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June 27, 2005

UK Bank ousts Christians for opposing homosexuality

From the BBC:

The Co-operative Bank has asked an evangelical Christian group to close its account because of its anti-homosexual views.

The bank said the opinions of Christian Voice were incompatible with its support for diversity.

Christian Voice said the bank, based in Manchester, was discriminating against it on religious grounds.

From it's web site, Christian Voice aligns with most Christians as well as Jews and Moslems in regards to Homosexuality. They have opposed the practice of police in England to actively recruit homosexuals, which would be seen as an endorsement of the practice by the state.

In response to the bank, Christian Voice published the following on its web site...

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today: “The decision from the Co-operative Bank fits a pattern where politically-correct bully-boys try to attack Christian organisations, Christian symbols, the Bible, and in the case of Jerry Springer the Opera and BBC2, even the person of our Saviour.”

In a letter earlier this month, C. Henfrey, a manager at the Co-op told Christian Voice: “Following a review of the activities of Christian Voice, we wish to give you notice that we require you to close your account with the Co-operative Bank plc. It has come to our attention that Christian Voice is engaged in discriminatory pronouncements, based on the grounds of sexual orientation. This public stance is incompatible with the position of the Co-operative Bank, which publicly supports diversity, in all its forms, for our staff, customers and other stakeholders.” The letter went on to give Christian Voice 30 days to get their account out of the Co-op. The action comes days after Christian Voice applied through the Co-op to HSBC for the facility to accept donations on-line.

Stephen Green retorted: “Of course we make ‘discriminatory pronouncements on grounds of sexual orientation’. We have been criticising homosexual rights ever since we started eleven years ago. Standing up for righteousness is what we do.

The group clarified further that, it is a conviction of their Christian faith that homosexual activity is sinful; and that it is an abomination in the eyes of God.

It is also a conviction of ours that the Lord Jesus shed His precious blood to forgive the sins of all who put their trust in Him, including sexually-active homosexuals.

Paul Monaghan, ‘Head of Sustainable Development’ at the Co-operative Bank, responded to Christian Voice in a phone call stating that anyone who regarded homosexual acts as sinful had no place banking with the Co-op at all.

“You must have slipped through the net,” he said, “Your website is full of blatant homophobia.” Mr Monaghan went on: “The Co-operative Bank has no problem with gay people at all. We have been actively present at the Manchester Gay Pride march and Cardiff Mardi Gras and want to be present at every gay event.” The Co-op was “not a natural port of call” for those who took a Biblical view of homosexuality, he said.

Having looked through the group's web site, I can't seem to find the homophobia he's referring to. It seems like a typical Christian group, concerned about rampant immorality.

What's frightening is that this type of bigotry, that the bank is displaying is what we can expect soon in the US unless we are vigilant about preserving religious rights.

Here in America businesses are openly courting homosexual activists...

Despite boycott threats from anti-gay groups and the perception of a gay marriage backlash from the American public, corporate sponsorship of gay pride festivities held around the country this month remains strong, according to event organizers nationwide and advertising agencies that specialize in reaching gay and lesbian consumers.

From Anheuser-Busch to Bank of America, Avis-Rent-a-Car to Aetna Insurance, mainstream businesses that might have once thought twice about flying their logos alongside the rainbow flag are actively courting a market they consider beneficial, if not essential, to their bottom lines.

Also among the business mentioned are Starbucks, Washington Mutual Inc., Wells Fargo and The Paramount Hotel.

...meanwhile...

From the NYT:

The Hillsborough County Commission approved by a vote of 5 to 1, with one abstention, a policy that directs the county government to "abstain from acknowledging, promoting or participating" in gay pride recognition or events. The measure was passed on June 15, after a Gay and Lesbian Pride Month display at the West Gate Regional Library here upset some library patrons.

The commission also voted to require a supermajority vote of 5 to 2 to overturn the policy.

Hillsborough is the county Tampa Bay, Florida is in.

Commissioner Ronda Storms, who introduced the measure and has received the brunt of local criticism about it, said the pamphlet troubled her the most.

"One of the things that occurred was that pamphlets were being distributed to children by librarians who are county employees," Ms. Storms said, "and they referred children to youth groups outside Hillsborough County to explore their sexuality."

Doing so, she said, could lead the children to engage in "high-risk behavior." ...

While the measure is not popular with gay rights supporters, Renee Lee, the Hillsborough County attorney, said it was legal. "If the county doesn't want to spend money promoting gay rights, they can do that," Ms. Lee said. "It's not a constitutional breach. This is not a free speech issue."

So, at least some people are making some common sense policies and laws.

Coverage: Stones Cry Out, The Narrow

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 27, 2005 07:26 AM

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