Ghastly decline in right wing reporting standards

A rebuttal of the right wing media's manipulation of how a court dealt with a fostering case involving a Christian couple with anti-homosexual beliefs.

The issue of Christians with anti-homosexual beliefs fostering children continues to inspire hysterical coverage in the right wing press, despite rebuttals by this blog and elsewhere.

The Mail reports that a Christian couple “have been barred from fostering children because of their belief that homosexuality is wrong”, following comments from David Cameron that the couple were dealt with in an “appropriate way”.

In fact as pointed out by Ekklesia’s Symon Hill on Left Foot Forward the judges made no such ruling. Lord Justice Munby stated:

“No one is asserting that Christians (or, for that matter, Jews or Muslims) are not ‘fit and proper’ persons to foster or adopt. No one is contending for a blanket ban. No one is seeking to de-legitimise Christianity or any other faith or belief…

“No one is seeking to give Christians, Jews or Muslims or, indeed, peoples of any faith, a second class status.”

The Daily Express, railing against what it sees as the “ghastly decline this country has suffered over recent years at the hands of the ruling elite”, went as far as to say:

“Eunice and Owen Johns’s only crime, in the eyes of the court, is to be Christian.”

The court will no doubt be surprised to hear that they have ruled that being Christian is a crime. It’s worth repeating that the judges refused to rule on the Johns’ suitability to be foster parents and complained that the parties involved in the case failed to bring forward an issue that could receive a yes or no answer.

In fact the suggestion made by the judges on the issue was that it could be appropriate for a local authority to take prospective foster parents’ views on sexuality into account. The judges went on to say:

“This is not a prying intervention into mere belief… The local authority is entitled to explore the extent to which prospective foster carers’ beliefs may affect their behaviour, their treatment of a child being fostered by them.”

On the specific issue of religious belief Lord Justice Munby spoke on “what ought to be, but seemingly are not, well understood principles regulating the relationship of religion and law in our society”.

He went on to say:

“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…

“However, it is important to realise that reliance upon religious belief, however conscientious the belief and however ancient and respectable the religion, can never of itself immunise the believer from the reach of the secular law. And invocation of religious belief does not necessarily provide a defence to what is otherwise a valid claim.”

He concluded:

“So it is that the law must firmly safeguard the right to hold and express religious beliefs. Equally firmly, it must eschew any protection of such a belief’s content in the name only of its religious credentials. Both principles are necessary conditions of a free and rational regime.”

12 Responses to “Ghastly decline in right wing reporting standards”

  1. pollylovell

    RT @leftfootfwd: Ghastly decline in right wing reporting standards: http://bit.ly/if0H9a

  2. Alex Butler

    Right wing press twisting the truth and spewing to the masses http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/adoption-right-wing-myths/

  3. allyb92

    Right wing press twisting the truth and spewing to the masses http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/adoption-right-wing-myths/

  4. World Leaders News » Ghastly decline in right wing reporting standards – Left Foot Forward

    […] th&#1077 original &#1072t th&#1110&#1109 time: Ghastly decline &#1110n r&#1110&#609ht wing exposure values – Gone Bottom Forward Related Posts:David Cameron: Foster ban ruling was right on anti-gay Christian couple – Daily […]

  5. jt

    Ghastly decline in right wing reporting standards: The issue of Christians with anti-homosexual beliefs fosterin… http://bit.ly/f6CCPG

  6. Dances With Fascists

    Ghastly decline in right wing reporting standards: The issue of Christians with anti-homosexual beliefs fosterin… http://bit.ly/efSTHH

  7. 13eastie

    “Daily Fail”!

    PMSL!

    Doubtless the double irony of the descent to this level of childishness in a piece about both writing standards and child welfare was entirely intentional…

  8. Oli Sawtell

    RT @leftfootfwd: Ghastly decline in right wing reporting standards: http://bit.ly/if0H9a

  9. Mr. Sensible

    Why should we expect anything less from these papers?

  10. Jon Purdom

    I’ve found that as I’ve got older I’m becoming less and less sympathetic to the arguments that people need to do such and such because of their faith. I don’t have a problem with anyone holding whatever belief or superstition they like, but I think that any child is entitled to be brought up with a range of views so that when they reach adulthood they can make up their own mind.

    Because of this, my curent view is that faith schools (any faith) should be phased out so that children are not effectively brainwashed by exposure to a single belief system at home and in education.

    With regard to homosexuality, I would worry that parents with extremely strong predjudices against something that naturally occurs in many humans (and at least 500 other species) could cause serious psychological damage on a teenager that did not match a very specific ideal.

    Of course, there are gay christians, gay muslims and no doubt gay people of every religion there has ever been. Some reconcile their faith with their sexuality, whilst others make a choice between tham and probably live every day with some form of guilt.

    The bible contains thousands of opinions about what is right and wrong, not all of them compatible. To have a strong view about homosexuality, while having (for example) a mortgage, when the bible condemns usuary suggests that someone picks and chooses the parts that are important to them. Why do people hardly ever have views as strong about covetting their neighbour’s ox or turning the other cheek? I suspect it comes down to a sense of guilt that is passed down from generation to generation because of an inability to deal with sexual (and often emotional) feelings.

    So – nothing wrong with religious people adopting, but the child should have a right to decide what legal activities he or she takes part in – and not have to carry a burden of shame that is instilled from the parents.

  11. antigone

    Religion is the opiate of the ignorant.

    Whatever your belief system maybe,
    the law is above ideology.

  12. Simon Barrow

    RT @leftfootfwd: Ghastly decline in right wing reporting standards http://bit.ly/eY5Vz0

Leave a Reply