Relax Employment Law for Religious Organisations

Any organisation has the right to expect its employees to believe in what it's doing. If you're interviewing to join Microsoft, you can't expect much success if you state at interview that Windows is rubbish and you're Apple 'til you die. Indeed political organisations have the right to discriminate, employment-wise, against supporters of some other party. This is reasonable.

However; with some exceptions, religious organisations (mosques, temples, churches, charities) may not discriminate in favour of those who practice the relevant religion. This has resulted in some charities closing and others losing the very faith-based ethos which made it "work" in the first place. A Christian charity, which does hugely valued work among adults with learning difficulties, recently lost a long and expensive legal process after attempting to dismiss two people who had renounced their Christian faith (this despite their having joined the organisation with full understanding of the need for Christian faith in their roles).

There are a few roles for which an organisation can legally claim a Genuine Occupational Requirement that the postholder has the same personal faith as the organisation. But there may be other positions which cannot presently attract such a Genuine Occupational Requirement despite being key to the organisation.

While I accept it's hard for a secular society to officially "understand" religious faith, I would ask that, concerning employment,  religious charities have the freedom to discriminate on religious grounds, in the same way that political parties enjoy the freedom to discriminate on the basis of political conviction.

I am a Christian. This proposal is intended to provide greater freedom for all faith-based organisations. Indeed, it might also help self-consciously atheist or humanist organisations. Thanks for reading.

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Any organisation has the right to expect its employees to believe in what it's doing. If you're interviewing to join Microsoft, you can't expect much success if you state at interview that Windows is rubbish and you're Apple 'til you die. Indeed political organisations have the right to discriminate, employment-wise, against supporters of some other party. This is reasonable.

However; with some exceptions, religious organisations (mosques, temples, churches, charities) may not discriminate in favour of those who practice the relevant religion. This has resulted in some charities closing and others losing the very faith-based ethos which made it "work" in the first place. A Christian charity, which does hugely valued work among adults with learning difficulties, recently lost a long and expensive legal process after attempting to dismiss two people who had renounced their Christian faith (this despite their having joined the organisation with full understanding of the need for Christian faith in their roles).

There are a few roles for which an organisation can legally claim a Genuine Occupational Requirement that the postholder has the same personal faith as the organisation. But there may be other positions which cannot presently attract such a Genuine Occupational Requirement despite being key to the organisation.

While I accept it's hard for a secular society to officially "understand" religious faith, I would ask that, concerning employment,  religious charities have the freedom to discriminate on religious grounds, in the same way that political parties enjoy the freedom to discriminate on the basis of political conviction.

I am a Christian. This proposal is intended to provide greater freedom for all faith-based organisations. Indeed, it might also help self-consciously atheist or humanist organisations. Thanks for reading.

 

 

Freedom before ‘Equality’

The EU, slavishly followed by the last Labour Government, implemented directives on 'Equality & Diversity' and 'Health & Safety' in such as a way as to seriously hinder individual freedom and common senses. The worst has been 'equality' legislation which seems to promote the interests of particular groups, e.g. homosexuals, lesbians, 'transgendered' individuals, bisexuals – at the expense of those who do not approve of the life-styles of these groups. It is not self-evident that these life-styles are healthy and normal whatever the incessant propaganda tells us. Probably the majority of the population disapproves of them. But increasingly 'equality' legislation has been used to silence and marginalse those who object, e.g. the Christian Churchs and orthodox Jews, Muslims and Hindus. Judges have recently decided that the right to 'equality' trumps the right to have a religious belief and to act on that belief (Art. 9 of the European Charter of Human Rights). This cannot be right as it simply creates new inequalities which is why I have placed the word 'equality' in inverted commas throughout this posting.

Why is this idea important?

The EU, slavishly followed by the last Labour Government, implemented directives on 'Equality & Diversity' and 'Health & Safety' in such as a way as to seriously hinder individual freedom and common senses. The worst has been 'equality' legislation which seems to promote the interests of particular groups, e.g. homosexuals, lesbians, 'transgendered' individuals, bisexuals – at the expense of those who do not approve of the life-styles of these groups. It is not self-evident that these life-styles are healthy and normal whatever the incessant propaganda tells us. Probably the majority of the population disapproves of them. But increasingly 'equality' legislation has been used to silence and marginalse those who object, e.g. the Christian Churchs and orthodox Jews, Muslims and Hindus. Judges have recently decided that the right to 'equality' trumps the right to have a religious belief and to act on that belief (Art. 9 of the European Charter of Human Rights). This cannot be right as it simply creates new inequalities which is why I have placed the word 'equality' in inverted commas throughout this posting.

Religeous Freedom for Christians

As this is a Christian country, the Christian way of life should be respected and should not be 'brushed under the carpet' just to accommodate other religeons so as ''not to offend them''.  Most other religeons are happy to worship alongside Christians in the same community, but I believe it is wrong that for example Christmas cards depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, Easter cards depicting Christian symbols, etc should be barred from being on display and replaced by pictures of easter eggs, bunny rabbits and unreligeous symbols on Christmas cards or even not displayed at all  incase non Christians are offended.  This is a Christian nation and as such we should be honoured to display our beliefs and not have others be ashamed of us when it comes to religeon.

Why is this idea important?

As this is a Christian country, the Christian way of life should be respected and should not be 'brushed under the carpet' just to accommodate other religeons so as ''not to offend them''.  Most other religeons are happy to worship alongside Christians in the same community, but I believe it is wrong that for example Christmas cards depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, Easter cards depicting Christian symbols, etc should be barred from being on display and replaced by pictures of easter eggs, bunny rabbits and unreligeous symbols on Christmas cards or even not displayed at all  incase non Christians are offended.  This is a Christian nation and as such we should be honoured to display our beliefs and not have others be ashamed of us when it comes to religeon.

