London (CNSNews.com)- Christian groups are warning that proposed new equality laws could wreak havoc on British churches and lead to the further secularization of society. As part of its efforts to streamline decades’ worth of anti-discrimination law, the British government is currently drawing up a new Single Equality Bill, which is expected to come before parliament soon.
Having studied draft proposals released earlier this year, the (Anglican/Episcopalian) Church of England said in a formal response that the new laws could be twisted and turned against religious charities that operate in the public sector.
For example, it charged that charities might be accused of harassment if they displayed crucifixes on their walls or said grace before meals. In other areas, clergy might be compelled to marry someone who had undergone a sex-change operation, despite the fact that doing so would go against their religious beliefs.
Though the church approved of much about the new proposals, it expressed concern that they formed part of the trend of trying to achieve religious equality by eliminating belief in public institutions.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, a spokeswoman for the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, said Thursday the proposals could be dangerous.
Anti-Christian activists could attend church services and then file harassment suits against pastors who preached sermons that offended them, she said.
“What you’re going to get is that a church is going to be targeted,” she said. “Possibly a big one.”
In recent years, Williams said Christian groups in Britain had been singled out more, a trend which the new proposals would only exacerbate. Christian organizations on university campuses have been refused classroom space and funding from student governments, while one Christian-oriented radio station has been the focus of a systematic campaigns to have it shut down, she noted. Within the last year, religious groups and the British government also have battled over new regulations that comprehensively outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation. Charities complained that they would have to rent their halls to homosexual-rights organizations. Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops unsuccessfully lobbied for exemptions for Christian adoption agencies.
My friends, I tell you that laws similar to this have been proposed within the U.S. Congress - luckily so far they have not become law. These so called “anti-discrimination laws” are really “anti-church” laws and they are designed to weaken all churches ability to teach according to their faith and render financially impotent churches that fail to secularize. Enemies of freedom will work to make these “anti-church” laws the law of not only Europe, but the law in Canada, Mexico and even the United States of America. Please pray for freedom. Keep your ears open to your members of Congress and the Presidential candidates to see what they say about “anti-discrimination laws”. Then vote against those that support “anti-discrimination laws” that limit a church’s freedom to teach according to its faith. If these type of ideas become law, your church could lose its religious freedom. The very fine line between a church’s freedom of beliefs-what they believe, profess, and live-and the government’s power is becoming gray. This issue raises the question: Is there really a separation of church and state? And what does that really mean? Most Americans want religion in their lives. They want God and morality.
Why can’t the government just allow freedom of expression for both churches and homosexuals? It is wrong to silence the church and these laws can in-effect do just that.