We have the anti-Semites we deserve

By Cristina Odone, Telegraph:

Sainsbury’s throws out its kosher food. Muslim parents are accused of turning state schools into madrasas. Christians lose a high court bid to challenge a Transport for London ban on their 2012 advert that read, “Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and Proud!”

This is not on a par with the Islamic State’s persecution of Christians in northern Iraq. But the West should stop pretending outrage at the bigots it has spawned. With stealthy determination its governments have demoted religious freedom from a crucial right to a secondary consideration.

Sexual preference and gender equality are taken seriously: laws and a host of employment regulations protect these rights with a convert’s fervour. A schoolboy who calls another one “gay” as a term of abuse faces arrest; a woman can sue the pants off her boss if she can prove his sexual discrimination.

But people’s beliefs are of no account. The conscientious objector who cannot marry a gay couple because to do so would run counter to her religious beliefs will lose her job; the pharmacist who won’t sell the morning-after pill because he thinks abortion is a sin will lose his.

The state will not protect belief – and in some countries it will actively quash it: as the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination on Christians in Europe found two years ago, the EU has introduced more than 50 laws that discriminate against Christians.

The liberal secular establishment rubs its hands in satisfaction: yes, this is enlightened governance. No room for antiquated prejudice in their brave new world.

They seem genuinely unaware of the impact of their actions. In erasing God from public life they have laid the ground for ignorance and bigotry of another kind.

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