Wednesday, 4 July 2007

The rise of Christophopbia

What about the basic rights of Christians?

Ann WIDDECOMBE
12 July 2006
The Daily Express
(c) 2006 Express Newspapers

IT IS supposed to be a crime to stir up religious hatred but the Gay Police Association either doesn't know this or doesn't care. It has recently run an advertising campaign for which it is difficult to find any description other than Christophobia.

There is a picture of the Bible and the headline is: In The Name Of The Father. It then goes on to claim that in the past 12 months, the Gay Police Association has recorded a 74 per cent increase in homophobic incidents, where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator.

It would be interesting to know the nature of the homophobic incidents. Christianity specifically forbids hatred, not just acts of hatred or expressions of hatred but the feeling itself. No Christian can abuse or assault a homosexual "in the name of the Father". Yet, by choosing that very famous line of Christian worship the advertisement suggests that Christianity almost uniquely is responsible for hate crime.

Can anyone imagine the Koran rather than the Bible being featured? Yet the teaching of both faiths (and, indeed, others) is against homosexual acts. Why pick on Christianity?

Perhaps this increase in "homophobic incidents" includes the response of Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, to an interviewer's question about the Muslim view of the issue.

Or the opinions of Lynette Burrows, the respected children's author, who said she did not believe the adoption of children by gay couples to be normally advisable. Or the action of a Christian couple from Lancashire who asked their local council if they could display Christian literature in register offices carrying out civil partnership ceremonies.

The reason I cite these three cases is that we know the police became involved in all of them but none of them would fulfil a reasonable person's view of the definition of abuse or assault.

What we are now faced with is not equality but a hierarchy of equalities.

When any human right comes up against homosexual rights the latter must always win.

The human right to express a religious or conscientious view or to hear religious teaching must give way to a homosexual's right never to feel offended. There is a set of proposed regulations, coming before Parliament in the autumn, which takes this to extremes. It will almost certainly be railroaded through.

Under its provisions someone who supplies bed and breakfast in his own home will be able to refuse a double room to an unmarried heterosexual couple but not to a homosexual couple.

A church will not be able to refuse to hire out its own hall for civil partnership celebrations. You can bet your last penny that it will be Christians rather than other faiths who will be picked on for test cases.

What, other than Christophobia, determines that Christmas must be renamed? That Christmas lights must be called festival lights? That nativity displays must be forbidden?

That hot cross buns are banned from some schools? That it is acceptable to mock Christ in shows such as Jerry Springer – The Opera in a way that would cause riots if done to the Prophet Mohammed? That inspired this Government, which made such a parade of Christian socialism before 1997, to try to eliminate prayers from the millennium celebrations?

It is an offshoot of exactly the same political correctness which allows an artist to be seen eating a foetus on television but imprisons an octogenarian for circulating pictures of aborted foetuses.

And the same PC madness which forbids teachers to dispense aspirins or Elastoplast but encourages them to refer underage girls for abortions unbeknown to their parents.

Hitherto, Christians have fought with argument and protest and the powers that be, including government, the BBC and police, have brushed us off.

The time has come to use the very weapons which have been so successfully used against us.

We should complain formally of hate crimes and the stirring up of religious hatred and demand our human rights to religious freedom and to freedom of conscience.

The Gay Police Association advert might be a very good place to start.