Three Lies about Christianity and sexuality

myths about christian and sexuality

A gay war hero from World War II is chemically castrated, leading to his suicide (The Imitation Game). A convent schoolgirl falls pregnant, so the nuns have her child adopted, which breaks her heart (Philomena).     Gay activists against social injustice are victimised by straight society, but show generosity to others (Milk, Pride). Journalists…

Why should families have a say in organ retrieval?

It may come as a bit of a surprise to some people that even if a member of your immediate family carries an organ donor card, or is registered to donate his/her organs on death, you and your family could still refuse to let any organs be removed for donation if he/she were to suddenly…

Presumed Consent for Organ Transplantation – What does the Bible say?

Geoffrey Robinson MP wants to bring in an opt-out system for organ donation in England. His Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill is due its second reading (debate stage) on 23 February 2018. It seems he has a lot of support. Yet evidence for the claim that an opt-out system will increase transplants is still lacking…

Marie Stopes International: carrying out unsafe abortions in the UK and across the globe, using taxpayer millions

For the past five years, the charity Marie Stopes International (MSI) has been given £163 million in UK taxpayer money to spend on abortions in developing countries. This money also went on helping to liberalise laws on abortion. No other country gives as much money to MSI than our own Department for International Development (DFID).…

Seeing the Person behind the disability

Late in June, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) abolished the role of Disability Commissioner. This happened 36 hours before Lord Shinkwin, newly appointed to the role, was due to hold his first board meeting. Shinkwin explains that EHRC’s chair, David Isaac, had declared the role to be ‘redundant’. The rights of disabled people…

Why the rush to change blood donation deferral policies for commercial sex workers & men who have sex with men?

Commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM) in Britain and Scotland are to be allowed to donate blood three months after they last had sex (see also here, hereand here). The rule changes will come into force at blood donation centres in Scotland in November and in England in early 2018. The Government accepted the recommendations…

College climbs down over ban on Christian doctors and nurses training in sexual and reproductive health

Doctors and nurses wishing to practise in sexual and reproductive health have been granted more liberty to exercise freedom of conscience under new guidelines published earlier this year. The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), a faculty of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), has relaxed its stance on conscience in new guidelines issued…

DNA editing – a significant advance but many questions remained unanswered

You can see my Sky News interview on this story here. Scientists have, for the first time shown that it is possible to correct gene mutations in human embryos successfully using a gene editing tool potentially opening the door to treatment for over 10,000 single gene disorders. The US and the South Korean researchers used a new technology…

Ideology or Evidence (part two)? The battle over abortion statistics

Having blogged about the triumph of ideology over evidence in relation to the campaign in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland for presumed consent to organ donation, I can now report on a campaign where evidence triumphed over ideology. This one is in relation to the reporting and publicity of abortion outcomes. To give some background:…

Ideology or evidence? The battle over presumed consent to organ donation

The debate about changing the law on organ donation is one of a number of controversial issues where I believe that we are increasingly seeing see the triumph of ideology over evidence. A campaign to introduce ‘presumed consent’ to organ donation on death has been gaining momentum for some time and now similar legislation to…

Charlie Gard: Emotion has trumped trust in today’s society, but parents and professionals can work together

The tragic case of Charlie Gard, and the desperate efforts of his parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard to do everything to give him a chance of life have gripped the national and international media.  The case raises profound and troubling questions about the power of medical technology, the duties and responsibilities of doctors and…

Justine Greening’s transgender proposals are unscientific, dangerous & part of a greater social strategy

Men and women will be able to change their gender without a doctor’s report and amend their birth certificate accordingly under new government proposals. Yesterday Justine Greening (pictured), the education secretary and minister for women and equalities, said (£): ‘What we want to try to do is streamline the process, make it easier, de-medicalise it and make…

Why Boots chemist should not have capitulated to pressure from BPAS over emergency contraception

Over the weekend I waded into the debate on whether Boots should reduce the price of the so-called ‘morning-after pill’ and criticised the high street chemist for ‘capitulating in the face of political pressure’. Let me explain why. Boots had originally defied calls to slash the price of ‘emergency contraception’ – with its chief pharmacist saying it did…

Let’s not go back to Gin Lane – once again it’s time for government to rethink alcohol policy

‘History repeats itself.Has to.No-one listens’ Steve Turner It feels like déjà vu to once again see the headlines calling on the government to tackle alcohol related health problems.  A study from the University of Sheffield shows that up to 68,000 people will die from alcohol related liver diseases in the next five years unless action is…

