While we were wonder what South West Devon MP Gary Streeter was getting up to instead of distancing himself from fundamentalist religious organisation with sponsored a ‘gay cure’ event, we came across his latest piece for Conservative Home, bemoaning the position of Christians in society.
Gary enjoys the labour of an intern from fundamentalist Christian organisation, CARE, which must have its own reason for peppering Parliament with workers on its payroll.
The Telegraph has warned against the tactics of CARE, and Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, a Christian himself, has called them a ‘bunch of homophobic bigots’.
We asked Gary about his involvement with CARE on the same day his Conservative Home piece was published – he still hasn’t got back to us. On hearing the news about CARE another MP, Labour’s Liz Kendall, was deeply offended, completely disagrees with such extreme views and has pulled out of the CARE internship programme.
Until we hear otherwise we can only assume Gary Streeter supports CARE’s extreme views, which really got us to thinking about the validity of his argument, so we asked the Devon Humanists to comment on Gary’s article.
Here’s what they say.
Christian MP Gary Streeter’s enquiry, produced jointly with the Evangelical Alliance UK, claims that sincerely held Christian beliefs have been ‘steamrollered’ by a secular and hostile state.
Yet, when challenged in the courts, none of the large number of cases brought by Christians claiming to be suffering discrimination have been successful. This isn’t due to persecution, but because the special rights demanded by some Christians were found to be unreasonable.
Christians don’t have fewer rights than others in the workplace and in our wider society. They have the same.
The courts, supported by our wider society, have firmly stated that discrimination against other people is not acceptable. This means that long-held privileges and discriminatory practices are being challenged.
In the long term we all benefit from equality and human rights legislation. Most people of all faiths and beliefs accept this important principal.