A few days ago an English couple, Eunice and Owen Johns, were denied the right to be foster parents because of their vehemently homophobic attitudes derived from their faith. As The Telegraph reports:
The judges underlined that, in the case of fostering arrangements at least, the right of homosexuals to equality “should take precedence” over the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs and moral values.
In a ruling with potentially wide-ranging implications, the judges said Britain was a “largely secular”, multi-cultural country in which the laws of the realm “do not include Christianity”.
Can you imagine an American judge making that last statement?
The judges added:
“Although historically this country is part of the Christian West, and although it has an established church which is Christian, there have been enormous changes in the social and religious life of our country over the last century,” they said.
It was a “paradox” that society has become simultaneously both increasingly secular and increasingly diverse in religious affiliation, they said.
“We sit as secular judges serving a multicultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to ‘do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will’.”
Such is the slow erosion of faith in enlightened countries. But here’s the funniest part. The faithful, of course, are up in arms, defending the rights of parents to warp their children’s minds however they wish. And one of them said this:
Speaking personally, Canon Dr Chris Sugden, the executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream, said the judges were wrong to say religion was a matter of private individuals’ beliefs.
“They are treating religion like Richard Dawkins does, as if Christian faith was on a parallel with Melanesian frog worship,” he said.
If the shoe fits . . . .