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Congressman bids to stop vote against religious circumcision ban

By Admin on 17th June 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A Democratic congressman from California is to introduce a bill in the US House of Representative to prevent the city of San Francisco from banning the circumcision of males under the age of 18. Representative Brad Sherman announced the bill in reaction to a measure that has qualified for the November 2011 ballot in San Francisco that would make the performance of circumcisions on males under 18 illegal.


Free Morning-After-Pill scheme fails to reduce teenage pregnancy

By Admin on 16th June 2011. ~ Categories: Other

A trial scheme supplying free Morning-After Pills (MAP) to teenagers in Wales has not succeeded in reducing teenage pregnancy, according to research commissioned by the National Health Service. The trial scheme was being run in Bridgend, and the research, which was shown to BBC Wales, said that the scheme did not have the intended impact on teen pregnancies.


French parliament votes against same-sex marriage

By Admin on 16th June 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The French parliament has rejected a bill legalising same-sex marriage. The bill, proposed by the opposition Socialist Party, was defeated on Tuesday. The vote reflected opposition to gay marriage among President Nicolas Sarkozy’s governing conservatives and the strain of traditional values that runs through many parts of France.


Political correctness hampering Christians says new Presbyterian Moderator

By Admin on 15th June 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Political correctness is preventing Christians expressing themselves, according to Northern Ireland's new Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Ivan Patterson. And he added that society was prepared to tolerate any philosophy except one centred on Jesus.


Best interests of children protected by marriage UN committee told

By Admin on 14th June 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The best interests of the child are best served within marriage, a leading Vatican official has told a top UN committee. Speaking to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's U.N. representative, said that the family should receive State protection.


Fine Gael TDs want welfare reform

By Admin on 14th June 2011. ~ Categories: Other

A growing number of Fine Gael TDs want to tackle what they see as a “dependency culture” linked to the social welfare system. A recent Fine Gael party meeting heard a range of proposals to fundamentally change the social welfare code, according to a report in the Sunday Independent.


Over 90pc of Americans still believe in God: Gallup

By Admin on 13th June 2011. ~ Categories:

More than 9 in 10 Americans still say "yes" when asked the basic question "Do you believe in God?", a figure which is virtually unchanged since the 1940s, according to a new Gallup poll. The study confirms a range of surveys which show that the US, despite a fall in reported religious practice, remains far more religious than the average Western industrialised country.


Long commutes increase chances of divorce says new study

By Admin on 13th June 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Long commutes may increase the risk for divorce by 40 percent, according to a new study from a leading Swedish university. In Ireland, the last Census showed that thousands of people spent well over two hours commuting, with 285,000 bleary-eyed workers setting off before 7am - and 113,000 of these out the door before 6.30am.


Senator Bacik defends call for ban on male circumcision

By Admin on 11th June 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has defended her remarks calling for a ban on male circumcision. Speaking in the Seanád on Thursday, she said that she didn't “believe that the cutting of a child’s genitals for anything other than medical reasons is ever justified”.


Marriage needs a new ‘Marshall Plan’ says think tank

By Admin on 11 June 2011 . ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Marriage in the US needs a new “Marshall Plan” to restore marriage, a leading US think-tank has said. The Heritage Foundation has issued a paper entitled “A Marshall Plan for Marriage: Rebuilding Our Shattered Homes,” which sets out a range of policies designed to strengthen marriage admidst a range of challenges facing the institution.


New legislation will give gay couples the same tax treatment as marriage

By Admin on 10th June 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

New legislation that will give same-sex cohabiting couples the same tax treatment as married couples has been published by the Government. The legislation, arising from the last Government's Civil Partnership Act, will allow registered civil partners the same treatment in matters of income tax, stamp duty, capital acquisitions tax, capital gains tax and VAT, the Irish Times reports.


New study confirms negative impact of divorce on children

By Admin on 10th June 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Young children whose parents get divorced are not only more likely to suffer from anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and sadness, they experience long-lasting setbacks in interpersonal skills and math test scores, according to new US research.


Iona conference criticism of Swedish daycare model attacked

By Admin on 9th June 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Two Irish academics have dismissed criticism of Sweden's daycare system aired at an Iona Institute conference last month. Writing in today's Irish Times, UCC law lecturer Ursula Kilkelly and education lecturer Dympna Devine said that the Nordic model was “among the best internationally on all the indicators of children’s wellbeing”.


European Court wants UK to defend position on rights of Christians

By Admin on 9th June 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

European judges have ordered British ministers to make a formal statement on whether the UK Government believes Christians' rights have been infringed by decisions in the British courts, which have repeatedly dismissed their right to dress and act according to their beliefs.


New report recommends how to protect children against sexualisation

By Admin on 8th Jun 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A UK Government-commissioned inquiry into the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood has recommended that music videos should have age ratings to protect children from sexual images. The review into the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, published yesterday, was commissioned by the Prime Minister David Cameron.


Catholic Church is “evil institution”, Prof Dawkins says

By Admin on 7th June 2011. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Leading atheist Professor Richard Dawkins has said that the Catholic Church is “an evil institution . . . by far the worst where the churches are concerned”. In an interview with the Irish Times, Professor Dawkins said that he hoped the churches would “wither away”.


Senator Bacik wants male circumcision banned

By Admin on 7th June 2011. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik has said that she would approve of an Irish ban on ‘male genital mutilation’ an apparent reference to male circumcision which is carried out on Muslims and Jewish children.


