Crybaby Christians get the attention of the European Court of Human Rights

Crybaby Christians get the attention of the European Court of Human Rights June 7, 2011

THE European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has asked the British Government to clarify its position regarding the alleged violation of the rights of four Christian zealots.
According to this report, the ECHR considers their cases are of such legal significance as to warrant further examination.
The Persecuted Four are Nadia Eweida, a British Airways worker who was prevented from wearing a cross with her uniform; Gary McFarlane, a relationship counsellor who was sacked by Relate because he said he could not provide sex therapy to a gay couple; Shirley Chaplin, a nurse who was banned from working on hospital wards after she refused to remove a cross from her neck; and former registrar Lillian Ladele, who was disciplined by Islington Council for refusing to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies.

Pictured in their misery: from left Nadia Eweida, Gary MacFarlane, Shirley Chaplin and Lillian Ladele
The Government is being asked to clear up the “confusion” over what rights Christians have under equality laws introduced in recent years to prevent discrimination against minorities, including people of other faiths and homosexuals.
Nutcase and all-round pain-in-the-arse Andrea Minichiello Williams, founder and director of the Christian Legal Centre, insists:

These cases are massively significant on every front. There seems to be a disproportionate animosity towards the Christian faith and the workings of the courts in the UK has led to deep injustice.
She added:
If we are successful in Strasbourg I hope the Equalities Act and other diversity legislation will be overturned or overhauled so that Christians are free to work and act in accordance with their conscience.

She also pointed out:

People with orthodox views on sexual ethics [ie bigots] are excluded from employment because they don’t fit in with the equalities and diversity agenda. It is this which we want to see addressed. Such injustice cannot be allowed to continue.

Meanwhile, earlier this month a survey conducted by the BBC revealed that the corporation was perceived as “anti-Christian”.
The survey was conducted as part of the BBC’s ‘Diversity Strategy’ and involved 4,500 people, including some BBC staff.
According to viewers, Christians are badly treated with “derogatory stereotypes” which portray them as “weak” or “bigoted”.
It was suggested that there was a bias against Christianity and that other religions were better represented.
The consultation concluded:

In terms of religion, there were many who perceived the BBC to be anti-Christian and as such misrepresenting Christianity…Christians are specifically mentioned as being badly treated, with a suggestion that more minority religions are better represented despite Christianity being the most widely observed religion within Britain.

One respondent said:

As a Christian I find that the BBC’s representation of Christianity is mainly  inaccurate, portraying incorrect, often derogatory stereotypes.

Another added:

Seldom do we find a Christian portrayed in drama, and when we do, it is usually a ‘weak’ person or a ‘bigot.

Another said Christians were

Represented as dogmatic and unsympathetic or as weak and washy and woolly, or as old.

Hat tip: Marcus


"A crescent, six-pointed star, and plain cross are explicitly sectarian symbols, and corrosive to the ..."

Crucifix is not a religious symbol, ..."
"Really? I always thought of karma as a 1:1 cause/effect thing.(Nothing supernatural about it, either: ..."

Exorcist plans counter-attack against witches cursing ..."
"John, if your god exists and actually created such a place as hell, no one ..."

Exorcist plans counter-attack against witches cursing ..."
"I lived in Quebec for awhile, so I know about its Catholic heritage, and how ..."

Crucifix is not a religious symbol, ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I think this is good thing – the ECHR is not really going to support the two anti-Gay (bigots?), no matter what they think.
    They see genuine human rights violations (often by religious groups) and they’re thinking “I’ll have some of that” – but that’s as far as they’ll get. (There might be cause for the cross-wearers, but so what).

  • barriejohn

    To get some idea of what “human rights” the Christian Legal Centre are interested in, look no further than their website, brimming over with bigotry and bile:
    If they had their way we would see a return to the Dark Ages.

  • Gordon

    The BBC gives disproportionate fawning coverage of christians. Anti-christian? I wish!

  • Kev

    Seems simple enough to me, though I don’t know much about law. Basically two of them are refusing to do the job they aere employed to do by refusing to carry out duties pertaining to the work they contracted themselves to do. The other two are not willing to comply with work place dress codes and thereby possibly breaching their contracts. If the ECHR upholds the anti-gay pair then they are beaching their own human rights laws surely.
    As for the BBC being anti-Christian then I must have missed something!

  • Stuart H.

