The High Court has ruled that prayer should be banned from meetings of a local council. The decision paves the way for the phasing out of similar traditions in Britain’s public life: prayers before Parliament, hospital chaplains, and before we know it “God Save the Queen” (the G word being deemed too offensive). No sign of Christian faith will be tolerated in the brave new world run by the National Secular Society and their supporters.
Why the hatred of a rich tradition that for centuries has served this country well? Secularists argue that for too long the state, in drawing from the Christian legacy of justice, tolerance and charity, has raised Christianity to a special status. It didn’t matter that this was the majority religion; Christianity enjoyed a “special” relationship with the state (seen in the establishment of the Church of England), and “special” smacked of inequality.
It is in order to impose their particular notion of equality that the anti-Christian lobby is transforming Britain. Today saw not only Mr Justice Ouseley ruling on the Devon councillor, but two Christian guesthouse owners, ordered to pay damages for refusing to allow a gay couple to stay in a double room, lose their appeal. Last month, the UCL Union voted to ensure that “any future open events by UCLU Clubs or Societies focusing on the issue of termination invite an anti-choice speaker, a pro-choice speaker, and an independent chair, to ensure there is a balance to the argument”. In other words, no matter what its members’ religious beliefs, they must agree to give a platform to supporters of abortion. The “chair” should be “independent”.
When Justice Ouseley delivered his ruling, he argued that ”I do not think the 1972 Act… should be interpreted as permitting the religious views of one group of councillors, however sincere or large in number, to exclude, or even to a modest extent, to impose burdens on or even to mark out those who do not share their views and do not wish to participate in their expression of them. They are all equally elected councillors.”
Yet if all Britons are to be treated as equals, why is the Christian’s right to live by their belief system trampled by the secularists’ right to live by theirs?