Saturday, April 3, 2010

ZenTiger NotPC and his Easter Rant

Not PC is attacking Christians again because in a democratic society, we still allow laws he doesn't like, to exist.

It would seem to me his problem should be entirely with the secular authorities that make and enforce the laws. The Christian lobby group is not as powerful as he imagines. He of course resents the feeling that Christians are in control: Because today is one day the religionists still have control over us. A day when flunkies carrying clipboards fan out around the country hoping to fine someone for the crime of selling someone else a pot plant, or a pint of milk. [Actually, it's legal to sell milk. Even the cafes are open.]

Tradition and history - the enemies of freedom obviously.

It's not religionists though going around fining people. Statistically, it would be rational atheists going around imposing fines in the name of the all powerful State. It's not the tithing bowl being filled, but the coffers of the secular state. The issue of fines, I side with Peter at NotPC. The issue of statutory public holidays showing respect for other people's beliefs? There, I wonder why he sees this as too much control. Naturally, a libertarian tolerates any inhumanity except those that remind him he is part of a community. No doubt, even following the road code is a struggle for a freedom loving individual.

Anyway, the Secular State's confusing Easter Trading Laws aside, here is my response to Not PC's Easter Rant. It was going to be just a quick off hand comment, but it looked like it would get lost in the spam comments advertising various products and services - with Internet Shopping, the credit card need never rest, so my quick offhand comment is now a quick offhand post with a long introduction. Hey, you've got a bit of time off, relax.

Reply to Peter's Easter Rant
Peter, you seem to base much of your premise on the story of Christ's sacrifice as if it's all about the torture, and then go further and suggest Christians are the ones doing the torture, at God's behest.

You've missed the point as usual, so all your words amount to nothing more than an articulate explanation of an empty idea. You speak of myths and then go on to create them.

You become the modern representative of the crowd - baying for blood, taunting the Christ, ridiculing his sacrifice, ridiculing the people that have recognised the imperfections of mankind and the love required to set them free.

God is not the one controlling the mob. In his act of perfect creation he allowed perfect freedom, and we see where such freedom can lead - the choice of love and sacrifice or the choice of the mob.

Your own myth is interesting. Roark takes on the role of God, and as God has the power to create and destroy the product of his mind. You accept this as a freedom of man, but never as God's right.

Roark "created" a building. Actually, he just put it on paper, and many other men created what he had envisioned. It wasn't even his money, he was hired just as capitalists hire painters and carpenters. He was commissioned, but he was given the brief. All these people, financiers and builders of course have no right to their share in the creation, it remains Roark's alone to destroy, and destroy it he does rather than have it taken from him.

Roark is confronted by the mob, and so destroys his works to declare that he won. The idea is as crazy as Jesus nailing himself to the cross to "beat the mob".

God confronted the mob, and they tore down his son, and Easter ends there for you, and for the mob.

And three days later, Jesus rose again, whilst your building still lies in ruin. Two thousand years later, some still appreciate that sacrifice, and the coming resurrection. Both Roark and Christians understand the danger of the mob, and the choices people make, but which one carries forward the message of renewal?


Not PC: It's Easter, which means...

Here's another reply from another blogger: Francis W Porretto Replies



Note: I have read The Fountainhead and really enjoyed it. I'm not in total disagreement with the themes expressed in the book, just think it doesn't offer the complete picture.

10 comment(s):

bez said...

The whole easter trading thing is not solely based on Christian values either, as PC seems to suggest. The union movement is just as strong a proponent of the current restrictions. Personally I don't buy the argument that non-christians should in any way adjust their behavior in deference to christian values or beliefs, after all the true moral strength of a philosophy is never determined by its capacity to suppress the behavior of non-adherents.

ZenTiger said...

I'm not sure that Christians expect non-adherents to adjust their behaviour.

I wouldn't describe shopping as a behavioral trait.

Some have tried to cast this as an attack on freedom, but so are health and safety standards, the 40 hour week and having to drive on the left.

In focusing on individual freedom, which is indeed important, the assumption that the community and the norms of society must be destroyed to allow such freedom is, to me, rather simplistic.

As simplistic as Roark believing he owned the building he designed. He got paid to design it and other people's money (a placeholder for their labour and their decision to invest) as well as other people's labour (builders, painters, electricians etc also built the building.

He had absolute right to burn his designs, all on bits of paper. Not so impressive an argument for freedom though. His right to destroy the building was not so clear cut, but made for a grand statement.

bez said...

