God has no place in British law
Despite the UK's long history of religious observance and the traditions of the churches, there is no place in British law for Christian beliefs two High Court judges have said.
In the case of the Christian couple who have been barred from adopting children two High Court judges have ruled that Britain is a secular state.
The following is part of the ruling that they have handed down.
By Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson 7:00AM GMT 01 Mar 2011
"We cannot avoid the need to re-state what ought to be, but seemingly are not, well understood principles regulating the relationship of religion and law in our society.
We live in this country in a democratic and pluralistic society, in a secular state not a theocracy.
Although historically this country is part of the Christian West, and although it has an established church which is Christian, there have been enormous changes in the social and religious life of our country over the last century.
Our society is now pluralistic and largely secular. We sit as secular judges serving a multi-cultural community of many faiths. The laws and usages of the realm do not include Christianity, in whatever form.
The aphorism that “Christianity is part of the common law of England” is mere rhetoric.
Religion – whatever the particular believer’s faith – is no doubt something to be encouraged but it is not the business of government or of the secular courts, though the courts will, of course, pay every respect and give great weight to the individual’s religious principles.
The present dispute is merely one of a number of recent cases where the tension has been between an individual’s Christian beliefs and discrimination law as enacted by Parliament."
Christian Concern which campaigns on issues relating to public policy and supports believers in their respective stands for righteousness comment:
In a landmark judgment, which will have a serious impact on the future of fostering and adoption in the UK, the High Court has suggested that Christians with traditional views on sexual ethics are unsuitable as foster carers, and that homosexual ‘rights’ trump freedom of conscience in the UK. Read on....
Comment: Apart from the attack on the foundations on which our laws have been built, this ruling flies in the face of the UK's constitutional arrangement whereby our laws are decreed by Parliament which sits under the monarch (symbolised by the Mace in the Parliament) who in turn has pledged by oath in the Coronation Service to uphold the Word of God in the land.
Footnote: Part of the pledges taken by the British Monarch during the Coronation Ceremony:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: "Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolable the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?"
The Queen: "All this I promise to do. The things which I have here before promised, I will perform, and keep. So help me God."
Christians Together, 01/03/2011