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Christians Are Now Being Punished For What Others Think – CT

This weeks Christian Today Column – you can get the original here – 

Christians are now being punished for what others think

Kristie Higgs lost her unfair dismissal and discrimination case against the school where she used to work(Photo: Christian Legal Centre)

At first glance the Kristie Higgs case may not appear that important. “Christian Teacher sacked over Facebook posts loses discrimination case” is the kind of headline that some just skip with a shrug of the shoulders. “O look, another unwise Christian mouthing off unnecessarily,gets her comeuppance – what do you expect?” Others are all set to man the online barricades and retweet endless outrage to those who already agree with them.

Can I suggest to the readers of Christian Today that we read beyond the headlines, avoid the judgementalism and instead consider the significance of this judgement. Doubtless there are lots of things that can and will be said about Kristie – personally I admire her courage and share the concern that she has lost her job for sharing an opinion which I and millions of others share. But I want to focus on one particular aspect of the judgement, which has profound implications for the future of the Church in the UK – and perhaps elsewhere.

The tribunal decided that Kristie was not sacked for her Christian beliefs. They also accepted that her beliefs were not transphobic or homophobic. The tribunal also rejected the view of a previous decision regarding Dr David Mackereth that “a lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others and are not worthy of respect in a democratic society”.

So why did they still find against Kristie? Why did they agree that she had committed such ‘gross misconduct’ that she deserved to lose her job?

Let’s go back to the original post which Kristie shared. In October two years ago, Kristie shared a petition on her private Facebook page using her maiden name and not mentioning her employer.

She was concerned about her nine-year-old son being taught that gender is just a social construct and you can change your gender if you wish. She objected to the mandatory Religious and Sex Education, which the government had determined was to be taught to children as young as four. She argued, correctly, that it was brainwashing.

She was concerned about the impact of transgender ideology being taught to young children – a concern which is more than justified by the evidence becoming available which describes the harm that is being caused to children.

But an anonymous complainant went to the headteacher and described her posts as “homophobic and prejudiced to the LGBT community”. The headteacher is then reported to have asked the complainant to find more offensive posts. Kristie was subsequently investigated, suspended and fired. The panel which investigated her, said her views were “pro-Nazi” and she was told to “keep your religion out of it” when she tried to defend herself.

According to the tribunal, her dismissal “was the result of a genuine belief on the part of the school that she had committed gross misconduct”. Kristie was not dismissed for her beliefs but rather because of the beliefs of the school. I have a genuine belief that the tribunal was being irrational, discriminatory and prejudiced by the criteria the tribunal uses, so that means they should find themselves guilty! Unless my belief is irrelevant, that is, and only some beliefs count.

It gets worse. The tribunal states that Mrs Higgs was found guilty of posting items on Facebook that “might reasonably lead people who read her posts to conclude that she was homophobic and transphobic”. Yet that same tribunal admitted that Mrs Higgs was not transphobic or homophobic, nor did they state that the posts themselves were transphobic or homophobic – just that some people might think they were, and thus they would cause upset.

That is why this ruling is so important. If this judgement is allowed to stand, it will mean two things. Firstly, the whole standard of law will now be changed. Guilt is now determined not upon evidence but simply upon the faith and feelings of the prosecuting party! Based on an anonymous complaint, a tribunal decided that a private post (which was not available to the public) was sufficient grounds for an employee to be fired. This means that anyone who finds what someone says to be potentially upsetting or offensive, now has the ability to get them fired. Objective evidence is irrelevant.

Except it does not mean that. It does not mean that ANYONE who finds something offensive can get someone else fired. It just means that only certain approved and protected groups have the ability to use the law to enforce their views. I suspect that the school would not have fired a teacher who posted a message that I would find offensive about Christianity. If this judgement stands, we will have lost the principle of ‘all are equal before the law’.

In the Brave New Britain, some are now more equal than others and a society is emerging where pluralism is disappearing and along with it, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of thought. State approved indoctrination within the schools is now going to be backed up by the law, which in effect bans all other points of view.

