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In the Press

  • Two disability rights campaigners have shown their opposition to a terminally-ill man's legal battle to end his life when he wants.

    Noel Conway has motor neurone disease and has been given around nine months to live. When he has less than six months left, he wants to be able to end his life.

    He started his fight at the High Court to change the law on assisted dying on the morning of Monday 17th July.

    Read more.

  • You know, the quality on which the British pride themselves, pragmatism, has its limits. There's a case for abstract moral thinking and it's especially true when it comes to the fraught moral question of euthanasia, assisted suicide, right-to-die, whatever. And essentially the distinction is between actively killing someone, or allowing them to die – of doing something, as opposed to not doing something, of commission rather than omission. The little ditty by Arthur Hugh Clough, 'thou shalt not kill but needst not strive/ officiously to keep alive' sort of sums it up.

    The latest right-to-die case comes before the court today, that of Noel Conway, a retired lecturer who has Motor Neuron Disease and is legitimately terrified at the prospect of his condition deteriorating further and further; he's written movingly about it in the Evening Standard today. Most of us would feel exactly the same. So he wants doctors to be able to administer toxins that will ensure he dies at a time of his choosing. It's the gist of the bill that Lord Falconer brought before parliament last time the issue came up, calling for patients who have terminal illness and less than six months to live, to be able to have their doctors kill them. It would give autonomy to the patient, with all the usual theoretical safeguards.

    Read more.

  • Noel Conway, who has motor neurone disease and is not expected to live longer than another nine months, is to challenge the law against assisted dying in London today.

    Conway, 67, a retired college lecturer, wants to be allowed to choose to end his life with assistance when he is in his last six months.

    He is seeking a declaration that the Suicide Act 1961 is incompatible with European laws on respect for private and family life, and protection from discrimination. 

    Read more.

  • "Pride is full of placards saying 'God is Gay', 'Jesus had two fathers', as well as those mocking the church and priests and pope," writes Maryam Namazie, spokeswoman for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, "Yet CEMB members hold signs saying 'Allah is Gay' – as we did – and the police converge to attempt to remove them for causing 'offence'."

    And now the East London Mosque has filed an official complaint with the organisers of 'Pride in London' (what happened to the 'Gay' prefix? Isn't that kind of important?) alleging 'Islamophobia'. The mosque's spokesman Salman Farsi told the Evening Standard: "We've raised a complaint with the co-chairs of the event that the group was inciting hatred against Muslims, and in particular [in relation] to our good name, based on absolutely groundless reasons."

    "Our track record for challenging homophobia in East London is quite well known." he added.

    Read more.

  • Why is the story of keeping alive one seriously sick baby dominating the news headlines? Not for one day, not even for a week, but for a full three months since a High Court Judge ruled that doctors could withdraw the life support of the terminally ill Charlie Gard.

    Though afflicted with a rare disorder called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare disease which affects the genetic building blocks that give energy to cells and which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage, the baby's parents are determined to win one more 'chance of life' for him—an experimental treatment in the US.

    The media have run with the story. His parent's defiant rejection of legal and medical judgement has provided daily drama and perfect headline copy. The story of one baby, of the thousands dying worldwide, has gone global.

    Read more.

  • Premier Christian Communications has revealed what it really means to be a practicing Christian in Britain.

    To date, nearly 12,000 people have taken part in our State of Faith survey. Of those, 93 per cent said they felt their faith was being marginalized by society.

    The full results can be found at www.ordinarychristian.org.uk

    Read more.

  • Polling shows that talking about extremism is a recipe for chaos.

    More than half of the public (54%) think using the word 'extreme' is not helpful in social and political discussion.

    That's according to new research from ComRes, commissioned by the Evangelical Alliance and a coalition of organisations, which is believed to be the first nationwide representative poll on extremism. Fifty-four per cent of the public said extreme was not a helpful description when discussing political or social opinions, while less than a third (32%) thought it was.

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  • The author of "The Message" translation of the bible has retracted his statement that he would perform a same-sex marriage if asked.

    Presbyterian pastor Eugene Peterson's comments about homosexuality was revealed in an interview with Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service on Wednesday.

    Speaking about how Christians view same-sex relationships and marriages, the retired pastor said: "we're in a transition and I think it's a transition for the best, for the good. I don't think it's something that you can parade, but it's not a right or wrong thing as far as I'm concerned".

    Read more.

  • To the affluent commuters passing by, Vishnitz Girls School looks like any other well-maintained North London townhouse.

    Were it not for a glimpse of white-shirted backs hunched over desks in the front room, you would not even suspect it was a school.

    Unlike most primary schools, there's no brightly-coloured sign advertising its presence. Indeed, a black-clad security guard in his sentry hut seems to be there mainly to keep unwanted visitors away.

    Read more.

  • A Church of England Bishop has become a patron of his local Pride event.

    The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev Paul Bayes, was announced as a patron for the Liverpool Pride festival, which takes place this month.

    The church leader is a strong proponent of LGBT rights, supporting equal marriage and backing a recent motion calling for a ban on gay 'cure' therapy.

    Read more.

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