Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

UK Christian advocate sees 'beginnings of tyranny' in Equality Commissioner's remarks
cna ^ | July 1, 2011 | Benjamin Mann

Posted on 07/01/2011 1:22:54 PM PDT by NYer

Andrea Minichiello Williams. Credit: Christian Concern

London, England, Jul 1, 2011 / 05:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the U.K.'s Christian Legal Centre sees persecution of Christians in public life, looming behind controversial recent remarks by Equality and Human Rights Commissioner Trevor Phillips.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, who directs the legal center, told CNA that Phillips also sounded “naive,” saying he “doesn't seem to be living in the same Britain that I'm living in.”

Williams is not the only one who wondered where Phillips got some of the ideas he expressed in a June 19 interview with the Telegraph newspaper. The equality commissioner indicated that Muslim immigrants were integrating better into British society than many Christian populations, and said that Catholic adoption agencies were more clearly discriminatory than Shariah courts.

Phillips also said British Christians tended to imagine discrimination against them where none existed. And he indicated that believers should not expect exemptions from the 2010 “Equality Act,” with its controversial language on sexual orientation, once they stepped outside “the door of the church or mosque.”

Williams, whose legal center advocates for the rights of British Christians in the public square, said her country's Christian roots once made it “a land of great freedom,” where “freedom of conscience” was respected.

“Those things we have seen eradicated under the Equalities agenda, which is Trevor Phillips' approach,” she said in a June 30 interview. “Secularism, under the Equalities agenda, is not neutral. It punishes dissenters.”

Williams said the system of equality laws, which began under Prime Minister Tony Blair and continued with his successor Gordon Brown, “sounds like utopia – but in fact, it leads to the beginnings of tyranny.”

“If you enter into the public sphere, or a public sector job, you have to speak and act the prevailing Equalities agenda. If you do not do that, if you disagree, then you are punished. You lose your job. You become under investigation. You perhaps get accused of hate speech. These are our realities in the United Kingdom.”

Phillips' most blatant criticism of traditional Christianity in the Telegraph interview came during a discussion of immigrant populations from Africa and the Carribean. 

The commissioner acknowledged that there was “an awful lot of noise about the Church being persecuted,” but said the “more real issue” for “conventional churches” was the influx of “people who … believe in an old time religion which in my view is incompatible with a modern, multi-ethnic, multicultural society.”

Williams explained that this perception of “incompatibility” came from a caricature of Christianity, not from the Gospel of Christ himself. “Everything that flows from him,” she said, “leads to the recognition of the innate dignity of every human being.”

“Because Christianity is not coercive – unlike secularism, and unlike Islam – it leads to true tolerance.”

In his extensive interview with the Telegraph, Phillips said individual believers could expect the commission to stand up for their right to worship and believe as they pleased. He said it was “part of the settlement of a liberal democracy” for individuals not to be “penalized or treated in a discriminatory way” on account of “being an Anglican, being a Muslim or being a Methodist or being a Jew.”

But Williams charged that the commission is not upholding even this limited interpretation of religious freedom.

“What Mr. Phillips needs to do,” she said, “is to come spend a day at the Christian Legal Centre, run through the cases, and see the discrimination that there is out there.”

“In the Sherry Chapman case, for instance – the nurse who was told to take off her cross after 38 years of wearing it in frontline nursing – exceptions were made for the Muslims, with the long flowing hijab and a big brooch.”

“Down in a South London council, Muslims are allowed to pray five times a day, but Christians are not permitted to display Christian calendars on their desks. These are our realities.”

She also pointed to the case of Eunice and Owen Johns, the elderly Pentecostal couple who were rejected as foster parents – despite their extensive experience – because they disapproved of homosexuality. “The Equality Commission intervened in that case. They intervened against the Christians,” Williams noted.

“They've intervened in a number of other high-profile cases. They have not, ever, intervened against Muslims. They've only ever intervened in the Christian cases to stand against the Christians. This is not equality. This is inequality.”

“There's a complete making-way for Islam, and yet Christianity is suppressed,” Williams observed.

“This notion of accommodating Shariah, of accepting it – and then, of saying that Catholic adoption agencies, which believe a child needs a married mother and father, should be closed – is devastating for society.”

Williams says Britain's aggressive pursuit of secularism was creating a “vacuum” that radical Muslims could seek to exploit. “Radical Islam has an agenda in this nation, and works hard,” she noted.

But many English Christians fail to stand up for biblical truth in this context. “In many ways, the Church has herself to blame for the state we're in. What we've got to do is find our voice. Otherwise, there will be increased oppression and suppression.”

Williams observed that Christianity has historically “survived much worse than attacks by Trevor Phillips.” But she acknowledges that things look “very bleak” at the moment.

“We've currently got a government that's consulting on extending civil unions to religious premises,” she noted. “They said they would never do that.”

Williams and other English Christians want authentic religious freedom for themselves and others. But they understand the conflict with secularism is part of the cost of discipleship.

“Jesus suffered a false trial, was hated by the world, put on the cross,” she recalled. “But there was his resurrection, and the great hope that flows from that.”

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: catholic; descrimination; moralabsolutes; secularism; uk

1 posted on 07/01/2011 1:22:59 PM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
Pope Benedict XVI foresaw this in 2005 ...

How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true.

Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine", seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.

Pro Eligendo Homily

2 posted on 07/01/2011 1:24:46 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

The only good news I could get from the article, besides Christ’s church will never be wiped out, is that when the muzzies take over they will cut Mr. Trevor Phillips’ silly little head from his foolish body.

3 posted on 07/01/2011 1:28:00 PM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

“UK Christian advocate sees ‘beginnings of tyranny’ in Equality Commissioner’s remarks”

Beginnings?? LOL—where’s she been? It started when they disarmed every one of the Brits. Now they can be b-slapped around without impunity.

4 posted on 07/01/2011 1:30:46 PM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
believe in an old time religion which in my view is incompatible with a modern, multi-ethnic, multicultural society

Other than the multi-ethnic part (LOL, as though there aren't Christians of all colors), that is kind of true. That authentic, traditional Christianity is becoming incompatible with modern society, depraved as society is, and at an ever increasing rate, tells you just how on the mark our religion is. (Long sentence warning. Paid by the word.)

5 posted on 07/01/2011 1:57:58 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: steve86
believe in an old time religion

Bitter clingers.

6 posted on 07/01/2011 2:01:19 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NYer


7 posted on 07/01/2011 10:40:02 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
small boat of the thought

a little comic relief in an otherwise alarming piece.


8 posted on 07/01/2011 10:50:58 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Lovers ARE fighters)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: WKUHilltopper

When do you imagine this “disarming every one of the Brits” began?

9 posted on 07/07/2011 2:09:26 PM PDT by Vanders9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Vanders9

“When do you imagine this “disarming every one of the Brits” began?”

So you’re telling me the general public are allowed ownership of firearms?

10 posted on 07/07/2011 2:17:42 PM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: WKUHilltopper

No, I’m asking you at what moment in history did this “disarming every one of the Brits” begin. Because the implication I get is that you think it is a relatively new phenomenae.

11 posted on 07/08/2011 1:11:33 AM PDT by Vanders9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Vanders9

A what moment? For firearms, various points during the 20th century. The coup de grâce seemed to have occurred in the mid-90s.

12 posted on 07/08/2011 8:52:28 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: WKUHilltopper

I don’t recall that happening. As long as I have been alive there has been a public revulsion at firearms use in the UK.

13 posted on 07/08/2011 4:26:35 PM PDT by Vanders9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson