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Dawkins at the University of Texas at Austin.

Richard Dawkins.  He married a Dr Who companion.

There is nothing like a good spat between Christians and secularists.  The pious and the militants locking horns over the thorny issue of who is right without hope of compromise.  You know it will only be a matter of time before Richard Dawkins sweeps in with his wispy grey locks flying around in the face of religious doctrine, while the Archbishop of Canterbury sways around speaking in a voice which conveys wisdom while adding nothing of consequence.  If you are really unlucky Delia Smith will add her opinion to the party, but without bringing homemade cakes.

Today sees the return of the story of four British Christians who are due to take their cases for unfair dismissal to the European Court of Human Rights.  Two ex-employees of BA and the NHS claim discrimination for wearing crucifixes at work and two others for refusing to provide sexual therapy and civil ceremonies for gay couples.

Surely you cannot complain of being discriminated against, while affectively discriminating against gay people and being unable to perform your job and offer the services expected of you in a non-religious work role.  Christians cannot be exempt from treating gay people equally; neither can their beliefs be a trump card over all other beliefs and life styles.  In the same vein, although less offensive, Christians cannot wear jewellery in a workplace where it is not acceptable for their colleagues to do the same.  This is not discrimination, but a request from their employers to treat everyone equally and abide by the same rules and codes of practice as their colleagues.

If the rulings in these cases are over-turned by the European Court of Human Rights, the implications are far worse than asking someone to remove, or cover a piece of jewellery.  The message will be that it is fair to expect special treatment if you are a Christian and worse that it is acceptable to be prejudiced against others.

What would Jesus say?

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