A Rubicon has been crossed

A Rubicon has been crossed

 As legend has it “crossing the Rubicon” refers to “the point of no return” because once Julius Caesar crossed this shallow river in Northern Italy in 49BC war was inevitable.

A ruling from the High Court in England has in effect declared war on traditional Christian values, the very values which shaped much of the law of our land: the dignity of humankind; the right to hold to private beliefs and express them publicly; and the abiding wisdom of God’s 10 commandments, to name just a few.

Mr and Mrs Johns believe that Christianity teaches that homosexual conduct is wrong.  They believe that this is what the church teaches and they think that this is to be found in the bible.  To teach a foster child in their care that homosexuality was right would be in contradiction of their faith.  As Mrs John’s says: “All we were not willing to do was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing” (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-12598896).

The high court has ruled that protecting a person from being discriminated because of sexual orientation trumps protecting a person against discrimination because of their religious beliefs.

So now it seems: Christianity is an oppressive and an unhealthy place to bring up foster children.  The downward spiral our society has experienced is-

  • Denial of Christian beliefs;
  • Loss of Christian behaviour;
  • The conviction that Christian beliefs and behaviour are not good but bad for society and even to teach a child Christian morality is harmful to their well being.

A foundational part of equality is the right to hold your own views and not to contravene your own conscience.  But modern England today, like ancient Rome has “exchanged the truth for a lie” (Romans 1:25):

My conscience and common sense dictate that I must continue to say:

1)     That children thrive in heterosexual relationships when brought up by the good role models of a mother and a father who have pledged to stay together for life;

2)     That homosexuality is bad for the body (anatomically), and it fails to recognise genetic and biological differences between men and women;

3)     Ultimately society requires opposite gender sexual intercourse in order to produce children and generally people are still agreed that traditional husband/wife families are good for society.

The dilemma is that if Christians continue to appeal to the Christian values which have shaped not only the Church but our legal system and the foundation of society, then I will be judged by many to be holding to oppressive and inhuman views.

We may feel that we have reached a point of no return.  But we should also bear in mind that our society has not quite yet got to the degenerate state of the Roman Empire (as described in Romans 1).  Paul’s conviction was that the message about Jesus Christ is the power of God for salvation for all believe.  Many have argued that despite Caesar’s great conquests, it was the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which ultimately contributed to the Fall of Rome.  The Rubicon may be crossed but ultimate victory belongs to God.

See more Christian responses to the Mr & Mrs Johns High Court ruling over Foster Care:

Peter Ould on popular reportings of the case misreading the judgement http://www.peter-ould.net/2011/03/01/breaking-christians-with-traditional-moral-views-can-still-be-foster-parents/;

Cramner blog on the challenge of privileging Discrimination laws http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2011/03/laws-and-usages-of-realm-do-not-include.html


http://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/blog/fostercouple;  http://ugleyvicar.blogspot.com/


7 thoughts on “A Rubicon has been crossed

  1. David March 1, 2011 / 1:03 am

    This is the judgement of the society that has encouraged “no fault” divorce and personal fulfilment children – leaving divorced and single parents struggling to raise children, and exposing them to poor outcomes and the parent to high stress. It is the society that has generated huge amounts of STDs due to rejoicing in casual sex – that render many young women infertile, condemn many people to a life on medication and even kill people, and it is the society where relationship breakdown is so bad that many people are left lonely and depressed..

    And now this society thinks that it is able to discern that loving foster parents disapproving of one form of sexual desire is so harmful that the child would be better off left in a childrens’ home ( despite that society disapproving of other sexual desires itself)… or is this just to punish the heretics – ignoring the best interests of the child?


  2. Ian Paul March 1, 2011 / 4:23 pm

    Simon, thanks for this. Having read the actual ruling (from Christian Concern) I am not sure whether the Rubicon has been crossed or whether just splashed in. Contrary to their very good discussion on Radio 4 this morning, in the previous interviews the couple said they would try to change the orientation of a gay person they were caring for.

    And their is the big question of whether this constitutes the offering of a public/professional service, which the judge has taken it as.


    • metamorphe March 1, 2011 / 4:28 pm

      Thanks for this Ian – yes I heard that interview on Radio 4 which concurs with my thoughts in this post: having said that, of course, they are not the most articulate couple for the cause, but rather are sincere and godly people who want to be able to continue to do what they have always done in good conscience. It will be interesting to see how this judgement is treated in other courts, particularly whether sexual discrimation laws are conceived of as matters of justice and human rights which do indeed trump matters of personal conviction and free speech. I fear we are further on the other side than maybe you concede, but would be delighted to be proved wrong!


      • Ian Paul March 1, 2011 / 6:14 pm

        Perhaps, but it was interesting that the Judge’s ruling was very critical of Lord Carey’s contribution–not on this ground, but on his failure to understand a point of law…


      • Ian Paul March 1, 2011 / 7:32 pm

        …though having read Robert Piggott’s summary of the implications I am more inclined to agree with you…


  3. metamorphe March 2, 2011 / 9:27 am

    See updated blogs at the bottom of the post which are helpful in terms of what the judgement actually says (important to actaully read that)- Peter Ould; and some of the implications on Discrimination and Equality laws over against the previous privileging of Christian faith (Cramner blog)


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