Jan 20

Bexley Council threat over ‘injustice’ video

Bexley council threat over ‘injustice’ video

Press Release from Christian Voice – Immediate: 12.20 hrs 20th January 2016

The Head of Children’s Services at a local authority has threatened a journalist over a video claiming her department ‘visited injustice’ on a family in her borough.

Jacky Tiotto, Head of Children’s Services at the London Borough of Bexley, has written to Stephen Green of Christian Voice demanding he take down a YouTube video in which he interviewed the parents of four children taken by Bexley and kept in care.

The video is called ‘Christmas Ruined by Social Services’ and may be seen at youtu.be/CaBczpK7HOM.

Ms Tiotto says a section in which the parents talk about advice given to them by a family court judge to plead guilty to child abuse in the Crown Court is a contempt of court. So, she says, are three other occasions where the parents say judges and social workers would not listen to the children.

The parents were actually charged by police with abuse following a foolish and false allegation from the eldest son. They were acquitted in July 2015 in the Crown Court when their son vehemently retracted his allegation.

A section in which the parents claim the social worker in the case acted out of religious hatred escapes Ms Tiotto’s wrath.

Despite neither the case nor the children and not even the parents being identified, and despite contesting the accuracy of the information in the video, the highly-paid Children’s Services boss claims Green is contravening Section 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960. This prohibits ‘publication of information relating to proceedings before any court sitting in private’ under the Children Act 1989.

Stephen Green, said today, ‘Rather then waste her precious time and council tax on frivolous legal action, Jacky Tiotto should be calling her staff to account over this case and reuniting this family.

‘A section in her letter where she says it is up to the parents to make a court application for return of their children, rather than for Bexley to do the decent and honourable thing and return them voluntarily, displays a callous disregard for justice, for ordinary families and for the emotional harm being done to these children on her watch.

‘In addition, the parents have been punished for doing nothing wrong. Other parents are now contacting me and it seems this case is by no means unique.

‘Jacky Tiotto is responsible for a massive, continuing injustice and it is obviously embarrassing to her and Bexley’s administration that it has come to light.

‘I’ll take legal advice, but my inclination is not to be deterred from giving the victims of injustice a voice by threats from uncaring bureaucrats’.

ENDS

For further information, phone Stephen Green on 07931 490050.

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Jan 04

Christmas ruined by Social Services

Happy New Year.  At this festive season, please spare a prayer for one Christian family who are spending their second Christmas divided.  I traveled to Bexley on Monday 21st December 2015 to interview the parents.

Following a foolish and false allegation from their eldest son, who has since vehemently retracted it, all four children are now ‘in care’.  You will scarcely believe their story, but it needed to be told – and it needs to be heard.

Someone in your family or in your church could be on the receiving end of similar treatment, so please find a moment to view our video and pray for this family.

May God bless you and draw close to you this day and always.

If you have a story to tell us about Social Services Child Protection people, please get in touch.

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (KJV)

 

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Dec 16

Taunton Evangelist Acquitted

Michael Overd outside Taunton Crown Court

Michael Overd outside Taunton Crown Court

An evangelist convicted in May by a Muslim magistrate of a public order offence for preaching in Taunton has had his conviction overturned.

Michael Overd appealed to Taunton Crown Court.  A group of us last Friday (11th December 2015) watched as the Crown’s case collapsed like a house of cards.

Witness Darren Chalmers told the Court that on Saturday 7th June 2014 he was working on a market stall in Taunton.  He said he was gay and active in a church.  He said he could hear a preacher half-way up the High Street and walked down to hear the views being expressed.

‘Someone asked the preacher a question about homosexuality,’ said Chalmers. ‘The preacher said that homosexuals are sinners and that God made Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve. Being gay and and an openly gay Christian, I accept Adam and Eve but I felt intimidated because in my church I am accepted,’ he went on. ‘It made me question my faith.’

 

Darren Chalmers

Darren Chalmers – not a sinner

Not a sinner

Judge David Ticehurst asked Chalmers, ”Don’t you question your faith on a daily basis?’

