Free Church Of Scotland: Jedi Could Perform Weddings

Free Church Of Scotland Jedi Could Perform WeddingsProposed changes to marriage would open the way for Star Wars Jedi to perform ceremonies, The Free Church of Scotland said. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill will allow them to do so. A spokeswoman said the reputation of Scottish ceremonies would be protected.

‘Third category’

The Free Church of Scotland has raised concerns about religious and civil partnership ceremonies being joined by a third category. Church spokesman, the Reverend Iver Martin, told BBC Alba:

“The third category is quite astonishing because it is the so-called belief category without really defining what belief means. There are loads of people in a diverse society like this for whom belief can mean virtually anything – the Flat Earth Society and Jedi Knights Society – who knows?

“I am not saying that we don’t give place to that kind of personal belief, but when you start making allowances for marriages to be performed within those categories then you are all over the place.”

‘Public consultation’

The Scottish government is holding public consultation on bill. A spokeswoman said that the bill made clear the government’s determination to ensure the continued reputation of Scottish marriage ceremonies.

The spokeswoman added: “We are proposing the introduction of tests which a religious or belief body would have to meet before they could be authorised to solemnise marriage.”

Jedi knights are characters in the Star Wars franchise, which includes books, comics, toys and films. Disney, which owns the rights to the franchise, is preparing to release new movies. Various groups promote interest in the Jedi and include the Jedi Knight Society – which offers lessons from Master Yoda – and Temple of the Jedi Order.

Do you think allowing the Jedi to conduct marriages is a good idea? Feel free to share your insights here regarding this controversial issue.

Source: BBC News

Image: First Things

How Do We Solve the Plastic Bag Problem?

The European Commission is to publish proposals in the spring designed to reduce the number of plastic bags used in Europe each year. Most of the 15,000 people who took part in a public consultation favoured an outright ban – but what are the options?

Last year Italy became the first country in Europe to ban non-biodegradable single-use plastic bags. A number of countries have banned very thin plastic bags, including China, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Bangladesh – in Bangladesh’s case, it was found that the bags had clogged up the drainage system, exacerbating deadly floods.

The Republic of Ireland introduced a charge of 15 euro cents (12p, 20 US cents) per bag in March 2002, which led to a 95% reduction in plastic bag litter. Belgium, Germany, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands are among the countries following Ireland’s lead.

If shoppers stop using plastic bags, they must start using other kinds of bags, but there is no perfect solution. Stronger, heavier bags, whether made of fabric or plastic, have a bigger environmental impact than standard supermarket shopping bags. For instance, if a plastic bag is used just once, then a paper bag must be used three times to compensate for the larger amount of carbon used in manufacturing and transporting it, a plastic “bag for life” must be used four times, and a cotton bag must be used 131 times.

Paper bags have been the traditional shopping bag of choice in the US, but while these biodegrade in landfill, the UK Environment Agency study points out that they have a higher carbon footprint than standard plastic carrier bags. It also says the available evidence suggests paper bags are not generally reused, either as bin liners – a purpose for which they are not well suited – or for other purposes.

Source: BBC News

Image: Packaging Innovations