/ ECHR Gives Christians the Right to force stuff in your face

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winhill - on 15 Jan 2013
NB May contain nuts.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK had failed to protect Nadia Eweida's freedom to manifest their faith in the workplace...

But in its judgment the court said that manifesting religion is a "fundamental right".

It added: "[This is because] a healthy democratic society needs to tolerate and sustain pluralism and diversity; but also because of the value to an individual who has made religion a central tenet of his or her life to be able to communicate that belief to others."


A peculiar view, pluralism and diversity are limited to religious views only, apparently.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9802067/Christian-wins-right-to-wear-cross-at-work.html
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill: How is religion defined?

Can I start a religion with hatred of, say, people under 5'6" as a central tenet and demand to wear a T-shirt stating they are all abominations to communicate this to others?
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:

Funny how your sympathy for human rights runs out when it's a Christian's human rights.

There are pictures on the internet of a member of the Life Guards who happens to be a Sikh, wearing a turban instead of a bearskin. Google them, they're there.

You think that's OK, but someone wearing a little cross is "forcing stuff in your face"? Get real.

One thing's for sure, if the cross-wearer is forcing her stuff in others' faces, this thread is forcing your stuff in others' faces. If you really can't cope with hearing that other people think differently from you, perhaps you should do the Golden Rule thing and take this thread down.
Chris the Tall - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:
No doubt this thread will go the way of so many others, but I'm going to stick up for the ECHR - they upheld the christian in one case, dismissed the other three, and were absolutely right in all four.

You can wear a cross as long as it doesn't get in the way of your work, but you can't claim faith gives you the right to discriminate
Dave Garnett - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:

I'm pretty sure the ECHR would uphold other forms of freedom of expression other than the right to express a particular faith. It's just that religious faith was the basis of the four cases being heard.

I think this is fair enough and BA had already conceded as much by changing their uniform policy. More significantly, th other three cases were rejected.
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to winhill)
> No doubt this thread will go the way of so many others, but I'm going to stick up for the ECHR - they upheld the christian in one case, dismissed the other three, and were absolutely right in all four.
>
> You can wear a cross as long as it doesn't get in the way of your work, but you can't claim faith gives you the right to discriminate


Agreed.

Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:
> NB May contain nuts.
>
> The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK had failed to protect Nadia Eweida's freedom to manifest their faith in the workplace...
>
> But in its judgment the court said that manifesting religion is a "fundamental right".
>
> It added: "[This is because] a healthy democratic society needs to tolerate and sustain pluralism and diversity; but also because of the value to an individual who has made religion a central tenet of his or her life to be able to communicate that belief to others."
>
> A peculiar view, pluralism and diversity are limited to religious views only, apparently.
>
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9802067/Christian-wins-right-to-wear-cross-at-work.html

Seems to be an overall consistent and sensible decision to me!
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> Can I start a religion with hatred of, say, people under 5'6" as a central tenet and demand to wear a T-shirt stating they are all abominations to communicate this to others?

Don't be stupid.
toad - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to winhill)
> No doubt this thread will go the way of so many others, but I'm going to stick up for the ECHR - they upheld the christian in one case, dismissed the other three, and were absolutely right in all four.
>
> You can wear a cross as long as it doesn't get in the way of your work, but you can't claim faith gives you the right to discriminate

Yep, this about sums it up. Don't mind people wearing crosses, or other discreet jewellery so long as it doesn't get in the way or endanger themselves or others at work. People bringing their religious moral baggage to work is a different matter.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: On the face of it this seems a fairly pragmatic ruling.

But ... would you be happy for a BNP supporter to have a legally protected right to wear a symbol of their racist beliefs at work?

There are certainly religions that hold large sections of society in low regard (including Christianity). I can see that a customer dealing with an employee who is openly advertising that they think the customer a terrible person would be off-putting, and can see why BA and others would want to avoid this.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> Don't be stupid.

How is that stupid?

Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:

I hadn't realised that BA had conceded the point of principle 6 years ago. I'm surprised this case rumbled on after that.
Sir Chasm - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Is it ok for christians to wear a t-shirt declaring gays and women are second class citizens? Or is the cross a useful shorthand?
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (

> There are certainly religions that hold large sections of society in low regard (including Christianity).


No. Christianity holds no one in low regard. Not even you :-)
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Jimbo W) Is it ok for christians to wear a t-shirt declaring gays and women are second class citizens? Or is the cross a useful shorthand?



Actually what the cross is shorthand for is "we accept everyone, no matter how painful it is to do so". Or something like that.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
>
> No. Christianity holds no one in low regard. Not even you :-)

That, as you well know is bollocks. Gays and women are held in lower regard than heterosexual men. Even by the cuddlier Christian churches.

SCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
> [...]
>
> How is that stupid?

Because that's wearing a Tshirt stating something is an abomination.

Wearing a cross isn't the same.

Now, if the case was for a Christian wanting to wear a Tshirt saying such a thing (for example that they felt gay marriage was against God) ad trying to claim that they had any right to display such rubbish - then you'd have apoint. As it is, you're talking out of your backside.

Si
winhill - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> Funny how your sympathy for human rights runs out when it's a Christian's human rights.
>
> There are pictures on the internet of a member of the Life Guards who happens to be a Sikh, wearing a turban instead of a bearskin. Google them, they're there.
>
> You think that's OK, but someone wearing a little cross is "forcing stuff in your face"? Get real.
>
> One thing's for sure, if the cross-wearer is forcing her stuff in others' faces, this thread is forcing your stuff in others' faces. If you really can't cope with hearing that other people think differently from you, perhaps you should do the Golden Rule thing and take this thread down.

This is complete rubbish Tim, because, of course, I totally reject the right of the Sikh guy to display his faith, just as I reject the right of the Sikh judge appointed last year to do the same.

I emboldened the bit in the quote from the judgment, which is not just about displaying items but references some nutjob who thinks they're on some Great Commission to communicate their nuttiness to the rest of us, this is a huge difference.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> How is that stupid?

Its inane:
a) Why would that actually "be" a religion, have any participants or be recognised in law as such?
b) Why would you assume that legal constraints on human expression wouldn't pertain when such expression is hateful.
winhill - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> I'm pretty sure the ECHR would uphold other forms of freedom of expression other than the right to express a particular faith.

That's where you're going wrong.

Otherwise why do we need two rights, the right to freedom of expression AND the right to manifest our religious supernaturalism?

