Church and State: October 2005 Archives

October 7, 2005

Prat of the Year, second nominee: Duncan Maclean

Scotland: An independent councillor, Duncan Maclean, put forward a motion to West Lothian council which would have banned same sex civil unions from taking place in registry offices. Fortunately, no other councillor was willing to second the motion, so it got precisely nowhere. Maclean is unhappy.

He said fellow West Lothian councillors should hang their heads in shame after giving the green light to gay marriage ceremonies.

Cllr Maclean said today: It's political correctness gone mad. As the Bible teaches, 'wrong-doers will not inherit the kingdom of God', and this includes lesbians and gays. If these people want to enter into a formal commitment, why don't they go to a lawyer and get them to sign a formal legal document? Why do these queers have to parade about in public?

He insists that his words could not possibly be offensive: I don't think I am offending any of my constituents as I know for a fact that none of my voters are gay.

Of course, there is only one way he can know this for sure...

Anger at 'parading queers' jibe in row over gay marriageEdinburgh Evening News, 5th October 2005.

October 5, 2005

Prat of the Year, first nominee: Guy Bowling

United States: Ricky Shepard is your typical sixteen year old, engaging in the sort of petty rebellion common to that age group. His preferred method of yanking the crank of his elders is to be Wiccan, something that causes much distress to his school's headmaster:

Shepard confronted Principal Guy Bowling after he confiscated two seventh-graders' pentacles, the Wiccan equivalent to a Protestant's cross or a Jew's star of David...

...Shepard didn't persuade his principal to let the students wear the symbol. Instead, Bowling told Shepard to take off his pentacle chain before going to class.

By his own admission, the principal knows very little about Wicca, but having been advised by Shepard and his parents, it seems that they know very little about it too.

Bowling said he knew little about Wicca, and had mistaken the necklace's symbol for a pentagram, an upside-down version that symbolizes Satanism.

Which is, of course, complete and utter bollocks, the pentagram being the proper name for the symbol (a pentacle is something that goes on an altar), and the upside-down version being the symbol of the second degree is most Wiccan traditions. Despite his claim to have been Wiccan for many years, Shepard appears not to have progressed far enough to be aware of this.

But all is not yet hunky dory - the school is still prohibiting a Wiccan club, and seems willing to ignore the law to do so.

The Equal Rights Act requires secondary schools to permit clubs of all religions, including groups that deal with atheism, Satanism or Wicca. School districts can opt out of the act by not allowing any non-curriculum clubs. Priceville does have clubs, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

We are not going to have a Wiccan club. I don't think we need any more clubs at this time, Bowling, a Southern Baptist, said.

The Teenaged WitchThe Decateur Daily, 4th October 2005. (Update: Page has gone now, but there is a mirror at

Bampot tag: .

October 2, 2005

Sex and politics

Canada: A new political party aims to bring sex into politcs with its platform of sex-positive policies. And they clearly see religion as part of the problem:

[Sex Party Leader John] Ince said politicians at all levels of government are terrified to touch any issue that involves sex because there's a strong, organized religious and moral conservative lobby. The result, he claims, is a Criminal Code filled with archaic laws that criminalize normal, healthy behaviour.

So, how do they plan to redress the balance?

The party would campaign on a platform of overhauling current sex laws, including a repeal of the Criminal Code's prohibition on immoral, indecent performance, entertainment or representation.

Candidates would also press for a national policy on comprehensive sex education in Canadian schools, more liberal laws on recreational nudity in public areas and less censorship.

The party also wants to change Victoria Day to Eros Day and would proclaim Valentine's Day as an official holiday.

A plea for sex role in politicsToronto Sun, 2nd October 2005.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Church and State category from October 2005.

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