Brits seek to force Christians to live hyphenated lives

Status
Not open for further replies.

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
China allows Christians to worship but they are not allowed to witness to anyone and they are not allowed to bring young ppl into the church in hopes that the worshipping dies with the age of the older congregation.
That's not accurate, based upon first hand accounts that I have heard.
I belong to the Voice of Martyrs and I regularly get magazines talking about the persecution of Christians in China and that is what they said.
 

jandrusk

Puritan Board Sophomore
You can make me leave my faith at home when you pry it from my cold dead soul. Wait, my soul is going to last forever, so it's never going to happen!
 

PhilA

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think the Government has a right to outlaw the wearing of crosses if it wishes. I also think private companies and government agencies have a right to restrict it being worn.
Graven images form no part of my faith as a Christian, and I will "Honour all men" and "Honour the king" on this issue.

BUT, there are different cases where genuine discrimination takes place. viz. Christian foster parents being removed due to their views on homosexuality.
It isn't the government's right to stick their nose into ppl's personal life. That's called communism. If wearing crosses goes against your conscious, then you shouldn't wear one. However, ppl who want to wear one should be allowed to do so in a free country. I personally wouldn't wear one but that's my right not to wear one. BTW, The use of a cross in church architecture is not explicitly mentioned in the Westminster Standards (Confession of Faith and Catechisms) and some reformed churches have them and some do not. So I doubt that wearing a crucifix would be completely out of line. A government that can take away the rights of other ppl you think should have their rights taken away can turn around and take away your rights also. Is that the type of country in which you want to live? It's not the type of country in which I want to live.
Sarah

It wasn't the Government who sought to stop the wearing of the jewellery/Cross. It was the private company (British Airways). They eventually gave way and permitted employees to wear jewellery/crosses under pressure from the Government and the Church of England.
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
I think the Government has a right to outlaw the wearing of crosses if it wishes. I also think private companies and government agencies have a right to restrict it being worn.
Graven images form no part of my faith as a Christian, and I will "Honour all men" and "Honour the king" on this issue.

BUT, there are different cases where genuine discrimination takes place. viz. Christian foster parents being removed due to their views on homosexuality.
It isn't the government's right to stick their nose into ppl's personal life. That's called communism. If wearing crosses goes against your conscious, then you shouldn't wear one. However, ppl who want to wear one should be allowed to do so in a free country. I personally wouldn't wear one but that's my right not to wear one. BTW, The use of a cross in church architecture is not explicitly mentioned in the Westminster Standards (Confession of Faith and Catechisms) and some reformed churches have them and some do not. So I doubt that wearing a crucifix would be completely out of line. A government that can take away the rights of other ppl you think should have their rights taken away can turn around and take away your rights also. Is that the type of country in which you want to live? It's not the type of country in which I want to live.
Sarah

It wasn't the Government who sought to stop the wearing of the jewellery/Cross. It was the private company (British Airways). They eventually gave way and permitted employees to wear jewellery/crosses under pressure from the Government and the Church of England.
Phil, we understand the private company had the rule. But in this proceeding, was it not the government lawyer making the argument against the complainants, stating they should privatize their faith?
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
I thought Great Britain was officially a Christian nation, that is, it has "established" Christianity in some manner officially.

In which case I'd think expression of Christianity would be particularly protected.

Perhaps those in the know could illuminate me on this.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
I thought Great Britain was officially a Christian nation, that is, it has "established" Christianity in some manner officially.

In which case I'd think expression of Christianity would be particularly protected.

Perhaps those in the know could illuminate me on this.
It's not officially or formally protected by traditional statute or common law because it didn't need protecting for centuries, militant secularism only having got off the ground since the '60s.

Religious freedoms generally may have some protection in domestic equality legislation, and in the adoption of the European Convention of Human Rights into British law. :2cents:
 
Last edited:

PhilA

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think the Government has a right to outlaw the wearing of crosses if it wishes. I also think private companies and government agencies have a right to restrict it being worn.
Graven images form no part of my faith as a Christian, and I will "Honour all men" and "Honour the king" on this issue.

