The left's war on Christianity continues unabated. In Britain, it is now a sin to criticize homosexuality, one that the socialist Labour government is punishing with the police powers of the state. The most recent - the arrest of a preacher for the mere public expression that he sees homosexuality as sinful. This from the Daily Mail:
A Christian street preacher has been arrested and charged with a public-order offence after saying that homosexuality was sinful.
Dale Mcalpine was handing out leaflets to shoppers when he told a passer-by and a gay police community support officer that, as a Christian, he believed homosexuality was one of a number of sins that go against the word of God.
Mr Mcalpine said that he did not repeat his remarks on homosexuality when he preached from the top of a stepladder after his leafleting. But he has been told that police officers are alleging they heard him making his remarks to a member of the public in a loud voice that could be overheard by others. . . .
(H/T: Crusader Rabbit)
The arrest of Rev. McAlpine comes on the heels of a decision by Lord Justice Laws last week, likewise attacking Christianity and enforcing his own secular values on all Brits, even in matters of conscience (see here). Christopher Booker in the Telegraph and Peter Hitchens at the Daily Mail put these acts in context. This from Mr. Booker:
Lord Justice Laws last week ruled that Gary McFarlane was rightly given the sack as a relationship counsellor for refusing to give "sex therapy lessons" to gay couples because it was against his Christian principles. According to Laws, "law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds is irrational, divisive, capricious, arbitrary".
Climate change evangelist Tim Nicholson, on the other hand, was recently awarded £42,200 for his wrongful dismissal by a property firm, after last year's ruling by Mr Justice Burton that Mr Nicholson's "philosophical belief" in man-made global warming was on a par with religious belief and must therefore be given legal protection under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, issued under the 1972 European Communities Act to implement EC directive 2000/78.
So let us get this straight. Under a law designed to bar religious discrimination, it is now perfectly legal to discriminate against someone's beliefs so long as these are based on religion – eg Christianity (but not of course Islam) – because religion is irrational, capricious and arbitrary. But the same law must protect someone's belief so long as it is not based on religion – eg a devout faith in man-made global warming. . . .
And this from Mr. Hitchens:
Revolutions do not always involve guillotines or mobs storming palaces. Sometimes they are made by middle-aged gentlemen in wigs, sitting in somnolent chambers of the High Court.
Sometimes they are made by police officers and bureaucrats deciding they have powers nobody knew they had, or meant them to have.
And Britain is undergoing such a revolution – quiet, step-by-step, but destined to have a mighty effect on the lives and future of us all.
The Public Order Act of 1986 was not meant to permit the arrest of Christian preachers in English towns for quoting from the Bible. But it has. The Civil Partnerships Act 2004 was not meant to force public servants to approve of homosexuality. But it has.
The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 was not meant to lead to a state of affairs where it is increasingly dangerous to say anything critical about homosexuality. But it did.
And the laws of Britain, being entirely based upon the Christian Bible, were not meant to be used by a sneering judge to declare that Christianity had no higher status in this ancient Christian civilisation than Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism.
But it has come to that this week.
How did it happen that in the course of less than 50 years we moved so rapidly from one wrong to another?
Until 1967, homosexuals could be – and were – arrested and prosecuted for their private, consenting, adult acts.
This was a cruel, bad law that should never have been made. It led to blackmail and misery of all kinds.
Those who repealed it did so out of humanity and an acceptance that we need to live in peace alongside others whose views and habits we do not share. No such generous tolerance is available from the sexual revolutionaries.
Now, as the case of Dale Macalpine shows, we are close to the point where a person can be prosecuted for saying in public that homosexual acts are wrong.
And officers of the law, once required to stay out of all controversy, get keen official endorsement when they take part in open political demonstrations in favour of homosexual equality.
We have travelled in almost no time from repression, through a brief moment of mutual tolerance, to a new repression. And at the same time, the freedom of Christians to follow their beliefs in workplaces is under aggressive attack.
Small and harmless actions, offers of prayer, the wearing of crucifixes, requests to withdraw from duties, are met with official rage and threats of dismissal, out
of all proportion. . . .
Daily the confidence of the new regime grows. The astonishing judgment of Lord Justice Laws last week, in which he pointedly snubbed Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, and mocked the idea that Christianity had any special place in our society, is a warning that this process has gone very deep and very far.
The frightening thing is that it has not stopped, nor is it slowing down. What cannot be said in a Workington street will soon be unsayable anywhere.
And if Christianity has officially ceased to be the basis of our law and the source of our state’s authority (a view which makes nonsense of the Coronation Service) who, and what – apart from the brute power of the manipulated mob – is to decide in future what is right, and what is not, and what can be said, and what cannot? . . .
Hitchens in particular makes several points that I have likewise made repeatedly on this blog. Christianity and the Judeo-Christian ethic have undergirded our laws and social framework for nearly two thousand years. It has been the avowed goal of socialists for over two centuries to rip Christianity from the foundations of Western civilization as part and parcel of their effort to remake society. But this comes with deeply fundamental - and likely existential - ramifications, for if morality and the law become unmoored from the Judeo-Christian ethic, then it is left to the whims of politicians and the "manipulated mob" to redefine morality based on whatever they see as the greater good. It is but a very short step from there to using the police power of the state to enforce that new morality. As I wrote here:
. . . For the better part of two millennium, the Judeo-Christian ethic has provided a rock solid framework for morality at the heart of Western society - one that puts maximum value on each individual human life and one that provides moral clarity in such things as Christianity's Golden Rule and Judaism's "Great Commandment." Take that mooring away from the ancient expressions of our deity and all morality then becomes dependant on what any particular person or government defines as the greater good.
When governments and individuals can define by their whim what is moral or immoral, what is desirable and what is punishable, human life is almost inevitably devalued. Certainly Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, and Pol Pot, between them responsible for the murder of well over a hundred million people in the 20th century, held to socialist belief systems that devalued human life and elevated in its stead political ideology. Many in the green movement argue that man is a parasite on the world and call for strictly limiting his impact using authoritarian means - including population control, forced sterilization and other such methods. Far less destructive but no less insidious are the new age religions - for but one example, mystic beliefs based on the book and movie The Secret, where one only needs to really believe - and maybe click their heels three times - and then the "universe will provide." It certainly saves one the trouble of actually dealing with real world problems, at least until they come to crisis proportions. Or the neo-Druidism one can see in practice among the many robed figures gathered at Stonehenge each Equinox. Hopefully these modern day animists will not also seek to resurrect the Druidic custom of human sacrifice.
The bottom line is, regardless whether one believes in Judaism or Christianity, we will pay a very heavy price indeed for jettisoning them as the bedrock of Western society. Yet that is precisely what the left has sought for over two centuries, promising in their stead a secular heaven on earth. Ironically, should the socialist left fully succeed, history teaches us that their promised earthly heaven will be far more likely to resemble biblical hell.