Monday, July 29, 2013

Exporting same-sex marriage

Prime Minister David Cameron told a reception for homosexuals in Downing Street of his pride in legalising homosexual marriage and his intention of exporting it around the world.

Britain, he said, was now "the best place to be gay, lesbian or transgender anywhere in Europe," but there was still a lot more work to be done.

"We’ve set something of an example of how to pass good legislation in good time," he said. "Many countries are going to want to copy this." He wanted to export same-sex marriage around the world so other countries could follow suit.

Meanwhile, Alan Craig tells of recent political adventures in his latest blog post.

His organisation is concerned that children's welfare, at the heart of marriage for many people, has largely been ignored in the same-sex marriage debate. His organisation devised some posters with a picture of a homosexual couple, a separate picture of a young girl and the inscription "What about Sophie, Mr Cameron? Evidence shows children do best with married birth parents."

Two major billboard companies refused their business, evidently because of the posters' content, but a company named AdTrailers agreed to drive the posters around Central London on their truck for two days. On the first day, some same-sex marriage supporters shouted obscenities and ripped part of a poster from the truck.

On the morning of the second day came a phone call from AdTrailers saying they were cancelling the contract with immediate effect. They had received horrific threats to the driver, the staff and the company and for safety's sake couldn't let the truck go out again. "I've known nothing like it in 10 years," said the company representative.

 "More thoughtful observers," says Alan, "may pause to reflect on the implications for our society. The silencing of legitimate public debate through violent threats and fear are the hallmarks of autocracies and tyrannies.

"The UK is not yet Putin’s Russia or Taleban-controlled Pakistan. But inch by inch our free speech is being closed down, our liberties are being curtailed and our democratic space is shrinking. So maybe, just maybe, we are on the way."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Widow forgives husband's killers

You may remember Alan Greaves, the 68-year-old church organist from Sheffield beaten to death as he walked to a church service on Christmas Eve.

His widow Maureen told this story at her church on the Sunday after her husband died:
In the midst of our deep grief, I was sitting in the [hospital] waiting room and a lady came in, and it irritated me, because I wanted to be by myself. I suddenly looked at her and thought "She's grieving like me." So I went over to her, and I said "What's wrong?"
She said "My husband's got a brain tumour."
I said "How are you feeling about that?"

She said "I don't believe in a God at all that could allow this to happen."

God gave me a wonderful moment, when I was able to say that "I believe in a God, because at Christmas time He sent us a Saviour, and He can be your Saviour too through all of the grief that you're going through."

Later on she got her results for her husband, and it was a benign tumour. She came to me and she hugged me. She said "I'll leave this place thinking about the fact that there's a Saviour of this world."
And for me that was a great joy in the midst of my pain, because Alan only died a few hours later.
At her husband's funeral, Mrs Greaves said she had decided to forgive the two men who were responsible for his death, as it was what her husband would have wanted: 
It has to be a daily act of saying "I place them in your hands, God," so that I don't have to worry about them. I don't have to hate them. After the massive shock and heartbreak, this was probably the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. . . I have to do it every day so I don't lapse. It's not an easy journey to look two men in the face who have killed the person you love most in the world.

One thing I have comforted myself with is that the God I believe in had a Son who was beaten as Alan was beaten. The God I believe in was resurrected as I believe Alan will be resurrected.
Last week as Ashley Foster was found guilty of manslaughter - Jonathan Bowling had already pleaded guilty to murder - Mrs Greaves wept in the public gallery. Foster was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment and Bowling was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years.

After the hearing Mrs Greaves said:

Alan was a man who was driven by love and compassion and he would not want any of us to hold on to feelings of hate and unforgiveness. So in honour of Alan and in honour of the God we both love, my prayer is that this story doesn’t end today. 

My prayer is that Jonathan Bowling and Ashley Foster will come to understand and experience the love and kindness of the God who made them in His own image and that God’s great mercy will inspire both of them to true repentance.