It is ironic that Mrs Higgs was accused of holding Nazi-like beliefs by a school which is using Nazi-like authoritarian methods (kangaroo courts, anonymous complainants, transgression of state ideology) to impose its own exclusive ideology.

Just think about this. In Britain, we now have state-authorised indoctrination, which is now being enforced by a legal system which punishes you for daring to express a different point of view – even in private. Think and then pray that we would be delivered from this evil. Then act (write in support of Mrs Higgs to your MP, help her legal fund, ask your church leadership to speak up) – before it becomes illegal even to do that.

The church needs to be united on this and I realise how difficult that is when so many churches have sold out to progressive ideology.  It speaks volumes that Steve Chalke, in light of this case, not only warned that churches who do not accept this ideology face prosecution, but also suggested that even expressing pastoral concern or praying for people with gender confusion or unwanted same-sex attraction was “psychologically abusive”. In these times of moral confusion, those of us who love the Lord and want to stand on his word need to stick together.

David Robertson is director of Third Space in Sydney and blogs at www.theweeflea.com

Views and opinions published in Christian Today are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

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36 comments

  1. I’d like to know why the complainant was allowed to stay anonymous. Perhaps they were actually fictional and the whole case was a set-up to oust Ms Higgs? In any case there doesn’t appear to be a proper trial here – just a kangaroo court. Christians had better get used to this – in the early Church they suffered with their lives for standing up for their faith after all.

  2. David, since when does the truth and facts matter, or the mens rea?

    When we exchanged the truth for a lie.

    This generation is so deeply entrenched in the law and judgement being the “perception of the victim or 3rd party. Or anyone else”. That which what was introduced to prompt a response from organisations to look into complains (hate crime), has translated in a new means of establishing guilt!
    Guilty by the perception of another.

    Of course this only works one way, because right minded people would never find anyone guilty merely by their own perception, rather looking at the guilty mind of the offender.

    The other irony is, the LGBT community reversed legislation over the decades arguing what people did in their private lives did not affect their ability to work in any field. What was private and personal did not influence delivering a service in the workplace.

    They then reverse the argument to punish anyone who thinks differently to them in private, removing them from the workplace instead.

    And our judiciary and tribunal public fall for the double standard and hypocrisy

    1. Dave,

      Do you think that Kristie’s dismissal was unfair? So do I! Then why the dickens didn’t she sue her wicked, bigoted, anti-Christian employer for unfair dismissal? (David has implied she did. He is mistaken about that. She didn’t.)

      Kristie had a strong, winnable case in the tort of unfair dismissal. She had a far weaker case in the torts of discrimination and harassment that the so-called “Christian Legal Centre” advised her to sue for. No wonder she lost.

      I’m not even a lawyer, in the conventional sense of being either a solicitor or barrister. Mind you, neither is Pavel Stroilov, the boy the CLC sent to do a man’s job. Yet even I, in my ignorance, worked out that the CLC were overplaying Kristie’s hand, and that this would end in tears. I warned the CLC on 21 September that this was a winnable unfair dismissal case that they were mishandling, setting their client up to fail. God alone knows why they went for that dismal outcome that even has a blogger in Australia lamenting it now, instead of notching up another feather in their corporate cap by pleading unfair dismissal and winning the case easily.

      The judge, in paragraph 65 of the judgment, made it clear that Kristie ought to have sued for unfair dismissal, and might well have won her case if she had. But that wasn’t how the stupid CLC had drafted Kristie’s pleadings for her. As God enabled me to foresee she might, and prompted me to warn the CLC, urging caution, poor Kristie therefore lost her case.

      If only Kristie had sought properly qualified legal advice instead of going to the CLC, or at least consulted a cowboy freelance paralegal (retired) like me, whom she’d found on the internet, who at least recognises when he’s out of his depth and asks a solicitor or a barrister to check his work! If she had, she’d likely have got her job back by now, or won compensation for her proven unfair dismissal, the elephant in the room that Pavel somehow forgot to mention when drafting the poor woman’s pleadings for her.

