January 23rd 2007

A problem has surfaced due to the impossibility of applying UK/EU anti-discrimination laws simultaneously in the fields of religion and sexual orientation.

The freedom to adhere to one precludes compliance with the law regarding the other. Is this a real problem? Yes. I will explain why.

 I would ask the reader, where ambiguity may arise, to assume the basic etymological meaning of the words used here. For example when I use the word 'reasonable' I do not mean 'moderate'. I mean subject to, or suitable for, reasoned argument.

"Every human philosophy contains the seeds of its own destruction. If taken to its extreme, in theory or in practice, the seed will germinate."
Who says so? I did, in 1984 and I repeat it now. For all I know many people may have said it before me.

I did go on to explain why this this should be so in many pages covering cosmology, physics, geometry and biology. For now just take it as read.

That does not invalidate any given philosophy; it limits its application either in degree or in scope/context..

Example of philosophy: "Thou (singular, on your own account) shalt not kill"
Limitation: Except in self-defence when less than lethal force proves, or is logically seen as, insufficient.

'Proof' and 'logic' here are as experienced by the individual human agent (subjective) and by plural peer review (which we call objective).
The latter should include the former, humans having developed the science and practice of reasonable empathy.

When a philosophy and its limitations have been tested in application by a society which, by its survival, proves its validity, it has usually become established as law.

Such laws are likely to be inherently stable and form the foundation for further laws, required in due course as new behavioural possibilities emerge due to invention, exploration, discovery and development..However, the drafting of news laws based on speculation, wishful thinking, personal preference, laudable aspiration or even extreme personal experience is risky. None the worse for that, it is nevertheless subject to test by application and then by the evident health and survival of the society that adopts it.

In case at this juncture a reader may be speculating that there is a Darwinian element taking over this lecture, I should point out the contradictions said to exist between  some respected philosophies, e.g. Darwinian, Lamarckian, Spinozan and Judaeo-Christian, are only due to imperfect subjective perceptions of the evidence. [ See the opening preamble of http://revelstoke.org.uk/religion.html for clarification ].

I use the word
philosophies here deliberately. Each have an empirical science base  (of their era - the scientific method has of course evolved) and all have been subject to peer review and experience throughout history to the present day, though only the last was adopted as both law and religion in Europe, America and 1/3 of the world.

Marxism, still the most currently respected philosophy amongst intellectuals, has proved so prone to being abused, taken to extreme and resultant self-destruction that it stands as the quintessential reductio ad absurdum to support my opening proposition on the seeds of destruction in human philosophies. This vulnerability is linked to the totalitarian system that tends to emerge when any society adopts a single philosophy as the basis for all government and personal faith. Hence the preference for 'Unity in Diversity' in sophisticated, experienced societies.

Reductio ad absurdum, Latin for "reduction to the absurd",  is a type of logical argument where one assumes a claim for the sake of argument, derives an absurd or ridiculous outcome, and then concludes that the original assumption must have been wrong, as it led to an absurd result. In formal logic, reductio ad absurdum is used when a formal contradiction can be derived from a premise, allowing one to conclude that the premise is false. If a contradiction is derived from a set of premises, this shows that at least one of the premises is false, but other means must be used to determine which one.

Because I have to do some other work just now I will tell you the answer to this now, but I will be back later to fill in all the reasoning to my reasonable conclusion.

That conclusion is that almost ALL anti-discrimination law is fatally flawed as it cannot and should not, by definition, be universally applicable either in the public or private sphere.

I can also tell you now that our cuddly Lord Chancellor, logical and reasonable though he usually is, on this occasion is talking through his fundament.

* * *
I am back, so lets get on with it. Before dealing with RIGHTS, a few facts on DISCRIMINATION

The whole of evolution, from the beginning of the material effects of what we know as gravitation in space-time to to the present day on the surface of this planet, is based on discrimination. It is the sine qua non of molecular assembly, of chemical aggregation, of magnetic, electric and electro-magnetic systematics, of inorganic reproduction, of organic reproduction, of sexual reproduction, of organisation, of standards, of order, of language.  The concept of CHOICE, which involves the action of DISCRIMINATION, is forced on the material of the universe by the proximity brought about by gravitation.

Eventually this choice, which starts by being resolved through the basic geometry of space time and matter, becomes after billions of years the subject of observation, experience and eventually conscious control by the human minds it has created; but all animal life is based on continual discrimination every moment. Animals discriminate on their food, their surroundings, their mate(s), their companions.

