Friday, June 22, 2007

Lydia Playfoot 'Purity Ring' Case in High Court and The State of Modern Britain

So Lydia Playfoot is finally getting the opportunity to have her case heard. This is very high profile and is headline news on the BBC (A Video here). Should she be allowed to wear a ring symbolising her commitment to chastity until marriage? Is the school discriminating against her when other faiths are allowed to wear expressions of their beliefs that involve jewelry?

This is difficult subject for me to comment on though I do feel passionately about Christians being discriminated against and applaud anyone who stand up and fights the madness that is Political Correctness. I go to the same church as Lydia and her family. Phil, her father, is Kings Church's main leader. The church is the first in the UK to run the Silver Ring Thing (SRT). Andy Robinson, the youth leader of my church heads up SRT in the UK. Therefore it is something I am very aware of and connected to.

I think this is really two issues:

  • Should Millais School ban or allow the wearing of jewelry by it pupils?
  • Is the ring that the SRT encourages the youth to wear a Christian religious symbol on a par with what is required by other religions.

The first point is I think what this case should be about and is the point worth fighting for. Personally I think the school should either completely ban any jewelry or item that does not conform to standard uniform policy. Or allow, within reason, the wearing of such items. The whole health and safety argument is nullified if exceptions are made. I cannot see how allowing some exceptions and not others is either fair or workable as this case highlights. The slope is simply too slippery to start down. I have every sympathy for those of other faiths that have a requirement for specific items to be worn. But sooner or later if you make exceptions everyone is going to pipe up and say their beliefs require them to wear a certain item. Where do you stop before alienating and discriminating against genuine beliefs and the loony fringe? As much as it flies in the face of the PC brigade I think there is no middle ground.

As for if the ring in question is a required item of the Christian faith then I have to say no, it is not. There are no symbolic items required by Christianity. The Bible does require a modest dress code for women. But there is no 'requirement' for a Christian to wear any symbolic items representing a part of the faith. The SRT ring is a small unobtrusive ring worn on the wedding finger to symbolise the persons commitment to chastity until marriage. It is a good talking point to use, it is not required though. It is a personal choice to wear it as a reminder of your vow of chastity before God as is a wedding ring a vow of commitment to your spouse before God.

I hope regardless of the outcome that Lydia continues to stand up and be counted for her belief and that it impacts her friends to think about their sexual activities and that there is an alternative that is 100% safe and is by far the best approach to dealing with this countries massive problem with STD's, underage sex and unwanted pregnancy leading to abortion.

I am sure God is saying well done good and faithful servant, whatever the outcome!

The State of Modern Britain

If you follow the BBC link and look at the 'Have your Say' views once again we should be proud of our lovely tolerant views in the UK..........Not! So many of the comments are just plain ignorant and the arguments put forward are weaker than a wet paper bag. This shows the state of modern Britain and the utter hypocritical intolerance embedded in our secular humanistic society. People making judgments when they simply do not know the facts, know the people involved or have any understanding of the issue at all. It makes me so sad reading these comments and thinking that things will only get worse I fear.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Teenage Sexual Health Crisis in the UK

The BBC web site ran this article recently about the crisis in Britain's Teenagers in regard to their sexual health. The following points are raised:
  • recent government campaigns had failed to recognise the link between drink, drugs and sexual health
  • the UK has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and sexual infections in Europe
  • Increasing numbers of young teenagers are defining their lives by taking drugs, drinking alcohol and having under-age sex encouraged by today's celebrity culture.
  • Professor Mark Bellis, head of the centre for public health at Liverpool John Moores University and one of the authors of the report, called the link between alcohol, drugs and risky sexual behaviour a "fuel for a sexual health crisis".
  • "They see around them this culture of celebrities, in the newspapers, around sex and drugs, alcohol, all being brought together, and they're not being given alongside that the information and the education they need to handle issues like drugs and alcohol and sex as they're growing up."

One of the apparent answers to this was: It recommended condoms should be readily available to young people.

Now sorry if I have a rather simplistic view or understanding of the situation in Britain today. But the report and findings just state the blindingly obvious and also point the blame in entirely the wrong direction. Of course alcohol, drugs and sex is a very bad mixture indeed. I have no doubt that this is a reason for some of the very high rates of STD's and pregnancies in young people.

However why is no one asking why youth feel the need to get drunk, take drugs and participate in often illegal underage sex and without adequate protection? Surely the cause of our youths desperation and desire to escape in this way needs to be looked at. Why are our youth so casual about sex, drugs and alcohol. Why do they seem to have no respect for themselves or each other? Why do they have no moral framework within which to operate?

It is so easy to pint the finger at celebrity culture, the worship of celebrity, the media etc... They don't help certainly and have a lot to answer for in their morally bankrupt output. However I believe the cause has to be closer to home. What ever happened to parental responsibility? The modern parenting way seems to be to expect everyone else to teach their children about right and wrong, sexual health, boundaries etc... when the root responsibility is theirs. The modern approach to parenting that doesn't seem to be able to say no to kids has got to be at the heart of the issue. Children with no boundaries or moral code have no framework on which to build their understanding of the world around them and their relationship to it. They are the centre of their world. Add to that the pressures on teenagers from the media, peers and schooling and no wonder they feel the desperate need to escape into these things. The Moral Relativism that pervades modern culture also has a lot to answer for and the secularists who promote it need a kick up the backside and to open their eyes.

I find the situation so sad and so unnecessary. I am sure God sheds tears for the young people destroying their lives and potentially the life of an unborn child through abortion. Another article out today is about how Abortion rates are increasing again. 193,700 children were killed in the name of freedom of choice in 2006. That number is simply staggering and horrific. If you have sex and get pregnant take responsibility for your actions. If you are not prepared for the consequences then don't have sex. A child's life is not an inconvenience to be flushed away because a person is not ready etc... Tough!

