Budget measures announced by UK chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne include a cap on the overall amount spent on a range of social security measures. People who become severely ill or injured, or face other unexpected needs, may find their already low standard of living forced down, regardless of how much they have contributed to society.
Benefit fraud: Prime Minister threatens to take computers and cars
UK Prime Minister David Cameron is threatening to seize computers and cars from people supposedly guilty of benefit fraud, according to media reports. This could reduce their chances of getting work and access to everyday activities, harming families and communities.
Church of England faction urges punishment of partnered parishioners
A group opposed to inclusion has praised Church of England bishops for being negative towards clergy wanting to marry same-sex partners, and urged them to go further. The Evangelical Group of the General Synod (EGGS) committee wants laypeople in same-sex relationships to be disciplined too.
Saeed and Sakil Dawood were friendly, sports-loving Yorkshiremen on holiday in India, returning from a trip to the Taj Mahal. 73-year-old Ehsan Jafri, a former trade unionist and MP, lived in Ahmedabad. When horrific violence engulfed Gujarat in 2002, they were among those brutally murdered.
Bishops face searching questions on same-sex marriage guidance
In an open letter, the LGBTI Anglican Coalition has asked the Church of England’s House of Bishops some searching questions regarding Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage. Criticism of the bishops’ guidance, which ruled out clergy being married same-sex partners and services of blessing, has been widespread.
Church leaders protest as destitution reaches dangerous levels
Social security sanctions, in which people not in paid work have benefit payments cut or removed for up to three years, have reached record levels. 27 Anglican bishops and other church leaders have condemned UK government benefit cuts and failures which mean that many go hungry.
Ugandan president gives way, will sign anti-homosexuality bill
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has agreed to sign a brutally oppressive Anti Homosexuality Bill into law, after pressure within and outside his party. Prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people has grown to dangerous proportions and already some have fled abroad to safety.
Ekklesia report cited as Synod discusses 'living with difference'
An Ekklesia research paper might be useful in helping the Church of England to tackle the controversial issue of sexuality, a general synod member suggested. Synod, meeting from 12-14 February, also discussed women bishops, climate change and safeguarding.
Two bad reasons to reject Pilling proposals on sexuality
As the Church of England discusses the Pilling report on sexuality, it has come under pressure from certain other Anglican leaders, who claim that accepting the proposals would show a lack of commitment to biblical teaching and global Anglicanism. But the rationale for these claims is flawed.
Some church leaders ignore personal experience and scientific evidence when discussing sexuality, unless these fit in with their existing ideas. They may think this shows their faithfulness to the Bible and so to God. But they are wrong.