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for orthodox Anglicans

The fact is, marriage has been treated shabbily by today’s politicians

April 19th, 2014 Jill Posted in Marriage, Politics Comments Off

Lord CareyBy Lord Carey

Take, for example, the way the Coalition Government has paid lip service to its importance, seeming to penalise couples rather than support them.

In their radical redefinition of marriage, the electorate was assured the Government supported gay marriage because of a belief in the importance of marriage. But in making children secondary to the civil definition of marriage, many of us have continuing doubts about the commitment of this Government to supporting families.

Let’s take the financial costs. Some economists estimate the couples’ penalty — which is the amount they lose each year in tax credits when they start to live together — can reach as much as £7,100 a year.

It is a scandal, and a great injury to children, that parents are penalised for living together.

Furthermore, an estimated 240,000 couples with children are pretending to live apart to get better benefits, according to a report by the Marriage Foundation.

The benefits system discourages couples from committing to each other, feeding the epidemic of fatherlessness. Furthermore, the incentives to live separately are bound to lead to relationship breakdown.

Yes, of course, the Government has tried to address this matter. There have been attempts to shore up support for marriage in the reintroduction of a transferable allowance for married couples. But the amount of £200 is so derisory it does not even begin to tackle the penalty against marriage. It has also become clear that Government policy towards families with a stay-at-home parent has had an element of ‘friendly fire’ about it. Take the example of the new childcare tax benefits, which favour only families where couples both work. 

It is as though the Government is saying that childcare is worthy of financial recognition only if it is done outside the home.

Read here

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Civil servants sent on course telling them how to ‘do God’: Many don’t know basics of Christianity

April 18th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Politics Comments Off

By Daniel Martin, Mailonline

Civil servants are being given lessons on religion amid fears that many have no understanding of Christianity and other faiths.

In a sign of the increasing secularisation of our public services, employees across Whitehall have been urged to attend ‘How should governments “do” God’ seminars.

The events are designed to help officials ensure policies meet the needs of religious people.

Faith groups said it was astonishing that the civil service is so packed with metropolitan atheists that they have to be reminded to take into account the views of millions who are members of a major religion.

The seminars, which have been advertised across government departments, are being arranged by the faith team at the Department of Communities and Local Government.

They are designed to combat the sort of ‘biblical illiteracy’ which saw an Oxford Council official refuse permission for a traditional Good Friday Passion play.

As reported in yesterday’s Daily Mail, the official did not know what a Passion play was and thought it might be a sex show, rather than a traditional Easter performance depicting the trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus.

A flyer for the ‘How should governments “do” God?’ seminars, seen by the Mail, urges civil servants to sign up for them in order to ‘tailor your policy making to ensure it is responsive to the needs and perspectives of people of faith’.

Read here  

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David Cameron is a PM who does ‘do God’

April 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Politics Comments Off

Telegraph Editorial

David Cameron famously described his Christian faith as being a “bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes”. Yet recently, the signal appears to have been amplified. Mr Cameron has already praised the contribution that Christians make to society, referred to Jesus as “our saviour” and spoken of the “moments of greatest peace” that he has experienced attending the Eucharist. But in a new article he appears to go further than ever before, urging Christians to be “more evangelical” about their beliefs – to “get out there and make a difference to people’s lives”.

Those who know him say that the Prime Minister has always had a quiet but profound faith, one that helped him come to terms with the death of his eldest son. But this candour is not only new, but something of a departure for those in his position. Tony Blair was certainly a committed Christian, but was urged by Alastair Campbell to keep quiet about it on the grounds that here in Britain “we don’t do God”.

How refreshing, then, to have a Prime Minister who is willing to talk openly about the values that motivate him. How refreshing, also, to be reminded that, actually, the British do “do God”. We are a Christian country, whose laws, ethics, language and culture are the product of a particular religious foundation. True, church attendance may be falling (although not everywhere, as the Archbishop of Canterbury has reminded us). But polls show that there is a lingering popular desire for the transcendent and the meaning that it brings to believers’ lives. And Christians – along with Jews, Muslims and other faith groups – continue to play a large role in education and charity.

