More than one article on the recent High Court ruling in England about Mr. and Mrs. Johns's desire to give foster care has focused on the irony: In a country with an actual establishment of religion, the judges ruled that Christianity has "no place" in the law in England. An irony indeed. But the real story, which is to say, the really urgent story, is to be found not in that irony but in the title of the linked piece: "Christianity isn't dying, it's being eradicated."
Mr. and Mrs. Johns were not asking on the basis of the Anglican establishment and a central role of Christianity in English law that they be allowed to provide foster care. They were asking on the basis of common sense and, for what it's worth, the fact that British non-discrimination law supposedly includes religion, that they not be discriminated against as foster parents merely because of their belief that homosexual acts are wrong--which they rightly call "normal, mainstream, Christian views." They were asking that they be able to continue to offer the foster care they had previously offered for many years, to the benefit of many children.
What the judges' ruling really means is not merely that Britain no longer recognizes an establishment of religion as having any particular force in law. That probably went without saying a long time ago. What their ruling means instead is that aggressive, anti-Christian secularism with a pro-homosexual component is itself the state religion of England and that dissenters from this state religion will be disfavored by the state.
Recall what Mr. and Mrs. Johns were told: The local council told them that they would have to tell children (ages 5-8) that it is "okay to be homosexual"--i.e., to be a sexually active homosexual. They were also given the option of being "reeducated" on the subject. A generous totalitarian state, that.
It is because they would not submit to these demands that they are excluded from giving foster care, on the grounds that they might "harm" a child by not telling the child that homosexual sodomy is okay. The mind boggles.
Their lordships are predictably smug and smarmy:
Religion – whatever the particular believer’s faith – is no doubt something to be encouraged but it is not the business of government or of the secular courts, though the courts will, of course, pay every respect and give great weight to the individual’s religious principles.
Which is a patent lie, as no weight has been given whatsoever to the religious principles of Mr. and Mrs. Johns. On the contrary; their principles are considered harmful to children.
This attitude and actions based on it have already come to the United States. Julea Ward was expelled from the Eastern Michigan University counseling program for refusing to engage in "gay-affirming" counseling. (She had the temerity to ask to refer homosexual clients seeking relationship counseling rather than affirm their relationships.) A federal judge, rendering summary judgment in favor of EMU, argued that any judgementalism could be "harmful" to homosexual clients and that therefore the university had an important educational goal in teaching Ward to counsel in a non-harmful--i.e., affirming--fashion concerning homosexual acts. (This ruling is the subject of a forthcoming article I have submitted to The Christendom Review.)
As I said in the comments on my earlier post on the Johns case in England, it really is a zero-sum game: Homosexual activists demand, insist on, active approval of their actions and lifestyle. Silence is not sufficient. Leaving them alone is not sufficient. Those are not their goals. Society must affirm them actively, loudly, and in all spheres of life. Those golden-hearted souls who wish to take on the exhausting task of helping others--like Mr. and Mrs. Johns and Julea Ward--are the ones hit first by this requirement. In those areas, the homosexual agenda now has such power that if you wish to help, they will define you instead as "harmful" if you do not promote their ideology. It is that stark. If you disagree with them, you are out. You may not help. You may not have the job. You may not do the work. It's the serious Christians or the homosexual activists. Both cannot win. Given the demands, no compromise is possible. We should not fool ourselves.