Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lucia Evil cannot prevail

"The Church is not a community of the perfect, but a community of sinners, obliged to recognize their need for God's love, their need to be purified through the Cross of Jesus Christ", said Benedict XVI Friday, celebrating Mass in St Peter's Basilica on the Solemnity of Saints Peter Paul.

Lucia Men are nothing more than impregnators

We are raising a phenomenal number of children who will never learn the proper way for a man to treat a woman. All they will ever know is that he's the guy that impregnates and then leaves. Already now there are many women, mostly young Maori women, who expect nothing more of a man.

New Zealand has among the world's highest rates of sole parenthood, especially among low-income groups for whom the DPB may seem a viable lifestyle option. In the 2006 census, 25 per cent of all New Zealand children and 43 per cent of Maori children lived in sole parent families, compared with an OECD average of 16 per cent.

Otara administrator Delaney Papua, who turns 20 next month and is expecting her first baby in November, says going on the benefit seems to be just what you do when you get pregnant.

"All the people that I know that have kids go on it, so I kind of just assumed that you have to be on that," she says.

The babies' fathers often have no role in the families they help create, giving them no anchor in society. Papua doesn't expect her baby's father to support her.

There needs to be a massive cultural shift to counter this. For starters, women should think all men beneath them who just want to have sex without commitment, without proving themselves.

This all just reminds me of a young Samoan woman who I worked with when I was twelve or so during my school holiday job at the factory my Dad worked at as a toolmaker. She confided in me that her boyfriend at the time just wanted her for sex. He would tell her to lie down on the bed and he'd have his way with her and that was that. I said, why? Why let him do that to you? She didn't know, it was just what she felt was expected of her even though she didn't even like him. I was horrified, I wondered what was wrong with her. Now I'm wondering what is wrong with many of the young women in NZ. Don't they want more from life?

Related link: Welfare reform: Back to work ~ NZ Herald

Lucia What is true liberty

So many times I have read that liberty is being taken from us by the State, but it cannot take from us what is given to us by God. Only we can take it from ourselves when we fall slave to unforgiven sin, and then we become no barrier at all to the ever encroaching State.

On this subject, the great pagan philosophers and the Christians speak with one voice. Seneca writes that true liberty is the pursuit of wisdom. Aristotle writes that a free polis, the only true haven for human thriving, requires the virtue of friendship in pursuit of what is genuinely good. Plato writes that a man who gives himself over to base passions is no better than a slave. “What steals [man’s] liberty is sin alone,” writes Dante. Christians need look no further than the words of the Master: “Whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin” (Jn. 8:34).

Indeed, when we recognize that human liberty derives from God, or, for the agnostics among us, from what is objectively good and therefore to be sought, we have the strongest defense against the encroachments of tyrants, or an all-devouring State. This is so, writes Leo XIII in Libertas Praestantissimum, not only for each individual, but also for “the community and civil society which men constitute when united.” True liberty does not consist “in every man doing what he pleases,” but rather in obedience to the eternal law. That obedience liberates us in spirit and protects the civic freedom we have won: “Thus, an effectual barrier being opposed to tyranny, the authority in the State will not have it all its own way, but the interests and rights of all will be safeguarded – the rights of individuals, of domestic society, and of all the members of the commonwealth; all being free to live according to law and right reason; and in this, as we have shown, true liberty really consists.”

Related link: Spitting on the Crucifix ~ Crisis Magazine

Friday, June 29, 2012

Lucia End of Term 2

There was more traffic than normal in Paraparaumu this afternoon around 3pm. Must be the holidaymakers travelling north, taking advantage of the school holidays and improving, if cold, weather.

It's also the end of financial year for all you guys slogging it out in the office this evening, including my husband, whom I hope will come home sometime before 10pm tonight. Not a chance of me picking him up at the train station as I'm into the red wine. Right into that second glass.

And there's only boysenberry ice-cream - no cookies n' cream! Ahrg.

Lucia It's the will, stupid!

This is a great explanation as to why logical arguments that make perfect sense will not connect with a person who is not predisposed to accept them. It specifically refers to Catholics in their rejection of this, that or the next doctrine, but the concept can be easily expanded out to the population in general.

So if they understand on an intellectual level the general reasons for a doctrine, why do some Catholics accept doctrine and others reject it? The answer is that the fundamental obstacle lies not with the intellect, but with the will. One can provide all manner of logical arguments for accepting a given doctrine as true, but if the will is not predisposed to divine truth, the arguments will not matter one bit. When the will is turned against divine truth, and thus focused on the self, the intellect tows the line, defending the desires of the will at all costs.

I'm specifically thinking of the same-sex marriage debate when I say that the logical arguments do not connect. If you have a moral problem, then you're not going to engage your will in any other way except to escape that issue and all it's ramifications.