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Read also:  Evangelical Dave believes in God – will voters believe in him? by Benedict Brogan, Telegraph (Judging by some of the comments on this article, quite a few won't – AM)

 What Cameron can do next for the churches by Paul Goodman, Conservative Home


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My faith in the Church of England

April 16th, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Politics Comments Off

From Church Times

David Cameron expresses his pride in its openness, beauty, social action, and pastoral care

LAST week I held my fourth annual Easter reception in Downing Street. Not for the first time, my comments about my faith and the importance of Christianity in our country were widely reported.
Some people feel that in this ever more secular age we shouldn't talk about these things. I completely disagree. I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people's lives.
First, being more confident about our status as a Christian country does not somehow involve doing down other faiths or passing judgement on those with no faith at all. Many people tell me it is easier to be Jewish or Muslim in Britain than in a secular country precisely because the tolerance that Christianity demands of our society provides greater space for other religious faiths, too.
Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, and love are shared by people of every faith and none – and we should be confident in standing up to defend them.
People who, instead, advocate some sort of secular neutrality fail to grasp the consequences of that neutrality, or the role that faith can play in helping people to have a moral code. Of course, faith is neither necessary nor sufficient for morality.
Many atheists and agnostics live by a moral code – and there are Christians who don't. But for people who do have a faith, that faith can be a guide or a helpful prod in the right direction -and, whether inspired by faith or not, that direction or moral code matters.
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Cameron Speaks of Christian Faith as Day Ends With Hymn

April 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Politics Comments Off

By Robert Hutton, Bloomberg

Prime Minister David Cameron, whose day began with the resignation of Culture Secretary Maria Miller, finished it with his eyes shut, leaning against a pillar in his London residence as a soprano sang for his Easter reception.
He had no comment on her choice of hymn: “Ave Maria.”
“The Bible tells us to bear one another’s burdens,” Cameron told his audience of Christian leaders and politicians at 10 Downing Street when she’d finished. “After the day I’ve had, I’m definitely looking for volunteers.”
Miller’s resignation over an expenses claim, after nearly a week of pressure from the media, the opposition and members of Cameron’s own Conservative Party, dominated the political day and the premier’s weekly question-and-answer session in Parliament. The affair has been an unwelcome distraction as the Tories campaign for local and European Parliament elections next month.
In his remarks at the reception, the prime minister made no reference to the issue that’s hurt his relationship with the Church of England over the past two years, the introduction of gay marriage — a policy overseen by Miller.
Read here
Read also:  David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work' - Independent
David Cameron’s Easter speech: “Christians are now the most persecuted religion around the world” – God & Politics in the UK
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Get used to gay marriage, Philip Hammond tells Tory critics

March 30th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Politics Comments Off

Philip HammondBy Christopher Hope, Telegraph

Critics of the Government’s decision to legalise same sex marriage should get used to it and “move on”, according to a Cabinet minister who fought the reforms.

Philip Hammond said that his concerns about allowing homosexuals to marry were now history and the party had to get used to the new status quo.
The Defence secretary spoke out last November to complain that legalising same-sex marriage was “damaging” for the Conservative Party and was pushed through too quickly by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.
Mr Hammond had said he and other Tories were left “shocked” by the “tumultuous” pace of change and would have preferred if it had “gradually taken root”.
Asked on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 if he it was “a good thing for a Conservative Government to have done”, he said: “We’ve made that decision. Parliament made a decision to allow same sex marriage.”
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UKIP reiterates current opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’

March 28th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Politics Comments Off

From Christian Concern

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has re-stated his party’s opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’, emphasising concerns to protect religious freedom.

Last week, UKIP’s press office released comments attributed to Mr Farage suggesting that the party’s position on the controversial legislation had changed. But in a correction, Mr Farage said that the statement ‘was not made by me and not approved by me’.

In his statement he explained, “we were concerned that because of the role of the European Court of Human Rights in British law that faith communities which had strong objections were at risk of being force to conduct gay marriages.” He re-iterated the point when asked during this week’s broadcast debate with Nick Clegg whether he supported same-sex 'marriage'.

Mr Farage’s statement also alluded to “ongoing debate” within the party about how to protect “faith communities from ultimately being compelled to conduct same sex marriages”, noting that “some gay rights activists are already talking about taking legal action in Strasbourg to force this issue.”

Andrea Williams of Christian Concern said: “It is reassuring that as the European elections approach, unlike David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage recognises problems with same-sex ‘marriage’ and maintains his opposition. UKIP is right to fear the consequences for the freedom of churches. Like UKIP we are aware that some activists are already talking about using legal action to force churches to conduct same-sex marriage and there is no room for complacency.

