By Harry Phibbs, Conservative Home
By Harry Phibbs, Conservative Home
If the Roman Catholic Church had forged links – even as far back as the 1970s – with something called the Paedophile Information Exchange, the political outrage and media onslaught would have been monumental. Certainly, there have been many thousands of appalling cases and a chronic culture of cover-up, but no one can pretend that this was countenanced by canon lawyers or advocated by the Magisterium. Similarly, if the BBC were found to have proven historic (= Savile-era) connections with a group which favoured easing restrictions on child pornography; advocated a more relaxed attitude to paedophilia; proposed the legalisation of incest; and wanted to lower the age of consent to 10, there would be urgent demands for a public inquiry, with immediate suspensions and assurances in Parliament that heads will role.
But when three current Labour politicians – former officers of National Council for Civil Liberties – are confronted with documented links to something that really was called the Paedophile Information Exchange, and when it is set down in black and white that this group really did agitate for all of the aforementioned 'progressive' policies, you have to wonder why Ed Miliband has not at least instigated an internal inquiry and done a few background checks on Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey and (former MP) Patricia Hewitt. Instead, he declared that his MPs do not "set any store by these allegations", and that Harriet Harman in particular is a person of "huge decency and integrity".
The evidence (if it be) has been set out in the Daily Mail, even alleging that "the Labour government of the time may have helped finance the organisation". Unsurprisingly, Ms Harman has dismissed this as a politically motivated campaign – a smear, indeed, of the most despicable Dacre sort, to which depths of journalism neither she nor Labour would ever stoop.
Putti is in the eye of the beholder by Brother Ivo
By Dominic Lawson, Mailonline
Those in authority become weary of perpetual demands for cash from worthy causes. They include the Head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols.
A couple of years ago my wife, a Catholic herself, went to see him with the suggestion that the Church should do more for those with learning disabilities and their families. Nichols’s immediate response was to say: ‘We’re constantly being asked for money.’
It was only when Rosa explained she wasn’t asking for an extra collection at Mass, just that one sermon a year should be devoted to this issue, that he relaxed and asked her to prepare a report on the idea.
So you would think Nichols might understand why the Coalition government, which is faced with a public sector net debt of over £1.2 trillion, has been pressing ahead with its plans to reform and if possible reduce the welfare bill.
Not a bit of it: in an interview over the weekend, marking the Vatican’s announcement that he was to be made a cardinal, Nichols, while accepting the need for savings, said it was ‘a disgrace’ that the Government had ‘destroyed the basic safety net’ of the welfare state, that it was being ‘punitive’ and that food banks were ‘scandalously’ on the increase.
It is right that our religious leaders stand up for the weakest; and given the popularity of the Government’s move to restrict welfare payments to any single home to no more than the income earned by the average working family, it takes courage to inveigh against it with such vigour.
Above all, Nichols is entitled to his opinion — even if he doesn’t see that this widespread public view is exactly the same sentiment that he himself expressed on behalf of his parishioners when he thought my wife was asking them to give to the families of children with learning disabilities: times are hard for many of us and our natural generosity is not limitless.
There is a further irony: the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, is himself a practising Catholic whose motive for welfare reforms is not to save the well-off from paying more tax but to break the iniquitous cycle of dependency that condemns families across generations to lives without possibility for self-improvement — something you would think the Churches would support.
Read also: The moral outrage should be at the dependency culture left by Labour by Nick de Bois, Conservative Home
February 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Politics Comments Off
By Julian Mann, New Directions
It can be right for a local church to engage in controversy in the cause of Christ. But it would appear that Jewish objectors to the decision by St James's Piccadilly in London to erect a replica of Bethlehem's separation barrier around its building have got the better of the moral argument.
St James's ran its Bethlehem Unwrapped event, with its 8 metre-tall, 30 metre-long wall the main spectacular, from December 23rd to January 5th. It explained the rationale: 'At Christmas, we sing about the “little town of Bethlehem”. This Christmas, we are hosting a festival celebrating the people of Bethlehem today and drawing attention to the Barrier that affects every aspect of daily life.'
For the festival's finale, the church invited a representative of the Embassy of Israel, London, to take part in a debate entitled 'Both sides of the Barrier – Separation or Security?'. In an open letter to the congregation, the embassy explained its reason for not taking part, arguing that 'this is not an event which is intended to deepen understanding or promote reconciliation but rather is a transparent attempt to incite against Israel and Israelis'.
