Friday, January 02, 2015

The battle goes on

2014 was a difficult year, with civic rights and freedoms being attacked and secular humanists seeking to bury every public manifestation of Christianity. 2015, with thousands of children being reported for playground banter and the reports passed to education authorities and Ofsted inspectors, doesn't look like being much different.

Home Secretary Teresa May has announced extremist disruption orders to counter Islamic extremism - but which could penalise criticism of same-sex marriage or sharia law.

The Liberal Democrats, who favour liberalisation of drugs laws, want to enforce sex education - possibly with sexually explicit materials - for children as young as seven. The battle against legalised abortion continues in Northern Ireland. With reports of as many as one person in 33 opting for death in Holland, where euthanasia is legal, Lord Falconer still wants assisted suicide to be legalised in the UK.

But the Government has done a partial U-turn with its instructions to promote "British values" in schools. Faith schools were being told they must be tolerant of other faiths and staffs were to be prevented from teaching that certain lifestyles were wrong.

Christians protested. There were challenges from MPs and the prospect of a judicial review. The Church of England said Government plans were "negative and divisive" and increasing Government involvement in schools risked turning Ofsted into a "schoolroom security service."

New guidance to all schools now says achools are required to respect people, not beliefs, and no additional equality duties are required. Unfortunately, Christians say that Ofsted is not following the guidance in many cases.

The price of freedom, said someone, is eternal vigilance. Dare I wish my readers a blessed, prosperous and fruitful new year?

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