She added:  "I am so truly thankful to have loved and been loved by Alan. I am so proud of the man he was and of the life he lived."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Saving sex for marriage

Some days ago I published some worthwhile advice for teenagers who wanted to live an abstinent lifestyle. Here (from the same source) are some tips for parents who want to see their teenage children abstinent outside of marriage:

1. Maintain a healthy marriage and loving relationship with spouse.

2. Get involved in a healthy religious organisation.
3. Hang out with other families who share your values and who have children the approximate age of your children.
4. Use authoritative discipline.
5. Provide your children with warmth and emotional support.
6. Foster your teenager’s religious involvement.
7. Regulate and monitor your teen’s exposure to the entertainment media including TV, videos, movies, magazines, and the internet.
8. Define and explain sexual behaviours explicitly so terms, sexual concepts and words are clearly understood.
9. Communicate your expectations to your teen that he or she should be abstinent - but do not preach.
10. Implement dating rules based upon the age and maturity of the teen.
11. Monitor your teen’s extra-curricular activities. Know where the teen is, what he or she is doing, and how to contact the teen.
12. Teach teen refusal skills.
13. Discuss potential risk of premarital sex, but do not preach or threaten.
14. Encourage your teen to hang out with other teens that are abstinent.
15. Prepare a precocious teen for sexual advances by friends and classmates.
16. Help the teen make plans for the future beyond high school. Set goals. Discuss hopes and dreams for the future.
17. Prohibit alcohol use.
18. If the teen has been sexually abused in any way, get the teen into competent counselling.
19. Start sex education at an early age and keep the conversation running over the years of development.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Language is important

While the world held its breath, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to the third in line to the throne. Our congratulations and best wishes.

But did you notice how the royal baby was described?

The language manipulators who support abortion might have called it the product of conception, a blob of tissue, or a potential person. But no. This was always a baby.

From the announcement of the Duchess's pregnancy, the Guardian talked about the couple "expecting their first child," who would be "the Queen's third great-grandchild," who would "become third in line to the throne" and was "destined to wear the crown one day."

Archbishop Cranmer, the blogger who hides his identity behind the name of the 16th century prelate who was burned at the stake, noticed.

Asked Cranmer, tongue in cheek, "Surely such 'pro-choice' newspapers and journals (and people) should be talking about a bunch of pluripotent stem cells, an embryo or a fetus? For reports suggest that the Duchess is still in her first trimester, so this is not yet a baby, and certainly nothing with any kind of destiny. At this stage, surely, it is a non-person, just like the other 201,931 non-persons who last year were evacuated from wombs in England, Scotland and Wales."

Language is important. George Orwell said political language "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

Philosopher Peter Kreeft says "the personhood of the fetus is clearly the crucial issue for abortion, for if the fetus is not a person, abortion is not the deliberate killing of an innocent person. Persons have a 'right to life,' but non-persons (eg cells, tissues, organs and animals) do not."

As Christian writer Eric Metaxas points out, "our greatest weapon in the defence of human dignity is not bombs or bullets, but the truth. Let's wield it."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Same-sex marriage: 'Contrived deadlines'

Only minor changes were allowed in the same-sex marriage bill, passed in the House of Lords on Monday, approved in the House of Commons on Tuesday and given royal assent on Wednesday.

Why all the intransigence, and why all the haste? What can be the explanation for the rush?

In Monday's third reading debate in the Lords, Lord Framlingham said: "The questions that many are asking are: why now and why the haste? 

"The simple truth is that the coalition Government have colluded with equal love campaigners and the European Court of Human Rights in bringing a case - an appeal - against our country’s long-established and settled position on marriage. There was a suggestion - some would call it a threat - that if legislation were not brought forward by June this year then changes would be forced on us.

"The House of Lords library tells me that as legislation is proceeding the case in the European Court of Human Rights will probably not now be pursued. What outrageous, behind-the-scenes arm-twisting.

