Bit of a catch up blog this morning. Several stories about childhood doing the rounds this week:
Ian Duncan Smith wrote in defence of fathers, something which seems like a no brainer, but in the governments IVF proposals which came before parliament this week there is a proposal to ignore a childs need for a father when considering IVF applications from single women or lesbian couples. Duncan Smiths Breakthrough Britain report is one of several to have noted the negative effect an absent father has on the development and health of children.
Meanwhile yet another survey on religious attitudes, this time about church schools, which shows that over 75% of the population are very positive about them. Just under half those surveyed reckon church schools are significantly different from state schools - and a worrying 1/3 of these people thought that church schools tried to force their opinions on children and pursued 'narrow' religious agendas. Which just goes to show you can't believe everything you read in a survey: the church schools I've come across (ok I'm biased) are very balanced, pursue the national curriculum, and are anything but a coercive religious community. There is a sustained campaign against faith schools from various quarters, so there's a job to do in putting across what really happens.
Finally, some new research has found that babies as young as 6 months have a sense of right and wrong. Not a great surprise - if God has made us in his image, then the moral sense, as well as the capacity for love, the desire to communicate, creativity, all these things would be normal things to find in humans of any age. The sadness is that most of them are quenched or warped by the time we become adults.
And finally, but not in front of the children, the story of the official singer at the England-Croatia game who fumbled the Croatian national anthem, mistakenly singing the word for a certain part of the male anatomy and comparing it to a mountain.