It’s our AGM with the usual reports and election. We’re hoping that members will have lots of bright ideas for the coming year’s activities. If there’s any time left over, we’ll find a way to fill it with stimulating something or other.
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Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, has said that plans for gay marriage were a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”. He’s a funny idea about what “human right” means. Article 16 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights says:
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Nothing there about gender, though they probably didn’t consider it necessary when it was written.
The other week it was the Coalition for Marriage, backed by Lord Carey (former Archbishop of Canterbury), who said that legalising gay marriage would be “an act of cultural and theological vandalism”. In response, Ben Summerskill (chief executive of gay, lesbian and bisexual charity Stonewall) said: “Our strong advice to anyone who disagrees with same-sex marriage is not to get married to someone of the same sex.”
The coalition’s website warns,
If marriage is redefined, those who believe in traditional marriage will be sidelined. People’s careers could be harmed, couples seeking to adopt or foster could be excluded, and schools would inevitably have to teach the new definition to children. If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined to allow polygamy?
If you’d like to blow a collective raspberry at the silly old bigoted duffers, click here to sign the Coalition for Equal Marriage’s petition. You know it makes sense, unlike the Cardinal and his Lordship.
Ekklesia: “… equal treatment of others is not simply a legal requirement but a Christian obligation”
The liberal Christian think-tank Ekklesia reports on a claim by Christians in Parliament and the Evangelical Alliance UK that British Christians are victims of prejudice, and finds that they’re seeking to retain privileges rather than submit to equal treatment with everyone else.
Simon Barrow, co-director of Ekklesia, commented:
Initial impressions from this report are that it raises significantly more questions than it answers. For example, it seems to assume that most people who are convinced Christians automatically share, or should share, a range of prejudices – notably against LGBT people – which make them unwilling to comply with requirements to act in a non-discriminatory way in the provision of public services. This is not the case. Many Christians from all traditions believe that equal treatment of others is not simply a legal requirement but a Christian obligation.
He has railed against the evils of religion, and lectured the world on the virtues of atheism.
Now Richard Dawkins, the secularist campaigner against “intolerance and suffering”, must face an awkward revelation: he is descended from slave owners and his family estate was bought with a fortune partly created by forced labour.
One of his direct ancestors, Henry Dawkins, amassed such wealth that his family owned 1,013 slaves in Jamaica by the time of his death in 1744.
Must be short of some real news. I’ve written to the Telegraph as follows:
If Richard Dawkins’ ancestors were slave owners, they were only following a biblical example.
Leviticus 25:44-46 – “However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.”
Do we want it or need it? Alain de Botton has written a book about it, our member Michael Imison has heard him talk about it, and Michael’s going to tell us about it.
Usual place – the Inter-Faith Centre, West Building, University Campus Suffolk.
Found on Facebook – source unknown.
I was asked to contribute to a discussion on James Hazell’s Saturday Show on BBC Radio Suffolk. James introduced the slot on Facebook as follows:
The Warr Zone at 11 – Are we losing our religion? Rows over prayers at council meetings, falling church attendences and an MP who says Europe needs to ‘get comfortable’ with christianity. Do you need religion in your life?
The “Warr” in the title is Simon Warr. I’d never heard of him before but apparently he teaches at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook (he isn’t the headteacher, as some have described him), and he writes a column for the East Anglian Daily Times as well as being on Radio Suffolk. If you listen to the broadcast, from about 2 hours and 10 minutes in, you’ll find that Mr Warr isn’t strong on listening skills and shouts a lot. Click here for his website, and see below for his appearance on The One Show, where he advocated beating children.
You have about a week to hear it on iPlayer – click here to listen. I don’t think that it will have enlightened many of those who are confused about the “militant secularism” claims.
Margaret Nelson will be on the James Hazell Show to talk about all the fuss generated by the Bideford ruling on council prayers, and the claims of “aggressive secularism”.
Times shown aren’t exact. You can listen on i-Player or Listen Again.