Savi Hensman's blog

Home secretary promise of crackdown on ‘non-violent extremism’

Home secretary promise of crackdown on ‘non-violent extremism’

UK home secretary Theresa May has promised to get tough on “non-violent extremism” as well as terrorism. Unless this is narrowly defined, such measures may undermine civil liberties and do more to promote than to counter violence.

Guardian agrees ad accusing Hamas of 'child sacrifice'

Guardian agrees ad accusing Hamas of 'child sacrifice'

A controversial advertisement supporting Israeli government action in Gaza was turned down by the Times but accepted by the Guardian. A version of the ad previously ran in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal (http://electronicintifada.net/sites/electronicintifada.net/files/styles/...).

The Commonwealth Games, principles and protest

The 2014 Commonwealth Games brought moments of sporting glory, and a grand finale with Lulu, Kylie Minogue and Deacon Blue, to Glasgow. It also brought protests exposing the gap between Commonwealth ideals and reality in many member countries.

Women bishops approved: welcome step towards inclusion

Women bishops approved: welcome step towards inclusion

The Church of England’s general synod has given the go-ahead for women to be bishops. The move won the required minimum of two-thirds of votes among bishops and both lay and clergy representatives at the gathering in York. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20648) For some synod votes, the three ‘houses’ vote separately and a simple majority is not enough.

Lethal proposal for people with depression unable to work

Lethal proposal for people with depression unable to work

People in the UK unable to work because of depression may have their benefits stopped if they do not undergo cognitive behavioural therapy, which it is assumed will cure them, a newspaper has reported. If this plan goes ahead, sizeable numbers of mentally ill people are likely to die.

Giveaway sale as public services struggle to cope

Giveaway sale as public services struggle to cope

Low share prices when the UK government privatised Royal Mail cost the taxpayer around £1 billion, a parliamentary committee has reported. Meanwhile the National Health Service and social services are in financial crisis.

Licence refused to married gay hospital chaplain

Licence refused to married gay hospital chaplain

A Church of England bishop has refused a licence to Jeremy Pemberton, a hospital chaplain, because he married his partner Laurence Cunnington. This may prevent him from taking up a new job closer to his home. This has further strained church’s leaders’ already tense relationship with those seeking greater inclusion.

LGBT Methodists may marry, Conference agrees

Clergy and laypersons should not get into trouble for marrying their same-sex partners, the Methodist Church in Britain agreed. For the time being, only opposite-sex couples will be allowed to marry in church. But a two-year period of study and discussion will examine whether this should change.

Punishing married gay clergy is Church of England own goal

Punishing married gay clergy is Church of England own goal

A Church of England bishop has severely disciplined a priest for marrying his same-sex partner, while a gay vicar in another diocese has also got married.

US Presbyterian pastors free to marry same sex couples

US Presbyterian pastors free to marry same sex couples

Pastors can, if they wish, marry same-sex couples in areas where this is legal, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has decided. The general assembly also called for a change in how marriage is defined, if a majority of presbyteries agree.