Proposed public service reforms by the UK government risk discrimination against employees and service users, together with negative effects on social cohesion, says a new report today - focussing on the role of faith-based providers.
Jonathan Bartley, co-director of Ekklesia is debating church schools with John Hall (ex-head of C of E Board of Education, now Dean of Westminster) and Jeremy Craddock, Dean of Emmanuel College Cambridge, in central London.
The Guardian newspaper has joined a growing list of people calling on the BBC to open its Radio 4 Thought for the Day slot to non-religious as well as religious voices. TFTD is broadcast on the flagship Today programme at 07.50 each day.
Understandably, there have been few in LGBT circles persuaded that the appointment of the head of the Evangelical Alliance to the new Commission on Equalities and Human Rights (CEHR) is anything other than a retrograde step.
Trying to make workplaces religion free is no solution to human fears about 'the other', says Simon Barrow, reflecting on recent cases of controversy involving religious dress and symbols in schools and companies.
Among secular groups there is puzzlement and annoyance that government continues to 'pander' to weakened churches in areas like public service provision. This is because, says Jonathan Bartley, they have not grasped the mutual interests involved. These are as much a threat to the churches as an advantage.
Church and faith groups have a key role to play in bringing transformation to communities across the UK, according to the government minister responsible. But critics say many questions remain about the agendas of both parties.
Those hoping that when George W. Bush departs the Oval Office, religion will accompany him are likely to be disappointed, says Jonathan Bartley, if a book by the former Guardian religious affairs correspondent is right.