It is the separation of religion from other forms of expression that gives religion special (and prejudiced) privilege.
SCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:

Seems to me that you should be pleased that people are allowed to advertise their beliefs.

That way you can dismiss them as "nutjobs" without having to take time to get to know them.

Everyone's a winner - surely?

Si
winhill - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to winhill) How is religion defined?

Good question and it will come down to another dodgy court decision.

Scientology is a problem, not currently recognised in UK law, although some nutters tried to get a place of worship recognised so they could get married, which if successful would mean that Scientology could claim legal recognition.
Chris the Tall - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
> [...]
>
> That, as you well know is bollocks. Gays and women are held in lower regard than heterosexual men. Even by the cuddlier Christian churches.

And so it begins, someone starts off by saying that if you are a Christian/Muslim/Atheiest than you must believe this or that. That's what's bollocks

RCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I'm pretty sure the ECHR would uphold other forms of freedom of expression other than the right to express a particular faith. It's just that religious faith was the basis of the four cases being heard.


It would be interesting to find out. I know that my contract places limits on what type of political activity I can undertake both in and outside of work. Whether that is legal, I don't know (though it seems reasonable to me). I'm not certain that if this had been a prominently displayed political badge then the result would have been the same.

From what I understand of the case, she was not banned from wearing the cross by BA, but only from displaying it at work. It seems entirely reasonable (to me at least) that employers have a right to limit free expression to a degree at work as the employee is seen as a representative of the company rather than an individual.

Still, it is good to know that the ECHR did the right thing in the really important cases.
SCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> And so it begins, someone starts off by saying that if you are a Christian/Muslim/Atheiest than you must believe this or that. That's what's bollocks

+1
Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:

The BA policy -- that you could display large religious symbols but not small ones -- always was bonkers. No-one really defended that. The ECHR ruling rejected everything else from the 4 Christian plaintiffs. The BHA and the NSS are broadly welcoming these rulings.

http://humanism.org.uk/2013/01/15/bha-applauds-european-court-of-human-rights-in-upholding-equality-...

http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2013/01/nss-responds-to-the-european-court-of-human-rights-rulings...
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> And so it begins, someone starts off by saying that if you are a Christian/Muslim/Atheiest than you must believe this or that. That's what's bollocks


What Chris said.

Whenever someone tells me what I must believe given that I'm a Christian, I can be pretty sure that the next thing he says is going to give away either (a) that he knows next to nothing about Christianity or (b) he's a fundamentalist. Or indeed both, in the case of secularist fundamentalists.
Sir Chasm - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
> Actually what the cross is shorthand for is "we accept everyone, no matter how painful it is to do so". Or something like that.

But they don't, do they? They don't accept gays for marriage in the church and they don't accept women bishops. Or something like that.
Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> Or indeed both, in the case of secularist fundamentalists.

"Secularist fundamentalists"? That's an interesting concept, reminiscent of Eric Pickles.
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Doesn't matter who it's reminiscent of, provided that it has application. And it has plenty.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

So what are the "fundamentals" of secularism? That the state should treat everyone equally regardless of their religious beliefs? That everyone should have the same rights, regardless of their religious beliefs?

If you're complaining about "secularist fundamentalists", does that mean that you don't agree with those concepts?
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> Its inane:
> a) Why would that actually "be" a religion, have any participants or be recognised in law as such?

They are religions that hold far more bonkers beliefs. It was an hypothetical, illustrative example. If you really think it stupid then presumably you think it stupid to allow indication of real religious attachment.

> b) Why would you assume that legal constraints on human expression wouldn't pertain when such expression is hateful.

Well the Christian cross shows attachment to a church that actively discriminates against gays and women, and in many cases hates them, particularly gays. I don't really see the difference except that one is slightly more subtle and less honest.

MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]
>
>
> What Chris said.
>
> Whenever someone tells me what I must believe given that I'm a Christian, I can be pretty sure that the next thing he says

Has anyone done that on this thread? Anyway, if someone shows attachment to a religion, or political party or football team, it's not unreasonable to assume they agree in large part with the beliefs that such an organisation publicly states it supports.
Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> a) Why would that actually "be" a religion, have any participants or be recognised in law as such?

Why on earth does the law need to "recognise" religions? Surely the best approach is to be entirely neutral, and not care whether something is a "religion" or not? If you do start "recognising" religions you get into problems, such as over Scientology. The only scenario in which the law would need to recognise a religion is if the religion is asking for special privileges.
Timmd on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:I guess a lot of people would give anybody wearing a cross the benefit of the doubt if they saw them on the plane or in the street, and go on how they seem as people.

I read somewhere about a survey of people's attitudes towards homosexuality, and statistically in the UK asian people are more likely to be homophobic, due to thier cultural backgrounds I guess, but obviously that doesn't mean one should think about that when meeting asian people, it's about who people are as individuals.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: This is just such an odd interpretation wearing a cross. It doesn't mean you support the pope or indeed the CoEs continued sexism. It means the wearer feels they have some connection to a Christian god, whats wrong with that? everyone believes in something.

If they were wearing something that explicitly showed they support the views of the Christian establishment then that would be a different matter, and should be outlawed, for instance a T shirt saying women are inferior or gays are second class citizens. But they simply wear a fairly small symbol of their personal connection to god.
thin bob on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:
I think turbans look quite cool, as hats. But i don't understand the need for people to 'advertise' their faith , whether by cross, star, crescent, hat.
A belief is strong enough to be 'worn inside', surely? Or is it a comfort thing, or show-off thing? Like climbing people wearing Moon t-shirts or Rab jackets?
Sir Chasm - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf: How do you know why they wear a cross? How many have you asked?
Timmd on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf) How do you know why they wear a cross?

Exactly. Why assume something negative? It's easy enough to make no judgement at all.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: I don't, all I'm saying is there is only so much you can infer from it and that's kind of the point. They may despise gay people, beat their wives and keep a black slave in the cellar or may strongly believe in unassimilated difference and equality.

You cannot tell. Therefore wearing the cross is not overtly political due to the ambiguity of its meaning.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> They are religions that hold far more bonkers beliefs. It was an hypothetical, illustrative example.

It wasn't illustrative.

> Well the Christian cross shows attachment to a church that actively discriminates against gays and women, and in many cases hates them, particularly gays.

Of course it doesn't!
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf) How do you know why they wear a cross? How many have you asked?