Chalmers replied: ‘Yes, but my faith is strong. I have my prayer support.’  He said he told Mr Overd he was misinterpreting what he believed in.  But the judge asked him, ‘Are we not all sinners? Christ said “We have all fallen short …”‘

Chalmers retorted, ‘That’s true from time to time.  I’m not a sinner. Then I walked away and was told I was a sinner and had to repent of my sins. On the microphone. And that was it.  I felt intimidated and it made me question my faith. It made me feel as a small minority with no place in society.’

Prosecutor Miss Charley Pattison asked the small minority with no place in society: ‘What did you do?’

His Honour Judge David Ticehurst

His Honour Judge David Ticehurst – ‘We have all fallen short …’

Chalmers replied: ‘I prayed hard and realised I’m still accepted. Then I rung the police and reported what happened to do with homophobic remarks.’  Of course he did.  Later, in cross-examination, we learnt that he added the lie that Mr Overd was being racist just to make sure he would  be arrested.

Witness in knots

Chalmers’ evidence intrigued His Honour, who had not yet seen that the Crown’s case that abusive or threatening words with a ‘homophobic’ element to them had been uttered had much substance.  ‘Did he say you were a sinner because you were a homosexual?’

‘Yes’, replied Chalmers, ‘he said I was a sinner and had to repent of my sins because I was homosexual.’

Michael Phillips

Defence advocate Michael Phillips

‘That’s not what you said before,’ His Honour retorted.

Defence Counsel Michael Philips then stood up to cross-examine Darren Chalmers, pointing out that the addition of ‘because I was homosexual’ was not in his statement to the police, was not mentioned at the earlier magistrate’s hearing and was not spoken off initially in this hearing either.

Eventually, Chalmers had to admit that It was just his feeling, and the words ‘because you are homosexual’ were never uttered.

Sir Stephen Sedley - 'Freedom of speech toi say the inoffensive is not worth having

Sir Stephen Sedley – ‘Freedom of speech to say the inoffensive is not worth having’.

Equalities in the Workplace

The second prosecution wItness Nigel James Marley was in Taunton for a training session on ‘Equalities in the Workplace’.  He heard someone with an amplified voice, it was obviously a preacher, he said, making some ‘pretty nasty remarks’.

The judge wanted to know what he said precisely, but Marley could not remember.

His Honour asked ‘What was the gist?’  To this Marley said,’ The homosexual lifestyle was against the Bible and they were not fit persons’.

‘Fit for what?’ asked His Honour.  Marley: ‘I cannot remember’.

There were also exchanges about freedom of expression and its limits.  It seemed both prosecution witnesses believed that freedom of speech extended only to the inoffensive.

But Lord Justice Sedley, in his famous 1999 ‘Remond-Bate’ ruling, said, ‘Freedom to say the inoffensive is not worth having’.  Speech can include ‘the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and provocative’, said his Lordship.

Where are the words?

Prosecuting Barrister Charley Pattison is a 'national justice' spokesman for the Green Party

Prosecuting Barrister Charley Pattison is also a ‘national justice’ spokesman for the Green Party.

But Judge Ticehurst was not concerned with any of that.  In order for Michael Overd to be convicted the prosecution needed to prove he had used threatening or abusive words or behaviour.  ‘Where are they?’ he asked Miss Pattison.  ‘He said Mr Chalmers was a sinner and needed to repent.  You need more than that.’

His Honour was not finished: ‘Mr Chalmers was made to feel bad.  Mr Marley cannot remember any words. You have to prove that the appellant had used words. What were they?’

Miss Pattison, who has been practicing as a barrister for just two years, did her best, but the writing was on the wall.  After a lunch break she threw in the towel.

Neither do I condemn thee

Like the Lord Jesus oversaw in the matter of the woman in adultery, the prosecution had withdrawn its case.  And like the Lord Jesus, His Honour had no option but to find the accused not guilty.  Michael Overd was duly acquitted.

