#allemannenhandinhand

There are so many different ways of protesting or trying to bring about change.

To protest (verb) – express an objection to what someone has said or done

If you decide to go out and protest then you can consider: signage, shouting, sit-ins, petitions, silence, marches, boycotts, putting your body in the way, mock awards, vigils, silliness, singing, praying or flash mobs. There are hundreds of other ideas on non-violent protest and sometimes you can do something specific to the cause you are protesting about.

This is what has recently happened in the Netherlands, where men are showing their support for gay men being able to hold hands and openly express their relationships. Over the weekend in the Dutch city of Arnhem there was a vicious assault of two gay men.  Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes suffered four missing teeth and a severed lip, whereas Jasper Vernes-Sewratan was left with injured ribs. Jasper said they usually hide their relationship, but had decided to hold hands as they walked home after a night out. Dutch politicians as well as celebrities are joining with other Dutch men to show their solidarity to the gay men who were attacked – by holding hands.

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The politician Alexander Pechtold attended a meeting at The Hague with Wooter Koulmees a financial specialist.

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Helping you understand Gandhi

It is a fabulous film, though rather long, but will help you understand the great Hindu peace activist Mahatma Gandhi – Gandhi. In fact when my sister was in Year 11 she watched the film to prepare for her GCSE History which had a unit on the Partition of India. I watched it too (in Year 9 at the time) which then helped me understand when my sister and I argued in the future, why rather than have a sisterly catfight, she used to sit there and simply say “passive resistance’ to my hair pulling and light punches!

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There are numerous BBC documentaries to give you an insight into Mahatma Gandhi: In Search of Gandhi; The Making of Mahatma Part 1 (all other parts are available on YouTube); and a five hour marathon of original news coverage of Gandhi!

A short 4 minute radio interview with Gandhi’s grandson allows us to understand how it must have felt being related to such a key 21st century figure.

Finally if reading is more your thing then once again iWonder on the BBC has a substantial and well designed webpage about Gandhi, as does the BBC Religion pages.

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Imagine you’re on a school trip and your Muslim teacher isn’t allowed to get on the flight because he’s Muslim

On 16th February Juhel Miah a teacher from a Welsh school was flying with students and other teachers to the USA via Iceland. Already one week earlier a court had upheld the decision to suspend President Trump from the US’s executive order temporarily banning the travel from seven mostly Muslim countries. So why was Mr Miah, a British citizen with only a British passport removed from the flight in Iceland and not permitted to fly to the US? Was it simply because he is Muslim?

A spokesperson from the Maths teacher’s employer Port Talbot council said: “Juhel Miah was with a party from Llangatwg comprehensive who travelled initially to Iceland en route to New York last week. Mr Miah boarded the onward flight in Reykjavik on 16 February but was escorted from the aircraft by security personnel. Whilst the school trip proceeded as planned, Mr Miah’s removal from the flight left pupils and colleagues shocked and distressed.”

The spokesman continued: “We are appalled by the treatment of Mr Miah and are demanding an explanation. The matter has also been raised with our local MP.”

It’s not all fine for people in the LGBT+ community

When Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Labour Party in the UK said that people ‘chose’ to be LGBT+ he was criticised, but a journalist writing for the Independent says Corbyn wasn’t being offensive. In fact after being called obscene names and given dirty looks for showing affection to his partner in public, he wonders whether many of the LGBT+ community would argue it is easier in the closet.

“The truth is, I have no idea why I’m gay, and while it would be nice to think that I was “born this way”, and genetic studies strongly suggest this may well be the case, it shouldn’t matter if it’s a “lifestyle choice”, to borrow a phrase that’s been thrown at me by religious friends.  Denying that it cannot be a choice devalues the experiences of those that have made such a decision, and adds an extra layer of discrimination that the LGBT community does not need. I’ve never met anyone that claims to have consciously decided to be gay, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.”  Zak Thomas in the Independent.

Loving

Based on a HBO documentary called The Loving Story a new film at the cinema calling Loving tells the story of how on June 2, 1958, a white man named Richard Loving and his part-black, part-Cherokee fiancée Mildred Jeter travelled from Caroline County, VA to Washington, D.C. to be married. At the time, interracial marriage was illegal in 21 states, including Virginia.

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Back home two weeks later, the newlyweds were arrested, tried and convicted of the felony crime of “miscegenation.” To avoid a one-year jail sentence, the Lovings agreed to leave the state; they could return to Virginia, but only separately. Living in exile in D.C. with their children, the Lovings missed their families and dearly wanted to return to their rural home. At the advice of her cousin, Mildred wrote a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who wrote her back suggesting she get in touch with the American Civil Liberties Union. From there the story of the Lovings became public news.

“I wasn’t involved with the civil rights movement … only thing I know was what everybody saw on the news. … I wasn’t in anything concerning civil rights. We were trying to get back to Virginia. That was our goal—to get back home.” —Mildred Loving

The new film Loving has some good reviews  and reports on both sides of the Atlantic. It provides young people with both a lesson in the history of racism in 20th century America as well as a reminder of how modern intolerance and hatred can leave people in unfair situations, away from the home and loved ones.

Are boys getting more pocket money than girls?

I wonder if you ask your friends how much pocket money they get whether you notice a difference between the amounts boys and girls tell you. You should try it! Researchers at Childwise have found that in the UK boys aged 11 to 16 were on £17.80, while girls of the same age were on £12.50, a gap of £5.30.

The researchers also found that girls were given less financial freedom, “They are more likely to have things bought for them, including expensive items such as clothes and footwear, and lower cost purchases such as toiletries, hair products and makeup,” said Ms Ehren from Childwise. These extra purchases might help to bridge the income gap between boys and girls, but the approach to managing money matters was “noticeably different”, she added.

This all seems to show that the gender gap in pay starts young and that parents are educating boys and girls differently about financial matters.

Black Sabbath founder’s song for Birmingham Cathedral

You may have heard of Black Sabbath’s front man Ozzy Osbourne who is married to Sharon Osbourne a TV personality who’s acted as judge on the X-Factor:

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That’s Ozzy centre left and Sharon centre right. Their daughter Kelly and son Jack have also been TV personalities for the last ten years since the TV show chronicling the family’s life.

Well Ozzy Osbourne’s bandmate, and founder of the band Tony Iommi has just written some choral music for Birmingham Cathedral based on Psalm 133 called How Good It Is. The music is about how people live together in unity which Tony reckons perfectly summarises what Birmingham, in central England, represents. Tony worked with his friend the Dean of Birmingham the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle on the music. You cna listen to it on YouTube. Just so you understand what a Dean is, they are the chief religious leader (priest or vicar in the Christian church) resident at a Cathedral.

Psalm 133 from the Bible:

   How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

  It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

 

It would be a useful quote in an RS exam when explaining what some Christians might think about prejudice and discrimination, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” (Psalm 133).