If you have to ask, it can hardly be indicative of your presumptions!
Robert Durran - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MG)
> a) Why would that actually "be" a religion, have any participants or be recognised in law as such?

It might if someone had come up with it about 2000 years ago, cobbled together a book to support their prejudices and, in a generally less enlightened age, got the whole thing going.
RCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> This is just such an odd interpretation wearing a cross. It doesn't mean you support the pope or indeed the CoEs continued sexism. It means the wearer feels they have some connection to a Christian god,


Actually it means nothing of the sort; an atheist could just as easily wear a cross as a christian. The meaning of the symbol (to everyone but the wearer) rests on the cultural connotations of the symbol. It is not the place of the wearer to say how it should be interpreted.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It might if someone had come up with it about 2000 years ago, cobbled together a book to support their prejudices and, in a generally less enlightened age, got the whole thing going.

And we might have no such thing as science, scientific law and an enlightenment either, if such events 2000+ years ago had not happened!! So what!
Dave Garnett - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
> [...]
>
> That's where you're going wrong.
>
> Otherwise why do we need two rights, the right to freedom of expression AND the right to manifest our religious supernaturalism?
>
> It is the separation of religion from other forms of expression that gives religion special (and prejudiced) privilege.


Yes, and your point is? Freedom of thought, conscience and religion happens in Art 9 and Freedom of Expression is in Art 10. Why do you think that non-religious freedom of expression would be any less likely to be upheld than religious freedoms?

Both articles have a requirement that freedom of expression is restricted by considerations of public safety and national law, which means that you aren't necessarily free to wear a teeshirt deliberately intended to outrage whether it's religious or not.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to RCC: Yeah fair point.
Timmd on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> [...]
>
> And we might have no such thing as science, scientific law and an enlightenment either, if such events 2000+ years ago had not happened!! So what!

So that would be a bad thing, and would now be seen as being equally as valid as your religion, I think is his point?
Timmd on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Don't assume I agree...
Robert Durran - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> And we might have no such thing as science, scientific law and an enlightenment either, if such events 2000+ years ago had not happened!! So what!

Absolutely no idea what your point is.

ChrisBrooke - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

OK, I've got one that I think is way more unpleasant than the gay hatred which can be extrapolated (by some people for whom the Bible is a convenient excuse to bolster their existing beliefs that gay = bad (after all, the bible was written by men and therefore is 'The Big Book Of Multiple Choice' (as you would expect from an imperfect book, written by men))) from parts of the bible.

How about the belief that we need redemption from our sins? It's a fairly core belief of Christianity. Jesus died for your sins etc. Some Christians will no doubt reply that I can't asume what they believe, and that they don't really believe such stuff...how presumptuous of me etc.
There are, after all, as many forms of Christianity, and Christian belief-sets, as there are Christians. But I don't think it's unfair to consider the redemption of mankind through the blood-sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, a core Christian belief. We're discussing the wearing of a cross (death-torture instrument) here after all.

On its face a fairly innocuous statement, but concealing a depth of disdain for humanity which I find quite unpleasant. It doesn't really matter if you're a hell-fire kind of guy, a 'separation from god-ist' or an annihilationist, the wages of sin is death. People interpret that in different ways. But it does seem to me to mean that part of accepting the Christian message (and part of what the evangelist needs to convince the unbeliever of) is accepting that without the redeeming sacrifice of Christ, you will be getting, and crucially, it is right that you deserve, an eternity of hell/separation from god/annihilation. I can think of few things that debase human dignity more egregiously.

That, to me, would be part of what this lady's cross represents.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Absolutely no idea what your point is.

Its a big "might if", that presumes alot, would change everything, and perhaps nothing and doesn't contribute to the discussion.
Timmd on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Doesn't it make one look at the validity of religion in a different way at all?

Just thinking off the top of my head...
Chris the Tall - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
>
> Well the Christian cross shows attachment to a church that actively discriminates against gays and women, and in many cases hates them, particularly gays. I don't really see the difference except that one is slightly more subtle and less honest.

As others have pointed out, being a Christian doesn't mean you neccessarily agree with the CofE Synod, the Pope, an US Evangelist or Ian Paisley.

And thats key to what many of us are trying to say, just because you believe in God it doesn't mean you have to believe in the bigotry many of the church leaders come out with

In the words of the prophet "You are all individuals. You have to work it for yourselves"
Robert Durran - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> Its a big "might if", that presumes alot, would change everything, and perhaps nothing and doesn't contribute to the discussion.

Well, given slightly different circumstances 2000 years ago some other religion than christianity might have got off the ground in the Middle East and the world might be a very differnt place now. The point is that the only special thing about christianity is that it bhappened to get off the ground. Admittedly one can think of hypothetical religions based on worse things that Jesus'teachings.

Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Quite. Some of my experience (on here for instance) might lead me to think that someone wearing a British "Humanist" Association badge is more than likely to be a bit of an arrogant, ranty plonker. This might put me off consulting him/her, if s/he were a counsellor. But hey, we all have to think the best of people :-)
Chris the Tall - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke:
An interesting point, and as an aetheist there is a lot in the belief in God that I disagree with (don't get me started on the obnoxious mesage of "All creatures great and small").

But I think there is also a lot of good messages in the gospels.

In fact the cross could also be in remberence of the execution of the world first socialist revolutionary!
Cappa - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to thin bob:
I agree entirely with this (including views on turbans....)

Although i believe that if a persons relegious belief encourages them to wear certain cloths or act a certain way (headscalf, cross, whatever)it shouldnt really bother anyone as does it really effect how you feel about your faith, id rather they took action against people preaching in city centres or accosting you in the street to tell you how doomed you are.
Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Cappa:

> id rather they took action against people preaching in city centres or accosting you in the
> street to tell you how doomed you are.

Why should there be "action" against that? (Assuming they are not actually harassing you, and that you could simply ignore them and walk on.) Isn't this a free country with freedom of speech?
RCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> Quite. Some of my experience (on here for instance) might lead me to think that someone wearing a British "Humanist" Association badge is more than likely to be a bit of an arrogant, ranty plonker. This might put me off consulting him/her, if s/he were a counsellor.

Which really gets to the heart of the problem. It is not the intent of the wearer that matters, but the effect on the observer. I might have good religious reasons for wearing a swastika, but I imagine my employer might have something to say if I tried to at work.