Family planning – ‘summit of a mess’

Last week’s London Family Planning Summit was, on the surface, a ‘successful’ follow up to the 2012 Family Planning Summit, which aimed to increase access to contraception for 120 million women. US$2.5 billion was pledged by governments and other donors to ‘improve and expand the reach of reproductive health services to women and girls in…

The Conway Case – a change in the law to allow assisted suicide is dangerous and unnecessary

A 67-year-old Shropshire man with motor neurone disease (MND) is seeking to overturn the law banning assisted suicide. Noel Conway is backed by the former Voluntary Euthanasia Society (now rebranded Dignity in Dying (DID)), whose lawyers will argue that the current blanket ban on assisted suicide under the Suicide Act is incompatible with his rights under…

Troubled times: Is God giving Britain over?

The rollercoaster journey of the last twelve months has left many UK citizens feeling dislocated and anxious about the future of our country. Political events – Brexit, Trump, a snap general election, a hung parliament, confidence and supply arrangements and the Queen’s speech – have laid bare deep divisions between old and young, right and…

Reflections on the BMA’s vote to ‘decriminalise’ abortion – ten key observations

Last week delegates at the BMA annual representative meeting (ARM) voted to support the decriminalisation of abortion. You can listen to the whole debate here and five brilliant two-minute speeches against the motion here. Two previous blog posts give the background in more detail here and here. The opposition speakers spoke with grace, eloquence and…

How should Christians respond to the transgender issue?

You might think that there are few things more self-evident than the fact that human beings are divided into two distinct types, male and female. Females have XX chromosomes, female hormones, breasts, ovaries, wombs and vaginas. Males have XY chromosomes, male hormones, testes and penises. Don’t they? But now we’re being told that gender is…

Where have all the nurses gone? NMC survey reveals an accelerating attrition of nurses and midwives

It seems sadly ironic that a week after Lord Crisp announced plans for a global campaign to promote the value of nursing in global health and development, the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council announced that in the last year 1,783 more nurses and midwives have left the professions than joined for the first time in over…

Over 1,000 doctors reject BMA abortion decriminalisation motion – this is why

Over 1,000 doctors and medical students have signed an open letter urging the British Medical Association (BMA) to reject a motion calling for the complete decriminalisation of abortion. Also, just under 21,000 members of the public have signed a similar petition on Citizen Go. Motion 50, which I have already reviewed in some detail, will…

Good news for freedom of conscience in the UK

For some time we have been concerned at CMF about a possible weakening of conscience protection for pharmacists in the UK.  In December 2016 the pharmacy regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), issued new draft standards and guidance that changed a previous ‘right to refer’ with a ‘duty to dispense’.  The GPhC admitted at the…

Doctors debate the complete decriminalisation of abortion at BMA ARM

Doctors could back the complete decriminalisation of abortion in Britain next week. On Tuesday 27 June the British Medical Association annual representative meeting in Bournemouth will vote on a motion seeking to end all legal restrictions on abortion. Currently, abortion remains illegal in Britain under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Under this law both mothers attempting to…

Reforming the WHO: Can the new General Secretary really be an agent for positive change?

Overshadowed by the coverage of the horrific terrorist attack in Manchester last month, the British media largely missed the election of the new General Secretary of the World Health Organisation on 23 May: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (or Dr Tedros, as he now styles himself). A former Minister of Health in Ethiopia, he will become the first…

Biotechnology companies positioning themselves to make millions from eugenic abortions

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is warning that a new screening test for pregnant women, Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPT), which is due to be rolled out next year on the NHS, could lead to babies being aborted because they are the wrong gender or have other ‘undesirable’ characteristics. Professor Tom Shakespeare, chair of the Nuffield…

Getting conscience right and wrong

Can a doctor refuse to participate in something he finds unconscionable? Is this an important liberty to be safeguarded, or an unwarranted privilege which interferes with patient care? Must we leave our conscience at the door of our professional life? These some of the questions currently being discussed in the medical ethics literature. It should…

If we trust women, we should listen to them

Contrary to impressions given in the media, by professional bodies such as the Royal college of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and by most Parliamentarians, an overwhelming majority of Britons actually want to make it harder for women to get abortions, a new poll reveals. It is particularly striking how much support there is amongst women…

Brilliant Resources to help Christians engage with the General Election on 8 June

On 8 June the UK goes to the polls for the general election. Whoever assumes power will have a profound influence in shaping public policy in matters which affect us, our families, churches, patients and colleagues. Some claim that politics and religion should not mix – ‘We don’t do God’, famously said spin doctor Alistair…