BUT, there are different cases where genuine discrimination takes place. viz. Christian foster parents being removed due to their views on homosexuality.
It isn't the government's right to stick their nose into ppl's personal life. That's called communism. If wearing crosses goes against your conscious, then you shouldn't wear one. However, ppl who want to wear one should be allowed to do so in a free country. I personally wouldn't wear one but that's my right not to wear one. BTW, The use of a cross in church architecture is not explicitly mentioned in the Westminster Standards (Confession of Faith and Catechisms) and some reformed churches have them and some do not. So I doubt that wearing a crucifix would be completely out of line. A government that can take away the rights of other ppl you think should have their rights taken away can turn around and take away your rights also. Is that the type of country in which you want to live? It's not the type of country in which I want to live.
Sarah

It wasn't the Government who sought to stop the wearing of the jewellery/Cross. It was the private company (British Airways). They eventually gave way and permitted employees to wear jewellery/crosses under pressure from the Government and the Church of England.
Phil, we understand the private company had the rule. But in this proceeding, was it not the government lawyer making the argument against the complainants, stating they should privatize their faith?
Mark
There are two distinct sections to this issue. The first is the action between the employee and the employer. This was dealt with through the British judicial system to its full extent resulting in the employee losing. My point of interest in the BA case was that the Government and the Church of England intervened on behalf of the employee to support Christianity. Unusual in my opinion as both seem to do their best to undermine as often as possible.
Having lost their individual cases in the UK courts the employees have filed a case in the European Court of Human Rights. They are alleging that the contracting state, in this case the UK, has violated their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically under section 9 (a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination).

My understanding from a brief review (I stand to be corrected) is that the employees are arguing that they ought to have the right to force their employer to accept their religious/faith practices and customs. The government is arguing that any reasonable restriction that might be put in place by an employer does not infringe upon the rights of an individual to exercise those rights outside of work. This relates to two of the cases where the individuals wore religious jewellery. The other two cases appear to relate to the rights of an employee to stop an employer from changing their terms and conditions.

The Government’s position (again, if I understand correctly from such a brief review and it is understood that I am not defending their position) is that they are defending their record to ensure an individual’s freedom of thought, conscience and religion and prohibit discrimination. The quote from the lawyer has to be taken in context. My take (again, I stand to be corrected) is that he is saying the workplace is for work, not the advancement of religious/political or cultural views. The British press is infamous for putting their own spin on stories and can rarely be trusted.

My initial thought having briefly reviewed this case is that should the employees win (or find positive comments in the eventual judgment) I can see no reason why other religious groups would fail to take this issue up. I would expect Muslims demanding that employers provide a suitable place to pray during work time to be high on the list.
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
My point of interest in the BA case was that the Government and the Church of England intervened on behalf of the employee to support Christianity.
I don't see this in the article. Could you point to where it is reported that the government sided with the employee?

The quote from the lawyer has to be taken in context. My take (again, I stand to be corrected) is that he is saying the workplace is for work, not the advancement of religious/political or cultural views.
Here you and I are reading the story similarly, i.e. that upon some legal basis the government lawyer is arguing that faith should remain private, not publicly expressed in the workplace. It is this argument that I find problematic, which is the original point of this thread. The manner of the expression of the faith, e.g. wearing a cross, etc. is not my point. I recognize this is where folks can get into all sorts of disagreements over what is or is not appropriate.
 

PhilA

Puritan Board Sophomore
My point of interest in the BA case was that the Government and the Church of England intervened on behalf of the employee to support Christianity.
I don't see this in the article. Could you point to where it is reported that the government sided with the employee?