Then, like the Lord Jesus, David Ticehurst offered some advice.  In this case it was not ‘go and sin no more’ but invite homeless people in for tea and cake and preach the Gospel to them indoors.

Michael Overd is not likely to follow that advice.  But he is likely to sue the police for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.  Yes, we are to forgive our enemies, but if we do not take the poilice to court and make them pay damages, they will never learn and they will just go out and arrest someone else.

If you are in trouble with the police for preaching at Speakers' Corner or anywhere in the UK, get in touch right now.

If you are in trouble with the police for preaching at Speakers’ Corner or anywhere in the UK, get in touch right now. No-one need be convicted.

Are you in trouble for preaching? Get in touch!

I have heard in recent days of Christian preachers at Speakers’ Corner among other places being arrested, charged, convicted and fined for sharing the Gospel.  That is an outrage but it will not happen if they simply contact us as soon as they are arrested or even if they have already been convicted.

The fact is, no preacher, properly represented in court, has ever been convicted of an offence in Britain under the Public Order Act 1986.  Not a single one.  If you have been arrested for preaching, get in touch with us right now.  If you know of someone who has, put them in touch with us right now.  Time is always of the essence.

In the alternative, contact Christian Concern, who supported Michael Overd.  Just please understand defending a public order charge is not a time for DIY.

Money, or the lack of it, is not a problem.  The Lord’s people are not going to stand by and see street preachers convicted.  This ministry will fund your defence.  Email me on Stephen @ this website or ring me on 07931 490050.

Praise God for this outcome and please pray for Michael and Rachel Overd who have been through a lot and have stood strong by the grace of God.

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Dec 14

Men ‘have better sense of direction’

PhD Candidate Carl Pintzka

Researcher and PhD candidate Carl Pintzka

Men have a better sense of direction than women, a Norwegian study has found.

Men consistently performed better than women during way-finding tasks in a virtual environment which they had just learned.

Using fMRI brain-scanning, the researchers saw that men in the study took several shortcuts, oriented themselves more using cardinal directions and used a different part of the brain than the women in the study.

To find out if the difference was down to cultural factors or sex-specific hormones, the researchers gave some of the women a small dose of testosterone under their tongue. Several of them were then able to orient themselves better in the four cardinal directions.

“Men’s sense of direction was more effective. They quite simply got to their destination faster,” says Carl Pintzka, a medical doctor and PhD candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)’s Department of Neuroscience.

The men and women studied a virtual maze

The men and women studied a virtual maze and were then set tasks. Men’s routes in blue, women’s routes in red. Credit: NTNU

Eighteen men and 18 women first took an hour to learn the layout of a maze before the scanning session began. In the MRI scanner, they were given 30 seconds for each of the 45 navigation tasks. One of the tasks, for example, was to “find the yellow car” from different starting points.

The men solved 50 per cent more of the tasks than the women.

Pintzka concludes that women and men have different navigational strategies. Men, he found, use cardinal directions during navigation to a greater degree.

“If they’re going to the Student Society building in Trondheim, for example, men usually go in the general direction where it’s located. Women usually orient themselves along a route to get there, for example, ‘go past the hairdresser and then up the street and turn right after the store’,” he says.

The study shows using cardinal directions is more efficient because it is a more flexible strategy. The destination can be reached faster because the strategy depends less on where you start.

The fMRI brain images showed both men and women using large but different areas of the brain when they navigate. The men used the hippocampus more, whereas women used their frontal areas to a greater extent.
“That’s in sync with the fact that the hippocampus is necessary to make use of cardinal directions,” says Pintzka.

Depressingly, he has to explain his findings in evolutionary terms. He suggests:

'Men are faster at finding the house' - Credit - fololia

‘Men are faster at finding the house’ – fotolia

“In ancient times, men were hunters and women were gatherers. Therefore, our brains probably evolved differently.”

What if our brains were designed differently by Almighty God and that men and women have simply decided to do those things for which we are better suited for our mutual benefit?

