Church of Scotland set for key vote on gay marriage | Christian News on Christian Today

The Church of Scotland is expected to take a significant step toward accepting gay marriage next week.

Proposals to allow ministers to preside over LGBT weddings are thought likely to pass a vote in the Kirk’s General Assembly next Thursday.

The procession at the opening of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotlan

The suggestion by the Church’s Theological Forum insists there must be protections for ‘conscientious refusal’ from conservative clergy but evangelicals fear the move could lead to all ministers being forced to take gay weddings, even if it is against their beliefs.So although the recommendations are thought to pass, there could be several years of legal wrangling before same-sex ceremonies take place in the Church of Scotland.

The Kirk’s governing General Assembly, which meets in Edinburgh from Saturday, will also vote on whether to apologise to gay people for past discrimination.

Source:  Christian Today

Warning of NHS cyber-attack risk was not acted on, says cybersecurity adviser | Technology | The Guardian

David Wrigley of panel that drew up guidelines on cybersecurity says government failed to heed advice last summer

The government has been accused of failing to heed a warning last summer that the NHS could be at risk from cyber-attacks by one of the advisers who highlighted the potential for major problems.

In July, the NHS regulator, the Care Quality Commission, and the national data guardian, Dame Fiona Caldicott, warned that the threat of such attacks “has not only put patient information at risk of loss or compromise but also jeopardises access to critical patient record systems by clinicians”.

Source:  The Guardian

US Support for Gay Marriage Edges to New High | Gallup

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults say same-sex marriages should be recognized by the law as valid. Although not meaningfully different from the 61% last year, this is the highest percentage to date and continues the generally steady rise since Gallup’s trend began in 1996.

The latest update, from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll conducted May 3-7, comes nearly two years after the Supreme Court ruled that states could not prohibit same-sex marriage.

Source: Gallup

“Moral courage and ethical leadership in the ANC” | Trevor Manuel, Daily Maverick

The question before us though is how we can build the caring and inclusive society that our Constitution requires us to do. Let’s reflect on its construct.

First, it sets out its purpose in the preamble where it requires of society among other things to:

  • Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
  • Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law; and
  • Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person.

Second, it sets out the Founding Provisions, which include a commitment to human dignity, non-racialism and non-sexism, universal adult suffrage, supremacy of the constitution, citizenship, the anthem, the flag, and our languages.

Third, it sets out the Bill of Rights, which it describes as the “cornerstone of democracy”. A few of these may appear contentious even now.

Source: Moral courage and ethical leadership in the ANC | Daily Maverick

We need to challenge the myth that the rich are specially-talented wealth creators | British Politics and Policy at LSE


In this article Andrew Sayer revives some concepts – ‘unearned income’, ‘rentiers’, ‘functionless investors’, and ‘improperty’ – to explain why the very rich are unjust and dysfunctional. We need to challenge the myth that the rich are specially-talented wealth creators, he argues.

In light of the news that the richest 80 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, all 3.5 billion of them, and at the time of the plutocrats’ World Economic Forum in Davos, many people are talking about the extraordinary concentration of wealth at the top.

Here in the UK, the combined wealth of the richest 1,000 people is £519 billion (up from $450 billion in 2013). That’s over 4 times the size of the annual NHS budget (£127 billion), 12 times the size of the education bill (£42 billion), and 9 times the size of the welfare bill (£58 billion). We might well ask which of these figures can’t we afford? Given the tendency of the rich to portray themselves as specially-talented wealth creators we have to ask whether these inequalities are justified. In my new book Why We Can’t Afford the Rich, I argue they are unjust and dysfunctional.

To show why, we need to consider what economists call ‘the functional distribution of income’ – the different sources of income such as work, rent, interest and profit that go to different people. We can best do this by reviving some concepts which tend to have fallen out of use over the last 40 years – just at the time they were becoming more relevant: ‘unearned income’, ‘rentiers’, ‘functionless investors’, and ‘improperty’.

Source: British Politics and Policy at LSE

‘We are the No,’ Cardinal Tobin says, vowing to support immigrants

The Archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin said, “We are the ‘no’ to a nation who is heartless, who would deport people separating them from their families and their loved ones simply because they are victims of a broken system.”

NEWARK, N.J. – Beneath the curved wooden ceiling at Bethany Baptist Church, New Jersey’s faith leaders vowed to stand alongside those targeted under the White House agenda – and build their own wall of resistance to President Trump’s policies.

“Not on our watch will anyone have to stand or fight alone,” said the church’s pastor, Timothy Jones on Thursday (May 4). “Now more than ever is the time for people of all faiths to get together to work for the joint goal of building community.”

Faith in New Jersey, an interfaith coalition advocating for social justice, convened imams, pastors, priests, and rabbis to urge action amid swift changes to immigration enforcement and health care.

“We cannot stand idly by, we cannot stay on the sidelines,” said Rev. John Mennel before more than 150 clergy members as Trump made his first presidential visit across the Hudson River before heading to his Bedminster golf course.

Source: ‘Crux

Kids And Teens Challenge Either/Or Genders : Shots – Health News : NPR

Max, age 13, is agender — neither male nor female. When referring to Max, you don’t use “he” or “she;” you use “they.”

Once strictly a pronoun of the plural variety, “they” is now doing double duty as singular, too — referring to individuals, like Max, who do not see gender as an either/or option. (NPR agreed not to use Max’s last name, because the family feared the sort of online threats that have been made to other transgender families.)

If the whole he/she pronoun thing feels awkward to you, Max is sympathetic — and patient.

Source:  Health News : NPR

Zuma faces rejection from the heart of the ANC, analysts say | News | National | M&G

The collective shock when labour federation Cosatu announced it was cancelling all speeches, including one by Jacob Zuma, at its annual May Day rally in Bloemfontein has brought into sharp focus the dissent over the president.

Political analysts argue that the boos and jeers Zuma received from Cosatu members suggest that a pro-Zuma candidate could lose the ANC the 2019 election. They say it also indicates that Cosatu members have now joined movements such as Save South Africa and opposition parties, who have led protests against Zuma since he sacked former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

Susan Booysen, a political analyst from the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Governance, said the booing at the rally signified the loss of one of the ANC’s most powerful mobilisers. Cosatu has traditionally used its “organisational mobilisation capacity” to help the ANC win previous elections, she said.

“The ANC has been extremely reliant on that. It is now a resource that has evaporated by all indications,” Booysen said.

Source:  M&G