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THE LAUNCH OF ‘MUSCULAR LIBERALISM’

March 19th, 2011

By Maggie Gallagher

Last month, facing the problem of Muslim assimilation, British Prime Minister David Cameron denounced multiculturalism and called for a new “muscular liberalism” as the basis for a shared national identity.

Applauding conservatives, beware.

For Cameron’s new liberal muscles were pumped this week at Owen and Eunice Johns, whose religious objections to homosexuality were used to bar them from becoming foster parents.

I wrote about this case recently, but Cameron’s comments call renewed attention to the underlying dynamic now being launched in the Western world: the end of liberal multiculturalism and the launch of liberal monoculturalism. It’s not a pretty sight.

Owen and Eunice Johns, by all accounts, are two of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. They emigrated to Great Britain from Jamaica, raised their own children, and took in foster children during the 1990s.

Recently, they decided to share their home and their love with abused and neglected children again. They applied for the requisite foster-care license. As part of the home study, they were asked this question by the Derby City Council: “Would you tell a child that it was all right to be homosexual?”

No child had ever complained about the Johnses’ treatment in their home. This case is not even about whether the Johnses are permitted to mention Christian beliefs around a foster child.

As Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover put it, “The (Johnses), who are Pentecostal Christians and were born in Jamaica, do not hold their views in any aggressive or hectoring way. They seem to be strikingly good people, and have fostered very many children. They were simply unable to respond in the affirmative to this question posed by Derby City Council.”

A British court ruled that a commitment to orientation equality “should take precedence” over the Johnses’ religious liberty, or their freedom of speech.

And this week, the newly buff Cameron called the exclusion of the Johnses “appropriate,” and went on to lecture that Christians must be “tolerant and welcoming and broad-minded” toward gay relationships. (What? Not enough to be prime minister? He wants to be pope too?)

In Great Britain, Christians are now effectively second-class citizens, judged “unfit” to care for foster children. If they are unfit to foster children, logically they are also unfit to adopt, and possibly as one British lawyer suggested to the press, unfit to parent their own children, too.

Could it happen over here?

Yes. We see the first steps of the muscular liberalism process at work already in the state of Illinois, in its probe of evangelical, Lutheran and Catholic foster-care agencies for discrimination against gay couples in foster care. For the ACLU and the gay rights community, suddenly the right to live as we choose isn’t good enough. Any foster-care agency that does not place children with gay couples now must be discriminated against by the government in the name of anti-discrimination.

The ACLU claims that legally requiring foster-care agencies to be inclusive would expand resources to help 16,000 kids currently in the Illinois foster-care system.

This is just Orwellian doubletalk. The new “inclusive” policy would exclude three religious foster-care agencies from recruiting parents. This cannot possibly expand resources available to needy kids.

So John Knight, an ACLU attorney, is instead focused on the idea that the real wrong is the message sent to gay kids in foster care by permitting religious agencies to help abused kids: “That they aren’t really welcome now or in the future.” (Given how many adoption agencies encourage gay adoption, that seems a stretch.)

But wait a minute … By that logic, what about the clear message the government would send to evangelical, Lutheran and Catholic kids by excluding evangelical, Lutheran and Catholic foster-care agencies?

Um, the ACLU is not concerned about that government message — at all. Sending that message to Catholics, Lutherans and evangelicals — your beliefs are not worthy of equal public respect — is not a problem; it’s the point.

Beware the new muscular liberalism: The next wave of human rights abuses will be committed by liberal governments in the name of human rights.

(Maggie Gallagher is the founder of the National Organization for Marriage and has been a syndicated columnist for 15 years.)

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  1. Amy
    March 19th, 2011 at 20:27 | #1

    This article highlights the stark difference between freedom of worship, and freedom of religion. We must be careful to guard against such a drastic infringement of our Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion. Not to mention our freedom of speech.

  2. March 20th, 2011 at 03:38 | #2

    Isn’t David Cameron supposed to be somewhat conservative or “right wing” by British political standards? If so, Britain is in deep trouble. (But then we knew that already.)