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Gay marriage still damaging our electoral prospects say Conservative Grassroots

March 28th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Politics Comments Off

The Government must support conscience clauses

On the eve of the first gay marriages in England and Wales, Conservative Grassroots warn the policy is still hurting the Party and call for Government action to support conscience clauses and strengthen family life for children.

Robert Woollard, Conservative Grassroots Chairman commented: “Looking at this latest poll it is clear that this policy is still hurting the Party’s chances of winning the next election.

“There was no manifesto commitment to Same-Sex Marriage (SSM) in any Party manifesto and nothing in the Coalition Agreement; no green paper and no white paper. It was rushed through Parliament with little regard to the millions of ordinary people in this country who back the traditional definition of marriage. The Bill passed in spite of a majority of Conservative MP’s voting against it or abstaining so it cannot be claimed to be Conservative Party policy.

“Just days before the first ceremonies are conducted, the Government is still amending laws dating back 800 years. They are doing this by removing terms like widow, husband and wife, again without the consent of the British public.”

Mr Woollard continued: “There has been stubborn resistance to reasoned argument over SSM despite the opposition from all the major faith communities in the UK. The consultation process was flawed. It asked how same-gender marriage should be legalised, not whether. Imagine such a form of the question in the Scottish, or proposed EU referenda. 600,000 votes against submitted through the Coalition for Marriage petition were counted as one vote in the final tally.

“The Scottish Parliament in a proper consultation process found that 66 per cent were opposed. Had a proper consultation been held it would be reasonable to expect that in England and Wales, the figures would be the same.

“Poll after poll has found that the majority of people in this country opposed redefining marriage – but it was forced through by an alliance of convenience with the Labour Party with Brussells seemingly pulling the strings.

Read here

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Wayne Grudem: Does ‘political’ involvement distract from the gospel? Part 3

March 21st, 2014 Jill Posted in Christianity, Politics Comments Off

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Calling Things by their Proper Names

March 20th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Politics Comments Off

By Peter Hitchens, Mailonline

[...]  Look at the recent announcement about ‘Child Care’ , in which ‘the government’ was said to be going to pay future so-called ‘parents’ up to £2,000 a year for something called ‘Childcare’ (or (‘Chowdcare’ as it is more generally pronounced in the public-sector classes).

Of course the claim is almost entirely false. The government has no money. It will have to tax you and me to find this money. Nor is it certain to pay it, as it will have left office, probably forever, by the time the plan is due to be implemented. Then there are these ‘parents’. The word, I was always told, derived from the Latin ‘pareo’ meaning ‘I obey’, on the assumption that the parents are those who are obeyed by their offspring, and the offspring obey their parents.

As this relation of authority and obedience has been abolished in law, and cannot be enforced by the alleged parents, whose former power of discipline is now increasingly classified as ‘abuse', these people are not parents in any case little more than related adults. As they are not required by custom or law to be in any kind of stable or permanent relationship, they aren’t necessarily even related.

And then again, since both of them have been compelled by custom and need to work away from the home, during their children’s waking hours, and further compelled by custom and law to hand them over in later life to supposed 'schools' (no time to discuss this remarkable word here); and as those 'schools' (and the 'universities' to which they lead) follow the desires and aims of the state rather than of the ‘parents’, the supposedly ‘parental’ relationship is pretty much vestigial.

As for ‘Chowdcare’, all observant people have shuddered with horror for years at the suggestion that anyone they loved might fall into the ‘care’ of the modern state, and ‘caring’ has become, for the informed, a synonym for ‘hypocritical’. Few mothers are so hopeless that a paid stranger will ever care more than they do for their own small child.

And this subsidy, by which we are taxed so that we can pay strangers to mind our offspring during the formative hours of their lives, has yet another significance. For, while it is available to couples with a joint income of up to £300,000 a year, it is absolutely refused to those households (be they never so poor) in which one parent remains defiantly at home, 'chained to the kitchen sink'. And I am fairly sure that it is also refused to two-wageslave households who receive childminding help from grandparents or other close relatives. You can have the subsidy as long as both parents abandon their children, and as long as the minders are not relatives.

I think this is fairly obvious, don’t you? Once all its elements have been properly described, it is clearly an incitement to disaffection, a bribe of our own money, offered to us in return for following the repellent and greedy opinion that wageslavery is more important than nurture of the next generation, that motherhood is a contemptible waste of a woman’s talents – all the crazed anti-family Bolshevism that poured from the pens and mouths of the wildest leftist revolutionaries in the 1960s, and is – 50 years later – the settled policy of the Conservative and Unionist Party.