The quote from the lawyer has to be taken in context. My take (again, I stand to be corrected) is that he is saying the workplace is for work, not the advancement of religious/political or cultural views.
Here you and I are reading the story similarly, i.e. that upon some legal basis the government lawyer is arguing that faith should remain private, not publicly expressed in the workplace. It is this argument that I find problematic, which is the original point of this thread. The manner of the expression of the faith, e.g. wearing a cross, etc. is not my point. I recognize this is where folks can get into all sorts of disagreements over what is or is not appropriate.

I would direct you to the Wikipedia article on Eweida v British Airways PLC where you can find referenced the comments of the British Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

As I have stated previously I generally take what the British printed press states with a pinch of salt. I prefer to get to source documents whenever possible.

At this time I cannot get hold of the transcript of proceedings at ECHR on 4th September. Again I am not defending Eadie’s comments but I would say that they have to be taken in the context of the case as a whole and not in the context of the journalist’s article. British journalism, especially the printed press, has credibility issues.

The comments in the press report specifically relate to the visible wearing of the crosses in the work place. I would expect Eadie’s comments to relate specifically to the four cases involved (specifically, two cases related to cross wearing). The complainants allege that “domestic law failed adequately to protect their right to manifest their religion, contrary to Article 9 of the Convention, taken alone or in conjunction with Article 14.” One complainant states “I cannot remove my Crucifix without violating my faith “.

I have to take his comments to relate specifically to the jewellery/cross cases until I am better enlightened. My brief research suggests that the key issue in respect of the two Jewellery/cross cases is: “In each case, did the restriction on visibly wearing a cross or crucifix at work amount to an interference with the applicant's right to manifest her religion or belief, as protected by Article 9 of the Convention?” Quotes extracted from ECHR docs.

Eadie is arguing (as I see it) that a restriction on visibly wearing a cross in the workplace does not infringe on their individual right as a whole. Not that it must be in private but that a restriction at the workplace does not interfere with their right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as protected by the ECHR.

Sorry if this is a little jumbled. I am multitasking at the rate where it is more accurately described as juggling.
 

crixus

Puritan Board Freshman
I work freelance in the TV and Film production industry and there has been persecution against Christians in my field for as long as I can remember. It's not as up front as what's happening in England. But I have noticed that it's getting more blatant each and every year. I've lost work because of my faith, but it's better than losing my soul.
 

csedan

Puritan Board Freshman
If I may interject a comment here, this sets a precedent. The precedent like the one the French did with the nijabs, and it can and probably will resound for some time to come. Maybe not right away, but how do you split a log? With a small wedge, pound it in, then a bigger wedge, pound it in, do you see my point. It starts small, then gets bigger and bigger, until it falls apart. The enemy of our soul knows in some places, like China, direct severe persecution works, in others, like UK, USA and other nations, subtle persecution starts in the form of cultural change, and thus rights are taken away. Perhaps not quickly, but it begins. We should watch this, very closely. Those of us in USA can remember the big issue of the Ten Commandments on public buildings a few years ago, yes? Well, in Texas several churches have put up huge crosses on private property visible from the expressway, and many are trying to have them removed. Our Lord said stay awake and watch.
 
Last edited:

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
Eadie is arguing (as I see it) that a restriction on visibly wearing a cross in the workplace does not infringe on their individual right as a whole. Not that it must be in private
To the contrary, taking his words at face value, he did argue a general principle that expression of faith not be in the workplace and that it remain private. That principle was then applied to the facts of the case, i.e., wearing a cross as the particular expresssion of faith. Again, the example of cross wearing is not my point, but the general principle being advanced.
 