    Also, I would like to know whether these principles of “liberal doctrine trumps religious beliefs” will be applied to Muslims, and not just Christians. Of course, I would much prefer that they be applied to neither.

  3. Sean
    March 20th, 2011 at 07:03 | #3

    In no way was this couple’s freedom of religion or freedom of speech curtailed. The court ruled the way it did because of the cruelty of placing a gay child with parents who are opposed to homosexuality (whether by faith or just animosity and bigotry). There is no right to adopt children.

    Christians easily accept every other kind of “sinner” but homosexuals. They never condemn people who have gotten a divorce, or had pre-marital sex or committed adultery, for example. Yet they go after the people who have no control over their romantic feelings toward the same sex.

  4. Leo
    March 20th, 2011 at 08:18 | #4

    Muscular liberalism notwithstanding, one wonders if the court would have similarly ruled in the case of a Muslim family, and if they did, would the Islamic community have taken the ruling so calmly? Modern liberalism has abandoned concepts such as freedom of religion and freedom of speech and replaced them with a hierarchy of victimhood and identity politics.

  5. March 21st, 2011 at 08:58 | #5

    @Sean You lie again. Christians do not single out homosexuality as a sin to address, and indeed address every sin mention.

    Feelings can indeed be controlled – but one has to exercise self-control.

    This couple’s rights were indeed violated. They will not be permitted to adopt any child. And children don’t know about homosexuality unless they are brainwashed about it by homophiles trying to turn them into homophiles. It is great cruelty to teach children about homosexuality, let alone teaching them that homosexuality is normal.

    So now you say there is no right to adoption?!? I thought the “right” of adoption was one of the things you demanded for homophiles!?!

  6. Sean
    March 21st, 2011 at 15:20 | #6

    “Christians do not single out homosexuality as a sin to address”

    What other “sin” do Christians want to outlaw, apart from homosexuality and/or same-sex marriage? I see no movement among Christians to outlaw pre-marital sex, outlaw adultery or outlaw divorce, all prohibited in the Bible. Shellfish eaters get a pass, as do people who dishonor their parents, or worship other gods. Again, the war on gay people and not other “sinners” appears to have no rational basis, religiously.

    “Feelings can indeed be controlled – but one has to exercise self-control.”

    And you’ll end up with depression or some other ailment. Feelings cannot and should not be controlled. Feelings are neither good nor bad…they just are. How you act on those feelings is an entirely different matter, of course.

    “This couple’s rights were indeed violated. They will not be permitted to adopt any child.”

    If I have to put my child up for adoption, I would not want him adopted by a family that accepts hatred of a group of people as acceptable. I applaud the UK government for its ruling.

    “It is great cruelty to teach children about homosexuality, let alone teaching them that homosexuality is normal.”

    Why?

  7. Leo
    March 21st, 2011 at 22:36 | #7

    The countries that outlaw homosexuality are primarily in the Middle East and parts of Africa and some in East Asia, most of these countries are not dominated by Christians.

    The countries that don’t have SSM (including the vast majority of the world’s population) include secular France, Russia, Eastern Europe, China, India, virtually all of Asia and and most of Africa.

    It is hard to argue that the Bible or Christianity is the reason Russia, China, India, and virtually all of Asia and most of Africa differ from Sean, who harbors the false and hateful stereotype that Christians hate homosexuals. I imagine a lot of Christians would object to Sean adopting their children.

    And Sean, while you are talking about your child and adoption, how many children do you have?

  8. March 22nd, 2011 at 08:17 | #8

    @Sean Christians don’t outlaw SSM – that is a false premise, which makes the rest of your argument fallacious. There is no such thing as SSM – it is an oxymoron. That’s like saying Christians outlaw round squares!

    The rest of your first paragraph, aside from being a false premise and fallacious, shows a clear lack of understanding of what Scripture teaches and that you just pull off silly arguments from the homosexual agenda web sites.