Related link: Struggling with Church Doctrine? Go to Confession! ~ Matins Musings

Lucia Fulton Sheen is now Venerable

This is so cool. The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen has taken another step towards sainthood - he's now been declared Venerable!

Fulton Sheen is my favourite Catholic author. His book Life of Christ is amazing and is the type of book that could only be written by someone who spent years in Our Lord's presence.  See The Red Coins of Redemption for the story of how Fulton Sheen was inspired to do a daily Holy Hour.

Anyway, here he is on Confession and sin and guilt and what it does to a person who does not confess. The first three minutes are jokes for the children in the audience and then he gets serious. Each video is less than 10 minutes. They're just brilliant.

Part II goes into how a person can cover up their own moral shortcomings by an intense interest in social justice. He links spiritual nudity of the soul in confession where everything is stripped back and we see ourselves as we really are, with a loss of Confession and physical nudity increasing.

He says, "Nudity is coming back in our world, where we are trying to get back into the Garden of Eden without walking up the hill of Calvary".

Part III and Part IV How lives are changed to submitting to the mercy of God.

"Worse than sin is the denial of sin, which is our modern attitude toward life."

Related link: Fulton Sheen is now “Venerable” ~ WDTPRS

ZenTiger Strangers in a strange land

Our keyword analysis stats always yield interesting terms. Interesting in the weird ways some people come across our blog. One assumes that many of those would leave just as quickly - sometimes there is an obvious gap between the intent and the result.

Some of the most common terms at the moment (aide from the obvious ones like 'nzconservative') are:

lolicon, brendan nolan, greece memes, knights templar, melissa johnson, jack russell.

Some of the more unexpected ones are:

can you have an open casket if you die face down, de lattre de tassigny de gaulle, whipping wife discipline, effects of the berlin wall on New Zealand, how can people villify bush but idolize che guevara, new zealand smells funny.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lucia Giant Pratfall: Our culture slipping on a banana peel

A couple of days ago, I posted a link to a post on why atheists can never be good, a post that argued that goodness for atheists always becomes utilitarian. I disagreed, in that I thought it was possible for atheists to be good, and to listen to that which is written on their heart by God, and not really rationally know why they are being good. Now I'm adding a caveat.

In theory, atheists can be good. However, as soon as someone gives them a seemingly compelling reason not be good that pulls at their heartstrings, intrinsic goodness is left by the wayside for presumed goodness, where human beings define what is good and what isn't. That isn't being good, that's being like God - the first temptation.

Today I came across a post by a blogger I had never heard of before, but thanks to NewAdvent he caught my attention. He started his post with reminiscing back to when he used to think it would be great to live during a time of cultural degradation, but now that he older and he realises he lives in such a time, it's not as fun as he thought it would be.  His whole post is worth reading, and I'm only pulling out a small section of it, so after you've read me, go read him.  In the meantime, when he gets to same-sex "marriage", and explains how Sister Margaret Farley can't just reinterpret Catholic sexual morality and expect it to be called Catholic by using the analogy of a person playing golf and deciding to make up their own game while still wanting it to be called golf, he says:
This is the stuff of comedy. It’s like a giant pratfall – not a person falling, but an entire culture slipping on a banana peel. Laughing at it is really the only fun left in a degenerate era, which turns out not to be so much fun after all. In fact, it is extremely dangerous to the health of one's soul.
The whole culture is turning traditional Western morality on it's head and thinks it won't matter.  And thus the absurdity that we see now, with the potential redefinition of marriage across the Western world, where the complementary of the sexes is no longer deemed important enough to keep marriage as it is.  But, there is harm in gay marriage, great harm. Harm that is not obvious, and in your face, and easily denied or minimised.  So, the atheist and the agnostic and the clueless believer will fall for it and other causes like it, because they don't have a strong enough reason not to.  They will also fall for gay marriage because it makes them feel good about themselves, and that tends to drown out the voice of conscience in their own being that connects them to infinite goodness.

I have to add in The Imaginative Conservative's summary of this whole situation, why we should not stop speaking out and why we should not also give in and go with the flow:

Why is it so very important not to be changed by this? What is the price of assent to and collaboration with Gay Pride? The answer is clearly spelled out in Romans 1. Saint Paul describes a situation eerily like our own in which those “who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” fell into “shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts, one toward another: men with men, working that which is filthy...” So those, “Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.” (Italics added) Gay Pride is that consent, the price for which is the death of your soul.

How to deal with this? A Jewish midrash has it that the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were violent and godless, given over to every sort of sexual depravity, and even killed their own children. Abraham preached against them. They would not change, but he would not stop. One day a stranger approached him and asked, "You began preaching here so long ago. Yet no one has listened to you. Why do you continue?" Abraham replied, “At first I spoke out to change them. Now I speak out so that they do not change me.”
While as here is someone who has let himself be changed.