"The result is that not one meaningful amendment has been accepted, not because none has been worthwhile but for the sake of entirely contrived deadlines, which suit campaigners in a hurry and a Government who want it off their plate well before the next general election. How cynical and how dangerous.

"Given the huge effect the bill, if passed, will have on millions of people, what an abuse of the parliamentary system to put speed before truth. So many important issues causing great concern have been left unresolved and hanging in the air, such as the effect on teachers, faith schools, the issue of adultery, consummation, the effect on registrars, which has already been referred to, and the use of premises - issues touching the lives of thousands every day, not to mention the effect on marriage itself.

“Those of us who have sat through all the stages of the bill and have watched the Government knock down amendment after amendment have despaired at their intransigence. This House prides itself on being a revising chamber. On this bill it has been a bulldozer. We are being used to bulldoze through an ill thought through bill, the ramifications of which the people have not begun to understand.

"All great issues are essentially very simple. We make them complicated when we do not want to face them or when we are anxious to hide their true meaning and purpose. This bill is built entirely on pretence. It pretends that there is no difference between a man and a woman. From this deceit have sprung all the problems we have been wrestling with - problems we have failed to resolve and which will bedevil generations to come. How can we possibly give our blessing to legislation built on pretence?”

In France there have been massive demonstrations in protest at the approval of same-sex marriage. Complaints about police violence, including the use of tear gas against peaceful demonstrators, have been made to the UN Human Rights Council. Videos show police using tear gas and clubs against elderly, women and children.

Le Figaro estimates that police have brutalised and arrested 1,000 pro-family demonstrators, with 500 detentions. Police were said to be increasingly complaining at being used to oppress pro-family demonstrators.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The two abortions of Penelope Trunk

A blog post by David French tells the story of the two abortions of Penelope Trunk, who appears to be a journalist specialising in career advice.

Says Penelope:
The first one was when I was twenty-seven. I was playing professional beach volleyball. I was playing volleyball eight hours a day and I spent two hours a day at the gym. 
When she found she was pregnant, she was 14 weeks.
 I told my mom I was pregnant. She said, “Get an abortion.”
I didn't say anything. I wasn't really thinking I had any choices. I didn't have a job that could support a child. And I wasn't sure if I was planning to marry my boyfriend, although we were living together. I knew that I had big ideas for my life and I hadn't figured things out yet.
My mom got militant. “You'll destroy your career possibilities.”

Here's what else happened: Other women called. It turned out that many, many women I knew had had an abortion. This is not something women talk about. I mean, I had no idea how ubiquitous the procedure was, at least in my big-city, liberal, Jewish world.
Each of those women told me that I should get an abortion so that I could keep my options open. “You're a smart girl. You can do anything with your life right now. Don't ruin it.”
She went to Planned Parenthood. You had to go once to set up the appointment, and then go back.
When I went back, I had a panic attack. I was on the table, in a hospital gown, screaming.

The nurse asked me if I was a religious Christian.

The boyfriend asked me if I was aware that my abortion would be basically illegal in seven more days.

I couldn't stop screaming. I was too scared. I felt absolutely sick that I was going to kill a baby. And, now that I know more about being a mother, I understand that hormones had already kicked in to make me want to keep the baby. We left. No abortion.
But she persisted.
I scheduled another abortion. But it was past the time when Planned Parenthood will do an abortion. Now it was a very expensive one at a clinic that seemed to cater to women coming from Christian countries in South America. I knew that if I did not go through with it this time, no one would do the abortion. I was too far along.
So I did it.

I went to sleep with a baby and woke up without one. Groggy. Unsure about everything. Everything in the whole world.

People think abortion is such an easy choice - they say, “Don't use abortion as birth control.” Any woman who has had one will tell you how that is such crazy talk. Because an abortion is terrible. You never stop thinking about the baby you killed. 

So the second time I got pregnant, I thought of killing myself. My career was soaring. I was 30 and I felt like I had everything going for me - great job, great boyfriend, and finally, for the first time ever, I had enough money to support myself. I hated that I put myself in the position of either losing all that or killing a baby.

