My late father was a good keen outdoorsman. He loved sailing and hiking but back in the early ’70s we lived in the Midlands in the heart of England, a long way from bodies of water bigger than puddles and mountain peaks worth climbing.
Also my father worked in the British motor industry and in the early ’70s he could see that the industry was starting to tank. So he and my mother decided that the family would emigrate to somewhere with bigger wilderness and better job prospects. IIRC, the options were the U.S, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. Fortunately, my mother vetoed the U.S., otherwise we might have ended up in Detroit. We emigrated to New Zealand in 1975 and settled in Wellington.
I’m glad that we did. I still have a bond with the mother country but I’m a Kiwi now. I spent my childhood in England but grew up in Godzone. When I became an adult I also became a NZ citizen. So to cut a long story short, what I’m getting around to saying is that because of my background I’m personally rather fond of the current NZ flag. It consists of the Union Jack which represents the land of my birth and the Southern Cross which represents my adopted homeland. But I’m not voting to keep it. Why not?
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not voting to change to the John Key tea towel design either. I’m not voting in the second flag referendum and I didn’t vote in the first. Why not?
Firstly, because my vote won’t make a difference. The current flag is winning in all the recent opinion polls by a clear margin. Twice as many people are against change as are for it. I’m calling the result of the second flag referendum now. No change.
Secondly, because no one can change my flag. I don’t have a flag! I don’t want a flag, but if did I could have any flag I wanted and stick it on a pole and fly it. Many Kiwis already fly the unofficial New Zealand flag, the silver fern. Good on them. Go the All Blacks! No worries.
Fifthly, because a state-initiated binding referendum is a slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who’ve signed petitions to get non-binding citizens-initiated referendums on things that actually matter, such as reducing the number of MPs in Parliament, not reducing the number of firefighters in the New Zealand fire service, not being criminalised for smacking their children, and so on. All to no avail.
Sixthly, because I’m the founder and co-leader of Not A Party and it is incumbent on me to set a good example. 🙂
Seventhly, because how the gang that runs New Zealand chooses to brand the monopoly on violence it claims and maintains over the country’s territorial area is none of my business.
Eighthly, because when all is said and done it’s just a coloured rectangular piece of cloth and so not worth fighting over.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately that a lot of homosexuals and their supporters consistently state that God made them this way and that it isn’t a biblical or church issue its a human rights issue.
I keep coming back to the fact that if God had intended homosexuality to be natural then he would’ve made it possible for us to procreate without the need of the opposite sex AND then why did God only create 1 woman and 1 man in the beginning. Then there is the fact that God destroyed 2 major cities in part due to homosexuality, Sodom and Gomorrah. If God had intended for homosexuality to be part of our natural being then why destroy those cities?
Personally I believe people get so steeped in their sin that they have blinders on and refuse to see the truth. I see it over and over, not just with sexual sins. They don’t want to see and admit that they are wrong. What’s more, is that it’s our human nature to justify all our wrong choices, even if that means we make up our own truth…case in point – Homosexuals and their supporters coming up with every excuse in the book to justify the choice of homosexuality.
We all do it with our own individual sins.
Please note that this is not a judgement on homosexuals and homosexuality. I’m also not convinced that Ryan’s logic is sound. I post this for her conclusion, “I believe people get so steeped in their sin that they have blinders on and refuse to see the truth …” This is so very true.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (KJV)
It’s also very true that people get so steeped in their own particular worldview and its presuppositions that they have blinders on and refuse to see the truth.
For a long time, I accepted the tenets of atheistic materialism. They seemed obviously true. And I rejected the tenets of Christianity. They seemed obviously false. And I had plenty of arguments with which to ably defend my worldview. But then I thought about what I was doing. Doing exactly that. Using rational argument to defend a worldview I already had. As opposed to putting all my presuppositions aside and taking all the arguments, both for and against theism, together and on their own merits, to see where they would lead (if, in fact, they lead anywhere).
[People] don’t want to see and admit that they are wrong. What’s more, is that it’s our human nature to justify all our wrong choices, even if that means we make up our own truth.
Man is not the rational animal. He’s the rationalising animal.
I acknowledge that I am generalising from my own intellectual habits to those of others, but I think that it’s legit to do so. I figure that other people have corrupt minds like mine.
I suggest that for the most part we all believe our own bullshit. Unashamedly.
I strive for intellectual honesty. I’ve recently reviewed many of the arguments for and against God’s existence, and tried to leave my ideological baggage at the door. I used to find the Design Argument unsatisfying inconclusive. Now I find it disconcertingly suggestive! I used to have serious doubts about God’s existence. Now I have serious doubts about his non-existence!
My Humean scepticism has stood me in good stead. I realise that man can truly know nothing based on reasoning from his limited sense data alone, unless he posits the existence of a guarantor, e.g., God. This was Descartes’ way out of radical scepticism. God’s existence is taken to be axiomatic. Yes, it’s a bootstrapping method of escape. But so are all the others, e.g., positing a uniform and self-sufficient Nature, which is one of the methodological axioms of science and a metaphysical axiom of scientism.
