Monday, February 06, 2012
Irish Bishop accused of incitement to hatred in homily
A HOMILY delivered at Knock shrine by the Bishop of Raphoe, Philip Boyce, is being investigated by the Director of Public Prosecutions following a formal complaint by a leading humanist who claims the sermon was an incitement to hatred.
The gardai have confirmed to former Fine Gael election candidate John Colgan that they have prepared and forwarded a file to the DPP after he made allegations that the address by Dr Boyce was in breach of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989.
The homily, entitled: "To Trust in God" was delivered to worshippers during a novena at the Marian shrine in Co Mayo last August and subsequently reported in the media, including The Irish Times, under the headline: "'Godless culture' attacking church, says bishop."
Mr Colgan, a retired chartered engineer and economist from Leixlip, Co Kildare, referred in his formal complaint to two key passages in Dr Boyce's homily which he believes broke the law.
One of the passages referred to the Catholic Church in Ireland being "attacked from outside by the arrows of a secular and godless culture".
A second passage, which was included in the complaint, stated: "For the distinguishing mark of Christian believers is the fact they have a future; it is not that they know all the details that await them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness."
Mr Colgan, who was a leader in the 'Campaign to Separate Church and State' in the late 1990s, said in his complaint: "I believe statements of this kind are an incitement to hatred of dissidents, outsiders, secularists, within the meaning of the [Incitement to Hatred] Act, who are perfectly good citizens within the meaning of the civil law. The statements exemplify the chronic antipathy towards secularists, humanists etc, which has manifested itself in the ostracising of otherwise perfectly good Irish citizens, who do not share the aims of the Vatican's Irish Mission Church."
To back up his complaint, Mr Colgan referred to two statistical surveys carried out two decades apart by the Jesuit sociologist and academic Fr Michael MacGreil, entitled: 'Prejudice and Tolerance in Ireland' and 'Prejudice in Ireland Revisited' which Mr Colgan claims showed "marked prejudice by Roman Catholics and other Christian denominations against agnostics and atheists" (humanist was not an option offered to respondents in either survey).
In his complaint, Mr Colgan said he attributed this prejudice to "hostile propaganda disseminated in school and chapel in the main by or for the institutional churches, for there is no rational or temporal reason".
In a statement to the Sunday Independent, Martin Long of the Catholic Communications office said: "Bishop Boyce's homily 'To Trust in God' is available for anyone to read at catholicbishops.ie.
"I advise any person to read it and judge it for themselves. It is clearly a reasonable, balanced, honest -- and indeed self-critical from a church perspective -- analysis of the value of the Catholic faith. Bishop Boyce is a good and holy man and much loved by those who know him."
After the homily was delivered late last summer, Mr Colgan wrote personally to the cleric seeking a corrective statement.
Dr Boyce responded saying that in his homily he did "not wish to disparage in any way the sincere efforts of those with no religious beliefs, atheists, humanists etc.
"I have too much respect for each human person, since I believe all are created in the image of God. At Knock I wished to encourage and confirm the hope of believers, even in the present challenging times, since trust in God was the theme I was given."
Epidemic of violence in Muslim area causes Swedish hospital to close its doors
Police in Malmö have taken the unusual decision to cordon off the entrance to the accident and emergency department at the Skåne University Hospital following the latest in a rising number of fatal shooting incidents.
”There is a continual threat,” said Hans Olsson, assistant security manager at the hospital to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN), adding that they have taken this extreme measure in response to the rising number of shootings recently.
In a bid to tighten up security arrangements at the hospital, the main way in will be closed off for only the second time in living memory, as early as next week, according to reports in Dagens Nyheter.
Monday saw the latest in a spate of murders that has caused panic throughout the city. Police immediately cordoned off the crime scene where the incident took place, but also decided to stop anyone getting into the A&E building.
As a crowd of some 60 people began to gather outside the entrance, the police were forced to push them back in a bid to secure those inside. "The staff felt threatened by the large quantity of people trying to push in," said Mats Hansson of the Malmö health care union to DN.
The authorities claimed that it was necessary to close the entrance to reduce the risk of criminal gangs who are involved in the ongoing escalation of violence in Skåne getting inside and causing even more trouble.
Security at the hospital in both the previous and current location has gradually been ramped up since the mid 90s, following the fatal shooting of a patient by a policeman.
After that incident, staff were equipped with voluntary panic alarms, although new measures have since come into force making it compulsory to carry them at all times.
In addition, staff have received training in self-defence and how to deal with threatening situations, while extra security guards and surveillance cameras have also been installed at the hospital.
Political Correctness and Muslims
The story is grisly: a husband and wife murdering their three young daughters, ages 19, 17 and 13, by drowning them along with their stepmother. The couple was assisted by their 21-year-old son. All were found guilty of first-degree murder in Ontario, Canada. They were sentenced to life in prison.