I didn't tell anyone I was pregnant. I knew what they'd say.

So I completely checked out emotionally. I scheduled the abortion like I was on autopilot. I told my boyfriend at the last minute and told him not to come with me.

He said forget it. He's coming with me.

I remember staring at the wall. Telling myself to stop thinking of anything.

The doctor asked me, “Do you understand what's going to happen?”

I said yes. That's all I remember.

I got two abortions to preserve my career. To keep my options open. To keep my aspirations within reach.

I bought into the idea that kids undermine your ability to build an amazing career.

And here I am, with the amazing career.

But also, here I am with two kids. So I know a bit about having kids and a career. And I want to tell you something: You don't need to get an abortion to have a big career. Women who want big careers want them because something deep inside you drives you to change the world, lead a revolution, break new barriers.

It doesn't matter whether you have kids now or later, because they will always make your career more difficult. There is no time in your life when you are so stable in your work that kids won't create an earthquake underneath that confidence. 
French comments:

"The abortion debate is conducted on dishonest terms, with one side working mightily to confine the debate to cases of rape, incest, and desperate women facing desperate circumstances. But there’s another side of abortion - mass-scale killings for the sake of simple ambition to advance personal careers. In other words, here’s one woman’s 'choice' - to hire a doctor to kill her own baby for the sake of volleyball.

"It is striking how completely the idea of such act inverts Judeo-Christian morality, which is saturated with an ethic of care, where self-denial is a prime virtue. Christians are quite directly called to 'deny self' even to the point of taking up one’s figurative cross to follow Christ. Yet the ethic of 'choice' is simple: Kill others to pursue self-interest. I suppose if you want to make a career omelet, you have to break a few eggs.

"In less than two generations even the most 'soaring' career will mean virtually nothing. At best, most of us will be a fond memory for surviving family and close friends. In three generations, even those memories will fade. In four generations we’re simply a name on a family tree. But hundreds of thousands of Americans see that wisp of a career as important enough to kill a child to preserve.

"May God have mercy on our nation."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Getting it right

When man gets to his lowest ebb, God sometimes shows him a vision of Himself, seated on a throne. Just to remind him that He exists, and He is still in charge.

Isaiah saw it (Isa 6:1); Ezekiel saw it (Eze 1:26); Daniel saw it (Dan 9:7); the apostle John saw it (Rev 4:2).

 Men who have no time for God would like to tear Him from His throne:

The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
"Let us break their bonds in pieces
And cast away their cords from us."
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh, 
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then he shall speak to them in his wrath,
And distress them in his deep displeasure.  Psa 2:2 - 5.

Such men sanctify that which God hates, and legalise that which He says is an abomination.

But they won't succeed:

Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever;
A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of your Kingdom.  Heb 1:8.

He created all things, "and by your will they exist and were created."  Rev 4:11.

He is worthy to be worshipped.

Edmund Clowney says: "God is the centre of all things. We worship so that we live in response to and from this centre, the living God. Failure to worship consigns us to a life of spasms and jerks, at the mercy of every advertisement, every seduction. If there is no centre there is no circumference. People who do not worship are swept into a vast restlessness. . . with no steady direction and no sustaining purpose."

The man whose life is right is the man who worships God.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Death pathway to go

The Liverpool Care Pathway is to be scrapped by the NHS, it was announced yesterday.

Stories in the media of patients being appallingly treated led to an independent review. The review heard allegations of patients placed on the pathway without relatives' knowledge, being unnecessarily sedated and being denied food and water.

The pathway will be phased out in the next few months and individual care packages introduced, approved by senior clinicians.

The LCP was largely the responsibility of Professor John Ellershaw, medical director of the Marie Curie Hospice in Liverpool and clinical director of palliative care at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, a man with a genuine concern for excellent care for the dying. The LCP, carefully used, can be of help where the patient is properly monitored.