It is surely less plausible that our brains followed our activities than that our activities followed our brains.

Interestingly, other researchers have documented that women are better at finding objects locally than men. “In simple terms, women are faster at finding things in the house, and men are faster at finding the house,” Pintzka says.

The results support the Biblical model that men and women have complementary strengths and work together rather than the feminist doctrine popular in government and the broadcast media that the sexes have identical abilities and are in competition with each other.

The directional sense findings are part of Pintzka’s doctoral thesis on how the brain functions differently in men and women. Let’s pray his funding continues.

Nov 28

70,000: the new 45 minutes

David Cameron counting moderate Syrian rebels.

David Cameron counting moderate Syrian rebels.

David Cameron’s assertion in the House of Commons on Thursday 26th November 2015 that there are ‘seventy thousand’ moderate Syrian opposition forces ready to back up UK air strikes is unravelling fast.

Dr Julian Lewis MP, chairman of the Defence Committee, said in the debate, ‘I have to say that the suggestion that there are 70,000 non-Islamist, moderate, credible ground forces is a revelation to me and, I suspect, to most other Members in this House.’

The Independent reported that Mr Lewis would be tabling a question in the House of Commons demanding Mr Cameron clarify the claim.  The Prime Minister’s spokesman said the 70,000 figure was based on the “best intelligence and analysis we have”, adding: “The figure was provided to him by the Joint Intelligence Committee; they provided that intelligence and analysis independent of the Government.”

That will be the same Joint Intelligence Committee which apparently assured Tony Blair, after some arm-twisting, that Saddam Hussein could fire a long range missile with a chemical warhead at the UK in the famous figure of ’45 minutes’.  It looks suspiciously as if ‘70,000’ will turn out to be Mr Cameron’s ’45 minutes’.

The Independent says Mr Lewis asked Sky News: ‘Where are these magical 70,000 people and if they are there fighting, how come they haven’t been able to roll back Isil/Daesh? Is it that they’re in the wrong place? Is it that they’re fighting each other? Or is it that in reality they’re not all that moderate and that there are a lot of jihadists among them?’  He urged the Prime Minister to start working with President Assad to defeat Islamic State. “Sometimes the best you can do is choose the lesser of two evils,” he said.

Writing in the Spectator, Charles Lister, a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Doha Center and a Senior Consultant to The Shaikh Group, wrote to verify the figure.  He came up with 65,000 fighters in ten separate groups with names like ‘Daybreak’ (Faylaq) and ‘Front’ (Jabhat) sporting memberships from 1,000 to 25,000. The biggest forces were the ‘Southern Front’ with 25,000 men in fifty-eight different factions and the ‘Northern Free Syrian Army’ with 20,000 in fourteen factions.  Having coordinated meetings with up to a hundred other separate rebel militias, he counted a further 10,000 men in these groups.

Immediately, however, Mr Cameron’s claims start to unravel.  He said the 70,000 were ‘principally of the Free Syrian Army’ whereas only 45,000 of them are.  Then he said these are people ‘with whom we can co-ordinate attacks on ISIL’.

The first obvious problem is, these fighters are all in the extreme south-west and north-west of Syria.  Now, according to a helpful map at the bottom of this article in the Guardian, Islamic State has a pocket of ground in the south-east, and another in the north-west.  These are areas being patrolled by Russian aircraft from their base in Latakia, on Syria’s North-West coast.

The second obvious problem is that the ‘Free Syrian Army’ are just as interested in fighting the Syrian Army as Islamic State.  Russian aircraft have been supporting Syrian army forces with air strikes against these very same forces.  As Mr Lister said: ‘They remain focused on fighting the Assad regime, however, as it represents a more immediate priority for most, in terms of self-protection, the defence of civilian populations and of course, pursuing the revolution’s ultimate objective.’  Without British commanders on the ground prodding these men towards the Islamic State pockets, there is absolutely no guarantee they will follow up a British air strike against Islamic State on their manor, even if our air chiefs could gain an agreement with their Russian counterparts to avoid bumping into each other over this stretch of land.  And British ‘boots on the ground’ have been rightly ruled out.