Read here

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Norman Tebbit attacks coalition child care policy

March 20th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Politics Comments Off

by Nick Collins, Telegraph

Former Tory chairman criticises tax breaks for working couples claiming one parent should stay at home to raise children

Norman Tebbit, the former Conservative Party Chairman, has attacked the coalition’s flagship child care policy and claimed each child should have either a mother or father at home to raise them.

Having more stay-at-home parents would reduce the cost to the taxpayer of coping with family break-ups and “subsidising” families with two working parents, he said.

Lord Tebbit added that the coalition is “past its sell-by date” and should not continue beyond the general election.

Giving a “State of the Conservative Party” lecture to the Bow Group think tank, the peer said he was “not terribly impressed” by tax breaks to help working families to manage the costs of childcare.

From Autumn 2015, about 1.9 million families with children under 12 in which both parents work will receive tax breaks of up to £2,000, costing the public purse £750 million.

Lord Tebbit said people should recognise that being a parent involves making “choices”, adding: “I'm not terribly impressed with the idea of subsidising people who both want to have children and to go to work, both members of the family.”

He said the Conservatives should “think about how we could encourage mothers, normally, or even fathers to look after their own children, bring them up in the family.”

“I think that would save a lot of money in the longer run as we look at the costs of family break-ups,” he added.

Read here

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Statement by UKIP leader Nigel Farage on the issue of the party’s approach to same-sex marriage

March 19th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Politics Comments Off

Nigel Farage said: “UKIP’s objection to same sex marriage was two-fold. First, we did not think it should have been made a political priority at a time of many other pressing issues and pointed out that the measure had no mandate from the electorate.

“Secondly we were concerned that because of the role of the European Court of Human Rights in British law that faith communities which had strong objections were at risk of being forced to conduct gay marriages.

“The statement attributed to me yesterday was not made by me and not approved by me. It was a draft by a staff member that should never have been sent out.

“There is an ongoing debate within UKIP about how we can protect faith communities from ultimately being compelled to conduct same sex marriages against their beliefs and their will. We note that some gay rights activists are already talking about taking legal action in Strasbourg to force this issue.”

Read here

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Ukip will disestablish the Church of England

March 19th, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Gay Marriage, Politics Comments Off

From Cranmer

To all those Christians – including the many thousands who daily frequent His Grace's blog – who were considering voting Ukip in the imminent Euro elections (or next year's General Election), pause your fervour.

Nigel Farage has spent many years stroking your troubled forehead and luring you into believing that he and his party understand your concerns about the systematic erosion of our Judaeo-Christian heritage and the perpetual political diminution of Christian moral values. Indeed, he has said:

“We need a much more muscular defence of our Judaeo-Christian heritage. Yes, we’re open to different cultures but we have to defend our values. That’s the message I want to hear from the Archbishop of Canterbury and from our politicians. Anything less is appeasement of the worst kind.”

Cristina Odone herself was impressed:

Yet he speaks not as a defender of the faith — he ventures to church only four or five times a year — but of “our identity”.

..“We have,” he says, “some very mixed values”. These include the “betrayal” of the family. “This has been the most anti-family government we have ever seen. The very fact that they pushed for gay marriage, and thought that it was important at a time when not even Stonewall was campaigning for it, shows you their twisted sense of priorities.” He is “100 per cent” supportive of stay-at-home mothers.

And His Grace was attentive:

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Nigel Farage: Ukip would strip Christian weddings of legal status

March 18th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Marriage, Politics Comments Off

From The Telegraph

Nigel Farage says Ukip would strip traditional Christian wedding ceremonies of their legal status and keep same sex marriage

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, has said that the traditional Christian wedding ceremony should be stripped of its legal status.
Mr Farage suggested that couples who want to wed in church should have to undertake two ceremonies, one recognised by the state and one a religious ceremony.
He also said he would not abolish same-sex marriage, despite having campaigned forcefully against the bill before it came into law.
His call for French-style reforms of the marriage system came after similar proposals by Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat justice minister.
In an interview with PinkNews Mr Farage urged gay, lesbian and trangender people to join his party.

