PORTSTEWART, NORTHERN IRELAND - The release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final book in the Harry Potter series, has momentarily diverted the public's attention from certain realities: The weather, which normally depresses during winter months when there is less sunlight, has been crying unmercifully on Britain, bringing what the Daily Telegraph calls "chaos and misery" as homes are flooded, flights are canceled, or delayed, and train and subway service is disrupted.
A government document obtained by the media reveals that Britain has nearly "run out of troops" to defend the country or fight abroad. The Conservative Party, under leader David Cameron, failed to win the first by-election since Gordon Brown assumed the premiership, coming in third. The Tories appear to have gotten the message not to mimic the Labour Party. A Tory supplement recently published in the Daily Telegraph entitled "Breakdown Britain: A Guide to Our Broken Society and How to Fix It" mainly emphasizes those issues - family breakdown, economic independence, personal responsibility, education choice - the Tories had downplayed in a failed attempt to cross dress as "compassionate conservatives."
Nowhere does Britain's breakdown and loss of direction appear with greater clarity than in the inconsistent ways the courts are treating faith. A nation that has had its ups and down with religion throughout its long history - and is now challenged over how to accommodate its growing Muslim population - appears openly hostile to anything that resembles Christianity and the dwindling number of church-goers who still practice that faith.
Three recent legal cases highlight the British establishment's growing anti-Christian animosity and spiritual confusion.
An employment tribunal ruled that a Church of England bishop, the Rt. Rev. Anthony Priddis, discriminated against a homosexual man who had applied for a position as a youth worker when Priddis questioned him about his sexual practices and a previous same-sex relationship. The bishop said he asked the man about his lifestyle because it "has the potential to impact on the spiritual, moral and ethical leadership within the diocese." The tribunal ruled the youth worker position falls outside the religious exemptions allowed in the country's Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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