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All articles in category Society

News

December 2018
News > Society

Society – European Court upholds conviction for insulting Islam

In a troubling legal ruling for free speech, a woman who insulted the Muslim faith has had her conviction upheld by the European Court of Human Rights. The woman, known only as Mrs S, had made disparaging remarks about the prophet Mohammed, calling him a paedophile, because one of his many wives was only six years old when they married. She was convicted in Austria by a lower court in Vienna for ‘disparaging religious doctrines’ and was ordered to pay a 480 euros fine plus legal fees. Mrs S was holding a seminar during which she was found to have made the remark about Mohammed....

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December 2018
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Society – Stem cell hope for cleft palate babies

Adult stem cells could be used in the future to heal babies with cleft palates, a pioneering new treatment in Colombia has shown. The condition is an abnormality whereby the part of skull which connects the mouth to the nose has not developed. It affects around one in every 700 births. Cleft palates, although treatable, have been labelled as a ‘serious handicap’ under UK abortion law. It means that an unborn child with a cleft palate could be aborted right up to birth. Cleft palates are usually repaired with surgery in early childhood, which often involves bone grafts and carries the risk of complications. But...

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December 2018
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Society – Focus on actual crimes, says senior police officer

The police should focus on actual crimes like burglaries and robberies, and not waste time recording incidents which are not crimes, a senior officer has said. National Police Chiefs’ Council chairwoman Sara Thornton warned forces are too stretched to take on issues such as logging ‘hate incidents’ where no crime has been committed, even though recording such matters may be ‘desirable    and deserving’. Several police forces have used ‘hate incident’ policies to unjustly take action against numerous Christian evangelists who have been sharing their faith in public places. In some extreme cases, the police have been successfully sued for the unlawful arrest or detention of...

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December 2018
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Society – Children complain about gambling ads bombardment

Highschool children in Salisbury have spoken out about being bombarded with gambling ads. St Joseph’s School has been helping its older pupils to understand the methods gambling companies use to get and keep customers. 15-year-old Bryn, from St Joseph’s, recalled seeing a gambling ad where a James Bond-style character was shown to be gambling successfully. He said the advertisements show this lifestyle as being ‘glamorously wealthy’ and that they promote a ‘false idea that you’ll always be a winner and be like this man’. St Joseph’s pupil Catherine, 15, said the dangers of gambling, like smoking, need to be publicised. ‘You never see a lottery...

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December 2018
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Society – Baroness tables grooming question

Christian Peer Baroness Cox has tabled questions in Parliament asking the government about victims who have been groomed by gangs, the Christian Legal Centre reported. The question reads, ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are aware of the case of Sarah who was held captive by a grooming gang for 12 years as reported in the Daily Mail on 15 September, and if so, what assessment they have made of that case and its implications.’ The woman, named ‘Sarah’ (not her real name) in the Daily Mail report of 15 September 2018 was kidnapped by a Muslim gang at the age of 15 and...

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December 2018
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Light has dawned

‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned’. This beautiful verse, from chapter 9 of Isaiah’s Old Testament prophecy, is set within a wonderful passage often read at Christmas. It describes the coming of the Messiah. The Gospel of John, chapter 1, verse 9, expands the theme: ‘The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world’. At Caring For Life (www.caringforlife.co.uk) in Leeds, we spend each day seeking to reach people who live in utter darkness, both physical and spiritual. Yet we are...

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November 2018
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Society – CAP in BBC documentary

Debt management charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) featured in a BBC Two documentary The Debt Saviours on 5 October 2018. This followed the lives of CAP clients and frontline workers in the middle of the current UK poverty epidemic, and showed the work being done through local churches. The BBC programme information read, ‘Across Britain more than four million people have debts considered unsustainable’. Responsibility for advising and helping these vulnerable people is increasingly falling to charities. One of the biggest is Christians Against Poverty (CAP), led by its charismatic founder, Dr John Kirkby CBE. ‘In this access-all-areas documentary, director Phillip Wood (Chasing Dad, Rehab),...

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November 2018
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Society – Guide leaders axed over trans objections

Guide leaders who objected to ‘transgender’ rules which permit men to join the organisation if they say they are women have been kicked out and their units shut down. The guidelines, published in January 2017, also said boys could share tents, changing areas and shower facilities with the opposite sex if they say they are girls. But Girlguiding says including people who identify as female to join or lead groups does not put girls at risk. ‘Keeping girls, young women and our adult volunteers safe is our number one priority’, the organisation said. It added that an investigation found that the volunteers had breached the...

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November 2018
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Society – Scottish ‘hate’ posters cause outrage

A series of posters backed by the Scottish government and the police have appeared in Scotland accusing people of faith as being bigots who spread hatred. One poster reads, ‘Dear Bigots, you can’t spread your religious hatred here. End of sermon. Yours, Scotland.’ Other posters target ‘homophobes’ and ‘transphobes’. Barnabas Fund issued a statement calling for the campaign to be removed. The group said, ‘Using the word “sermon” seems to target religious groups including Christians, Jews and Muslims. ‘Even the lettering used in one poster reinforces this association, being very similar to well-known typefaces used in some historic Bible imprints’. Barnabas’ CEO, Hendrik Storm, said...

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November 2018
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Society – Faulty divorce reform

Critics have blasted the government’s recent proposals for quicker and simpler ‘no fault’ divorce proceedings. In September, the government launched a consultation on removing the need to demonstrate fault or wait the relevant separation period if a couple wants to divorce. But crossbench peer Baroness Deech said the plans are so full of flaws she doubts they will get through Parliament and will instead need to be changed. Top family lawyer and senior Conservative Lord Farmer also opposed the change, saying liberalising the law was causing the breakdown of society, adding it would render marriage little more than cohabitation where a couple stays together as...

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November 2018
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Society – Six-year-olds made to write gay love letters

BBC Manchester filmed a school teacher in Warrington, Cheshire, instructing her class of six-year-old pupils to write gay love letters, and posted the video on its Facebook page, sparking a social media storm. The video shows teacher Sarah Hopson from Bewsey Lodge Primary School telling the children to imagine they were Prince Henry and that they should write love letters to his manservant Thomas. She said: ‘You’re going to tell Thomas why it’s a brilliant idea for him to marry you’. In its subtitles the BBC said approvingly: ‘This school teaches children about LGBT relationships from an early age. This class of six-year-olds is learning...

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October 2018
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Government plans for ‘no-fault’ divorce

Marriages will be broken up more quickly and easily if government plans get the go-ahead following an announcement to consult on new proposals in England and Wales. Critics say the move would further ‘trivialise marriage’, but the government says it would make splits less acrimonious. The consultation will, among other things, consider the introduction of ‘no-fault’ divorce — a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrongdoing by either party. Under the current law in England and Wales, when you apply for a divorce you must prove your marriage has broken down because of adultery, unreasonable behaviour, or...

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