    There is no “war” on “gay” people by anyone. The “war” was declared by the homophiles decades ago when they made their agenda known; to undermine the institutions of marriage and family until they have no meaning, and to attack the Christian church as much as possible.

    Feelings should not be controlled?? Gee, I feel like stealing my neighbor’s car and I can’t control it! And if I try to control it I will be so depressed. Okay, can’t have that so I will steal that car.

    Do you realize how silly your argument is?

    Feelings are neither good nor bad? So if I have strong sexual feelings for little girls that isn’t bad? Thoughts are indeed bad or good, and if you disagree with that, then I must doubt your sanity.

    Then you say this couple has “hatred” for homophiles. You have now decided you know what is in their heart – you must be a mind-reader. The fact that someone disagrees with a sexual behavior does not mean they hate the people. Again, poor logic which resorts to calling a belief hate in order to dismiss the argument as valid. It is you who hate a group of people – you hate Christians and Jews! See how the game works?

    You have already been give the answer to your “why?” – Homosexuality is an abuse of the body, it is an abuse of the design for human sexuality, it is medically dangerous, it is unsanitary and yet you think it isn’t cruel to teach children that it is an okay lifestyle?!?!

  9. Sean
    March 22nd, 2011 at 16:06 | #9

    “Christians don’t outlaw SSM – that is a false premise, which makes the rest of your argument fallacious. There is no such thing as SSM – it is an oxymoron. That’s like saying Christians outlaw round squares!”

    Then why does this website exist? Why are the catholic and mormon churches spending millions of dollars trying to strong-arm politicians and lie to voters, for something that doesn’t exist? That’s a lot of money and effort over something imaginary.

  10. Sean
    March 22nd, 2011 at 16:07 | #10

    Other than the money that can be earned working against the interests of gay couples and their children, why on earth would someone care whether same-sex marriage is legal or not? If you don’t think it’s real, they how can you care one way or the other?

  11. March 23rd, 2011 at 08:05 | #11

    @Sean The point is that they are trying to MAKE the oxymoron exist. We’d also fight people who decide 2+2=6. We also fight against those who try to revise history to eliminate that which condemns them.

    So if Christians and cultists spend money to defend what is right, that is “strong-arming” but if the homosexualists spend millions of dollars buying activist judges who will rule a circle is square, and claim the will of the people is unconstitutional, that isn’t strong-arming?

    Yes, homosexualist spend a lot of money trying to make an imaginary thing look real.

  12. March 23rd, 2011 at 08:07 | #12

    @Sean How often do you need to be told: if the state sanctions SSM it has detrimental repercussions on all of society. It may be an oxymoron, but everyone is being forced to treat it as real.

  13. Sean
    March 23rd, 2011 at 15:23 | #13

    “if the state sanctions SSM it has detrimental repercussions on all of society. It may be an oxymoron, but everyone is being forced to treat it as real.”

    What detrimental repercussions are there, Glenn? That you don’t like it? Do you really feel that you have a right to not be offended by other peoples’ behavior or personal characteristics? Really?

    If so, how can stand Atheists, who reject the existence of a god. Or Jews, who think Christ is a big fat nobody. Or people who defy god’s word and get divorced? Why do you single out gay people for your animosity?

  14. March 24th, 2011 at 11:56 | #14

    @Sean Take a look at my site, under “homosexual agenda” (http://sanityinanupsidedownworld.blogspot.com/) and you will find many, many examples of people being punished for no other reason than not wanting to give credence to SSM or SS unions of any sort. Fined, jailed, fired, etc for saying SSM is wrong, for saying homosexuality is wrong. That doesn’t happen if the person is an atheist.

    Yes, I have a right to be offended by other peoples’ behavioral choices, as does everyone including you. I dare say you would be offended by a rapist’s behavior – yet by your logic you can’t be.

    I don’t have animosity towards homophiles, except the ones who are demanding society turn itself upside-down to accommodate them, and then the animosity isn’t toward them – it is toward their actions. It is only the homophiles who have been attacking Christians for the past few decades, and we are finally standing up to them and saying NO MORE!