      1. Thanks John – you may well be right. But you are missing the point. The judgement itself is chilling – based on people’s feelings and perceeptions – rather than reality. The question of compensation for dismissal is a side issue.

      2. I thought it sensible to correct your factual error first, before going on to consider the point you were making, which I agree I had missed, but only for the time being.

        Yes, the judgment does make for depressing reading.

        But the thing that depressed me most (even if you think I ought to be more depressed about something else) remains realising that the Christian Legal Centre, by treating my “prophecy” with contempt, instead of testing it and holding on to the good in it, had brought a claim that was unnecessarily ambitious, which I had warned them they were likely to lose (whether or not that was deserved), instead of drafting a simple claim for the undeniable unfair dismissal of Kristie that the judge hinted strongly in paragraph 65 she would likely have won, if only the CLC hadn’t tried instead to do the more difficult thing they failed to pull off, leaving their client disappointed, as I predicted.

  3. I haven’t bothered (yet) to read your entire post. I only needed to read the first nine words of it to realise how utterly wrong you were about the facts of the matter, how on the wrong track altogether, how badly misinformed you were (or making wrong assumptions) about the avoidably disastrous tribunal case you commented on.

    You began your post, “Kristie Higgs lost her unfair dismissal and discrimination case”. (9 words) Those first nine words of yours contain a crucial factual error.

    Of course Kristie Higgs was, in the sane opinion of anybody sane, dismissed unfairly. We all know that. If only she had pleaded the tort of unfair dismissal, as you mistakenly implied she had in the first nine words of your blog post, there is little doubt in my mind (or in the judge’s by all accounts) that she’d have WON her “case”, thus pleaded.

    Kristie, having undoutedly been unfairly dismissed, approached the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) or Christian Concern (CC), neither of which is a law firm, instead of approaching an actual, real law firm staffed by qualified solicitors and getting sound legal advice. On the utterly wrong legal advice of CC or CLC, Kristie brought a claim for discrimination and harassment, which she unfortunately lost, instead of the claim she should have brought, for unfair dismissal, which she’d have won easily – the claim which you falsely implied she HAD brought in the first nine, misinformed, inaccurate words of this blog post of yours.

    The whole sordid tale about the unheeded prophetic warning I gave to CC/CLC a fortnight or so ago via a now-published email, that they were setting their “client” Kristie up to fail in her quest for justice, because of their amateurish drafting of her pleadings of her very strong case for unfair dismissal, has been related on Twitter. CC/CLC treated my prophecy with contempt. The disastrous outcome I predicted therefore occurred, to the detriment of their client. A case that could have been won easily, as a claim for unfair dismissal, was lost, because it was pleaded wrongly as a claim for discrimination and harassment.

    The paragraph of the judgment that proves my point is 65. Paraphrased, it means that if only the CLC/CC has taken the advice John Allman emailed to them on 21st September, to plead unfair dismissal, the judge would have been able to give Kristie the victory. The CC/CLC ignored that advice, ensuring that their client lost the case.

    Here’s a link into the relevant Twitter discussion of their screw-up, in which (to their shame) CC/CLC has yet to participate:
    https://twitter.com/ace_kids10/status/1314185004998680576

  4. The irony is that quite rightly, schools teach that Female Genital Mutilation is wrong. But if a female child decides she wants to be a boy (as if that were biologically possible), then it is seen as okay to mutilate her to make it seem like she was a boy.

  5. OK from what you write David, Kristie Higgs “was concerned about her nine-year-old son being taught that gender is just a social construct and you can change your gender if you wish” and this is what the complainant claimed was transphobic with the tribunal concluding ” her beliefs were not transphobic or homophobic”

    In keeping with your appeal that “we read beyond the headlines” (including yours) there was nothing overtly “Christian” as to the reason for her dismissal. This could have equally applied to someone who is atheist holding the same view as her and raising concern about gender being taught that is a social construct.

    The issue essentially is can there be diversity in thought, inclusiveness to the view, say, that sex and gender are the same thing, that is doesn’t change and that if someone wishes to self-identify as the opposite sex/gender to the one they are born with then the are free to choose to do so?