It has been the understanding of the importance of choice, rather than any elaborate economic theory, that has been the respected academic argument to back up the Western World's espousal of Parliamentary Democracy and the Market Economy. Thousands of years of history, the recording of history, the study of history, the personal experience of history by victors and vanquished, winners and losers, governors and governed, teachers and students have led to an understanding that freedom of choice, providing it is exercised by people with an education appropriate to their circumstances and privilege, who have imbibed the notion of self discipline, is the only way to give humanity the chance of developing without the processes of rhythmical periods of either violent revolution, or competitive conquest, or the collapse and rebirth of civilisation. The aim is change but with some stability. Change because our existence is temporal and dynamic. We are as the waves on an ocean, dependent on dynamism for our existence. Stability because we cannot live with total uncertainty and gain our satisfaction through the achievement from time to time of goals we have desired, however small.

We therefore accept the premise that CHOICE by autonomous individuals is a fundamental agent of change and development that leads to at least a temporarily stable situation from which to plan further development. Compulsion, particularly to a degree and in a manner that inhibits diversity, is unlikely to lead to a society that can deal with the future which, in a dynamic, evolving world is by definition unknown. We accept that CHOICE is exercised through DISCRIMINATION. We choose our friends, we choose our spouses. We do not do this on a quota basis and in the UK we cannot be forced to marry a spouse of of another or of the same ethnicity, religion, colour or political persuasion. We can discriminate in any way we like.

Choice is also a mutual affair. In our society, we cannot choose a spouse unless the spouse also chooses us. This is a very important point. The mutuality of choice when more than one agent of choice and discrimination is involved is one of the key elements in this reasoning.

Now when it comes to employment, we can choose our job providing we can measure up to it and win the competion for it if supply exceeds demand. Nobody can be given the right to any particular job.  To be an airline pilot, you need to have legs that can reach the rudder pedals and eyesight to detect the odd mountain and read the instruments, then you have to demonstrate your ability to handle the aircraft and the admin. To be an astronaut, you cannot expect the hardware to be adapted to any special needs as every gram of weight counts. An organisation is constructed of individuals with many different talents. The best person to manage the accounts may be very unsuitable to run the reception desk. When picking people to do various jobs the secret of success is to DISCRIMINATE. Taking the accounts and the reception desk, we have no need to discriminate on grounds of colour for these jobs. There are jobs where we would of course. If we were looking for a black person to represent black Mancunians in local or national government, or to play the part of a black Mancunian in a film or stage production, we could reasonably discriminate against white Frenchmen with poor English and even go for a Black Mancunian.

 But lets get back to the accounts department and the reception desk. We would not discriminate on grounds of religion unless the handling of the accounts according to secular law was incompatible with the tenets of the religion. We would not discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation, but could discriminate on grounds of behaviour if the orientation had led the individual in question to behave in an intrusive and objectionable manner toward strangers in a hetero or homosexual manner and was therefore likely to do it again. So when picking applicants for these jobs it is reasonable to be discriminating in the appropriate criteria.

That is enough on Discrimination for the moment. Retain the accepted premise that Choice requires Discrimination in its execution, and that Choice needs to be mutual unless one person's choice is forced on another. I now have other work to do and will be back later to deal next with RIGHTS.

Right - I am back again. Now we have took at RIGHTS.

Nobody has any rights unless they are given them by the society in which they live. No society can give a right unless it is within its power to deliver it. This correspond to Hobbes observation, not known to have been challenged for centuries, that the Social Contract is valid only if enforced by the Sovereign Power. No government can offer the right to adoption for a child unless it has the means to supply adults to do the adoption. It cannot 'supply' parents unless it is a society which has agreed a decree by which people may be arbitrarily selected and forced to adopt children. In our society this is not so but people may offer themselves as adoptive parents. It is a voluntary action of very serious commitment.

The organisations who concern themselves with the adoption of children are many and varied, having become established over many years. A number of agencies and authorities work together to provide services for children, including local authority adoption, fostering and residential services, voluntary adoption agencies and independent fostering providers. There are a number of faith-based adoption agencies and the Catholic and Anglican Church are involved in these. Catholic adoption services account, we are told, for 4% of all adoptions and have a very successful record.

These licensed, registered and approved adoption services include those of local authorities and those supported by voluntary funding. Those associated with the Churches are naturally interested not only in finding homes for children that need them but if possible parents who will bring up the children in their faith. People who bring shildren to them for adoption include those who do so in the hope that this will be the case. People who give money occasionally, regularly, by covenant or in their will to support such organisations include those who do so specifically with the aim of placing children in a home that brings them up as Christians, or Muslims, or any other of the recognised faiths. Funds are also given to agencies run by the church by local authorities, and this is where the problem now arises

Time for a fact check: here are the latest available statistics on the world's religions -

Christians 33.03% (of which Roman Catholics 17.33%, Protestants 5.8%, Orthodox 3.42%, Anglicans 1.23%), Muslims 20.12%, Hindus 13.34%, Buddhists 5.89%, Sikhs 0.39%, Jews 0.23%, other religions 12.61%, non-religious 12.03%, atheists 2.36% (2004 est.)