Exposing the dark side of egg ‘donation’: the headlines this week should be just the start

At last! The media has finally picked up on the ethical and exploitative mess that is egg ‘donation’. I have blogged on this, included it in submissions, asked questions in conferences and, most recently, raised it when giving oral evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee in April. The aim being to expose the industry around…

New study threatens midwives’ freedom of conscience on abortion

In the latest bid to circumvent the increasing number of younger doctors being unwilling to perform abortions, a new report has challenged the need for some surgical abortions to be undertaken by doctors at all. Sally Sheldon, a Law Professor at the University of Kent, has published a study into the 1967 Abortion Act and…

The importance and credibility of Jesus’ resurrection

Nearly one in four ‘Christians’ do not believe in the story of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, according to a recent ComRes poll. But actually, as Ludwig Kennedy once claimed in a radio debate with Lord Rees-Mogg, ‘Christianity stands or falls on the claim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.’ The Apostle Paul put…

Egg freezing is not all it’s cracked up to be

A Daily Telegraph article recently asked: ‘Motherhood on ice: has the egg-freezing generation of working women been misled?’ That’s an easy question to answer: Yes! The massively profitable egg-freezing industry has an appallingly low ‘success’ rate, yet still tempts thousands of women to take this route because they know their ‘biological clock’ is running down.…

‘Wrongful Births’: The NHS spends millions in compensation… for babies being born

A recent response by the Government to a Parliamentary question on so-called ‘wrongful birth’ cases has revealed some startling findings. Although perhaps ‘shocking’ may be a more appropriate word. Government figures show that the NHS has paid out more than £114 million since 1995 on 156 successful claims for damages from parents wanting compensation for the birth of a…

Organ donation- how can we increase numbers without compromising our ethics?

We are facing an organ donation crisis. The need for organ transplants is currently outstripping the supply of donated organs. This can be seen plainly from the statistics, where, in the period 2015/16, 4,605 total organ transplants were undertaken in the UK, but 6,463 were still on the active waiting list by the end of…

Time for new partnerships: the added value of Christian organisations in preventative health

Your health is your true wealth, or so the saying goes. The relationship between health and wealth is quite well established. It continues to be an intractable issue in overcoming health inequalities. But while financial wealth has an undeniable impact, social and spiritual ‘wealth’ are also turning out to be integral to health. The National…

My Feral Heart: finally, a positive portrayal of Down’s syndrome

“We’re not so different, you and me” is the theme of My Feral Heart, a poignant British independent film about a young man with Down’s syndrome. Though filmed in a grey and overcast English village and a grey and overcast and damp English countryside and the slightly chaotic life of a care home, it projects…

Lord Shinkwin’s Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill

In May 2016, Lord Shinkwin, brought his Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill to the House of Lords. Lord Shinkwin, who himself has osteogenesis imperfecta, has been a life peer since 2015 and prior to this spent a number of years in the voluntary sector, working for charities such as RNID, Cancer Research UK and the Royal…

Diana Johnson’s radical abortion bill narrowly passes first hurdle but is unlikely to become law

You can listen to my Premier Radio interview on this bill here. Today, Monday 13 March 2017, Diana Johnson’s radical Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill, which seeks to remove all legal restrictions on abortion, passed narrowly by 172 votes 142. As this was a Ten Minute Rule Bill it is very unlikely that it…

My speech to the New Zealand Parliament Health Select Committee on Assisted Suicide

I have just given oral evidence on behalf of Care Not Killing to the New Zealand Parliament’s Health Select Committee on assisted suicide. The committee has received a petition requesting, ‘That the House of Representatives investigate fully public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation which would permit medically-assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an…

Increasing survival of extremely premature babies again raises questions about upper abortion limits

The increasing survival of extremely premature babies is again raising serious questions about the 24 week upper limit for social abortion. On 6 March, Inside Out on BBC One in the East Midlands related how new treatments – including some trialled in Nottingham and Leicester – are helping to limit disabilities and boost life expectancy in premature…

Activists’ attempt to legalise abortion on demand up until birth is both unnecessary and unwanted

A campaign by activists to legalise abortion on demand up until birth hots up again this month, with the first reading of a Ten Minute Rule Bill on 13 March. Labour MP Diana Johnson is introducing a ‘Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Ten Minute Rule Bill. The bill aims ‘to regulate the termination of pregnancies…