Monday, April 23, 2007

UK regulations on religion

By Tom Prichard

The increasingly aggressive and militant homosexual agenda is viewed for some observers as the greatest threat to religious liberties of Christians in the West. From the push for homosexual marriage to hate crimes laws reflect efforts to eliminate public disapproval and opposition to homosexuality. An excellent example is the United Kingdom’s new Sexual Orientation Regulations which would prohibit Christian schools, services and businesses from speaking or acting negatively towards homosexuality.

A couple of examples already illustrate what this means. First, Catholic adoption agencies in England will be forced to close their doors because of its policy of not placing adoptive children with homosexual couples. British government officials view this as discriminatory, and not as common sense. If Catholic agencies won’t change, then the government can shut down their Catholic adoptive services.

Then there’s the case of the Anglican bishop in Chester, England who said that homosexuals “could and should seek medical help to ‘reorient’ themselves”. For those comments the bishop was investigated by the local police. The local police chief “advised” him that, “civic leaders ought to promote diversity – including homosexuality… in a positive manner.”

Now with the new sexual orientation regulations, religious leaders of all faiths in England are concerned that the government will be aggressively going after speech or activities of those who believe homosexuality is wrong or unhealthy. This is of immediate concern to Christians in England, but it should also be of concern to Christians in the United States where the speech and behavior of people who believe homosexual behavior is wrong and harmful is also being targeted.