The Catholic Church in the UK has made it clear that while it accepts the rights of homosexual couples under the law to adopt children it is itself directly engaged in a discriminatory operation that concentrates on finding homes and families that are compatible with the Christian religion. That is its job - its raison d'être. It will refer applicants with other aims to other agencies.

The Anglcan Church is of the same persuasion.  I have no doubt adoption agencies associated with any religion would agree.

If a married couple cannot be found for a child, then a single, celibate adoptive parent is within their remit. They do not believe it is acceptable for a Christian church to commit a child, whose sexual orientation is not established, to a family not only whose sexual orientation but whose sexual behaviour has until recently been considered an aberration by every civilisation in history. It may not be an aberration to be criticised, it may be a natural development which is  significant and important. But homosexuality is not the foundation of a natural family. It is therefore not surprising that in the opinion of religious leaders an environment in which it is practised domestically is not an appropriate default environment in which to place a child without its knowledge or informed consent.

So no we come to the rights question. The following suggest themselves as self-evident.

1. Homosexual couples have the right to adopt children
       Justification: The Government and the EU have passed a law to say this is so.

2. Those who believe that delivering a child below the age of understanding and informed consent into the care of practising homosexuals have the right to take what action they can within the law* to find an alternative destination for the child.

3. Those whose organisation is founded on the basis of providing heterosexual couples or single celibates as adoptive parents should not be expected to engage in operations incompatible with these aims.

*The Equality Act is due to come into effect in England, Wales and Scotland in April. It outlaws discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on the basis of sexual orientation. A child is NOT a 'good, facility or service'.

The service that must therefore be supplied by a Catholic or Anglican adoption agency to a homosexual couple applying to adopt a child is to refer them to an agency that deals in their business. The Church agency itself has no problem. The problem arises with local authorities who partially fund the operations of the faith associated adoption agencies.

Logically, if they also fund plenty of non-faith associated agencies who will attempt to find children for gay couples to adopt, they are not discriminating, so the whole problem is solved. Unfortunately we are not dealing in logic. We are dealing in emotion and, with the 'gay' community, one of the most emotional sections of society; so it will need some further argument to show that anti-discrimination legislation itself is inherently misconceived.

It is very important that we treat our fellow men and women fairly and generously, that we value and maintain fellowship and mutual support. That we not only tolerate but appreciate all sorts of differences and variations in taste, preferences and established historical positions and traditions.

But we must also face the facts. Freedom and choice and freedom of choice require discrimination in what we support, what we work for, what we admire, what we suffer for.

On the Channel 4 news this evening, John Snow said "it would be no bad thing" if the Catholic Church were "forced" to work to place chidren with practising homosexual couples. Quite apart from the fact that we don't need to know what the news presenter thinks about anything, we certainly don't want simple minded fascists taking over the airwaves just because they have managed to master the handling of TV presentation.

Tony Blair has yet to decide whether to exempt the Catholic Church from new laws on adoption by gay couples. The prime minister is trying to find a solution to the adoption row that "addresses the different concerns" of the Catholic Church and gay rights groups, his spokesman has said. "He's looking for a way through that recognises and tries to address the different concerns on both sides. There is no point pretending that there are simple answers to these questions. There aren't."

Well, I have news for the spokesman and the Prime Minister. The Catholic and the Anglican Church will follow their own laws, which predate any his government or the EU may invent. They will be discriminating. In due course tomorrow I will explain why anti-discrimination laws themselves can only be  applied in circumstances and situations where such circumstances and situations can be legitimately avoided. Aye theng yew.

JANUARY 24th 2007

I really must finish this off today.
This morning
he Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Rev John Sentamu,  the Church of England's first black archbishop, argued on the Today programme that the Church was NOT being discriminating. I assume this is because he has fallen into the language trap, using the current altered meaning. These altered meanings where an added, possible implied resulltant consequemtial meaning is assumed as the root meaning cause endless trouble. Exploitation has a negative character assumed. Enormity has retained its superlative connotation but the meaning has changed in the last decade from negative in quality to positive in size/quality, demanding a reaction that is switched from condemnation to admiration. We are indeed a confused nation.

(Dis*crim"i*na`ting) (?), a.

