Political move behind the removal of School heads removed in row over radical Christian helper

Two Scottish head teachers who allowed a preacher from a creationist Christian ‘sect’ to help out at their primary school for more than eight years have been removed from their posts while an inquiry is carried out.
Elizabeth Mockus and Sandra MacKenzie, who share the headship at Kirktonholme Primary in East Kilbride, have been moved to other duties to allow South Lanarkshire Council to investigate.
The helper, Mr Gear also ran a club at the 400-pupil school on Monday evenings and spoke to pupils about his beliefs as part of their religious education lessons.Many parents only realized their children were being exposed to the evangelical group’s agenda when pupils took home creationist books they had been handed at assembly.
Jim Gilhooly, the council’s director of education, said: ‘As indicated to parents, a full investigation into the management practices within the school has been instigated. In order to assist with this, the current head teachers have been moved from the school and re-deployed to other duties within education resources with immediate effect’.
The inquiry will further look at the use of the school premises for the youth club run by the West Mains Church of Christ.
A letter to parents stated: ‘It has been agreed that the West Mains Church of Christ will no longer allow access in schools for the youth club, or any other activity. In my discussions with the parent council, and during the larger parent meeting, it was clear that everyone was keen to see the school move on from the current situation’.
The scandal blew up after two creationist books denouncing the theory of evolution – one called How Do You Know God is Real? And the other entitled, Exposing the Myth of Evolution – were handed out to pupils.
Both were written by American author Kyle Butt, whose other works include a book called, Homosexuality – Sin or Cultural Bad Habit? His books are printed by the Alabama-based Apologetics Press, which is closely affiliated to the Church of Christ.
In a subsequent letter to parents, which was given out after the books were given to pupils, Mrs MacKenzie defended the decision to give the books to pupils.
She said: ‘While I appreciate that not every family in our school are practising Christians, I was only too happy to accept this generous gift on your behalf. I hope you will all accept it in the spirit with which it was offered.’
However, some parents made official complaints to the council about the books, while others threatened to withdraw their children in protest.

Church in Wales votes to permit women bishops

Cheers and applause greeted the result as it was announced at the Governing Body, which is meeting at the University of Wales, Trinity St David in Lampeter, Ceredigion.
Members of the Governing Body removed a clause which would have delayed the implementation of the Bill until a separate Bill providing statutory provision for opponents had been passed.
Instead, the Bill To Enable Women To Be Consecrated As Bishops will take effect next year (12 September 2014); and the Bench of Bishops will now have to prepare a code of practice ‘without delay’ to provide for ‘those who in conscience dissent’ from the ordination of women to the episcopate.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said that the bishops would ‘consult widely’ on the code of practice, and would ensure it was debated at the next meeting of the Governing Body at Llandudno in April before being presented in its final form next September.
The voting figures for the Bill, which required a two-third majority in each House, were:
Laity: 57 Ayes, 14 Noes and two abstentions
Clergy: 37 Ayes, 10 Noes
Bishops: 6 Ayes

Police criticised for preacher arrest

POLICE officers must be told that preachers speaking on homosexuality are not acting unlawfully, a Christian group is demanding. The Christian Legal Centre (CLC) has written to the Metropolitan Police following the arrest of a speaker in Wimbledon this month for suggesting that homosexual practice is sinful. Tony Miano was reported to police after preaching on 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 on the need to abstain from sexual immorality when a passer-by reported him to the police for a homophobic offence, and he was questioned for 7 hours. But the CLC argues: ‘The questioning is unlawful as intrusive to “private life” within Article 8 of the European Convention; and to the “forum internum” within Article 9 of the Convention: Smith & Grady v United Kingdom (1999).’ From the transcript it appears as though the officers are convinced that if someone perceives there to have been a ‘homophobic incident’ then they believe an offence has occurred and therefore the speaker can be arrested. ‘We remain of the view that no reasonable police officer would arrest a Christian for preaching a Bible message in the circumstances of this case, nor pursue such an offensive line of questioning.’