Read here


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David Cameron presides over largest liberalisation of abortion practice since 1967 Abortion Act

March 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Abortion, Politics, pro-life/abortion Comments Off

Andrew LansleyBy Peter Saunders, CMF

Prime Minister David Cameron has presided over the largest liberalisation of abortion practice since the passing of the Abortion Act in 1967.
Under his leadership, former health minister Andrew Lansley (pictured), working closely with abortion providers and senior figures at the Department of Health, has managed to smuggle in what is in effect a nurse-led abortion service without the issue ever being discussed in parliament and without the knowledge of most of his own party colleagues.
This is how he managed it.
When the Abortion Act was passed in 1967 it was intended to allow abortion only in a limited set of circumstances.
Under the Act an abortion could only be performed by a ‘registered medical practitioner’ (ie. a doctor) and only when two registered medical practitioners were of the opinion, ‘formed in good faith’, that certain conditions applied.
About 98% of all abortions are currently performed on grounds ‘that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family’.
The two certifying doctors are required to carry out this balancing of medical risk and it is implicit in the legislation that they would meet with the woman to make an assessment about whether these medical conditions applied. How otherwise could they carry out their statutory duties ‘in good faith’?
Read here
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An Indian immigrant’s view: Leftist indoctrination in Europe

March 6th, 2014 Chris Sugden Posted in Intolerance, Politics, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Vijeta Uniyal, via The Commentator

The Leftwing narrative is running unopposed on European campuses. The institutions of higher learning that once heralded the age of enlightenment are looking more and more like Leftwing, neo-totalitarian Seminaries, and I say that coming from India

While giving finishing touches to his Ph.D. dissertation the Dutch student Jerke de Vries had a seemingly harmless idea. A believing Christian that he was, he decided to thank God in his dissertation acknowledgement.

What seemed like a nice gesture to him, did not sit well with the members of the Dissertation Committee at the University of Wageningen (The Netherlands). They gave him a choice between God and the doctoral title.

He was ordered to blacken the sentence acknowledging God in several hundred printed copies of his dissertation, or face a certain rejection of his thesis.

Apparently in the committee’s view, it is one thing to acknowledge a favorite pub, a regular hang-out or even the local soccer team, like other b[u]tch mates, but by mentioning God the student had clearly crossed the norms of acceptability.

Finally, Jerke de Vries did bow down to the dictates of the committee, but kept his pride by physically removing the entire acknowledgment page from several hundred copies of his dissertation, instead of blackening out the ‘objectionable’ sentence, as the committee had instructed.

What happened last week in a Dutch University is not an isolated case of academic overreach by overzealous members of a committee. Universities throughout Europe and North America are increasingly turning into hostile places, not only for believing Christians, but for anyone holding convictions other than the ones approved by the leftwing establishment.

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Obama administration let anti-gay Muslim leader into U.S.

March 3rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Politics Comments Off

By Kenneth R Timmerman, New York Post

Even as the Obama administration denounced what it called anti-gay legislation in Arizona and the president sat out the Sochi Olympics because of Russia’s crackdown on same-sex couples, the State Department allowed an Islamic preacher who called for the death penalty for homosexuals into the country for a tour of hate.

Sheikh Mohammad Rateb al-Nabulsi was issued a visa for a 17-city tour of US mosques to raise money and support for the Syrian uprising. He arrived New Year’s Day.

The radical Syrian cleric has made no secret of his virulent anti-gay views. Appearing April 28, 2011, on al Aqsa TV, the official network of the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza, al-Nabulsi said: “Homosexuality involves a filthy place and does not generate offspring. Homosexuality leads to the destruction of the homosexual. That is why, brothers, homosexuality carries the death penalty.”

The radical’s remarks were translated into English and widely distributed in the diplomatic and intelligence communities. The independent Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI, translated a 2¹/?-minute segment from the speech, in which al-Nabulsi explained with clear contempt the spread of homosexual practices in Western countries.

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How Margaret Hodge’s policies allowed paedophiles to infiltrate Islington children’s homes

February 28th, 2014 Jill Posted in Paedophilia, Politics Comments Off

From Spotlightonabuse, April 2013

Margaret Hodge became leader of Islington in 1982 and stayed in the job until 1992 when it became apparent, due to exposure by whistleblowers working with the Evening Standard, that every one of Islington’s eleven children’s homes was staffed by members of a paedophile network who were sexually abusing children in care, and were involved in prostitution, child trafficking, and the trade in images of child abuse.

