CARE under fire over parliamentary activities
The Christian charity Christian Action Research and Education (CARE)
has been thrust into the media spotlight by a substantial feature in the Independent on Sunday
which focusses on CARE's involvement in politics, and the extent to which its Intern Programme
influences the political scene in general but with particular reference to the forthcoming vote on embryo research.
The article - headlined 'Exclusive: right wing Christian group pays for Commons researchers'
- and the accompanying editorial
comment raises the question of whether CARE is in breach of the Charity Commission's regulations which state: "A charity must not give support or funding to a political party, nor to a candidate or politician". The newspaper suggests that CARE could face an inquiry by the Charity Commission and that: "Many people will feel instinctively uneasy about Care's tactics in campaigning against provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill".
The Independent quotes the well-know Oxford University evolutionist Professor Richard Dawkins as saying: "If only these restless busybodies would keep their prejudices to themselves, nobody would object. But they can't resist inflicting their ignorant opinions on others."
(Dawkins is currently touring the UK delivering his atheistic views in customary polemical style to public audiences around the country. He is due to be in Inverness at Eden Court on Wednesday 2 April.)
Nola Leach CARE's General Director who was in a former role based in CARE Scotland's office in Glasgow, has sent out a letter to CARE supporters expressing thanks for all the support that has come in and saying to CARE supporters: "I would like to reassure you that CARE has and will continue to operate in a completely open and honest way and has not breached any regulations."
Nola encourages supporters who have any enquiries to be in touch with either herself or Lyndon Bowring, CARE's founder and Executive Chairman).
In terms of the general tenor and vocabulary, the Independent's articles paint a picture of CARE as a subversive and right-wing grouping who, with links to the "powerful Christian right in America", are exercising a covert and illicit influence on politicians and the political process.
CARE is scheduled to tour the UK with a 'Brave New Britain Tour' which will address the ethical questions raised by many of the new biotechnologies aimed at enhancing human capabilities.
The Scottish venue is Bearsden Baptist Church on Friday, 2 May 2008.
Further information: Gareth Davies Tel. 020 7233 0455 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CARE Scotland's manager Bill Baird, in speaking to Christians Together drew attention to the 'Passion for Life' response cards which CARE has been distributing to its supporters. These cards are a very useful means to making your views on the embryology issue known .Quantities of the million postcards which have been printed can be obtained from CARE Scotland's Glasgow office -
Tel. 0141 332 7212