‘God’ Category Archives

2
May

MESSAGES FROM TWO POPES: appealing to reason?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, God, Modern Church, Multiculturalism

Pope Benedict XVI is still alive.
The other day, when turning 90, he wrote:
“The clash between radically-atheistic conceptions of the State and the emergence of a radically-religious state in the Islamist movements, leads our time into an explosive situation….”
In 2006, Pope Benedict made a famous speech quoting a 14th century emperor:
“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you’ll find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
“God is not pleased by blood . . . whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats.”
Pope Francis, on the other hand, has just visited the more-or-less radically-religious Islamic state of Egypt.
Francis’s opinion about Islam is that “it’s not right to identify Islam with violence….”
These two Popes can’t both be right.

?

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17
Apr

“GIRLS NEED TO BE FREE”: do they? is it even possible? what about the rest of us?

by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Family, God, Happiness, Media, Women

Steve Biddulph’s latest book is “Ten Things Girls Need Most: To Grow Up Strong and Free”.
Was “free” really the word he was looking for?
Evolution theory – the kind usually pushed in media and classroom – leaves no room for freedom. Aren’t we just biochemical robots?
Common sense and true religion say that we aren’t.
If God exists, he has given us the freedom to sin – and the freedom not to sin. You can’t have one without the other.
So, try expressing an opinion in certain unfashionable no-go areas. Have a go.
You may lose your job — even your head.
Such things have been reported on TV. There would be lots more if the media didn’t self-censor.
And we’re also told that if we express certain un-trendy ideas, certain people will be offended and will (perhaps) kill themselves.
A kind of dictatorship-by-suicide-threat?

15
Apr

GOOD FRIDAY: over for 2017, what was it all about?

by Arnold Jago in Abortion, Australia, Beauty, Entertainment, God, Lifestyle, sport

Last week, some (Fairfax) newspapers carried an article about “how Good Friday in Australia compares to the rest of the world”.
Saying that, “Good Friday just got slightly more lively in Australia”…referring to the (yawn) AFL football match.
What could be more un-lively than large sweaty men brawling for possession of a ball?
And that, “still the quietest day of the year…Good Friday is no big deal”.
Incorrect. Quietness is a very big deal – a scarce commodity, worth cherishing where it survives.
Quiet minds become full of thoughts – about life, about purpose, about meaning, about God….
Yet, mostly, don’t we avoid quiet, preferring distractions — about food, about feeling good, about kidding ourselves we look good…?

7
Apr

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT, SECTION 18C: still in force, so what do we do?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Common Sense, Ethics, God, Politics

Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, section 18C, is still the law of the land.
It’s still un-lawful to make anybody feel “offended”.
But principled people never intentionally offend others, do they?
And they never contravene laws — or do they?
A couple of finer points to consider:
1. Regarding offending: while not intending to offend, you can’t control the feelings of sensitive persons who claim offence — or prove your innocent intention to somebody determined not to believe you. They’ve got you over a barrel.
2. Regarding obeying the law: consider the famous occasion when Jesus Christ was asked whether his fellow-Jews should pay taxes to the Roman occupiers. He said, “Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.”
In the case of 18C, let’s usually comply with it — but sometimes, when a black-and-white moral issue is at stake, God trumps everybody else.

21
Mar

ATHEISM AND MORALITY: in the context of same-sex marriage can they logically coexist?

by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Ethics, Family, God, Happiness, Lifestyle, Truth

On March 20, Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi wrote that “as an atheist”:
“I don’t want the government to censor free speech (or) to dictate who can marry….”
She goes on about how good the joy that same-sex marriage may bring some couples….and how bad is mis-labelling some people as homophobes and bigots….
Good? Bad?
If she’s an atheist, the question of good and bad can’t arise — the difference between them being absolute only if there is an Absolute Being who judges between them.
Don’t forget, God is the only Absolute — the living difference between good and evil.
God exists because it’s his nature to exist.
We exist because he gives us our existence.
It’s not very complicated.
Rita has some thoughtful ethical instincts – but seemingly only by accident and by being inconsistent.
Is she a closet believer who may benefit by coming out as such?

17
Mar

SALLY McMANUS AND RULE OF LAW: is the ACTU, or anybody, exempt?

by Arnold Jago in Abortion, Australia, Ethics, God, Justice

New ACTU secretary, Sally McManus, says, “I believe in the rule of law.… But when it’s unjust I don’t think there’s a problem with breaking it.”
OK, so who decides whether it’s just?
Apparently not the voting public or their elected law-makers.
Perhaps Sally herself wants to be the decider. She’ll need assistants, skilled in standover tactics, to make it happen.
However unsatisfactory democracy is at times, it’s never as unsatisfactory as that.
In my youth, I was a doctor.
I made it clear that if any patient requested a referral for an abortion, I could not/would not supply it.
Under Victorian law, that’s a punishable offence. As it happens, I was never arrested.
Anyway, to justifiably break a law, one must be sure it relates to an absolute, utterly black-and-white moral issue.
You can’t think in terms of absolutes unless you believe in THE absolute — namely God.