Church of England rejects homophobic proposal


This video from England says about itself:

15 February 2017

A controversial report on homosexuality and same-sex marriage praised by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a “road map” has been rejected by the Church of England’s General Synod.

Read the full story here.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

LGBT Christians welcome church dismissal of report

Friday 17th February 2017

LGBT Christians have hailed a decision by the Church of England’s ruling body to throw out a controversial report on same-sex marriage as “a victory for love and equality.”

The report by the House of Bishops, presented to the General Synod on Wednesday, had called for the church to adopt a “fresh tone and culture of welcome and support” for gay people.

But crucially it said it should not change its opposition to same-sex marriage and reaffirmed that such unions should not be blessed.

Under the recommendations, marriage would continue as “a union, permanent and life long, of one man with one woman.”

Lucy Gorman, an LGBT activist from York and member of the Church, thanked the Synod for rejecting the report, saying: “With that vote we’ve sent a message to the outside world.”

She said that as a Christian in her twenties she is a “dying breed,” in part because of the Church’s discriminatory approach to LGBT people.

“Most people have a friend or family member who sits somewhere on the gender sexuality spectrum — and why would they become part of an organisation which is seemingly homophobic?”

Jay Greene, from Winchester, who is in a civil partnership, said many were “deeply disappointed” by the report and its “tone of fear.”

More than 400 Church leaders gathered for a “take note” debate on the issue at Church Hall in Westminster, where they voted to symbolically reject the recommendations by 100 votes to 93 with two abstentions.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who urged the Synod to approve the report claiming that it was a good first step for moving forwards, said the church needed a “radical new Christian inclusion.”

Lindis Percy, British Quaker peace activist


This 2014 video from Britain is called My Story: Lindis Percy.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

SO WHO IS LINDIS PERCY?

Saturday 10th September 2016

Lindis Percy, who is a Quaker, became a peace activist in 1979 when US cruise missiles were installed at Greenham Common in Berkshire.

In more than 35 years as a peace campaigner she has been arrested around 500 times for her activities, mainly for incursions into US and RAF military bases.

“I say that without any pride or pleasure,” she said.

“But once you start asking questions that is what happens.”

In 2003 her picture was flashed around the world when she famously climbed the gates of Buckingham Palace, unfurling a banner in protest against a state visit by then-US president George W Bush. Ms Percy has been employed by the NHS all her working life as a nurse, midwife and health visitor.

For more information visit www.caab.org.uk or facebook.com/caabuk

A PEACE campaigner, Lindis Percy, is heading to court next week to challenge the use of draconian laws to prevent weekly protests at a US military base in Yorkshire: here.

Child abuse in the Church of England, update


This video from Britain says about itself:

Church Inquiry Into Bishop Peter Ball Abuse Cover Up

6 October 2015

The Church of England has announced an independent inquiry into allegations of a cover up of sexual abuse in the church, looking at whether the behaviour of a former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, was overlooked because of his connections within the church and the establishment.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

No end to the Church of England‘s cover-ups

Wednesday 10th August 2015

Covering up historic child abuse is now a permanent feature of the Church of England, says PETER FROST

IN ITS latest cynical attempt to bury bad news, The Church of England published a damning report on the horrific abuse of youngsters at a Church of England children’s home on the same day Theresa May became Prime Minister.

This latest of so many cases of child abuse by bishops, clergy and senior lay staff employed by the church concerns physical and sexual abuse at Kendall House in Gravesend, Kent over a 20-year period.

Vulnerable girls were regularly overmedicated on antipsychotic drugs, locked in isolation rooms, physically abused and even raped.

The Church of England has now issued a “wholehearted apology” following the investigation, which found the response of the dioceses of Rochester and Canterbury “woeful and inadequate.”

“Only the naive will believe this is not an attempt to bury bad news, especially as the Church has form on this,” said Keith Porteous Wood, the executive director of the National Secular Society.

He is just one of the critics who argue the Church should have delayed the publication of such a serious report until after former Home Secretary Theresa May was officially made Prime Minister.

The Church’s concern remains protecting its reputation and pocket, rather than the many victims whose lives have been ruined,” Mr Porteous Wood continued.

This cynical attempt to manage the media echoes the disgraceful attitude of Baroness Butler-Sloss, the retired judge appointed by Theresa May in 2014 to lead a major review of previous child sex abuse allegations. Baroness Butler-Sloss admitted she kept allegations about a bishop out of a report on a paedophile scandal because she “cared about the church.” She once told a victim of alleged abuse by Bishop Peter Ball that she did not want to include the claims because “the press would love a bishop.”

