SAINT MARY OF THE CROSS
Christians living in Mosul, northern Iraq, are likely to be all killed within days.
The recently imposed Islamic State, ISIS, has issued an ultimatum that Christians must either convert to Islam or pay a special religious “jizya” tax — or face death.
The deadline is next Saturday.
Many Christians are fleeing to Kurdish-controlled areas, seeking safety.
But some are too old to travel. Others have had their vehicles stolen at road-blocks.
The ultimatum has been read out in mosques throughout ISIS-controlled areas.
Meanwhile, in Australia, we allow mosques and Islamic schools to be set up and maintained.
Very bad things are done in the name of religion.
On balance, I think we should all be Catholic Christians.
But the Christian community has lots of room for improvement as well.
May God help us all.
Ian Thorpe has told the media he is homosexual.
He is getting lots of applause.
In his book a couple of years ago, he said, “I am not gay”.
Was he lying then?
Ian Thorpe is yet another celebrity who has been destroyed by being a celebrity.
He admits to having turned to alcohol abuse to try to cope. Also “depression” pills.
Being a celebrity you have to behave like a performing monkey.
Yes, you have to keep performing at a certain level on demand — or you’ll be forgotten tomorrow.
You know that people don’t really think of you as a human being.
You’re being used as a small disposable cog in a monster industry.
Anyway, Ian Thorpe is now getting more applause.
For what exactly?
For signing up as a cog in yet another industry determined to use him up?
I refer to the “gay-rights-same-sex-marriage” industry.
Has he turned to them in despair – a last cry for help in a world that won’t let him be normal?
Is Ian Thorpe “gay”? Or is he just lonely?
Does he know which it is himself?
Pray God he finds somebody to turn to who is interested in him for his own sake.
The neighbourhood primary school recently had a “career day”.
The newspaper interviewed five students (aged 9 and 10) asking “what they wanted to be when they grew up”.
“an AFL football player”
“a soccer player”
“an Olympic swimmer”
“a famous gymnast”
“a famous motor-bike rider”
Was there something wrong with the question?
These sound more like answers to: “What might you do in your spare time?” Not to what you want to be . . . .
Surely a person who grows up will want to be . . . a good parent, a good worker, a good follower of their faith — something like that.
These children seem already to be dupes of the celebrity cult/culture, in which celebrities get rich and famous by not really growing up.
These children would be almost impossible to talk out of their now ingrained obsessions.
Probably nobody will try anyway.
To do that would need parents willing to be counter-cultural — which requires bravery in today’s world.
The Greens Party wants religion out of schools.
They prefer secular “ethics classes”.
Ethics, presumably, being the study of ideas about what is good and bad behaviour.
Which begs the question: what does “good” mean?
Whatever gives pleasure? Whatever is a stepping-stone to what you want out of life?
Such definitions only beg more questions.
A truly definitive answer would be that “good” is that which is pleasing to God.
Which would mean we need religion studies after all.
In practice, Greens-type ethics means the ethics of ex-Greens election candidate, infanticide-condoner, Professor Peter Singer, whose writings include statements like:
“It does not seem wise to add to the burden on limited resources by increasing the number of severely disabled children . . . a period of 28 days after birth might be allowed before an infant is accepted as having the same right to live as others.” (in “Should the Baby Live?”)
“Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons . . . the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a (self-aware) pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.” (in “Practical Ethics”)
If there are Muslims so extreme in their interpretation of their religion as to consider suicide-bombing of unbelievers to be God’s will — what can the rest of us do?
Threatening them with punishment, even capital punishment, probably won’t work — being dead is apparently something they look forward to . . . .
1. Christians and others should pray — pray for the extremists themselves and for those in a position to frustrate their plans.
2. The rest of us — all of us — must try to help create a Christian-culture-based community deserving the interest/admiration/curiosity etc. of potential extremists. Converting the Islamic world to become Christian does seem a rather long shot. And it would definitely take time, which we don’t really have to spare.
3. Meanwhile peace-loving communities everywhere, Muslim and otherwise, must seek out and encourage influential Muslims who have enough authority and credibility and the willingness to convince budding suicide-bombers that if they suicide-bomb they won’t wake up in heaven surrounded by virgins and grapes — but in hell.
Are there any such — capable, authoritative, influential, yet moderate — Muslim leaders?
I came across one interesting person on the net at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-oxDUG9DQg
Is he genuine?
Or is he a fraud?
Will those of his fellow-religionists most needing a message of non-violence hear and heed his anti-homicidal words?
Are there more such speakers – perhaps better ones – about to appear on the scene?