Marking a difference; distinguishing. -- Dis*crim"i*na`ting*ly,

"And finds with keen discriminating sight, Black's not so black; -- nor white so very white." Canning.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...."
This is certainly the most inaccurate piece of overblown demagoguery on record,  no two people have ever been born equal in any respect.  Nor should they be treated equally by their friends and relations, enemies or adversaries. To do so is inappropriate and insulting. It implies we have not noticed the difference. They should be treated fairly. Before the law they are equal to a certain extent and we have designed that state of affairs deliberately. The symbolic statue of Justice is blind. But even the law does not expect the same standards from the underprivileged or the disabled or those who have been subjected to extraordinary pressures as it does from those who have no mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstance forms part of the legal panoply of justice.

The Christian Churches hold everyone to be equal 'before God' - that is quite another matter. It is not for any church that stands for the recognition of a divine power to pretend to knowledge of the difference in worth to that divine power and its purpose of any living thing or, for that matter, any inorganic thing. But that does not absolve a church or an individual from judging how to behave appropriately and take responsibility.

These days we have witnessed the arrival of mass communications and the involvement and interaction of millions of people who previously would not have  been involved in the discussion of ethics and behaviour and the incorporation into legislation of regulations that are devised to stabilise the effect of huge new powers in the hands if individuals. The tendency is to replace individual judgment by regulations and machines. The local bank manager is replaced  by computers and systems and a systems manager.  The amount of law and regulation that would be required to take over from properly educated individuals exercising good judgment is infinite. Yet this is the way things are going at the moment and will only change if and when and where an alternative is seen as better and possible. The important word in the last sentence is where. There always has to be an exit for an individual to quit an environment they find intolerable. That is why an anti-discrimination law, which denies the right not only to discern a difference but to act on it, cannot be applied universally. We cannot force people to associate with people and ideas or behaviour they profoundly disagree with.

The judgment of individuals is what life is about, It is not a question of whether the Catholic Church is right or wrong, it is a question of whether it is permitted to exist and hold to its views. We do not live in a totalitarian state, so there can be other churches and divisions with the churches. People are free to join one or the other, just as they are entitled to join a political party. It has been argued that we cannot pick and choose between competing rights - that is exactly what we have to do.  It is not just in the matter of where we place children for adoption that people are entitles to discriminate - it is in every field of human activity.  For this reason, anti discrimination legislation should not be made on behalf of the desire of any minority to be applied universally. If a minority is being treated inappropriately or inadequately it is by other means that this can and should be addressed, not by compelling those who are opposed to it to support it.

7:30 pm January 24th 2007       News comes in that the PM has caved in to the totalitarians. Well that's the end of the Labour Party as far as I am concerned. What a load of utter schmucks.  I wrote off the Tories in 1974 and again in 1990.  I have no idea where the liberals stand on this. Politics in this country has no further interest for me. The lunatics actually have taken over the asylum.

The next step will be to force all doctors employed or partly paid by the NHS to carry out legal abortions, whether they agree or not. I personally disagree with the Catholic Church's thinking and policy on abortion, but if all human behaviour, not just the 'shall nots'  but the 'shalls' are going to be dictated by law...,

In this evening's MORAL MAZE on Radio 4, Claire Fox - no supporter of the Catholic Church or of its views on Homosexuality, understood the dangers very clearly. We are looking at totalitarian fascism here, rearing its head in the guise of liberal tolerance, legislators looking for approval egged on by hurt hysterical gays, Johann Hari completely lost verbal control and could not tolerate even to hear the arguments of those advising caution.

If totalitarian Marxism is the logical system. Should we not go to it now?

JANUARY 25th 2007

I think not. Let me repeat something from near the beginning of this argument. The content is taken from Wikipedia:

Reductio ad absurdum, Latin for "reduction to the absurd",  is a type of logical argument where one assumes a claim for the sake of argument, derives an absurd or ridiculous outcome, and then concludes that the original assumption must have been wrong, as it led to an absurd result. In formal logic, reductio ad absurdum is used when a formal contradiction can be derived from a premise, allowing one to conclude that the premise is false.

If a contradiction is derived from a set of premises, this shows that at least one of the premises is false, but other means must be used to determine which one.

We now have the 'set of premises' which lead to an absurd conclusion. We have shown that the premise which is false is nothing to do with adoption, or gays, or abortion or Catholics. The false premise is that a bunch of legislators in Brussels or London (the location is immaterial) can lay down decrees about non-discrimination based on flaky personal preference in a society of freedom and of choice. Compulsion of behaviour of an entire society must be carefully exercised. In cases of emergency,.if we are at war or fighting for the survival of the planet, rationing and other controls and demands can and should be imposed by elected governments, subject to international treaty obligations, based on logic and measurement.

