The mentally and morally “unfit” should be sterilized, Professor David Marsland, a sociologist and health expert, said this weekend. The professor made the remarks on the BBC radio program Iconoclasts, which advertises itself as the place to “think the unthinkable,” reports Hilary White, LifeSiteNews.com.
Pro-life advocates and disability rights campaigners have responded by saying that Marsland’s proposed system is a straightforward throwback to the coercive eugenics practices of the past.
Marsland, Emeritus Scholar of Sociology and Health Sciences at Brunel University, London and Professorial Research Fellow in Sociology at the University of Buckingham, told the BBC that “permanent sterilization” is the solution to child neglect and abuse.
“Children are abused or grossly neglected by a very small minority of inadequate parents.” Such parents, he said, are not distinguished by “disadvantage, poverty or exploitation,” he said, but by “a number or moral and mental inadequacies” caused by “serious mental defect,” “chronic mental illness” and drug addiction and alcoholism.
“Short of lifetime incarceration,” he said, the solution is “permanent sterilization.”
The debate, chaired by the BBC’s Edward Stourton, was held in response to a request by a local council in the West Midlands that wanted to force contraception on a 29-year-old woman who members of the council judged was mentally incapable of making decisions about childrearing. The judge in the case refused to permit it, saying such a decision would “raise profound questions about state intervention in private and family life.”
Children whose parents are alcoholics or drug addicts can be rescued from abusive situations, but, Marlsand said, “Why should we allow further predictable victims to be harmed by the same perpetrators? Here too, sterilization provides a dependable answer.”
He dismissed possible objections based on human rights, saying that “Rights is a grossly overused and fundamentally incoherent concept … Neither philosophers nor political activists can agree on the nature of human rights or on their extent.”
Complaints that court-ordered sterilization could be abused “should be ignored,” he added. “This argument would inhibit any and every action of social defense.”
Brian Clowes, director of research for Human Life International (HLI), told LifeSiteNews (LSN) that in his view Professor Marsland is just one more in a long line of eugenicists who want to solve human problems by erasing the humans who have them. Clowes compared Marsland to Lothrop Stoddard and Margaret Sanger, prominent early 20th century eugenicists who promoted contraception and sterilization for blacks, Catholics, the poor and the mentally ill and disabled whom they classified as “human weeds.”
He told LSN, “It does not seem to occur to Marsland that most severe child abuse is committed by people he might consider ‘perfectly normal,’ people like his elitist friends and neighbors.”
“Most frightening of all,” he said, “is Marsland’s dismissal of human rights. In essence, he is saying people have no rights whatsoever, because there is no universal agreement on what those rights actually are.”
The program, which aired on Saturday, August 28, also featured a professor of ethics and philosophy at Oxford, who expressed concern about Marland’s proposal, saying, “There are serious problems about who makes the decisions, and abuses.” Janet Radcliffe Richards, a Professor of Practical Philosophy at Oxford, continued, “I would dispute the argument that this is for the sake of the children.
“It’s curious case that if the child doesn’t exist, it can’t be harmed. And to say that it would be better for the child not to exist, you need to be able to say that its life is worse than nothing. Now I think that’s a difficult thing to do because most people are glad they exist.”
But Radcliffe Richards refused to reject categorically the notion of forced sterilization as a solution to social problems. She said there “is a really serious argument” about the “cost to the rest of society of allowing people to have children when you can pretty strongly predict that those children are going to be a nuisance.”
Marsland’s remarks also drew a response from Alison Davis, head of the campaign group No Less Human, who rejected his entire argument, saying that compulsory sterilization would itself be “an abuse of some of the most vulnerable people in society.”
Marsland’s closing comments, Davis said, were indicative of his anti-human perspective. In those remarks he said that nothing in the discussion had changed his mind, and that the reduction of births would be desirable since “there are too many people anyway.”
Davis commented, “As a disabled person myself I find his comments offensive, degrading and eugenic in content.
“The BBC is supposed to stand against prejudicial comments against any minority group. As such it is against it’s own code of conduct, as well as a breach of basic human decency, to broadcast such inflammatory and ableist views.”