PhilA

Puritan Board Sophomore
Eadie is arguing (as I see it) that a restriction on visibly wearing a cross in the workplace does not infringe on their individual right as a whole. Not that it must be in private
To the contrary, taking his words at face value, he did argue a general principle that expression of faith not be in the workplace and that it remain private. That principle was then applied to the facts of the case, i.e., wearing a cross as the particular expresssion of faith. Again, the example of cross wearing is not my point, but the general principle being advanced.
I don’t think you can separate the cross wearing from the equation. Eadie’s comments were made in specific relation to that issue. As I see it the complainants are arguing that the Government has failed to protect their right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. How have the Government done this? Because they have not forced a private company (BA) and a public institution (the NHS) to allow a person to express their religion as they want when they want. Instead they have supported the employers in applying employer codes of practise.

I am not a supporter of Government. I was employed by them for over 30 years. I was regularly discriminated against and eventually lost my job which I could argue was discrimination.

I recall many years ago, probably within twelve months of this particular legislation being introduced. I took the step of banning Christmas decorations in the office. This was not received well be a significant number of employees. It was suggested that I was in breach of this particular legislation as they felt their right to religious freedom was being restricted. After all over 70% of the UK population consider themselves to be Christian (oh that they were!). I will leave it to your imagination what the British press headlines would have been had they heard of this story (which they did not). The “Christians”, I had known all of them for some ten years, had probably only ever stepped into church at Christening or Marriage if that.

The truth of the issue was that Christmas decorations were setting off the alarm system and we were incurring exorbitant out of hours call out fees. In addition, the building, which was not a Crown building, had private landlords who would extract exorbitant fees at the drop of a hat from the Government for “repairs” (where decoration had been damaged by sellotape and blue-tack etc.). Costs which were being met from the public purse (taxation receipts).

The matter was quickly resolved. I offered to reverse the decision (allowing them their right to freedom of religion) on the basis that those that wanted the decorations met all the additional cost including those already incurred. Needless to say I have never seen decorations come down so quickly.

Was I right in insisting the decorations be taken down? I think I was. Did I restrict an individual’s freedom of thought, conscience and religion?
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
Was I right in insisting the decorations be taken down? I think I was. Did I restrict an individual’s freedom of thought, conscience and religion?
I would agree with your decision. Did you restrict their right to express their religious/ popish/pagan holiday accoutrouments? Sure you did. And bravo for it!
 

PhilA

Puritan Board Sophomore
Was I right in insisting the decorations be taken down? I think I was. Did I restrict an individual’s freedom of thought, conscience and religion?
I would agree with your decision. Did you restrict their right to express their religious/ popish/pagan holiday accoutrouments? Sure you did. And bravo for it!
That is precisely why I have concerns over these four individuals taking this action at the ECHR. If they win, as I see it, then you as employer would not be able to stop anyone celebrating their “faith” or religion as they like and when they like. You will not be able to discriminate between religions. It is not the religion/faith that you find acceptable that would be the problem. It is all the others that have to be admitted as a consequence, the pagans, muslim, orthodox, RC etc. etc.
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
If they win, as I see it, then you as employer would not be able to stop anyone celebrating their “faith” or religion as they like and when they like. You will not be able to discriminate between religions. It is not the religion/faith that you find acceptable that would be the problem. It is all the others that have to be admitted as a consequence, the pagans, muslim, orthodox, RC etc. etc.
So then you agree with the lawyer that the solution is to relegate faith to private expressions out of the public realm?
 

PhilA

Puritan Board Sophomore
If they win, as I see it, then you as employer would not be able to stop anyone celebrating their “faith” or religion as they like and when they like. You will not be able to discriminate between religions. It is not the religion/faith that you find acceptable that would be the problem. It is all the others that have to be admitted as a consequence, the pagans, muslim, orthodox, RC etc. etc.
So then you agree with the lawyer that the solution is to relegate faith to private expressions out of the public realm?

With the Christmas decorations there was nothing to stop the individuals (singularly or collectively) putting up decorations at home, in the street or anywhere else they were permitted to do so. Would they be permitted to put their decorations up on your house/property? Why not? Do they not have the right to express their religious freedom when and where they choose? Are you restricting their religious freedom?