    This seems to be the issue at hand and the wrongful dismissal for the view being held.

    To blame the decision on being “anti-Christian” is first to conflate the issue with being a matter of religious bigotry and second to assume that all Christians agree with the same view that Kristie Higgs has.

    Rightly or wrongly Christians disagree on many things.

    1. Adam – you are confusing issues. The fact that ‘Christians’ disagree on many things is irrelevant. I have met ‘professing’ Christians who disagree that Jesus rose from the dead! Christians also have a number of beliefs that non-Christians can hold – ie. do to others as you would have them do to you. There are also many non-Christians who would agree that the LGBT plus school indoctrination is wrong. But the issue here is what motivated Kristie Higgs to say what she said – given that she said it was her Christian faith and that the panel told her to leave her religion out of it, then yes it is a case of religious discrimination. I look forward to atheists who hold the same belief being prosecuted….!

      I would question the Christianity (or intelligence) of any ‘Christian’ who denies the biblical teaching that God made humanity male and female – or who deny what his word says about sex. In what sense can you be a follower of Christ and deny what Christ says in his word?

      1. David – you claim that I am “confusing issues” and yet in your title of this piece you write “Christians are now being punished” whereas again the issue here was not about Kristie Higgs being a Christian but about her holding a particular view that obviously could also be held by an atheist. So I take your claim with a pinch of salt.

        John – I hear what you say about the CLC I hear what you say about being persecuted for beliefs but again this could also be the belief held by an atheist. I’m no lawyer but doesn’t common sense dictate that if a belief that can be held by either a Christian or an atheist, there can’t be a claim of persecution for being a Christian or to put it legally, discrimination on the basis of religion?

        I hear what you say about what David “accused” you of with “missing the point” and your view that she could easily have proven she had been unfairly dismissed had she not gone down the path of persecution rather than her “circumstances”.

      2. This is precisely about her being a Christian. She was told that at the tribunal. If a Muslim had expressed the same opinion would they have lost their job? Would a non-Christian have stood up for their beliefs when they are threatened – I doubt it. ALthough a few feminists have had the courage to do so….But yes – to be forbidden from expressing an opinion which is based upon your Christian faith is anti-Christian.

      3. “to be forbidden from expressing an opinion which is based upon your Christian faith is anti-Christian”

        Hear hear!

        Even if the opinion is one that is not *necessarily* based upon the opinion-holder’s Christian faith, and is not common to *all* Christians, if the opinion is more common amongst Christians (or even amongst Christians of a particular churchmanship) than amongst others, then there is *indirect* discrimination.

        Unfortunately for Mrs Higgs, as well as not pleading unfair dismissal (as I have already pointed out), the pleadings drafted by the CLC for Mrs Higgs also neglected to plead indirect discrimination too. Only *direct* discrimination was pleaded. Oops again!

      4. “I’m no lawyer but doesn’t common sense dictate that if a belief that can be held by either a Christian or an atheist, there can’t be a claim of persecution for being a Christian or to put it legally, discrimination on the basis of religion?”

        I don’t know. I have replied with my best thoughts on that to what I think was David’s reply to your comment from which I have quoted. The boundary between direct and indirect discrimination gets a bit technical and it’s late.

        If only all that was needed to plead Particulars of Claim correctly was “common sense”, I’d never have needed to start legal training (which I did), let alone to finish it (which I didn’t). I’d be practising law now.

      5. In what sense can you be a follower of Christ and deny what Christ says in his word?

        Surely a reasonable measure of any said intelligence is to ensure there is iron clad evidence that supports this ‘word’ ( the bible) and it is not simply based on faith?

      6. But you have faith that the Bible is not based on any evidence – and you keep repeating this mantra – with no evidence. The Bible is based on fact. Indeed it is fact.

      7. John you write about “the boundary between direct and indirect discrimination” and while I echo your hear hear to David’s “to be forbidden from expressing an opinion which is based upon your Christian faith is anti-Christian” I fear that without legal expertise we could be discussing this until the cows come home and not come to a conclusion that we could all agree on being legally accurate.

