Morgan, Nicky MP

By John Smeaton, SPUC:

SPUC’s Safe at School campaign has condemned plans to sink £2 million into dealing with alleged homophobic bullying in schools.

See “Government to fund campaign to stamp out anti-gay bullying in schools”, Telegraph, 29 October 2014http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11193812/Government-to-fund-campaign-to-stamp-out-anti-gay-bullying-in-schools.html)

Safe at School supports parents who object to inappropriate sex education.

Antonia Tully of Safe at School told the media earlier today:

“Tax-paying parents will soon become aware that their money is actually being spent on the promotion of homosexuality. This has certainly been the experience of parents at Welford Primary School in Birmingham, who are protesting against the introduction of a teaching programme named Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools (CHIPS). CHIPS was introduced without any parental consultation and many parents in the school are worried sick about what their children are being taught.”

The CHIPS programme includes getting six and seven year-old children to design a dress for a “princess boy”, getting little girls of six to role play lesbian mothers, and showing 10-11 year old children a news report about a transgender six year-old. See the related press release Birmingham parents call on Council to get CHIPS out of their school A review of CHIPS can be read online.

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Apple gay

By Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart:

Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, announced today in BusinessWeek that he is gay. The news surprised no one: Cook’s sexuality has been an open secret in the tech industry for years. But perhaps now he’s revealed himself, we’ll see a bit more rigorous reporting about one of the most powerful men in the world.

Relative to his influence, Tim Cook is perhaps the most under-reported on chief executive in American corporate history. The journalists who would normally be expected to investigate him tiptoe around the subject out of misplaced deference and a desire to be seen as sensitive and not let the cat out of the bag.

I’ve even overheard American journalists discussing whether to change words in their copy so as not to give any hint whatsoever as to the Apple executive’s sexual proclivities. I can’t imagine what word they were talking about… the usual dog whistles such as “flamboyant” and “colourful” really don’t apply to Cook, who has more of an elderly antiques dealer vibe.

Cook has had an easy ride from the tech press–to put it mildly. Partly because everyone knew he was gay, partly because he had the impossible task of filling Steve Jobs’s shoes and partly because the entire tech press corps is effectively a branch of Apple’s marketing department, barely any serious writing has been done on Cook at all.

Normally, we consider the life choices of powerful people to be pertinent to the roles they hold. Women in senior positions in the tech industry are under enormous scrutiny, in particular. Yet while it’s perfectly fine to discuss Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s office childcare arrangements, Cook has been given carte blanche because he likes boys. That’s a bad excuse for sloppy journalism.

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Hague William

By John Bingham, Telegraph:

Britain must make defending the rights of gay and lesbian people a key plank of its relations with other Commonwealth countries, the former Foreign Secretary William Hague has insisted.

He said it was “shocking” that homosexuality is still illegal many countries with historic ties to the UK and argued that Britain must use what influence it has to press for change.

His comments came as he addressed a reception in Parliament at which the annual PinkNews awards were presented.

Mr Hague, who is leaving the Commons at the next election, said he was proud of Britain’s record on the issue during his four years as Foreign Secretary including putting pressure on countries such as Uganda over draconian new anti-homosexuality laws.

But he said more must be done and accused countries which ban homosexual acts of breaking international law.

“While we are making progress in Britain and elsewhere, the situation in many countries in the world is not only difficult, it is actually worsening,” he said.

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Hope David

By John Bingham, Telegraph:

The former Archbishop of York, Lord Hope of Thornes, has resigned from formal ministry in the Church of England after almost 50 years after an independent inquiry found “systemic failures” in bringing a paedophile priest to justice.

Lord Hope, who was the second most senior cleric in the Church of England for a decade from 1995 to 2005, stepped down with immediate effect from his position as an honorary assistant bishop in West Yorkshire, a post he held after retiring as archbishop to become a vicar in Ilkley.

It follows the publication last week of a critical report into his handling of allegations against Robert Waddington, the former Dean of Manchester, who abused choirboys and school pupils in York, Manchester, London, Carlisle and Australia, over five decades.

The inquiry, overseen by Judge Sally Cahill QC, found that Lord Hope, who dealt with two of the cases, did not refer the accusations to police or to child protection agencies.

Instead, he revoked Waddington’s right to conduct services but no further action was taken amid concerns over Waddington’s health.

Judge Sally Cahill said Lord Hope’s actions meant “opportunities were missed” to start an investigation which may have led to a prosecution before Waddington’s death in 2007.

Lord Hope said last week that he deeply regretted not having been more proactive in helping victims come forward.

He said: “After much prayerful and considered thought I wrote at the beginning of the week to the Bishop of Leeds and in the light of the Cahill Inquiry Report I have submitted my resignation as Honorary Assistant Bishop of Bradford, now West Yorkshire and the Dales, with immediate effect.