Working with groups such as the ‘Free Syrian Army’ has been a nightmare for the US.  Equipment supplied to them by the US has ended up in the hands of the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat Al-Nusra.  The FSA either gave or sold the armaments to them.  In addition, as Ewen MacAskill wrote in the Guardian article cited above, ‘the US spent $600m (about £400m) training rebels to go back over the border into Syria. In the end, only 58 went back. Asked in September at a Congressional committee how many of them were still fighting, General Lloyd Austin said: “We are talking four or five.”’

Islamic State also holds ground to the east of Damascus and in the north-east of the rest of Syria.  None of the ‘70,000’ are anywhere near these areas.  Around Raqqa, where French warplanes have been active, there is no moderate opposition at all.

Mr MacAskill reported that retired British brigadier Ben Barry, who he described as ‘a specialist in land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies’, estimated ‘a joint US-UK-French coalition would require 20,000 troops to retake Raqqa. He described the prospect as “challenging”, given that IS had been preparing its defences for the last year.’  In the absence of those troops, it can only fall to the Syrian army to retake Raqqa.  Mr Cameron would have to speak to Mr Assad.

The 70,000 are nowhere near Raqqa which is also far from the extreme north of Syria where the Kurds are based.  And on that subject, the Kurdish forces are allied to the Kurdish Peoples’ Party, the PKK, which the UK has proscribed as a ‘terrorist organisation’ to appease Turkey.  The PKK pose no threat to Britain and it is high time that proscription was removed.

This is a time when Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition should be actively opposing and challenging the government.  But according to Gary Gibbon in a revealing article on the Channel 4 website, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition is not even opposing and challenging those in his own Shadow Cabinet who support Mr Cameron.

Labour MP Paul Flynn said on the BBC yesterday that Prime Ministers can get carried away with their importance.  They can become possessed by a spirit of hubris while dreaming of their ‘place in history’.  It happened to Tony Blair.  Now it is happening to David Cameron.  If this nation is not to waste millions on pointless air strikes, we need the Opposition to oppose him.

But more importantly than that, we need prayer.  There was a massive outpouring of prayer before the Commons vote not to bomb President Assad’s forces in August 2013.  The reasons for MPs to vote ‘No’ are different this time, but the need for prayer is still there.

 

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Nov 23

Death Cafe

This is the transcript of the video above – check against delivery.

What are these ‘death cafe’s’ all about, are they good or bad? And what do we make of the Church of England’s ‘grave talk’ project?

One paper said that over five hundred death cafe events have taken place to date across the UK and further afield, including the US, Australia and New Zealand.

The objective of a death cafe, so its people say, is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.’

According to the death cafe website, ‘At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.’

Cakes with black icing and skulls form a big part of Death Cafe, apparently.

Cakes with black icing and skulls form a big part of Death Cafe, apparently.

Yes, Cake seems to play a big part, especially cakes with black icing and skulls on them served on plates with skull motifs.

In Manchester, funeral director Hugh O’Brien hosted a death cafe event in Heaton Moor.  He said there was “a British reticence about death”.  “Everyone seems to be afraid of it,” he went on.

With a finite, in this case a truly finite – market to work in, I’m surprised funeral directors aren’t falling over each other to host these obvious marketing opportunities.

Anyway, the death cafe originator, one Jonathan Underwood from Hackney, is right now, in November 2015, selling shares for a permanent Death Cafe in London.

He thinks his project is the best thing he can do to make a better planet.

Mr Underwood has said there should be no fear about discussing death, and this is his reason: “you don’t get pregnant by talking about sex,” he says, “so why would talking about death make you die?”

I’m sorry old boy, but that is a non-sequitor. You can quite easily feel sexy by talking about sex, and talking about getting pregnant, especially talking positively about it, CAN help a couple have the child they so earnestly want.

