Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

'Street pastor' proposal

A businessman has put forward proposals to tackle late night drinking in Perth by sending churchgoers out onto the streets at weekends.

Michael Archibald said that similar "street pastor" schemes had helped tackle drink-fuelled anti-social behaviour in Manchester and Birmingham. Teams of two pastors on the streets could help people in difficulty while out drinking late at night.

Development of the idea is at a very early stage.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

False arguments against smacking

Leading children’s charity, NCH Scotland, is urging the Scottish Parliament to support a banon smacking children because, according to the charity, smacking discriminates against children.

The charity claims that under Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children’s rights are to be protected against discrimination. They think it is wrong that adults can be prosecuted for assaulting adults but not for smacking their children (BBC News Online 26 September 2006)

False arguments against smacking

  • “Hitting people is wrong – children are people too”
    “Hitting” is a deliberately emotive and misleading word. Where smacking is used the intention is to train children how to behave and to equip them for adult life.
  • “Children should have the same protection as adults”
    For obvious reasons children are not allowed to drive, marry or own a firearms licence. No-oneclaims ‘inequality’ on these issues and it is ridiculous to apply this argument to smacking. Smacking is specific to children as they are dependent upon their parents and need to betaught right from wrong.
  • “If smacking works, why do you have to keep doing it?”
    This is like saying if school works, why do children have to keep going? The same argument could be used against any parenting technique or any law which is broken on a single occasion.
  • “Smacking escalates to child abuse”
    Most parents who smack their children are not child abusers. The overwhelming proportion of parents know what is reasonable. Evidence from Sweden shows banning smacking actually increased child abuse.
  • “Smacking teaches children to be violent”
    The majority of people were smacked themselves as children, and are now law abiding citizens, not violent abusers.
Smacking a child is not like assaulting an adult
  • Despite the repeated calls for a ban, the public remain opposed to such a move.
  • The Government’s own survey found that 88% of the public believed it was sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child
    (Protecting Children, Supporting Parents: A Consultation Document on the Physical Punishment of Children, Department of Health, 2000, pages 20-21)
  • The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, admitted in an interview last year that he had smacked both his elder sons. He said, “I think everybody knows the difference between smacking a kid and abusing a child” Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2006
The Bible teaches that parents,
and not the state,
have a God-given authority over their children

Christians believe that discipline is part of love,
that the benefits last a life-time and that
smacking is one means which most parents choose
to discipline their children

What the law says:
Despite impressions given to the contrary it is perfectly legal for parents
to smack their children.

Section 51 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 continues to allow the defence of “reasonable chastisement”.

It specifically bans all blows to the head, all shaking, and all use of implements and, in respect of the incidents involving shaking or implements, the Procurators Fiscal and the courts are barred from considering whether there was actually any harm or threat of harm to the child.

Legal Defence Fund

The Christian Institute has set up a Legal Defence Fund

The aim is to fund the costs of legal action and the associated campaign work in cases of national importance for religious liberty.

There are a growing number of cases where Christian freedom is being restricted by official bodies, often acting completely outside the law.

Parliament and the courts have laid down many precious rights and freedoms in the UK. These freedoms need to be used.

Christian Institute want to use the Legal Defence Fund to protect Christian religious freedom and restrain those who are unlawfully harassing and discriminating against Christian believers. They also want to use the fund to intervene in strategic court cases where precedents could be set which may affect Christian religious liberty.

Web Links

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

UK Youth Open to Christianity

A survey carried out by Communicate Research for Premier Christian Radio shows that British young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are more open to faith-based dialogues that any other age group in the UK.

Christians received the most open audience, with 74 percent of people in this age group saying they were willing to listen to them talk about their faith.

63% of young folk were willing to listen to those from a Jewish background;

62% would listen to Muslims talking about their faith in Islam;

56% were open to hearing from atheists and Buddhists.

(Assist News Service)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Fostering Agency Faces Closure
(press release)

Christian fostering agency faces closure under Sexual Orientation Regulations

A Christian fostering and adoption support service today announced it faces closure because the Government will not grant an exemption to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

Following on from the statements of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, Cornerstone (North East) Adoption and Fostering Service wrote to the Prime Minister calling for protection from the regulations.

All prospective carers with Cornerstone (based in Stockton-on-Tees) must be Christians and they agree to live by the Bible's teaching. This means that among others, people of no, or other faith, heterosexual unmarried couples and practising homosexuals, are currently referred to alternative providers.

Following a meeting of carers, Trustees and staff, The Chairman of Trustees, Robin Singleton, said today:

"Cornerstone was founded as an agency for Bible believing Christians who want to provide a 'forever family' to some of the most vulnerable children in our society. By any measure Cornerstone is a very successful agency with outstanding outcomes for children. In our 7-year history more than half of the children have been adopted by their foster carers and our breakdown rate is exceptionally low.

"We are deeply concerned that our freedom to provide this service within a faith-based organisation is being denied. Cornerstone provides a unique service in the North East where the faith of its foster and adoptive carers is understood, supported and valued. Carers come to us in preference to other agencies for this reason. Other carers in society can readily have their needs met by an abundance of other providers. This lack of tolerance of Christians expressing their faith through service provision is of real concern and an outrageous infringement of our freedom.

One of our young adults says:

"I am one of the first children to be placed, and adopted, in a family by Cornerstone and I think it is totally shocking that you are going to shut down a good fostering agency just because they don't believe it's right for any fostered child to be brought up by people of the same sex whether they are gay or lesbian. There are plenty of other agencies out there who would be happy with allowing gay couples to foster children"

Robin concluded by saying:

"The implications of this proposed legislation are far reaching and will have a profound effect on services to the public through the reduction of faith-based organisational activities."

The Director of The Christian Institute, Colin Hart, said:

"Cornerstone is providing an excellent service for children. They want to do so because they are Christians, but under the regulations they face closure.

"Most reasonable people would question why our elected government would want to legislate in favour of gay rights supporters who want to close down welfare organisations offering public services which disagree with them. It is not only Cornerstone but many other religious charities will be affected, such as nursing homes, homes for the elderly, guest houses, the list is endless."

For more information contact: Mike Judge 0191 281 5664