A friend of mine who uses a wheelchair was recently approached by a stranger who crossed over the road to talk to her. Without knowing anything about her, he told her that he supported her right to die with dignity through assisted suicide. She told him that she was more concerned with her right to live than her right to die.
Support is growing within Labour for the idea that the party should oppose the renewal of Trident. The decision is due in 2016. Polls consistently show a majority of British voters opposed to Trident. Religious groups, including fairly middle-of-the-road churches, are speaking out against it. Protests at nuclear bases are increasing. Will Ed Miliband have the courage to listen to the majority of the public rather than senior Labour figures who are stuck in the 1980s?
Poverty and militarism feed over each other. Unemployment has always been good news for army recruiters in need of people desperate for a livelihood. So it's no surprise that the recruitment of unemployed people has been formalised in a scheme in the English Midlands. Could this be a sign of the way things are heading? The government is already forcing unemployed people to carry out unpaid labour through 'workfare' schemes. Will they soon be forcing them into army training?
Christmas, when people who rarely enter a church often pay their annual visit, could be a time to challenge perceptions of Christianity. Unfortunately, says Symon Hill, we seem to respond to their arrival by singing some of the most badly written, incomprehensible and theologically dubious songs ever produced. Perhaps it's time to shred the carol sheet.
In 2011, Symon Hill was on a pilgrimage of repentance for homophobia when he heard that the Church of England had launched another consultation process on sexuality. The process has led to the Piling Report, which speaks of being more welcoming while promoting policies that say the opposite. There are some good aspects to the report, but it is likely to make little difference to the lives of Christians in their own churches and communities, he suggests. It is a reminder that we cannot rely on hierarchical church processes - change will come from below, not from above.
Media coverage of George Windsor's baptism gave the impression that baptism is about conformity. Baptism began in a far more radical way, before its domestication by the powerful. Since then, many people have rediscovered baptism's original subversive force, as a sign of dedication to the kingdom of God – and a rejection of the kingdoms of this world.
What is Britain? This question doesn't seem to have been asked much in the many arguments around the Daily Mail's vicious attack on Ed Miliband's father. Ralph Miliband, the Mail maintains, "hated Britain".
One of the world's largest arms fairs will be held in London in September. Christians will join a day of prayer and protest on 8th September, recognising that silence in the face of evil is itself evil. However much or little time we have, and wherever we live, we can do something to speak out, says Ekklesia associate Symon Hill.
Nothing justifies the vicious murder of a British soldier that took place on the streets of Woolwich this week. We are right to condemn it. Consistency and integrity mean that we must also speak out against the killing of innocent people by the US and UK government in Afghanistan and elsewhere.