The European Court of Human Rights has, thankfully, refused an appeal which would effectively have sanctioned euthanasia. Diane Pretty had objected to the refusal by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) in England to give an assurance that he would not take action against her husband if he helped her to commit suicide. The English courts supported the DPP, whose decision was confirmed by the European Court, which held that Mrs Pretty’s rights had not been infringed.
This was a sad case. Mrs Pretty was suffering from motor neurone disease and was becoming increasingly helpless. She died soon after the European Court announced its decision. But, however great our sympathy for an individual’s suffering and feelings of helplessness in view of death, this must not deflect us from the main point at issue: that our time of death is in the hands of God and is to be left there. Every effort should, of course, be made to make the sufferer as comfortable and pain-free as possible, but nothing should be done with a view to hastening death. An understanding of the solemnity of eternity would help to focus attention on a scriptural approach to these issues of life and death. The Church of Scotland in Sharp Decline
It is reported that the Church of Scotland is in sharp decline and that a forthcoming book, Outside Verdict, by Harry Reid, a former editor of The Herald, will draw attention to some of the reasons. The decline of the Church and its loss of influence is apparently attributed to “its tendency to give more attention to secular, political issues rather than spiritual ones”. It claims that the “Kirk’s Leftism” is to be traced back to the Rev George MacLeod, the founder of the Iona community.
We would say that the decline in the Church of Scotland is more to be attributed to the fact that there are but few pulpits within its bounds where the true gospel is preached. Its fraternising with Rome; its decision to disregard the paragraph in the Westminster Confession which describes the Pope as the antichrist; and the adoption of the view that there are other ways of approaching and worshipping God beside that which is uniquely set forth in the Christian faith, are all indications of the sorry state of the Church of Scotland. What Scotland and the other nations of the world need is an outpouring of the Spirit of God; nothing short of that will remedy the situation.
The Health Secretary Alan Milburn has announced that there will be a free vote in the House of Commons on adoption by “homosexual couples” and by cohabitees, and that he personally would be voting for both. This is a reversal of previously-announced government policy. Although this vote is expected before the end of May, the Christian Institute points out that it is important for people to make their views known to their MP, as this is not the final stage in the parliamentary process. “If the Commons votes to change the law,” states the Institute, “the legislation still has to get through the House of Lords, where we expect a very tough battle.”
We endorse the Institute’s advice to pray: that the Government will face strong public opposition to this move, that the Opposition will vote against changing the law, that during the debate MPs will speak out strongly for what is right, that the press will oppose this new policy, that the facts will be well publicised, and that the House of Lords will overturn any Commons vote to change the law.
Births Outside Marriage
The Office of National Statistics reports that across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, almost 40% of births were outside marriage. In some areas the figure has exceeded 50% for the first time. A major contributory factor to this sad and shocking situation is the policy of successive governments on teenage pregnancies.
An important factor is sex education and contraception provision. A recent study in the Journal of Health Economics points to evidence that greater access to family-planning services is associated with an increase in underage pregnancy. A spokeswoman for Parent Truth said she was not surprised, considering that Dr Judy Bury, former advisor to the Brook Advisory Centre, admitted long ago that “contraceptive / sex-education initiatives do not work, and indeed produce a negative effect”.
It is high time that our government followed the example of the Bush administration in USA by making abstinence from teenage sex a cornerstone of social policy. Not only would that be in accord with the Scriptures but also – as has been proved in recent years in some parts of the USA – it would actually reduce the number of births outside wedlock.
Tesco Giving Free Contraception
The Tesco supermarket chain is giving away the morning-after abortion pill in two Somerset stores. The free distribution of the pill is being piloted at Weston-Super-Mare and Clevedon. The move is aimed at 16 to 20-year-old girls but, as no system is in place to confirm absolutely the age of the recipients, under-age girls could easily receive the dangerous hormonal drug without parental knowledge, let alone consent. Tesco are also distributing leaflets from the Family Planning Association, which “gratefully acknowledges the support of Tesco”.
We agree with Christian Voice‘s opinion that Tesco’s free distribution of abortifacients will inevitably lead to more deaths, more promiscuity, more STD, more infertility, more thrombosis and more teenage pregnancies. We fear that the scheme will be introduced to other Tesco stores but, in any case, concerned parents should contact Tesco. Contact information: Mr Terry Leahy, Chief Executive, Tesco Stores Ltd, P O Box 18, Delamare Road, Cheshunt, Herts, EN8 9SL; telephone 0800 505555 or 0845 7225533; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Doubling of Complaints About Television Soaps
Those who conscientiously seek to live according to Christian principles will completely eschew watching television drama, including soap operas such as Coronation Street and Eastenders. All the more so when this form of so-called family entertainment has descended into family defilement. It has become, we are informed, increasingly corrupt and violent.
A recent report from the Broadcasting Standards Commission says that the four most popular shows, Eastenders, Coronation Street, Brookside, and Emmerdale – which command a total audience of 36 million – have caused a doubling of viewers’ complaints within a year, because of offensive scenes, including, violence, murder, rape, seduction and others too vile to write about. Despite numerous complaints by parents, representations by churches and other Christian bodies, and protests by viewers’ organisations, the television companies are perversely bent on broadcasting corrupting material under the pretence of being “realistic”. For example, at the time of writing, Channel 4 is to repeat the Brass Eye paedophile special which, when it was last shown, earned a rebuke from the Independent Television Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Commission.
In homes which have television, parents need to exercise great caution in what both they and their children watch, for Satan is highly adept at gaining entry to Mansoul by Eyegate, the easiest way of access into the mind and soul.