Regardless of your version of Christianity, mainstream Christian theology has some opinions that are offensive to a lot of people, and like it or not, the cross is associated with these for many people.

thin bob on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to ChrisBrooke)
> An interesting point, and as an aetheist there is a lot in the belief in God that I disagree with (don't get me started on the obnoxious mesage of "All creatures great and small").
>
> But I think there is also a lot of good messages in the gospels.
>
> In fact the cross could also be in remberence of the execution of the world first socialist revolutionary!

good point!
As Bill Hicks said 'You think Jesus wants to see people wearing crosses when he comes back? It'd like going up to Jackie Kennedy with a little rifle pendant......'
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke: I'm no christian but if it takes three paragraphs of waffle and some large leaps of logic to explain your mild offense to something, maybe your trying to hard to be offended, or hold some prejudice against Christians.
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to RCC:

Oh right, so some people have prejudices against Christianity. Yes, that sounds like a good reason for preventing Christians from wearing symbols of their faith.
RCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> Oh right, so some people have prejudices against Christianity. Yes, that sounds like a good reason for preventing Christians from wearing symbols of their faith.

Nobody, not even BA, has asked for that. I certainly haven't.

Tyler - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

> I can think of few things that debase human dignity more egregiously.

What a sheltered life you must have led.
ChrisBrooke - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf: I was an Christian for most of my young life and don't hold prejudice against them. Personally I'm not offended by cross jewellery though I'm not in favour of overt religious signs in the workplace. I was just exploring some Christian themes in response to an earlier question of 'what could be so offensive about Christianity,' rather than the cross itself. Sorry you found it illogical waffle, though I'd be interested to hear from you which bits I got wrong about redemption doctrine.
ChrisBrooke - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tyler: I guess so. I guess the message that every born human (apart from Jesus) deserves an eternity of torture or annihilation etc as a result of the way they've lived their finite life on earth is pretty mild really.... I should get out more.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke: Do all or even most Christians believe that, personally when I see someone wearing a cross I don't think that they are imagining me burning in hell and deriving sadistic pleasure from it.
RCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to RCC)
>
> Oh right, so some people have prejudices against Christianity. Yes, that sounds like a good reason for preventing Christians from wearing symbols of their faith.

Besides, it is not a 'prejudice' to listen to the theology of its mainstream adherents and authorities and judge it to be offensive. The cultural associations follow from that. You cannot be arguing that symbols should carry no associations.

Furthermore, it is about the employer saying (rightly or wrongly) that they wish their corporate identity (and their own symbols) to be entirely free of religious associations. To that end it seems entirely reasonable that they ask/ require their employees not to *display* religious symbols at work. The ECHR disagrees. Fair enough, I won't lose any sleep over it; they got it right on the substantive issues.

Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to RCC:

> To that end it seems entirely reasonable that they ask/ require their employees not to
> *display* religious symbols at work. The ECHR disagrees.

It's not that simple, the ECHR merely said that the employer's right to exhibit a corporate identity must be balanced against the right to display a religious emblem. Thus if the employer can fairly claim that allowing religious emblems hampers its corporate identity, or hampers the work that the employee is doing, then they can still prohibit the symbols. For example the police could legitimately require neutral dress.

The problem with the BA policy was that it was inconsistent, allowing some religious display but not others, and thus they couldn't establish good reason for their policy (which, by the way, they abandoned long ago, for this very reason), which is why Ewida won on that particular point.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

>
> Of course it doesn't!

I don't know how you can say that with a straight face after the CoE (about as cuddly as you get of the main denominations) has just confirmed its ban women from having senior roles and said gays are only OK if they don't have sex. Most Christian branches are much more oppressive still, with many African churches openly comparing gays to dogs and worse.

To various above comments: I think it's reasonable to assume someone wearing a Christian symbol broadly agrees with Christian churches' teaching. Much as someone wearing a Tory party badge can be expected to broadly agree with Tory party policy.
ChrisBrooke - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf: I circumnavigated the 'burning in hell' issue by specifically acknowledging that not all believe in the torture bits. Some believe we're annihilated, or separated from god but not tortured, or any number of other things. Some might call themselves Christians but not actually believe we have eternal souls. Some won't have thought about it too much. You'd have to ask a Christian, or a hundred Christians, or a hundred-thousand Christians. A lack of coherent theology that they can all agree upon isn't a strength in my opinion.

Anyway, to answer your specific question: no. Very few would a) be imagining that or b) taking pleasure from the thought. Indeed, rather than taking pleasure in the thought an evangelical Christian might be so full of love for you and so concerned with the potential fate of your eternal soul that they'd feel compelled to share the good news with you. They love you and don't want you to suffer your deserved fate.

But if you read between those lines there's an awkward double-think going on. That love and concern for you is based on a tacit agreement that you do actually deserve that fate. Unless they don't believe you deserve it, but do believe it's true and that god is a monster who'll do it anyway.

But, like I say, some might not think about it too much and just think you should turn the other cheek and do unto your neighbour etc :) Fair enough.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to RCC)
>
> Oh right, so some people have prejudices against Christianity. Yes, that sounds like a good reason for preventing Christians from wearing symbols of their faith.

I think you raise quite an important point here although I think you were being tongue in cheek.

I find Christian's perspective of gay marriage and women bishops offensive, I find Islams view on women, gay, adultery, education, erm, everything offensive, I find Catholic view on contraception and sinners offensive, i find Jehovah's witnesses view on blood transfusion offensive. I find society's unjustified deference to relgion offensive. I could go on.

So, what recourse do I have as an atheist whom finds religion offensive? Why should relgion's right to display its rediculous symbols trump my right to not have to see them? *

*Im actually quite relaxed about turbons, crucfixes, skullcaps etc but Im being rediculous to demonstrate that religion always wants it its own way.

neilh - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
You need to balance your views. Your comments make it sound as though every Christian is opposed to gay marriage and women's bishops. That is far from the case.Same on Islam. Same on Catholic's.All those views that you express are views of some people within that religion.
Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Why should relgion's right to display its rediculous symbols trump my right to not have to see them? *

Because there is no such thing as a right not to see things you find offensive?
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> I don't know how you can say that with a straight face after the CoE (about as cuddly as you get of the main denominations) has just confirmed its ban women from having senior roles and said gays are only OK if they don't have sex.

