Backlash over ‘religious freedom’ begins

Welcome to Cross Wires, the new Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper blog. Cross Wires aims to shine a light on the key issues and breaking news between weekly editions of the SCO so look in regularly for updates. You will find facts, opinion, analysis and plenty of food for thought.

WELL it didn’t take long did it? Before the dust had even settled in the House of Lords (and aren’t suggesting there is a great deal of it, that debate is for a different day), the backlash began over Lady O’Cathain’s amendment to the Equality Bill.

“‘Religious freedom’ seems to give these Christians an absolute right to ignore the law if they dislike it. The bishops were particularly culpable on this,” bellows Terry Sanderson in The Guardian. He was, after all, elected as president of the National Secular Society in 2006.

Not all Christian, we are told, or people of faith are united in celebrating the victory of common sense to allow churches to retain control over their hiring policies and ensure the people who work for them share their values.

Martin Pendergast, representative of the Cutting Edge Consortium told ICN: “The debates over the Equality Bill have been portrayed all too simplistically as people of faith being the victims, and lesbian, gay and transgendered people, along with those who stand by them in solidarity, as the attackers.”

The SCO says that our duty to protect the institutions that enshrine our moral and Christian values supercedes any obligation to the EU as a member state. The creeping erosion of these values cannot go unchecked. And, again, we wait to see what the Commons will do.


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