Margaret Court and Diversity

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Here is a letter to the editor which I sent to The Courier a couple of weeks ago while the media and the leftists activists were demanding Margaret Court’s head for daring to stand up for the existing law of the land that marriage is between a man and a woman. Due to other pressing issues at the time, they published it yesterday.

Tolerance and diversity are buzz words in our culture. Of course if you deviate from the politically entitled view tolerance comes to an end and diversity is discouraged.

Tennis great Margaret Court, now Senior Pastor at a big Perth church, stated that because of Qantas’ constant promotion of same sex marriage, she would not fly with them any longer unless there was no alternative means of transport. As a christian she believes in the Biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman.

All the enlightened, “progressive” media and celebrities, led by Ten program “The Project”, piled on, calling her a homophobe and a bigot. Sam Stosur called for a boycott of Margaret Court Arena until the name was changed; on recent form she would probably only miss one match there anyway.

This is what passes for civil debate in this age. If you disagree with me, I will shut you down by just calling you names. We must not allow any rational debate that might upset the status quo.

By insulting a great tennis player who happens to be a significant christian leader in Perth, the knee-jerk attacks have also alienated tens of thousands of people who agree with the Christian view of marriage. A boycott might just be a blip on the bottom line of Qantas, but it might be enough to push Ten over the edge.

The supporters of diversity and tolerance would do well to actually look up the meaning of those words, and show real tolerance to those who really are diverse.

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A Torah Scholar Helps Explain the Age Of Foolishness

An interesting insight into the foolish age in which we life from crisismagazone.com

A Torah Scholar Helps Explain the Age Of Foolishness

Maybe it takes a Torah scholar and religious Jew to help us understand the roots of the inverted values that animate Western civilization. For over ten years, author and radio talk show host Dennis Prager taught the first five books of the Bible verse-by-verse at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. According to Prager there is no greater concept in the Torah than that of “distinction,” or, put another way, the clear separation God makes between certain things: God and man, animal and human, life and death, sacred and profane, good and evil, male and female. He even goes so far as to call these distinctions “God’s Signature” on the created order. Like six pillars holding up a great house, when the structural integrity of those columns becomes significantly compromised, the whole house comes crashing down.

Of the six distinctions listed, the one between God and man is antecedent to all the others: once it is compromised, the others will fall too like so many dominoes. When Adam and Eve succumbed to the serpent’s temptation, they switched places with God and made themselves the arbiters of truth and morality. The seeds of their godship that were sown in Eden are coming to full flower in our age. In his magisterial work, The Study of History, the eminent historian Arnold Toynbee divides world history into twenty-one ages and makes the case that our present age is the first one whose prevailing ethos does not appeal to a divine text or a holy tradition for guidance in the major areas of life. To say that we are living in a post-Christian age is as obvious as saying that the sun rises in the east.

What’s sometimes overlooked is that this godship is not exclusively driven by agnostics and atheists, but receives major contributions by those calling themselves Christians. I can’t help but think of the recent effort by Catholics for Choice to overturn the Hyde Amendment thereby allowing taxpayer-funded abortions. Their position on this issue rejects two thousand years of Church teaching.

Then there are large sectors of the mainline Protestant denominations who have become so accommodating to the Zeitgeist that they are actually just the cultural ethos dressed up in religious vestments (e.g., the United Church of Christ). Chesterton was right that only dead fish swim with the current. Without guilt I admit that I am encouraged each time I read about their precipitous decline in membership and finances and look forward to their eventual placement on the slag pile of history. As the late, great Richard John Neuhaus used to say, “The mainline has become the sideline.”

When man becomes God, the other distinctions that Prager identified become blurred and introduce toxins into the cultural bloodstream. If people are not created in the image of God, then it follows that they are no different than animals. Prager cites the example of animal rights groups like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who call the slaughter of chickens a “Holocaust on a Plate,” thereby equating such an act with the slaughter of Jews during the Holocaust.

For over thirty years Prager has asked high school seniors the question, “If a stranger and your pet were both drowning and you could only save one, who would it be?” In this informal poll, about two-thirds of the students chose their pet. An Associated Press pollrevealed that half of American pet owners consider their pet just as much a member of the family as anyone else. Prager is right to say that we live in the Age of Foolishness with our folly being rooted in a lack of reverence for God: the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

No reverence for God = no wisdom. No wonder our secular universities have become institutions where great knowledge (e.g., the hard sciences) is juxtaposed with great foolishness. In recent years, at Swarthmore College, a course was offered called “Interrogating Gender: Centuries of Dramatic Cross-Dressing.” Examples like this are plentiful. And practicing Catholics will be embarrassed to learn that the University of Notre Dame has twice hosted the Queer Film Festival.