As for Eadie’s comments I still do not know the context or have independent confirmation of what was said. I would repeat that I do not take what is put in the British written press as being necessarily accurate or true. I do not feel able to agree or disagree with him on the little information we have. However, looking at the isolated fact I suspect that what he is implying as part of the Government’s defensive is this. The complainant alleges that the UK Government has failed to provide an individual a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion under ECHR. How has the Government done this? The claimant alleges the domestic UK legislation has failed to protect their right to put up Christmas decorations in the workplace. The Government argues, can the complainant put up their decorations at home? Can they put them on the outside of their home and illuminate the street? If yes, that is they can do this thing in “private”, how can the claimant allege that they cannot do this thing at all? You can substitute “wear cross” for Christmas decorations the principle at issue is the same. I do not believe Eadie is suggesting that "in private" is a solution to the issue. I think he is drawing the conclusion that if religious expression can be done at some time (i.e. "in private" which I believe in context equals not in the workplace as opposed to "in secret") then, under ECHR, it cannot be argued that it is prohibited at all times. Just because it is not at the individuals time or place of choosing does not mean that they do not have a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion at all. the Human Rights legislation is very complex and has many pitfalls.

Another issue I would expect to arise at some point is how, under the law, can a Government (who must not discriminate – a requirement under ECHR) differentiate between religious groups who hold opposing views in the same environment. For example, please don’t think I am purposefully trivialising this matter, let us say two Christian groups one sincerely demanding the right to celebrate Christmas in the workplace and the other group sincerely objecting to the practise. Both groups could claim that their right to religious freedom is being infringed under ECHR. Who should the law support? (Understand this is not a Theological argument, nor is an attempt to get an early start to the annual debate/discussion on the PB!)
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
In any case, wouldn't a truly Christian nation forbid the wearing of crucifixes? Isn't that part of enforcing both tables of the law?
Not all Christians agree with this interpretation. Crucifixes are not found solely in Roman Catholic churches.
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
As I asked before, let's *assume* I am correct that the government argument was faith should be kept private and not in the workplace, is that the principle you would advocate? It appears that is your position since you won't answer that principled question and perist in raising application scenarios under the converse principle where faith may be expressed in the workplace.
 

SRoper

Puritan Board Graduate
In any case, wouldn't a truly Christian nation forbid the wearing of crucifixes? Isn't that part of enforcing both tables of the law?
Not all Christians agree with this interpretation. Crucifixes are not found solely in Roman Catholic churches.
"Truly" modifies the word "Christian." Such a nation would have a proper understanding of the second commandment.

Mark, it seems to me that the right of an employee to practice their religion as they see fit runs up against the right of the employer to run his business as he sees fit. The right of the employee to practice his religion must be less fettered in private than in the workplace unless the employer's rights are non-existent.
 

Supersillymanable

Puritan Board Freshman
From a person who lives in England, and the city, I would say this:


In Britain, we're frogs in a slowly-boiled pot...
Is what is happening. Whether the government on these specific occasions took genuinely (or subtlety, or not at all) an anti Christian position, that doesn't really matter. Even if they didn't, what did matter was the militant secularists, humanists, new atheists and all the other anti Christian groups of people made themselves and are making themselves clearly heard. They have been given an outlet to voice their opinion and that WILL affect public opinion in the future. People will listen to their arguments and people will adopt and regurgitate the arguments. It has been the same with homosexuality. It will be the same withreligious expression generally, unless God breaks in.

