More to come on this, but we may not be the best stewards of religious liberty on either side of the Atlantic. In a mixed bag of rulings today a European Court of Human Rights found that a British Airways employee has the right to wear a cross, despite her employer’s misgivings (the best ruling of the day), but wasn’t as open to the religious-liberty claims of a crucifix-wearing nurse, a civil-marriage registrar who didn’t want to conduct same-sex partnership ceremonies, and a counselor who did not want to guide same-sex couples through sex-therapy sessions. (A quick primer on the cases here; the ruling from the Euro court here.)
In a piece over the weekend, one of the lawyers for the losing camps today rang alarm bells about the state of religious liberty in Britain. Paul Diamond wrote, in part:
It seems that the British legal system is intent on removing the Judeo-Christian foundation of our laws, which have served us for a thousand years, replacing them with a secular, liberal worldview which dispenses tolerance to all those who agree with it and relentless hostility, or even persecution, to those who do not.
Tuesday’s judgment in the European Court on cases affecting the rights of Christians in Britain is a Magna Carta moment. Its verdicts will have a profound impact on the civil and religious liberties of millions of people in the UK and beyond.
There are appeal options in a grander chamber of this European court, but the Magna Carta ink appears to be fading some . . .