Art Teacher writes to Lord Waddington
David Skinner, a retired art teacher, has written an impassioned letter to Lord Waddington concerning the grave dangers to freedom of conscience and principled action which the Equality Bill poses. He says that this legislation is 'sweeping Europe'.
Writing to Christians Together David Skinner who has organised a petition to the Government address the concerns surrounding the Equality Bill says:
"I have sent this to Lord Waddington. Britain is sleeping whilst in the most grave of dangers.Anglican Mainstream have put my petition on their site and we are appealing to ex pats of Britain, or I suppose anyone with a British passport, to sign up. I feel like the opererator tapping out the last Mayday messages on the Titanic. It is sweeping the European Union and the eventually the whole of the West, unless Christians and people of other faiths make a stand."
Ed note: Lord Waddington has fought to support the freedom of speech and is appreciative of the work of the Christian Institute.
The following is an extract from a letter to Lord Waddington entitled:
Equality Bill—the Public Sector Equality Duty and Employment Exceptions for Churches and Christian Organisations
Dear Lord Waddington,
I wish to endorse the Lawyers Christian Fellowship’s deep concern over the way exceptions to the Equality Bill, on grounds of religious belief or private conscience, are being erased from the 2003 Regulation by the 2009 Regulations, viz:
“I would urge you to support amendments to the Bill which will return the exceptions contained in Schedule 9 of the Equality Bill to the current position under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) and (religion or belief) Regulations 2003.
I would urge you to support amendments which provide freedom of religion, freedom of association and the ability for faith organisations to be staffed by people of that faith. I would urge you to support a change to the Explanatory Note to Schedule 9 paragraph 3 that acknowledges these points.”
“The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance” - Thomas Jefferson
I am no lawyer, just a retired art teacher but I wonder how many people in Britain have either the time, the understanding, patience or desire – especially at this time of the year – to plough through line upon line, word upon word of endless legal clauses which, on the face of it, sound so abstract and innocuous, but which will, I believe, make a devastating impact, not only on Christians, but people of all faiths and none? To me, the unsubtle attempt to air brush the human rights of Christians out the Equality Bill is only the beginning of removing the rights from all, apart from those who hold the reins of power and who “want what they want, when they want it.” Today it is Christians; tomorrow it will be Jews ; then it will be Jamaicans and so on.
Ever since the 1960s, laws, that once protected the sanctity of marriage and human life, and which were designed to restrain and channel the power of sexual behaviour, so that it might be a force for creativity, have been, repealed, one by one, only to be replaced by laws discriminating against marriage and the unborn. This has resulted in the destruction and misery of abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual abuse, the destruction of the family and a nihilistic younger generation who are committing acts of violence that were once even rare amongst adults.
Whilst society is constantly distracted by wars, the economy, “climate change,” and the antics of celebrities, our political leaders deny that our society is broken. These are excerpts from the preamble to the Sexual Orientation Regulations ( 2006), overseen by the ex-chief executive of Stonewall and lesbian, Angela Mason, of the Women’s Equality Unity. They are signed off by the government ministers, Meg Munn and Alan Johnson:-
“Significant progress has been made over the past forty years – since the first anti-discrimination legislation was introduced – towards achieving such a society in which everybody can achieve their full potential, unfettered by prejudice or discrimination. ………..”
“It is unlikely that British society would be as diverse and successful as it is today without these landmark pieces of legislation…..”
“These changes represent a significant step towards making Britain a much fairer and more equitable place ………”
Marriage under threat
Lady Hale (who, for many years, was the key person driving the Law Commission’s anti-marriage agenda) said back in 1980: “logically, we have already reached a point at which we should be considering whether the legal institution of marriage continues to serve any useful purpose.” And yet apparently denying that she said this she was enthusiastic to extend the rights of marriage to homosexuals. Clearly she rejects the universal understanding of marriage but is quite happy for the gays to appropriate it, change it to mean something else and then conceivably to discard it completely.
During the last three years there has been a sudden acceleration in the pace of laws that once connected sexual behaviour with the creation of both life and the family being repealed and replaced by dualistic laws that lead to promiscuity. In 2007 the Sexual Orientation Regulations came into force; quickly followed by the gay adoption bill; in 2008 the incitement to homophobic bill was enacted and almost immediately there was a concerted effort to muzzle anyone criticising homosexuality. Now we have a law that will demand that homosexuality is celebrated by all - without exception.
In all this, so called progress, the main obstacle has always been the Bible and the Christian. It is my belief that when Stonewall say that “there is so much more work to be done," what they really mean is that it is only when the legacy of 2000 years of Christianity are eradicated from Britain, that they will feel all obstacles to get “what they want, when they want it” have been removed. (Catch phrase of Gaydar.com, and Gaydar Radio, an organisation supported by Stonewall - check it out!). I am not alone in seeing a parallel here between the rise of homosexual power and that of Nazism before WW11
The philosopher Will Durant, speaking of the journey that our civilisation took from barbarism to civilisation, said that it had required centuries, but “the journey from civilisation to barbarism needs but a day.” His words were echoed in 2007 at the end of the debate on Gay Adoption by Gerald Howarth MP when he said "Tony Blair has given us 20 months to adapt 2,000 years of Christian teaching. It's unacceptable." Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall contemptuously dismissed Christian morality by saying, “We felt six or twelve months would be a reasonable period for agencies to retrain their (adoption) staff but if it takes eighteen months to reverse a thousand years of prejudice, we can probably live with that.”