The church is the community of those of faith, not the subordinate administrative political structures. Or would you have all German people held guilty for the holocaust and the horror that occurred during the second world war because they were sufficiently wooed by the Nazi party? The church organisation has by a very slim margin, with burdensome democratic standards voted against women bishops, not something the "church", as the community of those of faith would necessarily condone (as you have seen from the CofE christians like Tim and myself expressing here on this forum). To wear a cross is to express outwardly one's personal commitment to Christ, a confession of faith.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill: <sigh> read my last sentence please.
RCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> Or would you have all German people held guilty for the holocaust and the horror that occurred during the second world war because they were sufficiently wooed by the Nazi party?

Not a good analogy. I would certainly hold anyone who called themselves a Nazi, attended Nazi rallies, or donated money to the Nazi party during that period responsible.
Sir Chasm - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Of course the German people were guilty of the holocaust. What a bizarre question.
And if, as you say, the church is subordinate to its members, then if the administrative political structure treats women and gays as second class citizens it must be with the consent of the members.
dissonance - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> The church is the community of those of faith, not the subordinate administrative political structures.

That is convenient.
Just out of curiosity do you opposed bishops in the house of lords or them or other religious leaders being given access to politicans based on being holding that religious position.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to RCC: Ooh, the thread's Godwinned! Anyway you beat me to that rather obvious point. And I am sure not all Nazis actively hated Jews but would a Jew want to be checked in by someone wearing a Swastika?
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to RCC:

> Not a good analogy. I would certainly hold anyone who called themselves a Nazi, attended Nazi rallies, or donated money to the Nazi party during that period responsible.

It is a good analogy because the target of MGs criticism is not the church, but the synod, tarring all Christian's with the synod's inadequacy.
dissonance - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> It is a good analogy because the target of MGs criticism is not the church, but the synod, tarring all Christian's with the synod's inadequacy.

then the C of E needs to do something about it quickly. Either boot the peeps out or leave themselves.
A better analogy would be Labour during the early part of their government or Lib dems this time round.
Their membership plummeted since the members recognised that being members of that party endorsed the leadership actions. After determining change was unlikely, they left.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:

> That is convenient.

It's nothing to do with convenience, its basic Christian theology.

> Just out of curiosity do you opposed bishops in the house of lords or them or other religious leaders being given access to politicans based on being holding that religious position.

If there is a second house at all, then I believe some representation of facets of society that do not follow adversarial party political lines should be induced, and would prefer to see representatives of volunteering organisations, charities and religions (not necessarily bishops etc), humanists etc before further party political house.
winhill - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to neilh:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
> You need to balance your views. Your comments make it sound as though every Christian is opposed to gay marriage and women's bishops. That is far from the case.Same on Islam. Same on Catholic's.All those views that you express are views of some people within that religion.

That doesn't apply in this case because we have no way of establishing the full extent of someone's nuttiness, unless you ask each religiously motivated employee you encounter to fill in a brief questionnaire while wired to a polygraph.

Just like the BNP badge wearer who claims they're not racist just concerned about the level of immigration.
RCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> It is a good analogy because the target of MGs criticism is not the church, but the synod, tarring all Christian's with the synod's inadequacy.

If they call themselves anglican (under any realistic definition), then they consider the synod to have legislative competence. In that sense, they accept it as an authority even if they disagree with it. They have the freedom to leave the church in the way that a German citizen could not.


Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to RCC:

> If they call themselves anglican (under any realistic definition), then they consider the synod to have legislative competence. In that sense, they accept it as an authority even if they disagree with it. They have the freedom to leave the church in the way that a German citizen could not.

Wearing a cross is not a statement of anglicanism.
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

We need to interrogate everyone who wears a British "Humanist" Association badge! Many of them might be savage secularist crackpots!

On second thoughts, perhaps only one follow up q is necessary: "Do you post on UKC?"

;-)
thin bob on 15 Jan 2013
thin bob on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
> We need to interrogate everyone who wears a British "Humanist" Association badge! Many of them might be savage secularist crackpots!
>
> On second thoughts, perhaps only one follow up q is necessary: "Do you post on UKC?"
>
> ;-)

I think you're onto a winner with that last one, Tim! :-)

I like to think that it prevents people randomly ranting in the street...
thin bob on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to thin bob:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
> [...]
>
> I think you're onto a winner with that last one, Tim! :-)
>
> I like to think that it prevents people randomly ranting in the street...

care in the UKC community....
RCC - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> Wearing a cross is not a statement of anglicanism.

No, as I expanded on above.

You were the one who was defending "the church".

Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:

> then the C of E needs to do something about it quickly. Either boot the peeps out or leave themselves.

Well I agree, as I'm sure does Tim. Similarly, it would be nice to see conservative voters do something quickly given the prevalent homophobic splits within the representative party.
thin bob on 15 Jan 2013
Cappa - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
Maybe action was too strong a word, however there have been occations when my girlfriend and i have been told on the street that relations outside of wedlock would lead to fire and brimstone....etc, or that unless i 'join together' with a certain church my eternal soul be damned.

Its this i have a problem with, free speech can only go so far. Fair enough you can just ignore them and walk past, but why should i be subjected to their way of thinking, if i wanted hear it i would activley seek it out.
dissonance - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> We need to interrogate everyone who wears a British "Humanist" Association badge! Many of them might be savage secularist crackpots!

are you confusing atheist with secular?
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to RCC:

> No, as I expanded on above.
>
> You were the one who was defending "the church".

In its true meaning as the fellowship of those of faith, not a subordinate political construct, such as seen in synod representation. It is the synod that is falling foul wrt to women bishops and gay marriage.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Cappa: Pull yourself together! Simply walking on is the solution. If they follow and pester you, I agree that is not on, but because it is harassment, not because of what they are saying.
Philip on 15 Jan 2013
There is a bigger issue here for anyone who has flown BA in the last few years.

The stewardesses are generally old and ugly. If you want totty you have to go Virgin now.

A disgrace.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Strange how practically every Christian "political construct" has similar views. You could at least be honest - Christianity, taken as a collection of similar philosophies, is deeply, sexist, homophobic and sex obsessed.
Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Cappa:

> Fair enough you can just ignore them and walk past, but why should i be subjected to their way
> of thinking, if i wanted hear it i would activley seek it out.

Sorry, but IMO the principle of free speech means people have the right to put their opinions in the public domain, where you may stumble across them. So long as you can just ignore them and walk past (i.e. so long as they are not actually harassing you), I think that has to be accepted.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> We need to interrogate everyone who wears a British "Humanist" Association badge! Many of them might be savage secularist crackpots!