Repeal the Act of Supremacy and disestablish the church

The 1558 Act of Supremacy gives the Church unprecedented powers within the State. This should cease and the Church can stand on it's own feet.

I have no problem  with the monarch being head of a church but the power of the Church, through inane limitations on my consumption of the special Lord's Days … (ie Sunday Trading, Easter, Christmas) .

Easily remove it and let it stand on it's own feet, have it as a preferred religion but not an institutional one.

Why is this idea important?

The 1558 Act of Supremacy gives the Church unprecedented powers within the State. This should cease and the Church can stand on it's own feet.

I have no problem  with the monarch being head of a church but the power of the Church, through inane limitations on my consumption of the special Lord's Days … (ie Sunday Trading, Easter, Christmas) .

Easily remove it and let it stand on it's own feet, have it as a preferred religion but not an institutional one.

Allow the monarch freedom of religious conscience

Nobody should have a religious adherence imposed upon them, nor should anybody lose their job for freely expressing their true feelings on questions of religion.

The monarch, therefore, must be permitted to follow any denomination of Christianity, or Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, or any other faith, or be non-religious as his or her conscience dictates.

Why is this idea important?

Nobody should have a religious adherence imposed upon them, nor should anybody lose their job for freely expressing their true feelings on questions of religion.

The monarch, therefore, must be permitted to follow any denomination of Christianity, or Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, or any other faith, or be non-religious as his or her conscience dictates.

Pass legislation ensuring free speech

There should be a legal standard set for the use of Free Speech, which in my view should allow all speech (typed or written) except that which is an incitement to violence or a treasonable offence.

In the case of speech which is clearly an unsupported misrepresentation, whether of individuals or groups of persons, this should be a matter for civil redress, not the criminal justice system.

This piece of legislation should be constitutionally safeguarded, superseding all other legislation, past or future, and could only be repealed by a specific further Act of Parliament, thereby ensuring public debate.

Why is this idea important?

There should be a legal standard set for the use of Free Speech, which in my view should allow all speech (typed or written) except that which is an incitement to violence or a treasonable offence.

In the case of speech which is clearly an unsupported misrepresentation, whether of individuals or groups of persons, this should be a matter for civil redress, not the criminal justice system.

This piece of legislation should be constitutionally safeguarded, superseding all other legislation, past or future, and could only be repealed by a specific further Act of Parliament, thereby ensuring public debate.

Secularism for LEA Schools

I would like to see all LEA school should be secular. Teaching of religions is fine, but should be the same a teaching history, not on fantasy and myth, remove the brain washing.

Faith schools are great for those that want their children to be brought up in a religious discipline, but these schools should be private, charter schools or whatever and not receive state funding, the religious order that they follow should provide this.

Why is this idea important?

I would like to see all LEA school should be secular. Teaching of religions is fine, but should be the same a teaching history, not on fantasy and myth, remove the brain washing.

Faith schools are great for those that want their children to be brought up in a religious discipline, but these schools should be private, charter schools or whatever and not receive state funding, the religious order that they follow should provide this.

Repeal criminalisation of psylocybes

Reconsider the classification of psylocybe ('magic') mushrooms as a Class A drug in the UK, as part of a wider review of drug classification and a serious scientific and sociological appraisal of drug prohibition in general.

Why is this idea important?

Reconsider the classification of psylocybe ('magic') mushrooms as a Class A drug in the UK, as part of a wider review of drug classification and a serious scientific and sociological appraisal of drug prohibition in general.

Abolish compulsory collective worship and religious education

Currently all maintained schools must provide daily collective worship for all registered pupils.  In the small print: "Daily collective worship must be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character".

Both of these, and indeed all statory rules on compulsory provision of relgious matter should be withdrawn.

Why is this idea important?

Currently all maintained schools must provide daily collective worship for all registered pupils.  In the small print: "Daily collective worship must be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character".

Both of these, and indeed all statory rules on compulsory provision of relgious matter should be withdrawn.

Scrap perverse laws extending parental rights past age of majority

Amend the general definition of "parent" in education law, by replacing the phrase "parent" with the phrase "relevant person", as defined below:

"relevant person" means –

(a) in relation to a pupil under the age of 18, a parent of the pupil;
(b) in relation to a pupil who has attained that age, the pupil. 

The definition of "parent" in section 576 of the Education Act 1996 would remain the same.

This simple change would allow 18-year-old men and women attending school to take their own decisions over their own education, as the adults they are.

Why is this idea important?

Amend the general definition of "parent" in education law, by replacing the phrase "parent" with the phrase "relevant person", as defined below:

"relevant person" means –

(a) in relation to a pupil under the age of 18, a parent of the pupil;
(b) in relation to a pupil who has attained that age, the pupil. 

The definition of "parent" in section 576 of the Education Act 1996 would remain the same.

This simple change would allow 18-year-old men and women attending school to take their own decisions over their own education, as the adults they are.

Repeal Act of Settlement 1701

The Act of Settlement is a major piece of anti-catholic legislation.  In 21st Century a country like ours should not enshrine religious discrimination in law.  I appreciate the difficulties that are involved in repealing this law  but it is a major insult to loyal British people who are also catholic. 

Why is this idea important?

The Act of Settlement is a major piece of anti-catholic legislation.  In 21st Century a country like ours should not enshrine religious discrimination in law.  I appreciate the difficulties that are involved in repealing this law  but it is a major insult to loyal British people who are also catholic.