        I will concede that there could be the possibility of indirect persecution of Kristie Higgs for being a Christian going on here but again this not overtly happening and as you indicate, is a shaky case legally. With the law training you have had, you will be in a better position than I to tell.

        No doubt there are covert persecution happening against Christians all the time – part of the choice of being a follower of Jesus is to be obedient to him in carrying your own cross and sharing in his sufferings. This is normal for a Christian. We are in a war that is to be fought with the armour of God and in the love of God expressed in truth!

      8. The judgment is what it is. It is of limited value to express opinions about the judgment, to put a spin on it so-to-speak, unless one refers to the content of it. Unless one attended the hearing, the carefully-written judgment is more-or-less all one has to go on, when concocting one’s own spins on what happened at the hearing and the outcome.

        There is a lot in the judgment to discuss, but the point I haven’t missed, and which others seem slow to take on board, is that no matter how unfair the dismissal of Mrs Higgs may have been – and it certainly looks jolly unfair to me (and, it seems, to the judge) – the judge was powerless to make a finding of fact that Mrs Higgs had been dismissed unfairly, however much he would have liked to, and therefore to award a remedy for that wrongdoing to Mrs Higgs and to order her employer to pay her costs, because she didn’t allege that she had been unfairly dismissed in her pleadings.

        The judge does not deserve to be accused (as he has been on this page) of handing down a judgment the “whole” of which was “a disgrace”. He has my sympathy, though not as much sympathy as Mrs Higgs has from me. She has been badly done to. She must be kicking herself that she didn’t allege unfair dismissal in her pleadings.

        Based on the bad conduct of the employer, which was unkind and draconian, perhaps Mrs Higgs can escape being ordered to pay the employer’s costs?

        She could appeal, arguing that the belief she was falsely accused of holding, for expressing which (in the opinion of the complainant) she was dismissed, was just as protected as the belief she actually held, which would have been protected. It is discrimination to treat somebody detrimentally because one associates them with a class that shares a protected characteristic, or thinks mistakenly they have that characteristic.

    2. @Adams Julians

      Mrs Higgs was dismissed, by all accounts harshly and almost certainly unfairly, but, instead of doing the obvious thing, which would have been to sue her employer for unfair dismissal, perhaps with the help of a solicitor, she went to the CLC, which is not a firm of solicitors, who somehow persuaded her instead to forget about suing for unfair dismissal and probably winning, but instead to sue for direct discrimination and harassment (i.e. *persecution*) and probably to lose, as I warned the CLC she would if she went off on *that* tangent at the CLC’s bidding.

      Abraham Maslow said, “If the only tool you have is hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail”. That more-or-less sums up the ethos of the CLC. They looked at an unfair dismissal and saw persecution.

      Mind you, I think Mrs Higgs *was* persecuted for her beliefs, by being unfairly dismissed. I think she could easily have proved that she was unfairly dismissed, as did the poor judge, but she didn’t even try to prove that. Instead, she attacked her perceived and alleged *persecution*, for her *beliefs*, head-on, by going to the CLC and suing for persecution itself, rather than for unfair dismissal.

      The decision to risk losing this case was a political decision of the CLC and Mrs Higgs. That surprising decision is the elephant in the room. David has accused me earlier of “missing the point” by making that point on his blog, but, reading the judgment as a whole, and paying special attention to paragraph 65, I cannot help but see the helplessness of a judge faced with astonishing Particulars of Claim that made it impossible to throw a lifeline to a plaintiff for whom he obviously had sympathy, whom he realised the defendant employer had probably dismissed unfairly, because she had set out to prove *persecution*, instead of simply focusing on the most important fact of the matter, the sheer unfairness of dismissing her in the circumstances.

      Garbage in, garbage out. The flimsy persecution claim Mrs Higgs brought, instead of the strong unfair dismissal claim she would have won easily, was of such poor quality that her losing the case was almost a foregone conclusion, as I warned the CLC on 21st September, suggesting that they instead pleaded unfair dismissal. It is therefore not surprising that the judgment handed down is now generating more heat than it is casting light, amongst those who have not scrutinised the background to that judgment, the garbage that was input into the legal system, leading almost inevitably to the garbage that was output in the form of the disappointing and distressing, but predictable final judgment that is now eliciting polarised emotional reactions all over the world.

