Displaying items by tag: criticism

Thursday, 21 April 2022 21:30

Priti Patel argues with the church

Justin Welby spoke against proposed plans for illegal migrants to be transported to Rwanda before being able to apply to live in the UK. He said, ‘The principle must stand the judgement of God. It cannot carry the weight of our national responsibility as a country formed by Christian values. Sub-contracting out our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well like Rwanda, is the opposite of the nature of God, who himself took responsibility for our failures.’ Also Dr Rowan Williams said, ‘Is the policy sinful? In a word, yes.’ The Archbishop of York said, ‘We can do better than this.’ Priti Patel has fought back against the criticisms via an article in The Times. It reads, ‘We are taking bold and innovative steps and it's surprising that those institutions that criticise the plans fail to offer their own solutions.' 

Published in British Isles
Friday, 03 December 2021 09:51

Netherlands: Advent calendars renamed

A well-known chocolate brand has omitted any reference to Advent from its Christmas calendars, calling them instead ‘Countdown Calendars'. Known to fans simply as Tony’s, the Fairtrade brand was founded in 2005 by three TV journalists who discovered that many chocolate manufacturers bought cocoa from plantations accused of modern slavery and using child labour. Launching their first festive calendar their promotion asked, ‘Are you looking for a way to count down to Christmas that gives you an excuse to chomp on our chocolate for 24 days straight? This is it.’ The company said making no reference to Advent keeps it ‘accessible to all who celebrate the festive season’. Christian Concern expressed unease over the marketing, saying, ‘To remove Advent from Christmas is to miss the meaning of Christmas.’ Others also criticised the ‘woke’ move, asking what is a ‘countdown’ to if not the birth of Jesus Christ.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 02 September 2021 22:07

Israel: US reopening consulate a 'bad idea'

Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, has called the Biden administration’s plan to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem a ‘bad idea’ that could ‘destabilize’ Israel’s new government. He said it would send the wrong message not only to the region or to the Palestinians, but also to other countries, adding, ‘We don’t want this to happen’. His comments come after Biden reportedly discussed the issue with Israel’s ultraconservative prime minister, Naftali Bennett, last week at the White House. The Times of Israel cited unnamed officials as saying the Biden administration agreed to wait to open the consulate until after Bennett’s fragile new government passes a budget in November.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 06 February 2020 22:26

Malta: a wake-up call to church

A float depicting Archbishop Charles J Scicluna will take part in Valletta’s carnival parade, despite criticism. Rayvin Galea, the artist behind the float’s design, hopes to get across various issues which he feels have not properly been addressed by the Church. They include its opposition to same-sex marriage, depicted on his float through a figurine of a gay couple on top of a wedding cake, while the Church’s opposition to IVF takes the form of two horned cherubs. Scicluna will wear a military uniform, which represents the Church’s conservative stance on many social issues. Missing will be the words ‘St Joseph’s Home’ above the Scicluna effigy, which would have been a reference to the sexual abuse of children in the late 80s at the church orphanage. The float also features Lady Justice with a blindfold, a balance, and a sword, showcasing the lack of justice received by the victims of the abuse.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 06 December 2018 23:27

USA: Trump criticised over Saudi arms sales

Politicians are challenging Donald Trump’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Senator Elizabeth Warren said that the president has refused to halt weapons sales because he is more interested in appeasing US defence contractors than in holding the Saudis accountable for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder or for thousands of Yemeni civilians killed by those weapons. Senator Bernie Sanders is equally critical of Trump’s relationship with the Saudis, citing it as an example of his liking of foreign dictators. The Senate voted 63-37 to run with Sanders’ resolution to force Trump to end US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. That same day, it emerged that Riyadh had confirmed a $15 billion deal with defence contractor Lockheed Martin for a missile defence system. One observer said Trump’s determination to preserve Saudi arms sales was an example of the ‘stranglehold of defence contractors on our military policy’.

Published in Worldwide