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Three out of four ‘persecuted’ Christians lose their ECHR discrimination cases

Three out of four ‘persecuted’ Christians lose their ECHR discrimination cases

The Infamous Four: Eweida, Ladele, Chaplin and

The Infamous Four: Eweida, Ladele, Chaplin and MacFarlane

REACTING to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights, which upheld one of four high profile cases brought by Christians who complained of religious discrimination in their workplaces, the National Secular Society’s Executive Director, Keith Porteous Wood, said today:

First and foremost, this ruling demonstrates that UK equality law is fully compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and that there is no need to change UK law. Any attempt to do so by the Government would therefore signal a clear desire to give privileged treatment to religious believers, and would be robustly challenged.

Nadia Eweida, who made a long song-and-dance over wearing a cross to work, won her case against British Airways. Judges ruled Eweida’s rights had been violated under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Wood added:

In the cases of the registrar who refused to conduct civil partnerships and the counsellor who wouldn’t counsel gay couples – the principle of non-discrimination against gay people has been upheld. If they had won these cases, it would have driven a coach and horses through the equality laws. The rights of gay people to fair and equal treatment would have been kicked back by decades.

If Communities Secretary Eric Pickles gets his way this might might be the unfortunate result

If Communities Secretary Eric Pickles gets his way this might might be the unfortunate result

It is always better if employers can reach some kind of accommodation with their staff on these issues, and in the vast majority of cases, they do. But when employees refuse to carry out all the duties that their job entails, it is reasonable for employers to discipline them. Religious people who feel elements of their job go against their conscience can always find employment that better matches their needs. That is true religious freedom.

Referring to the Eweida case, he said it was:

A very limited victory which simply means that if employers want to prevent an employee wearing religious symbol for corporate image purposes, they must prove that their image is negatively affected by such manifestations of belief.

In the case of Chaplin we are pleased that the court has acknowledged that employers are better placed than the court to decide if jewellery is a health and safety risk and did not support the idea of blanket permission to wear religious symbols in the workplace.

In all four cases Christian applicants complained that UK law does not sufficiently protect their rights to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination at work.

The NSS was the only organisation that intervened to support the UK Government to argue that all four cases of Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane were correctly dismissed by the UK courts.

Mike Judge, spokesman for The Christian Institute which backed Ladele’s case, said:

Obviously, we are disappointed to have lost by a majority decision. But we are encouraged that two judges thought we should have won.

What this case shows is that Christians with traditional beliefs about marriage are at risk of being left out in the cold.

If the Government steamrollers ahead with its plans to redefine marriage, then hundreds of thousands of people could be thrown out of their jobs unless they agree to endorse gay marriage.

Meanwhile, it is reported here that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will be blathering on about the “intolerance of aggressive secularism” when he addresses the think-tanks British Future and Policy Exchange in London today.

Community Secretary Eric Pickles

Eric Pickles (Getty Image)

Pickles will say:

Faith provides a clear moral compass and a call to action that benefits society as a whole. At a time when Christians are under attack for their beliefs in different parts of the world, I am proud of the freedom of belief that exists in Britain.

But in recent years long-standing British liberties of freedom of religion have been undermined by the intolerance of aggressive secularism: taking people to task for wearing a cross or a rosary, beginning costly legal actions against council prayers – as if they had nothing better to do.

Hat tips: Too many to mention

155 Responses to “Three out of four ‘persecuted’ Christians lose their ECHR discrimination cases”

  1. Ken says:

    “Faith, in the religious context, is mere wishful thinking. Have you not read about Russell’s Teapot or Sagan’s Dragon?”

    I understand the teapot thing as an attempt to place the burden of proof onto Christians/theists, but there is no real analogy with belief in God. Similarly with the dragon. The assumption atheists make is that Christians believe without any evidence. But unlike the teapot and dragon, they claim God has done things and said things. The creation is God’s action, and the bible his word. Both of these are communication about God – a third perhaps being conscience, our sense of right and wrong. The creation is the doom of nonsense like the FSM, sky daddy or imaginary friend, and the teapot and dragon for that matter.

    As for the bible, as I said before the fullfillment of prophecy to me was and is convincing both of the existence of God and the bible as his written communication. It’s something you can check, though not the only thing, if you wish to. The bible won’t and I certainly can’t answer every question you or I might have, but the cumulative effect of Christian defences of the faith is to show belief in the existence of God is at least reasonable, and then take it from there to see if this God is in any way actually ‘knowable’ and what may get in the way of this. If your problem with this is “religion”, then I can fully sympathise, but this is not the real issue.

    I can understand you thinking a heavenly father, eternal life or a desire to see justice for the wrongs in this life as being wishful thinking, but not the severity of God, judgement and human accountability for our actions and words, though the latter appear with the former in perfect balance in the bible.

    Not many people know this, but in my garage I have a Common Ancestor ….

  2. chrsbol says:

    Lennie. The position of ‘Resident religious plantpot’ has already been taken so please f@ck off.

  3. Angela_K says:

    @Ken. “….attempt to place the burden of proof onto Christians/theists”

    You just don’t understand, in spite of many attempts by everyone on this forum to get some hard verifiable evidence from you to support your propositions.

    E.g. If I propose that the Earth is round [unlike your bible], I have to provide evidence that can be verified and confirmed by third parties; this is how the real World works.

    As for the rest of your post, have you been at the catnip?

    This thread has now reached over 150 posts which is probably enough.

  4. Daz says:

    Ken

    If your argument is that prophecy must overrule man’s freewill, then I would agree with you

    Ye frickin’ ha! But why couldn’t you stop right there?

    but there are enough conditional prophecies, meaning predicted judgement will be averted if those in the wrong repent

    Y’see Kenneth, old chap, you aren’t now describing prophecy, you’re describing prediction—”Dad’s gonna go apeshit when he sees what you did!” And, given the best example you could think of was, apparently, Tyre, which was—how can I put this politely?—shite; not even particularly accurate prediction.

    So much, then, for your idea that “prophecy” (you can’t even show any) proves the existence of God and the veracity of the Bible.

    And on to Russell’s teapot and Sagan’s dragon…

    The assumption atheists make is that Christians believe without any evidence. But unlike the teapot and dragon, they claim God has done things and said things. The creation is God’s action…

    Your claim does not constitute evidence. That’s the whole point of the two analogies.

    And yes, there is direct evidence of a common ancestor. We call it DNA.

  5. AgentCormac says:

    Ken

    “As for the bible, as I said before the fullfillment of prophecy to me was and is convincing both of the existence of God and the bible as his written communication.”

    Then you are a gullible fool. Those who lead whichever ‘brand’ of christianity you subscribe to must be very pleased with you. They depend on gullible fools to keep them in their jobs.