Gay Rights and Christian “Wrongs”
An English Christian couple who turned away two gay men from their Bed and Breakfast have lost their last appeal against the order to pay the two men compensation.

The “landmark” nature of this judgment is reflected in the BBC commentator’s column who says: “Defeat in court has been compounded in some cases by the remarks of senior judges, making clear that their job is no longer to enforce morality, and that religious beliefs will not be given more weight than secular values…It makes their case another milestone in the waning influence of Christian teaching in British society and its laws, although the exact nature of that teaching is increasingly contested as many Christians reinterpret traditional beliefs in the light of contemporary experience.”

Teaching the Poor
In Talking Around the Education Problem, Rod Dreher agrees with an inner-city teacher that the main problem is broken families, but disagrees that the problem is more money. Dreher says: “There will never be enough money for the state to be the mother and father to children whose parents won’t fulfill their fundamental moral responsibilities to their kids. The bottom line is that this is not a problem that can be solved. A stable family is so critical to the socialization of children that the effects of its absence is obvious to schoolteachers.” One of the commenters, also an inner-city teacher offers some optimism amid the gloom.

And just to encourage all the teachers out there, here are The Three P’s of Amazing Teachers: Professional, Passionate, and Persevering.

A HealthCare Solution
Matt Perman has some good ideas here about how Health Savings Accounts Can Reform Health Care Better Than A Government Bill. I especially liked what he said about starting with the easy and common cases and then working towards the harder cases, rather than as with Obamacare starting with the hard cases and making that the template for everyone else.

Kindle v Paper
Looks like paper is still leading at half-time. A survey found that 62% of 16 to 24-year-olds prefer traditional books over their digital equivalents. “The two big reasons for preferring print are value for money and an emotional connection to physical books.” Other comments include: “”I collect,” “I like the smell,” and “I want full bookshelves.” “Books are status symbols, you can’t really see what someone has read on their Kindle.”

Personally, I’m increasingly returning to real books and enjoying my reading a lot more, as well as getting more reading done.

Faithful Catholics Endangered Species
Once you read this, you won’t think the evangelical scene is quite so bad. A poll among British Catholics reveals a massive chasm between Catholics and their church.

  • Only 9% of self-identified Catholics would even feel guilty about using contraception.
  • Only 25% disapprove of unmarried couples raising children,
  • Almost 90% agree that an unmarried couple with children is a family
  • 65% say that a same-sex couple with children is also a family.
  • Majority in favor of gay marriage.
  • Only 19% of British Catholics support a ban on abortion.
  • 0% (yes, zero) of British Catholics now look to religious leaders for guidance as they make decisions and live their lives with the majority saying that they rely on their own reason, judgement, intuition or feelings.
  • Just 8% of Catholics say they look to “tradition and teachings of the Church” 7% to God, 2% to the Bible, 2% to the religious group to which a person belongs, and 0% to local or national religious leaders.”
  • Only 36% of Catholics say that the Church is a positive force in society, and when those who take the opposite view are asked their reasons, the most popular are: that it discriminates against women and gay people; the child abuse scandals; that it’s hypocritical; and that it’s too morally conservative

The report concludes: “If we measure them by the criteria of weekly churchgoing, certain belief in God, taking authority from religious sources, and opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage and euthanasia, only 5% of Catholics fit the mould, and only 2% of those under 30.

Hobby Lobby
Denny Burk has a great article here to help us refute the charge that Hobby Lobby is “forcing it’s religion on others.” As Denny sums it up, “This case is not about a woman’s “right” to purchase contraceptives and abortifacient drugs. This case is about who will be forced to pay for them.”

  • Richard

    “0% (yes, zero) of British Catholics now look to religious leaders for guidance as they make decisions…” Isn’t this a statistical impossibility? It implies that no British Catholic ever asks for the advice of their parish priest. Seems rather unlikely.

    • David Murray

      You’re right Richard. I suppose it simply means that zero in the sample of about a thousand people did this.

  • Ray

    Teaching the poor has the incorrect link.

    • David Murray

      Thanks Ray. That’s now fixed.