To The Victim, The Spoils

by Mary Jackson (November 2008) 


victory for religious liberty” proclaimed Lillian Ladele. No, this isn’t a Muslim lifeguard winning the right to swim in full burqua, or a Muslim barman getting out of serving beer. This time it’s a Christian whose “landmark” claim of religious discrimination has been upheld.  From The Telegraph:

Lillian Ladele, 47, can expect a large payout from Islington Council after she was bullied and threatened with the sack for asking to avoid civil partnerships because of her deeply-held religious beliefs.


Not before time, you may be thinking. Tribunals have been pandering to Muslims and other minorities for long enough. It’s only fair Christians should get a look in. “A victory for Britain’s quiet majority,” said The Daily Mail, “And for […] common sense in our courtrooms.”


But is it “common sense”? More to the point, is it any kind of victory for Britain’s “quiet majority”? Let’s look at the facts.

Since 2005, same-sex couples have been allowed by UK law to enter into civil partnerships. This is not the same as gay marriage, which in the EU is legal only in the Netherlands and Belgium. While the legal rights and obligations of marriage and civil partnerships are nearly identical, there are two important differences.

What Ms Ladele did was wrong. When the requirements of a job change such that they conflict with one’s conscience, the right thing to do is resign. This is what Ms Ladele should have done. She should have explained her reasons without trumpeting her virtue.


Resigning is not an easy thing to do. It may be hard to get another job. Fewer jobs are open to a man with a conscience. For a Christian, this is the cross he has to bear, but he has no right to force another man to bear it.


Islam is different. In the case of the hijab and the hairdresser, the Muslim demanded that the non-Muslim bear the cost of her piety. In my Pajamas Media piece on that case, I wrote:


Islam is doing what Islam has always done: taking territory by any means possible. For Muslims in the West, tears are more effective than guns.


Christianity is better than this. A Christian who uses victimhood as a weapon is letting the side down. Jesus said his yoke is easy, but he didn’t say it came with a compensation payout.


For believers and non-believers alike, it is not in the public interest that victimhood should be lucrative. Islington Council has appealed. I hope that it wins, and that this dangerous precedent is overturned.


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