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Be Alert!

Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Parliamentary Report Into SORS Represents Huge Concerns For Christian Freedoms

2nd March 2007 Summary On Wednesday 28 February the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) reported their findings on the Northern Ireland SORs and the proposed England, Wales and Scotland SORs (see link below for their full report). The highly concerning content of the Committee’s report is all the more significant because it will be used by the Government and politicians when finalising the content of (and voting on) the England, Wales and Scotland SORs in the next few weeks. WE URGE EVERY CHRISTIAN TO READ AND FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO OTHERS SO THAT THE FULL POSSIBLE IMPLICATIONS OF THE SEXUAL ORIENTATION REGULATIONS CAN BE UNDERSTOOD (further details on action that can be taken are given below). The importance of what this report reveals and the thrust of the secularist agenda cannot be underestimated. We need to understand this and communicate our concerns as widely as possible. We need to pray for a miracle that the Sexual Orientation Regulations would not become law. The JCHR report says the following: 1. “In our view, the prohibitions on discrimination in the Regulations limit the manifestations of religious beliefs and limitation is justifiable in a democratic society for the protection of the right of gay people not to be discriminated against” (paragraph 44). The Committee could not be clearer in saying that they believe the freedom to live a practising homosexual lifestyle trumps the freedom to live a religious lifestyle. The JCHR not only say that this is the position taken by the SORs, and that it is right that the SORs do so, but also that in their view, it would be unlawful to reverse the position and to allow the right of Christians to manifest their faith to override the right of homosexuals to practise their lifestyle. 2. “Where the manifestation of a belief conflicts with the right of gay people not to be discriminated against in their access to services as important as adoption services, it is in our view necessary and justifiable to limit the right to manifest the belief” (paragraph 52). 3. “In our view the Regulations should clearly apply to the curriculum, so that homosexual pupils are not subjected to teaching, as part of their religious education or other curriculum, that their sexual orientation is sinful or morally wrong”, and “We welcome the Government’s acceptance that [the Regulations] should apply to all schools […] without any exemption for particular types of school such as faith schools” (paragraphs 65 and 67). The Committee are explicit in their view that no Christian schools should have the right to promote marriage over homosexual relationships or hold to a Christian ethos that sex is only right in a heterosexual monogamous marriage. Rather, the JCHR want the Government to go further than their current proposals (the Government have argued the SORs do not apply to the curriculum) so that it would be illegal for a school to suggest in their teaching that extra-marital sexual relationships are morally wrong. 4. “In our view there is an important difference between this factual information [about sexual morality] being imparted in a descriptive way as part of a wide-ranging syllabus about different religions, and a curriculum which teaches a particular religion’s doctrinal beliefs as if they were objectively true. The latter is likely to lead to unjustifiable discrimination” (paragraph 67). This is an astounding statement which, without giving any justification, assumes Christianity cannot be ‘objectively true’ and that it should be illegal, even in a faith school, to teach that Christianity and its principles are ‘objectively true’. The JCHR instead say that it will be sufficient for a school to be able to ‘describe’ that one religion believes X about sexual morality, while another religion believes Y – allowing this sort of description while denying the right to promote a Christian view does not allow a school to have a religious ‘ethos’ (as the law currently allows) in any true sense of the word. The JCHR suggest that it will be illegal for faith schools to teach that the Bible is right in what it says about sexual morality. 5. “During the passage of the Equality Act, the House of Lords removed harassment on the grounds of religion or belief from the Bill […] In our view, however, different considerations apply in relation to sexual orientation, race and sex, because these are inherent characteristics. We therefore welcome the inclusion of harassment […] within the Northern Ireland Regulations and we recommend that it also be included in the forthcoming Regulations for the rest of Great Britain” (paragraph 56). Firstly, the JCHR claim that a person’s sexual orientation is the same as their race or sex as an ‘inherent characteristic’. This is of course a completely unfounded claim with no basis in science: whilst there is indisputable proof that race and sex are genetic, it is obvious that sexual orientation is not comparable in this regard, not least because no-one can change their race or sex whereas many people have felt oriented/tempted to same-sex relationships, as well as having felt oriented to heterosexual relationships. Secondly, the JCHR encourage the Government to go beyond their current proposals by creating a law making harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation illegal, whilst they recommend that there should be no such law making harassment on the grounds of religion or belief illegal. It is perhaps not surprising that the JCHR report promotes homosexual rights to such a degree whilst