Related link: On the Way Down ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Lucia Same-sex marriage failed to be drawn from the ballot today

David Farrar blogged that:
Today is a sort of Super Thursday at Parliament. A massive four new members’ bills will be drawn out of the ballot.

There are around 59 bills in the ballot, and two of them are on same sex marriage so the chances of one of them being drawn is around one in eight.
Somehow, I get the impression that he was hoping that a same-sex marriage bill would come up. Sadly, he would have been disappointed. In the comments the results were revealed:
Pete George (13,608) Says:
June 28th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Russel Norman’s Overseas Investment (Restriction on Foreign Ownership of Land) Amendment Bill has been pulled from ballot.

That will be interesting. Rusty and Winnie united?

The others are:
24 Habeas Corpus Amendment Bill Chris Auchinvole
35 Local Government (Salary Moderation) Amendment Bill Hon Annette King
52 Prohibition of Gang Insignia in Government Premises Bill Todd McClay

Maybe stacking the private members bills with more same-sex marriage bills will be the way to go in the future! I certainly expect the proponents of same-sex marriage to feel no qualms about doing so. They'll get this change through fair means or foul, just wait.

Related link: Super Thursday ~ KiwiBlog

Lucia False claims against innocent priests

Since the beginning of this week, I've been reading the blog of Fr Gordon MacRae, who was sentenced to 33.5 to 67 years in 1994 for the sexual abuse of a teenage boy (aged 15) who went to him for counselling. It's looking like the claims of abuse were false and were only made in order to gain a large settlement payout from the Church.  However, Fr MacRae is still in prison while his lawyers fight for a new trial for him.

In the last decade of media coverage of the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, scant attention has been paid to the probability of false claims against innocent priests. When one understands the role of the contingency fee bar in the mediated settlements of claims against Catholic dioceses, it becomes a virtual certainty that some priests have been falsely accused for money.

One such case was profiled in a riveting two-part series of articles by Dorothy Rabinowitz (”A Priest’s Story,” The Wall Street Journal, April 27/28, 2005). Ms. Rabinowitz was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her compelling disclosures about false witness and witch hunt sexual abuse prosecutions in American courts of law.  Her coverage of the travesty by which Father Gordon MacRae was convicted is a troubling account of how justice can be distorted by accusers and lawyers who have a financial stake in its outcome.  It’s a story, as described by the late Rev. Richard John Neuhaus in First Things magazine (June/July 2009), “of a Church and a justice system that seem indifferent to justice.”

One glaring omission from the prosecutorial rhetoric in the Father MacRae case is the fact that he could have left prison over fourteen years ago had he actually been guilty and willing to say so.  On multiple occasions before and during his 1994 trial, MacRae was offered pre-trial plea deals by the state’s prosecutor with the approval of his accusers. In exchange for a plea of guilty in lieu of a trial, MacRae could have served a prison sentence of only one to three years and could have left prison over fourteen years ago.  Of course, the jury never knew of MacRae’s repeated refusals of such a deal.

Judge Arthur Brennan, however, likely did know of this when he sentenced the priest to sixty-seven years in prison, more than twenty times the maximum sentence that the state was prepared to impose if MacRae would plead guilty.

The National Center for Reason and Justice ( now endorses the appellate defense of Father Gordon MacRae, and sponsors a website at TheseStoneWalls. It contains a comprehensive case history for which this writer and others contributed substantial research. The late Cardinal Avery Dulles wrote that case of Father Gordon MacRae “must come to light and will be instrumental in a reform.”

It seems there are people who automatically assume that if an abuse accusation is made against a Catholic priest that it must be true, since all priests are most likely guilty anyway. WhaleOil certainly acts in that way (see Better than buggering little boys).

Related links: Truth in Justice: Was the wrong Catholic priest sent to prison? ~ TheseStoneWalls
Alarming New Evidence May Exonerate Imprisoned Priest ~ The Media Report

ZenTiger Unlimited Growth, Unlimited Wages

'Capitalism is premised upon unlimited growth.'

That idea is nothing, as compared to the fruits of socialism:
BRUSSELS — For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe’s highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation.
Contra Celsum discusses this from another perspective: The Worker Has Rights

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ZenTiger Greenies kill key figure in Oil Exploration

Pip - 14 year old murdered.  Suspects: Greenies.
Grud on a Greenie!

Greenies are thought to be behind the death of a prominent figure involved in oil exploration, and have slit the throat of their victim, as a sign to others that any form of oil and mineral activity in NZ will be met with extreme violence.

The owners of a dog found with its throat slit believe it is linked to opposition to a proposed oil drilling venture on their land.

Mark and Annabel Franklin found the body of their 14-year-old jack russell, Pip, on the deck of their farmhouse about 20 kilometres southeast of Dannevirke on June 9.

