Monday, May 23, 2011
Christian doctor who prescribed faith in Jesus fights for his job in Britain
A Christian GP is facing the threat of being struck off for suggesting a patient could find solace in Jesus. But Richard Scott said yesterday that it was worth the risk if he could ‘make a stand’ for his faith.
Dr Scott, 50, was placed under official investigation for talking to a patient about Jesus.
The Cambridge-educated GP, who used to be a medical missionary and surgeon in Tanzania and India, has refused to accept a formal warning from the General Medical Council, which said he risked bringing his profession into disrepute by discussing Christianity.
He is preparing to appeal against the censure – even though he has been warned this could result in him being struck off.
Dr Scott insists no guidelines were breached as religion was mentioned only during a ‘consensual discussion between two adults’ after he had carried out a thorough and lengthy consultation with a patient last year at his Christian-orientated practice in Margate, Kent.
The father of three, whose wife Heather, 50, is also a doctor, is fighting to have the formal warning removed from his unblemished record – maintaining that he acted professionally and within the medical regulator’s guidelines.
The complaint was brought by the mother of the 24-year-old patient, a man who was described as ‘in a rut and in need of help’. Dr Scott told him that faith in Jesus could give comfort and strength.
When asked by his mother how the meeting had gone, the patient apparently replied: ‘He just said I need Jesus’ – prompting her to complain that Dr Scott had ‘pushed religion’ on her son, who nevertheless continued to receive treatment from the practice.
Dr Scott, a lay preacher, told the Mail: ‘The GMC decided to take the complaint seriously, which I feel is an injustice. 'They said that by speaking about my faith I had abused my position and potentially exploited vulnerable patients. ‘The patient didn’t indicate that they were offended or wanted to stop the discussion. If that had been the case, I would have immediately ended the conversation. ’
Dr Scott is one of six Christian partners at Bethesda medical centre in Margate, which is named after a biblical pool of healing. It states on the official NHS Choices website that spiritual matters are likely to be discussed with patients during consultations.
Dr Scott added: ‘By appealing against the decision, it will go to a public hearing where the GMC may warn me or decide to take matters further. But it is worth the risk as I wanted to do this because there is a bigger picture. ‘I wanted to give confidence and inspiration to other Christians who work in the medical profession.’
Dr Scott’s case follows a series of high-profile disputes between Christians and their employers over their freedom to express their faith – including a nurse who prayed for a patient and an electrician who displayed a cross in his van.
Andrea Williams, founder and director of the Christian Legal Centre, which is handling his case, said Dr Scott had acted within the GMC’s guidelines and his unblemished record should not be tarnished – even by a letter on his file.
Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute said: ‘Are we really getting to a position where Christians are not allowed to speak about their faith at all in the workplace? ‘Dr Scott had a rigorous policy of not pressing the point if people didn’t want to hear his views and it sounds like he was very respectful. ‘I think the GMC should be glad to have people like that rather than disciplining and putting them under pressure to keep their faith quiet.’
But Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, said: ‘Our guidance is clear. Doctors should not normally discuss their personal beliefs with patients unless those beliefs are directly relevant to the patient’s care. ‘They also must not impose their beliefs on patients, or cause distress by the inappropriate or insensitive expression of religious, political or other beliefs or views.’
British Conservatives under fire as only 1 in 3 muggers is jailed
Less than a third of convicted muggers and car thieves end up in jail, figures reveal. Thanks to the rise of community sentences, just over half of drug dealers go to prison – and only 43 per cent of those who have sex with a child under 13 are put behind bars.
The revelations come as a poll shows voters believe the Government is even softer on crime than Labour.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has been heavily criticised for his money-saving plans to send fewer offenders to jail and reduce the prison population by 3,000. This would see more sex offenders and drug dealers free to roam the streets. Figures show thousands of our most serious criminals already get off with soft community sentences.
The statistics, released following a parliamentary question from Labour’s justice spokesman Sadiq Khan, show just 32 per cent of muggers and 22 per cent of those convicted of child neglect and cruelty go to prison. In addition, 42 per cent of drug dealers and 54 per cent of those guilty of conspiracy to murder get off without being sent into immediate custody. Only 51 per cent of criminals who commit a sexual assault are jailed and, amazingly, just a third of those who have had sex with children under the age of 13 end up in prison.
The figures, which cover the period from April 2009 to March 2010, also show dangerous drivers, arsonists, people convicted of firearms offences and those who steal cars are more likely to escape jail than not.
Last night Dr David Green, director of the centre-right think tank Civitas, warned even more criminals would get soft justice under Mr Clarke’s proposals. ‘Some serious offenders, such as burglars and robbers, have been receiving light sentences for many years, and the latest figures show that little has changed,’ he said. ‘If Kenneth Clarke has his way, then we can expect ever fewer serious offenders to receive the sentences they deserve.’
A YouGov poll for The Sunday Times found some 30 per cent believe David Cameron’s government is less effective at reducing offending than Gordon Brown’s, while 43 per cent rate the two as much the same. As many as 62 per cent opposed Mr Clarke’s plan to halve sentences in return for early guilty pleas.
The Justice Secretary shocked the Tory conference last year with his stated aim of scrapping prison sentences of less than six months in a bid to reduce the prison population by 3,000 to around 80,000. Community sentences range from treatment programmes and job training to curfews and unpaid labour.
MPs are due to debate a Labour motion today condemning Mr Clarke’s soft justice proposals.
Tory backbencher Philip Davies is understood to be planning to vote with the opposition on the issue. He said: ‘These figures show that it’s difficult enough to be sent to prison – you have to be a very persistent or serious offender to have any chance of going to prison at all. ‘For Ken Clarke to want to make it any harder for criminals to get into prison beggars belief. He is completely out of step with public opinion on this.’
