February 2, 2013
Dan Walsh http://www.danwalshbanjo.co.uk/
The recent court cases of four Christians, claiming workplace discrimination has brought religious beliefs and human rights into sharp focus. The reaction from Christians seems to be one of despair, given that only one claimant was successful. Their pessimistic outlook shaped by the reality that the UK is increasingly becoming an ever more secular society, as religion becomes increasingly marginalised and antiquated. The Christian outlook is perhaps also shaped by the case of the Christian guest house owners who refused a married gay couple a double bed. Contrarily, the reaction of others has been the opposite to that of Christians, with human rights group Liberty, describing the cases where the claimants lost as ‘equal treatment, religious freedom and common sense‘.
The concerns of Christians or for that matter those of other faiths, that these various rulings spell the end of religious freedom, are understandable and indeed the cases are another indication that religion is no longer the overriding factor in the eyes of many. Put bluntly, many people now regard religion as an almost backward view that is no longer terribly relevant at least in law. The recent rejection of women bishops only exacerbates the view that the church is an outdated institution disaffected from the modern world. And there is an almost ‘us and them’ situation developing in society at times with Christians frequently dismissed as terribly ‘other’. Read more of this post