Anyway the answer can only be found by surrendering your life to follow Christ and living within the framework laid out in scripture. True freedom and life can only be found there and not in celebrity, sex, drugs, or alcohol. Our teenagers need to know who they really are, created in the Image of God. They need to know how much they are valued and loved by the Lord God and He is where there identity lies. It is not found by escaping into all these other means. Sadly the well meaning agencies will only attempt to plaster over the cracks and not to clean out the wound. Only God through the church can do that!

I found this link on Christian Today that is about this issue and is a very insightful read.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How many Church People does it take to change a light bulb?

This I found on Kevin Bussey's Blog and had to repeat as it tickled me:

  • Charismatics: Only one. Hands already in the air.
  • Roman Catholics: None. They use candles.
  • Pentecostals: Ten. One to change the light bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.
  • Presbyterians: None. God has predestined when the lights will be on and off.
  • Episcopalians: Eight. One to call the electrician, and seven to say how much better they liked the old bulb.
  • Mormons: Five. One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.
  • Unitarians: We chose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the light bulb. However, if you have found in your own journey that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life, and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.
  • Baptists: At least fifteen. One to change the light bulb, and two or three committees to approve the change. A follow up committee to make sure the light couldn’t be dimmed for dancing. Oh, and also a casserole.
  • Lutherans: None. Lutherans don’t believe in change.
  • Methodists: A whole congregation. One to change the light bulb, and the rest of the congregation to be sure that he doesn’t backslide off the ladder and have to change it again.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The BBC bias strikes Again. (Creation vs Evolution debate)

The Biased Broadcasting Corporation has been at it again. This time on its own Sunday morning 'Heaven and Earth Show'. This is a show that in the BBC's politically correct world view is there to represent multi faith Britain. However as usual with most of the BBC's religious output there is a bias against conservative/evangelical viewpoints. Even the BBC have begun to realise the bias within their own organisation, read this article. (including: former political editor Andrew Marr, who said the BBC has an "innate liberal bias")

This was demonstrated with the Heaven and Earth Show on the 10th June. On the panel of guest discussing the programs articles was Dr Evan Harris, MP who is the Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health. He is also an honorary associate of the National Secular Society. There was also on the Panel Fareena Alam, editor of the Muslim magazine Q-News. Lastly Anne Atkins who was the Christian voice on the panel.

Now I have no problem with any of these people personally and they are entitled to their opinions of course. It is a free democratic country, apparently, where we are allowed to have many opposing opinions.

The article that led me to be writing this blog was about the new Creation Museum in Kentucky. I had already seen James Westhead's news report and they showed it in full on this program. Followed by discussion from the three persons I have named above. Included in the report was an interview with a 'British Scientist' who just said something along the lines of 'all you need is yabdabadoo' in relation to the belief about dinosaurs and humans living at the same time. Of course this is meant too, in one foul swoop, discredit everything because an expert sais so. As one would expect they universally derided and laughed at the whole idea. The Muslim lady denying that Islam teaches creation from Allah as literal. The 'Christian' voice of Anne Atkins making a sweeping statement effectively saying no right minded Christian in Britain believes this nonsense and that the creation story is not written as historical narrative. Finally the person you would fully expect to take full advantage to poke fun, Evan Harris, wasted no time in sweepingly saying no one who believes this can be sane, Evolution is proven fact and religious people don't rely on facts. All the usual nonsensical garbage that you would expect from a secularist.

Now as I have said they are all entitled to their own world view, but what really frustrated me was that there was no one to represent the creationist viewpoint. No one to counter the views from the panel and they could all be countered with perfectly reasoned argument. This is typical of the liberal media in Britain. It is highlighted as an issue for the BBC in the article on their own website I linked above. This was a good case of the anti-creationist propaganda and an unwillingness to debate the viewpoints. They just try to laugh, discredit with 'an expert' and hope it all goes away and that no sane person will take any notice of this non science.

In the following article entitled 'Science or the Bible' there is a very good definition of the problem which can be used to debate the issue.

Anyway that is enough ranting on this subject, until the next time that is!!

Friday, June 08, 2007

One of those weeks! (Vista woes)

This has been a very stressful week for me at work. The pressure to fix problems when all eyes are focussed on you is never fun. We have had a problem with the Firewall in Windows vista blocking a network connection program (VPN software). Yesterday I managed, after nearly 2 weeks of looking, to work out why. We have had Microsoft engineers working on this, all manner of others giving their tuppence worth and not generally helping. It turns out the problem we had and the solution I found may be a bug in the Vista Firewall (The second bug we have found in Vista so far). (Techy bit: Because we were restricting the destination IP addresses to a limited set of ranges it blocked the loopback address and thus this piece of software failed when the rule was in place). Now MS think this is not the intended behaviour so are now looking into this.

Whilst it was satisfying to find the solution when others had not I am so fed up with the flippin thing that I am past caring. Managers are impressed and singing my praises and all that but so what. Yes it will help my end of year review and all that but again, so what. I have spent two weeks with this stupid thing on my mind bugging me that I couldn't fix it. I am kicking myself because the solution I found I should have picked up a week ago as it is something I missed. I good case of not seeing the wood for the trees. This is the life of a perfectionist! You do a good job but kick yourself for not doing it sooner.

I am sure there is a spiritual lesson in there somewhere but I am too tired to see one right now. I am sure Nick will think of one!

(Should be banging his head but doesn't seem to be working, technology eh!!!)