July, 2017 Archives

30
Jul

A HISTORY LESSON: religion, midlife crisises and violence

by Arnold Jago in Faith, History, Jesus, Persecution, Truth

In the year 622AD, the Prophet Muhammad, a 52-year old preacher of peace, was gaining very few converts among his community in Mecca.
Should he just go on preaching until he got too old — or until perhaps irate unbelieving enemies killed him?
No. He changed tactics, moving north to Medina – now as a warlord – raiding, enforcing conversions, killing men, women and children.
Tactics still in use today….
In the year 29AD, Jesus Christ, aged 30-odd, a moderately successful preacher in rural Galilee, took his disciples south to confront his opposition in Jerusalem.
No violence – still simply preaching God’s “kingdom” and condemning hypocrisy.
These methods soon led to his death on a cross.
Which of these two teachers was strong and which was weak?
Today’s professing Christians seem weak.
Not so much because they fight badly, but because they compromise with secularism and hypocrisy….
Which includes the use of violence in ways incompatible with the gospel of their Founder.

Share This
24
Jul

GENDER DYSPHORIA: existent, non-existent or existent-but-vanishingly-rare? is it the exception that over-rides every rule?

by Arnold Jago in Abortion, Common Sense, Ethics, Health, Lifestyle, Politics

Special clinics for children with suspected “gender dysphoria” are getting busier.
Protagonists of the “Safe Schools” program say one child in 25 is affected. Many are submitted to hormone treatments etc.
Official figures (published 2013) suggest that, in fact, less than one in 40 children have “dysphoric” symptoms, even on a temporary basis.
And that most of them, if left alone, spontaneously lose their symptoms.
Long-term dysphoria persisting into adulthood affects no more than 14 persons per million population.
None of this proves anything much except that fanatics – including gender-fluidity fanatics – don’t mind bending statistics.
This whole issue is obviously not one of statistics.
It’s a philosophical and ethical problem.
Is there, or is there not, such a thing as Natural Moral Law?
If there is, then we should abide by it.
(source: DSM-5)

21
Jul

“ASSISTED DYING” TO BE LEGAL IN VICTORIA? thinking about the un-thinkable.

by Arnold Jago in Abortion, Australia, Beauty, Celebrities, crime, Death, Ethics, Prayer

The Victorian government plans legalising “assisted dying” for the terminally ill who request it.
They call the new laws “conservative” because they include 68 “safeguards” to prevent abuses.
Such arguments have emotional appeal but are not based on reason.
The traditional Christian teaching should be our guide:
“An act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator….
“Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of “over-zealous” treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted….
“The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable….”
(Catholic Catechism, paragraphs 2277-2279)
Caring for the dying and disabled can be expensive in terms of money, time, love and compassion.
Do we care enough to make the effort – refusing to resort to intentional killing?

18
Jul

MEDICALLY SUPERVISED INJECTION ROOMS: a spectre that still stalks.

by Arnold Jago in Australia, crime, Ethics, Health

The mother of a man dead in the street from drug-overdose has condemned the Victorian government for not providing “medically-supervised injecting rooms”.
While trying to sympathise with the lady’s grief, let’s keep clearly in mind why she is wrong.
For injecting rooms to function, the police must turn a blind eye to illegal-drug dealing.
Which means abandoning the rule of law — a big decision and an irresponsible one.
If we don’t arrest and punish drug-dealers, they’ll continue enriching themselves at the expense of others’ self-destruction.
We must aim at nothing less than getting users completely clean and staying that way — otherwise we let them down.

13
Jul

AUSTRALIAN SEX PARTY AND THE CHURCHES: not on each others’ Christmas card list?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Faith, God, Modern Church, Money

The Australian Sex Party is calling for churches to lose their tax-exempt status.
An article headed: “Time to end unfair privilege of religion at tipping point” is currently on its website and has appeared in various newspapers.
Millions of dollars would be saved, they say – dollars spendable on government-run hospitals, schools, welfare etc.
But by knocking out volunteer-supported agencies, won’t we end up needing squillions more bureaucrats?
Anyway, it’s a thought-provoking proposal.
The article makes another suggestion: “It’s time to take religion out of politics….”
Yes, why not stop religious people expressing opinions?
Isn’t real politics about opportunity-grabbing, back-stabbing, power-mongering, poll-watching and looking after one’s mates?
Who wants to hear about God, virtue and absolute values?
All that is, for some at least, an unwelcome intrusion.

6
Jul

THE THOUGHTS OF BERNARD TOMIC: are they words of wisdom, after all?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Beauty, Celebrities, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Money, sport

Bernard Tomic may sometimes be annoying, but let’s listen again to his words.
They remind us that professional sport is intrinsically evil.
Not the worst evil in the world, perhaps — but evil nonetheless.
Evil in at least two ways:
(1) It creates rich parasites. They mightn’t mean to be parasites but don’t they take big money out of the system while doing nothing to help feed, educate, house or in any other way enhance anybody’s real life?
“No need to ever work”, as Mr Tomic said.
(2) “Get fit by physical training for the next 4 months,” recommends John Newcombe.
That’s a beauty, Newk.
Focus on your body. Sell your soul….
Once upon a time, Ron Clarke tripped and fell during the 1500 metres final at the 1956 Australian National Athletic Championships.
Fellow runner, John Landy, stopped and doubled back to check that Clarke was OK.
Clarke got up and they both started running again.
Too late….
But Landy’s attitude has won a place in the admiration of all Australians.
That was a different century — and a different world.
It wasn’t a perfect world then.
But it’s worse today, isn’t it?