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Another day, another report of a Christian being ‘persecuted’

Another day, another report of a Christian being ‘persecuted’

Andrea Williams, inset, head of the Christian Legal Centre, is mouthing off once again over the ‘persecution’ of Christians – this time in regard to an evangelical zealot and homophobe called Richard Page, above.

Page, 69, is suing the National Health Service in England for refusing to renew a director’s job he held for four years because he said in court and in the news media that children do better with a father and a mother of different sexes rather than with gay couples.

According to this report, Williams said:

Richard is being driven from the public service simply for expressing the widely-held, lawful belief that children ideally need a mother and a father.

Williams added:

This is another of a growing list of cases where Christians are being hammered out of public life simply for expressing their beliefs.

Page has made no bones about being an evangelical Christian who believes homosexual activity is a sin.

It’s the second time he has lost his job. He worked full time for the NHS before he retired and became a paid member of the NHS Kent-Medway region’s board of directors, a job he held for four years.

When his term neared its end this spring, he was suspended by board chairman Andrew Ling and told he would not be rehired. When Page applied to other NHS regions, the national NHS told him he would never be considered.

Ling told Page that the publicity surrounding his comments that children do best with two heterosexual parents – which were made when he served as a judge in an adoption hearing:

Will have a negative impact on the Trust, its staff and most importantly its patients.

At a hearing before the national NHS in August, the decision was confirmed. He was told:

It was not in the interests of the health service for you to serve anywhere as a non-executive director in the NHS.

Page’s troubles began in 2014 at a family court adoption hearing involving a gay couple. He said:

I raised some questions in private with the other judges, including that I thought that because a baby comes from a man and a woman it made me think the child would be better off with a father and a mother than with single-sex parents. The other judges didn’t agree at all.

The judges complained to Page’s bosses about his statement which resulted in his suspension and an subjugation to a daylong re-education session.

But Page committed a second offence when, egged on by the Christian Legal Centre, he complained about his treatment, babbling  extensively to the news media and defending his right to hold Christian beliefs and still be a good judge.

Page’s suspension was ultimately signed off by the Lord Chancellor and the Justice Minister, which is also why Christian Legal Centre is pursuing both dismissals in an employment tribunal rather than the courts.

My legal counsel told me that no judge would dare rule against his bosses. I was gobsmacked.

Page said he was pursuing the case not only because he enjoyed serving as an NHS director but to stand up for other Christians.

I want to publicise the pressure that the government is putting people under to censor themselves or to not apply for government jobs because of their faith.

He added that there was evidence of a healthy public expression of support from 6,500 people on social media with nary a negative comment.

You can hear horrible little man whingeing about his ‘persecution’ on YouTube.

18 responses to “Another day, another report of a Christian being ‘persecuted’”

  1. Brummie says:

    I happen to agree that male and female parental upbringing will, in general, give a more balanced view on life to youngsters, not that there is anything wrong with a gay couple acting as parents. So many children are not provided with EITHER option and grow up unloved and unwanted.

  2. Broga says:

    I suppose Ms Williams ideal would be a mother and father who were evangelical Christians. The record of those as known in the USA is not good as they are enthusiasts for the “spare the rod and spoil the child” approach. One of these vile parents wrote a book some time ago advocating heavy and frequent beatings of children and even very young children.

  3. L.Long says:

    He should be fired as he told a flat out LIE!!!! So as to reinforce his views. Kids do better with LOVING parents and do badly with hate filled parents. There is no other real difference.

  4. Angela_K says:

    These contemptible bastards do not understand that when serving in public office they must keep their preposterous and bigoted beliefs to themselves. Hopefully this will be another case that mad bitch Williams and her cronies will lose; I hope I don’t have nightmares after seeing that frightening picture of her.

  5. barriejohn says:

    Like others, especially Daily Mail columnists (and Stephen Green), he just uses selective evidence. That’s akin to lying – something that the religious are well practised in, though as they have to lie to themselves constantly to avoid complete meltdown of their faith, perhaps they can’t always distinguish between fantasy and reality.

    http://whatweknow.law.columbia.edu/topics/lgbt-equality/what-does-the-scholarly-research-say-about-the-wellbeing-of-children-with-gay-or-lesbian-parents/

  6. Cali Ron says:

    barriejohn: “perhaps they can’t always distinguish between fantasy and reality.” Amen to that brother. I’m pretty sure that’s a requirement to be a born again evangelical. Delusion and denial is for christians, reality is for atheist.

