“Now it is the Other Way Around” — The Moral Revolution in Full View

“Now it is the Other Way Around” — The Moral Revolution in Full View

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
January 21, 2011

The breathtaking pace of the moral revolution now transforming Western cultures staggers belief. In the course of a single generation, the sexual morality that has survived for thousands of years is giving way to a radically different moral understanding. Just consider the couple in the United Kingdom who were recently found guilty of discrimination because they allowed only married couples to share a bed at their small hotel.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull own a bed and breakfast hotel in Cornwall. In September of 2008, a homosexual couple requested a single bed and was denied that accommodation by the Bulls. The couple sued, and this week a judge found the Bulls guilty of discrimination under Britain’s Equality Act of 2007.

What makes this case particularly troubling is the nature of the judge’s decision.

Judge Andrew Rutherford ruled that the Bulls would have to sacrifice their Christian convictions if they intend to own and manage their hotel. Mrs. Bull told the court, “We accept that the Bible is the holy living word of God and we endeavor to follow it as far as we are able.” In this specific case, it meant that the Bulls would restrict rooms with a double bed to married couples. They enforced this policy regardless of sexual orientation — a point acknowledged by the judge.

Nevertheless, Judge Rutherford stated: “It is inevitable that such laws will from time to time cut across deeply held beliefs of individuals and sections of society for they reflect the social attitudes and morals prevailing at the time that they are made.”

Affirming the swift reversal of public morality on the issue of homosexuality, the judge commented: “These laws have come into being because of changes in social attitudes. The standards and principles governing our behavior which were unquestioningly accepted in one generation may not be so accepted in the next.”

Further, “It is a very clear example of how social attitudes have changed over the years for it is not so very long ago that these beliefs of the defendants would have been those accepted as normal by society at large. Now it is the other way around.”

The judge, who is himself an influential member of the Church of England, accepted that the stance of the Bulls concerning marriage was “a perfectly orthodox Christian belief in the sanctity of marriage and the sinfulness of homosexuality.”

But, those beliefs will have to give way to the new cultural mandate of non-discrimination. This is the legal logic that has driven Christian charities in both the United States and Britain out of adoption and foster care work. Now, the Bulls are likely to close their hotel or get out of the business by some means.

The Telegraph [London] warned: “The right to hold religious beliefs, and to act in keeping with one’s faith, is being set against the right not to be offended — and is losing. This is a dispiriting trend in a free society.” Andrew Brown, a columnist at The Guardian {London], warned conservative Christians that the world has changed, both legally and morally.

The real bomb embedded within Judge Rutherford’s ruling is this sentence: “Whatever may have been the position in past centuries it is no longer the case that our laws must, or should automatically reflect the Judaeo-Christian position.”

There can be no doubt that this logic is fast taking hold in legal circles, pointing to a severe constriction of the rights of Christians to live by their own convictions. At the same time, this decision serves as yet another sign of how swiftly the moral revolution is happening all around us. When Judge Rutherford said that the moral consensus is now “the other way around,” he wrote that revolution into law.

The late Maurice Cowling, one of Britain’s most significant intellectuals of the twentieth century, argued that when the public influence of Christianity wanes, the space is not then filled with anything truly secular. Instead, some new religion takes the place of Christianity. In this case, the new religion is the religion of sexual anarchy.

The judge explicitly acknowledged the fact that the Bulls would be forced to act against conscience in order to comply with the ruling, and that the convictions held by the Bulls were the norm in British society, even in recent times. Fueled by this decision, the moral revolution marches on.


I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me at mail@albertmohler.com. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbertMohler.

Owen Bowcott, “Gay Couple Wins Discrimination Case Against Christian Hoteliers,” The Guardian [London], Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

The Law is Eroding Our Right to a Set of Beliefs,” The Telegraph, Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

Andrew Brown, “Why the Cornish Hotel Ruling Should Worry Conservative Christians,” The Guardian, Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me using the contact form. Follow regular updates on Twitter at @albertmohler.

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