      1. Correction “there doesn’t however seem to be a strong case” should read “there does however seem to be a strong case”

  6. Thanks for this David. As you know I am a longstanding sceptic regarding some (not all) of the claims made by CLC and its allies and it is sad to see one or two established factual inaccuracies repeated in your CT article (eg Dr Mackereth was not sacked, he walked out of his training). That said when shown to be true and well founded, some cases (eg Ashers) have had my strong support. If your report on this is correct then I think I agree this is disturbing and may well progress on appeal. I look forward to reading the Higgs judgement which does not yet seem to be published.

    1. I didn’t get the Higgs judgment through the judiciary mailing lists I’m on either, but CLC has published it here:
      https://christianconcern.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/CC-Resource-Judgment-Kristie-Higgs-ET-201007.pdf

      I’ve downloaded it and will upload it somewhere if I discover that the CLC publication of it has disappeared.

      Thank you for the Twitter follow, which I have reciprocated. On Twitter, you will find be able to find the email I sent CLC on 21st September, warning them that they’d likely lose Higgs’ case the way they were going about it (and explaining why), and mentioning “unfair dismissal” instead, as a more winnable cause of action, which I was astonished to learn they’d overlooked to plead, because that (I thought) was a dead cert on the facts. The judge hinted as much in paragraph 65.

      Do you have a blog I could follow? Mine is JohnAllman.UK.

      Wasn’t it argued that Mackereth was constructively dismissed? Causing him to walk out of his training?

  7. Can someone here provide clarity as to the reason for her dismissal?

    Was it because she expressed (supposed negative) views about gender or ther fact she expressed these views because she is a Christian?

    And, rightyl or wrongly, when oh when will some people realise that to go on social media and make statements/voice opinions about highly contentious politically incorrect topics is often inviting trouble.

    If I thought expressing negative and inflammatory views about Manchester United supporters was going to get me into hot water the last thing I would do was hop on Facebook and tell the world they were a bunch of raving headcases who should stick to tiddlywinks and start planning for relegation. 😉

    1. “Voicing statements about highly contentious politically incorrect topics is often inviting trouble! – in that one sentence you have summed up the intolerance and authoritarianism of so called progressives. You seem to forget that we are not talking about a face book spat – but someone losing their job for voicing in a private FB a personal opinion…..and you support that?!

      1. It wasn’t fair that Mrs Higgs was dismissed for what she wrote on Facebook. If the CLC had enabled the judge to rule that, for example by paying a qualified lawyer to write her pleadings properly, claiming for unfair dismissal, or amending the pleadings to make that claim when I wrote to the CLC to warn them that they needed to focus on unfair dismissal, the judge would probably have ruled that Mrs Higgs’ dismissal had been unfair. That’s how I interpret paragraph 65 of the judgment.

        God is not the author of confusion, it is said, but the CLC certainly has been. This was a clearcut case of unfair dismissal that could have been won easily, if only it had been pleaded that way. As it is, God knows how many people are getting worked up about the judge’s failure to deliver justice to a claimant who hadn’t applied properly for the justice to which she was entitled.

        I ought to hate saying “I told you so”, but alas, to my shame, I am beginning to enjoy it. God, in his wisdom, for some reason alerted me to the cock-up the CLC was about to make, and prompted me to write to the CLC, warning them of the error they were about to make, and how it would deprive their client of justice. I am not even a qualified lawyer. Something supernatural happened and God condescended to let me – little old me – play a part in this episode of history. Amazing!

    2. Read the judgment, here:
      https://christianconcern.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/CC-Resource-Judgment-Kristie-Higgs-ET-201007.pdf

      The judgment explains, in the judge’s own words, what he had to sit through for a whole week, and then make decisions about and write up. It answers your questions and other questions you won’t even have thought of yet.