Report from the Christian Telegraph
UK-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has told ANS that the “appalling human rights violations taking place in North Korea’s prison camps” will be highlighted in the European Parliament at two key events during this month (April 2010), reports Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST Ministries.
On April 7, 2010, former North Korean prisoner Shin Dong-hyuk, Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) will give evidence at a hearing to be held by the Subcommittee on Human Rights.
One week later, a major documentary film, Kimjongilia, will be screened at the European Parliament in Brussels as part of the One World human rights festival. The film provides an extraordinary insight into the shocking realities of conditions in North Korea’s prison camps through the personal testimonies of former prisoners.
The film’s Director, Nancy C. Heikin, and author, Pierre Rigoulot, will attend the event in the European Parliament hosted by CSW and Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) at 6.30pm in the Yehudi Menuhin Room.
These initiatives are the latest steps in a growing international campaign to raise awareness of the dire situation in North Korea’s prison camps. In November 2009, CSW hosted the visit of two former North Korean prisoners to London and Brussels, who gave evidence to a hearing in the House of Commons, including personal accounts of torture, starvation and slave labor.
CSW’s Advocacy Director Tina Lambert, who will give evidence at the hearing on April 7th, said: “We are delighted that the European Parliament is turning its attention to the desperate human rights situation in North Korea. Such a focus is long overdue and much needed, and we believe the combination of the evidence provided at the hearing, and the screening of Kimjongilia a week later, will help push the humanitarian crisis in North Korea’s gulags higher up the European Union’s agenda. It is time for the EU to seriously consider ways in which the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the North Korean regime can be investigated, and the culture of impunity addressed.”
Note from Dan Wooding: As one of the few Christian journalists to ever report from inside North Korea, I totally support this campaign to raise awareness of the terrible regime and the way it treats its people, especially the many thousands of believers there who are languishing in labor camps, or are being publically executed as an example to others.
No wonder that North Korea has again as won the dubious title of the world’s worst persecutor of Christians, according to the latest ranking released by religious liberty advocates Open Doors.
The communist nation has topped the mission organization’s World Watch List for eight consecutive years because of its long history of targeting Christians for arrest, torture and murder. California-based Open Doors USA estimates that of the 200,000 North Koreans languishing in political prisons, 40,000 to 60,000 of them are Christians.
“It is certainly not a shock that North Korea is No. 1 on the list of countries where Christians face the worst persecution,” said Open Doors USA President Carl Moeller. “There is no other country in the world where Christians are persecuted in such a horrible and systematic manner. Three generations of a family are often thrown into prison when one member is incarcerated.”
Report from the Christian Telegraph
A group of Anglicans, who are oppose the Church of England’s stand on matters such as homosexual clergy, have said the formation of their group does not mean it intends to cut its ties with the 77-million strong Anglican Communion, reports Ecumenical News International.
“We are a movement for the renewal and reformation and renewed mission focus of our church. We love our church,” said Bishop Wallace Benn of the southern England diocese of Lewes at the launch of the Fellowship of Confession Anglicans UK on 6 July. “We’re not going anywhere,” he said. “We believe that we stand for the historic Christian faith.”
Report from the Christian Telegraph
LOS ANGELES, July 23 (Compass Direct News) – Pakistani minority rights defender Joseph Francis has been unjustly jailed by Islamists and others who oppose his work on behalf of Christians, according to the legal aid organization Francis directs.
An Islamist in Punjab Province who said he had converted to Christianity subsequently converted a young woman to Islam and married her, setting into motion a series of spurious charges when her parents brought her to Francis for counsel, according to the Lahore-based Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS). Angered when her family brought her to Francis hoping he would counsel her away from Islam, Mehboob Basharat then arranged for baseless charges to be filed against Francis, director of CLAAS, for allegedly detaining her and setting her on fire, CLAAS officials said in a statement.
Francis was jailed on July 12 after Basharat filed specious charges against him for forging documents and concealing his travel out of the country while on bail. Those charges arose out of the previous case, in which Basharat arranged for the woman he converted to Islam to charge the CLAAS director and others with forcibly detaining and assaulting her in 2006 – even though she previously had told police she suffered no ill treatment at the CLAAS offices.
“His only crime was to help suffering parents of a young Christian girl who was taken away from her family,” according to the CLAAS statement.
