment) at work unless there’s a compelling health and safety reason why they can’t – and I don’t believe that “we just want all our employees to wear identical uniforms” should be regarded as a sufficiently good reason – I also think it’s utterly ridiculous hyperbole to refer to the decision as “persecution of Christians”. As far as I’m aware (though employment discrimination isn’t at all my field of expertise), the court correctly applied the current law, notwithstanding that I’d personally prefer the law to be more protective of employees’ freedom. And this isn’t even close to “persecution”. Being subjected to violence, intimidation, harassment, verbal abuse or systematic discrimination because of your religion (or race, or gender, or sexuality) is persecution; being told you can’t wear a piece of jewellery at work is not, and to describe it as such trivializes the horror of actual persecution.

  8. 8
    kevinalexander

    I have a theological question for George Carey. If God has infinite wisdom, why is he so stingy with it? Why didn’t he give you any? How is it that the omnipotent creator of the universe grants the most impotent minds to his believers?

  9. 9
    Ophelia Benson

    :- D

  10. 10
    Rumtopf

    How dare you discriminate against their ~religious~ right to discriminate! *flaps arms*

    Clearly the courts of the United Kingdom require guidance.

    Says the lying liar face bigot… face

  11. 11
    onefuriousllama

    I’ve never understood how Christians, who firmly believe they have a direct command from the almighty creator of the universe to not lie, flat out lie so often. It makes no sense.

    The closest I’ve been able to get to an answer is that I think the religious go out of their way to be ignorant of everything, including the facts and details of anything they support.

    Idiocy and ignorance – no commandments against that in the Bible. If the religious make sure they know nothing about anything then they don’t know they are telling lies and so it’s all good with God. God is apparently stupid stupid like that also.

  12. 12
    Carmichael

    “a known cross-infection hazard”

    But it’s a cross, not just any piece of dangling jewelry. The cross has the power to heal. Why do you think catholic hospitals are full of them? Why do you think exorcists use them? And hospital administrators are supposed to know something about healing the sick! This militant secularism sure has a lot to answer for.

  13. 13
    stonyground

    “As for the cross, while I agree that employees should be free to wear crosses (or any other religious garment) at work unless there’s a compelling health and safety reason why they can’t…”

    They are. that is precisely the situation that we have at present. The employment rules in question refer to dangly jewellery generally, not just crosses. So if there is a minority being persecuted here it is dangly jewellery wearers generally. In at least one of these cases the compromise of a lapel badge was rejected and in any case, do you really have to wear the thing 24/7? If you really feel the need to wear something like this, why not just take it off when you clock on and then go off and wear it in your own time?

    For these people to even have the tiniest grievance they have to rely on the bullshit version of the story that they have fabricated. As always, once the whole story comes out in court they will lose.

    A couple of years ago Carey was repeating the ‘Winterval’ lie that secularists were trying to rebrand Christmas. One group of freethinkers all sent him a Christmas card with a genuinely friendly greeting on.

  14. 14
    Walton

    The employment rules in question refer to dangly jewellery generally, not just crosses.

    That’s true, but that doesn’t automatically mean it can’t be religious discrimination. A facially-neutral rule can be discriminatory if it nonetheless puts adherents of a particular religion or belief at a disadvantage. The relevant provision of law in the Eweida v. British Airways case was Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, which deals with indirect discrimination:

    Discrimination on grounds of religion or belief

    “(1) For the purposes of these Regulations, a person (“A”) discriminates against another person (“B)” if – ….

    (b) A applies to B a provision, criterion or practice which he applies or would apply equally to persons not of the same religion or belief as B, but -

    (i) which puts or would put persons of the same religion or belief as B at a particular disadvantage when compared with other persons, and

    (ii) which puts B at that disadvantage,

    and A cannot show the treatment or, as the case may be, provision, criterion or practice to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

    However, on these facts, the Employment Tribunal found that “BA did not act in a way which amounted to indirect discrimination because there was no evidence that a sufficient number of persons other than the claimant shared her strong religious view that she should be allowed visibly to wear the cross,” and the Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed the appeal. She appealed to the Court of Appeal, which also dismissed her appeal. The point here is that Christians in general don’t consider themselves to have a religious obligation to wear a cross, and there was no evidence that any Christians other than the claimant were disadvantaged by the requirement.

    But that doesn’t mean that a facially-neutral uniform policy could never be discriminatory on religious grounds. A ban on wearing Sikh turbans, say, could be found to be discriminatory unless it was proportionate to a legitimate aim (see the EHRC’s guidance on the wearing of Sikh articles of faith in the workplace and public spaces.

  15. 15
    Roy Brown

    Shame on Carey for lying for Jesus. I find it quite extraordinary that the former archbishop should knowingly tell lies, although I can understand the Torygraph and the Daily Wail reporting any drivel coming out of his mouth.

  16. 16
    Ophelia Benson

    Is that THE Roy Brown? Of IHEU? If so – hello, Roy! [waves madly]

  17. 17
    M'thew

    Christians in the UK oppressed and persecuted?

    Last time I looked, there weren’t any lions on the loose in the House of Lords. I guess the bishops are safe.

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