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Can it be that the judges have decided to replace God with their own views, asks Peter HitchensMail Online By Peter Hitchens 3 November 2013

For what exactly is it that holds up the law? Why should parents have charge over their children, teachers over their pupils? Why should we stop  at zebra crossings if we’re in a hurry? Why give a seat to a pregnant woman or an old  man? Lots don’t. Why pay your debts or your taxes, if you can get out of it?

Authority, and the test of  what was right or wrong, used to come from the Christian religion. But Sir James Munby, a distinguished High Court Justice, is the keenest of several judges to say that is all finished now.

He says ‘Once upon a time, the perceived function of the judges was to promote virtue and discourage vice and immorality.’ But he adds: ‘I doubt one would now hear that from the judicial bench.’

 Idoubt it too. Lord Justice Laws said back in 2010 that providing legal protection to one religion over another would be ‘deeply unprincipled’. ‘This must be so, since in the eye of everyone save the believer, religious faith is necessarily subjective,’ he remarked.

Of course, that’s so in a way. Faith is a choice. But the respect given to Lord Justice Laws and Sir James Munby is much more subjective, as is the set of beliefs which seat them on the Bench and pay their salaries.

In 2011, Sir James was one  of two High Court Judges who said that it was not yet ‘well understood’ that British society was largely secular and that the law had no place for Christianity. It’s pretty well understood now. Yet I don’t recall Parliament ever passing an Act saying we had stopped being a Christian country, or revoking the Coronation Oath, or removing the dozens of Christian elements in the law, right up to the cross on top of the crown on every police cap badge. Can it be that the judges have decided to replace God with their own views? It sounds like it.

We all now know that our money is based entirely on faith. There’s nothing like enough gold or dollars or even land to back up the fantastic promises made on all those banknotes.

Nobody dares to think about what might happen if confidence dies, as it so nearly did  in the last great crash.

Given that faith in paper money sustains our entire banking and currency systems, isn’t it odd that faith in  a Christian God is generally viewed as eccentric and outdated?

Sir James seems to have some personal goodness calculator concealed in his robes. Amazingly, it seems to accord with fashionable opinion on everything. Will it still work if its verdicts are unpopular with the liberal elite? Likewise, he’s against things done by a minority of Muslims (though not actually Islamic) which he says are ‘beyond the pale’, including forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour-based’ domestic violence.

But if he’s so secular and multicultural, as he says he is, what exactly is his objection to these actions? Some cultures are rather keen on them.

It’s all very well saying ‘All are entitled to respect, so long as they are “legally and socially acceptable” and not “immoral or socially obnoxious” or “pernicious”.’

But isn’t deciding which is which, as Lord Justice Laws might say, ‘necessarily subjective’? Dig through the first layer of judges to find out what’s acceptable this year, or what’s obnoxious this week, and you’ll find that it’s just judges all the way down. There’s no bottom, just the modish opinion of today, which may not be the opinion of tomorrow.

What’s ‘immoral or socially obnoxious’ in 2013 may be ‘legally and socially acceptable’ in 2043. Who would have believed, in 1983, that we’d be where we are now?

Three decades on, ‘Equality and Diversity’ will have gone, much, much further. Just as we no longer have money, just a pocketful of promises, we no longer have laws, just the current opinions of a self-satisfied, not very thoughtful elite.

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