This is one of those stories that, if you simply look at the bones of it, without any context, might seem as if, indeed, Christians are being discriminated against simply for their beliefs. Of course, that’s not quite the case:
Gay rights laws are eroding Christianity and stifling free speech, Church of England bishops warned yesterday.
Senior clerics, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, spoke out ahead of a High Court ‘clash of rights’ hearing over whether Christians are fit to foster or adopt children.
The test case starting today involves a couple who say they have been barred from fostering because they refuse to give up their religious belief that homosexuality is unacceptable.
Here is the thing, though. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the couple is Christian. It has to do with the fact that they are using their Christianity as a smokescreen for their homophobia. Many, many Christians are not homophobes, and their ability to foster children is not at issue.
Look how dramatically the bishops and religious leaders are framing this:
Supporters hope their legal challenge will set a precedent for the rights of Christians to foster children without compromising their faith.
But senior bishops fear that if the ruling goes against them, it could have devastating consequences for those with religious beliefs.
Either way, they believe the case will determine whether Christians can continue to express their beliefs in this country.
Oh, my god. Tiniest violin in the world, I am playing.
Let me explain this in very simple terms: When you are a foster parent, you are charged with protecting and caring for children. In the real world, it is understood that among minor children, there will be some who are gay. It is a dangerous thing to put a gay child, unknowingly, in the home of homophobes who will bully them with anti-gay religious bigotry. It is not a safe environment for those children, and since we cannot know with 100% certainty which kids in the system are and are not gay, it’s best to put the needs of all children first, and keep them out of homes where they will be spiritually abused.
Or in the words of a prominent UK gay rights leader:
However Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights charity Stonewall, said: ‘Too often in fostering cases nowadays it’s forgotten that it is the interests of a child, and not the prejudices of a parent, that matter.
‘Many Christian parents of gay children will be shocked at Mr and Mrs Johns’s views, which are more redolent of the 19th century than the 21st.’
Exactly. This has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. I wouldn’t place a child for foster care with radicalized Muslims either. The fact that this couple is going to court over this, that their homophobia is so intense that it’s in the public square, should be a red flag to anyone considering releasing a child into their care.