Dannevirke police have been informed and are investigating.
We can only theorize the Greenies deliberately targetted "Pip" due to Pips connections with the oil industry. Admittedly, Pip was a dog, and the connection was her owner, but perhaps this is the outcome when Greenies treat animals as humans? They are now equally responsible for their actions, and not biting the hand that feeds was a transgression that required a cold and heartless murder.


Greenies kill the underdog

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lucia Can atheists be good?

Fr. Longenecker argues that an atheist can only be good for utilitarian reasons, but I think that they can be good and not know why. They can be irrationally good, even though it will not make sense to them.

Related link: Can You be Good Without God? ~ Standing on my head

Lucia Sexual violator of young girls made iconic landmarks in Kapiti

4.5m tall metal tui built by sex criminal Brendan Nolan for the Kapiti Coast District Council.

The Kapiti Coast District Council originally wanted whales on poles, but that ended up being far too expensive, so they settled for a metal tui. Now the artist who made the tui has been found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls.

An artist who sexually abused two girls - one while she was shackled and the other while she slept - has been sent to prison for more than five years.

Brendan Nolan, 55, of Paekakariki, admitted sexually violating the young girls in 1999 and 2001 before his metal artworks became landmarks on the Kapiti Coast.

While he continued living his life, his victims struggled to cope with theirs.

"I can't sleep and barely eat," his second victim said in Wellington District Court yesterday.

"I don't trust anyone, I jump when people come too close and I hate it when they touch me. This man stole something from me, something I can't put into words, but I know I'll never get it back."

She had been subjected to degrading acts at Nolan's workshop while her hands were suspended from shackles and from a metal chandelier.

The first victim's mother said in a letter that having to relive the abuse for the courts had a devastating effect on her daughter.

Her daughter would stay at Nolan's house overnight and he would wait for her to fall asleep before carrying her to his bed. The abuse occurred over a two-month period.

I'll never look at that metal tui in the same way again. It should probably be taken down.

Related link: Artist gets five years for sexual violation of two young girls.

Lucia Consummation of Marriage

New Zealand law no longer recognises consummation of marriage to be necessary for a marriage to be considered valid. At some point since the 1955 Marriage Act was put into law, the consummation aspect has been removed. I can't tell when, because the original 1955 act does not seem to be available. My guess is during 1995, when a whole lot of stuff was repealed by the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act. But if anyone knows for sure, please make a comment.

Meanwhile, in Britain in preparation for changing marriage to include two people of the same-sex, the requirement to consummate the marriage needs to be removed. Two people of the same-sex just don't have the complementary anatomy in order for the physical aspect of marriage to be able to take place, therefore all marriages must be redefined.

The problem with this is that sexual consummation is the real marriage vow. A man and his wife say "I do" with their bodies when they freely engage in uncontracepted sex. Removing consummation as necessary just further separates in law what is required in reality.

It's disturbing to realise that at some point in the recent past in New Zealand that preparations for marriage being totally redefined were being made by removing consummation. We certainly were ahead of Britain on that score.

Related link: UK government to remove sexual consummation from marriage law to allow unnatural marriage

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lucia A heart breaking conversion

The effect on her daughter's life that she had and her whole story.

“I was a horrible mother and I knew it. I didn’t have any time to raise my little daughter, but I couldn’t even entertain the idea of giving up my career… I still remember the look of sadness on my daughter’s face as I ignored her day after day after day. I was too busy chasing an appearance so I could feel loved when real love was staring at me every day through two big hazel eyes.” (From my conversion story)

Imagine a little girl growing up with such an absent mother. She watches her mother climb mountains and chase dreams, buy her everything and appear successful, but a little girl just wants to know she matters, that she is loved, and that she can make people smile. Instead of being raised, she is dropped off at daycare and propped in front of television, moved like furniture from one place to another, and given stuff to keep her quiet.

Like the stark objective truth that it is, she needs her parents just like any child does, but she’s got a broken family, and Mom’s pretty messed-up. She grows up unable to explain that intense yearning in her soul to belong, and over time that yearning creates a painful emptiness. Strangely, the pain becomes like a friend because it’s at least reliable.

Facing up to everything you've done wrong and trying to make up for it and knowing you can't is the hardest part of conversion. You can't forgive yourself, but at least you know God forgives you and that no one is ever allowed to be lost without some means of getting back.

ZenTiger Medicating the next generation

I saw an article in the Sunday Star Times (SST) yesterday that, among other things, mentioned that PHARMAC had recorded a 140% increase in antidepressant drug taking in children under 4 years of age over the last few years. Talk about a horrifying statistic - and at face glance - an abuse of medicine.

I recall an earlier article on the increasing use of TV as a child-minding device and children not learning key skills on how to play and interact. An alterantive form of medication, destructive also.

And in some other article, I noted that pre-school survey forms parents were completing turned out to be used to assess children for a myriad of "mental health" issues. Some parents did not realise ticking the box for "Johnny has had a temper tantrum" either made them bad parents or necessitated Johnny being drugged up and ready to glide through the stressful world of playgroup.