    And what is with you and divorce? That has nothing to do with the issue of SSM. And God allows divorce for certain reasons, so your claim that it is defying God is bogus. Sometime it is, but that has nothing to do with whether SSM is wrong. One wrong doesn’t give justification to another one.

  15. Sean
    March 24th, 2011 at 18:09 | #15

    “if the state sanctions SSM it has detrimental repercussions on all of society.”

    Such as?

    What about the detrimental repercussions to gay couples and their children? The Prop 8 trial highlighted the fact that there’s no downside to legal same-sex marriage. But there’s lots of downside to illegal same-sex marriage, the harm done to the children of same-sex couples only a part of it. We must not harm children in order to exact punishment on adult groups we don’t approve of.

  16. March 25th, 2011 at 08:26 | #16

    @Sean Hello! you keep saying “such as” no matter how much evidence is given to you. You are ignoring all evidence, just like a Holocaust denier.

    Prop 8 trial DID NOT highlight there was no downside – you had a biased judge who, like you, ignored all the evidence against it and claimed it didn’t exist! Another Holocaust denier.

    The harm to children is by putting them with same sex couples!

  17. Sean
    March 25th, 2011 at 19:11 | #17

    What evidence are you talking about Glenn??? Your opinion is not evidence. I’m talking about tangible harms, such as those that gay couples and their children suffer for not being allowed to marry.

    How are children harmed by being “put” with same-sex couples?

  18. March 26th, 2011 at 07:33 | #18

    @Sean Children are harmed by forcing them to be without a father or mother. They are harmed by brainwashing them that homosexuality is right and proper. They are harmed by being taught a skewed understanding of human sexuality. They are being taught that a “deathstyle” is okay to live. ETC.

    You keep denying there are legitimate sociological reasons for denying SSM. Are you reading anything John Howard has posted? Are you reading any of the links I have posted which examine in detail the issue? I’ll try again:
    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/03/2607
    http://www.frc.org/testimony/peter-sprigg-testifies-before-rhode-island-house-judiciary-committee
    http://www.creators.com/opinion/dennis-prager/california-decision-will-radically-change-society.html
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1722155
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2010/jul/10072006
    http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/how-would-the-legalization-of-same-sex-marriage-affect-your-liberty/
    The fact that it is a “deathstyle” is reason enough alone!
    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0075.html
    Again, come over to my blog and look at all the punishment people have received for not wanting to give personal sanction to such perversion.
    http://sanityinanupsidedownworld.blogspot.com/ And look at those labeled “homosexual agenda.”

  19. Sean
    March 28th, 2011 at 17:23 | #19

    “Children are harmed by forcing them to be without a father or mother.”

    Then why don’t you work to outlaw same-sex parenting, single parenting and divorce? Outlawing same-sex marriage does nothing to ensure that children get a mother and a father. All states permit same-sex parenting, simply because they have no choice: all humans have the right to reproduce, and there are few limits to how they do that. All humans have the right to associate with whom they please, too. And that’s how you end up with same-sex couples raising children together.

  20. March 29th, 2011 at 07:19 | #20

    @Sean Same-sex parenting came about because of all the pressure for same-sex unions. Same-sex parenting should be outlawed. Single-parenting is the result of failed marriages, death of a spouse, or sexual immorality; it is not set up from the start as a situation in which to raise children. You don’t use accidental situations which result in less-than-satisfactory conditions for a child to then make a mandatory worse situation! On bad situation does not justify a worse one.

    No, all states DO NOT have legal same-sex parenting. Better check again.

    Having a right to reproduce has nothing to do with the situation. Same-sex couples can not reproduce without outside help.

    If all humans have the right to associate with whom they please, then how come homosexualists are so bent on forcing the Boy Scouts to accept homophile leaders? How come homophile couples demand normal people associate with them by photographing “weddings”? I just hoisted you on your own petard.

