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In the Press

  • So, another general election is over and more than half of the population won't have got the government they want, whether or not they voted. The debate over education spending will roll on and, no doubt, education will continue to be a political football game. Unlike football, though, there's no defined end time. So, in the midst of the white noise of political wrangling, it's worth asking the question 'What do we want our education service to achieve and how can we best deliver it?'

    Is it, as one recent media report observed about education promises in election manifestos, all about free meals and free childcare? Is that education, or social care? Schools may well be the most effective place to identify those in need and to help them, but is social care essentially an education issue? There was a call this week for schools to review their procedures after a 4 year old boy was found dead in his home, having lived on for up to two weeks after his mother died. Is this an education issue, or a social problem deriving from the increasing isolation of people within communities?

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  • Humanists Laura Lacole and Eunan O'Kane have won their challenge to gain legal recognition for their humanist wedding, due to take place in Northern Ireland later this month. The decision was issued today by the High Court, just two weeks after the hearing in the case, as the judge was keen to ensure that Laura and Eunan have time to plan accordingly for their wedding. The impact is that humanist marriages immediately gain legal recognition across Northern Ireland.

    Humanists UK and its section Northern Ireland Humanists, who supported model/public speaker Laura and Leeds United/Republic of Ireland midfielder Eunan in bringing the case, have expressed their delight at the news. Since Scotland and the Republic have also previously granted such recognition, England and Wales are now left lagging behind as the only part of the UK and Ireland yet to make the change – something that must surely now be much more likely to follow.

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  • Brian Talbert told WJZY that he and another gay Trump supporter of the group "Gays for Trump" applied to have their float featured in Charlotte's Pride Parade this year but received an email from Charlotte Pride rejecting his application.

    "We wanted to show that we weren't the racist, bigot, misogynist whatevers. We wanted to show that we are Americans, love our country and our president. We wanted to be there to celebrate gay pride," Talbert said.

    "For a group of people to claim to want tolerance, acceptance, and give it to every single person you can imagine to give it to, for them to sit back and judge me for exercising my right as an American to choose my leader without judgment is hypocritical," he added.

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  • The Scottish Episcopal Church has forged ahead to become the first UK Anglican church to legalise gay marriage in a historic move that sets it on a collision course with other Anglican churches around the world.

    A motion that changes church law was passed narrowly passed on Thursday afternoon.

    The groundbreaking move means Scottish Anglican ministers will be allowed to conduct same-sex weddings, but conservatives have announced a controversial 'missionary bishop' to minister to those opposed to gay marriage.

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  • One of the most difficult debates facing General Synod when it meets in July arises not from the main business agenda, but from a diocesan motion from Blackburn Diocese, which will be proposed by Revd Chris Newlands:

    "That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, calls on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person's gender transition."

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  • On this week's episode of Voice for Values, ACL managing director Lyle Shelton packs-in two weighty interviews from his trip to Budapest, Hungary.

    In part one, Lyle chats with Lila Rose from pro-life organization Live Action about the defunding of Planned Parenthood in the USA and the work of the Centre for Medical progress in exposing the lies of abortionists. Lila shared with Lyle the work of Live Action in providing "smart, compelling, facts" for people around the world to educate about the horror of abortion.

    When asked about 9.5 million dollars of Australian Aid going to IPPF affiliates in the Pacific, and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's attempt to say the money won't be provided for abortion, Lila said "if you give money to abortionists, you give money to abortion."

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  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation Tuesday to ban the gruesome second-trimester D&E abortion procedure, also known as dilation and evacuation. The procedure, during which an abortionist uses a sopher clamp to tear apart a preborn child limb from torso, is described below by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino.

    The procedure, which is an inhuman and violent act against a preborn child, is committed up to 24 weeks since a woman's last menstrual period. Texas is the eight state to prohibit the procedure, a step that is being praised by pro-life groups.

    "The Texas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is a vital step in protecting pregnant mothers and their unborn children from being subject to such a dehumanizing experience," said National Right to Life Committee State Legislative Director Ingrid Duran.

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  • A London Imam has said that there is not a single mosque in Britain that promotes extremism or violence.

    Imam Yunus Dudhwala, Head of Chaplaincy & Bereavement at Barts Health NHS Trust, told Yahoo News: 'To my knowledge, there is not a single mosque in the country that preaches hate, violence, or extremism.

    'It's the Internet. It's foreign policy, identity, and previous criminal behaviour that we need to address.'

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  • The Archbishop of Canterbury has boldly gone where other other religious leaders fear to tread, and politicians daren't hardly ever go. Cutting straight across the liturgical denials of those who preach that terrorists who blow themselves up crying 'Allahu Akbar!' are "not Muslims"; and those who believe that slicing people's throats on London Bridge shouting 'This is for Allah!' is "nothing to do with Islam", Justin Welby has sounded a trumpet from his holy mountain.

    On BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he was asked directly by Justin Webb about the origins and inspiration of what we now call Islamism or Jihadism: "But when politicians have told us, as they have done, this is nothing to do with Islam," Justin Webb ventured, "you're saying that is a mistake, it's a cul-de-sac, it's not getting us anywhere?"

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  • The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is warning that a new screening test for pregnant women, Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPT), which is due to be rolled out next year on the NHS, could lead to babies being aborted because they are the wrong gender or have other 'undesirable' characteristics.

    Professor Tom Shakespeare, chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics working group on NIPT, on 22 May said that: 'Abortions on the basis of sex appear to be rare in Britain. However, this could change with a new DNA testing method that allows the baby's sex to be revealed to prospective parents much earlier that the standard 18-20 week scan'.

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