Here’s a round-up of a few articles I’ve read over the last week and feel are worth sharing:
Last week the National Prayer Breakfast was held in Parliament. The National Prayer Breakfast, held once a year, is part of the work the Bible Society is doing with Christians in Politics to ensure the Bible message is heard at Westminster. It was attended by over 700 Peers, MPs, church leaders and representatives from charities. Disappointingly, but not unsurprisingly the media coverage was very limited. This is the only mention of it I could find in the national press and it was in the Sunday Sun. Fortunately you can find out what happened at the Bible Society’s website.
Following on from my post expressing deep disappointment on the British Medical Journal’s call for doctors to change their opposition to euthanasia at the British Medical Association’s Annual Representative Meeting, Dr Peter Saunders reports on the outcomes of the motions on abortion and euthanasia that were debated. For once its good news.
Nick Spencer, Research Director at Theos has written a paper for the Jubilee Centre entitled ‘The Bible and Politics‘ which contends that the Bible has been the single most influential document in British political history. It takes six major political ideas, and shows how the Bible has shaped our attitude to each. It’s full of interesting historical information and reminds us how important Christianity has been in our nation’s past and how we reject its influence at our peril.
Steve Holmes on his Shored Fragments blog considers whether freedom of religion is sufficient justification for practices otherwise considered harmful by the wider culture. The context of his piece is the banning of male circumcision on religious grounds by a regional court judge in Germany last week. It’s not currently something that is up for discussion in the UK, but given current moves by secularists, I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes onto the radar at some point in the future. This article gives some food for thought on it.
At Resistance & Renewal Ian Geary has written a guest post on the Blue Labour movement. The idea behind Blue Labour is to renew the more ‘conservative’ aspects of Labour’s tradition, by placing family, faith and relationships at the centre of a different way of doing politics. It’s an interesting appraisal of the relationship between faith and politics that goes beyond being relevant just to Labour supporters.
Finally, Andrew Lloyd Webber will be running a search on ITV for a new ‘rock star’ to play Jesus in a stadium tour through the late summer and autumn. Bishop of Bradford, Nick Baines discusses in the Telegraph what the public might expect ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ to be like. He asks some questions about how Jesus is perceived and also hopes that the series will engage the public’s imagination with religion and boost the profile of the Church. It should certainly provide some opportunities for discussion at the office and school gates. Let’s pray for this to raise people’s awareness of Jesus and who he really was and is.