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The standard portrayals of economic life for ordinary Americans and their families paint a bleak picture of stagnancy, rising economic inequality, joblessness, and low levels of economic mobility. From President Barack Obama’s speech last year at the Center for American Progress to Fed chairman Janet Yellen’s address this month in Boston, we’re getting the picture that the American Dream looks to be in bad shape. These portrayals contain an important germ of truth — today’s economy isn’t doing ordinary Americans many favors — but what is largely missing from the public conversation about economics in America is an honest discussion of the family factor in all of this.

That’s unfortunate, because one reason — though, to be sure, not the only reason — that the American economic landscape looks bleaker today is that American families are not as strong and stable as they could be. Indeed, in a new report released this week from the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies, we find that about one-third of recent increases in family-income inequality and male joblessness, and a significant share of median family-income stagnation, can be linked to the declining share of Americans who are getting and staying married….

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The Rt Revd James Tengatenga and Mrs Elizabeth Paver, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee, Anglican Communion, have appointed the Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan as Interim Secretary General.

Canon Barnett-Cowan, who will retire at the end of January as Director for Unity Faith and Order, has agreed to be a half-time consultant for the position until the position of Secretary General has been filled. She will be based at her home in Canada but will work at the Anglican Communion Office for some days each month.

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A campaign to tackle domestic violence set up by the Anglican mission agency Us (formerly USPG) has touched the hearts of church-goers in Britain and Ireland.

The campaign focuses on the work of the Anglican Church in Zambia to support women who face violence – but is part of a wider concern of Us to address domestic violence worldwide. According to the UN, up to 70 per cent of women worldwide experience violence at some point in their lifetime.

Churches and church-goers were invited by Us to order and wear friendship bracelets as a reminder to pray for women. In addition, Us invited people to write messages of support for women in Zambia – with hundreds responding. The messages will be distributed among women in Zambia.

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halloween 1

by Revd J John, Daily Mirror:

Halloween has become one of the biggest events in the British calendar.

There have always been traditions associated with 31st October, but the present extravaganza, with its epidemic of ‘trick-or-treating’, is a recent phenomenon.

A decade ago, spending on Halloween in the UK was only £12m; now, boosted by Hollywood and marketing, it is £300m.

Financially, Halloween is now, after Christmas and Easter, our third highest grossing celebration.

Yet Halloween has seized this position without any serious consideration of what it stands for and whether or not we even want it.

When people talk about what happens on 31st October a little phrase commonly heard is that Halloween is ‘harmless nonsense’.

But is it indeed harmless? Is it merely nonsense? It’s time to do some hard thinking.

Let me give you six reasons why Halloween is not harmless:

1. HALLOWEEN CELEBRATES EVIL

Although people celebrate Halloween in different ways it remains, at its core, an event that glorifies the dark, creepy and scary side of life.

Children and adults dress up as figures that are ‘evil’: witches, vampires, ghosts and demons.

If you want to be different you can hire costumes to make you look like a chainsaw killer, a psychopathic butcher or even a shooting victim (‘with authentic-looking bullet holes’).This is hardly harmless.

Whatever view we have about life, we all take it for granted that our society should spend time and energy encouraging children to care for others and to know the difference between right and wrong.

Yet on this one day, we throw all those values away and glorify everything that is evil and unpleasant. Talk about sending out mixed messages!

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Davies Geraint

The 2nd reading of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill 2014/15 is now rescheduled for 21st of November

Editor’s comment: This is the continuation of the progress of the Private Members’ Bill sponsored by Geraint Davies MP, which aims to “prohibit gay to straight conversion therapy”, and thereby offering “protection of children and adults”. This post also contains links to articles explaining why this is a threat to basic liberties and is being achieved through an abuse of science.

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2014-15/counsellorsandpsychotherapistsregulation.html

http://anglicanmainstream.org/implications-of-the-soce-ban/

http://www.core-issues.org/uploads/FRA%20Discrimination%20Against%20Ex-gay%20identity%20and%20Therapetuc%20Support%20Final%2027%20October%202014.pdf

And here: the latest attempt to shut down Change Therapy, by classifying it as torture:

http://www.ushrnetwork.org/sites/ushrnetwork.org/files/23-indiv-nclr.pdf

 

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Jackie on October 30th, 2014

As the old saying goes, Hindsight is 20/20.  Of course, anyone not blinded by the rhetoric of money grubbing politicians could have seen this coming.  One wonders if Al and the gang will share their mega-profits with the people who can’t afford to triple their energy bills?  Never mind – stupid question. 

While the impending shortage crisis in the US may have hope of being offset by the booming gas industry, it will not help with the cost.  Across the pond, a cold winter could bring about a major catastrophe whose cost will include more than Euros.

Britain may face blackouts this winter, despite having spent an unprecedented amount on green technologies. The National Grid has revealed it is now considering dimming the lights in every home in the country, and may even pay factories to close in order to save electricity.

According to the National Grid’s Winter Outlook report the reason for the shortages is the closure of coal fired power stations. The coal stations were closed in order to meet Britain’s green targets and have been replaced with wind turbines that produce a fraction of the power.

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