In a recent Guardian interview, Margaret Hodge attempted to talk her way out of responsibility for the child abuse scandal at Islington Council: All that happened when we didn’t really understand child abuse in the way that we understand it now. This was the early 90s … It was only beginning to emerge that paedophiles were working with children, in children’s homes and elsewhere, and so I think my great regret there was believing without question the advice that I was given by the social services managers.

This isn’t what really happened. Hodge was told about a paedophile network operating in Islington’s children’s homes, but she refused to listen.
Margaret Hodge is also silent about how her policies directly enabled paedophiles to work with children and escape detection. Islington Council’s Equal Opportunities policy was unveiled in August 1983.
It promised “positive action” to recruit gay staff, gave an assurance that all council jobs would be open to gay applicants – including the sensitive area of work with children, promised that nobody would be put at a disadvantage if they came out as gay at work, and pledged ‘adequate redress’ to any lesbian or gay man who was subjected to “any harassment, whether physical or verbal” by members of the public or fellow workers…
…Job advertisements will in future carry an announcement that Islington Council does not discriminate against lesbians and gay men, and will invite them to apply.
Labour councillor Bob Crossman was the only person to speak in the “debate” on the proposals, after the policy had been proposed formally by Council Leader Margaret Hodge.
On the face of it, this was an honourable policy, setting out to give protection to an oppressed minority. And why shouldn’t gays be able to work with children, surely they weren’t they any more likely to abuse children than heterosexuals?
Unfortunately, things weren’t what they seemed. The gay liberation movement had been infiltrated by paedophiles as early as 1975. There were paedophiles posing as gay men and hiding behind the gay rights banner to avoid detection. The largest and most influential organisation in the gay rights movement was the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE). At their national conference in Sheffield in 1975 they voted to give paedophiles a bigger role in the gay rights movement. CHE were affilated to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), who campaigned for the age of consent to be reduced to 4, which would effectively legalise paedophilia. Copies of PIE’s manifesto were sold at CHE conferences.
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Opponents of Government’s welfare reforms do not have Christian monopoly

February 27th, 2014 Jill Posted in Christianity, Politics Comments Off

By Julian Mann, Sheffield Telegraph

Opponents of the Government's welfare reforms (Letters, February 20th) do not have a monopoly on Christian morality. Apart from the moral necessity to reduce our soaring national debt, a culture of welfare dependency that militates against earning one's own living certainly goes against the will of God as revealed in the New Testament.

For example, addressing those in the Christian community who had made a choice not to work, the Apostle Paul wrote: 'Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living' (2 Thessalonians 3v12 – RSV). To be properly aligned with Christian principles, our welfare system should be structured to encourage those who can work into a job paying a living wage at the earliest possible opportunity.

Furthermore, it is absolutely contrary to Christianity when individuals choose to spend benefits paid for by the tax-payer on illegal drugs or use welfare payments to support a criminal life-style.

Rev Julian Mann


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I’m scared to admit to being a Tory in today’s C of E

February 27th, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Politics Comments Off

Ed:  This article is not an argument for Christians to vote Conservative (we would not publish such a piece), but a plea for courageously independent thinking

By Harry Pinker, Spectator

I am training for ordained ministry at a Church of England theological college. I am a trainee vicar, if you will. I am also a Conservative, which puts me in an extremely small minority and quite a tricky position. At my college, there are approximately 60 ordinands in full-time residential training. Of those 60, there are no more than three or four who would describe themselves as Conservative and the overwhelming majority would call themselves (proudly) socialist. There is also a sizable minority of Marxists.

In recent weeks, our national press has seemed surprised that senior clergy in the C of E, and the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, have expressed left-wing views — criticising welfare cuts and so forth. But what no one outside the church realises is that within, holding even gentle, centre-right views is strongly disapproved of.

Any overtly Tory priest-in-training would quickly learn the error of his ways. I have not, in two years here, heard anything other than left-wing bias in preaching, either from the staff or from visiting speakers. We are fed a constant diet of propaganda which assumes that all Tories are evil and that they exist solely for the benefit of the rich.

We have had lectures in which the speaker insists that all tax avoidance is evil, while overlooking the use of Gift Aid and other tax-avoidance measures in their own churches. Other lecturers have described fund managers as being useless and immoral — never a mention of the fact that the Church of England’s considerable assets are managed by just such people.

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