Read the rest of the article here

A Deadly Culture

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I was shocked and distressed to hear on the news last night that a 4 year old child is beginning to transition gender. It is disturbing that “adults” involved in the care of the child considers this to be a good idea.

 

Really at 4 years of age children are still trying to work out how their body works and have only the vaguest of awareness that boys and girls are different. Some boys play better with girls than boys but that doesn’t make them girls. Some girls would rather play with cars than dolls, but as the feminists remind us constantly, that does not make them boys.

 

How does any 4 year old get the idea that they should be the opposite sex, without the encouragement of “adults”?

 

We live in an age that has abandoned all sense of reality. We are taking the concept of “you can be anything you want to be”, which was always a lie, to absurd levels. When feelings are the basis of important life decisions, stupidity will prevail in the long run.

 

What we are experiencing right now is a rapid unravelling of western culture. It started with the sexual liberation movement of the 1960’s, the destruction of families through easy divorce and acceptance of de facto relationships in the 1970’s and 80’s, the rejection of christian ethics as relevant to culture on the 1990’s. You could add to that post-modernist rejection of truth as a category and the rise of post-normal science (the results you want are more important than actual data).

 

Now we are faced with massive challenges from radical Islam, political tyrants who will do anything to implement their own ideas, increasing dependence of individuals on government largess and a host of other social and economic problems. We lack the courage and the resources to tackle them because we are too engaged in pandering to feeling good about ourselves.

 

The hope that I hold onto is that eventually as a nation we will turn back to Jesus and embrace the values of the gospel. I hope and pray often for a revival of faith that can only come from a supernatural encounter with the Spirit of God.

Book Review: “The Book that Made Your World” by Vishal Mangalwadi

514h5wjy8ql-_sy344_bo1204203200_From his perspective as an Indian academic and a christian, Vishal Mangalwadi looks at the factors that brought modern Western civilisation into being. As he points out, there have been many cultures that have achieved limited progress. Uniquely, the Christian-based (particularly the Protestant-based) cultures of Europe and North America have led to tremendous advances in science, literature, commerce, the rule of law, democracy, and so on.

Mangalwadi convincingly connects the availability of the Bible to quantum leaps in social and material wealth in numerous cultures around the world. He argues that where the Bible is available in people’s own language, it provokes a rise in literacy as people want to be able to read the Scriptures. But more than this, cultures which embrace Biblical values, become more prosperous as honesty and trust promote business. Cultures which believe in the creator pursue knowledge of the world and develop science.

Secularists claim that many of the benefits of modern culture go back to the Enlightenment or to Greek and Roman society. However it is only Biblical values that allow the free flourishing of freedom, of science, of democracy and law. Sadly, as our elites seem determined to cut off the connection of our society with its christian past, it is likely that our culture is headed for rapid decline.

This book is a great read. Mangalwadi’s knowledge of history, cultures and of history is very extensive.  He makes his case with an easy story-telling style and will open readers’ eyes to how we got here and why.

Junk Spiritualtity

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This morning I was thinking about how I have felt uninspired about blogging lately. I’ve shared the odd post that I have found elsewhere and the routine things like our sermon posts, but I’ve had no passion to write anything.

I prayed about it and felt that God was saying that it was because I read too much junk stuff on both Facebook and Google Plus. Just as junk food dulls our appetite for genuine food and, after the initial boost, actually de-energise us, so the constant bombardment of small doses of junk data dulls our appetite for useful input and removes our ability to be creative.

We live in a society that is satiated with empty calories and useless food. When I was growing up, there were very few franchised food outlets, and we regarded a trip to McDonalds as a once a year treat. Even a glass of Coke or lemonade was a rare treat. Now these sugar, fat and salt concoctions are almost a daily staple for many people.

We live in a society that is also overfed with information. The internet has brought the knowledge of the world to everyone’s fingertips. But we want to consume cat pictures and funny thoughts in 140 characters or less. Politicians have to deliver complex policies in 15 second sound grabs or we grow bored.

So we fill up on burgers and cola and blob out in front of screens and wonder why we have an obesity and dumbness epidemic.

Contrary to our fast fill mentality, God has created us to be slow growers. He deals with us over a life-time, gently moulding us into his image. His word needs to be consumed and chewed over slowly- there are whole chapters to be meditated over not Tweet length verses.

I’m not ready to go cold turkey on social media, but I am going to restrict my consumption of it. It’s time to reclaim my time and offer it back to God as an offering.