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20 January 2013

Our Nation Is On Its Knees To The Church Of Human Rights

The Church of Human Rights

By Peter Hitchens

Human Rights are the State religion of Europe, the unpleasant new country in which we are now trapped. These supposed rights have expelled and replaced Christianity. They have shrunk  the human conscience and vastly increased the power of the State.

That is why it was no use  anyone going to the Strasbourg Court to win back Christianity’s lost status as the dominant faith of Britain. The Church has been humiliated. Britain no longer exists.

True, you can now wear a cross while working for British Airways. But you have that freedom because you are now just another protected minority, which has no more rights or standing than other faiths, such as Atheism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism or Hinduism.

British Airways employee Nadia Eweida celebrates after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that she had suffered discrimination at work because of her faith

British Airways employee Nadia Eweida celebrates after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that she had suffered discrimination at work because of her faith

In fact, the Christian religion is worse off than all the others because it has to be constantly reminded that it is not the national religion any more.

This means regular slaps and humiliations of the kind handed out by occupying powers to troublesome peoples not yet used to being subjugated.

The most devastating of these was delivered two years ago by Lord Justice Laws, who personally humbled Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, before jeering at religious opinions as ‘irrational’.

He intoned: ‘The precepts of any one religion – any belief system – cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other.’

I don’t like this judgment, but it is a deadly accurate statement of the position.

This country’s official faith, as people are slowly discovering, is a code of ideas called ‘Equality and Diversity’, based on several European Directives but put into law in Britain mainly through the Equality Act 2010.

The continued existence of a few rather wet bishops in the House of Lords, and various other baubles and trinkets in odd corners of the constitution, means nothing against the Equality and Diversity bulldozer, enacted by Harriet Harman with the willing help of her Tory counterpart, Theresa May. Its demands are written into the contracts of public employees, and supported by the politically correct public-sector unions.

Private firms that do business with the State are roped in. So are (as we have learned in recent years) the owners of small hotels and cafes, adoption agencies, housing associations and councils that have prayers before they meet.

It controls thought and speech in a new post-modern way. Today’s liberal bigots don’t crudely threaten to throw people in prison for saying things they disapprove of. That might result in protests even from the increasingly spineless people of this country. Instead, they menace our livelihoods. Speak out and you lose your job, with little hope of ever getting another.

This is, of course, tyrannical and brutal. But because it is not the Gestapo, the Stasi or the Gulag, we don’t recognise it for what it is.

And because it is done in the name of ‘Rights’ – which sound reassuring and friendly – we do not realise that it is, in fact, a deep and shameful wrong. And so it grows worse each day.

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