During a meeting at the House of Lords, Lady Butler-Sloss stated that she would “prefer not to refer to him” because he was “very old now” and she wanted the focus of any press coverage to highlight two priests who were prolific abusers – one of whom is dead and the other is in prison.

Only last year, at the age of 83, Bishop Ball dramatically pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office between 1977 and 1992.

In 1993, Bishop Ball failed to get the case thrown out after claiming he accepted a caution for gross indecency on the understanding that he would face no further action.

The then archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey called an official at the Crown Prosecution Service saying: “I was told quite categorically that the other allegations would not be taken further as far as we are concerned.”

This pressure meant that no criminal charges were brought despite two other abuse complaints at the time and warnings that there was sufficient admissible, substantial and reliable evidence for a trial.

One of his alleged victims said: “The Church and the Establishment has colluded in covering up Bishop Ball’s offending at the highest level over very many years.”

Ball — the former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester and a friend of Prince Charles. After Ball resigned as Bishop of Gloucester following the caution, the Prince of Wales invited him to live in a house owned by the Duchy of Cornwall in Aller, Somerset.

Now the latest damning abuse report on Kendall House has again taken decades to finally come to public attention.

Medicine was distributed by consultant psychiatrist Dr Marenthiran Perinpanayagam, known as Dr Peri, whose drug regime had an “experimental element,” according to the report. Both [supervisor] Law and Perinpanayagam are now dead. The review described Kendall House as “a place where control, containment and sometimes cruelty was normalised.”

“Girls as young as 11 were routinely, and often without any initial medical assessment, given anti­depressants, sedatives and anti­psychotic medication,” the report said.

“Often these drugs were given in dosages which exceeded usual prescribed adult levels.

“This served to control their behaviour, placing them in a constant stupor, restricting their ability to communicate or to learn, or have any personal autonomy.

“These drugs put them at risk of numerous side effects, many of which were distressing. The effects of the drugs also increased their vulnerability to emotional, physical and, in a smaller number of cases, sexual abuse.

“Those that resisted, challenged or overcame the effects of these routinely administered drugs faced sanctions. These included being locked in a room for long periods, and receiving emotionally abusive threats and actions.

“In a number of cases, even the slightest misdemeanours, the typical features of teenagers’ behaviour, were dealt with by physical restraint, sometimes violent, and intramuscular injections of powerfully sedating medication.”

Over the years several Kendall House victims have come forward to complain to the Church, but amazingly numerous clergies up to bishop level have had convenient lapses of memory.

As so often the church has waited until the offending Christians have died or are long retired before issuing belated admissions of guilt and grudging apologies.

British bishop against Donald Trump


Bishop Dr Jo Bailey Wells

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

New bishop ‘will try to stamp out Trump culture’

Saturday 26th March 2016

THE Church of England’s newest Bishop said yesterday she will try to keep “Trump culture” away from Britain.

Reverend Dr Jo Bailey Wells, 50, who was named as the new Bishop of Dorking on Thursday, said she also wanted to “stand against” a culture where people tweeted or blogged without thinking.

Asked about Muslims being made scapegoats by internet trolls, Dr Wells told the Daily Telegraph: “There is a sort of — you might call it a Trump culture.

“I’ve certainly experienced that in America. I would be keen to keep it from our shores.

“But part of the culture is that we now tweet and blog before we speak and think.

“Cyberspace, the blogosphere, has encouraged that kind of behaviour and I think I want to stand against that.”

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has controversially called for a block on Muslims entering the US, mimicked disabled people and claimed parts of London were “so radicalised” that police were “afraid for their own lives.”

British bishop convicted for child abuse


This video from Britain says about itself:

Church Inquiry Into Bishop Peter Ball Abuse Cover Up

The Church of England has announced an independent inquiry into allegations of a cover up of sexual abuse in the church, looking at whether the behaviour of a former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, was overlooked because of his connections within the church and the establishment.

Originally broadcast on the BBC on October 5th, 2015.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Years in prison for Anglican bishop because of abuse

Today, 16:53

A former bishop of the Anglican Church in Britain has been sentenced to 32 months in prison for abuse of boys and young men. The 83-year-old Peter Ball has admitted that he abused eighteen victims in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

The judge said the bishop abused his position. His victims have stated that he was sadistic and mentally abused them as well. One of the victims committed suicide.

