Trevor Phillips (right) seems to be going for this defence – perhaps he's trying to ingratiate himself with every political viewpoint so he can keep his post after the next General Election?
The EHRC chair’s says today that Christians "aren’t above the law". This is manifestly obvious. We’ve seen workers sanctioned for wearing crosses at Heathrow Airport, an Islington registrar fired for refusing to marry same-sex couples, and owners of a Bed and Breakfast told that their rights are "trumped by gay equality".
This last case embodies the mess that is equality legisation. The EHRC’s resource page for teachers is titled "equal rights, equal respect", but nothing could be further from the truth. As shown by the John Terry case, a white man accused of insulting a black one is presumed guilty; a man accused of rape is presumed guilty before the trial begins (unless his name is Julian Assange); and womens’ rights stop where the competency of the Sharia courts start, as shown by the 9- and 11-year old girls forced into marriage in Islington.
Phillips compares Christians who seek respect for their beliefs with "Muslims trying to impose Sharia on Britain". Where has he been the last fifteen years? Sharia courts are up and running all over the country, imposing their medieval precepts on British Muslims.
Surely the kernel of British ways of living – the very thing under attack today – is tolerance of those things we would not choose for ourselves, the other side of the bargain being that our choices will be tolerated by those who disagree with them and us?
The opposite of this is totalitarianism, and can be seen in any courtroom, town hall or tribunal near you.