Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Catholics need not apply (3)

Gavin Drake is a Christian journalist, employed as the director of communications for the Bishop and Diocese of Lichfield. To a good extent he has beaten me to my more detailed comments on the judgement of the High Court. He has drawn on a reading of the text of the judgement itself to say that:
It isn’t a landmark judgement.
Gavin Drake's post is based on reading the text of the judgement. I concur with his exegesis of the text of the judgement that indicates that it is not the landmark judgement that media coverage has been calling it. The judges themselves identify so many difficulties with what they were asked to do, and what they have actually done, that that alone would say "no" to the "landmark" label. At one point they recognise that they are at the very outermost limit of their jurisdiction.

What I am not able to assess is how far the account of the case given by the judges in the text of their judgement is in fact the whole story. The account does clearly move the person who reads it to a particular view of the way in which the case was brought and presented on behalf of Mr and Mrs Johns.

However, if the account of the situation of Mr and Mrs Johns as given in the judgement is accepted as being more or less accurate, I believe a second ground emerges for arguing that the High Court judgement was not a "landmark" judgement. I do not think that their situation, and their articulation of their position in response to social worker enquiries, means that it constitutes a good "test case". It has too many weaknesses relating to the particular individual situation for it to be readily extendable as a typical case for other situations.

That having been said, the way in which the media are reporting the judgement, and some of its detailed comments in the judgement, are likely to lead to discrimination against Christians.

H/T  Catholic Herald.

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