  7. Vanity Unfair says:

    I suppose it is still too early to have any significant sociological statistics on the relative success of children raised in two-sex or single-sex parent households and I can imagine all sorts of difficulties with making comparisons between the two. Even coming up with a neutral vocabulary for the exercise would pose problems and then there is the continuous problem that sociology is concerned with people and there is no standard person to use as a control. So, here is my ignorant, ill-informed and totally biassed view.
    Single people are allowed to adopt and foster children. Is there really much difference between a single-sex person (and that also has connotations, I know) and a single-sex couple who might also be married?
    A two-females couple can usually arrange a pregnancy for one of them and an adoption is a second method of starting a family. A two-males couple cannot arrange a pregnancy (yet) so adoption is the only way to start a family. Is this sex discrimination?
    I’m pretty certain that children develop better in a loving, caring and suitably challenging small relationship than in an institutional one, no matter how well-run; it’s a matter of numbers. The quality of the parenting makes the difference.
    Children need a wide variety of experiences and philosophies to understand the world. This is where the difficulties start. Would a single-sex parentage limit the child’s experiences? I can see that it might and proper study is needed to determine whether sentiments ranging from vague uneasiness to outright certainty, either way, are correct.
    Concepts of sexuality are changing ever more fundamentally today. However, in too-simple terms the question arises, can two men teach a girl how to be a woman and can two women teach a boy how to be a man? There is already a worry that primary schools do not have enough male teachers for boys to have a role-model at school and this links to the same concern.
    But we are dealing with people. People are not an homogeneous mass. Richard Page might be right in his general proposition. However, if he has any actual evidence he really ought to present it for inspection and argument. That is how the scientific method works and sociology is supposed to be a science.
    And Andrea Williams is wrong, again. It has nothing to do with over-represented and over-influential Christians being persecuted.

  8. Laura Roberts says:

    Page is making a specific claim that is easy to check: do children fare worse with homosexual parents? Research has been conducted on the subject and the clear answer is “no” (two sample citations below). What does matter is factors such as stress and approaches to parenting (one can imagine how “spare the rod” fares under scrutiny).

    Page needn’t be fired because he’s a bigot; he should be fired because anyone in his position who is too lazy to stay on top of relevant research is incompetent to do the job. Running afoul of his employer’s policies doesn’t help his case either.

    Leung, Erich, and Kanenberg. “A comparison of family functioning in gay/lesbian, heterosexual and special needs adoptions.” Children and Youth Services Review 27.9, 2005

    Farr, Forssell, and Patterson. “Parenting and child development in adoptive families: Does parental sexual orientation matter?.” Applied Developmental Science 14.3. 2010

  9. AgentCormac says:

    What Page fails to realise is that he is being used by Andrea Williams and the Christian Legal Centre to further their own evangelical aims. Didn’t he bother checking just how woeful their track record is before allowing them to represent him? Another kicked-puppy mugshot, another embarrassing defeat on the cards. You think they might have learned by now.

  10. barriejohn says:

    Andrea’s American friends don’t have any more success either:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/11/22/teacher-who-promoted-christianity-in-class-then-cried-persecution-when-told-to-stop-loses-appeal/

    Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented: “Similar to the School District’s censorship of Ms. Silver’s speech, the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation is dripping with hostility to religion.”

    Toys out of pram time again.

  11. Brian Jordan says:

    Regardless of whether Page’s opinions are right or wrong, is his expressing them in one context justification for expelling him from a position in a different field? What impact would his employment as an NHS non-executive director have on adoptions?
    Is it really any different from taking a bus driver off the school run because he was a member of UKIP?

  12. Daz says:

    @Brian Jordan

    “Is it really any different from taking a bus driver off the school run because he was a member of UKIP?”

    Yes. Your putative kipper hasn’t shown by his actions that he’s allowing his political/ideological views to influence his professional decision-making.

    And frankly, it’s a bad analogy. Bus drivers, short of being directly abusive toward their passengers, aren’t in the kind of job where such abuse of power/influence is even possible.

  13. barriejohn says:

    Strictly, he wasn’t sacked for expressing his views, but because holding such views meant that he was an unsuitable person to fulfill his role as director. If he no longer reflected the organization’s ethos then he had to go. Surely, Christians, as “principled” people, must be willing to accept whatever sacrifices are necessary if they are going to abide by those principles in a “godless world”. They can’t have it both ways!

    Following Mr Page’s comments, Kent and Medway NHS and social care partnership trust asked the TDA to consider suspending Mr Page from his role as non-executive director.

    After careful consideration, we have suspended Mr Page with immediate effect from 22 March 2016 pending a decision about whether it is in the interests of the NHS to take any further action and for him to remain in post as a non-executive director of the trust.

    In making this decision, we will take into consideration the implications of any comments made by Mr Page which could affect the confidence and willingness of patients to access vital healthcare, regardless of their sexuality, race, gender or age, and put the needs of the trust’s current and future patients first.

    (From the March article)

    See also:

    http://www.ntda.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/PSA-standards-for-board-members.pdf

  14. Daz says:

    @barriejohn

    Tut tut. Religious principles aren’t things you actually make sacrifices for. They’re things you make other people make sacrifices for. I mean it’s not as if Jesus was willing to have himself nailed to a tree, is it?

  15. barriejohn says:

    Jesus should have sued!

  16. Cali Ron says:

    Perhaps Jesus would have been better served if the apostles had been attorneys instead of fishermen.

  17. Paul says:

    Who is Jesus ?
    I’m confused.

  18. StephenJP says:

    Many thanks to Laura Roberts for referring us to the evidence that goes some way to refuting the assertions made by Mr Page and the CLC. I am sure a number of us can point to anecdotal evidence that backs up the more rigorous studies: eg I know a gay female couple who have made great personal sacrifices in order to bring up (very successfully) two adoptive children. The CLC are a pernicious menace; given how many cases they lose, one wonders where their money comes from.