Maybe not right away, but how do you split a log? With a small wedge, pound it in, then a bigger wedge, pound it in, do you see my point. It starts small, then gets bigger and bigger, until it falls apart. The enemy of our soul knows in some places, like China, direct severe persecution works, in others, like UK, USA and other nations, subtle persecution starts in the form of cultural change, and thus rights are taken away. Perhaps not quickly, but it begins. We should watch this, very closely. Those of us in USA can remember the big issue of the Ten Commandments on public buildings a few years ago, yes? Well, in Texas several churches have put up huge crosses on private property visible from the expressway, and many are trying to have them removed. Our Lord said stay awake and watch.
As Charles has pointed out. Outright persecution doesn't really work in our cultures. It is a slow subtle grinding away. It starts with small issues such as these, which may or may not be motivated by anti Christian attitudes. Just as the Chief priests and Elders persuaded the crowd to choose Barabbas, so will the small minority of Britain who are militant persuade the masses to choose increasing secularity over Christianity.
 

PhilA

Puritan Board Sophomore
As I asked before, let's *assume* I am correct that the government argument was faith should be kept private and not in the workplace, is that the principle you would advocate? It appears that is your position since you won't answer that principled question and perist in raising application scenarios under the converse principle where faith may be expressed in the workplace.
Please accept my apologies, I had not realised that you had asked me a question. I have merely sought to clarify what actually happened at Strasbourg and what is suggested in the newspaper article that you identified.

To address your assumption that “the government argument was faith should be kept private and not in the workplace”. I will have to assume what you mean by the use of “faith” and “private”. I will assume that you refer to faith as we would typically use it on the PB with reference to our personal faith and that you use the word private to imply not revealing thoughts or feelings to others with the implication that that this is a forced position not one of choice.

I would never advocate such a position.

Should the Government apply your assumption I cannot see it being successful. The ambiguity around the use of the words “faith”, “private” and even “workplace” would, in my opinion, render it impossible to implement or defend. I have seen many fine cases lost in “the courts” over the words “private” and “workplace”. I see no reason why the word “faith” would not create similar confusion.
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
To address your assumption that “the government argument was faith should be kept private and not in the workplace”. I will have to assume what you mean by the use of “faith” and “private”. I will assume that you refer to faith as we would typically use it on the PB with reference to our personal faith and that you use the word private to imply not revealing thoughts or feelings to others with the implication that that this is a forced position not one of choice.

I would never advocate such a position.
Thanks, Phil.
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
Mark, it seems to me that the right of an employee to practice their religion as they see fit runs up against the right of the employer to run his business as he sees fit. The right of the employee to practice his religion must be less fettered in private than in the workplace unless the employer's rights are non-existent.
I agree there can be competing interests, but of course, this competition occurs in the context where faith is not mandatorily relegated out of the workplace altogether. IN other words, let us be wary of the myth of a neutral faith free zone.
 

SRoper

Puritan Board Graduate
Oh, I agree there should be no such thing as a faith-free zone. I understand the cited lawyer to be merely saying that there is a difference between the public and the private, not that the public is a faith-free zone. Maybe I am being too generous.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
I wonder, do they also forbid Muslim women from wearing their hajib, while not jewelry it is a symbol of their religious beliefs. I know, I know, they claim not all Christians wear a cross, and it's not a mandate in the Bible..but they are still 'expressing' their faith in the work place.

And these things show more of the discrimination...I wonder if two homosexuals went to a Mosque to be 'joined together' if the Muslims would be sued if they were taken to court for not performing the ceremony.

The human rights challenge also includes the cases of a Relate therapist sacked for saying he might not be comfortable giving sex counselling to homosexual couples and a Christian registrar who wishes not to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.

Lillian Ladele, a registrar in Islington, was disciplined after she refused to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies on religious grounds.

In a similar case, Gary McFarlane, a Bristol marriage counsellor, was sacked because his employer, who was suspicious because of his open Christianity, learned that he had privately expressed his reluctance to give “sex therapy” to homosexual couples.
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
Oh, I agree there should be no such thing as a faith-free zone. I understand the cited lawyer to be merely saying that there is a difference between the public and the private, not that the public is a faith-free zone. Maybe I am being too generous.
I think at the least, his argument (as reported) *suggests* a normative principle of a faith free zone at the workplace. As the report states:

James Eadie QC, acting for the government, told the European court that the refusal to allow an NHS nurse and a British Airways worker to visibly wear a crucifix at work “did not prevent either of them practicing religion in private”, which would be protected by human rights law.