From the perspective of an atheistic materialistic worldview, the tenets of the atheistic materialistic worldview make sense. But from the perspective of a Christian worldview, the tenets of the Christian worldview make even more sense. But not, perhaps, until one has adopted that very perspective.
How’s that for a rationalisation of my religious conversion? 😉
Not to put too fine a point on it, people like Graham Capill give Christians a bad name.
Capill’s parents were Christian missionaries. He was born in western Africa, but grew up in Christchurch. Capill worked in the aviation industry, but later decided to become a minister. He gained a Bachelor of Divinity degree and became a minister of the Reformed Church of Dunedin in 1988. He also gained a law degree in 1997.
The Christian Heritage Party, founded in 1989, held its first convention in 1990. Capill was officially appointed the new party’s leader in June of that year. In 1996, Capill came close to becoming an MP. The Christian Coalition (being the Christian Heritage Party and the Christian Democrat Party) gained 4.4 % of the party votge in New Zealand’s first MMP election, tantalising close to the 5% threshold. He remained leader of the party through five elections, but stepped down in 2003. Capill resigned from the Christian Heritage Party in November 2004.
OK, here’s Wikipedia to tell the rest of the story.
On 23 March 2005 Capill appeared in the Christchurch District Court charged with indecently assaulting a girl aged under 12. On leaving the court he was assaulted (“punched and left whimpering on the ground”) by local sickness beneficiary Daniel McNally, a former boxer. The media referred to Capill, who was then under a name-suppression order, as “a prominent New Zealander”. McNally, who had no previous connection to the case, received a two-year prison sentence for the assault. On 1 April 2005 name suppression was lifted and Capill pleaded guilty to a charge of indecently assaulting an eight-year old girl on four occasions. These events took place between the years of 2001 and 2002, while Capill was still leader of Christian Heritage. His activities were brought to an end by the Rev Wally Behan, vicar of St John’s Anglican Church, Latimer Square, Christchurch, the church which the Capill family attended. Rev Behan was acting on information received from some of the victims. Further charges of rape and indecent assault against girls aged under 12 (committed during the 1990s) followed. As Capill had strongly condemned “sexual perversion” throughout his political career, the revelations had particular impact. Capill’s conduct was swiftly condemned by Christian Heritage.
On 28 June 2005 Capill entered guilty pleas on a further three charges of indecent assault, one of rape, and one of unlawful sexual connection, all committed against girls under the age of 12. Newspaper reports now describe him as “a sexual predator”, and he was remanded in custody while awaiting sentencing. On 14 July 2005 Capill was sentenced to imprisonment for 9 years. Prior to his sentencing, he sent an e-mail to supporters, asking for forgiveness and that they pray for a light sentence, also claiming that the sex with one of the young girls was “consensual”. His lawyer said that the e-mail, intended to gain sympathy and support, backfired and was ill-advised. Judge Kerr said the email sent by Capill to supporters demonstrated he had yet to fully appreciate the enormity of his offending.
On 16 August he appealed the sentence to the dismay of his critics. The appeal was abandoned on 31 January 2006.
“The association of the innocence of an infant with the filthy lifestyle of homosexuals is offensive in the extreme.” Protesting pro-homosexual billboards promoting the Hero Parade – 1998.
“Other parties may pay lip service to family values – we have a manifesto built on them.” Launches the Christian Heritage manifesto. – 1998.
“I am concerned for young people. They may be driven along by the heavy beat, but fail to discern the destructive message of hate, violence and death.” Calls on the Government to keep hard rock band Marilyn Manson out of New Zealand. – 1998.
“It is distressing in the extreme to find the gallery advertises this objectionable material as part of a Family Fun Day, which ‘celebrates Keith Haring’s love of children, child-like spirit and extensive work with school and youth groups’.” Objects to a pop art exhibition by legendary New York pop artist Keith Haring, which features cartoon-like graphic homo-erotic images. – 1999
“I don’t see anything funny in seeing pictures of Saddam Hussein in bed with Satan having it off. If this is Bill Hastings’ image of New Zealand the way he wants it, he can get himself another job.” Demands the chief censor resign over designating South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut R16. – 1999.
Not to put too fine a point on it, Christianity does not need Graham Capill.
Capill’s actions are anathema to anyone inculcated with the values of modern Western civilisation. In Pariahdom, the paedophile is King. Whereas, homosexual acts between consenting adults—of the kind that Capill railed against—are unremarkable. It’s true, of course, that the Bible does indicate that homosexuality is a sinful perversion. Certainly, man-on-man action is not what God intended. But, for the life of me, I struggle to see what’s wrong with it. Thankfully, gay sex doesn’t appeal to me. Thankfully, too, sex with minors doesn’t appeal to me, either—I find the idea utterly abhorrent, as do most. In this respect, Graham Capill is not one of us.
Capill, who turns 53 this year, is now out on parole, the Parole Board having been satisfied that he was unlikely to re-offend within the remaining three years of his sentence. May God help him and bless him.