The latest news is that the PM has not 'caved in' on this issue and is looking for a compromise. Unfortunately a compromise with the output of inadequately experienced, ambitious legislators is not always possible. The PM says it is vital to 'end discrimination against gay people'. That has already been done. Any further moves will discriminate against others, their beliefs, their behaviour, their aims and thousands of years of precedent, not to mention the ignoring of the physical and chemical basis of universal evolution which is that even if they are wrong they are entitled to choose. The case for for the legislation has not been made. The case for enforcement is opposed. We cannot pick and choose which laws to obey, some say.  I say: rebellion backed by millennia of precedent, by millions of educated, responsible individuals, is not 'picking and choosing'. If this legislation is enforced, fewer children will be taken out of care and placed with loving families.

JANUARY 29th 2007

A cooling-off period of 2 years has been agreed by the government on this issue. I sincerely hope that the politicians will use this to educate themselves and realise that their knowledge of life, the universe and everything is very, very marginal. There should be no need for an exemption for the Churches. The new laws need to be scrapped and a very big lesson learned. The same applies, as it happens, to the laws on Fox-hunting, and will apply increasingly to a great many other laws they may dream up unless we wake up and teach these morons the basics in logic, philosophy, science and mathematics, not to mention history and political science. The rights of gays to adopt, and the rights of churches to run their adoption agencies as they wish, are both to be safeguarded. Anti-discrimination laws which prevent this are oxymoronic.


Babies 'removed to meet targets'
By Brian Wheeler
Political reporter, BBC News

Babies are being removed from their parents so that councils can meet adoption targets, MPs have claimed.

The MPs fear a rise in the number of young children being taken into care in England and Wales is linked to pressure on councils to increase adoption rates.

Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who has tabled a Commons motion on the issue, said it was a "national scandal".

The government said the courts decided on care cases but there had to be evidence a child was being harmed.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said there were "no targets relating to the numbers of children coming into care".

But Mr Hemming argued that social services departments are under pressure to meet targets set by government on children in care being adopted.

The decision to bring a child into care must be made on the basis of their best interests
Department for Education

In an Early Day Motion, with cross-party support from 12 MPs, he warns of "increasing numbers of babies being taken into care, not for the safety of the infant, but because they are easy to get adopted".

In 2000, ministers set a target of a 50% increase in the number of children in local authority being adopted by March 2006.

According to the latest available figures, the number of "looked after" children being adopted had gone up from 2,700 in 2000 to 3,700 in 2004, an increase of 37.7%.

The biggest rise was in the one to four-year-old age range.


These figures would be "laudable" if it meant children were being rescued from a life in care, said Mr Hemming.

But he said he had evidence from constituents, prevented from publication by contempt of court laws, that children were being separated from parents without proper grounds.

And he called on the government to reveal "how many of the children that are adopted would otherwise have remained with their birth parents".

Mr Hemming pointed to figures showing an increase in the number of children aged under one being taken into care.

"A thousand kids a year are being taken off their birth parents just to satisfy targets. It is a national scandal," said the Lib Dem MP.


He said children were increasingly placed under "care orders" - where they remain with their birth parents but are kept under supervision by social workers - rather than with foster parents.

And this supervision meant some social workers were "gradually taking them away from the parents, step by step, and giving them to someone else," the Birmingham Yardley MP said.

He called for more transparency in the proceedings of Family Courts and an independent watchdog to scrutinise the work of social services departments.

In a statement, the Department for Education said: "The law is clear - children should live with their parents wherever possible and, when necessary, families should be given extra support to help keep them together.

"The decision to take a child into care is never an easy one, and it is a decision that is taken by the courts."

'Best interests'

The statement went on: "In every case where a child is taken into care on a care order, the courts will have considered the evidence and taken the view that the child has been significantly harmed, or would be if they were not taken into care.

"The final decision on adoption rests with the courts and before a court makes such an important decision it must be convinced on the basis of the evidence that this is the best way to meet the child's needs on a long-term basis.

"There are no government targets relating to the numbers of children coming into care. The decision to bring a child into care must be made on the basis of their best interests."

Adoption targets were brought in to prevent children in care from waiting months or even years before finding an adoptive family.

But the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) has called for them to be scrapped, saying they had done their job and were now in danger of undermining public confidence in the system.

In 2005, BAAF chief executive Felicity Collier said targets had "turned round" the performance of local authorities but it was likely that the proportion of children in care being adopted had reached a peak.