    Children don’t have a choice to say they don’t want to associate with same-sex couples – it is forced onto them.

  21. Sean
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:13 | #21

    “Same-sex parenting came about because of all the pressure for same-sex unions.”

    No pressure was applied to anyone, anywhere. You are misinformed. Same-sex unions evolved from every human’s fundamental right to associate with whom he pleases.

    “Same-sex parenting should be outlawed.”

    Why? Based on what legal principle?

    “You don’t use accidental situations which result in less-than-satisfactory conditions for a child to then make a mandatory worse situation!”

    Huh? Same-sex couples don’t have kids by accident, they have them very purposefully. Most children grow up in less than ideal circumstances. Should we stop poor people from having children? What about uneducated people?

    “No, all states DO NOT have legal same-sex parenting. Better check again.”

    Yes, they do. Every.Single.One. Better check again.

    “Same-sex couples can not reproduce without outside help.”

    Just like many different-sex couples.

    “Children don’t have a choice to say they don’t want to associate with same-sex couples – it is forced onto them.”

    They don’t have a choice to say they don’t want to associate with different-sex couples, either. Kids don’t get the choice to choose their parents. That’s life. A gay teen might long to have gay parents, so he doesn’t feel so isolated in life.

  22. March 30th, 2011 at 03:36 | #22

    @Sean That first line was a typo. It should have read, “Same-sex parenting came about because of all the pressure FROM same-sex unions.”

    On what legal principle should same-sex parenting be illegal? On the same principle that child abuse is illegal. It is child abuse – mental, emotional, educational, psychological, etc

    There are NO same-sex couples who can reproduce.

  23. Geebree
    April 19th, 2011 at 13:57 | #23

    Glenn E Chatfield is right. Sean is wrong.

    Mind you, the way the question was asked, a Catholic could have answered it differently. The question “Would you tell a child that it was all right to be homosexual?” is answerable morally in the affirmative. It is not wrong to “be” a homosexual (or a rapist or a thief or a murderer or a liar or a pedophile or a fornicator or a cotraceptor), but it IS wrong to perform homosexual acts (as also raping, stealing, killing, lying, child molesting, fornicating, contracepting).

    Now, with regard to SSM, it is an evil and a fiction and a lie. It is a contract to steal a dad or a mom from a child.

    It is ALSO grotesquely un-diverse. True marriage is diverse: it has a man and a woman. There is nothing diverse about two men, nothing diverse about two women.

  24. Dorothy Ahlswede
    April 19th, 2011 at 18:37 | #24

    Unfair discrimination against devout Christians should cause as much alarm in academic circles as other forms of unreasonable and unfair discrimination in our society; unfortunately, recently is does not always apparently obtain even cursory consideration. While I do very much disagree with the title (unfair discrimination by homosexuals and lesbians against people of faith is most certainly NOT “liberal” or “conservative” it should perhaps be called “intellectual arrogance”), I think your article performs a valuable service by alerting people to a serious problem which might potentially damage many children if the trend should continue.

    While I certainly do not want to cast aspersions on the very sincere efforts of many people working in the area of foster care and adoption who are not religious or whose agencies are not specifically affiliated with a particular denomination or faith, I want to mention just one of many arguments why secular adoption and foster care agencies must not be permitted to force churches and synagogues out of the charitable adoption field and thereby prevent many religious families from caring for children.

    Unlike religious organizations, e.g. churches, strictly secular adoption agencies might not have a directing ethos which mandates altruistic service to others on behalf of the love of God. Nor do those organizations necessarily recognize the Ten Commandments– they might in fact answer more to the worldly “almighty dollar” depending upon management. Especially if adoption and foster care organizations are engulfed by people whose predominant concerns are ideological and secular– a very real possibility of exploitation of children might exist. Children are one of the most vulnerable and under-served groups in modern society and they deserve nurturance, spiritual guidance and protection from exploitation. People of faith must remain active in the foster care and adoptive field and must vehemently resist efforts to minimize our beliefs.

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