Francis’ predicament began when Basharat went to Bishop Samuel Azariah of Raiwind diocese in 2006 and told him that he, his wife and two children had converted from Islam to Christianity. Since his conversion, he told Bishop Azariah, his Muslim family and friends had ostracized him, and he pleaded with the clergyman to employ him. Bishop Azariah gave him a job in the diocese and provided a living space for him on the church premises, according to CLAAS.
Though he never attended church services, Basharat started socializing with Christian families of the congregation and showed excessive interest in their daughters, according to CLAAS. Pastor Emmanuel Khokhar took note and gave Basharat a warning, according to CLAAS.
Basharat became close with Roma Masih, one of six daughters in a family at the congregation, and on Sept. 26, 2006 he took her to a Muslim education center called Jamia Naeemia Lahore, where she embraced Islam and took on the name Aisha; he later eloped with her, and on Nov. 26, 2006 they married under Islamic rites, according to CLAAS.
When her family found out, they went to Bishop Azariah, who referred them to CLAAS for help. Roma/Aisha’s parents, Khursheed Masih and Shamim Masih, asked Francis to talk with their daughter. Basharat, meantime, returned to Raiwind (25 kilometers from Lahore) to collect his first wife and children, at one point threatening Bishop Azariah when the clergyman tried to talk to him. On Dec. 23, 2006 Basharat allowed Roma/Aisha to go to her parents’ house. They immediately brought her to CLAAS offices, insisting that Francis keep her in the organization’s second-floor shelter for abused women.
“They said that if she stayed away from Basharat, maybe she will change her mind and come back to her family,” according to the CLAAS statement.
Roma/Aisha, some of her sisters and their mother stayed overnight at the shelter, and the convert told Francis that she was now a Muslim and did not wish to associate with “infidels.” Francis told Roma/Aisha’s parents that she now considered herself a Muslim and urged them not to insist on their daughter remaining with them, according to CLAAS.
Upon learning that the Masihs had taken their daughter to CLAAS offices, Basharat on Dec. 23, 2006 complained to police in Lahore that the Christian parents of his wife were detaining her. The next day, police summoned Francis. When he and Roma/Aisha arrived at the station that evening, Basharat and a crowd of 40-45 mullahs (Muslim clergy) were waiting for them.
Nevertheless, Roma/Aisha signed a statement at the police station saying that she had not been held hostage or detained against her will, that she went to CLAAS offices of her own free will and that no one misbehaved or ill-treated her there, according to CLAAS. She left with Basharat.
On Feb. 18, 2007, Basharat, Roma/Aisha and attorney Raja Nathaniel, a church-going attorney at odds with the local Christian community, held a press conference in which Basharat accused Bishop Azariah and Francis of abducting his new wife and forcing her to reconvert back to Christianity. Nathaniel, according to CLAAS, at times “has converted to Islam to marry young girls” and has several cases pending against him for illegally confiscating church property in Raiwind; CLAAS notes that in most of those cases it provides legal assistance to the church.
Three months after the press conference, under the guidance of Basharat and with the financial support of Nathaniel, Roma/Aisha filed charges at the Icchara, Lahore police station against her father, mother, three sisters, Bishop Azariah, Pastor Khokhar and Francis; she accused all of them of forcibly detaining her, mistreating her and attempting to burn her.
All of the accused obtained pre-arrest bail. In July 2007, Francis went to England at the invitation of the late former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, along with prominent political leaders, to attend a three-day conference in London. Summoned to a bail hearing on July 14, 2007, he came back on July 15, 2007 and appeared in court the next day, according to CLAAS.
On Dec. 24, 2008 Francis learned that Basharat had filed a new case against him, accusing him of concealing his travel abroad while on bail and forging a medical certificate. Also charged were CLAAS employee Ashar Sarfaraz and Sarfaraz’s brother-in-law, Zulfiqar Wilson.
The forgery charges arose after CLAAS submitted a medical certificate indicating that Francis, who suffers from diabetes, was too ill to return quickly for the court hearing on July 14, 2007. CLAAS Program Officer Katherine Sapna said that former CLAAS staff members Aneeqa Maria Akthar and Justin Gill submitted the medical certificate, but Akthar told Compass neither she nor Gill submitted any documents related to the certificate and never went to the court. She added that CLAAS had not even assigned her to the case.
