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11 January 2015
posted by Canon Dakin on 16-01-2015

The baptism of Jesus was his commissioning to begin the work for which he had been sent.  Our own baptism was not a spiritual OBE - it was our commissioning to continue the work of Jesus, to accept our part in bringing the world to God. At our baptism we were anointed with chrism to show that we were being called to share Christ’s work as priest, prophet and king: that is, we are to worship God in spirit and in truth; we are to proclaim that truth and to bring the gospel to bear on world affairs.

Today is traditionally White Flower Sunday when we express support for the Pro-life movement which regards men and women as spiritual beings and human life as God’s special creation.  Mary Dogan and Connie Wood are Glasgow midwives. They had always refused to have anything to do with abortion. That was their right in law.  There is a conscience clause in the Abortion Act. However, as senior midwives, the Glasgow Health Board wanted them to supervise junior nurses who were procuring late term abortions.  On their refusal they were taken to court.  The Scottish appeal courts found in their favour.  The case was referred to the Supreme Court in London where, last month, the verdict went against them, the conscience clause being narrowly confined to the actual abortion procedure. Their legal costs, amounting to £400,000 have been paid by those who support the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, or SPUC as it is called.  Mary and Connie put their jobs on the line and have now lost their careers in midwifery but through standing up for the principle of the right of conscience they have thrown a pebble into the political pond. There is one further step they might take - to appeal to the European Court of Justice. That takes money. SPUC is prepared to help.  Would you be prepared to help? There will be a retiring collection for that purpose next Sunday.

This case of Mary and Connie is symptomatic of a society in which a heavy judicial roller is used to crush opposition to what in general has become known as ‘political correctness‘ whose latest manifestation seems to be the obligatory recording of any remarks or gestures by four year old infants which might be interpreted as racist. This record will follow them through their schooling and possiblybeyond. Common sense is being drowned by dogma. It is the same heavy-handedness which has blighted the careers of the two midwives - and all this in yearin which we are celebrating Magna Carta - the basic constitutionalexpression of our freedoms

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