> On second thoughts, perhaps only one follow up q is necessary: "Do you post on UKC?"

Indeed. A shame that there are not more humanists with the sort of humble, non-aggressive attitudes of people like Einstein...



Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Jimbo W) Strange how practically every Christian "political construct" has similar views. You could at least be honest - Christianity, taken as a collection of similar philosophies, is deeply, sexist, homophobic and sex obsessed.

No, that is a representation of your and others particular obsession with regard to that subject. If you looked at the Tory party in such an aggressive way, you would also have to say it is deeply homophobic and in urgent need of reform, but I don't see you say that probably because, a) you're a Tory and b) it isn't a peculiar prejudice of yours.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> No, that is a representation of your and others particular obsession with regard to that subject. If you looked at the Tory party in such an aggressive way, you would also have to say it is deeply homophobic

Really? Which policies are you thinking of? Currently it seems to be supporting (or at least enabling) gay marriage, and it has had a female head.


and in urgent need of reform, but I don't see you say that probably because, a) you're a Tory

Chortle.

and b) it isn't a peculiar prejudice of yours.

?? I am the one opposing sexism and homophobia here.

Sir Chasm - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Sir, sir, he did it too.
Do the tories ban women from being in charge?
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> No, that is a representation of your and others particular obsession with regard to that subject.

Other than a few outliers, all mainstream Christian churches discriminate against gays and women. (Anglicans, Catholics, Eastern churches). As above, why not just be honest and acknowledge this?
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> Really? Which policies are you thinking of? Currently it seems to be supporting (or at least enabling) gay marriage, and it has had a female head.

Gay marriage! Which will only get through because of labour and lib dem support, and would divide a tory free vote in at least half.

> Chortle.

I know, to think such closed minded people could still exist in society....

> > and b) it isn't a peculiar prejudice of yours.

> I am the one opposing sexism and homophobia here.

Consistently? Lets at least some condemnation of that facet of the Tory party that is homophobic for balance. And I love the implicit arrogance suggested by the "I am the one".
mkean - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:
I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread but has anyone made an off-colour joke about priests forcing stuff in your face?

;-)
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> Consistently? Lets at least some condemnation of that facet of the Tory party that is homophobic for balance.

FFS - The Tory party has some homophobic bigots, and a nasty xenophobic streak too. Happy?

Now, those Christians. Do you now accept they broadly follow homophobic, sexist philosophies?

dissonance - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> Consistently? Lets at least some condemnation of that facet of the Tory party that is homophobic for balance.

no problem. I wont be voting for them (although that said might not be a factor at the next election depending on how many of the more homophobic types jump across to UKIP).

I will also not vote for the C of E, oh hang on a minute.
Sir Chasm - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: I wonder how many of the homophobic and sexist tories also call themselves christians.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: Hmmm Venn diagrams of bigots. Interesting.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> FFS - The Tory party has some homophobic bigots, and a nasty xenophobic streak too. Happy?

Its a start, but its more than some.. ..do you vote for them btw?

> Now, those Christians. Do you now accept they broadly follow homophobic, sexist philosophies?

No, not at all. I absolutely reject that. I do, however, accept that political aspects of the church, e.g. the synod have the tendency similar to any political organisation with some power to become perverted by it becoming a law unto itself.
dissonance - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to MG) I wonder how many of the homophobic and sexist tories also call themselves christians.

well there is that old saying of the C of E being the tories at prayer.

indeed a quick google gives, with among other bits tory supporters are least likely to state no religion of the three main parties.

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/is-church-of-england-still-tory-party.html
Sir Chasm - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> No, not at all. I absolutely reject that. I do, however, accept that political aspects of the church, e.g. the synod have the tendency similar to any political organisation with some power to become perverted by it becoming a law unto itself.

Really? Upthread you said the leadership was a "subordinate administrative political structure".
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> Its a start, but its more than some.. ..do you vote for them btw?

No (well once in an obscure election) - why is this of such interest to you?
>
> [...]
>
> No, not at all. I absolutely reject that.

Well I think you are deluded. If you took a representative sample of all Christians, I expect 70+% would regard gays as "sinners" if not criminal and well over half would object to women having senior roles. These ideas are embedded in all mainstream Christian teaching. If you don't hold them, that's because you are on the outer liberal fringes of Christianity in particularly liberal country
neilh - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:

I am an aethist but I do not take the view that somebody is nutty just because they are religous.

There are enough nutty non religous people I met on a day to day basis to compensate for the nutty religous people.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Really? Upthread you said the leadership was a "subordinate administrative political structure".

Yes. Nothing is above the faith that god makes possible. Faith always comes first. Then comes the church which is the fellowship of those of faith. Last, and very much least, comes the institution that is the political "church". This is why so many Christians make the persistent objection to Christianity being a religion, because faith must come first, and if religion can put other concerns first then it ceases to be Christian.
neilh - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
I had to laugh at this.You need to get out and study your religion a bit more, or even try going to a church.You might be surprised.
Sir Chasm - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Right, the political church is subordinate to those of faith. So if the political church remains homophobic and sexist presumably those of faith are happy for that to continue, otherwise they would do something about their subordinate leaders.
Timmd on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to neilh:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> I am an aethist but I do not take the view that somebody is nutty just because they are religous.
>
> There are enough nutty non religous people I met on a day to day basis to compensate for the nutty religous people.

I like that, nuttiness definately isn't exclusive to religious people.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to neilh:
> (In reply to MG)
> I had to laugh at this.You need to get out and study your religion a bit more,

Which bit do you think I have wrong?
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> No (well once in an obscure election) - why is this of such interest to you?

I was interested to see whether you could assent to an organisation that has aspects you despise while having other views of which you might approve.

> Well I think you are deluded. If you took a representative sample of all Christians, I expect 70+% would regard gays as "sinners" if not criminal and well over half would object to women having senior roles. These ideas are embedded in all mainstream Christian teaching. If you don't hold them, that's because you are on the outer liberal fringes of Christianity in particularly liberal country

I would say close to 100% would say they are sinners by virtue of close to 100% saying 100% of all people are sinners, because sin is the separation from god that necessitates faith in Christ. You won't find many churches wherein there is the kind of ethical discrimination against women and homosexual people that you presume is so prevalent. Quite the reverse.
Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> I would say close to 100% would say they are sinners by virtue of close to 100% saying 100% of all
> people are sinners, because sin is the separation from god that necessitates faith in Christ.

