Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Homosexuals given preference over Grandparents

CHURCH LEADERS have hit out at social work chiefs today over claims that a couple were "forced" to give up their grandchildren for adoption by two gay men.

The grandparents wanted to care for the five-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister because their mother was unable to look after them. But it was reported today that the children, from Edinburgh, are now to be adopted by a gay couple

The grandparents claim they have been warned they risk never seeing the youngsters again if they continue with their opposition to the same-sex adoption.

Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church, said: "This is a devastating decision which will have a serious impact on the welfare of the children involved.

According to reports, the couple, who cannot be named, wanted to give the five-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister a loving home themselves. But they were ruled to be too old - at 46 and 59.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Dundee Scouts snub God and The Queen

Boy Scouts in Dundee will be able to pledge allegiance to ‘Allah’ and drop the traditional oath to God and Queen, says the Scout Association in Scotland.

The Association has given its backing to starting Dundee’s 45th troop which will specifically target Muslim boys.

In the oath Muslim recruits will be able to replace the name ‘God’ with “Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful”, and pledge to honour “the country in which I am now living” instead of the Queen.

The Scout Association is already open to all faiths and Muslim boys are currently part of existing troops, but according to the Association they are aware of some who might be opposed to the traditional pledge.

A spokesman for the Scout Association Drummond Cox claims the change “represents a tweak rather than a major change”.

He said: “The Scouts may have been a Christian organisation originally but we have long been non-denominational and inclusive.

“This new troop will in no way be exclusionary and non-Muslim boys may join if they wish in an initiative that has the support of the Muslim community.”

Mr Cox added: “There are already Muslim boys in troops around Dundee but until now we do not have one catering for Muslims specifically. It is affirmative action.”

But Richard Cook of the Campaign Against Political Correctness said: “This is a disappointing development and many people will worry about the sad loss of much-loved traditions.

“Many Muslims in this country are proud monarchists, so it seems wrong to alter the pledge.”
Mr Cook warns: “Quite apart from the risk of creating a two-tier Scout movement, there is also the question of how helpful it is to set up a group that specifically aims to recruit young Muslims when we are trying to be more inclusive of other communities.

“Doesn’t this just perpetuate the divisions at the expense of cherished traditions?”

Roman Catholic fireman wins legal battle

A Roman Catholic fireman from Glasgow has won his legal battle against his bosses after he was punished for refusing to take part in a ‘gay pride’ march.

John Mitchell was one of nine firemen who were ordered against their will to take part in the event, Pride Scotia, in 2006.

Instead of bowing to pressure to take part in the rally, they handed out fire safety leaflets to members of the public on a nearby street.

The men, all from Glasgow’s Cowcaddens fire station, were then punished by their employers Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.

The nine firemen remained on written warnings and were ordered to undergo diversity training.
Strathclyde Firemaster, Brian Sweeney, declared the men had damaged their careers by their actions.

He said at the time: “This is a strong disciplinary action that is very serious, that is placed on their personal record file and puts them in a very difficult employment position.”

Mr Mitchell chose to fight and after failing to overturn the disciplinary findings at three internal appeals he took the matter to an Employment Tribunal.

Days before the hearing was due, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue admitted they had failed to take account of his religious beliefs.

Mr Mitchell has been awarded damages and has received an apology from his employers. He told newspapers that a gagging order prevents him from discussing the case.

But a source close to the family told reporters: “This was never about being gay or anti-gay, this was about people being respected for who they are and what they believe. The men were asked to go along and support the rally, not just hand out leaflets.

In line with Catholic teaching, John is opposed to homosexual acts without condemning homosexuals themselves. But he has never sought to foist his views on anyone else and felt that others should have shown him that same respect.

“There were marchers dresses as nuns and priests, behaving in a lewd manner to ridicule Christianity. People are free to mock the Catholic faith in unpleasant and rude ways - that’s their right - but it was not John’s duty to join in.

“There were times he thought he would lose his job by taking on the top brass and his family received anonymous phone calls threatening violence against them.”

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “I am pleased for John that he has won his case. He is a fireman, so we know he is courageous. It takes courage to seek justice against a tide of political correctness.

“Firemen do an incredibly brave job. When they are pulling people out of burning buildings they don’t stop to ask whether the person they are rescuing is gay or straight. All they see is a person who needs their help. That’s how it should be.

“To suggest that he was not doing his job just because he wouldn’t attend a gay pride march is an insult to his courage and the courage of his profession.

“Like many people in society, Mr Mitchell has sincerely held religious beliefs about moral conduct. He has beliefs, not hatred.

“It tyrannical to punish someone because they will not take part in a public rally on an issue with which they disagree. Shame on Strathclyde Fire and Rescue for doing so.”

Tory MSP Bill Aitken said: “Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and others have to recognise that people’s religious beliefs must be considered.”

A spokesman for the brigade said: “The issue between both parties has been resolved.”