This was first posted on Facebook on 9th March 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
Scotland decided to put off the Census til next year, because of coronavirus: the England & Wales Office of National Statistics decided to go ahead (as did the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency). ONS decided this year to encourage people to do the census online by preference – and to do a soft launch on 22nd February, to avoid (I would presume) the awkward situation of fifty-eight million people all trying to use the census website at the same time.
So, as you certainly know if you live in England or Wales or Northern ireland, and as you probably know if you live in Scotland, 21st March 2021 is Census Day except for Scotland.
Since about July 2019, the Christian Right have been complaining about news that the Census this year, at least in England and Wales, was going to include a question about “gender identity” and – not that this was new – have guidance that trans people should respond to the sex question according to their gender identity.
This was first posted on Facebook on 21st January 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
In conversation with a friend on the phone the other night, I noted that even though 70 million Americans voted for Trump, this doesn’t mean he has 70 million supporters. (It’s still a dreadful number, but, even so.)
Donald Trump left the White House just after dawn yesterday for a big military send-off as he and Melanie boarded the plane for Florida (Palm Beach is likely to issue an eviction notice next month reminding the former President no one is allowed to live at his golf club – guests can stay there for a maximum of 21 days a year).
Thus the US tradition of the previous President attending the new President’s inauguration ceremony was broken. The only two Republican representatives of previous administrations to attend were Mike Pence and George W. Bush. (Barack & Michelle Obama, Bill & Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, all attended Trump’s tiny inauguration in 2016). This is the first time since 1869 a US President has refused to attend his successor’s inauguration: Andrew Johnson, who opposed giving civil rights to former slaves, stayed in the White House during Ulysses S. Grant’s inauguration ceremony (Grant was the Commanding General of the US Army 1864–1869).
Are you being sued for doing something you believe is right?
One of the basic rules of deciding whether it’s worth taking the case to court instead of settling out of court with apologies: is the Christian Institute offering to pay your legal fees? If so, then you know two things in advance: you will lose, and you will become a kind of public figurehead for whatever campaign the Christian Institute are running. Unwinnable cases are a form of advertising.
One of the basic rules of running an inn, a hotel, a guesthouse, or even a B&B, is that if the lodgings are available, the host can’t turn people away based on their own prejudices. That’s tolerance: active, practical, and kind.
So while an ordinary pleb goes to jail for bigoted abuse, a Member of the European Parliament does not? (Updated, 19th October)
Griffin’s Twitter feed is unsuspended, and as one might expect, he’s celebrating with a tirade of homophobic abuse.
Apparently if you’re an elected representative – MP Andrew Mitchell, MEP Nick Griffin – the rules aren’t the same for you as they are for plebs like us.
“We’ve been told that Nick Griffin is threatening to come to our house and hand out leaflets outside,” Mr Black added.
“But, we live in a village where it wouldn’t be easy for him or many people to come and gather. There’s nowhere to park for a start and very few people walk past apart from school children. If anything happens it would be a damp squib.”
Posted 18th October
The very Christian Family Research Council says:
That abandonment of principle is leading to a decline in membership, especially among the more liberal denominations. As more churches move away from biblical authority, their attendance suffers. Just ask the Episcopal Church, whose pews are virtually empty after the decision to endorse homosexuality. It’s time to push back on the spin that’s feeding our weak brethren who say that compromising truth in pursuit of love is the way to reach the lost. Intuitively, people want to anchor their lives to something meaningful — something that demands the sacrifice and discipline of “taking up your cross.” When a denomination abandons the truth and waters everything down to love, it reduces the church to another hour of Dr. Phil — which is something Americans can get without ever leaving home.
In March 2010 Susanne Wilkinson, acting out (she assures us) her Christian values, decided that a respectable couple holidaying in the UK (Michael Black is 64, and John Morgan is 59) could not have a double room in the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire – though they had made a reservation and paid a deposit – because they are a gay couple, and Wilkinson is of the opinion that Jesus doesn’t like that sort of thing and doesn’t approve of showing hospitality to those sort of people.