And plenty of Christians would say that all that emphasis on sin and the need for "faith" to overcome it exemplifies all that is wrong with Christianity.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
You won't find many churches wherein there is the kind of ethical discrimination against women and homosexual people

Which mainstream Christian church provides equal chances for women and practising gays to be bishops? (I am aware a few minor ones in the US/Canada)
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And plenty of Christians would say that all that emphasis on sin and the need for "faith" to overcome it exemplifies all that is wrong with Christianity.

I would say it is a de-emphasis of "sin" in that human judgement about it becomes impossible without recourse to hypocrisy, which thus absolutely places humility first in any concern of the church for ethics.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> > You won't find many churches wherein there is the kind of ethical discrimination against women and homosexual people

> Which mainstream Christian church provides equal chances for women and practising gays to be bishops? (I am aware a few minor ones in the US/Canada)

I'm not talking about political distortion of the "synod" etc, but rather "churches" as in the places where the Christians are to be found as a fellowship of those of faith on an avg Sunday. That is the real "church", and as I say, you won't find many with that sort of attitude.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I'm not talking about political distortion of the "synod" etc, but rather "churches" as in the places where the Christians are to be found as a fellowship of those of faith on an avg Sunday.

So which of these place will have gay or female bishops preaching?

MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: And if, as is obvious, the answer in practically none. How can you possibly claim they are not homophobic and sexist?
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> So which of these place will have gay or female bishops preaching?

The vast majority of churches don't have any bishops preaching or even in attendance.
dissonance - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> That is the real "church", and as I say, you won't find many with that sort of attitude.

oh?

http://www.brin.ac.uk/figures/attitudes-towards-gay-rights/
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> I was interested to see whether you could assent to an organisation that has aspects you despise while having other views of which you might approve.
>


Since you raise the point, the answer is no, broadly. If you chopped of the socially right-wing and little-England aspects of the Tory party, I would be much more likely to support it. I largely support its liberal (in the classic sense) policies.
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Stop digging.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> Stop digging.

No digging. Its just an exterior prejudicial obsession that you have. For the vast majority of churches (as in places of congregation) it is an irrelevance. Women are already leading in church, homosexual couples are welcomed and hierarchical squabbles about bishops represent a tiny number of the more political aspects of the church arguing over the colour of shite.
neilh - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
"If you took a representative sample of all Christians, I expect 70+% would regard gays as "sinners" if not criminal and well over half would object to women having senior roles. These ideas are embedded in all mainstream Christian teaching."

I have met a couple of Christians who are anti gay, no more than the rest of society. Most peope I know who you call Christians are quite relaxed about the issue.Every church round where I live has either a woman vicar or rector.Two of them were scientists in previous roles ( one doing high end particle physics research, but that is anothe rinteresting debate).None of the ideas are embedded in modern mainstream Christain teaching that I have ever come across.Maybe 100 plus years ago. Other than some religous nutters who the press and the likes of you latch onto.Which is great for this sort of debate, but does not reflect what happens at grass roots.As I said before I am an aethist, but I do not recognise your view of the church, it's to narrow.

MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to neilh:
> (In reply to MG)
> "If you took a representative sample of all Christians, I expect 70+% would regard gays as "sinners" if not criminal and well over half would object to women having senior roles. These ideas are embedded in all mainstream Christian teaching."
>
> I have met a couple of Christians who are anti gay, no more than the rest of society.

You, I assume, live in the UK, which as above is about as liberal in its religious attitudes as you can get. Try factoring in the US/African/Russian/Catholic churches and see what happens to the balance.
Siward on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: Agreed. This is the second time I've had to quote Stephen Fry on UKC today (I don't make a habit of it):

"It’s now very common to hear people say ‘I’m rather offended by that’, as if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually no more than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that’. Well so f**king what?”

MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Well even in the UK the church has found it necessary to have a complete parallel hierarchy for those who don't want women priests. If these views are so rare, why is this necessary? I think you are probably wrong in your claims in the UK and definitely wrong globally.
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

I like the cut of this chap's jib. But then, he's been a friend of mine for nearly thirty years.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/14/church-will-accept-same-sex-marriage
MG - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: He seems all right, I agree. In fact I feel very sorry for him. Had any other employer treated him as the church did, it would have been criminal. For some odd reason he still defends the church
Tim Chappell - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: #

Church is like family. I think that's what some people on here are not getting. You don't just up and leave it because it includes a few noxious bigots. You smile patiently and try and reason with them. Often this doesn't work, being as they're noxious bigots. Never mind. God loves noxious bigots too.

I rather like that line of Herbert McCabe's: What Jesus came to tell us is that if you don't try to love other people then you're lost, and if you do try to love other people then they will kill you.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> Church is like family. I think that's what some people on here are not getting.

Yes, I think that puts it much better than I was doing. Indeed, like most families, churches tend to be inclusive, not exclusive. Having gone to St Pauls as a chorister, and various CofE, Episc, CofS, and an occasional Baptist church I have never encountered overt antihomosexual preaching. I have once, in the baptist church, heard preaching that insinuated a critical stance to homosexuality - I haven't been back. I have never encountered an explicitly anti-woman stance, and not only is our local family church led by a woman, but so have most of the churches I've attended had full or part time women at the helm (St Pauls was the exception with Lucy Winkett arriving after my time there)! Furthermore, in our local church there are three openly gay couples who come to our church.

For me, this image of MG's is rather more reflective of his obsession than the facts as I experience them on the church floor, but I do wish that the synod would change its democratic processes, stop paying any heed to conservative Anglicans abroad, and get on with an agenda consistent with Christ's inclusivity.
Jimbo W on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

http://bit.ly/13kVTiH

It's good to see that atheists are recognising the truth of their collective consciousness and starting up their own churches! However, they should beware the burdens of a growth in such religious organisation and try to keep as an anarchic a structure as is possible.
Sir Chasm - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to MG) #
>
> Church is like family. I think that's what some people on here are not getting.

Perhaps they're not getting it because it's a poor analogy. You don't choose your family but I guess you've chosen your church. Of course you can choose part of your family, your partner, but if you found out they were homophobic or sexist or a child abuser would you smile and put up with it or leave?

Tim Chappell - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
> [...]
>
> Perhaps they're not getting it because it's a poor analogy. You don't choose your family but I guess you've chosen your church.


