Displaying items by tag: Culture
It is estimated that on 24 September the ten millionth child would have been killed under the Abortion Act.. Last week the media reported that at 14 weeks’ gestation a child can demonstrate their sense of taste. But this child has no meaningful protection in law for another ten weeks. Babies at 23 weeks, which could be delivered and go on to lead healthy lives, can be killed at the mother’s discretion. Leading abortionists would like this to be offered all the way to birth. There are signs of encouragement for pro-life activists. The morals of abortionists like BPAS are being exposed. Fresh young pro-life campaigns are springing up. March for Life UK had record attendance. Each landmark, each record, each year is a painful reminder that we have not come far enough.
An appeal fund has been started by Buckinghamshire Council to help people facing a cost-of-living crisis. It is working with the charity Heart of Bucks; about £17,000 has been raised to date. Martin Tett, its Conservative leader, said the county had some ‘relatively affluent’ people; he was asking them to make a donation for those struggling to get through the winter. Through the Helping Hand programme, advice, financial help, and information is being offered to people ‘to cover the food and energy costs to households in crises. He said, ‘In the council area not everyone is literally down to their last farthing. If you can afford it, if you can help other people, to help them get through the winter, particularly struggling pensioners and people on very low incomes, we'd like you to consider making a donation towards our crisis fund.’ The council also has Welcoming Spaces programmes, opening libraries for people to spend the day somewhere warm.
A new review from the Children's Commissioner has shown that 23% of UK families are lone-parent - 10% higher than Europe’s average. The communities minister highlighted the need for better government policies that support families. The head of public policy said, ‘What is required is not just laws but wholesale culture changes. We need to value marriage (between a man and a woman) as a sacred, lifelong bond, and promote marriage as the best and most stable and successful structure for bringing up children.’ There are no policy recommendations in Part 1 of the review, but Part 2 will look at the impact of its policies on families. Sadly, for too long, the Government has done little or nothing to promote or support families. In fact, it has done the opposite, finding time in the coronavirus crisis to pass legislation for ‘no-fault divorce’. This means potentially enabling one partner to unilaterally destroy the family.
English and Welsh barristers will go on an indefinite, uninterrupted strike from 5 September. Recently they have been striking on alternate weeks in a dispute over pay, working conditions and legal aid funding. The strikes will delay thousands of cases, leaving victims and the accused waiting longer for justice. The Criminal Bar Association said the strike action was a last resort, after warning signs coming for many years. Barristers have endured their income collapsing, cuts, and underfunding. Their income has decreased 28% since 2006. Court cases are not going ahead because there are not enough barristers to defend or prosecute. A solution would be an injection of money into the backlog of cases that barristers are working on (currently 60,000 cases). It would cost the government £1.1m per month. It is costing much more for the courts to sit empty.
In July furious parents stormed a Drag Queen Story Hour for three- to 11-year-olds in Reading central library, the first venue in a UK-wide two month library tour. The event descended into chaos after the parents broke in and screamed abuse in front of the children. As they threatened to perform a ‘citizens’ arrest’ and accused the drag queen of paedophilia, the police had to step in to bring calm. The final story hour, in Cardiff, was also targeted by protesters with placards and banners, saying it was inappropriate for children. Many people came to support the event, wearing clothes adorned with the rainbow flag. Sab (drag character Aida H Dee) says the stories provide a positive experience about queer culture and deliver a positive role model for people to look up to. Sab moved to Cardiff to capitalise on its flourishing LGBTQ community. and thinks it wouldn’t have thrived without the support Wales gives to that community. Cardiff councillors received 143 letters of complaints about these story times.
Some say that failure to plan for the millions of people coming to Britain is behind our current woes. Twenty years ago, Migration Watch UK said Britain could expect over two million immigrants every ten years unless curbs were introduced. The Home Office denounced the prediction, but the actual increase is far greater. Since 2002, the UK's population has grown by eight million. 80% of which is attributed to immigration: but no one talked about it. At the 2001 general election, parties promised ‘not to play the race card’ during their campaigns, so the impact of extensive immigration was closed. By the 2005 election it could not be ignored. Population increase is now the fastest in history. Recruiting overseas professionals (doctors, teachers, etc.) helps support our growing needs. However, the extra hospitals, schools, GP surgeries, houses, transport links and the like that are required for such a large number of people have not been provided in sufficient quantity.
Attacking families is one of the best ways for Satan to ruin a nation - and in Chile, marriages are under serious spiritual attack. Domestic abuse is a social plague. Around 35% of Chilean women have suffered physical or sexual violence by a partner or spouse. The emotional and physical pain wounds all members of the family. If husbands and wives began loving and honouring one another as Christ loves the Church, it could transform neighbourhoods, cities, and even the whole nation. The Chilean people are overwhelmingly Christian in name - roughly 60% Catholic and 20% Evangelical. But church attendances are dwindling, and claims of faith tend to be based in culture rather than relationship with Jesus Christ. Crime, drug abuse, and materialism are increasing. One in seven women are mothers by the age of 14. During Pinochet’s rule the Church ignored the needy people. There will soon be an election for a controversial new constitution.
127 million Japanese enjoy low crime and great wealth but face changes due to population decline and ageing. By 2060 there could be 40 million fewer Japanese, and 40% of them will be over 65. Buddhism and Shintoism are soaked into the culture with widely practised rituals. But few identify as Shinto or Buddhist, preferring to be non-religious or atheist. As the population shrinks, faddish religious trends have started. Everything is mixed: Santa Claus, gospel-music choirs, Shinto shrines. Christianity is followed by 0.5% of the population; it was established by missionaries 500 years ago. The church has known 17th-century persecution and post-WW2 Protestant growth, but struggles to make an impact and battles internally with formalism and cultural relevance. But we can praise God for the Japanese Christians and pastors who persevere despite all their discouragements.
Chinese officials locked down a popular resort city after 450 Covid-19 cases emerged, causing over 2,000 tourists to be stranded as the city conducts mass testing. China’s ‘zero-Covid’ policy puts immense pressure on regional leaders to eliminate the virus. Wuhan also has a lockdown over a case of cholera. Bibles for China’s Kurt Rovenstine said it was a local official who restricted travel. That incited some panic. Rovenstine said that churches and schools suffer the worst from lockdowns. One parent said her son could only attend school six weeks out of the seventeen in the semester. Churches can’t meet to offer the Lord’s Supper, and people can’t go to church to receive a Bible. There are many requests for Bibles around China. Despite the challenges, Christians throughout China remain committed to growing in Jesus. They want to share His story with their neighbours.
Female doctors have launched an online campaign that exposes shocking gender-based discrimination, harassment, and sexual assault in healthcare. Surviving in Scrubs is an issue for all healthcare workers, say the campaign’s founders, Becky Cox and Chelcie Jewitt, who are encouraging women to share stories of harassment and abuse to ‘push for change and to reach the people in power’. The campaign has called for the GMC, which regulates doctors, to explicitly denounce sexist and misogynistic behaviour towards female colleagues and ‘treat them with respect’. Over 40 stories have been shared on the campaign’s website, ranging from sexual harassment by patients to inappropriate remarks and sexual advances from supervisors. The report stopped short of detailing where racism and classism overlap, but they wrote on Twitter: ‘Sexism in the healthcare workforce is intersectional. Race, disability, sexuality, ethnicity, class, gender all interlink to create a multitude of experiences. Sexism doesn’t exist in a vacuum.’