If implemented this bill will undoubtedly see the Church driven underground and persecuted in a way never before experienced in Britain. We will join the ranks of those Christians presently suffering in Islamic and communist countries. Indeed, there is now case after case appearing of Christians being denigrated in the media, being publicly humiliated, intimidated by the police, being hounded out their jobs, being threatened with fines and imprisonment and soon the threat of having their children taken away from them by social services - all in the name of equality.
An article that appeared in the Mail, 27th Jan.2007, entitled “Who has the courage to take on these new tyrants,” pointed out to us then the black cloud on the horizon: “Why can't Catholics be allowed to live according to their consciences?" The Anglican Archbishops of Canterbury and York have perhaps rather belatedly asked this question in a letter to the Prime Minister.
Matters of Conscience
No one would maintain that people should be permitted to follow their consciences in every case.
Obviously they should not be allowed to do so if they threaten others. Islamic terrorists are presumably acting according to their consciences when they try to blow us up. But the Roman Catholics in this instance pose no threat. They are forcing no one to accept their values. They are merely asking to be able to live by their own lights, which are the traditional values of the Church throughout the ages, and which are still accepted by many millions of Christians and non-Christians in this country, including (I would hazard) many homosexuals.
Roman Catholics are faced by the tyranny of the majority or, to be precise, by the tyranny of a large and vocal minority which passes itself off as the majority. This group wishes to impose its values on those who have different values, as in another age homophobes tried to impose their values on homosexuals.
We are not talking here about an honest divergence of opinion. My blood ran cold when on Tuesday night I watched Angela Eagle, Labour MP, a member of the party's national executive and an open lesbian, being interviewed by Mr Paxman. He turned to her fondly when he had finished sneering at the Archbishop of Birmingham. Ms Eagle said that the new law putting homosexuals on an equal legal footing with heterosexuals in adoptions would have to apply to everyone, including Roman Catholics.
She actually said: "We can't have exceptions." There is no room for discretion, no opportunity for people to live by different, and equally valid, standards. Everyone must conform.
Here is the authentic voice of totalitarianism. "We can't have exceptions." That is a chilling statement which disturbs me more than I can say. In Ms Eagle's grim world, there can be no differences, no discretion. Isn't the exercise of mercy a discretion? Not for Ms Eagle. "We can't have exceptions." I don't know whether her views are typical of those in the Cabinet and the wider party, but I suspect they are.
This is totalitarianism
This is more than an issue about Christian magistrates, registrars, teachers, nurses and police, working in the secular world, who whilst in no way attempting to impose their Christian values onto others, are themselves being forced to resign from their posts: this is about Christians in their own churches, and those of other faiths and none, in their own homes, being forced to conform to practices that are to them an abomination. This is totalitarianism.
On 3rd March, 2008 in the House of Lords, during the debate on the offence of hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, Lord Monson , recounting a previous debate, fifty years ago, when the Wolfenden Report resulted in a relaxation of the homosexual laws, quoted the prophetic voice of one of his contemporaries :
“Yes, the Wolfenden proposals are all very well, but they are the thin end of the wedge. The pendulum is bound to swing too far in the other direction. Mark my words, before many years are out, they”—the more militant homosexuals and not, of course, the ordinary discreet sort—“will demand not merely toleration for their sexual activities—no problem about that—but positive respect, even admiration, for them”. ‘To which I (Lord Monson) replied, “Oh, come on. Nonsense. You’re being alarmist”. ‘With hindsight, I have to say that I was wrong and they were right.’
What Lord Monson, maybe never saw, even two years ago, was that mere toleration would change to total domination and oppression. The amendments to the Equality Bill are a cover for indoctrination, inquisition and an attack on truth itself. To argue, by appealing to reason, for exemptions from the Sexual Orientation Regulations and all the legislation that is subsequently flowing from them, is futile when our opponents, enjoy an influence in government that most MPs can only dream of.
Not even Socrates, or John Milton would make the slightest impression on Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson, Harriet Harman, the Eagle twins, Ben Summerskill, Ben Bradshaw or Chris Bryant et al. In fact the clearer and more articulate a person is in defending our cause, the more likely they are to be accused of homophobia – the trump card, that silences all dissent.
But how have they got away with it? Society, distracted and disconnected from the real world by the flat screen, has become apathetic. Its only concern is defending its personal peace and comfort. By contrast, for several decades, especially during the last one, Stonewall has been focused and determined. It has a programme, set objectives, a time-table and, experiencing no opposition, has been emboldened in repeating often and loudly – loudly and often – lies that no one seems to have the courage to challenge anymore: homosexuality is natural and that homosexuals are being bullied disproportionately more than the obese, short, tall, clever, stupid or just plain different.
Postscript: David Skinner has written to friends:
The days are getting darker as the government – after doing a soft shoe shuffle – has given the illusion that it has backed down on its amendments to the Equality Bill that would force people to act against their God-given consciences, especially those who believe that children are best raised in a family composed of one father and one mother, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, cousins and four grandparents – as it has done since history began. But one thing is certain and that is that our morally bankrupt political leaders cannot be trusted. The latest version of the Equality Bill is in effect is worse than that produced in 2003.I wish to thank you therefore for those who have already signed the petition but listen, folks, we need to quadruple our efforts. We are at war and it will not be won by complacency, sticking our heads in the sand, or thinking that someone else will come to our rescue. We need a million signatures, so please wherever you are, right where you are, start fighting for your freedom and that of your children – before it is lost forever. Sign the petition and let us deliver it right through the front door of No 10 Downing Street.