Monday, 31 March 2008

Avoiding Worry 7 - Help Others

Here's another suggestion to avoid worrying as a Christian.

7. Help Others

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:33-40)

Looking after the needs of others is not only another command that we should obey, it will also help you to take your mind off your problems and your needs.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill

Inspired by Exiled Preacher, I have just written to my MP, Dr Rudi Vis, about the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which is making its way through Parliament:

Dear Dr Vis,

I am writing to you about the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which I understand is soon to be debated in the House of Commons.

Please will you consider voting against the proposals on additional embryo research and for any amendment that would lead to the reduction in the abortion limit?

The Bill raises some serious ethical issues and I find some of its aspects very disturbing.

Researchers should not be allowed to work only on the basis of what is possible in the laboratory without regard to ethical principles. The unique dignity of human life should not be undermined by allowing the production of human/animal embryos for the extraction of stem cells. This is especially the case now that scientists are discovering the potential of adult stem cells, culled from human skin. See, for example, Money should be invested in developing the benefits of this kind of research rather than in ethically questionable work on embryonic hybrids.

I am also very concerned about the proposals in the Bill regarding therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. These also represent a serious attack on the value of human life.

Regarding abortion, I find it incomprehensible that this country is not horrified that there are now some 200,000 abortions occurring every year. The Bill will give an opportunity for MPs to table an amendment reducing the abortion limit from the current 24 weeks. In specialised neonatal units, up to 82% of babies born prematurely at 24 weeks now survive. Added to this is a new appreciation of foetal sensitivity to pain.

The Christian Institute has a helpful set of resources on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill:

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Abortion Petition

Since 1967 there have been almost 7 million abortions in the UK, now 200,000 a year, with one in four pregnancies ending in abortion.

Please take the time to sign this petition that has been organised by a number of pro-life organisations.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, now in the House of Commons, provides the first opportunity for 18 years for changing the law on abortion.

Please sign the new petition at calling on Parliament to support amendments to reduce the number of abortions in the UK from 200,000 a year and to oppose amendments that would further liberalise the abortion law.

Praying must Stop?

BidefordAccording to a report in today's Daily Mail, Bideford Town Council has been advised to stop opening meetings with prayer.

The National Association of Local Councils has advised that the practice might fall foul of the Race Relations Act. It could even attract an action under the Human Rights Act. It said the practice, which is observed at many town halls, was merely an "old custom" which might upset councillors and members of the public of other religions.

How sad that this should happen in this country.

At least this doesn't seem to be the end of a story. The report says many councillors are outraged by the advice. While the local MP is quoted as saying, "This situation is proof of a disturbing tendency to try to use spurious legal arguments under the Human Rights Act, and equality legislation, to eliminate the Christian faith from the fabric of our public life ... I do not believe that there is any serious risk of a meritorious action under the Human Rights Act, or the Race Discrimination Act. The advice is quite simply misleading and wrong."

Apparently he has written to the Local Government Secretary Hazel Blears demanding "urgent clarification" for town and parish councils to know how to conduct their meetings without breaking the law.

So that's all right then.