March 14, 2011
Christian groups divided over discrimination claims
by Jan Harris
The refusal of a Christian couple’s application to foster a child is dividing church groups.
Pentecostal Christians Eunice and Owen Johns were turned down as foster parents because they were not willing to tell a child that homosexuality was an acceptable lifestyle.
While the couple felt that the law should protect their Christian values, the High Court ruled that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation should take precedence over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds.
This ruling, and similar rulings where Christians have been required to compromise their religious beliefs when working in the public arena, has caused Christian Concern to launch an ‘Equalities and Conscience Petition’.
The petition calls on the Prime Minister to review legislation that forces Christians to act against their beliefs.
Christian Concern believes that such legislation prevents the Christian community’s full participation in Mr Cameron’s ‘Big Society’.
However Christian think-tank Ekklesia and the British Humanist Association (BHA) have joined together to criticise Christian Concern’s claims.
BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson warned that petitions like the one launched by Christian Concern bring Christianity into disrepute and are part of a trend to create a victim narrative about ‘Christianophobia’.
Simon Barrow, co-director of Ekklesia, commented that it was fundamental to UK law that everyone is equal and said that some campaign groups want “a privileged status in law for their own particular prejudices”.
Discuss this in the Interfaith forums
Previous: « Death penalty abolished in Illinois
Next: UK’s foreign policy labelled anti-Christian »
Visited 1535 times, 1 so far today