Support

In 1993 already a 16-year-old victim went to the police. During the investigation that followed, Ball was supported by parliamentarians, ministers and a member of the royal family, reports The Guardian. Ball eventually got only a warning and he resigned.

In 2012 the police started a new investigation. Ball first tried to evade persecution by saying that his health was too ill to stand trial. The judge did not agree with that. Last month the former bishop admitted the abuse.

Prince Charles denies using influence to protect bishop from sex crimes prosecution. Unnamed member of the Royal Family sent a letter of support for Peter Ball as prosecutors considered putting him on trial: here.

The inertia plaguing historic child sexual abuse investigations of Establishment figures does not bode well for any final resolution, writes Steven Walker: here.

Texas Christians march for justice for Sandra Bland


Christian demonstrators for justice for Sandra Bland

From the United Church of Christ in the USA:

Texas ministers join justice rally for Sandra Bland

September 01, 2015

Written by Anthony Moujaes

A trio of United Church of Christ ministers in Texas carried banners for justice, joining residents of Waller County in a public demonstration calling for justness in the death of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died while in police custody in July in that county’s jail near Houston.

What they discovered was the StillSpeaking God in an unexpected place, as march participants chanted “Sandy still speaks”. The Rev. Lynette Ross and the Rev. Ginny Brown Daniel say they were “struck by that phrase to the similarity of our own mantra in the United Church of Christ that ‘God is Still Speaking.'”

“Indeed God was still speaking as we marched to the town hall,” Brown Daniel said.

Rev. Lynette Ross and Rev. Ginny Brown Daniel for justice for Sandra Bland

On Aug. 20, the Rev. Dan De Leon, pastor of Friends Congregational Church UCC, in College Station, went to the jail where Bland died and to the site of her arrest. Five days later, Aug. 25, Ross, pastor of Cathedral of Hope-Houston, and Brown Daniel, a UCC minister and president of Divine Sparks, Consulting, marched in the Solidarity with Sandy Walk to protest Bland’s death. The walk began at Bland’s alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, and ended at the Prairie View Town Hall, where the City Council voted to change the name of the road where Bland was arrested from University Drive to the Sandra Bland Parkway.

The circumstances of Bland’s death have been disputed. She was pulled over on July 10 for a minor traffic violation, and was arrested after the interaction between her and a state trooper became heated. Three days later, police found her dead in her jail cell. Believing she had hanged herself, the county coroner ruled her death a suicide. Bland’s family doesn’t believe that version of events, and is awaiting the results of an independent autopsy.

Prayer vigils have been held at the Waller County jail since Bland’s death, and a district attorney said that her death is being investigated as a murder.

“Sandra’s prophetic voice was disarming, and it needs to be, De Leon said. “There was a print that read, ‘Always be loving,’ placed right next to a poster with the words, ‘May you have no peace until justice is served.’ For me, this resembles the paradox of the cross of Christ—a visible intersection of love and justice. Sandra’s memorial reminds us that we need to keep going to those places where love and justice meet if we truly desire to see God’s transformative power topple racism and the racist systems that still plague not just Waller County, but our very hearts and minds.

Ross and Brown Daniel said that local residents told them that before Bland’s death many African-American men and women in Waller County had been unfairly pulled over by the police and subsequently arrested. “The only difference this time is that it was recorded and has made the national news because of her death, they said.

“It was as if the spirits of those who have endured oppressive and violent racism in Waller County, Texas, surrounded us as stories were shared about political injustice and voter rights denial, Brown Daniel said.

The Waller County sheriff, who has called protesters members of the “church of Satan,” ordered the tree where protesters gathered for shade to be cut down, according to Bland supporters, preventing protesters any reprieve from the summer heat.

Ross said, “Christ’s mandate to all of us is that we are called to walk shoulder-to-shoulder together as brothers and sisters, speaking truth to power, liberating the oppressed, caring for the poor, comforting the afflicted, and afflicting the comfortable. We are the United Church of Christ!”

Although the ministers weren’t aware of the county’s history, they vowed to preach, march, and advocate with the residents of Prairie View. One of those people they met, a woman named Karisha, told them that Bland’s life is stirring up her own faith again and fueling her passion for justice and opening her heart to humanity.

“This is the people that God has called us to be as the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ—a Church that will unapologetically go to those places where love and justice meet, no matter how uncomfortable those places might be, until oppression gives way to equality, Brown Daniel said. “God is still speaking.”