In the same way, talking about death, especially talking enthusiatically about it, can hasten it. That’s a basic spiritual principle.

The Church of England’s ‘Grave Talk’ is different, because, as its website says, the Christian faith ‘holds the hope that death is not the end’.

A parish can put on a ‘grave talk’ evening to help people planning or going to a funeral, to have a conversation about death and dying, or to help with grief and loss of a loved one.

For me, that’s a good work, with an emphasis quite different from death cafe.

Let’s face it, we’ve just had an MP trying – and failing, thank God – to bring in an Assisted Dying Bill in this country, there are people going to some ghastly overseas clinic to commit suicide, and a growing suicide cult among young people led to seventy-nine deaths in Bridgend in Wales over just a five-year period.

Teenagers are taking their lives because of bullying, and suicide is the most common cause of death for men under thirty-five in Britain.

Death Cafe protagonists will deny their project has anything to do with promoting suicide. But even if it is just a sales pitch for undertakers, popularising the idea of death, glamorising it with skulls and black icing, won’t exactly help vulnerable teenagers.

Our lives are more than the matter of our death, or anyone else’s. Being obsessed about death, at any level, is simply not healthy for individuals, or society.

In the Bible, Jacob says he is about to be gathered to his fathers. He blesses his children and gives directions for his place of burial. And that’s it.

You see, the overwhelming principle in the Bible is that of life. God told the people of Israel:

Deut 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

People need life cafes, not death cafes, to be honest. And, thank God, we have quite a few of those. They are often held in a building with a spire on the top, or just in a hall, on a Sunday morning, and quite often they have a cross outside. There’s probably one near you. It’s called a church. Chances are, you’ll find someone inside who knows the author of life, one Jesus Christ. And if you get to know him too, death won’t hold any fear for you at all.

 

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Nov 17

Islamic Human Rights Commission

A report published today claims Muslims in the UK live in ‘an environment of hate’ – and the government is to blame.

The so-called ‘Islamic Human Rights Commission’ in a press release about today’s launch of its report ‘Environment of Hate: The New Normal for Muslims in the UK’ describes the UK “as an ever developing ‘Stasi state’ rife with hatred for the ‘suspect’ Muslim community. The authors examine the construction of an environment where Muslims are feared and loathed.”

This claim by the absurdly named ‘Commission’ – it’s just a pressure group – that the UK is like East Germany in its treatment of Muslims and Islam is preposterous. Our broadcast media and institutions from politicians to the police fall over themselves to present Islam as a peaceful religion and its adherents as loyal, law- abiding citizens.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission have been developing what they call the ‘Domination Hate Model of Intercultural Relations’. This says “hate crimes do not occur in a vacuum. Perpetrators are themselves victim citizens who have been mobilised by structural forces; namely the government and the media.”

The only problem is, that is rubbish.

Apart from the profligate and pointless ‘Prevent’ programme and the Terrorism Act, which actually concerns many of us, the government have done nothing inimical to Muslims. Establishment politicians are constant in their praise of Islam, stressing how the terrorists have misinterpreted it. The broadcast media, with the possible exception of Channel 4 Dispatches and the occasional Panorama programme, is overwhelmingly supportive of Islam and Muslims.

It is only some sections of the press which are antipathetic. Even then, if Muslim teachers did not beat children learning the Quran, if local authorities did not celebrate Eid rather than Christmas, if school boards did not try to turn their schools into Islamic enclaves, if Muslims did not write graffiti in Jewish cemeteries, there would be nothing to report.

Negative images of Muslims and Islam come not from our government and the British broadcast media at all. The problem for Muslims is all the honest material about Islam all over the internet, mainly on YouTube and Facebook.
Videos made by Islamic State themselves of their agents beheading captives, of tearing down crosses outside churches, other videos of Muslims rioting in Croatia, spouting hatred against Jews on Al-Quds Day in London (ironically organised by IHRC on behalf of Stop the War), attacking soldiers returning from Afghanistan in East London, bombing and shooting people in Nairobi and Garissa, constant killing in Baghdad, the bombs in Istanbul and Beirut and now the atrocities in Paris, it just goes on and on.