relegating the right to live out the Christian faith: one of the 11 members of the committee was MP Evan Harris, honorary President of the Lib Dem Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights as well as vice-president of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association. The fact is that the report of this Committee will be reported to the Government and other politicians unchallenged in its assertions, unless Christians take the time and effort to stand up and explain the truth that while unjustified discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation must rightly be opposed, for the benefit of society Christians must be free under British law to lovingly and compassionately hold to the clear teaching of the Gospel that God created sexual relationships to be enjoyed only within a monogamous heterosexual marriage. Please contact your local MPs and Peers to make this point, as well as contacting Ruth Kelly and the Department for Women and Equality (see contact details below) to stand up for truth. Use the link below to find lobbying information (such as finding the contact details of your local MP). Link The Joint Committee on Human Rights report into the SORs can be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200607/jtselect/jtrights/58/58.pdf A central page with documents on how to lobby MPs and Peers, including advice on finding contact details for MPs and Peers, can be found at http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/HowTo/howto.php Contact details The contact details for Ruth Kelly are: Post: Rt Hon Ruth Kelly MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. Telephone: 0207 944 3013 (Her department number) 0207 2193000 (this is the Parliament switchboard: simply ask for Ruth Kelly MP’s office) 0207944 4400 (this is the Communities and Local Government Department switchboard: ask for Ruth Kelly). House of Lords House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights Legislative Scrutiny: Sexual Orientation Regulations Sixth Report of Session 2006–07 Report, together with formal minutes Ordered by The House of Commons to be printed 26 February 2007 - Ordered by The House of Lords to be printed 26 February 2007 Summary In its recent Report on its future working practices the Committee indicated it would undertake more work in future on pre-legislative scrutiny and post-legislative scrutiny, the latter including the implementation of primary legislation through regulations. This is the Committee’s first post-legislative scrutiny Report this Session (paragraph 1). The Government intends to use its power in Part 3 of the Equality Act 2006 to make Regulations prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods, facilities and services, in education and in the exercise of public functions. Its Consultation Paper received over 3,000 responses but the Government has still not published its analysis and summary. In the meantime the Northern Ireland Regulations have raised difficult questions about the human rights implications of prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination, particularly in the context of faith-based organisations delivering social and other public services. The purpose of this Report is for the Committee to draw the attention of Parliament to its views on the human rights issues likely to be raised by the sexual orientation Regulations for Great Britain (paragraphs 2-5). In its Consultation Paper, the Government notes that there is clear evidence that lesbian, gay and bisexual people still face unacceptable discrimination and that its broad intention is to provide protection from sexual orientation discrimination in line with the approach taken in other anti-discrimination legislation. The new Regulations would come into effect at the same time as provisions prohibiting discrimination on grounds of religion or belief. In the Committee’s view the Consultation Paper and the Northern Ireland Sexual Orientation Regulations raise a number of significant human rights issues (paragraphs 6-20). The Committee welcomes the premise of the Consultation Paper and the Northern Ireland Regulations that there is now a firmly established principle that it is not acceptable for someone to be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. The Committee therefore welcomes the Government’s proposal to introduce regulations prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation as a significant human rights-enhancing measure (paragraphs 21-30). The Northern Ireland Regulations 17. The exemption for religious organisations is the Government’s response to the large number of responses to its consultation which raised this issue. It permits such organisations to: • restrict membership of the organisation • restrict participation in activities undertaken by the organisation • restrict the provision of goods, facilities and services in the course of activities undertaken by the organisation; or • restrict the use or disposal of premises owned and controlled by the organisation, but only if one of two conditions is satisfied: either it is necessary to comply with the doctrine of the organisation, or so as to avoid conflicting with the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers.25 The exemption does not apply to an organisation whose sole or main purpose is commercial, to bodies concerned with education, or to organisations providing goods, facilities or services, or performing certain functions, on behalf of a public authority under the terms of a contract for provision of that kind. See the full 29 page report (pdf doc) http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200607/jtselect/jtrights/58/58.pdf http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/HowTo/howto.php