Politicians tend to become grandiose when they are trying to sell us an idea. The rhetorical use of the concept of 'nation' to corral us together under a conveniently high-sounding label has, in recent months, tried to sign us up to being both 'one nation' and an 'aspiration nation.'
It is a truly terrible statistic: one in three women will experience violence at the hands of men at some time in their lives. This represents around one billion individuals and today – when so many are celebrating the gentler aspect of relationships between men and women – the One Billion Rising movement attempts to bring people together across 200 countries to call for change. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17999)
This week (20 January 2013) the thinktank Demos (“ideas and action to promote the common good”) has published its report Faithful Providers, which argues that faith-based organisations should be used more as public service providers. Simon Barrow offers an initial response, highlighting some of the problematic assumptions and stances within the report, setting out the background to successive government's interest in co-opting faith providers, and pointing towards a more radical Christian stance which roots service in a tradition of modelling and advocating a different social order based on justice and equality.
Dozens of clergy, including Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, have signed a letter to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, coordinated by Changing Attitude, protesting the proposed ban on any Church of England solemnisation of same-sex marriages.