“When someone submits any document before the court,” she told Compass, “the court takes the submission by getting signatures of a person who submits the document, and certainly there are no signatures of mine.”
She acknowledged that she discussed the matter with CLAAS lawyers at the time – Akbar Munawar Durrani, Tahir Gull and Aric John – and that she suggested that if Francis were to try to return in time for the July 14 court summons, it would cause an undue hardship on him as a diabetic to appear in court after arriving in Pakistan from England early in the morning.
“It was just a suggestion, and it did not lead to [me committing] forgery,” she said. “Instead, Ashar Sarfaraz heard this and he went to the doctor himself who was treating Mr. Francis, without asking or telling any of us, and got the certificate. He also submitted the certificate himself in the court, and not the lawyers.”
On these charges Francis obtained pre-arrest bail on Dec. 29, 2008, and when CLAAS filed a petition in Lahore High Court for the dismissal of this case, the court set a hearing for June 8, according to CLAAS.
At that hearing, Basharat’s lawyer accused Francis not only of being in contempt of court by having traveled abroad while on bail but of using his influence to harass Roma/Aisha into forsaking Islam – the young woman’s remaining a Muslim notwithstanding.
Francis’ counsel tried to explain to the court that Basharat and his wife were “misleading the court by purposely making it a religious issue for their own vested interest.” They informed the court that his travel was not concealed but public knowledge, having been published in major newspapers, and that therefore Francis had no reason to prepare or submit any documents explaining his actions.
“But the court overlooked every argument and dismissed the petition for dismissal,” according to CLAAS’ statement. “On July 9, the same judge who dismissed the petition rejected Mr. Joseph Francis’ bail in this case and ordered the police to arrest Mr. Francis.”
This is not the first time that Pakistani courts have put their bias against Christians on display, according to CLAAS.
“Over the years, CLAAS has perused several such cases in which law was overlooked and justice was denied to victims on the basis of their religion, gender, political affiliation and social status,” organization officials said in the statement.
CLAAS urged proponents of human rights to write the Pakistani president, prime minister, foreign and interior ministers, chief justice, federal minister of Law Justice and Human Rights, and Pakistani Embassies around the world.
Report from Compass Direct News
I have recently come across an article penned by Peter Masters of the ‘Metropolitan Tabernacle, in London, England. Writing in the ‘Sword & Trowel’ 2009, No 1, Peter Masters attacks what he calls the ‘New Calvinism,’ in a scathing assault on what he sees as the merger of Calvinism with Worldliness.
I have also come across an article written by Collin Hansen (to which Masters refers) in the September 2006 edition of ‘Christianity Today,’ in which he investigates what he calls a resurgent Calvinism, a Calvinism that is making a comeback and shaking up the church. This resurgent Calvinism is that which Peter Masters criticizes.
Peter Masters calls the Hansen article a book, so I am not sure that the entire ‘book’ appears in Christianity Today or whether it is an excerpt from it.
The Hansen article doesn’t come to any conclusions about Calvinism, though it does include a number of people and their comments that are opposed to Calvinism. It also includes people and their comments that wholeheartedly support Calvinism. There seems to be a sigh of relief that the Calvinist resurgence finds its root in the Scriptures and has a major commitment to them and what they teach, so all is not as bad as may first appear.
It is difficult, not being familiar with Collin Hansen, to pinpoint just where he himself stands on ‘Calvinism’ from the article itself.
However, in the Peter Masters article it is clear that he stands opposed to the ‘New Calvinism’ that he detects in the resurgent Calvinism of our day in England and the United States. Far from being pleased with the rise in numbers of those holding to Calvinistic teachings, he is concerned over what he perceives as a merging of Calvinism with Worldliness, and on some points I would have to agree.
I am not yet convinced that he is right in every area of his criticism of resurgent Calvinism as I do not believe you need to embrace the Puritans ‘legalism’ in respect to matters indifferent in order to appreciate the Puritans overall. Nor do I think you need to embrace that legalist spirit in order to stand alongside the Puritans in those matters vital to Christianity, especially from a Reformed perspective.
