A senior member of the Liberal Party has said that “Christians feel that they are being forced to hide their religion because of “silly” interpretations of equality laws”.
Sir Alan Beith, the former deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats and chair of the Commons Justice Select Committee, has likened the misunderstandings to those surrounding health and safety regulation, where the rules can be overzealously applied for the wrong reasons.
Referring to recent high profile cases, some of which have gone to the EU courts, involving people being told not to wear religious symbols in the workplace, Sir Alan said that many Christians feel that they have to keep their faith “under wraps”.
However, the MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed said that an ill-informed sense of what it means for the state to be secular often led officials to try and hide anything relating to religious views while in “civil society”.
Speaking at the party’s conference in Glasgow, where he is also launching a book of essays called Liberal Democrats Do God, Sir Alan said: “I think that what a lot of people feel now is that they are being asked to hide their religion, that secularism requires not wearing religious symbols.
“I think that what has arisen is that people feeling that not only does the State have to separate itself from religion under secularism, but they are being asked really to hide and keep under wraps their religious views in civil society.
“Sometimes the completely false interpretation of laws, regulations and changes leads to that happening, when it wasn't even the intention in the first place - a bit like health and safety. You get silly things happening, which were not the intention of any legislative change.”
The MP's comments come after the case of Nadia Eweida, a British Airways check-in attendant who was sent home from work for wearing a crucifix.
So far this year, two street preachers have been arrested, School teachers reprimanded, Councilors forced to resign, Universities told to take down Christians symbols, Girl Guides reject God, many Christians persecuted because of equalities obsession and along with all this, Christians cant object to same sex marriage for fear of being called homophobic or bigot.
Tim Pearson of The Way said; Many Christians are treading on egg shells in their work place or in the wider society, worried that they may over step the mark by saying or doing the wrong thing. Persecution of the Jews started this way and we need to open our eye to where this is going. We must stand on the word of God, share our faith freely and know that “No weapon shall be formed against us will prosper” Isaiah 54 v 17
Posted by David Pilkingotn
Extract from www.independent.co.uk