    Surely it would be more accurate to say it was the bling, not the wearer, which was banned from the workplace.
    Just a thought here – but if the logic of the CLC’s argument stood up, wouldn’t we have seen at least one Rastafarian ‘banned’ from operating a lathe without tying up their locks, as the obvious employer need is not to have an employee choked to death in a machine with moving parts (e.g. the suitcase conveyor belt in Nadia wossername’s case) or a patient taking exception to having some poxy voodoo necklace dangled in front of their nose in Charmless Chaplin’s?
    The BBC ‘survey’ is a sick joke. What competent survey only asks opinion from whingebags who want what the result is pre-designed to be, not a balanced cross-section of the general public. Did they even ask for respondents anywhere else except in the Zombie Carpenter trade press?

  • Harry

    “Seldom do we find a Christian portrayed in drama, and when we do, it is usually a ‘weak’ person or a ‘bigot.”
    As a Dr Who fan I find that hugely offensive. Bishop Octavian was the most awesome character ever.

  • Angela_K

    If xtians don’t want to be perceived as dogmatic and bigoted zealots then don’t be a xtain. The cases cited in the report have little to do human rights unless like the appellants, you believe you have a human right to be a dogmatic and bigoted zealot.

  • AgentCormac

    “People with orthodox views on sexual ethics are excluded from employment because they don’t fit in with the equalities and diversity agenda.”
    Wrong, Andrea. It’s because they don’t fit in with the 21st century. Not by about 1000 years, actually.
    And as for, “If we are successful in Strasbourg I hope the Equalities Act and other diversity legislation will be overturned or overhauled so that Christians are free to work and act in accordance with their conscience.” it is clear that you want to drag the rest of us back to the middle ages with you. The very worst of luck to you!

  • gsw

    Kev – I agree – it should be simple – do your job or get fired.
    Problem is, either out of fear of riots and generally violent retaliation, or the fear of being labelled racist, islamophobe or whatever, the courts have been permitting people to break the rules in the name of their religion.
    Remember the hairdresser who failed to get a job in a trendy hairdressers because she refused to uncover her hair? She sued and won!
    Nurses refusing to show their elbows. Waitresses refusing to wear the uniform.
    Now the christians just want the same rights to put their religious idiosyncrasies ahead of everybody else’s needs, same as the muslims – while we atheists are not really people of course.

  • barriejohn

    There is absolutely NOTHING in the Bible, nor in the tenets of any Christian denomination that I know of, that obliges believers to wear any sort of jewellery whatsoever, so those cases are complete non-starters. How do THEY impact on those people’s freedom to “work and act in accordance with their conscience”?

  • Stuart H.

    ‘People with orthodox views on sexual ethics are excluded from employment because they don’t fit in with the equalities and diversity agenda.’
    Bare-faced lie.
    People with orthodox views on sexuality don’t have ANY problem with gays. Only a handful of superstitious freaks do.
    THEY are the unorthodox ones, and as they can’t even offer scientific evidence for their oddball views should have no legal remedy for a refusal to cope with the real world.

  • Thoreaua

    It is a disgrace that Shirley Chaplin was removed from hospital wards for wearing a cross. How did it come to this?
    She should, of course, have already been long since removed from wards because of her ‘bulldog licking piss off a nettle’ face. Or is it perpetual piety? Being Jimmie Crankies grandma must only add to her burden.
    As has been noted, this ECHR stuff is to be welcomed. They will be totally shit all over.

  • Broga

    The Persecuted Four are real charmers. Imagine having to work with any of them. I once had to work as a colleague with a fundie christian and he was hard work. Spent more time trying to persuade colleagues to “come and share our witness” and to listen to his “evidence” for the existence of “the living Christ” which he insisted was so obvious as to be beyond dispute.
    He had the idea that if once we “shared his witness” then we would see the light and that would be that. He was also into bible readings where they read and discussed bits from the bible. I asked him to explain some bible contradictions. Seems they were not contradictions and if we read them in a “prayerful manner” we would see that. However, non contradictory passages were read at face value. I wondered if we read the non contradictory passages in a “prayerful manner” we would discover they were contradictions.
    He did think I was more likely to be saved that a Roman Catholic. The reason being that as an atheist, or as he saw it christian waiting to find Jesus, I was still ignorant. A Roman Catholic had the “message” placed before him and obtusely refused to accept it.
    Something that struck me was the amount of time these self righteous prigs waste of their employers time. And feel justified doing so as “spreading the word of the Lord” transcends everything. No employer with any sense would employ these time wasters. Keep clear of fundies of any stripe.

