Courts can’t be ‘swayed by Christian values’ or promote ‘virtue and morality,’ UK judge says
LONDON, October 31, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the British court system has said that only “secular” judges can serve a “multicultural” society, and that judges must not “be swayed by Christian values.”
“A secular judge must be wary of straying across the well-recognized divide between church and state,” Munby said in a speech to the first annual conference of the Law Society’s family law section in London.
In a speech in London last night, Munby disparaged “Victorian judges” who promoted ‘virtue and morality.” Such judges discouraged “vice and immorality” while maintaining a “very narrow view of sexual morality.”
“Happily for us, the days are past when the business of judges was the enforcement of morals or religious beliefs,” he said.
He praised the “disappearance, in an increasingly secular and pluralistic society, of what until comparatively recently was in large measure a commonly accepted package of moral, ethical and religious values.”
Munby said modern judges had in a sense displaced Christian clergy, whom, he said, have relinquished their prior position as the “defining voices of morality and of the law of marriage and the family.”
Anthony Ozimic, communications manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), told LifeSiteNews that this is not the first time Munby has “used his position to give succour to the idea that the move away from Judeo-Christian morality represents progress.”
In 2002, SPUC launched a suit against the British government over the legality of the abortifacient morning after pill. In the decision, Munby praised what he called “the crusade for sexual enlightenment in England.” He added, “We are at last in the modern world.”
Munby referred to pro-abortion witnesses provided by the abortion lobby as “very eminent medical experts,” and praised the Family Planning Association, one of the world’s busiest abortion providers and anti-family lobbyists, while arguing that the state had “no right to restrict contraception.”
“Far from being an impartial advocate of blind justice, Sir James is a well-known promoter of [his own] ideology,’” Ozimic added.
Munby was also the co-author of a decision that in 2010 rejected a hearing at the High Court to a Christian couple, Eunice and Owen Johns, who had been refused as foster parents because of their religious beliefs. The Johns’ had refused instructions from their local council to talk to their foster children about homosexuality as though it were an acceptable “lifestyle.”
In his speech, Munby addressed the issue of adoption, saying, “A child’s best interests have to be assessed by reference to general community standards, making due allowance for the entitlement of people, within the limits of what is permissible in accordance with those standards, to entertain very divergent views about the religious, moral, social and secular objectives they wish to pursue for themselves and for their children.”
Munby went on to say that judges must take an “essentially neutral view of religious beliefs” and not “weigh one religion against another.” All religions, he said, “are entitled to equal respect, so long as they are ‘legally and socially acceptable’ and not ‘immoral or socially obnoxious’ or ‘pernicious.’”
However, he pitted aspects of certain religions against others himself, drawing the line at young girls being forced into marriage and “honor killing,” practices found almost exclusively among the Islamic community, which he called “beyond the pale.”
Critics say that Justice Munby’s religious statements fly in the face of Britain’s constitution, with its officially established Church of England, with Queen Elizabeth II as its Supreme Governor.