Tuesday, 21 October 2008

BBC NEWS | England | London | 'No God' slogans for city's buses

A "Dog in the Manger" is someone who tries to prevent another person from having or doing something which he himself does not want or cannot use. "He is a real dog in the manger - he doesn't enjoy faith in God and he is determined no one else should" The image is of a dog which lies in the hay-rack of a cow-shed, thus preventing the cattle from eating the hay that he himself cannot enjoy.

That archetypal and ill-tempered dog-in-the-manger Richard Dawkins has thrown his weight behind a bizarre campaign to place "There is Probably no God" posters on London buses. Dawkins remarked:

"This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion."

However the Methodist Church said it thanked Professor Dawkins for encouraging a "continued interest in God".

Spirituality and discipleship officer Rev Jenny Ellis said: "This campaign will be a good thing if it gets people to engage with the deepest questions of life."

She added: "Christianity is for people who aren't afraid to think about life and meaning." Ouch!

Christianity 1 - Dawkins nil

BBC NEWS England London 'No God' slogans for city's buses

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

California approves nurse-assisted suicide

Now Arnie really is the Terminator and it isn't funny any more.

SACRAMENTO – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has officially approved an assisted suicide measure allowing nurses to sedate, dehydrate and starve depressed or confused individuals they consider to be "terminally ill."

The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Patty Berg, a Democrat, passed the California Assembly Aug. 28, and the state Senate Aug. 20. It was signed by the governor yesterday.

The legislation, called the "Terminal Patients' Right to Know End of Life Options Act," or AB 2747, passed by a 42 to 34 vote. An Aug. 20 Senate vote of 21 to 17 ushered the measure to the governor's desk for signing.

Randy Thomasson, chief of the Campaign for Children and Families, said the legislation is dangerous and should have been vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.

"AB 2747 pushes suicide through the back door at the hands of non-physicians taking advantage of depressed patients," he said in a statement. "AB 2747 cheapens the value of human life by endorsing suicide as an option."

The measure allows physician assistants and nurses to decide whether a person is "terminally ill" and deprive them of basic life-sustaining necessities such as food and water.

"Depressed patients who succumb to this pressure will be drugged unconscious and die from dehydration, usually within five to 10 days," Thomasson said. "Nothing in the bill prohibits this horror."

California approves nurse-assisted suicide

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Link-Zone Pages

Over recent years several Western countries have been returning Iranian Christian asylum seekers, including apostates, to Iran on the basis that the UNHCR claims they will not be persecuted.

UNHCR TAKE NOTE: As Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports, "The Iranian Parliament voted on Tuesday [9 Sep] in favour of a bill stipulating the death penalty for apostasy. The bill was approved by 196 votes for, seven against, and two abstentions.

"The progress of this bill through the Iranian Parliament is a cause of grave concern for increasing numbers of Iranians who have left Islam for another religion, and a significant backwards step for human rights in Iran. The draft bill will add a number of crimes to the list of those resulting in execution, among them; 'establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy'."

The Khaleej Times (Dubai) in July reported the bill states that those convicted of these crimes "should be punished as 'mohareb' (enemy of God) and 'corrupt on the earth'". The bill also stipulates that the punishment handed out in these cases "cannot be commuted, suspended or changed".

As the Khaleek Times notes: "Internet is widely used in Iran despite restrictions on access and the blocking of thousands of websites with a sexual content or deemed as insulting religious sanctities and promoting political dissent. Blogging is also very popular among cyber-savvy young Iranians, some openly discussing their private lives or criticising the system."

The Defenders of Human Rights Centre, which is run by Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, warned in July: "If this bill is adopted, there will be further infringement of the freedom of expression, citizens' judicial security will be jeopardised and executions will increase."

Click on the Link-Zone link in the title to read more.

Link-Zone Pages

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Orissa Update, India - Gospel for Asia UK

Three more believers were martyred and twelve others were severely wounded in a fresh wave of violence in Orissa, India, on September 30. The latest attacks occurred in villages near Kandhamal, which has been the epicenter of violence against Christians since August 22.

The violence in Orissa came as attacks in two other Indian states targeted a Christian pastor and a Bridge of Hope center.

An estimated 30 Christians have been killed and thousands of others have lost their homes since Hindu extremists went on a rampage after their leader, Swami Laxmananda Saraswati was murdered. His followers are seeking revenge for his death, for which Christians have been blamed. However, Maoists have claimed responsibility for the murder.

Orissa Update, India - Gospel for Asia UK

Monday, 6 October 2008


This young girl suffered burns in violence against Christians in Orissa state, India where some 35 died at the hands of Hindu extremists recently. When I try and tell people that it costs dear to be a Christian in many parts of the world, that Christians suffer persecution, violence, torture and death for their faith and that more Christians have been martyred in the last century than in the previous 1900 years they simply don't believe it. They look at the church at the end of the road, the worshippers in their comfortable, middle-class Sunday best and equate that with the sum of Christianity. This report from Barnabus Fund gives the true picture and should shake us out of our complacency, not just as Christians, but as human beings.

This is the stuff that doesn't get reported in the news, but that goes on every day of the week somewhere in the world. It is ironic that when it comes to religion and violence so many equate Christianity with violence, citing the Crusades (that happened over 900 years ago and have their own political/historical explanations), and 19th century missionary imperialism (not recognising the great good that has been done in the name of church and mission), while equating so-called "peaceful" Eastern religions with pacifism. We are anxious to believe the best of those we see as mystical and romantic, and the worse of that faith that has given us almost every good value we cherish today, the great worth of the individual; the high premium placed on charity; the imperative of justice under the law; the importance of mercy and our responsibilities to society, family and friends.

We also harbour a narrow view of the world that does not allow that such things could possibly happen today. People look at me incredulously when I try and disabuse them of such naive thinking and yet here is the evidence, irrefutable and sickening. Its not such a small world, its not such a civilised world and, without Christianity, its not such a peaceful world. Perhaps for some this is too much reality.