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.
Writing on his eChurch blog, Stuart James, who has been following the Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane cases thoughtfully, comments that there is one thing we can guarantee. When the European Court of Human Rights judgement on alleged 'discrimination against Christians' claims is published (that happened this morning), there will be "a flurry of ill-informed, polemic, alarmist headlines, and articles."
As we report here, a November 2012 ComRes opinion survey commissioned by the Accord Coalition on inclusive education indicates that the British public is overwhelmingly opposed to selection or discrimination on grounds of religion in the matter of admissions to state funded schools.