Parents should keep right to take kids out of sex-ed classes, says Minister

By Admin on 6th June 2011. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The UK schools minister has told Parliament that parents should retain the right to take their children out of sex education classes if they wish to. Nick Gibb was speaking to a House of Lords Select Committee about the Government’s internal review of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE), which includes elements of sex education.


Iona Institute Director addresses religious freedom conference in Rome

By Admin on 4th June 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Religious freedom and freedom of conscience is under growing pressure, both in Ireland and around Europe, a conference in the Pontifical Irish College in Rome heard yesterday. Iona Institute director, David Quinn, told the conference, which was attended by President Mary McAleese, that the warnings of Pope Benedict about aggressive secularism needed to be heard.


I am not a secularist, says Minister for Education

By Admin on 3rd June 2011. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, has denied that he has a secular agenda. In a pre-recorded interview on the Coleman at Large programme on Newstalk, the Minister said he wanted to “correct” suggestions by the presenter Marc Coleman, that the Labour Party had such an agenda.


BBC biased against Christians, survey finds

By Admin on 3rd June 2011. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is widely regarded as displaying an anti-Christian attitude in its programming, according to the Corporation’s own research. Viewers told a survey commissioned by the BBC that the Corporation uses “derogatory stereotypes” of Christians which portray them as “weak” and “bigoted”.


Academic who desecrated host to speak at conference in Dublin this week

By Admin on 2nd June 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

An American academic who desecrated a consecrated Host in 2008 by driving a rusty nail through it and photographing the result, is addressing a gathering of European atheists in at a conference starting in Dublin today. P Z Myers, who also descrated the Muslim holy book the Koran, will address the European Atheist Conference.


Dutch marriage commissioners to be "evaluated" on their support for gay marriage

By Admin on 2nd June 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Marriage commissioners in one district of Amsterdam will have to undergo a yearly evaluation to make sure their support for homosexual marriage has not changed. The draconian measure was introduced after two officials in the city’s Nieuw-West district refused to perform same-sex marriages.


Recession harming marriage new figures show

By Admin on 1st June 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Fewer couples in the US are getting married due to the economic slowdown that has prompted more couples to live together without tying the knot, according to new Census data. The new figures show that the rate of cohabitation has risen in many places but is highest in areas that offer many people grim prospects for a better financial future.


Catholic diocese forced to close adoption agencies

By Admin on 1st June 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A US Catholic diocese has been forced to close its adoption agencies because of new legislation obliging them to refer same-sex couples as prospective adoptive parents.


Family "day out" thing of the past, say busy parents

By Admin on 31st May 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

More and more UK parents are becoming too busy to take their children on day trips, new research shows. The high price of such trips, combined with the increasingly hectic work schedule of parents, mean that families are able to spend less time getting away than in the past.


Canadian couple won't reveal gender of child

By Admin on 31st May 2011. ~ Categories: Other

A Canadian couple have touched off a firestorm of controversy by revealing that they have decided to keep the gender of their child a secret, even keeping it from the child. The couple, Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, say they want to allow the child to develop itsown gender identity.


Britain undermined without Christian values says Royal Wedding bishops

By Admin on 30th May 2011. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice

Ideas and values which are vital to British society will be unsustainable without a Christian underpinning, the Anglican Bishop of London has warned. The Rt Revd Richard Chartres said Britain’s culture and civilisation were founded on the Bible.


Malta votes in favour of divorce

By Admin on 28th May 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Malta has voted in a referendum to legalise divorce. It is the last country in Europe, apart from the Vatican, to do so. Outside Europe, the only other country which does not permit divorce is the Philippines.


Minister Quinn told there is no such thing as ‘neutral’ education

By Admin on 27th May 2011. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

There is no such thing as a school with a “neutral” ethos, Fr Tony Mullins, the Chair of the Board of Mary Immaculate College in Limerick said yesterday at a conference attended by Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn (pictured).


Recession affecting men far more than women says Finola Bruton

By Admin on 27th May 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Other

Men are being hit much harder by the recession than women, according to Finola Bruton (pictured), and Irish men are being harder hit than their counterparts anywhere else in Europe. Mrs Bruton made the remarks in her closing comments at a conference she chaired yesterday on women, home and work organised by The Iona Institute.


Religious schools warned not to ‘indoctrinate’ by IHRC

By Admin on 25th May 2011. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Religious schools must be careful not to “indoctrinate” or “proselytise” the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has said in a new report. Sumarising the report, Prof William Binchy, a member of the Commission, said that the State needed to ensure that there is "no indoctrination and no proselytism in schools".


Deadline looming for submissions to forum on Catholic schools

By Admin on 25th May 2011. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Groups and individuals who wish to make a submission to the Department of Education's Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector have only a fortnight remaining in which to do so.


Cameron reaffirms commitment to marriage

By David Quinn on 24th May 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

David Cameron has reaffirmed his commitment to the institution of marriage and the importance to children of stable relationships. His words come a little over a week after a leading UK think tank said that he had broken his promise to support marriage and tackle marital breakdown.


Christian doctor faces censure for discussing his faith with patient

By Admin on 24th May 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A Christian doctor in the UK is facing the disciplinary action from that country's medical standards watchdog for discussing his faith with a patient of a different religion. But the General Medical Council (GMC) is facing a backlash from other Christian doctors.


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