‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Are the BHA and BCSE Campaigns in Breach of The Equality Act 2010?

The British Humanist Association is boasting that they have stopped Intelligent Design and Creationism from being discussed in free schools. http://www.humanism.org.uk/news/view/961 They claim that the'Government has changed 'Free School model funding agreement to ban creationist schools.' If so, is the Government even in breach of its obligations under the Equality Act 2010? Of course the truth is probably more subtle than the BHA claims. But you can read about their campaign here; http://www.humanism.org.uk/campaigns/religion-and-schools/countering-creationism

The Equality Act 2010 makes some interesting demands. "The act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristics, so the act protects everyone against unfair treatment." The protected characteristics include religion or belief.
"The Equality Act sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone, such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failing to make a reasonable adjustment for a disabled person.
The act prohibits unfair treatment in the workplace, when providing goods, facilities and services, when exercising public functions, in the disposal and management of premises, in education and by associations (such as private clubs)."
So here is my question. Are the BHA and BCSE, who campaign against creationism being discussed even as a religious position in schools, working against the law? Do they respect religious diversity or do they wish to establish the dominance of humanism in society and silence those of religious faith ?

Monday, 2 January 2012

Word and Spirit - Smith Wigglesworth Prophecy

I have been thinking recently about the Word and Spirit prophecy of Smith Wigglesworth. Adrian Warnock has for instance posted it on his blog. http://adrianwarnock.com/2007/07/toam-prophecy-from-smith-wigglesworth/

I think some may know a little bit about what it is to be filled with God's Spirit, but the question I want to ask here is what does it mean for the Church to be committed to God's Word? One aspect I would raise that is relevant to this blog is what a commitment to God's Word implies for our belief in God's work in creation, and the debate between creationists and evolutionists. Of course this is tied up with the interpretation of Scripture as well, but how should we understand such a commitment? I would suggest that for Wigglesworth it is related to belief in God's power in the world because of his wide experience in seeing God bring healing to many people, even raising some from the dead. So what about God's Word and divine power in the act of Creation?

On the wider question of what it might mean for Church identity, David Stroud has offered some very interesting thoughts for the New Frontiers group, but it does have wider relevance for others as well.