      There is another, even better (in some ways) discussion about this case, which, unlike David’s blessed blog, is not pre-moderated, you’ll be pleased to hear. I dare say David will be content for me to distract you thither. That other discussion is here:
      https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/a-christian-mother-crushed-by-the-lgbt-juggernaut/

      On “The Conservative Woman”, please be sure to read my own quite numerous contributions to the discussion, which set the record straight somewhat, which is necessary because of the poor quality of mainstream news reportage, and the jumping to conclusions that go on, and the repetition of misinformation published by trusted news sources in editorials on blogs, and economy with the truth and spin and so on.

      1. Thanks for the judgement link John. It has provided evidence on proceedings to enable reasonable engagement. And evidently the judge has made a thorough investigation before coming to conclusions. I agree with you that God is not the author of confusion and in that light the truth will be forthcoming either now or in the future.

        Point 70 touches on what we had discussed about with the assertion by the judge “it was possible to see some sort of connection between her beliefs and that treatment.” At the same time the judge claims “However, as we have said, her treatment was not a consequence of her expressing those beliefs in a temperate and rational way.”

        I agree – to use the word “perverted” in LGBT and trans debate is provocative in the culture we are in. And the apostle Paul talks of being a Jew to the Jew, Gentile to the Gentile, Greek to the Greeks so that nothing be a hindrance to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I fear this doing more harm than good evangelically.

        I also agree with the outcome of the tribunal on point 1 “The respondent did not directly discriminate against the claimant on the ground of religion.” Again, it could have been an atheist expressing the same views about sex, gender and gender fluidity with similar outcome. Therefore religion is a non-issue on this with respect to a protected characteristic according to the Equality Act 2010.

        Furthermore the judge was supportive in point 41 with, “we could see no reason why the belief professed by Mrs Higgs should necessarily result in unlawful action by her. On the contrary, she told us she “loved everyone” and there was no reason to believe she would behave towards any person in a way such as to deliberately and gratuitously upset or offend them.”

        So given that the tribunal concluded that the belief she expressed was not “necessarily” resulting in her breaking the law, it seems she did have a case for unfair dismissal, as you argue John. She claims to love everyone at the same time we know that faith without works is dead faith and thought she may feel that way, feelings are not facts.

        It may help to take a leaf out of the apostle Paul’s book. When he made his legal appeal, wasn’t it as a Roman citizen and not on religious grounds which then granted him an audience with the Roman emperor with whom he was able to be a witness for Jesus and say that he would like him and everyone else to be as he is (in Jesus) apart from the chains he was wearing?

        I could comment on your other link (and thanks for it) but this already has been a lengthy comment.

      2. Thank you for your long comment, which I like.

        I feel sorry for Kristie Higgs, Andrea Williams and Pavel Stroilov. To mix several metaphors I hope amusingly, they are in the bottom of a hole they dug for themselves, having driven through a red traffic light I erected in their path, with their eyes open or closed I know not. Andrea at least appears still to be digging furiously. They are not acknowledging me at all. They should study the judgment and pause to reflect.

        The only grounds of appeal I can see lies in challenging the very idea that the beliefs Kristie was suspected of holding, which she denied holding “vehemently”, would have been “unacceptable” if she had held them, but would have been just as “protected” as any other beliefs. (Paragraphs 63 and 64 of the judgment.)

        See also (if you wouldn’t mind):

        Gadded Dad’s law
        https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/gagged-dads-law/

        This raises some rather fundamental questions about the practice of interrogating natural parents about their beliefs about moral issues like LGBT and abortion and interference in the relationships between the parents and their children based upon their answers. The questions overlap with questions I have raised her, based upon paragraphs 63 and 64.

      3. OK John,

        So, para 63, “not only the dismissal but the entire proceedings taken
        against Mrs Higgs were motivated by a concern on the part of the School
        that, by reason of her posts, she would be perceived as holding
        unacceptable views in relation to gay and trans people – views which in fact
        she vehemently denied that she did hold.”

        And therein lies the case she could argue for wrongful dismissal.