However, I do agree with some of what Peter Masters has to say concerning the ministry of some of the men he recognizes as leaders in the ‘New Calvinism.’ For example, I would agree with a large amount of what Mark Driscoll has to say and teach – but the manner in which he teaches it, using language that can be described as offensive, is not the way to do it. I have not heard Driscoll preach myself, but I understand he often uses questionable language in order to be relevant to the lost of this current age. What Masters has to say in this respect is quite right in my opinion.
I also question the need to embrace so readily the entertainment of the world as part of the worship service. So as to be clear, I have listened to a lot of secular music, though I draw the line at what I find to be unwholesome and much of today’s current music in exactly that and I largely do not listen to it. I do not believe it necessary however, to imitate the secular style of music and to import it into the worship service. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this means the entire banning of contemporary music, just that greater care needs to be taken in reaching a position on whether to include it in the worship service at any particular time – not including it simply to be ‘relevant.’
I, like Peter Masters, have grave concerns about the Calvinism that I hold to (Particular Baptist) being united with a Charismatic style of it. For me, this has no place and I find it difficult to believe that leaders of such calibre as John Macarthur and John Piper are happy to be united in conferences where Charismatic worship practices occur, etc.
I think overall Peter Masters is saying what I have been saying about the growing trend in reformed circles towards pragmatism. He says it a lot better than me of course. There is a growing embrace of church growth like behaviour and seeker sensitive styled practices that embrace worldliness as a means of attracting people to church.
I found myself being concerned with whole far Peter Masters went in his denunciation of the ‘New Calvinism.’ However, the more I think about it the more right he seems to be.
Masters calls many of the ‘New Calvinist’ leaders brilliant men and I would agree with him. I greatly admire John Macarthur and his associates, and I am sure I would also find much of what John Piper and the others have to say equally as helpful. But I am concerned with what Peter Masters has outlined in his article. I am also a little confused because I thought this was the sort of thing that John Macarthur has also decried in many of his books. I find myself finding it difficult to believe that he could be caught up in this blend that the ‘New Calvinism’ appears to be.
I certainly don’t write off everything that this resurgent Calvinism is doing. I know these men are wholeheartedly committed to the same truths as the Reformers and Puritans held dear. i do not doubt that at all. I also think they are doing much good. But if what Peter Masters is highlighting is true of this movement, than there is great need for concern I think. The real and full consequences of this approach will not be seen until the next generation and I fear those consequences will bring much harm to the church.
The Anglican minister who undertook to perform a much publicized “marriage” ceremony for two of his fellow clergy in a Church of England parish last May has expressed regret for his actions, which were in direct defiance of Church of England rules, and is being let off with a slap on the wrist, reports Thaddeus M. Baklinski, LifeSiteNews.com.
Rev. Dr. Martin Dudley officiated at the homosexual “wedding” of two homosexual clergy at St. Bartholomew the Great church in London, using a slightly modified version of the Church of England’s marriage ceremony. The modified form began, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God to join these men in a holy covenant of love and fidelity.”
The ceremony occurred at a particularly sensitive time for the Church of England – in the immediate and heated leadup to the decennial Lambeth Conference, an event that numerous traditional Anglican priests and bishops ultimately boycotted due to the Anglican Church’s increasingly brazen rejection of Christian sexual ethics. Rev. Dudley’s actions were immediately condemned by bishops in the traditional Global South.
The Most Rev. Henry Orombi, the Archbishop of Uganda, called the ceremony “blasphemous” and called on Rowan Williams to take decisive action, warning that the Anglican Church could “disintegrate.” Archbishop Orombi added, “What really shocks me is that this is happening in the Church of England that first brought the Gospel to us.”
The Bishop of London, the Right Rev. Richard Chartres, ordered an investigation into the proceedings, which involved “a series of frank discussions with the Rector,” a diocesan statement issued yesterday said.
In his letter to Dudley, dated 18 Jun 2008, Bishop Chartres said, “You have sought to justify your actions to the BBC and in various newspapers but have failed more than two weeks after the service to communicate with me.”
“The point at issue,” continued the bishop, “is not Civil Partnerships themselves or the relation of biblical teaching to homosexual practice. The real issue is whether you wilfully defied the discipline of the Church and broke your oath of canonical obedience to your Bishop.”