Now, let’s put Capill’s offending into perspective. According to traditional sources, the Prophet Muhammad was 53 years old when he consummated his marriage with his wife Aishi who was 9 years old at the time. (One source records that she was 10 years old.) These sources are not disputed.
Like Capill, the Prophet Muhammad was a paedophile. He committed rape and indecent assault against a girl aged under 12. In saying this, I am not insulting the Prophet and I am not insulting Islam. I am simply stating the facts. And the facts are that Muhammad was not one of us.
How anyone can follow a religion founded by an acknowledged and unrepentant paedophile is beyond me. And yet Islam is the second-largest and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world. There are 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide.
Islam is a false religion. It is anathema to Christianity. Whereas Christianity gives repentant paedophiles a free pass to the next world, Islam gives unrepentant paedophilia a free pass in this world. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Islam is an alien ideology. It is inimical to Western civilisation. This has only truly dawned on me in the wake of the wave of global violence sweeping the world as Muslims protest that someone made a movie somewhat uncharitably, but more-or-less accurately, portraying their beloved Prophet as a violent, child-molesting fraud. It’s not just over the issue of the sexual violation of minors that Islam and Western civilisation part company. It’s over issues even more fundamental than that.
To illustrate, I’m going to conclude this post with a handful of excerpts from a recent blog post by Liberty Scott. (It’s one of his very excellent posts. You can and should read the whole thing here.)
[I]t is abundantly clear that the values of individual freedom, free speech and freedom of religion, are not embraced by the majority of the world’s population.
Whilst those of us in the “Western” world see differences between the US and Europe, these differences are insignificant between those of other civilisations on the planet. It is taken for granted in the “West” (by which I mean the EEA countries, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), that women should be equal under the law to men, that racism is unacceptable and barbaric, that free speech including the right to criticise all political views, and to both criticise and mock public figures, is inviolable, and that freedom of religion and from religion are part of a modern society.
However, whilst many share some of these values, many not only disagree but cannot even comprehend a viewpoint that holds them.
[T]he big conflict is with the Islamic world, which itself has many diverse strands, but which by and large, with the exception of the likes of Bosnia, Albania and Turkey, is hostile to individualism, secularism and freedoms of speech and religion.
The reaction seen across the Muslim world, and in many Western countries, is a throwback of some centuries, indeed it is a difference that is more profound that than between Marxism-Leninism and Western liberal democracy/mixed capitalist countries during the Cold War.
The flames being fanned by Islamists are ones of values that are completely contrary not only to the post-enlightenment settlement between Christianity, the state and society, but also international law on human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The protestors are predominantly men, promulgating a misogynistic world view, which not only treats women and girls as possessions, but has no tolerance for even engaging in debate or challenge of their religious view. Freedom of speech is to be burnt at the stake along with all those who they feel have hurt their point of view. It is as dangerous as it is infantile, as fanatically anti-reason as the anti-semitism of the Nazis, the anti-classism of the Khmer Rouge and every sectarian conflict you can remember.
They are as incredulous about the relaxed Western view over a film produced privately in the US, as Westerners are over their violence and (literal) sabre rattling. They live in societies where drawing an image of their prophet can get you executed, and indeed even deciding that you no longer believe in Islam can mean death. This is accepted as being integral to their entire social system and set of beliefs. Religion is not an adjunct to life that provides meaning for certain ethical questions or advice on living under difficult circumstances, for reflection at least once a week. It is central, fundamental and provides a source of guidance on a daily basis. The closest parallel outside it in modern history is seen in the personality cult laden totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany, the Stalinist world, Maoist China and today in North Korea. In all of them, the thoughts and words of the personality cults meant everything, their lives, their deeds took up so much time in education and daily life. For many Muslims, Islam is that special. The idea anyone would choose to abandon such believes is not only foolish, but dangerous and any such element is likely to bring down their proud culture.
Given they live in states which enforce this society, they find it remarkable that other states do not also reflect their national religions. The idea that private American citizens can produce a film, without any official endorsement or state oversight, seems improbable and impossible to them. After all, surely all governments everywhere enforce the religious values of their societies?
Not to put too fine a point on it, Western civilisation does not need Islam.
“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’
“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. (NIV)
This is a song which
I use to describe what I feel
About people like you
No sense for humanity, no idea about life
This premise has been proved
You used my trust to satisfy your brainless lust
Your word isn’t worth
More than puke in the dust
You twisted things to satisfy
This greedy lust you can’t deny, you can’t deny
How could I be so naive
To believe all the lies
You so easily told
I think I’ve learned my lesson too late
The story took time to unfold
Now I see your true face
Behind your mask, a cheat, a fake
Your word isn’t worth more than puke in the dust
Ignorant twisted mind,
Maybe it would help
To think before you speak from time to time
Pretend to be a friend of mine
But you would sell your mother if you could
For less than a dime
So you will lose,
Fall to your knees,
Guys like you I cannot stand
Maybe I must speak another language
Before you understand
You twisted things to satisfy
This greedy lust you can’t deny, you can’t deny