  • JR

    Andrea Minichiello Williams has had a very privilege middle class back ground but her fanatical bible belt fundamentalist training, seems to have disabled her from empathizing the true value of human rights. She doesn’t appear to have a clue differentiating between cases of real discrimination or religious proselytizing. She called the current human rights legislation “social genocide” (unbelievable)and her comments are often naively offensive. She’s not “Ashamed” but the hurtful damage of her obsessive agenda (hobby?) continue to undermine the very fabric of good citizenship. She is able to manipulate the right wing press and clearly has access to authority not available to the rest of us. She is able to generate a lot of money, by preying on situations, without telling the full truth. She has been exposed by the number of unsuccessful court cases, but not surprisingly, believes the earth to be 6000 years old and of course, hates Muslims!

  • Kev

    @gsw…Too true.
    If they should win the case by any chance I wonder whether they would consider it to be OK for some of us to turn up for work wearing a goats head complete with horns and wearing a goatskin. After all my religion could be Satanism, or any other ‘ism’ which might dictate the odd sacrifice or two. Bet they would soon be bleating about how awful that was.

  • BBC anti Christian? What about Songs of Praise, Thought For The Day, A History Of Christianity? Not to mention coverage at Easter and Christmas. Then there’s sitcoms Rev and The Vicar Of Dibley. There are probably loads more I can’t think of.

  • AgentCormac

    @ gsw & Kev
    I agree with your points. The trouble with people like this is that they want to be able to wear their religion on their sleeves just as openly as they want to wear their crucifixes on their uniforms. For them religion isn’t a private matter. They are being deliberately provocative and, egged on by the CLC, they are actually looking to incite a response just so they can then start spouting off about their beliefs and how oppressed they are.
    The upside of all which is, it just shows how marginalised they feel they are becoming.

  • barriejohn

    If you think that TFTD is bad you should watch, which I’ve mentioned here before. This week’s subject is religion (or “spirituality”, of course) and Darwin, and last night’s madwoman (a veterinary surgeon, no less) thinks that the “theory of evolution” is “Satan’s attack on God” (I kid you not!). You can watch here:

  • Barry Duke

    I too once worked with a young Christian zealot, Broga. From day one of taking up his post the spotty little prick began leaving religious tracts on the desks of everyone around him. I retaliated by putting a stack of Freethinkers on his desk. Whereupon he rushed off to the MD and made a formal complaint against me for – I kid you not – harassment! He was given VERY short shrift, and resigned on the spot, saying he could not work with godless fanatics.

  • Its not as if much ‘disproportionate animosity’ comes FROM the Christian faith is it, Ms Williams?

  • Broga

    @Barry: They do seem to follow a pattern, these fundies. Probably, because of the narrowness of their thinking.
    On BBC Radio religious programmes they have a sly one coming at you from the side called “Something Understood.” I haven’t listened to it for a long time but from what I remember it attempted an approach that implied rather than the in your face and simplistic approach of their usual fare. Still the same old nonsense, of course, and you soon tumble to it.

  • Stonyground

    I don’t really think that many people take these people seriously, they are starting to sound like the boy who cryed wolf. In any case, everytime the actual facts of their cases are properly examined it becomes obvious that it is them that is at fault. It seems that no matter how many times this is spelled out to them, they still don’t get it.
    Sorry to be OT but has anyone seen this?

  • barriejohn
  • JohnMWhite

    @barriejohn – I just watched the vet on 4thought. Good grief, what an atrocious mangling of science. How do you manage to become a vet with such a fundamental misunderstanding of natural selection? I wouldn’t let her examine my goldfish.
    I have only watched a handful of these shows over the past few months, but I am yet to come across a ‘thought’ that is actually remotely thoughtful. All the programme seems to be is a token two minutes for the religious to prattle on about their particular dogma that they believe without question applies to everybody.

  • barriejohn

    If you fancy an insight into the mind of Andrea Minnie Mouse Williams, look no further than THIS article:
    Where would we be without the Daily Mail?

