Cameron surrounded by secularists, says RC Bishop

David Cameron has surrounded himself with religiously illiterate, secularist advisers and religious liberty is suffering, a Roman Catholic Bishop has said.

Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell, said the coalition was carrying on from the previous Labour Government, forcing people to act against their conscience or face punishment from the state.

Writing in the Scottish Sunday Times, the Bishop likened Britain to a country that has “passed into the grip of secularist militants”.


The Bishop wrote about Mr Cameron: “It would appear his priority up until now has been to have an exchange of ideas with more liberal and radical minorities, including sexual minorities.

“It would appear that those immediately surrounding and advising the prime minister, and perhaps Mr Cameron himself, are not religiously literate and simply have no reference to religious sensibilities”.

And, hitting out at the previous Labour Government and the Coalition, the Bishop said they were both effectively saying: “‘Go against your consciences or the state will punish you with all the sanctions of the law'”.


The Roman Catholic Bishop also wrote: “The parliamentary process no longer appears to represent the mind of the electorate, nor reflects the moral concerns of a substantial majority of the population.”

He continued: “Clearly there is a major problem of political leadership in Britain.

“The political class seems incapable of navigating a moral course because it is no longer sure in what – if anything – it still believes”.


Commenting on the Bishop’s words, the Scottish Daily Mail said in an editorial, “Bishop Devine speaks for the silent majority who are increasingly alienated by the trendy posturing of Government and the moral anarchy it has promoted in order to secure the plaudits of a small clique of metropolitan liberals”.

This month the Christian owners of a guesthouse, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, have been fined £3,600 for restricting double rooms to married couples.

In a case which has been described as being about “liberty of conscience”, Mr and Mrs Bull are now set to appeal the decision.


His Hon. Judge Rutherford said his ruling “does affect the human rights of the defendants to manifest their religion and forces them to act in a manner contrary to their deeply and genuinely held beliefs.”

Mr and Mrs Bull were taken to court by Steven Preddy and his homosexual civil partner Martyn Hall.

Judge Rutherford ruled against the Christians, declaring that they had acted unlawfully in not allowing Mr Preddy and Mr Hall to occupy a double room.

The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, Judge Rutherford found, say a homosexual civil partnership should be treated in the same way as a marriage when providing goods or services.

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