I am not at all convinced by the argument that other people should adjust their behavior (and shopping is behavior in my book), solely on the ground of Christian value systems or beliefs(regardless of the way by which that behavior is regulated). The comparison with traffic rules or safety standards is idiosyncratic, these are not suspended or more vigorously applied at some point in deference to some value system either.
The whole debate that everybody should adjust what they can and cannot do in order to appease a part of society is just silly.
As I said, I don't think an ideology or belief system increases in value because it is successful in restraining those that don't share it.
I agree with you that the Roark example is not to the point, and irrelevant as well. I also find it quite silly that PC on the one hand is capable of putting aside the biblical basis for christian belief as based on myth and fantasy, while on the other hand adhering to completely fictional novel characters, but alas.
The Roark example doesn't work because Roark had entered in an agreement whereby his reward for design would be that the building was erected precisely as designed. There is absolutely nothing in contract law (not even in the fictional scenario of Rand) that supports the sort of remedy he sought to extract. If one accepts the literary freedom of the novelist encapsulated in that example it is strange not to accept something similar in the scripture. In other words, PC is not very consistent in his argument.

ZenTiger said...

Good points. Perhaps my examples were too flippant.

There are two different issues here. One might concern Christian beliefs (Easter) and the other the current society, it's culture, it's history and its laws.

The first - only Christians are expected to attend Easter services. There is no demand for atheists or those of other religions to attend, just an invitation to discover. There is no requirement to show any respect for the Christian beliefs around Easter. It is merely bad manners to complain about this aspect of Easter (as Peter at NotPC has).

The second, that society has in place a formal process for recognising and respecting a long standing tradition that, historically, impacted a greater percentage of the population than it did today, but today has less relevance.

Just like remembering war veterans, we've marked a time as a show of respect and as a remembrance of our roots.

An aside on this point - if NotPC was being consistent, he'd probably characterize the ANZAC day remembrance as a glorification of war, not the appreciation of deep sacrifice. Indeed, many people see it that way, unfortunately. As the war recedes further into the past, those people become more vocal. No better epitaph in reply than "Lest we forget"

The argument though is that society no longer has any requirement or mandate to pay such respect. That a public holiday restricts the rights of others to conduct their business or engage in their activities.

The argument, if taken to its logical conclusion, is that there should be NO statutory holidays. There should be NO time off work for one class of people. There probably shouldn't even be the distinction of "week-end" and certainly, many retail staff see weekends as just another work day, joining the rostered ranks of critical services such as police, medical and fire.

I think this is where it is heading, and is just another example of cultural suicide, dressed up in the name of freedom.

As you so rightly pointed out - the continuation of holidays and weekends, of the 40 hour week and workers rights have probably been held to the credit of unions and every day people more than holding on to any respect for religion. Secular society moved on from religion years ago, but it's not quite willing to sacrifice public holidays, Easter eggs and remembering grand dad.

The people striving to break the current limits on "freedom to trade" are paving the way to end the notion of any public holiday.

It's not Christians holding them back, it's the combined wisdom of history, in it's many varied forms and lessons.

I've suggested NotPC set his targets on the secular state. They have the power to reverse the heinous crime of coordinating a day off work for much of the population. And they may not be restrained by the will of the people.

Ironically, traders will get their freedom because the State has forgotten how to protect it, and the end result may be for the worse.

Seán said...

bez said: "The whole easter trading thing is not solely based on Christian values either, as PC seems to suggest. The union movement is just as strong a proponent of the current restrictions."

- this comment seems to indicate that Easter trading is not just based on the Christian observance but also on based on the will of the unions. Any evidence of this? Of course the union movement is in favour of days off for workers, but not sure they helped set it all up. I could be wrong though.

Seán said...

You're quite right Zen. Cresswell, Farrar and their ilk need to vent their frustrations towards the State and only the State. And as you implied, in order to be consistent they need to take this approach to ANZAC day as well. Some will claim that Easter Sunday is not an actually public holiday but if it was made one, would they shut up? Somehow I doubt it. Problem is they are blinded by their hatred of religion and it is this emotional response that often upsets Farrar's normal level-headedness in some of his other posts as well.

For me the religious aspect with regards to the trading rules is irrelevant. I am going to observe and practice my faith in this time regardless of whether the shops are open. But I strongly defend the notion of a guaranteed day off once in a while, or rather, in NZ, 3.5 of them during the year. These are they days families know they can be together and can plan something for it. Not all will, but the opportunity is there. The trading ban doesn't affect everyone (I don't work on Sundays, nor are in retail) but many families will have someone scheduled into work on these days should there not be any restrictions. Here we have a chance for families and friends to come together, and for diaries to be empty amongst the almighty rat race that now consumes the times we live in.

I am a fan of free-trade, capitalism and economic liberalism, but there needs to be balance with society, and I will rigorously defend these 3.5 days in order to maintain some relief from the shop-til-you-drop mentality that is all around us.

Redbaiter said...