But who in the world authorised the LCP to be rolled out across the NHS, where it can be so easily abused? And who thought up the idea of paying bonuses for the number of patients placed on the pathway?

Monday, July 15, 2013

'Undemocratic first and last'

The British people have been betrayed by the parliamentary system. Same-sex marriage, though the majority of people do not want it, looks like becoming law.

The third reading in the Lords today appears to be a formality. It is suggested there will not be a vote.

When the bill was debated at report stage in the Lords on Monday and Wednesday last week, an amendment making clear distinctions between opposite-sex  marriage and same-sex marriage was defeated by 314 to 119. An amendment providing space for conscientious objection for a registrar was defeated by 278 to 103.

An amendment providing that no teacher would be obliged to endorse same-sex marriage was defeated by 163 to 32. An amendment that schools "of a religious character" would be able to teach marriage according to the tenets of their faith was withdrawn. An amendment providing for a referendum on same-sex marriage was rejected.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Justin Welby, and the bishops, noting the strength of the opposition, are said to have decided not to oppose the bill, but to concentrate on amendments. Some people believe they failed to take a Christian stand. Only two bishops were present when the bill was debated on Monday.

Said the Coalition for Marriage: "The bill was undemocratic from the start, introduced without a mandate from the voters and after a sham consultation which threw 500,000 legitimate responses in the bin. The bill has been undemocratic to the very end, with the parties using their power to apply exceptional pressure on MPs and peers. Whatever the parties may say, we know the votes on civil liberty protections were not truly free.

"There is a very good case for reasonable and necessary safeguards to protect the civil liberties of people like you - people that believe in traditional marriage. Several courageous peers tabled good civil liberty amendments, which we supported. But the bill's backers - including the leadership of the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and Labour - saw to it that none of them were voted into the bill."

Since marriage can only be between one man and one woman, marriage certificates issued by the Government for same-sex couples next year would be perfectly lawful, but actually fake. "We should also remember that the Government said, during debates, that fidelity was not important in marriage and same-sex couples make better parents."

The Maranatha Community said while the bill was before those responsible for the government of the nation, it was vital that we continued to engage in the battle by praying and speaking out for truth, justice and righteousness.

"Our attitude should not be based on whether we think we can make a difference, but rather upon God's call to us to sound the alarm in the face of what is happening in the nation. We are answerable to Him. Remember the Lord said to Ezekiel, 'You must speak my words unto them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious' (Ezek 2.7)."

Friday, July 12, 2013

'Faith illiteracy' at the BBC?

Krish Kandiah, Christian author, pastor and lecturer, complains of a lack of faith literacy among BBC researchers and sometimes BBC journalists.

Told by a researcher that they were "doing a special on the Bible" and wanted someone who believed the Bible was true to put opposite someone who thought it wasn't, he asked the researcher a basic question about which parts of the Bible she had read. She said she had never read the Bible. This, he says, is inadequate for a researcher on a religious programme about the Bible.

I mention this because the BBC has just published a new report on the breadth of opinion reflected in its output in key areas, including its treatment of religion.

Peter Hitchens says "The BBC does implicitly take a side on whether Britain is a Christan country - that it is not a Christian country and should be multicultural. Both Christianity and Islam are statements of opinion with which anyone is entitled to disagree, but on Radio 4's Sunday programme, Islam gets a free ride compared to the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, which are endlessly bombarded on that programme with stories about paedophilia, homosexuality and women priests."

BBC presenter Roger Bolton says "If a Christian is interviewed by the BBC about their objections to abortion on religious grounds, they are treated as though they are just a bit barmy."

Theologian Robert Beckford says "Worship is not aimed at or structured around the dominance of black Pentecostalism. More black people go to church in central London than any other ethnic group."

Replying to secularists' arguments that the BBC spends too much time on religious programmes, the BBC's Christine Morgan says more and more young people are interested in religion whether or not they are religious, because it is arguable that they cannot understand the modern world unless they understand religion.