There is no getting away from the fact that the overwhelming majority of terrorists in the world are Muslim. There is no hiding that gangs of Muslim young men were convicted of the rape of young, insecure non-Muslim girls in town after town in the UK. There is no escaping the reality that all the recent cases of electoral fraud here have involved Muslims. There is no gain-saying that in case after case of restaurant and take-away food hygiene, it is Muslim establishments that are being fined. The Muslim community in this land needs to clean up its own act. Literally, in some aspects.

Finally, in the wake of the carnage in Paris, the ‘Islamic Human Rights Commission’ blames not Muslim terrorists but ‘unethical western foreign policy in the Middle East’. I have been at the forefront of objecting to British incursions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria and to our Government’s support of the catastrophic ‘Arab Spring’. But when Muslims blame ‘the West’ for the actions of other Muslims, is it any wonder that the rest of us react with loathing for Islam and all it stands for?

Here is a word about the Islamic Human Rights Commission:

Isa 59:3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. 4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

And here is one for them:

Mark 1:15 The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

 

Nov 16

Cornwall Council in discrimination case

Exeter County Court

Exeter County Court

A local council has won a secret trial after being sued for discrimination by a father under the Human Rights Act.

The father, whom we cannot name, is opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion and is suing Cornwall Council after its social services department intervened to prevent contact between him and his son, now five.

He alleges that they discriminated against him on the grounds of his beliefs after a social worker interrogated him about his opposition to abortion and gay-marriage.

COURT HEARING OUTCOME

A court hearing held on 23rd October decided that the case should be held at its substantive hearing in December in secret rather than in open court.  Cornwall Council wanted the hearing to be in secret.  The father, known to this ministry, wanted it to be heard in the open, so that the media, including Christian Voice, could report on it.

The father says the social worker voiced ‘concerns’ to do with his faith that were ‘insurmountable’ and told him that because of his unacceptable ‘beliefs’, openly posted on a blog, it was the social worker’s ‘duty’ to ensure that he never saw his son again.  He has not seen his son for two and a half years.

The father, who is separated from the child’s mother, initially referred his son to social services because of concerns that the mother was not keeping to a written agreement about contact.

PUBLIC SUPPORT

At previous hearings the father defeated two applications to strike out his claim, which began in March 2014, and two applications for summary judgment against him.

The father told Christian Voice: ‘Whether you agree with the social worker’s decision or not, it is surely wrong that such an important issue as this should be decided in a secret trial.  The issue to be decided is whether social workers should be allowed to deprive a child of one of his parents because that parent holds strong moral Christian beliefs which differ from those of the Government.’

There was a good degree of support from the public, particularly from the claimant’s church.

JUDGE CONSIDERED REPRESENTATIONS

The circuit judge hearing the application was His Honour Judge Cotter QC. HHJ Cotter heard, considered, then dismissed representations from the media.

READ: Exod 23:6; Lev 19:15; Deut 1:17; 1Kings 3:28; 1Chron 18:14; Job 37:23; Psalm 82:3, 89:14; Prov 31:4-5; Isa 59:4,14; Ezek 45:9; John 7:24; Acts 23:35; Romans 13:4; Rev 20:4.

PRAY: that justice may be done and may be seen to be done in this case.  Pray also for wisdom for the father and for Christian Voice in the matter of an appeal.

 

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Nov 16

Evangelist in Court

Northampton Magistrates Court where Bill edwards is on trial on 19th and 20th November 2015

Northampton Magistrates Court where evangelist Bill Edwards is on trial twice this month: on 19th and 20th November 2015

STOP PRESS 20/11/2015:

CASE ON THURSDAY 19th DROPPED!

CASE ON FRIDAY 20th DROPPED IN RETURN FOR BIND-OVER ORDER!

PRAISE THE LORD!

