Not Ashamed? You Should Be!

As your thought for the day, please feel free to choose either or both of the following…

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Exodus 20:16

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; Collosians 3:9

Relax folks, I haven’t undergone a sudden and unexpected religious conversion. Far from it. If ever you find me quoting passages from the bible then you can be fairly sure that I’m about to fire off a few distinctly irreligious thoughts on the subject of religious hypocrisy – and that is precisely where I’m at today.

Not Ashamed‘ is a newly launched campaign for unreconstructed Christian bigots and other disciples of the Overprivileged Church of Unmerited Victimhood and, as far I can tell, what they appear to be campaigning for is the unfettered right to continue hating on teh gays and foisting their beliefs on everyone else, whether they want them to or not, dragging the moral character of modern Christianity into the gutter as they go.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on the site’s hall of wannabe martyrs, on which you’re invited to “learn more about some of those who have suffered for standing up and speaking up for Jesus Christ in the workplace and other areas of public life”.

If there are any lessons to be learned from this page they can only be:

A. That martyrdom ain’t what it used to be. There’s distinct lack of anyone who’s been nailed to a tree, indundated with rocks or turned into an impromtu pin-cushion, so there’s really not much for any aspiring Renaissance artists to work with, and

B.  That when you strip away all the bullshit, the only thing that these idiots have actually been martyred on is their own intransigence and banal stupidity.

Nevertheless, its still worth giving this idiots gallery a quick once over in the interests of providing a truthful account of their supposed ‘suffering’.

Olive Jones is a maths teacher who claims to have been sacked after ‘offering prayer to a sick child’.

Jones was a visting maths teacher who had been assigned to provide lessons to a 14 year-old girl with leukemia. Despite being fully aware of the fact that the family were non-religious, Jones took it on herself to disregard the job for which she had been employed and proselytise the child instead. She then ran straight the Christian Legal Centre, and the tabloids, after the parents complained about her inappropriate and unprofessional behavior and her employer, a local authority, followed standard procedure and initiated an investigation into the complaint.

Jones had not been sacked at all. She had, in fact, gone AWOL and was refusing to co-operate with the investigation.

Shirley Chaplin is a nurse who was allegedly ‘removed from front line nursing after 38 years for wanting to wear the cross she had worn since her confirmation’.

Chaplin was put into a desk job by her employer, an NHS hospital, after a health and safety risk assessment identified a potential problem with her crucifix and chain, specifically that a patient could reach up and throttle her with it. If that sounds a bit daft and excessive, what followed was even dafter. Chaplin was offered a number of compromises by the hospital, including the option of pinning the crucifix to her uniform, all of which she refused.

Reports of her subsequent, unsuccessful, employment tribunal claim for alledged religious discrimination seem to indicate that, rather than apply a little common sense to the situation, Chaplin chose to play the victim and lob in the ‘but you don’t do this to Muslims’ card instead.

Unfortunately – for Chaplin – her bid for martyrdom and a bit of compo hit the skids when the tribunal heard that the hospital does require other religious faiths to adapt their religiously mandated wearing of symbols/clothing to fit in with its health and safety policy. Sikhs are required to remove their Kara (a religious bangle) when working and while Muslims are allowed to wear a head covering, it must be a tight-fitting sports ‘hijab’ in order to avoid any risks of entanglement with either patients or medical equipment.

Sheila Matthews is a community paediatrician, dismissed from Adoption Panel for holding ‘biblical views’ on the best way to raise a child.

I dealt with Matthews is some considerable detail here – in fact, my own article is now the top entry on Google’s search for Matthews’ name.

Matthews is a Christian bigot of the ‘I’m not homophobic, but…’ variety who not only attempted to put her personal, religious beliefs before her professional duty but sought to justify her position by claiming that her views on homosexuality and parenting were founded on evidence and her own professional judgement.

That the kind of ‘evidence’ she would have been relying on for her ‘professional judgement’ has been thoroughly rejected not once, but twice, in a court of law would seem to have been, in Matthews’ eyes, wholly irrelevant.

Gary McFarlane was sacked as a Relate Counsellor for expressing a’ conscientious objection’ to giving sex therapy to homosexual couples – but not, seemingly, to unmarried heterosexual couples, which would also have been consistent with his ‘Christian beliefs’.

McFarlane was even content to counsel gay couples – according to information contained in the Court of Appeal’s ruling on his case – as long as the counselling had nothing to do with sex, marking him out as just your basic ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ religious hypocrite.

McFarlane’s case was thrown out because, as has been correctly identified by the court, his case was predicated on a demand for privileged treatment not equal treatment before the law, a distinction that was most clearly expressed by Lord Carey’s attempt to intervene in the case and his demand for the creation of a ‘specialist panel of judges’ with a ‘a proven sensitivity and understanding of religious issues’ to hear cases on this kind.

Carey’s call for a rigged judicial system for religionists received short shrift from Lord Justice Laws, who concluded that:

The promulgation of law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds cannot therefore be justified; it is irrational, as preferring the subjective over the objective, but it is also divisive, capricious and arbitrary. We do not live in a society where all the people share uniform religious beliefs. The precepts of any one religion, any belief system, cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other. If they did, those out in the cold would be less than citizens and our constitution would be on the way to a theocracy, which is of necessity autocratic. The law of a theocracy is dictated without option to the people, not made by their judges and governments. The individual conscience is free to accept such dictated law, but the State, if its people are to be free, has the burdensome duty of thinking for itself.

