The many fights over the Lord’s Prayer

Plus: energy use in the age of climate change; home ownership under the Tories; the world’s rarest creatures

28 November 2015

9:00 AM

28 November 2015

9:00 AM

Amen corner

Digital Cinema Media, a company which distributes adverts to cinemas, refused to allow an advert which involves the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer by, among others, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Some other battles over the prayer:
— Campaigners want Alberta to follow other Canadian states, where recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in state schools is already banned. In the latest battle the Pembina Hills School Division voted by 30 to three to let the prayer still be recited.
— Last year cheerleaders at a high school football game in Oneida, Tennessee, were accused of violating the US First Amendment, which forbids the state from promoting one form of religious worship. The cheerleaders argued that theirs was a voluntary prayer and thus nothing to do with the government.

Just a little more gas

The Paris climate change summit will try to strike a deal for reducing carbon emissions. How has the world got on with reducing dependence on fossil fuels since the theory of man-made climate change first became widely known?

Share of global energy use: 1973
Oil 46%
Coal 25%
Natural gas 16%
Biofuels/waste 11%
Hydro 1.8%
Nuclear 0.9%


Share of global energy use: 2012
Oil 31%
Coal 29%
Natural gas 21%
Biofuels/waste 10%
Hydro 2.4%
Nuclear 4.8%

Source: International Energy Agency

Home discomfort

How is the government getting on with encouraging home-ownership?

Home-ownership rate: 2005
Italy 73%
UK 70%
Sweden 68%
Netherlands 64%
France 62%
Germany 53%


Home-ownership rate: 2014
Italy 73%
UK 65%
Sweden 69%
Netherlands 67%
France 65%
Germany 53%

Source: Eurostat

Unhappy few

One of only four remaining northern white rhinoceroses has died in a Californian zoo. Some contenders for the honour of rarest animal left on Earth:
Florida panther: approx. 160 left
Northern hairy nosed-wombat: approx. 115 left in Queensland
Bamboo lemur: approx. 100 left in Madagascar
Hainan gibbon: approx. 25 left in China
Amur leopard: 20 left in Primorye, Russia
Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle: 4 left in China at last count

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Show comments
  • Archbishop of Canterbury trivia time!

    Around 1100 CE, Anselm of Canterbury (aka Saint Anselm) was the first gay activist & successfully prevented the Church from enacting the earliest ban on gay pastor couples.

  • seangrainger

    The First Amendment doesn’t forbid a state or states from doing anything. It says: “Congress shall make no law …” Keep up children.

  • Malcolm Knott

    I clicked on this to see the cheerleaders in the photograph. Where are they, please?

  • Atheist Finch

    Canada has provinces, not states.