BUT WHY WERE THESE CASES EVER BROUGHT?

Article continues:

Another Christian evangelist is in court on alleged public order offences.

Bill Edwards, well-known to this ministry for his tireless efforts for the Gospel, is to face magistrates in Northampton twice this month, on 19th November and then again the following day, 20th November.  The cases will both be heard at 10.00am at Northampton Magistrates Court, Campbell Square, Northampton, NN1 3EB.  Both charges have been laid under the Public Order Act 1986.

PRAYER IMPORTANT

Mr Edwards has told Christian Voice he values prayer more than actual physical presence.  He said: ‘Obviously I will be glad of support by Christians at either of the court cases but it is a very long way for folk like you to come and prayer for the Lord’s help is, of course, more important.’

Despite that, members local to Northampton will surely want to support him, and those who can reach the court will wish to demonstrate how serious their prayers are by being there in person.

LOCAL MP COMPLAINED

The first charge relates to a peaceful protest Bill Edwards carried out outside the house of local MP Andrea Leadsom (Conservative) in the village of Slapton on 18th July.

Mr Edwards said: ‘I did not expect to be arrested and planned after an hour to move to another village for door to door evangelism. I did try to inform Northamptonshire Police beforehand about the protest but was unable to get through in time before I left home.  I told Mrs. Leadsom why I was there and spoke to her husband and children and their friends.’  He is charged under Sections 4A and 5 of the Public Order Act.

ARRESTED AT SCHOOL

The following day the evangelist is charged under Sections 5 and 6 of the Act. Mr Edwards told us: ‘The second arrest and charge occurred after I carried a banner against homosexuals outside a primary school in Brackley on July 21st. There was a great deal of anger and physical opposition from certain people and again I was surprised with the outcome.  Both of my banners employed words of Scripture.’

A personal note:

Evangelists like Bill Edwards are rare.  They often do things others of us wouldn’t.  I should probably content myself with writing to my MP or asking to lobby him at the House of Commons.  I am not sure, even if he refused to meet me, that I should protest outside his home.  If I did, of course, I should expect him to have a thicker and more avuncular skin than the average person and should be extremely surprised if he were to call the police.

As for the school, I know how liberal many parents are these days and have myself been shouted at when trying to encourage parents to protect their children from homosexual propaganda.  In that situation, one really would expect the school’s head teacher to call the police, but would expect the police to defuse the situation on their arrival rather than start arresting people.

On the other hand, for some years now the police have been arresting evangelists for so-called ‘homophobic’ language, to the extent that even the National Secular Society became embarrassed by the negative publicity around assaults on our freedom of speech and joined the Christian Institute to call for a change in the law.

But despite that high-profile joint campaign by the National Secular Society and the Christian Institute to draw the teeth of the Public Order Act by removing the word ‘insulting’ from the list of behaviours it made illegal, nothing has actually changed.  The police appear to carrying on with ‘business as usual’.

That is why, although Bill Edwards’ approach might differ from my own (although I too was arrested under the same Act of Parliament for witnessing outside Cardiff ‘Mardi Gras’ in 2006), I am honoured to stand with him and to show the magistrates that at least one of his brothers in Christ supports him enough to turn up on the day.

READ: Deut 31:6; Psalm 103:6; Jer 1:17, 5:14; Luke 12:11-12; Acts 4:18-20; Rom 10:8; 3John 1:17.

PRAY: Thank the Lord for evangelists who are prepared to risk arrest for preaching the Gospel. Pray that Bill Edwards finds favour with the magistrates.  Pray for his solicitor, Michael Phillips, to be a good and effective advocate.  Pray for much support from local Christians.  Pray for Bill Edwards, as he says, ‘that the Lord will be glorified whatever the outcomes … and that I may witness a good confession against the homofascism and antichrist attitude of the authorities of our country.’

SUPPPORT: Come to Northampton Magistrates Court, Campbell Square, Northampton, NN1 3EB at 10.00am on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th November.

 

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