        And para 64, “in short, that action was not on the ground of the beliefs but rather for a
        completely different reason, namely that as a result of her actions she might
        reasonably be perceived as holding beliefs that would not qualify for
        protection within the Equality Act (and, as we say, beliefs that she denied
        having).”

        OK – so this being the claim she made for dismissal on the grounds of discrimination on the basis of religion which was dismissed by the judge as not being applicable according to the Equality Act 2010 and as mentioned could be beliefs held by an atheist or indeed someone of any religion or no religion and therefore not an issue of religion – just as common sense would dictate!

        Yes, I hear what you say about being “in the bottom of a hole they dug for themselves”. Sadly, that happens when prophetic voices are ignored and even despised. As someone said to me recently in a situation I am facing, they are going to hell, and you are an observer. No point in going to hell with them. And if someone is in a hell of their own making then you can throw them a rope but it’s up to them to climb out of that for themselves.

        I hear your feeling of shame with “I told you so”. I don’t feel any smugness about this at all – I just find the whole thing very sad. And sad for what this means ultimately for the good news of Jesus not getting out to a world that perhaps seems more than ever in desperate need of it.

        Going slightly off-piste here with your latest link of “gagged dad” I will, if David permits me offer an engagement with this. My understanding of the back story is that there is a father was cleared of the false allegation of hitting his son by the police who’s contact had been “abruptly stopped”. And of his engagement with a social worker who “said that the alleged assault”… “wasn’t an “insurmountable” problem” but that she had “concerns” about the father’s “parenting style”, because of his “beliefs”. Then asking him what his response would be to his son saying her was gay if he did when he is 14 or if a daughter of his said she had an abortion, later finding out that social services had decided not to “promote contact” with his concern then about who would take him to church.

        Then there being a court case lasting 4 years in the UK and his grievance reaching the European Court of Human Rights hoping it would answer yes to some questions he had that the UK courts had “failed” to answer such as “does social work under the Children Act have to be fair, for it to be lawful?”

        So in essence does he have the right to raise his child as he sees fit. This including disciplining, and on issues such as sexual orientation and abortion.

        OK first off – I am opposed to the government intervening in how a child should be disciplined. I know there are different views out there about what constitutes physical assault but the idea that any government should legislate on physical discipline out of concern for addressing child abuse and not be equally concerned legally about forms or emotional, psychological spiritual etc abuse is to my mind discriminatory and preposterous. It is a “nanny state” telling parents how to parent where common sense dictates that for the vast majority of parents, they know better how to raise their children than the state. If this were not the case then there would be more parent s putting there children in state homes. Since this is not what is happening I find this an unacceptable intrusion on family life by the sate. Child abuse is horrible but there are ways of going about that and I fear the government had got this wrong and may in fact be restricting if not abusing child development in taking this step.

        Second – the “concerns” the social worker had about the father because of his “beliefs”. The devil is in the detail – what beliefs are these? Without any clarification on this, it’s impossible to comment other than to make a broad brush stroke statement about equality diversity and inclusion about all beliefs and treating the alleged “homophobia” as one belief and an opposite view with equal merit without bias in favour of one or the other legally. And certainly not a cause for denying a father’s access to a child with whatever belief is held in this regard.

  8. Subjectivity introduced to policing with “perceived to be racist by the victim”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/1999/feb/24/lawrence.ukcrime12
    “The definition of a “racist incident” will now include incidents categorised in policing terms both as crimes and non-crimes. It will now encompass “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”. A new Code of Practice will record all such crimes.”

    This appears to me to be a root of the move from objectivity to subjectivity within policing policy and wider society.

    We now bear the fruit of this like.

  9. I’m curious about this statement in that it is quite unusual that a body handling a complaint would ‘fuel-the-fire’. The complaint handler is to examine the exact circumstances of the claim made, rather than to inflame the matter. Id the statement correct?>>”The headteacher is then reported to have asked the complainant to find more offensive posts.”

    1. It’s not unusual if the body handling the complaint wants to find someone guilty and deal with it – thus demonstrating how ‘right on’ they are…victims are always needed for sacrifice.

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