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Archive for February 2009

Of all the diversity issues, religion is the most difficult. It so often involves the question of how far one can allow the rights of people to apply the doctrines they believe-in to the lives of other people.

Our religion – or lack of one – is perhaps the only thing we can really choose. Everything else is beyond our control – gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or age. But regardless of the indoctrination we might receive through our upbringing, we have the power as adults to choose what we believe and how we behave towards others.

So where does the right to have a religious belief (and to worship) end and discrimination begin? And, in such a multicultural society as Britain, how do people with competing religious beliefs reconcile the inevitable differences? Can any one person speak for them all when organisations wish to consult on the topic?

Monsignor John Devine is Churches’ Officer for the North West. He runs the North West Forum of Faiths and is a priest in the Roman Catholic  Archdiocese of Liverpool. From his position of regular dialogue with people of many faiths, he seemed like a relevant person to ask.

For editorial background on this item see the Blog post : The Gospel According to John

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Suw Charman-Anderson is one of many professionals concerned about the relatively low numbers of women in technology careers such as IT. She feels that one of the reasons for this is a lack of role models in the field for other women to see.

To draw attention to the issue, and to stimulate widespread discussion, Suw has created "Ada Lovelace Day". It's a campaign to encourage over a thousand people to write a blog or otherwise share their views about a woman in technology who has inspired them -- and to do it together in one concerted push on Tuesday 24th March.

I spoke to Suw via Skype about Ada Lovelace and the thinking behind her campaign.

Remember that you can sign the pledge to take part on March 24th at http://www.pledgebank.com/AdaLovelaceDay

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