Mohammad Shafia and his wife, Tooba, immigrated to Canada from Afghanistan in 2007. Being Muslims, they believe in Sharia law, which in some cases allows so-called "honor killings" -- that is, if a family member deviates from strict Muslim teachings, other family members can execute them. Of course, that's insane. But under the Taliban in Afghanistan and in some other parts of the world, "honor killings" are allowed.
In his eyes, Shafia's three daughters were guilty of becoming westernized, wearing nontraditional Muslim clothing and associating with the dreaded Christians. So this demented father ordered the girls killed, as well as his first wife, whom he believed was aiding them in their alleged transgressions.
Reporting on the story in America has been scant and strange. According to the Media Research Center, the initial Associated Press report made no mention of the fact that the convicted murderers are Muslim. They were described as "Afghan." In fact, the only theology mentioned in the AP dispatch is Christianity, used while describing the boyfriend of one of the daughters.
On NBC's "Nightly News," anchor Brian Williams said this: "A verdict has been reached in a murder case that's gotten a lot of attention because it involved so-called honor killings of family members. In this case, an Afghan family living in Canada. It is a culture clash getting a lot of attention to our north."
Culture clash? Between whom? Afghans and Canadians? What is Williams talking about?
The reporter on the story, Kevin Tibbles, also avoided using the word "Muslim." He described the motivation for the violence as "a strict religious family that felt it had been disgraced."
What religion? Incredibly, the reporter didn't say.
This is no coincidence. The politically correct U.S. media are frightened by Muslim violence. They avoid the issue whenever they can.
Just think about what would happen if a Catholic father murdered his daughter for having an abortion. Would the AP and NBC News not have mentioned the religion involved? I think we all know the answer to that question.
Political correctness is dangerous because it obscures the truth. It allows certain people and groups to avoid scrutiny for destructive actions. Today, the press in America is dominated by liberal editors who believe they are protecting "minorities" by failing to mention facts that might cast them in a negative light. Thus, honest reporting is becoming almost obsolete when certain groups are involved.
Shafia, his wife and his son are Muslim fanatics who believe they have the right to commit murder in the name of their religion. Somebody get that dispatch to the media.
Damning British report finds £2 billion free nursery scheme 'has failed'
Theory trumps facts again. The American equivalent -- Head Start -- has been failing for 40 years
Labour's multi-billion pound investment in free nursery education has failed to raise school standards, a damning auditors’ report revealed yesterday. Free sessions for all three and four-year-olds - costing up to £1.9 billion-a-year - have failed to translate into improved exam results at age seven.
The scheme was specifically intended to boost children’s development throughout primary and secondary school. But a report by the National Audit Office found ‘it is not yet clear that the entitlement is leading to longer-term educational benefits’.
The authors found that the quality of nurseries was patchy across the country, partly due to poor qualifications among some staff.
Providers were allowed to go an average of 47 months between official inspections, denying parents current information about nursery standards.
Labour introduced free nursery places for four-year-olds in 1998, adding three-year-olds to the scheme in 2004. By September 2010, both three and four-year-olds were eligible for 15 hours per week of free education, for 38 weeks a year.
The Coalition plans to expand the scheme still further, reaching 40 per cent of two-year-olds by 2014/15.
But the public spending watchdog found no evidence the scheme had improved children’s learning - despite the introduction of a so-called ‘nappy [diaper] curriculum’ for nurseries setting down a raft of developmental milestones.
The first children to benefit from two years of free nursery sessions from age three sat national tests for seven-year-olds in 2009, auditors said. Yet results in the so-called ‘key stage one’ tests have shown barely any improvement since 2007.
‘The department did intend that the entitlement would have lasting effects on child development throughout primary school and beyond,’ the report said. ‘National key stage one results, however, have shown almost no improvement since 2007, so it is not yet clear that the entitlement is leading to longer-term educational benefits.’
There was tentative evidence of an effect on children’s learning at five, the report said, but it had failed to last until age seven.
The findings come as a blow to the Government, which has estimated that better education standards driven by the free nursery places will boost national wealth.
Civil servants claim that a pupil achieving five GCSEs at grade C or above will go on to reap lifetime earnings £45,000 than a classmate with no GCSEs.
It needs to bring 5,542 extra children to the five GCSEs benchmark to ensure the nursery places scheme breaks even.
Auditors found that the free nursery entitlement cost £1.6billion in 2010/11, rising to £1.9billion in 2011/12.
The Department for Education has no clear information on how much the scheme cost prior to this, it emerged.
But the best nurseries were not necessarily the best-funded, and quality was variable across the country, the research found. In some areas, just 64 per cent of nurseries were judged by Ofsted to offer a good standard of education, against 97 per cent in others.
Overall, three in 10 children received their free sessions at nurseries not rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said the Department for Education needed to do more to assess the long-term benefits of the scheme. This was necessary ‘to get the best return for children from the £1.9billion spent each year.’
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. 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.