And articles continue to hit the papers where child abuse is conflated with child discipline, to the point that a smack in discipline is treated as an equally serious offence as hitting children in anger. Surely, parents can take drugs for that? Or, as discussed on 60 minutes last year, do the drugs parents take contribute to the hitting? Let's not go there.

And no-one wants to discuss the impact of easy divorce and single parent families on children, for fear that single parents take the news personally.

Who would have thought a small jigsaw puzzle would be so hard to put together? Certainly seems to be confounding our bureaucrats.

Mind you, after assembling this simple puzzle myself, I discovered some more ominous information about just where medication by drugs is taking us. That's another post.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

ZenTiger Cereal Killers

An interesting story of how Christian Fundamentalism sets out to save people from the bowels of evil, and the moment money becomes the by-product, suddenly every-one gets in on some cereal and serious profiteering. There's a lesson there somewhere, but the story is interesting on many levels
More than a century ago, Christian fundamentalists invented cereal to promote a healthy lifestyle free of sin. Little did they know, their creation would eventually be used to promote everything from radio and cartoons to Mr. T and tooth decay.

Story at Mentalfloss

Note, this cereal killer video is violent. Definitely only for 14 to 18 year olds*

*So why am I not surprised my younger son has already seen it?

ZenTiger Just the fax, ma'am

Death of the mainstream media and rise of the blog?
Fairfax announced on Monday that it will cut 1,900 jobs, reduce its flagship broadsheet newspapers in size to tabloid, and close its two major printing presses in Sydney and Melbourne in a bid to cut hundreds of millions from its ballooning costs.

The 170-year-old publisher will also introduce paid subscription paywalls to access online content from 2013, and promote a digital first strategy aimed at capturing the online market where three-quarters of its readers are now found.

Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood launched the restructure, to the shock of his staff, on Monday under the banner of Fairfax of the Future.

Unrelated? From Jack Webb to Dan Aykroyd: Joe Friday

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lucia A belief in Hell leads to less crime

I'm not surprised that societies that believe in eternal punishment have lower crime rates. For then what you do while alive is not just a matter of getting away with it, because there's no escaping Divine Judgement.

The study, appearing in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE, found that criminal activity is higher in societies where people’s religious beliefs contain a strong punitive component than in places where religious beliefs are more benevolent. A country where many more people believe in heaven than in hell, for example, is likely to have a much higher crime rate than one where these beliefs are about equal. The finding surfaced from a comprehensive analysis of 26 years of data involving 143,197 people in 67 countries.

“The key finding is that, controlling for each other, a nation’s rate of belief in hell predicts lower crime rates, but the nation’s rate of belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, and these are strong effects,” said Azim F. Shariff, professor of psychology and director of the Culture and Morality Lab at the UO. “I think it’s an important clue about the differential effects of supernatural punishment and supernatural benevolence. The finding is consistent with controlled research we’ve done in the lab, but here shows a powerful ‘real world’ effect on something that really affects people—crime.”

Last year, in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Shariff reported that undergraduate students were more likely to cheat when they believe in a forgiving God than a punishing God.

I believe in both Heaven and Hell, and a forgiving God, who can only forgive when forgiveness is asked. If it's not asked for, then He has no choice but to be a punishing God, because justice demands it.

To be certain of forgiveness, a person must confess their sins to a priest. There's nothing like it to make you feel* totally clean, and like a totally new person.  Especially if your sins have been weighing you down over the years.  After confessing completely, it's far less likely that a person will offend as gravely again.

Related link: Study: Belief in Hell is associated with reduced crime

*Feeling that you are forgiven is not necessary.  For God gave us the Sacrament so we would know that we are forgiven, especially as feelings can be deceptive.  However, feelings can be given as a gift, and some are just amazing.  While as at most other times, no feeling what so ever.

Lucia A very personal God

Hubble image

I like the following explanation that God must be a personal God, for I used to be one of those people that  believed that God was an impersonal force. Not that this really made sense to me as such, it was just something I wanted to believe, because reality without God in it didn't make sense. I had tried that, being an atheist, and while freeing at that time, it was just so empty and cold.

The next question is whether God is personal or impersonal. Is God “the force” or “the face”? Pantheists and Buddhists would say God is not personal. God is a force not a face. Certain new age believers would agree. Humans, however, are personal, moral, rational beings, and being rational and personal is greater than to be impersonal. A dog is a higher being than a tree. If the personal is greater than the impersonal, how would it be possible for the greater to be devised from and dependent on the lesser? How could a rational person (a human being) come forth from an irrational, impersonal force? How could a rational world be created by an irrational, vague force? Can the lesser create the greater? No. Therefore we conclude that God is personal. God is rational.

