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In the Press

  • Nicola Sturgeon’s government is under growing pressure to make sex education compulsory in Catholic schools amid growing alarm about the impact that online pornography and “sexting” is having on children in Scotland. Campaigners and politicians are warning that children educated in faith schools are being left behind when it comes to combating the sexual harassment and “sextortion” threats posed by those abusing internet technology.

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  • Lee Gatiss looks at the life and work of Mike Ovey, former Principal of Oak Hill College, who died at the weekend.

    It was with great sadness that I learned of the sudden and unexpected death of Mike Ovey on Saturday evening. I was privileged to know Mike for about 20 years, and he was greatly respected as a member of the Church Society council and as Chairman of the Churchman editorial board. Personal tributes and testimonies to his impact on a generation of theological students and ministers have been springing up all over social media. He has gone to be with Christ, which is better by far, after a life spent fruitfully in his service.

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  • A strong view in favour of repealing or amending the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution began to emerge at the Citizens’ Assembly on Sunday.

    In a closing session after two days of discussion on article 40.3.3, which bans abortion in the State in all but very limited circumstances, the assembly heard that opinion among the 99 citizen members is trending clearly against the status quo. 

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  • THEY say information is a hand grenade - if so one new title called 'Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity?' has just exploded in the middle of the UK's mounting Culture Wars.

    The book published for use in schools to explain transgender issues to children, parents and teachers, has caused what trans activists are now calling "a trans-panic". Critics, including former Conservative party chairman Lord Tebbit and a Daily Mail columnist have declared it "nonsense" or "damaging to children", and complained about its advising against the use of the words 'boys' and 'girls'. What is emerging is a debate that threatens to be almost as divisive as that over the repeal of Section 28. 

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  • The issue of ‘gender identity’ has risen to prominence with remarkable speed in recent years and demands our attention. This paper begins with a brief survey of different understandings of gender, before examining, distinguishing and contrasting the medical condition gender dysphoria and aspects of transgender ideology. This sets the scene for biblical reflections on the body, sex and gender in the light of the searching questions posed by the transgender phenomenon. The paper concludes with reflections on two challenges which Christians face in a new and changing context of gender confusion.

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  • A Christian campaigner is warning of the dangers of changing the law on assisted suicide as a new attempt to do that is launched.

    The group Dignity in Dying is working with terminally ill Noel Conway (pictured above) to challenge the suicide laws.

    It's seen as the first attempt to change the laws since MPs rejected the idea in September 2015.

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  • Definition: Cynicism is 'believing that people are only interested in themselves and are not sincere'. (1) It's not the same as scepticism, which is 'doubting the truth or value of a belief'. (2) While scientists should question truth claims, cynics are pathologically mistrustful of people.

    The medical professional can be deeply cynical. There is much truth in medical dramas such as MASH, Cardiac Arrest, The House of God, House and Scrubs that illustrate the archetype. Medical humour is littered with cynical slang, which may act as a coping mechanism to make light of harsh realities on the wards.

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  • The January 2017 issue of National Geographic is dedicated to exploring what it calls the "Gender Revolution" - a post-Sexual Revolution movement that seeks to deconstruct traditional understandings about human embodiment, male-female sexual dimorphism, and gender. In an article titled "Rethinking Gender," Robin Marantz Henig cites evolving gender norms as a justification for the Gender Revolution. But Henig’s argument is not only unpersuasive, it’s also based on a radical proposal about human nature that is at odds with both natural law and biblical anthropology.

    The purpose of this essay is not to address every facet of gender that Henig explores. Rather, our goal is to address some of the more glaring errors in the piece. Many of the criticisms below apply not only to Henig’s article, but to the broader philosophical problems inherent within the transgender movement. 

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  • A terminally ill man has begun a legal fight for the right to die.

    Noel Conway, who's 67 and has motor neurone disease (MND), says he fears becoming "entombed" in his body as his muscles gradually weaken.

    Mr Conway, from Shropshire, wants a doctor to be able to prescribe a lethal dose when his health deteriorates.

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  • It’s been two years since the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo, but it feels more like two hundred.

    After two Muslim brothers stormed its offices at 10 Rue Nicolas-Appert in the centre of Paris and massacred 12 people, "Je suis Charlie" became the rallying cry of those who condemned the attack. Over the following days, 40 world leaders travelled to Paris to stand in solidarity with the French government. Across France, more than three million demonstrators took to the streets in a show of unity against those who sought to reap terror. Charlie Hebdo’s following issue sold almost eight million copies.

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