Peter Cresswell's contempt for Christianity is driven by narcissism. Its a self indulgence that allows him to comfortably vent his spleen but does considerable damage to the fortunes of the Libertarian party. Anybody really interested in advancing liberty would put the fortunes of the party above such shallow personal bigotry.

Cresswell's intolerance for religion is a foolish vanity, and his constant indulgence in this vanity has created a damaging public image of the Libertarian Party. Not the kind of image the Libertarians should present if they ever seek to be recognised as anything more than a small and shrinking cult controlled by homosexual political activists.

The Libertarians in the US have not experienced the same shrinkage of membership that the NZ group has. Because the US leadership does not suffer from the same self focused leadership and resulting unhealthy preoccupation with Christianity. Ron Paul and Sarah Palin for example have often shared podiums.

The US Libertarians recognise that religion is cancelled out by means of the fact that it is practised at both ends of the political spectrum. Harry Reid, one of the biggest threats to freedom in a long time, is a Seventh Day Adventist. Glenn Beck, who played a large part in the establishment of the Tea Party movement, is a Mormon.

If indeed religion is per se any real threat to freedom, it must be almost zero point zero one (on a scale of one to ten) when compared to socialism and the Progressives (10).

In fact, IMHO Not PC reeks of the same narrow ignorant intolerance that characterizes the Progressives, and disrespect for religion is only one small part of it. This I think actually earns the group a higher threat (to freedom) rating than Christians.

The fortunes of the NZ Libs will I believe continue to sink as long as it is so dominated by intolerant homosexuals and objectivists. It is now a sad tiny cult of tyrannical narcissists supported by an ever shrinking collective of weak easily impressed fools and sycophants. Group think if ever there was an example of group think.

The Party urgently needs a good clean out (especially at the leadership level) and to return to its focus on the simple objective of small government. Not likely to happen, as another characteristics of narcissists is their unwillingness to accept criticism or turn about.

Mr. Cresswell and his acolytes are apparently intent on taking the party down with them, and ironically, about the only thing that might prevent that sad result is divine intervention.

KG said...

It's sad state of affairs when other proponents of limited government (and for sure I'm one of those--I hate all politicians about equally) are attacked by commenters in NotPC because they don't follow the minutae of doctrinal positions held by that lot. Who knows how much support that costs the Libz?
To be fair, Peter has never joined in the crap fights I've had with the likes of the odious Ruth and the site is his to run as he sees fit, but it seems to me to be an opportunity wasted.

Redbaiter said...

I've just done a domain search for Redbaiter on Not PC and I'm amazed at how many times they have discussed me in my absence. It seems that every time anyone shows up with any trenchant criticism of the Libs, LGM or some other equally odious idiot has to identify the poster as Redbaiter using an alias.

Good grief- I've tried to tell them so many times that I do not post under any other names, and I've tried to explain to them that it is a matter of self respect.

And that's why I'm making this point. It baffles me that in most cases, those posting at Not PC seem to have absolutely no conception of "self respect".

They cannot seem to grasp that when there are no restraints, and nobody to judge you other than yourself, that is the time when you must most of all be true.

True to yourself.

Strange that this attitude exists, because I know that this is a commonly used credo in the Libs. Its puzzling that they (Not PC posters) seem to have so little real understanding of what it means.

Their constant stream of false allegations against Redbaiter I think are a demonstration of their readiness to judge others by their own standards, and I wonder to myself if this is something tied to their atheism, or to some other unknown event in their lives, some gap in their upbringing perhaps that has left them barren of any spiritual precepts.

Funny in a way that there seems to be so much paranoia there, but sad that they are so ready to apply false perceptions of deceit to others.

Doesn't say much for their own character or, given the identified characteristics a true seeker of liberty should have, provide much hope for the success of any mission they may undertake to achieve true freedom.

Tim Wikiriwhi said...

I was an active member of the Libertarianz Party for nearly a decade. For a Christian to do that proves Ive got thick skin but Objectivist irreligious bigotry made it a nightmare and finally I threw in the towel. Objectivist atheist fanaticism has destroyed the party.
PC and co will never look in the mirror and see their Objectivist Un-Libertarianism but will die playing on their right to free speech and so the Libertarianz is doomed.
I don’t say this to stick the knife into Pete’s’ back because I like him, but speck in great sadness to verify the truth of the many comments he has received by outsiders.
He has been told countless times of the damage he is responsible for to the cause he is supposed to champion and to the party he himself helped create.
As for Objectivism’s absurd definition of sacrifice…a higher value sold out for a lower one…that Randiodism is Bat shit crazy! Its pure self delusion. Only Idiots build their house upon such sand.
Tim Wikiriwhi
Libertarian Independent.

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