Monday, October 25, 2010

English Culture

Another weekend spent in Leeds was quite relaxing. I'm starting to feel more a part of the place as I listen to the news and realize I can walk around town without getting lost. Last week was a big week for Britain as 83 billion pounds was cut from the budget. That is a huge percentage of their overall budget and, quite predictably, people are rather upset. The media has been enjoying all the negative public opinion and one report even went on to criticize the leader of the current government for being a closet smoker. It was interesting to hear the reports since the cuts are being made a few years after the government tried to spend its way out of a recession. Does that sound a bit familiar?

It has also been nice to go to a parish and read the weekly bulletin. I found out that this Wednesday is a day of national prayer and fasting (I will be keeping the tv off instead of going without food) for the 47th anniversary of the Abortion Act which made it legal to have an abortion up to 28 wks (later reduced to 24 weeks); however, there are exceptions for physical and mental health of the mother - I wonder if they interpret that as loosely as they do in the US. There has been debate of reducing the cut off to 22 or even 20 weeks and I found some good pro-life websites. All in all, it seems pretty similar to the U.S. especially when it comes to having access to the morning-after pill which was recently released to online sales if I read correctly (or still under debate). I find this interesting because everything is behind the counter in Europe. I had to stand in line to see the pharmacist in order to get hydrogen peroxide. How is it that anonymous people can just order something like that online but I can't get simple first aid supplies without talking to a pharmacist? I'm glad I read the bulletin so I could get interested in researching and maybe getting involved in some volunteering.

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