Related link: Suicide or Catholicism? ~ Standing on My Head

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lucia Matariki calendars from the Government and a message from the Governor General

Here is a card that I received from the National Party NZ Government last month.

On the other side of the card is a calendar, starting from June 2012 and going until May 2013. This is apparently the Matariki year.

I would have thought that the date of Matariki would be highlighted on the calendar in bold or something, but no. The shortest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, today, is this "Matariki", by the way.

Here's a Matariki Message from the Governor General:

Kia ora, nga mihi ki a koutou. Greetings to all New Zealanders.

When Matariki kanohi iti, the tiny eyes of Matariki, rise on the North East horizon just before dawn, tracing the path of the rising sun, the M?ori New Year celebrations begin.

The Pleiades is a constellation that is well-known throughout the Pacific, and it has acted as an important navigation beacon for ocean voyagers throughout history. It defines where we live in the Southern Hemisphere, connecting us to the wider South Pacific. It signals the transition to a new beginning as we look ahead to Spring and the warmth of Summer.

Matariki is a unique celebration where we can all join together and be thankful for the good things, and also reflect on the difficulties of the past year. It is about learning from the past, and preparing for the future.

As a strong and connected nation of remarkably innovative, positive and passionate people, our strength lies in sharing our knowledge, celebrating our individual and collective achievements, and supporting each other in both the good times and the sad times.

While we have experienced difficult times during the last two years, the resilient spirit of all New Zealanders has been the pou that has, and will, continue to support our recovery.

Matariki whetu ki te Rangi

Tangata ora ki te Whenua

Pleiades stars in the Sky

People well-being on Earth

As Governor-General of New Zealand, I hope you all enjoy celebrating this unique event in the calendar of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM QSO

Looks like an attempt at manufacturing a "celebration" to me.

Meanwhile, the Maori Party has dropped their plan to make Matariki a national holiday, but might take it up again in the future.

I'll have to pay more attention this year as to whether or not Hekia sends out Christmas cards as well.

Lucia The first automotive sacrifice

The first car belonging to a boy racer has been crushed today. "Crusher" Collins has been well and truly blooded with the title, which is no longer be in name only.

Though Anne Tolley oversaw it, I doubt she will really share in the glory. "Crusher" Tolley? Nahh.

It's a disturbing turn of events in New Zealand, heralding a return to the scapegoat sacrifice. At this point it's only a car that is being crushed, but in the future, who knows?

In my post on the Hunger Games and Human Sacrifice, Fr Barron talks about the Scape-Goating Mechanism, which is so prevalent in human history as a way of discharging our anxieties onto someone (or something, the car being a proxy for the boy-racer at this point):

Why is it, that this dynamic of human sacrifice is so prominent in our culture ... from ancient times to today ... Rene Girard uncovered this dynamic ... discovered what he called the scape-goating mechanism ... tensions arise within human communities ... how do we solve the problem ... by this mechanism we choose someone to blame, someone to isolate, someone to ostracise, at the limit, someone to kill. We discharge our anxiety, our tension, our fear onto that person or that group. In that process ... we come to a kind of peace. Which is precisely why this kind of activity is sanctioned so often by the state, and by religion.

And here we have the State in NZ sanctioning car-crushing. Disturbing.

Related link: First boy racer car crushed ~ Stuff

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lucia Slavery in New Zealand

So many glowing stories of the wonders of legalising prostitution in New Zealand have graced the pages of our newspapers, and pretty much nothing on the problem of under-age sex workers, who in times gone past would have been arrested and thus rescued from their traffickers. But because prostitution is legal, it's much easier for sex-traffickers to prostitute the young and evade police attention.

New Zealand has now been slammed for not doing enough to combat slavery in this country by the US State Department. Slavery includes sex trafficking and the conditions that foreign workers were under recently on boats fishing in New Zealand waters.

Pretty damning.

Related link: NZ slammed in US Slavery report

Lucia Bibles at work in New Zealand

What is New Zealand coming to when an employer can make it a condition of employment that their employees not carry a small and hidden, pocket Bible? A Bible that was only spotted, because it's owner took it out in the bathroom. Are we going to turn into Saudi Arabia where any symbol of Christianity is automatically confiscated, and Catholics thrown into jail for attending Mass?

What's even worse are the number of callers on talk back yesterday, whose sole argument was that the lady in question knew the rules. The rules are the rules, they said, and if the rules say no books, then no Bible either. I certainly wonder what type of rule those callers would baulk at following, or if they'd just do whatever they were told, no matter how unreasonable.

It looks like SkyCity has now changed it's mind about the seriousness of the whole Bible incident, saying the lady's job was never at risk and that it will work with her so that they can find a way for her to carry her Bible at work. However, this should have never been an issue in the first place.

