The dead hand of the State intruding on freedom of religious belief

Where on earth (for it’s not from heaven) does this government get its inspiration for this kind of policy making on the hoof?

The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages, the government has announced.

What next? Regulating the size and ingredients of communion wafers? Setting a maximum alcohol by volume percentage for altar wine? How about the pews? Will there be legislation to ban churches from having kneeling cushion padding thinner than an inch?

The State has no business interfering in matters of religious conscience in this way. Being somewhat libertarian I go with the concept of people and organisations being allowed to do as they see fit, providing it does not cause harm to the well-being of others. If a church wishes to sanction same sex marriage, that is a matter for them. If a church opposes same sex marriage, that too is a matter for them.

A potential can of worms involving EU law, which the government is hoping to avoid by specifically banning the CofE from conducting same sex marriages, is only looming on the horizon because government would not leave alone something it had no business involving itself with in the first place.

When a government starts legislating in matters such as this in such a way, regardless if they think they have people’s best interests at heart, it is demonstrating it is far over reaching itself and has too much power. That should be a concern for us all.

Freedom is not something that can be granted to us from an office, it is ours by right. When a government confers freedoms and rights on us, it is showing we are not free at all because it can just as easily take away anything it has given. The CofE may be the established church in this country, but nevertheless it should be free of political interference and diktat. Cameron & Co are showing it is not.

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16 Responses to “The dead hand of the State intruding on freedom of religious belief”


  1. 1 Joe Public 11/12/2012 at 1:53 pm

    I’d prefer the comment:-

    “The government will be banned in law from allowing same-sex marriages, the Church of England and Church in Wales have announced.”

  2. 2 Edward. 11/12/2012 at 2:02 pm

    All cultural Marxism is compromise and cant.

    That is why it was so designed, the Frankfurt School dissemblers must be so pleased with their work, the results have exceeded even their wildest expectations and have further undermined the Christian Church in England – which is precisely why it [legalise and legislate for gay marriage] was ‘proposed’ in the first place.

  3. 3 Dave 11/12/2012 at 2:36 pm

    Seeking lesbo for love, romance and mabye more.
    Must be competant veggie cook and can clean the hoose.

  4. 4 Paul 11/12/2012 at 3:56 pm

    Again, this also seems totalitarian.

    What if, as may very well happen, there are elements of the Church that actively want to perform same-sex marriages at a later date? It puts the church into a corner where they are seen as uniformly homophobic bigots and will no doubt to, you guessed it, another war within the church between the pro-gay marriage liberals and the anti-gay marriage conservatives. It paints everyone into a corner.

    This piece of law is an absolute disgrace. It wasn’t in the Conservative Party’s 2010 manifesto – indeed, there is no mention of this.

    I share your libertarianism, AM, and this should be binned. The State should keep the hell out of this sort of thing.

  5. 5 grahamwood32 11/12/2012 at 5:01 pm

    Agree with all comments, and yes, the government’s presumptusous arrogance is an absolute disgrace.
    There is another element in these proposals which is a ticking time bomb, and no doubt will be the subjected of much dispute in coming days for it conerns a vital principle. That is – the government has no legal or moral (let alone spiritual) authority to intrude into the internal affairs of churches.
    (There have been historic and intensly fought precedents on this)

    If a government can claim jurisdiction over churches to prescribe by law doctrine or practice, then that can be a very slippery slope, setting a dangerous precedent. What starts as a step in the wrong direction can be repeated in other areas, and the autonomy of churches in freedom from the State will be in danger.

  6. 6 Autonomous Mind 11/12/2012 at 5:28 pm

    When people suggested this country be more like Norway they meant being outside the EU, not having the church controlled by the state. What a surprise Cameron opted for the ‘big government’ interpretation.

  7. 7 james higham 11/12/2012 at 8:16 pm

    Just been saying over at AKH that this is deeply puzzling. Is he trying to split the party, hoping to align his centre with the Labour right and the saner Lib Dems into some uberparty? Possibly he thinks that would strand the right at about 20% and they’d never challenge again.

    Problem with that is that opinion has shifted up and down the country and is more aligned with the right than it is with the discredited centre-left.