The latest figures also reveal many serious offenders are still able to take part in elections, as a ban on voting only applies to those sent to jail.
The Tyranny of Hurt Feelings
Call it testosterone poisoning: A group of fraternity pledges at Yale, blindfolded and led in a line, each with his hands on the shoulders of the boy in front of him (the Yalie bunny hop?), were paraded in front of the Women's Center. There they shouted vile and puerile slogans including "No means yes, yes means anal" and "My name is Jack, I'm a necrophiliac, I f--- dead women."
"It makes you want to slap those kids," laments Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Idiotic behavior like that of Delta Kappa Epsilon makes his job -- defending free speech and common sense in the Orwellian universe of the American academy -- that much more difficult.
A group of Yale women and alumnae have filed a Title IX complaint against the university, prompting the self-described "lonely civil libertarian feminist," Wendy Kaminer, to lament that women are acting like helpless females.
"What accounts," she asks in The Atlantic, "for such feminine timidity, this instinctive unwillingness or inability to talk or taunt back, without seeking the protection of university or government bureaucrats?"
But the bureaucrats are hard at work -- even if it means compromising the due process rights of the accused. In fact, the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education has pretty well mandated that the rights of the accused be downgraded.
In a "Dear Colleague" letter dated April 4, 2011, the Office for Civil Rights informed all recipients of federal funds that when adjudicating accusations of sexual harassment or sexual violence (the two are constantly conflated, as if the latter were merely a more extreme form of the former), universities must reduce the burden of proof from "clear and convincing" evidence to "preponderance of the evidence," or 50.01 percent likelihood that the offense took place.
American law has traditionally afforded stricter standards of proof when the stakes for the accused are high. In criminal cases, the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt." The OCR claims -- bizarrely -- that sexual harassment cases are like claims for money damages. Hardly. The stakes for the accused in a campus disciplinary hearing concerning sexual harassment or sexual violence could scarcely be higher. The student's reputation, education, and even liberty are at risk.
Throughout the letter, as Kaminer notes, the Obama administration, through the OCR, assumes the guilt of the accused, just as the Duke faculty presumed the guilt of the lacrosse players. No concern is spared for the possibly falsely accused student.
The OCR's demand is consistent with two decades of "speech codes" and sexual harassment standards at American universities that seek to micromanage speech and thought. Lukianoff believes that students are being trained at colleges to "unlearn liberty." As the definition of what constitutes "harassment" expands, the First Amendment freedoms Americans take for granted contract. It's a tyranny of protected feelings extending into ever-more-ridiculous realms.
A student at the University of New Hampshire was found guilty of harassment because he posted fliers in his dorm jokingly suggesting that female students who wanted to lose weight take the stairs instead of the elevators. A student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis was found guilty of thought crime. He was seen reading "Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How The Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan" (a book that celebrated the Klan's defeat by the way) and was convicted of racial harassment. A Muslim student at William Paterson University was charged with sexual harassment after a comment he made in an email to a professor concerning a lesbian-themed movie.
At Duke, university regulations specify that "sexual misconduct" may be determined by a number of factors, including "real or perceived power differentials between individuals," which may create an "unintentional atmosphere of coercion." The University of California's sexual harassment "info sheet" defines sexual harassment as, among other things, "Sexual innuendoes and comments about your clothing, body or sexual activities ... Suggestive or insulting sounds (ie: cat calls, whistles, etc.: hostile environment); Humor and jokes about sex in general that make someone feel uncomfortable or that they did not consent to..." So if you tell me a joke that makes me feel uncomfortable, you are guilty of sexual harassment.
By tossing aside nearly all standards of sexual conduct 40-odd years ago, liberals abetted the free-for-all they are now so feverishly trying to check. That's condign retribution. But in the process, they are endangering freedom of speech and thought -- and in some cases even inviting gross miscarriages of justice.
Homosexual columnist: let’s face it, we want to indoctrinate children
As the same-sex “marriage” battle heats up again in New York, one writer at a prominent gay news source is questioning why his lobby refuses to admit that the gay agenda involves “indoctrinating” schoolchildren to accept homosexuality.
Queerty contributor Daniel Villarreal criticized (WARNING site contains inappropriate images) the homosexual movement’s knee-jerk reaction against accusations of meddling in public schools. Villarreal pointed to a recent National Organization for Marriage (NOM) ad launched in New York that points out how homosexual indoctrination has been introduced in Massachusetts and California schools.
While gay activists usually deny that they want to indoctrinate children, said Villarreal, “let’s face it—that’s a lie.” “We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it,” he wrote.
Villarreal pointed to the tactics of a gay activist group FCKH8, which fought a recent Tennessee bill prohibiting classroom discussion of homosexuality in grade school by “hir[ing]some little girls to drop F-bombs” in their controversial online ad campaign, and handing out gay paraphernalia to schoolchildren. “Recruiting children? You bet we are,” he said.
“Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?”
In fact, Villarreal said that his dream of increasing not only the acceptance, but the future practice of homosexuality among youngsters was common among those in the gay lobby.
“I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT,” he wrote.
New York is seeing a renewed push for same-sex “marriage,” with supporters hoping to see passage of a new marriage definition before the end of the legislative session on June 20.
A similar initiative had failed in 2009, but gay rights strategists are hopeful that power shifts in the legislature since then, including two more senatorial seats in favor of gay “marriage,” will result in a different outcome. Supporters also cite rising support for gay “marriage” in polls among New Yorkers, with 58 percent reportedly saying they back the change in a recent poll.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lobbied lawmakers in Albany on Tuesday to overturn the traditional definition of marriage in the state.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.