Related links:
Casino worker faces action over Bible at work ~ New Zealand Herald
SkyCity says a staff member who faced disciplinary action because she carried a pocket Bible will be allowed to carry it ~ Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ZenTiger Abortion - Like it's a good thing

The abortion statistics are out today, and the total number of abortions is down (Just dropping under 16,000). Other interesting statistics, like 38% of abortions are by women who have already had a previous abortion.

The Hand Mirror are poised to discuss the latest Abortion stats, but warn commenters not to bring morality into the discussion. Thus Julie's comment below her post is printed here, and I invite readers to discuss the moral aspect should they be so inclined.
To be honest when it comes to these stats I don't know if it would be good or bad for them to be going up or down, because we don't know WHY.
I'm kinda inclined to say the figures going down are going to be a good thing, if only because so many human beings weren't terminated as compared to the last few years. The WHY is an important question, which could provide some interesting insight, but with the numbers down, I'll pop the champagne anyway.

Lucia Vatican is buying .catholic top-level domain

Matthew Warner writes about how the Vatican buying dot-catholic top-level domain will change the Church, while as the deceased Archbishop Cranmer is not happy:

Insofar as the Holy Roman Empire of medieval Western Catholicism is past, and the only resonance of the vision of the Emperor Charlemagne subsists in Europe’s latest falling empire, should not the centralising impulse of the See of Rome be challenged once again, and the symbolic bestowal of ‘.catholic’ be subject to a little more scrutiny than “We decided we were best suited to apply for (it)”?

The sooner all Anglicans who consider themselves catholic, become Catholic, the less of these sorts of arguments will come about!

See these latest stories for conversions of Anglican parishes to Catholic:
Pope establishes Australian ordinariate for former Anglicans ~ Catholic News Agency
Towson service will bring Christ the King Anglican parishioners into Catholic Church ~ Baltimore Sun

ZenTiger A Colin Craig Moment

Free sex advice may have helped minimise infection
Fears for youth as free sex advice cut:
Many young Aucklanders face having to pay for previously free sexual health consultations because of the Government's squeeze on health dollars.

This is expected to contribute to an increase in New Zealand's already internationally high rates of teenage pregnancy and some sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia.

Last year, 15 DHBs reported 25,000 positive tests for the disease, according to a report for the Health Ministry
I note that testing for Chlamydia occurs in a ratio of about 5 females to 1 male, so the problem is probably larger if more males were tested. Equally though, Chlamydia tends to affect women to a higher degree.

Still, after the caning Colin Craig got for his improper suggestions, I'm a little surprised more people haven't leapt on the phrase above: "New Zealand's already internationally high rates of teenage pregnancy and some sexually transmitted infections".  Outrageous!

The lies the media are allowed to get away with!

Hattip: Lindsay Mitchell unspins one aspect of the story

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lucia The mystery of the sins of the clergy

Source: Catholic Herald

The Herald has published an AP article today on what Pope Benedict XVI said to the Eucharistic Congress recently; an article which translates spiritual language into the mundane and thus misses the significance of what has been said.
While there have been demands from Irish rank-and-file Catholics, including those who suffered abuse from clergy, for accountability from church hierarchy, Benedict's answer as to why the abuse occurred dealt with the spiritual and not the administrative level.

"How are we to explain the fact that people who regularly received the Lord's body and confessed their sins in the sacrament of Penance have offended in this way?" the pope, referring to the abusive clergy.

"It remains a mystery."

He added that "evidently their Christianity was no longer nourished by joyful encounter with Jesus Christ. It had become merely a matter of habit."
I think I understand what Pope Benedict is saying. It's a way of thinking whereby some of what one does is not considered sinful and thus omitted from Confession (the Sacrament of Penance). Only problem with this is that omitting a grave sin renders your Confession ineffective, which can only be remedied by Confession the omission and all the grave sins since the first omission. Any person who commits grave sins and is not forgiven through Confession and continues on to receive the Lord's body is guilty of his own condemnation, compounded by each unworthy Communion. It is a terrible place to be, and makes it more and more difficult to overcome the sins one commits as time goes on.
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself (1Cor 11,27-29)
I would would say that the Holy Father said that it was a 'great mystery', because this holding back of that first grave sin that leads to all the others would be somewhat unimaginable for him.

Now, don't think that I am referring to sexual abuse of a child as that first grave sin from which everything else springs. No, it always starts in the thoughts, through engaging with inappropriate desires, rather than being tempted and then turning those desires away. That would have been the first grave sin that needed to be confessed. A priest would know this, so this is where the mystery would lie. A priest would also recognise the danger, so then why would he not confess at this point, thus gaining mastery over the temptation?

The spiritual is always where everything starts, so the Holy Father is right to call attention to this. The following quote is from a homily on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah by Saint John Chrysostom:
I too raise my voice, I beseech, beg and implore that no one draw near to this sacred table with a sullied and corrupt conscience. Such an act, in fact, can never be called "communion," not even were we to touch the Lord's body a thousand times over, but "condemnation," "torment" and "increase of punishment"
So, from desires and thoughts to action, and ever increasing denial that would lead to more and more to the abyss.  There's nothing worse than a Catholic gone bad.