He argued that a Christian facing problems at work with religious expression needed to consider their position and that they were not discriminated against if they still have the choice of leaving their job and finding new employment.

“There are two aspects to this part of the argument. Firstly resigning and moving to another job and secondly there is clear and consistent jurisprudence that the person who asserts religious rights may on occasion have to take account of their position,” he said.


Perhaps the escape hatch from seeing this argument as a blanket principle is his use of the phrase "on occasion". What criteria is applied to define such "occasions" is not stated in the report. The concern is that given the rapid decline of Christian influence on culture, coupled with concession by some in the church that the Christian faith should not seek to shape culture, I suspect that the "privatizing of faith" will become the norm rather than an "occasional" exception.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
If I may interject a comment here, this sets a precedent. The precedent like the one the French did with the nijabs, and it can and probably will resound for some time to come. Maybe not right away, but how do you split a log? With a small wedge, pound it in, then a bigger wedge, pound it in, do you see my point. It starts small, then gets bigger and bigger, until it falls apart. The enemy of our soul knows in some places, like China, direct severe persecution works, in others, like UK, USA and other nations, subtle persecution starts in the form of cultural change, and thus rights are taken away. Perhaps not quickly, but it begins. We should watch this, very closely. Those of us in USA can remember the big issue of the Ten Commandments on public buildings a few years ago, yes? Well, in Texas several churches have put up huge crosses on private property visible from the expressway, and many are trying to have them removed. Our Lord said stay awake and watch.

Georgia has placed the Ten Commandments back in their Courts and State Houses, they hang along side other historical documents such as the Magna Carta.

James Eadie QC, acting for the government, told the European court that the refusal to allow an NHS nurse and a British Airways worker to visibly wear a crucifix at work “did not prevent either of them practicing religion in private”, which would be protected by human rights law.
This is an interesting debate.."they are free to practice their religion in private' --basically in the privacy of their own home, thus, lets look to the logical conclusion of this..Private would not mean a gathering of the Saints together in a building to worship together--that is considered 'public' worship, so we must ask at which point in the near future will this begin to take effect? No worshipping in public places at all as it has in many other countries around the globe.
 

PhilA

Puritan Board Sophomore
Oh, I agree there should be no such thing as a faith-free zone. I understand the cited lawyer to be merely saying that there is a difference between the public and the private, not that the public is a faith-free zone. Maybe I am being too generous.
I think at the least, his argument (as reported) *suggests* a normative principle of a faith free zone at the workplace. As the report states:

James Eadie QC, acting for the government, told the European court that the refusal to allow an NHS nurse and a British Airways worker to visibly wear a crucifix at work “did not prevent either of them practicing religion in private”, which would be protected by human rights law.

He argued that a Christian facing problems at work with religious expression needed to consider their position and that they were not discriminated against if they still have the choice of leaving their job and finding new employment.

“There are two aspects to this part of the argument. Firstly resigning and moving to another job and secondly there is clear and consistent jurisprudence that the person who asserts religious rights may on occasion have to take account of their position,” he said.


Perhaps the escape hatch from seeing this argument as a blanket principle is his use of the phrase "on occasion". What criteria is applied to define such "occasions" is not stated in the report. The concern is that given the rapid decline of Christian influence on culture, coupled with concession by some in the church that the Christian faith should not seek to shape culture, I suspect that the "privatizing of faith" will become the norm rather than an "occasional" exception.

I still think it worth repeating that we do not have Eadie’s comments in context. I am still seeking the transcripts.

I think it is also worth re-stating that Eadie is not putting forward an argument to change the law. Eadie is arguing to maintain the status quo (as it has been for the last eight or nine years). It is the complainants that are seeking a change to the law.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top