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Charity complains over Kirk's "outcast" crossword clue

This news post is about 1 year old

The "L" word should be banned, it says

A charity has complained to the Church of Scotland over a crossword clue describing people with leprosy as outcasts.

The crossword is a regular feature in the Kirk’s in-house magazine Life and Work, posing the usual mixture of religious and general questions.

It ran the clue: “Outcast (5)” with the answer being “leper.”

However Linda Todd, Leprosy Mission’s chief executive, wrote to their ­magazine to say she was ­“somewhat dismayed” and the use of “the ‘L’ word” should be banned.

She wrote: “In fact we have a campaign entitled ‘Delete the L word’. Can I ask you in future to use the terms ‘people affected by leprosy’ and a ‘leprosy village’ or ‘colony’? though fitting those terms in a crossword might be tight squeeze.”

She added: “The most damaging effects of leprosy are the stigma, ­isolation and ­discrimination it can lead to. People affected by leprosy are often treated very badly in their ­communities and called names which justify their treatment.

“As part of our efforts to advocate for people affected by leprosy to be treated with dignity and respect, we are determined to challenge the use of the ‘L word’ as we have come to know it here in Scotland.”

A spokeswoman for Life and Work Magazine said: “We were grateful to the society for bringing the issue to us and we were happy to publish their letter to the editor raising awareness about the impact of language and the campaign.”



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Ian Gourlay
about 1 year ago

Some snowflakes seem to forget the Bible was written thousands of years ago. You cannot dismiss history as if it didn't happen. Lepers were outcasts in these less enlightened times.