Following my visits to faith schools, without exception I ask young people whether they feel their faith is a barrier to learning about LGBT+ people and the damage prejudicial attitudes can cause.Without exception they assure me that their faith tells them to love, to respect and to take care of people.
The international response to what took place and what continues to take place is both a travesty and injustice. Hundreds of thousands of Innocent men, women and children fled to neighbouring countries such as Chad and Cameroon but more than 600,000 people remain displaced inside the country with many trapped inside enclaves they cannot escape.
On 28 August 2014 I sponsored a puppy called Angel. Angel is a gorgeous golden retriever. She is yellow, furry and confident. Angel is being trained as a guide dog. I'm sent regular "pupdates" by the Guide Dogs, a charity which does important and massively empowering work.
The shepherds went and worshipped. Herod sought to kill. Today's Herods, ISIS and the like around the world in so many faiths, propose false apocalypses. But you and I are called to respond in worship and transforming, world changing obedience, both as individuals, and together, to this revelation of the baby that defines God, for it is our response to Jesus that defines us.
David Cameron has just released his Christmas message, calling on us to mark the birth of Jesus and to remember those who are hungry or lonely at Christmas. I find Cameron's message hard to stomach. David Cameron speaks of the meaning of Jesus even as his government wages class war on the poor and pursues endless war in the Middle East.
Where the mind goes the body will follow. This for me is my 2015 mantra. Do you ever thing about what makes you truly happy? Often we think its one thing but then it turns out it really is not. I had a happiness tracker ( otherwise known as A notebook) this year and really began to think about the process of being happy.
I would not have voted in favour of bombing Syria. ISIL/Daesh is a source of evil, of this I have no doubt. But for me the case for bombing is not proven. Some, including some I greatly respect, say that the traditional Christian criteria for a Just War have been fulfilled. But I cannot agree. Across the world I see the the political reflex to seek quick popularity through warmongering talk, and I abhor it. I believe there is a better way. In the season of the coming of the Prince of Peace let's try and find it together.
At the heart of Christmas is the Bethlehem babe, who later went on to preach that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. Not instead of ourselves or despite ourselves but as ourselves. The all-inclusive love Jesus was teaching, therefore, includes the call to each of us to look after "number one", too.
It was a beautiful night with a New Moon in South Tawton, Devon, England. And the world was about to change forever... Okay, so it wasn't a star, but...
I believe in free speech and uphold Fury's right to say what he wants. I am less supportive of a public-funded body who choose to reinforce hate-filled views via an awards nomination but I am glad I have a right to respond.
When it's time to work on something that we all agree on, whether its saying Yes to the EU or No to David Cameron, (neither issues that Tory back benchers seem that unified on...) there is no reason to assume we'll be less effective for all of our partner groups. As a matter of fact, the evidence suggests quite the opposite.
There already seems a lack of expertise among some of those who commission TV programmes about religion and ethics. In a recent video aimed at programme-makers which claims to explain the BBC's Religion strategy for BBC One. It doesn't mention religion until 25 seconds from the end!
This year's Christmas card from the family is one that Isis made herself. It says 'Merry Christmas! Isis 2015. And it arrived on the very morning I did that Pause for Thought. I didn't stop laughing for nearly half an hour. I'd say that was pretty spectacular coincidence no.2. Actually, I'd call it a Christmas miracle.
You see, I grew up in a church for most of my life, apart from a few 'wilderness years' that all Christians seems to wander through in a Pilgrims Progress kind of way. Having always been in a church or Christian environment I have an idea as to what I think a Pastor should look like. Kind, patient, wise, understanding, slow to judge etc.
our elected representatives want and that's how democracy works. We are already bombing. Maybe it's the 'right' thing to do; I don't know. But I do know that if you support this, then you can't call yourself a Christian. It's as simple as that.
"And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, an...