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 The Jesus Candidate News

25th April 2108
Bakers Back in Court ... this time it's the Supremes

The Ashers 'Gay Cake' case reaches the UK Supreme Court on May 1st. 

The Northern Irish courts found that Ashers Bakery discriminated unlawfully by refusing an order for a cake celebrating a campaign to legalise same-sex marriage in the province. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the bakers' appeal. 

Five judges including Lady Hale (see panel) will hear the appeal.

After the Northern Ireland Appeal Court ruling, I explained why I thought it important for the Supreme Court to review the case. It's not just or even mainly about religious freedom - this case is about political freedom. 


"In making .. provisions for particular beliefs ... I am not sure our law has yet found a reasonable accommodation" (Lady Brenda Hale speaking in 2104)

Now President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale will hear the Ashers case on May 1st. 

For more on her 2014 speech see page 44 of
The Jesus Candidate

The Jesus Candidate: political religion in a secular age was published by Ekklesia in 2017. Buy for £9.40 including UK postage 

Another fine case or two

More legal cases have hit the news with allegations of persecution of the Christian faith. I've published my assessment of the Richard Page and Felix Ngole cases

Religious Nationalism?

Why are white evangelicals in the USA exceptionally wedded to right wing politics? Lydia Bean's research explains this in terms of 'religious nationalism.' Andrea Hatcher compares the situation in the UK. My reviews recently appeared in Evangelicals Now. 

Integration and extremism

The UK government has published its long-awaited 'Integrated Communities Strategy'. This drops plans to register 'out of school settings' attended for over 6-8 hours a week. However the government will 'boost capacity' to monitor such settings (including church settings) using existing powers. The paper offers a 'warm welcome' to good homeschooling but will issue new guidance on how councils can do more to tackle substandard home and unregistered education. The government is setting up a new commission to counter extremism and promote 'shared values'.including women's rights. Extremism is defined in the Prevent strategy as ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy; rule of law; Individual liberty; mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths'.

Liberals clash

Since stepping down as party leader of the UK Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron has appealed to liberalism to stop 'eating itself' in its search for common values to impose on all. Christians of Tim's kind adhere to values including an increasingly counter-cultural idea of 'sin' - and passionately believe in  everyone's equal right to live as they choose.  Liberalism is rooted in evangelical Christianity, he says - so Christians should 'come home' to the party of Gladstone.  His successor as party leader, Dr Vince Cable, continues to slap him down. Is it 'liberal' to hold that politics settles questions of goodness and sin - or is liberalism proved in space for individuals, and their freely formed associations, to live out diverse solutions? And if the second version is right, does this mean that 'British values' are a myth? Christian Today published my answer to that question.   
Copyright © 2018 James Paul Lusk, All rights reserved.

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