By Benedict Rogers, Conservative Home
A Ukip councillor from Henley-on-Thames has written to his local newspaper claiming that the current deluge of tempest and floods aflicting the United Kingdom are "divine retribution for the government's decision to legalise gay marriage". The subsequent outpouring of incredulity, condemnation and scorn has been rather disproportionate to the man's political (or religious) significance, except to say that elections to the European Parliament are fast approaching, and Ukip are widely tipped push the Conservative Party into a humiliating third place, if not win outright. Ergo, the merest unorthodox utterance by the lowliest of Nigel Farage's rabble army will be tend to be whipped up into a storm of shame and embarrassment.
David Silvester had been a life-long Tory (he is still named on Henley Conservatives' website as a branch treasurer). He defected to Ukip when David Cameron changed the natural-law (and dictionary) definition of marriage to embrace homosexual partnerships, thereby riding roughshod over millennia of Judæo-Christian orthodoxy (not to mention, Islamic, Hindu and Sikh beliefs on the primacy of the procreative potential of sexual union). The consequence of this, according to Mr Silvester, are storms, floods and other climactic judgments, which are God's warning about national rebellion, idolatry and apostasy.
The full letter is worth reading, not least because Mr Silvester expounds his belief and sets it in some sociological context, including the Queen's Coronation Oath. It is theologically naive and evidences spiritual immaturity, but the Bible exhorts us to nurture milk-drinkers onto meat (1 Cor 3:2), notwithstanding that some are patently unable to digest it.
by John Bingham, Telegraph
Archbishop Justin Welby says that in many deprived areas the Church has become the 'glue' holding the whole of society together
The Archbishop of Canterbury shrugged off calls from critics to steer clear of politics and “just talk about God” insisting that the Church has increasingly become the “glue” holding society together.
The Most Rev Justin Welby used his first New Year address as leader of the Church of England to reaffirm tackling poverty as one of the biggest priorities.
Archbishop Welby, a former oil executive, has drawn from his knowledge of the City as a prominent critic of practices by bankers, payday lenders and others.
It was a theme he returned to in his first Christmas sermon last week when he spoke about combating “injustice” adding that politics and religion “cannot be separated”.
But it led to attacks from some commentators who claimed that the Archbishop was failing to talk about faith.
Watch the Archbishop of Canterbury's New Year Message on BBC iPlayer
From The Christian Institute
Several prominent MSPs could lose their seats over their support for same-sex marriage, a campaign group has warned.
In ten constituencies, the number of people who are against gay marriage is greater than the MSPs’ respective majorities, according to a list produced by Scotland for Marriage.
Three senior MSPs from the Scottish National Party appear on the list – Gil Paterson, Sandra White and Marco Biagi – along with the former Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray.
A spokesman from Scotland for Marriage said the analysis is “merely democracy in action” and is not a threat.
“MSPs need to pay heed to what we are saying and our supporters will not be frightened to demonstrate their feelings at the next election. And for some, their votes could be decisive”, he said.
“Our members are exercising their democratic rights and MSPs should have the decency to meet and listen to those who don’t share their views”, he added.
by John Bingham, Telegraph
Baroness Warsi has raised concerns over whether legal provisions to protect churches from being sued for opting out of gay marriage are strong enough
Baroness Warsi, the faith minister, has signalled that she is not satisfied that laws introducing same-sex marriage contain enough protections for religious groups.
From London Evening Standard
Let the bells ring out! The Londoner is dusting off the old top hat, for wedding bells are set to ring out across Downing Street. Michael Salter, David Cameron’s close adviser and head of broadcasting, is to marry his long-term partner Rob Church, deputy director of Civil Service Reform at the Cabinet Office.
The wedding will be Downing Street’s first same-sex marriage. Salter, who met Church five years ago at the Stonewall Awards, has worked with Cameron for eight years and is a key adviser on LGBT issues, including the same-sex marriage bill that was legalised this summer.
The Prime Minister risked splitting his own party by daring to push through the legislation for gay marriage and has denied recent claims that he privately regretted the move because of the furore it has created.
“I don’t regret it,” Cameron told reporters. “Britain is a more equal and fairer country for having done it.”
By Rod Liddle, Spectator
By James Kirkup, Telegraph
The Conservative Party cannot win a majority unless it “shouts from the rooftops” about liberal policies like gay marriage, a Tory minister says
The Conservative Party cannot win a majority unless it wins around young people by “shouting from the rooftops” about liberal policies like gay marriage, a Tory minister has said.
Nick Boles, an ally of David Cameron, said that the Conservatives will struggle to win a Commons majority because “a significant number of people will not even contemplate voting Conservative”.