The report is largely favourable. It says "The BBC's services of worship, news and analysis produced by its Religion and Ethics team is comprehensive and impressive. I found no convincing evidence that voices which could and should have been heard had not been heard,  and no convincing evidence that the BBC had not reflected an appropriate balance between different religions"


"BBC journalists  need. . .  to examine their own assumptions about 'shared consensus' before embarking on interviews involving deeply held beliefs."

There is intelligent comment on the report at God and Politics' blog. It says if the BBC is to remain a credible broadcaster it needs to work hard to keep the trust of its audiences, and treating those who hold religious beliefs with respect is integral to that.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What comes with same-sex marriage

Legalising same-sex marriage won't affect the daily lives of heterosexuals? Don't believe it, says an article at LifeSiteNews.

After same-sex marriage was legalised in Canada, hundreds of marriage commissioners were ordered to violate their consciences and perform same-sex marriages or be fired. A Christian pastor and a Catholic bishop were hauled before a human rights tribunal for repeating 2,000-year-old Christian doctrine on homosexuality.

A Catholic magazine was almost forced into bankruptcy after being targetted with a frivolous "hate speech" complaint. A teacher was suspended and threatened with removal of his teaching licence for writing a letter to the editor in defence of traditional marriage.

A Catholic city councillor had a death threat spray painted on his business after stating his beliefs that homosexual acts were "not natural." Other individuals had lifetime speech bans placed on them to prohibit them from ever writing or speaking critically about the homosexual lifestyle.

In schools, homosexual topics were woven into all subjects and all grades, starting in kindergarten. Some school boards refuse to give parents advance notice of lessons dealing with sexual orientation, and deny rights of parents to opt-out children from such lessons.

A TV sports broadcaster was fired for tweeting support for the traditional definition of marriage after work hours, from home, on his personal Twitter account. A real estate brokerage fired  a Catholic agent for promoting the idea that children do better with a mother and father, as against homosexual parenting.

"Though you may be battle weary," the author says, "it's worth the fight to escape the yoke of tyranny Canada already wears."

After same-sex marriage, another writer warns, comes the intense transgender agenda. In Massachusetts, a series of bills filed by the homosexual lobby and the radical left were being considered at a public hearing before the Joint Judiciary Committee yesterday.

They include bills to repeal laws against bestiality, "unnatural and lascivious acts," soliciting in taverns for immoral purposes, public blasphemy, fornication and teaching virtues to children. Pro-family organisations were countering with pro-family bills.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Abstinence in a sex-crazed age

There is no doubt that the healthiest plan for adolescents is to save sexual relationships until marriage. But how to achieve that in this sex-crazed age?

Here's some sound advice from the American College of Pediatricians:

1. Understand the relationship between increased commitment and increased intimacy. Hold the line on physical intimacy.

2. Make your decision now to be abstinent.

3. Set limits on physical intimacy and be assertive to keep within those limits.

4. Hang out with friends who share your values and are abstinent.

5. Keep your thoughts clean by avoiding sexually explicit music, movies, magazines, and the internet.

6. When on a date keep busy with fun activities and do not spend a lot of time alone late at night.
7. Get involved in some after-school activities such as sports, theatre, clubs, or part-time work.

8. Take part in meaningful religious activities such as going to church, reading Scripture, praying and talking with religious leaders.

9. Realize that the risks of premarital sex are real and could happen to you. You could get pregnant, or get someone pregnant, or get a sexually transmitted disease.

10. Recognize the benefits of being abstinent, including no worries about pregnancy or STDs and an unhindered future.

11. Remember you are free to make choices regarding your sexual behaviour, but you are also responsible for those choices. Once you make bad choices you are not free to avoid or set aside the consequences of your behaviours.

12. If you make a mistake in your sexual behaviour you can change and return to a virtuous life.

For more, including what parents can do to encourage youngsters in abstinent behaviour, see here.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Petition: 'Stop undermining marriage'

If you haven't yet complained about the same-sex marriage bill, now would be a good time.

