Anyone who tells children that God – literally – created the world in seven days 6,000 years ago is guilty of perverting education.
The key idea of INERELA was to tap into the unique role and authority that religious leaders play in providing moral and ethical guidance within communities, using that to contribute in a productive way to the HIV response; their public opinions can influence entire nations.
What could trigger the Twitter tribute “Unbelievably brave. Kevan Jones MP is a hero!” from a rival Conservative MP? Tory Louise Mensch was praising the Labour MP’s courageous decision to share his experience of depression in last week’s House of Commons debate on mental illness.
Stress is not a new concept, but we live in an age which is constantly creating fresh varieties of angst to add to our mental in-tray. Technology can be a prime trigger of modern stress, but could a more traditional approach to dealing with symptoms offer a cure?
Cardinal Keith O’ Brien made an interesting comparison the other day. Writing for the Sunday Telegraph, he asked his readers to “imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that “no one will be forced to keep a slave””. What he seemed to be doing was equating gay marriage with slavery. I would like to make another comparison, which I believe is more accurate and hopefully more helpful: which is that discovering God can be a little like online dating.
‘Islamophobia is the new racism’ is now a seeming truism, or so Baroness Warsi and many others would have us believe. She claims that Islamophobia has ‘passed the dinner table test’ and that anti-Muslim prejudice is now normal and uncontroversial in respectable society. Warsi’s views are echoed by many British Muslims, who claim to experience such prejudice daily.
The Muslim youth, who by and large, were celebrating the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr this week, account for more than one million in Britain. One will find an eclectic nexus of, for example: the largest group of young teetotalers, the most opposed to government, arguably the most estranged and disenfranchised and possibly even the most pious. There is, without doubt, a feeling of consternation amongst young Muslims – many elements of society are viewed as unwelcoming.
When people face a traumatic event or experience in life they often seek solace in something they believe in; something that will offer potential solutions and fill the emotional and spiritual vacuum when everything else has failed. As you’d expect, many people living with HIV seek solace in their religious faith, and for some that becomes their whole life’s focus. However, religious faith and HIV continue to have a challenging relationship, to say the very least.
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