  8. 8 Dave Faulks (@caedmonscat) 11/12/2012 at 9:26 pm

    I wonder if Caedmeron was leaned on by some influential body, and ordered by them to promote this hip, cool and trendy,irrational guff pastry? As many have already observed, it’s a measure that can’t fail to severely weaken the Tree Party by alienating its core membership, and is surely the action of someone whose political judgement is severely deranged.

  9. 9 Andy Baxter 12/12/2012 at 12:00 am

    I’d kinda love to see, in a deliciously ironic sort of way, TPTB response (lots of “errms” and “uhmmms” and awkward clearing of throats methinks) to a Mosque flat out refusing to ‘marry’ two muslims…..on religious grounds against the legislation if given Royal Assent?

    One cannot have one rule for some and another for t’others, that would be unfair and unequal before the law!

    Or are the ‘religion of peace’ places of worship to be exempted from such concence based interefering…?

    just asking…..

  10. 10 Andy Baxter 12/12/2012 at 12:02 am

    E&O should read:

    ‘two homosexual muslims’

  11. 11 Furor Teutonicus 12/12/2012 at 4:52 pm

    Hold on…Have I been reading it wrong?

    I thought the last thing Commyron said, was that the churces would be FORCED into marrying queers? Anf the uproar was all about THAT?

    Or have I slipped into some parallel world whislt I wasn’t watching?

  12. 12 Martin Frankis 13/12/2012 at 11:19 am

    Cameron needs to focus on 1 Employing the unemployed-decently. 2 Housing the homeless-decently 3 Punishing criminals-properly especially paedophiles…to be continued

  13. 13 cosmic 13/12/2012 at 2:15 pm

    @ Furor Teutonicus

    I gather they’ve discovered that forcing churches on this issue would be poison and particularly toxic to have the C of E having anything to do with it hence the latest codge.

    This episode strikes me as very bizarre altogether, seeing that there were already same sex civil partnerships and no one was pressing for marriage. I doubt they were contenplating forcing mosques to perform these ceremonies.

    It looks as if the government has gone off in this direction for reasons best known to itself, leaving everyone else rolling their eyes. It can’t admit it’s wrong and backdown, so we have a series of bodges to allow them to claim that the show is still on the road and it looks like more and more of a dog’s breakfast.

  14. 14 Furor Teutonicus 13/12/2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hmm. Rings a bit of a couple of bishops taking him down a dark alley and givingf him a doing.

    In a purely political and metophoric manner, of course.

  15. 15 Morningstar 24/12/2012 at 5:10 pm

    Cameron will ‘take power over the church’ by inventing an area of legislation over which Government has no current authority………. this then gives the ECJ and ECHR jurisdiction over an area overwhich it currently has none.

    Once he has banned the CoE from performing gay marriages – the lobbyists can then go to Europe for the ban to be overturned as discriminatory (and they will win.)

    It is a ‘political solution’ for which the problem was ‘invented’. At current standing the CoE is perfectly free to perform a ‘ceremony’ for gays if it so wishes……. marriage is a ‘civil function’ and the ‘Marriage itself’ just a ceremony conferring nothing extra other than a word. Marriage and ‘civil partnerships’ whether or not performed in church still ‘go on the database’ in the same way………. There is absolutely no reason for this legislation except to take authority over ‘the church’……… which I believe is specifically barred by Magna Carta ! Thus will be yet another illegal statute when accepted by Parliament.

  16. 16 Autonomous Mind 24/12/2012 at 8:25 pm

    For once someone has accurately referenced an article in Magna Carta that remains in force today… namely Article 1:

    “1. In the first place we have granted to God, and by this our present charter confirmed for us and our heirs forever that the English Church shall be free, and shall have her rights entire, and her liberties inviolate; and we will that it be thus observed; which is apparent from this that the freedom of elections, which is reckoned most important and very essential to the English Church, we, of our pure and unconstrained will, did grant, and did by our charter confirm and did obtain the ratification of the same from our lord, Pope Innocent III, before the quarrel arose between us and our barons: and this we will observe, and our will is that it be observed in good faith by our heirs forever. We have also granted to all freemen of our kingdom, for us and our heirs forever, all the underwritten liberties, to be had and held by them and their heirs, of us and our heirs forever.”

    Sadly there are too many people who wish all of Magna Carta was in force and therefore believe it is, despite the simple – if annoying – fact that no elected Parliament is bound by its predecessors and therefore all but three articles have been repealed.


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