domingo, 17 de mayo de 2015

Sir Michael Tugendhat says attitude to religion among some secularists is similar to that of Elizabeth I

Secularists are as intolerant to faith as Tudor tyrants, says top judge

by Simon Caldwell

Efforts to banish the expression of religious beliefs from the public square represent a “form of oppression” nearly as bad as the Tudor-era persecutions, a former senior High Court judge has said.

Sir Michael Tugendhat, the top libel and media judge in the country until he retired last year, suggested soaring numbers of lawsuits involving religion pointed to an increasing denial of genuine human rights rather than the defence of them.

He blamed the phenomenon on the misinterpretation of the meaning of secularism, saying that the concept should guarantee a neutral space but instead was being used as a pretext for hostility towards religion and religious practices.

He said the changes came when a succession of equality legislation was passed without giving adequate protection to the religious convictions of Christians, leading to a succession of complaints of harassment and unfair dismissal.

One of the most high-profile cases involved Nadia Eweida, who was told by British Airways that she could not wear a cross on her uniform, while the Catholic Church was forced to close or hand over about a dozen adoption agencies because it could not meet the statutory demand to assess gay couples as adoptive parents.

Sir Michael said that the attitudes of those who were pushing aggressive secularism were just as intolerant as the Elizabethan authorities who had Catholics hanged, drawn and quartered for celebrating Mass and who burned and imprisoned Puritans and evangelical Protestants for dissenting from Anglicanism.


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