Bishop Chartres concluded by warning Dudley, “St Bartholomew’s is not a personal fiefdom. You serve there as an ordained minister of the Church of England, under the authority of the Canons and as someone who enjoys my licence. I have already asked the Archdeacon of London to commence the investigation and I shall be referring the matter to the Chancellor of the Diocese. Before I do this, I am giving you an opportunity to make representations to me direct.”
In a letter to the bishop dated July 21 but not released publicly until posted on the London diocese web site today, Rev. Dudley promised that he wouldn’t do it again unless church policy changes.
In it Rev. Dudley said: “I regret the embarrassment caused to you by this event and by its subsequent portrayal in the media. I now recognise that I should not have responded positively to the request for this service.”
“I can now appreciate that the service held at St Bartholomew the Great on 31 May 2008 was inconsistent with the terms of the Pastoral Statement from the House of Bishops issued in 2005,” he said.
“Nonetheless, I am willing to abide by its content in the future, until such time as it is rescinded or amended, and I undertake not to provide any form of blessing for same sex couples registering civil partnerships.”
The diocesan statement then concluded that both sides had agreed to put the incident behind them: “As a consequence, the Rector has made expressly clear his regret over what happened at St Bartholomew the Great and accepted the service should not have taken place.
“Bishop Richard considered the matter and has decided to accept the Rector’s apology in full. The matter is therefore now closed.”
Report from the Christian Telegraph
There are effectively two religions being practised in the Church of England, a leader of the evangelical or traditionally Protestant wing of the Anglican Church said this week, reports Hilary White, LifeSiteNews.com. On one side are the theologically ultra-liberal leadership who support not only women’s ordination but homosexuality, while on the other are those who hold to traditionally Christian and biblical principles.
The Rev. Rod Thomas was speaking to the annual conference of the Reform movement in London this week. Thomas said that at least twenty-five parishes, representing up to 3000 practising Anglicans in the UK, are already seeking alternate oversight from bishops not associated with the ultra-liberal theological trends that dominate the Church of England.
“We are actively going to take forward the agenda of alternative episcopal oversight. We are no longer able to sit back and wait to see what happens,” Rev. Thomas said.
“The most radical scenario which I don’t discount, but neither am I saying we are pressing for, is where you have a shortlist of names and ask overseas persons to consecrate them so they cater for individuals in this country.”
The Reform movement was founded in 1993 to oppose the ordination of women as clergy in the Church of England and represents the established Church’s traditional protestant or “evangelical” wing.
Thomas urged support from Reform Anglicans for the Fellowship of the Confessing Anglicans, a body set up by the bishops who attended this summer’s Global Anglican Futures Conference in Jerusalem.
Thomas said that the group believes in remaining within an “an Episcopal church for good theological and pragmatic reasons.”
“However, where the teaching and actions of a bishop promote an unbiblical way of thinking, then we simply have to look elsewhere for a bishop.
“If we fail to do this then our congregations will not see us taking New Testament teaching seriously and the process of accommodation will continue,” he said.
This summer’s Lambeth Conference issued instructions for Anglican congregations not to continue to seek “cross-border” oversight from bishops outside traditional Anglican episcopal boundaries.
Meanwhile traditionally Christian congregations in the US are winning their cases in courts to retain their parish properties while at the same time removing themselves from oversight by the Episcopal Church of the US (ECUSA). In the Diocese of Virginia this week, a judge ruled that a parcel of land given by Christ the Redeemer Episcopal Church was properly deeded to Truro Church, a traditional church, and that the diocese has no claim to it. The diocese has recently lost three times in lawsuits to retain some dozen church properties.
Conservative Anglican writer and commentator David Virtue wrote, “The Anglican Communion is coming apart at the seams while Dr. Rowan Williams tells a London reporter that he admires the atheist [Dr. Richard] Dawkins.” Dr. Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, was reported to have recently said about Dawkins, “There’s something about his swashbuckling side which is endearing. I invited atheism’s high priest and his wife to a Lambeth Palace party last year. They were absolutely delightful.”
