The Corner

Religious Freedom across the Pond

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.

He added:

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 . . . 


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