  • AgentCormac

    There’s a really telling sentence in that Daily Hatemail page you linked to, in which Andrea Minichiello Williams bleats:
    “Over the past three years more than 100 (xtians) have suffered after wearing a cross, sharing their faith, even offering a prayer.”
    ‘Sharing their faith’ and ‘offering a prayer’ – it tells you everything you need to know about what these fuckwits are really getting riled about. It’s got nothing whatsoever to do with having private faith and everything to do with the fact that they are being prevented from foisting their loathsome beliefs on others.

  • Harry

    I understand that the more polite Christians describe horizontal vs vertical prayer, with vertical being the right way to do it and horizontal the way that AMW wants Christians to have the right to do it on demand.

  • The Woggler

    Let’s face it, if christians were portrayed as most of them really are, it would make for very dull tv. As for the Persecuted Four, please can somebody just press their off-switch.

  • les

    Yes it is random, but it contradicts ALL your previous statements about the subject matter…
    Going back to my cave for a while…:)

  • Broga

    The Persecuted Four want to be martyrs. But comfortable martyrs, not the kind who are gnawed by lions or nailed to a cross. Their self righteous, “I am being ill treated because of my christianity” brings them publicity, undeserved attention and praise and flattery from their misguided christian supporters. They, and the Daily Mail, live in a fantasy world, detached from reality, with no conception of what real discrimination is.
    Something they do not address is the baseless and nonsensical nature of their beliefs and the overall content of their holy book. Selective, tendentious, whining and intensely irritating. They deserve to be treated for what they have become: ridiculous figures of fun.

  • Roger

    Do these Christians appreciate that if Christians are free to publicly condemn things they find offensive then Muslims must also be free to do the same. Muslims find Christians offensive because they dare to suggest that God has a son. The freedom to call for the banning of Christianity in this country could result from the four Christians’ petulance.

  • stargraves

    @les, That survey of just 1000 people in the USA contradicts nothing.
    I don’t get what point you are trying to make.
    Enjoy your cave!

  • Pete H

    “Seldom do we find a Christian portrayed in drama, and when we do, it is usually a ‘weak’ person or a ‘bigot.”
    Sounds about right.

  • JG

    ” Gary McFarlane, a relationship counsellor who was sacked by Relate because he said he could not provide sex therapy to a gay couple”
    Imagine how the story would change if the cases would be slightly different:
    “who was sacked by Relate because he said he could not provide sex therapy to a BLACK couple”
    “who was sacked by Relate because he said he could not provide sex therapy to a JEWISH couple”
    “who was sacked by Relate because he said he could not provide sex therapy to a DEPRIVED couple”
    And so forth. There is a clear limit separating personal believe and “my believe affects the others”.
    Wear a cross if you want, fine… but under the uniform. Besides, there is not obligation to any Christian for wearing any symbol. Actually, that is more worshipping the idol rather than the god… But, are we going to explain now LOGIC to believers?

  • Bubblecar

    “Seldom do we find a Christian portrayed in drama, and when we do, it is usually a ‘weak’ person or a ‘bigot.”
    I agree, it’s outrageous. Such portrayals are far too flattering.

  • Thoreau

    Enjoying the correlating of the Heil and offensive god-bothering selfish bastards. They migrate to the Mail like flies round a shit.
    They both share an unfounded outrage at their hands finally being pried loose from the levers of power.
    Cunts the lot of them.
    I shit on them.

  • People with orthodox views on sexual ethics are excluded from employment because they don’t fit in with the equalities and diversity agenda.
    No, it’s because they don’t want to do their frigging jobs. If I refused to work with religious people I’d be fired–and rightly so. If I cited my beliefs as a vegetarian as an excuse to refuse handling or serving meat at a job that required it I’d be fired and I’d have no recourse. People who want to practice their religion and get paid for it need to work in a church or at a religious organization, not try to hold the rest of the world hostage to their chosen lifestyles.

  • Stanley

    I completely agree with the second and fourth of those pictured being sacked – they did nothing less than refuse to carry out their jobs. This would surely be worthy of sacking for any except a very good reason, let alone the pathetic one that it goes against their crackpot beliefs.
    Perhaps the other two are a little unfair though. I suppose it depends on the companies’ dress codes and what they were at the time the people took the jobs. As Kev says, if they were breaking the dress code then disciplinary action would be justified. I would question whether or not the dress code should be that way – I doubt it would do any harm just to wear a cross – although I suppose it’s the whole issue of wearing the uniform and representing the company, whose views shouldn’t be biassed towards anything but that which is true.