NCHR Ruling (I): Telegraph Editorial–A new intolerance is nudging faith aside

When an individual’s sincerely held beliefs come into collision with the demands of their employers in this way, surely it is incumbent on both sides to try to resolve the conflict in a grown-up and sensible way. Yet instead of the application of a little common sense, we have seen protracted and costly legal action, followed by a judgment that severely curtails people’s rights to manifest their faith at work. This is part of a wider trend to nudge religion to the margins of society. People of faith are depicted as being not part of the mainstream, as being quirky and different. Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, spoke out persuasively in this newspaper yesterday about the “intolerance of aggressive secularism” and it is time more voices like his were raised.

We are not only a Christian country, we are a tolerant one ”“ but it seems the new secularism has no room for toleration. When these cases first arose, a number of church leaders warned of “apparent discrimination’’ against churchgoers where the “religious rights of the Christian community are being treated with disrespect’’. That claim seems less alarmist than ever.

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