Report from the Christian Telegraph
According to news reports, a Church of England priest has been ordered by his superiors to remove a Blog posting in which he called for homosexual men to have their rear ends tattooed with a warning about their homosexual practices. Peter Mullen posted that it should be obligatory for homosexuals to have ‘Sodomy can Seriously Damage Your Health’ on their backsides and ‘Fellatio Kills’ on their chins.
According to the Diocese of London the posting was highly offensive and did not reflect its views, therefore the priest was ordered to remove the post.
According to the priest his views were meant to be ‘light-hearted jokes’ and were also meant to be ‘satirical.
Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, said he was shocked at the furor that arose after he told an audience earlier this year that he thought it “seems unavoidable” that some accommodation for Islamic sharia law would be implemented in Britain. However, Williams’ statements evidently were prophetic, as a report in the Sunday Times has revealed that the Islamic law is already operating in Britain, not only in domestic disputes, but also in criminal cases, reports Hilary White, LifeSiteNews.com.
The Times said this weekend that the government had officially accepted the existence of sharia law courts to officiate in Muslim civil cases. The rulings of a network of five sharia courts, in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, are now enforceable “with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.”
Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, a barrister and head of the Muslim Action Committee, told the Times that the Arbitration Act 1996 allows rulings by his Muslim Arbitration Tribunal to be enforced by county and high courts.
“The act allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals. This method is called alternative dispute resolution, which for Muslims is what the sharia courts are,” he said.
Siddiqi said he expected the courts to handle a greater number of “smaller” criminal cases in coming years as more Muslim clients approach them. “All we are doing is regulating community affairs in these cases,” said Siddiqi.
The Times said that these Muslim courts started operating in August 2007 and have dealt with more than 100 cases, ranging from Muslim divorce and inheritance cases as well as six cases of domestic violence, normally a criminal procedure under British law. The Times quoted Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, who said that since Jewish tribunals operate in Britain, parity should be given to Islamic courts.
Dominic Grieve, the opposition’s shadow home secretary, told the Times that courts operating in criminal and family law cases outside the regular system would be “unlawful.” “British law is absolute and must remain so,” he said.
Melanie Philips, writing on her blog at the Spectator, wrote that “confusion abounds” over the report, because there is “nothing new here at all” and said that the story is “overheated and misleading.” Decisions of sharia courts, she said, have always been enforceable under the Arbitration Act.
But, she said, this does not “dispel the serious concern about the spread of sharia law and the scope of these courts.” Philips is the author of “Londonistan”, a book that examines the incursions of violent Islamic extremists into British society with the assistance of British government and courts.
She said the comparison between Islamic courts and Jewish tribunals were misleading, since the latter operate completely within the framework of British law and do not seek to set up an alternate judicial system.
Moreover, she said, “given the inferior status of Muslim women under sharia, any sharia arbitration in respect of domestic violence can hardly be viewed with equanimity.”
“The key point,” she said, “is that sharia law is not compatible with English law or the principles of equality and human rights that it embodies. The result … is that Britain is allowing the development of a de facto parallel legal system in Britain, thus destroying our society’s cardinal principle of one law for all.”
She added, “Indeed, if this continues Britain will break up as a unitary state governed by one law for all … This is the way a society fractures – and then goes under.”
Damian Thompson, the editor of the Catholic Herald, wrote on his blog at the Daily Telegraph website that he not only agreed with Dominic Grieve that the idea of a parallel Muslim system of law was “unlawful”, but that it is an “outrage.”
“There’s something creepy about the way the police allow sharia ‘courts’ to persuade women to withdraw allegations against their husbands.”
A BBC Radio 4 report found that the cases covered by these tribunals are not restricted to domestic disputes. Radio 4 quoted a Somalian youth worker who lives in London who said that in one case a group of Somali youths were arrested on suspicion of stabbing another Somali teenager. The victim’s family told the police it would be settled out of court and the suspects were released on bail. The matter was considered settled when an unofficial “court” ordered the assailants to compensate the victim’s family. Scotland Yard said they had no record of the incident.
In his book Islam in Britain, Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, wrote, “Sharia courts now operate in most larger cities, with different sectarian and ethnic groups operating their own courts that cater to their specific needs according to their traditions.”
Report from the Christian Telegraph