Monday, January 22, 2007

Hansard, latest developments and LCF ramblings

The link to the House of Commons Committee on Delegated Legislation here scrutinizing the Northern Ireland Sexual Orientation Regulations - here.

The content seems to be a mini rerun of the arguments in the House of Lords debate on the regulations. The committee finally agreed it had considered the regulations by a vote of 15 to 3 with the Conservative Party revealing it had no firmal view on it at all but was leaving it to individual MP's to decide - hardly a sensible way of approaching discrimination issues.

Meanwhile the Pinknews website has this story relating to a reported discussion in the PLP meeting on the matter. Angela Eagle is reported to be saying she can neither confirm nor deny such a report.

You may or may not be acquainted with this turn of phrase - I couldn't possibly comment.......

The formulation the Government is using (so it seems) is ~ as quoted in the Guardian today is as follows:

"The debate around better protection on the basis of sexual orientation has been beset by wild speculation on all sides," she said. "There have been absurd claims, for example, that ministers of religion will be forced to bless same-sex couples. Equally there is no question of preferential treatment for an individual faith."

Using the plain meaning of words this leads me to believe the Government is not intending to exempt religious adoption agencies - but maybe I am misinterpreting the words being used - we can certainly hope and pray this is the case. Maybe we won't have to wait that long - I gather that Ruth Kelly is intending to put forward her proposals in the next week or so. Watch this space.

Meanwhile on a recent posting on the Lawyers Christian Fellowship (sic) there is a rather odd update on the situation, starting off with a rather odd quote from Martin Luther:

‘If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.’ (Luther’s Works. Weimar Edition. Briefwechsel [Correspondence], vol. 3, pp. 81f.).

I must say it does gladden my heart when Christians engage in a deep reading of the Reformers (so rare these days) - especially when it's Martin Luther's 'Briefwechsel' not sure if the Reformers' writings have attained canonical status yet.

I may be wrong but that was probably in the context of Martin Luther taking a stand either in favour of a rigorist view of predestination or, more likely, in the context of Martin Luther condemning fellow Protestants and refusing communion with them because - they didn't conform to Luther's exact view of the world - not because of their views on homosexuality, but because they each had a slightly differing interpretation of the presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper..... This worldview is, in part, what led to the mass persecution of the Anabaptists inthe time of the Reformation (though by followers of Zwingli, Calvin, Bucer and Melancthon as well as Lutherans it must be said).

Also in the LCF page we find this rant:

Interviewer: “So why are you opposing this law”

LCF Response: “Let me first make it clear that as Christians we oppose all forms of unjustified discrimination in society, including on the grounds of sexual orientation. Thousands of years before anyone had thought of human rights legislation or non-discrimination legislation, the Bible gave a far more powerful pronouncement against discrimination by commanding us to love our neighbours as ourselves. Following the Bible will achieve more than any Regulation could at eliminating unfair discrimination” [Yeah right]

“However, what these Regulation do is they go beyond outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation by requiring Christians, in certain circumstances, to go against the Bible’s fundamental teaching about sexual morality”

“Let me tell you why it is a problem that these Regulations deny this fundamental freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Firstly, we do not think that the Government should legislate to force Christians to act against their fundamental beliefs. Secondly, this law subverts the message of Christianity, which is of God’s love for all people and his desire for all people to turn from their sins and know the joy of being reconciled with Him. This message to repent and believe makes no sense if Christians are forced to condone sinful behaviour.” [Unless we discriminate against gay people we can't proclaim God's love to them].

So, I think we really see the true agenda of these people, which is in fact to normalise discrimination of LGB people within society whilst bizarrely claiming that if we all followed the Bible that there would be no need for an equality law. An amazing claim since most of the clamour to be able to discriminate seems to come from this section of society.

Hence the need for the Government to stand firm and not give in to people who are no doubt sincere in their beliefs but are clearly slightly unhinged.

No comments:

Post a Comment