Government officials the new witchfinders in hate crime-obsessed Britain: legal expert
LONDON, October 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – British government officials and employees have become the new witchfinders general, “obsessively” searching for the slightest deviation from the doctrines of political correctness, a legal expert has told LifeSiteNews.com.
“The obsession with hate crime and hate speech has created a new generation of publicly paid heresy-hunters,” said Neil Addison, an expert in religious discrimination law.
This week the British press is buzzing over a case that Addison called the “most extreme so far” of publicly paid employees enforcing the doctrines of political correctness and stifling civil liberties, especially of believing Christians.
Adrian Smith, a 54 year-old Christian property manager, was demoted and took a 40 percent pay cut, when he wrote on a private Facebook page that he disagreed with a proposed law to allow same-sex union ceremonies to be conducted in churches.
Writing on his own page, which was not available to the public, Smith wrote that the move was “an equality too far.”
“The Bible is quite specific that marriage is for men and women,” Smith wrote. “If the State wants to offer civil marriages to the same sex then that is up to the State; but the State shouldn’t impose its rules on places of faith and conscience.”
His employer, the Trafford Housing Trust (THT), of Manchester, called him in to a disciplinary meeting and found him guilty of “gross misconduct.” The trust told Smith the only reason he was not being sacked outright was his 18 years of faultless service.
Addison, a practicing barrister and the author of a textbook on hate crimes legislation, said, “When I was a child, people in England used to say ‘I can say what I like, it’s a free country’. That is certainly no longer the case in Britain today.”
“The Adrian Smith case is only the latest and possibly the most extreme example of the fact that British public bodies have ceased to have any respect whatsoever for the principle of freedom of speech.”
On November 15th an employment tribunal in London will begin to hear the case of Margaret Forrester, who was sacked from her job as a mental health worker because she had shown a pro-life booklet that said women suffer from mental health consequences after abortions to colleagues.
Addison is representing Forrester in his capacity as Director of Thomas More Legal Centre, an organization that assists Christians suffering from officially endorsed religious discrimination.
“She, like Mr. Smith,” Addison said, “was disciplined and ultimately sacked simply for expressing an opinion. I think Stalin would feel quite at home here.”
The Smith case has generated outrage among some media commentators, even some on the left, who have said the trust’s action is a case of political correctness gone too far. Ally Fogg, writing on the far-left Guardian’s website, said that Trafford Housing Trust “couldn’t have got things more badly wrong.” An editorial in the Daily Mail accused the trust of “despotic behavior.”
Cristina Odone, a novelist and columnist for the Daily Telegraph, noted that in today’s Britain, dominated by secularists, it is the “brave soul” who admits publicly to being a Christian. Expressing a dissenting opinion based on religion, she noted, “can ruin your professional life even when it is expressed in private.”
“Nonconformists [‘Puritans’] more than 400 years ago found that they could not express their beliefs in a country where the established Church brooked no argument. Today, the Establishment is made up of secular individualists ready to run nonconformists out of the public space, if not yet out of the country,” Odone wrote.
“Being taken for a cretin, a creationist and a chauvinist is not much better than a spell in the stocks.”
Smith, who faces the possible loss of his home because of the dramatic pay cut, has launched a civil suit against the Trafford Housing Trust with the help of the Christian Institute, saying they violated his rights to freedom of expression and religion.
His lawyer, Tom Ellis of Manchester-based law firm Aughton Ainsworth, said that Smith was “shocked and distressed” at the incident.
“As a Christian, Adrian believes in the values of fairness, courtesy and respect for the opinions of others,” Ellis said. “These are the values of a mature and healthy society.
“Surely that leaves room for colleagues to discuss and even disagree about the topics of the day. Conversations like that happen in offices and factories up and down the country every day.”
To express concerns to the Trafford Housing Trust:
Trafford Housing Trust Limited Head Office
Sale Point, 126-150 Washway Road,
Phone: (+44) 0300 777 7777
Fax: (+44) 0300 777 7778
Minicom Number: (+44) 0161 969 0720
Email: [email protected]
Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.
I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:
Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.
Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.
After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.
The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.
So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.
When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.
Target boycott climbs to over 1 million
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.
The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”
Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.”
The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says.
The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children.
“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked.
There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins
CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.
Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.
At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.
“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.
“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”
“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”
Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.
But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.
The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.
Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.
“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”
Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:
The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.