SAINT MARY OF THE CROSS
In the USA, liberalised laws in California and some other states regarding “medical cannabis” have resulted in a blowout in marijuana prescription and smoking.
The average medical-marijuana card-holder in California is a male aged 32.
Few of those legally smoking have debilitating or serious illnesses — the commonest indications for prescriptions being, not life-threatening conditions, but “pain” and “other conditions”.
On November 4, the voters of Florida rejected a proposal to legalise medical cannabis.
What should happen here?
Is the California experience a warning to us?
The Victorian Labor opposition’s website says that if elected on November 29, the ALP will legalise medical cannabis.
They say the Victorian Law Reform Commission will be asked to report by 31 August 2015 on how its prescription, manufacture and distribution should be regulated, and what forms (sprays, tincture, tablets etc.) should be permitted.
The website specifically promises that “Labor will not legalise the smoking of marijuana for medical purposes”.
Are we to believe them?
Thousands of Muslims from around the world travel to the Middle East to join Islamic State.
Such Muslims believe IS-style terrorism, beheadings and slavery to be in accordance with Islam.
There are, however, signs of an upsurge of disapproval within the Islamic world itself against jihadist excesses.
The best way non-Muslims should react is, while doing whatever necessary to protect themselves, to otherwise keep out of it.
Importantly, never forget that most Muslims are not violent.
We must silence and/or discredit counter-productive persons in our community who go about saying or implying that there’s no such thing as a moderate Muslim.
The Victorian ALP intends, if elected, to prohibit church organisations and similar bodies selecting employees who share their beliefs.
The only exemptions would be if the role inherently required skills relating to a particular belief background (like a chaplain in a religious school).
But for the teaching of anything else, e.g. English, a school may be compelled to employ persons with beliefs unsympathetic to the school’s aims.
Such legislated loss of freedom would obstruct the purpose of any school seeking to encourage belief by the school’s whole atmosphere and environment.
Not easy to vote for a party with a policy like that.
Recently-deceased ex-Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, is being hailed as being Australia’s “greatest reformer”.
Was easier divorce really a reform? Popular with young middle-aged baby-boomer voters of the day, perhaps, but we’ve been paying a price in broken families and the trivialisation of marriage ever since.
Mr Whitlam’s positive side was his advocacy of economic equality — like free university courses, free Medibank cover and rampant welfare-statism. Not all bad ideas. But unsustainable.
He ran himself out of money.
His agents turned up in Pakistan and Iraq seeking big loans without the backing of parliament – the Khemlani and Baghdad-Bill affairs.
Recurring crises led to Mr Whitlam’s dismissal after three years in the job.
It was time. Enough was enough.
The debate over “same-sex marriage” is essentially a clash between children’s rights and the demands of certain adults.
Think about it.
Opposing unjust discrimination against homosexuals can be achieved without overturning the meaning and definition of marriage.
The nature of marriage makes marriage the community’s institution which symbolises and safeguards the reproductive relationship between a man and a woman.
That’s how we protect the desirability of children to know their biological origins and, when possible, to be raised by their biological parents.
Living-together arrangements which don’t fit this description are not marriage and should be called something else.
Many Muslims around the world believe that establishing “caliphates” is the will of Allah.
But whenever one Muslim group establishes a dictatorship — calling it a caliphate — other groups will shed Islamic blood seeking to start their own rival caliphate.
It’s something Western nations can, in justice, do nothing about.
Making war is “just” only if:
(i) the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations is lasting, grave, and certain;
(ii) all other means of ending it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
(iii) there must be serious prospects of success;
(iv) the use of arms must not produce evils graver than the evil to be eliminated.
The IS violence needs to be curbed: but not by us.
It can only be achieved by other nearby Islamic states — plus worldwide moral pressure of “moderate” Muslims and “moderate” Muslim spiritual leaders.
Some say there’s no such thing as “moderate” Muslims.
Fortunately that isn’t true.
The kind of Muslims who give Australian security agents tip-offs regarding dangerous would-be jihadists – they obviously exist.