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta love the judiciary.

Lydia Playfoot was allegedly punished at school for wearing her ‘silver ring’ as a sign of her commitment to biblical teaching on saving sex until marriage.

Playfoot was suspended after she unilaterally decided that her school’s policy on the wearing of jewellery didn’t apply to her – despite the fact that it applied to every other pupil at the school – and ran, yet again, to the courts and the tabloids. What she neglected to mention at the time was that her mother was the company secretary of the franchised business behind the cheap piece of tat she was wearing to school, which was so crappy that even QVC wouldn’t touch.

Playfoot’s father was, not uncoincidentally, the same company’s ‘Parents Programme Director’ while its managing director, Andy Robinson, was also moonlighting as a full-time youth pastor at the Playfoot’s church.

That said, the best thing about this particular story turned out be Denise Pfieffer, who’d worked as Silver Ring Thing’s Assistant National Director for the UK.

Pfeiffer turned out to be a full-on loon; a self-proffessed asexual, who moonlighted as an underwear model, with a fairly well known, and equally insane, Nazi ex-boyfriend (Clive Potter) and a personal history which included attending NF marches, running an anti-gay group which tried to prevent Leicester holding its first gay pride celebration and getting arrested (and deported) from the United States for harassing the family of Jordy Chandlerin the wake of Chandler’s allegation that he’d been sexually abused by Michael Jackson.

Andrew McLintock, like Sheila Matthews, was ejected from a family panel that dealt with adoptions after asking to be ‘screened’ from same-sex adoption cases.

He also expressed his ‘concern that children could be put at risk by the untried social experiment of same-sex adoption, in which vulnerable children were being used as “guinea pigs”.’

According to a report by the Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship, McLintock introduced an ‘expert witness’ into his case:

The expert witness in the case, Professor Byrd from the USA, said there was little research into the effect of same-sex nurture on children’s development, and that what had been established was worrying. This view of the scientific facts was unchallenged by the other side.

‘Professor Byrd’ is, in this case, Dr Albert Dean Byrd, a Mormon convert, proponent of so-called ‘conversion therapy and currrent President of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Byrd’s involvement in this case rather serves to confirm that the ‘evidence’ that Sheila Matthews claimed to have based her ‘professional judgement’ is the same discredited evidence that George Rekers put to two courts in the US only to be shot down in flames on both occasions.

Caroline Petrie, like Olive Jones, was temporarily suspended from work and investigated for proselytising on the job. According to Ekklesia, Jones and Petrie know each other and are known to pray together.

NHS guidelines on religion and belief are perfectly clear in identifying unwanted proselytising as potential grounds for disciplinary action. Medical staff are employed to provide medical care not to minister to their patients spiritual needs – that’s what hospital chaplaincy services are for, so while its perfectly reasonable for nurse to enquire as to whether a patient might like a visit from the chaplain, going into business for themselves is neither permissible nor appropriate.

Eunice and Owen Johns are another straightforward case of ‘I’m not homophobic but…’ bigotry.

They applied to their local council to become short-term respite carers for children aged between five and ten years of age but had their application knocked back after admitting during an interview with social workers that they would be unable to tell a child that homosexuality was acceptable.

Mrs Johns has said in the past: ‘The council said, “Do you know, you would have to tell them that it’s OK to be homosexual?” But I said I couldn’t do that because my Christian beliefs won’t let me. Morally, I couldn’t do that. Spiritually I couldn’t do that.’

Andrea Minichiello Williams and the Christian Legal Centre are, as usual, up to their eyeballs in this case, which is currently before the High Court and the ‘not homophobic, but…’ bullshit is being laid on with a JCB.

The couple are not homophobic, according to the Christian Legal Centre, which has taken up their case. But they are against sex before marriage and do not recognise civil partnerships between gay couples as marriage.

Mr Diamond told the court the couple believe they were effectively being barred from fostering because of their Christian beliefs.

‘We just ask for a common-sense approach on this term “valuing diversity”,’ he said.

‘Mr and Mrs Johns do value diversity – they will take any child.

Despite the CLC’s best efforts to play this out as yet another ‘we’re being victimised because of teh gays’ case, the overriding issue here is the fact that the couple are seeking employment as short-term respite foster carers and must, consequently, accept that there are legitimate limits to what they can and cannot do should a child be placed with them.

We are not dealing here, with a situation in which they would be providing either long-term care or taking in a child with a view to adoption and, as such, not only does parental reponsibility still reside firmly with the child’s natural parent(s) but the couple would have a positive duty to respect the wishes, views, opinions and values of the natural parent(s) while the child is, in effect, a guest in their family home.

If they cannot do that then, whether they like it or not, they exclude themselves from acting as foster carers because they self-admittedly cannot be trusted not to interfere in the child’s primary parental relationship.

As is invariably the case whenever the disciples of the Overprivileged Church of Unmerited Victimhood rears its ugly head, just about the only thing you can rely on is that a little digging after the truth will reveal that the ninth commandment is rather the like the pirate’s code in Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s more sort of guidelines, and readily disregarded whenever the opportunity for a good old-fashioned public whinge presents itself.

Its rank hypocrisy – thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour… but lying for Jeebus about teh gays?

Well that’s a very different matter.