Yes and no. There are ambiguities in the word "church".

When we moved to Dundee in 1998 I/ we looked around carefully before committing to going here http://www.allsoulsinvergowrie.org/ on a Sunday morning. That congregation has been our immediate church family for a decade and a half, and yes, we chose to be part of it at the start. We certainly wouldn't have settled in a church where noisy bigotry was being proclaimed from the pulpit every Sunday, partly because that wouldn't be a vision we could be part of, and partly because that would be upsetting and annoying.

In that local sense you choose your church. In a broader sense there's only one church across the world, and membership of it isn't a matter of choice if you're a Christian. You have to be part of that--Pope, Ian Paisley, Jerry Falwell, sinners and saints and all. And it is a family, and like every family it has some crazies in it...
Sir Chasm - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: You started by saying the church was like a family, you've changed to saying it is a family. Have i read that correctly?
tlm - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> (In reply to MG) This is just such an odd interpretation wearing a cross. It doesn't mean you support the pope or indeed the CoEs continued sexism. It means the wearer feels they have some connection to a Christian god,

It doesn't even always mean that. I used to wear my grandmother's cross because it was pretty, and because she had left it to me in her will, when I was a teenager. I hadn't even really thought about if I believed in god or not. I was a bit shocked when a born again Christian came up to me, eyes a sparkling and said 'are you a christian too?'.
tlm - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to RCC:

> Actually it means nothing of the sort; an atheist could just as easily wear a cross as a christian. The meaning of the symbol (to everyone but the wearer) rests on the cultural connotations of the symbol. It is not the place of the wearer to say how it should be interpreted.

A good example of this is how the campaign for nuclear disarmament is seen nowadays by young people. Loads of them just think it is a hipster symbol, showing that you prefer to not use hair straighteners.

Tim Chappell - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

<sigh> You do know the difference between a simile and a metaphor, don't you?
tlm - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke:
> (In reply to Tyler) I guess so. I guess the message that every born human (apart from Jesus) deserves an eternity of torture or annihilation etc as a result of the way they've lived their finite life on earth is pretty mild really.... I should get out more.

See - I find this quite weird about religion. I went to a christian memorial service, for several people, including a mate of mine who was an atheist. They waffled on about how those people had gone on before and would be waiting in heaven for us all to meet them. They didn't mention that any of them might be down below, writhing in torment in the fires of hell. It's so inconsistent - I think they like the idea of hell as a threat, and for people like Hitler, but everyone else actually gets to go to heaven, unless they are part of an unknown but generalised group like 'all heathens'. Known individuals all get to go to heaven.

tlm - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> (In reply to ChrisBrooke) Do all or even most Christians believe that, personally when I see someone wearing a cross I don't think that they are imagining me burning in hell and deriving sadistic pleasure from it.

Are there Christians who don't believe in hell then?
Are there Christians who believe in an empty hell?
Sir Chasm - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: Yes, dear tim, but family can be defined as a brotherhood of persons united by religious ties. So i wanted to see whether you were continuing to use your poor analogy or had switched to a different meaning.
dissonance - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> In that local sense you choose your church. In a broader sense there's only one church across the world, and membership of it isn't a matter of choice if you're a Christian. You have to be part of that--Pope, Ian Paisley, Jerry Falwell, sinners and saints and all.

even when the interpretations are so different they are effectively different religions?
I suspect your opinion is not shared by all.

> And it is a family, and like every family it has some crazies in it...

yes but normally its considered good practice to keep them away from power.
ChrisBrooke - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to tlm: In my experience (as a former Christian and someone who takes an interest in religion) there are Christians for every permutation of belief. Some will believe in a literal hell. Some will take offense that you consider them so lacking in comprehension of sophisticated modern theology which has no need of a literal hell, if you ask if they believe it... It really varies person to person. Which is why it's best to ask 'what do you believe, and why?' to specific Christians, as you can't assume even the most basic common ground between them.
tlm - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke:
> (In reply to tlm) In my experience (as a former Christian and someone who takes an interest in religion) there are Christians for every permutation of belief.

I know. They were rhetorical questions. :-)

You would think that god would be more consistent in the way he gets people to see him, wouldn't you?

Also - I very much agree with you, that the 'you are all sinners and should beg for repentance' bit is not a very nice way of looking at humans.


winhill - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> One thing's for sure, if the cross-wearer is forcing her stuff in others' faces, this thread is forcing your stuff in others' faces. If you really can't cope with hearing that other people think differently from you, perhaps you should do the Golden Rule thing and take this thread down.

The tribunal also heard how Eweida's attitude and behaviour towards colleagues had prompted a number of complaints objecting to her: "Either giving them religious materials unsolicited, or speaking to colleagues in a judgmental or censorious manner which reflected her beliefs; one striking example," said the judgment, "was a report from a gay man that the claimant had told him that it was not too late to be redeemed."

Indeed, the proselytising motivation of her desire to wear the cross over her uniform instead of underneath it was underlined when she said: "It is important to wear it to express my faith so that other people will know that Jesus loves them."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jan/17/acrosstobear

She had even fecked off BA's Christian Fellowship Group with her whinging fackwittery.
Tim Chappell - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:

She would seem to be, hem, woven of a fairly coarse fabric. But the comment from me to which you're responding with these quotes, was about her cross-wearing. You had said that she was forcing her views on other people just by wearing a cross. That's nonsense. As I pointed out.
cb294 - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
> You won't find many churches wherein there is the kind of ethical discrimination against women and homosexual people
>
> Which mainstream Christian church provides equal chances for women and practising gays to be bishops? (I am aware a few minor ones in the US/Canada)

German protestants (Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche).

CB
winhill - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> She would seem to be, hem, woven of a fairly coarse fabric. But the comment from me to which you're responding with these quotes, was about her cross-wearing. You had said that she was forcing her views on other people just by wearing a cross. That's nonsense. As I pointed out.

Utter bollocks. She clearly says she's wearing the cross visibly to communicate to others, that sweet baby jesus loves them.

The court even said that this was the behaviour that they were protecting, which I emboldened in the OP for the hard of thinking:

the value to an individual who has made religion a central tenet of his or her life to be able to communicate that belief to others

Separately, of course, all visible personal representations of religion are proselytism and proselytising by default.
mgco3 - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill: Bring on the Devil Worshippers...

Fornication, beastiality, flagellation yahooooooo!!

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