Tag Archives: Christian Concern for our Nation

Shouting in the street

Josh WilliamsonJosh Williamson is from Brisbane, Australia: he now lives in Perth. Nothing wrong with that: Perth is nice. He’s the new pastor at the Craigie Reformed Baptist Church, induction speaker from Grace Baptist Partnership “Helping Christians Plant Churches”.

The Grace Baptist Partnership doesn’t think much of Scotland:

Those witnessing to urban Scots will be struck by the ‘No Religious Callers’ signs they see at people’s doors. The poor, living on rough housing schemes, refuse to answer. The rich live in apartments with secure entry systems. The elderly reside in care homes where matronly managers prohibit religious visits or literature. The young are predictably fearful of strangers. Many open their doors clutching a phone to their ear; too techno-connected to interface with a person. We live in an isolated society.

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Filed under Police, Religion, Scottish Culture

Hero and Bigot

I asked some time ago why “Christian Concern for our Nation” was not concerned when Christians were being dragged from their prayers at the steps of St Pauls.

Giles Fraser was Canon Chancellor of St Pauls: he resigned because he could not tolerate the Church using the secular power of the state against protesters against economic injustice.

And he was nominated and won Hero of the Year at the Stonewall Awards by popular vote because he’d written in support of the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, but others have written in defense of the idea that Christianity’s central doctrine is not, as O’Brien claims, homophobia – Giles Fraser won because he is a hero: a Christian minister of religion who’d stood up to say that no, Christianity is not all about homophobia.
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Filed under LGBT Equality, Religion, Scottish Politics

Where is Christian Concern for Occupy London?

“Economic justice is the number one moral issue in the Bible.” Giles Fraser, Dean of St Pauls

Police on the steps of St Pauls

Since 15th October, a very British expression of Christianity has been taking place outside St Paul’s Cathedral, in what Giles Fraser, who resigned on 27th October 2011 as Dean of the Cathedral, describes as a

“fault line between God and Mammon”

That is, between the territory owned by St Pauls Cathedral, a Christian Church, and that owned by the City of London, a medieval corporation in which businesses have more voting rights than individuals, the UK’s last rotten borough, which is described by Nicholas Shaxon in Treasure Islands as the

centre of a great, secretive financial web cast across the globe Continue reading

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Filed under Poverty, Religion

Gay marriage in the united kingdoms

Cardinal Keith O’Brien says the consultation would be ‘utterly subverted’ if “foreign submissions” were accepted. (And by “foreign”, he means from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.)

“Allowing thousands of respondents outwith Scotland to actively participate in our political process utterly subverts this stance,” the cardinal said. “Even to collate and separately identify non-Scottish responses would be to undermine the singular sovereignty of the Scottish people.” Scottish Catholic Observer

Pay very close attention, I shall say this only once. Scotland is a country, since 1999 with devolved powers to our own parliament, within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Wales is a principality, with a smaller range of devolved powers to an Assembly. Northern Ireland is, well, complicated. Within the UK, people are free to travel without a passport. Scotland has a different legal system from England and Wales, which includes different legislation about marriage and related laws, but if you’re English born and bred you can come to Scotland to get married and you and your spouse will be recognised as legally married wherever you go in the UK. Gretna Green weddings weren’t just a McGuffin of Regency romances, they really happened because the age at which a person could get legally married without permission from their parents or guardians has always been different in Scotland. A change to marriage law in Scotland could mean that couples who could not marry in England can come to Scotland, be married here, and return home, legally wed even though the law in England wouldn’t allow it.

Will that happen with gay marriage? Nobody knows – yet. (It’s also possible that the English courts would decide that a same-sex marriage in Scotland would be recognised as a civil partnership in England.) But it’s a distinct possibility. So while no pro-equal marriage organisation called for responses from outwith Scotland, English and other UK responses to the consultation were not rejected out of hand, and the Scottish government has said they’ll separate them from the Scottish responses but give them consideration.

But, oh dear. What’s this? What organisation at 70 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8AX, has been urgently calling for responses from outwith Scotland, which Cardinal O’Brien is so strongly against? That would be “Christian Concern for our Nation” (screencap), which is agented by Camerons Solicitors LLP from the 70 Wimpole Street address in London. And which owns the trademark of the Wilberforce Academy, which is funded by the Alliance Defense Fund (sorry, “is in association with”, thank you), a right-wing group from the US where they’ve been funding anti-gay work since 1995.

Seventeen faith groups and 24 religious leaders have written to First Minister Alex Salmond demanding assurances that Scottish Government plans to legalise same-sex marriage will respect religious freedom. … They warn the First Minister that they would “strongly oppose” any attempt to restrict same-sex marriage to purely civil ceremonies, and seek a “firm assurance from the Scottish Government that any proposed legislation will allow those religious and humanist bodies that want to conduct same-sex marriages to do so”. Herald

Now that’s the Scotland I love.

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Filed under Equality, LGBT Equality, Politics, Religion, Scottish Culture, Scottish Politics