Lord Carey har fått med seg at det sies mange fine ord om rettigheter og like muligheter. Men virkeligheten er noe annet, skriver Carey.
Da kristne sto foran domstolen i Strasbourg nylig og klaget over at de ble truet med oppsigelse hvis de ikke ville legge av seg et symbolsk kors på jobben, fikk de beskjed av den britiske regjering om å skaffe seg en ny jobb.
He seems to have forgotten in spite of his oft-repeated support for the right of Christians to wear the cross, that lawyers acting for the Coalition argued only months ago in the Strasbourg court that those sacked for wearing a cross against their employer’s wishes should simply get another job.
På den ene side ytres det fine ord, men når man kommer til det konkrete, viser det seg å romme noe helt annet. Overalt trenges kristendommen tilbake, og det å stå for konservative verdier viser seg vanskelig.
Man er lettvint med ord. Men man leker ikke med en institusjon som ekteskapet.
As David Cameron knows, I am very suspicious that behind the plans to change the nature of marriage, which come before the House of Lords soon, there lurks an aggressive secularist and relativist approach towards an institution that has glued society together for time immemorial.
By dividing marriage into religious and civil the Government threatens the church and state link which they purport to support. But they also threaten to empty marriage of its fundamental religious and civic meaning as an institution orientated towards the upbringing of children.
If this is not enough, the legislation fails to provide any protection for religious believers in employment who cannot subscribe to the new meaning of marriage. There will be no exemptions for believers who are registrars. They can expect to be sacked if they cannot, in all conscience, support same-sex marriage.
Strong legal opinion also suggests that Christian teachers, who are required to teach about marriage, may face disciplinary action if they cannot express agreement with the new politically-correct orthodoxy.
The danger I believe that the Government is courting with its approach both to marriage and religious freedom, is the alienation of a large minority of people who only a few years ago would have been considered pillars of society.
Today’s ComRes poll suggests that more than three-quarters of Christians believe that the Government is not listening. More than half of Christians who backed the Conservatives in 2010 say they will ‘definitely not’ vote for the party in 2015.
This continues the breakdown in trust between politicians and the people they serve.