The Lords will debate the bill on Monday, next Wednesday, and finally on Monday,July 15. MPs are likely to consider the Lords' amendments to the bill on July 16 or 17. SPUC is asking people to write to or e-mail Lords and their MP, asking them to stop efforts to undermine marriage.

It's been a right old week for pro-lifers. 

Four politicians in the ruling Fine Gael Party have reportedly been sacked from the party and told to clear their offices after opposing a bill to ease abortion law in Ireland.

Pro-abortion campaigners chanted "Hail Satan" to drown out pro-life demonstrators singing Amazing Grace at the Texas State Capitol.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue said it would be unfair to say that all pro-abortion supporters would support giving glory to Satan. "Among hardcore activists, though, there are no doubt more than just a few who feel comfortable invoking Satan's name on behalf of their cause."

 In Germany, six 11 and 12-year-old students fainted during a graphic sex education lesson and had to be taken to hospital.

And SPUC is asking for signatures on a petition opposing pornography lessons in school. They are proposed by the Sex Education Forum, which advises the Government. The SEF explains: "The rationale is that if young people choose to look at pornography or if they come across it by accident, they would know how to interpret it."

It's like giving illicit drugs to young children so they'll know how to say no when they're older.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Street preacher arrested

Tony Miano, according to his website ( is a retired, 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

He has served as a gang investigator, field training officer, drug recognition expert and a DUI enforcement specialist. During his career, he received more than 60 commendations and citations for meritorious service, arrests, criminal investigations, critical decision-making and community service.

He is active in Christian service, not least as an open-air evangelist.

While preaching in the open-air in Wimbledon this week, he took as his text 1 Thess 4:1 - 12, and spoke on sexual immorality, both heterosexual and homosexual. A woman heard him say that homosexuality is a sin, verbally abused him and called the police.

Tony was arrested under Section 5 of the Public Order Act. At the police station, he was photographed, fingerprinted, had a DNA sample taken and was placed in a cell for seven hours. He describes the whole incident on a video, which I earnestly encourage everyone to watch. You can see the video here.

A letter describing the incident is to be sent to every member of both Houses of Parliament.

Tony explains in measured terms that the church at large has "basically abdicated their responsibility to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to this lost and dying country," as it has in the United States.

"The day is coming," he says, "when Christians will be arrested not only for what they say, but for what they believe."

Be prepared.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Taking the 'informed' out of consent

The Welsh Assembly has stood the word "donation" on its head. Last night it voted for an "opt out" system of organ donation.

To date in the UK there has been an "opt in" system. Organ donors volunteer to be placed on the organ donor register. But if you have lived in Wales for 12 months and you do not carry a donor "opt out" card, your body is no longer your own. From 2015 you will be presumed to have given consent, and your organs may be taken for transplantation.

The move is an attempt to increase the number of transplantation organs available. There is pressure for similar legislation in England and Scotland.

Said Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, "Everyone knows the absence of refusal is not consent. Pretending that it can be is dishonest and disrespectful. Provision of a right to opt out is a smokescreen. 

"Assurance that every citizen would hear of the new law, understand it, realise its implications, grasp how to opt out and get around to doing so - if they wish - is pure fantasy. Silence should not amount to consent."

Hearts, livers and pancreases for transplantation are taken only from patients who have been diagnosed brain-stem dead. Such a patient is breathing and his or her heart is beating. She can digest food, urinate, and can develop bed sores. If she is a pregnant woman, she can bring the baby to term. I do not believe that brain-stem death is in fact death, but rather an excuse to take the organs.

Doctors would say they are ending a life - a strange term to use for someone they say is dead already - to save the lives of others.

The end does not justify the means.

Hearts, livers and pancreases for transplantation are taken only from patients who are breathing and whose hearts are beating. Organ donors and their next of kin are given to understand that life support - a ventilator - will be turned off and the organs then removed. In fact, the organs are removed and then life support is turned off.

