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David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.

They Never Would Be Slaves?



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Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin are Christians who have had their lives made miserable for their faith. Nadia Eweida wore a silver cross on a chain round her neck, until her employers, British Airways, suspended her for it. Shirley Chaplin, a nurse, for 30 years had a crucifix on a necklace over her uniform, and the management of the Royal Devon National Health Hospital ordered her to remove it, on the absurd grounds of health and safety. A patient, they said, might have an accident pulling it. At the same moment, Gary McFarlane, a marriage counselor, and Lillian Ladele, a registrar, have also given offence on account of their Christian conscience. Neither had any objection to homosexuality as such, but Mr. McFarlane asked to be excused from counseling same-sex couples, and Miss Ladele from marrying them. Both were fired.

Legal proceedings finished in front of seven judges, none of them British, in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. This court found in favor only of Miss Eweida; BA had interfered with her right to express her religion. Rejecting the claims of the three other defendants, the court is giving priority to political correctness over freedom of religious conscience.

Many sad aspects come together. The childish conformity of those taking these decisions to ban religious symbolism on behalf of BA and that Royal Devon hospital is unimaginable. One prejudice is being utilized to suppress another prejudice. Freedom of worship is compromised. Christianity is further marginalized. Not a single churchman has come forward to defend these Christians, or if there is one, then he is doing it so discreetly that the mainstream media do not report him. Saddest of all, foreign judges now decide the behavior and beliefs of British people. Those same British people once used to sing that they never never never would be slaves.



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