Joined: 03 Jun 2005
|Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:24 am Post subject: GOVERMENT FIGHTS CHRISTIANITY BUT ALLOWS ISLAM,
|Government's legal fight AGAINST the right to wear a cross at work brings accusations it is 'sidelining Christianity'By Brendan Carlin
PUBLISHED: 01:08, 11 March 2012 | UPDATED: 01:08, 11 March 2012
Nadia Eweida claims she was discriminated against when her employers stopped her wearing a cross
The Government was last night accused of ‘sidelining’ Christianity for preparing a legal fight against believers having the right to wear the cross at work.
In a move branded ‘extraordinary’ by Christian groups, the Government was reported to be ready to argue against two British women at the European Court of Human Rights.
It is set to defend the right of employers to ban the cross as it is not a ‘requirement’ of the Christian faith to wear it. Bosses could then sack workers who insisted on wearing the symbol.
The move would potentially scupper the case being brought by two Christian women, Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin, who claim they were discriminated against when their employers stopped them wearing crosses.
The Ministry of Justice was last night unavailable for comment, but Christian groups expressed their astonishment at the news.
Andrea Williams, the director of the Christian Legal Centre, said: ‘It is extraordinary that a Conservative Government should argue that the wearing of the cross is not a generally recognised practice of the faith.’
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Mrs Eweida, a former British Airways worker, and Mrs Chaplin, a nurse, are taking their case to the European court in Strasbourg after facing disciplinary action at work. Mrs Eweida’s case dates from 2006 when she was suspended for refusing to take off the cross, which her employers claimed breached BA’s uniform code.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said the reasoning is based on a wholly inappropriate judgment of matters of theology and worship about which they can claim no expertise
The 61-year-old, from Twickenham, claimed that BA allowed members of other faiths to wear religious symbols. She lost her challenge against an earlier tribunal decision at the Court of Appeal and in May 2010 was refused permission to go to the Supreme Court.
Mrs Chaplin, 56, from Exeter, complained she was barred from working on wards by Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust after refusing to hide her cross, ending 31 years of nursing.
The hospital argued it was a health and safety issue.According to reports last night, the Government will argue that the two women’s application to the Strasbourg court is ‘manifestly ill-founded’.
Its submission stated: ‘In neither case is there any suggestion that the wearing of a visible cross or crucifix was a generally recognised form of practising the Christian faith, still less one that is regarded (including by the applicants themselves) as a requirement of the faith.’
But last night, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said: ‘The reasoning is based on a wholly inappropriate judgment of matters of theology and worship about which they can claim no expertise.’
A crusade by the church would end this rubbish and unit the British against foreign religions, it has to come one day.
We should all wear a cross with pride, St Georges will do just fine.