Many doctors do not give an anaesthetic when the organs are removed. To do so would be to admit the patient is alive. There is a violent physical reaction, but doctors say the patient is unaware. Complete unawareness is difficult to prove.

The fact that potential organ donors and their next of kin are not told that donors will be breathing and their hearts beating when organs are removed is unethical and immoral.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Promoting Islam on TV

Channel 4 is to broadcast the adhan, the Muslims' call to prayer, every day during Ramadan, which begins next Tuesday.

Ralph Lee, Channel 4's head of factual programming, said in the Radio Times: "No doubt Channel 4 will be criticised for focussing attention on a 'minority' religion, but that's what we're here to do - provide space for the alternative and a voice for the under-represented. Let's not forget that Islam is one of the few religions that is flourishing in the UK."

There are 2.8 million Muslims in the UK.

Observing the adhan on Channel 4 would act as "a nationwide tannoy system, a deliberate 'provocation' to all our viewers in the very real sense of the word."

"Provocation" is the right word.

The adhan contains the phrases "Allah is the greatest," "There is no god but Allah," and "Mohammed is the messenger of Allah." Perhaps because it is broadcast in Arabic, Channel 4 is hoping viewers won't notice?

Can you imagine Channel 4 broadcasting the Lord's Prayer each day? Or a statement on the Trinity? Or "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"?

Me neither.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Thousands call for Morsi to go

The Middle East is in turmoil.

Two years ago crowds packed Tahir Square in Cairo calling for President Hosni Mubarak to go. Yesterday - the first anniversary of President Mohammed Morsi's appointment - tens of thousands packed the square calling for him to leave. 

Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo were stormed and ransacked. In outlying towns, armed gangs were said to be attacking governors and burning emblems of government. The ruling Muslim Brotherhood was using armed men to strike back. Police and the army did not intervene.

Opponents say Morsi has failed to tackle economic and security problems. He has broken off diplomatic relations with Syria, and appointed 16 territorial governors, including seven members of the Muslim Brotherhood and a known terrorist.

More than 100,000 have died in the fighting in Syria, including 6,000 children. As Russia has continued to supply heavy weaponry, the fighting had turned in favour of President Bashar Assad's regime.

Russia is sending 12 additional ships to patrol the Syrian coast. The weaponry they are supplying includes S-300 anti-aircraft missile batteries, which Israel says could be used to target Israel Defence Forces helicopters and warplanes flying inside Israeli airspace.

US President Obama has begun to send light weaponry to rebel fighters in Syria, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets, despite concerns that they might be used by Muslim terrorist groups linked to al Qaeda. Russian-US relations are said to be at their lowest since the Cold War.

Divisions between Sunni Muslims and Shi'ite Muslims are threatening the security of the entire region. Shi'ite Iran, said to be fully committed to supporting Assad's regime, is sending 4,000 Revolutionary Guards to support Assad's forces. Thousands of Hezbollah militiamen from Lebanon are fighting in Syria.

President Morsi sponsored a conference of Sunni clerics in Egypt who described Shi'ites as heretics, infidels, oppressors and polytheists and called for a holy war against Damascus. In Gaza, Hamas called for Hezbollah fighters to leave Syria and concentrate on the war of annihilation against Israel.

Christians in Syria are caught in the crossfire between government and opposition forces and suffer violence from both parties, writes World Watch List's Dennis Pastoor. They face "a distinct peril so dire" that their ability to survive in Syria is doubted by church leaders and secular observers alike.

Christians are the targets of an ethno-religious cleansing by Islamic militants and courts, says Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Centre for Religious Freedom. There is still no news of two archbishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Boutros Yazigi, kidnapped in April.

Ribal Assad, a cousin and outspoken critic of Bashar Assad, said the rebels making up the Free Syrian Army were primarily Islamic extremists who were "worse than the Nazis." Many were members of al Qaeda.

Israeli warplanes are believed to have attacked military consignments of weapons in Syria intended for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it plain he will start a war with no one, but he will not fail to defend Israel's interests where necessary.