Echurch Christian Blog.

Since I wrote the piece about the rise in Christian Fundemantalism in British politics- have had a lot of contact from Christians who are also worried about the impacted of these bigoted groups. I was sent this blog post by the Echurch Blog this morning, and it made me happy.

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Gillian Duffy and bigotgate.

Paul Waugh, wrote an interesting piece in The Standard, about Gillian Duffy. Like Paul Waugh, I am local to Rochdale. I lived on Kirkholt and Queensway when I was a kid. He said what I wanted to say. The ‘concern’ about benefits/immigrants round here is common.It’s not borne of bigotry. This area has changed, the industries which formed the backbone of towns like Rochdale, Todmorden, and Hebden Bridge, have dissapeared. These are towns which really have been left behind since Thatcher, and the people you will hear worrying about immigrants are very rarely affected by immigration-but who else do you look to, when you feel you have been abandoned? Especially when there are dozens of articles a day, telling you it is the fault of ‘forriners’?Gillian Duffy was no more a bigot than my old next door neighbour, than the woman on the bus telling me that the Poles are killing Calderdale-but the nice polish man who does her windows is alright.She no more deserved to have her name in the national press under the word bigot, than Gordon Brown deserved to have his private conversation recorded.The benefits/immigration patter which underpins any debate about immigration in this country, is toxic.Gillian Duffy didn’t start it, and like so many of the people round here who repeat it- she has been fed it  for years.  The press who recorded Browns conversation and played it to her, did not have her welfare at heart. Neither did the press who used her comment to ‘prove’ that their bigoted agenda is ok. The people who held her up as an example of hatred and prejudice – were looking at the wrong culprits.Gillian Duffy just turned down a great deal of money from Murdoch’s right wing press who were determined to make her a symbol of their bigotry, and a whipping stick for Gordon Brown. The money she turned down was lifechanging money.That says something. I don’t care which side of the fence you sit on. She and her family have dealt with this, with dignity and grace. Which is more than you can say for the shitrags that sought to exploit her.

Some light relief of the godly kind.

Have you ever wanted sex toy, but were worried God would mind? ChristianLoveToys.com.I will include the site guidelines here- so you don’t waste time if this is not the site for you.1) This site is ONLY for married couples. Single individuals or dating couples should not view these products as they appropriately invoke and promote sexuality as God intentionally designed it: for a married man and woman.2) There is such a thing as inappropriate sex between a married man and woman!(I think this explains the absence of butt plugs, and anal beads. Although there is plenty of lube).3) Your sex life is a gift from and should appropriately honor God. Products or content at this site should seek to increase your marital intimacy and ultimately relationship with God. (Use your vibrator to find god. And remember to shout his name at the right moment).4) Do NOT allow this site to support you giving into perversion, impurity, or inappropriate fantasizing5) Sex between a married man and woman is a very unique form of intimacy,  pray over any purchases made in this store.(I think they could have included the instruction to wash it AFTER. Cleanliness is next to godliness after all)6) These products should be used with your spouse. Never use these products without the knowledge of and agreement with your spouse. (Not on your cat, or yourself…)7) It is ALWAYS a good idea to have accountability with your spouse, another couple, and same-gender friends / mentors. (Swinging?)In the interests of academic rigour, I spent some time comparing this site with other purveyors of ‘love toys’.The only difference I can see is size. And I think pink is a godly colour for a vibrator.If you want a black 18inch double ender, this is not the site for you. The ‘Adam and Eve’ love juice, is for Adam and EVE, not Adam and STEVE! God approves of small pink dildos, and strange contraptions which appear to be feathers on keyrings. While they sell enough lube to go swimming in- this is not for bottoms.Find God through your vibrator! And make sure you pray over it, before you use it. Or risk perversion at your peril….

How to spot a fundamentalist Christian Lobby Group in your news. A guide.

THere will be a story about someone advocating discrimination-usually against gay people. Or refusing to deliver health services. Or teach facts.The story will usually obfuscate basic legal principles. Like – you aren’t allowed to use your business or services to discriminate. You will hear that active homophobic discrimination is personal religious expression. As is active restriction of someone elses healthcare services. Or refusing to teach.Here is one. Here is another. THere are many.Google the person in the story who has mounted their unsuccessful legal challenge.They will always be represented by the Christian Legal Centre. And they will always be publicised by Christian Concern for Our Nation. If it is a medical professional, they will be a member of the Christian Medical Fellowship. Lots of legal language used, lots of impressions that these are actually issues to debate.THis is not about religious belief. This is concerted political lobbying by groups of right wing bigots. Bigotry and christianity are not the same thing.

One of those I probably shouldn’t post..

On Sunday I was quite ill=  I have stomach problems. An ulcer, ignored medical advice,  and a lost pill box meant spending the day on the couch, unable to walk. Obviously looking after a 3 year old is quite hard if you can’t move. Cue lots of DVD’s, and a day of snacky foods.During a Charlie and Lola marathon, Rachel asked me to get her some cereal. I said I would, and was psyching myself up to the walk to the kitchen. Rachel ran off, and came back with two cereal bowls, trail of Rice Krispies and milk behind her. She gave me mine, ate hers, then ate mine. When her dad arrived, she told him she had made the dinner because I was poorly.I know that posting about neglecting your child is not exactly de rigeur in blogs- but I thought she was pretty amazing.

I am deeply flawed.

I watched the clip of Gordon Brown being accosted by Gillion Duffy. I felt a bit bad for him. It was like watching Sam Johnson getting mauled by her  Nan, when we got caught smoking in year 9. He dealt with it well, and you kind of knew the minute he was in the car he would be spitting at someone.It got funnier when he was played the tape of what he said in the car, on Jeremy Vine.Poor Gillian- she wasn’t that hardcore- and now there is an @gillionthebigot to follow on Twitter. I know I should be terribly outraged. I do.Funny though, I kind of warmed to him. Told you: Deeply flawed.

Institute of Fiscal Studies statements about election plans.

Taxes and Benefits- the partie’s plans.‘Filling the Hole’Filling the hole: how do the three main UK parties plan to repair the public finances?Taxes and Benefits: The Partie’s  plans.If you are deciding who to vote for based on spending plans- take a look at these Institute of Fiscal Studies statements. They are fairly digestible, straightforward- not written in ‘bullshit-ese’.