Because the Conservative Party image still repels many voters, the party should consider running candidates under a new National Liberal banner, Mr Boles said.
The minister was a strong supporter of Mr Cameron’s attempts to modernise the image of the Conservative Party and reach out to new voters. His comments reflect concern among senior Tories that the modernisation project has stalled in recent years.
Speaking to the Bright Blue Tory think tank, Mr Boles said that young voters will only back the Conservatives if they highlight their socially liberal policies including allowing gay marriage.
James Kirkup also blogs about this news item here
By Sheila Liaugminas, MercatorNet
The general public and the media are finally dealing with the reality of Obamacare. Great numbers of Americans have a nearly two year jump on that process.
By Matthew Holehouse, Telegraph
Faith is being put back at the “heart of government,” as it was under Sir Winston Churchill and Baroness Thatcher, a minister will say today.
The Coalition is one of the “most pro-faith governments in the West,” Baroness Warsi, the Minister for Faith, will say. “More often than not, people who do God do good.”
Churchill and Thatcher would have welcomed the Coalition’s promise to protect the right of town halls to hold prayers and the creation of more faith schools under Michael Gove’s Free Schools programme, she will say.
Public policy was “secularised” under the previous, Labour government, Lady Warsi will tell an audience at the Churchill Archives at the University of Cambridge.
November 12th, 2013 Jill Posted in Politics Comments Off
by Christopher O. Tollefsen, Public Discourse
When President Obama lied about the Affordable Care Act, he substituted his own self-governance and self-constitution for that of the American people.
by Kirsten Andersen, LifeSite News
Would you pay $10,000 a year to stay married to your spouse? Some American couples are being faced with exactly that decision as they consider their health insurance options under ObamaCare.
By Steven Swinford, Telegraph
Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, says he was 'shocked' by the legalisation of same-sex marriage and it was 'damaging' for the Conservative Party
Legalising same-sex marriage was "damaging" for the Conservative Party and was pushed through too quickly by David Cameron, a Cabinet minister has said.
Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, said he and other Conservatives were left "shocked" by the "tumultuous" pace of change and would have preferred for it to have "gradually taken root".
He said that it created the perception the party's leadership was in a "different place to the core of the active supporters" over the issue, but added that the Conservatives now have to "focus on the challenges ahead".
In an interview with Conservativehome, Mr Hammond said: "It was damaging because it created a perception that the leadership was in a different place to the core of the party's active supporters.
"I prefer my change to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and you know I got myself quite comfortable with the institution of civil partnership.
By Julian Mann, Christian Today
Whatever the truth of reports that Prime Minister David Cameron now sees gay marriage as 'the worst political decision of his premiership', he should regret it politically and morally.
Whilst the same-sex marriage bill is not the only reason the Conservative Party is losing both members and voters to Ukip, it is a factor, a piece in the jigsaw contributing to the picture of the party they once loyally supported now selling its soul to political correctness.
Ukip could well lose Mr Cameron the next General Election. Before the recent surge in support for Ukip, I recall being told by a Euro-sceptic Conservative MP friend of mine that a vote for Ukip was 'extremely foolish' because it would allow Labour in. His fears were well-grounded. If UKIP splinters the Tory vote in a similar way to the impact of the SDP on Labour in the 1980s, it is possible in our first-past-the-post electoral system for Labour to achieve a small working Parliamentary majority with around 35 per cent of the national vote in 2015.
But the reality is that many conservatively-minded voters are so cheesed off with the Cameronite Conservative Party that they do not see much difference between it and Labour. It would appear that a growing number of them would like to punish it for its infidelity to traditional Judaeo-Christian values even if that would risk putting Mr Miliband into Number 10.
I personally got a whiff of the politically-correct direction the Conservative Party was taking when I attended a meeting addressed by Mr Cameron in Sheffield during the 2010 election campaign. I asked Mr Cameron about the impact of the 2010 Equality Act on Christian churches and organisations that believed on biblical grounds that homosexual practice was wrong and that heterosexual marriage was the only right context for the expression of sexual love.
Mr Cameron's answer was very revealing.
By Jessica Chasmar, Washington Times
White House LGBT liaison Gautam Raghavan told the Blade that the closed-door meeting will take place Sept. 23 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House.
Participants and administration officials will discuss a range of topics including health, HIV/AIDS, domestic and intimate partner violence, mental health, and bullying,” Mr. Raghavan said.
The invitation was reportedly sent to LGBT supporters of the president and specifies the meeting will be closed to the press.
A White House official confirmed the event would take place, but didn’t comment further, the Blade reported.