Related links: Pope: Irish clergy child sex abuse a 'mystery' ~ NZ Herald

The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin - discusses the need to be in a worthy state in order to receive Holy Communion.

Lucia A website I have never been able to access

Catholic Insight looks to be a very interesting Catholic website. Over the years a number of searches have turned up what could have been very useful articles. Only if I could access the site, that is.

Every single time, over the last I don't know how many years that I've tried to access the Catholic Insight website, I have got the following error message in Firefox:
Problem loading page

The page isn't redirecting properly

Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete.

This problem can sometimes be caused by disabling or refusing to accept cookies.

Internet Explorer, on the same computer, just seems to go into an infinite loop until it gives up.

Safari on my iPhone has this error:
Safari cannot open the page because too many redirects occurred.
The strange thing is, this error only seems to occur for people trying to access the site from New Zealand or Australia. Last year, I posted a comment on LifeSiteNews when they published a Catholic Insight article, detailing my problems with accessing the site. Another lady from Australia had the same problem. I was hoping that someone from Catholic Insight would notice and maybe do something to fix the problem with their site, but no.

Last week I tracked down their domain record with contact emails and email the technical person. No reply so far.

So, I'm resorting to a blog post, with the hope that it will turn up high enough in Google search so that someone will notice and contact Catholic Insight and tell them they have a problem.

Now, everyone reading this, if you can't access the site, please leave a comment and include your country. If can access the site and you are from New Zealand or Australia, please let me know as well.

Here it is: Catholic Insight

Lucia Seven lessons fathers should give their children

1. Teach by Word and Deed

Do our words match our examples? You have heard it said that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. I would like to modify that. You can never, over time, fool your children even some of the time. Children seem to have a built-in detector for hypocrisy. Fathers, do you think that you can teach your children to love and honor their mother if you don’t love and honor her in both your words and actions? It’s not going to happen. Nor will you likely succeed in any area if your words and actions do not match. So, fathers, teach by word and deed.

This is just the beginning of an amazing list.

Read the rest: Seven Lessons Fathers Should Give their Children ~ Integrated Catholic Life

Lucia Super companies always want contributions increased

I am a superannuation cynic. I have no problem with it being a choice, but any whiff of compulsion gets me very nervous. You see, I have experienced the "joys" of compulsory super in Australia.

When we left in 2003, we had already lost half the money that we'd put into our compulsory super schemes since the compulsion in Australia began. Things had got so bad with super schemes at that time, that in desperation, we had set up our own private super scheme and just put the money in the bank. It was cheaper paying all the fees to do this than it was to continue to lose money in the way that we had been. It was the smartest super decision we had made, and stopped the haemorrhaging of what little was left of our money.

Australia's equivalent of the Financial Services Council at the time had the gall to suggest that if super contributions were raised to 20% of income, then all would be sweet. What's more to the point, if the super scheme companies only took as service fees a proportion of the profit made each year, then many people's super would be fine.

Politicians are divided over a suggestion by the Financial Services Council for an increase in KiwiSaver contributions to 10 per cent of incomes to help pay for Superannuation.

The council, which represents investment and life insurance companies, says raising KiwiSaver contributions by 1 per cent a year will enable people to still retire at 65, despite the growing costs of the scheme because of the ageing population.

From what I could see, the only people that really benefit from compulsory super are large super companies, who must be hoping like heck that such a scheme is implemented here.

In the meantime, we are still trying to make a dent in the mortgage so that we are mortgage free by the time we retire. I'm always amazed to think back to my Dad, who was able to pay off his mortgage in two years by taking a second job in the 70's. Mortgages as a proportion of income must have been so much smaller back then.

Every once in a while I think about the remainder of the super money that we have in Australia - it would be so much more useful parked against our mortgage, even if it was in a separate account that couldn't be touched. Some how I doubt there will be anything left of it by the time we retire, but in the meantime I'll know that I've made some large super company stay in business.

Related link: Bigger chunk of KiwiSaver 'to save Super'

Sunday, June 17, 2012

ZenTiger Christian Culture and the baptised modernist

I see the likes of Big Bruv and Pauleastbay regularly spewing hate filled rants against Lucia, generally accusing her of things based on their negative interpetations of her comments, rather than wondering, for even a moment, if they have applied their own absolutist interpetations to her comments.  This then has them arguing against the strawman of their own preconceived opinions, but using Lucia as the punching bag to justify their disgusting comments [which I wont repreoduce here]

You can see Pauleastbay's own assumptions here creating a problem for himself:
What pisses me about the likes of Lucia, is my parents are really decent people and they would be if they were muslims or atheists or Buddhists, this isn’t something I can claim for myself but my point is religion does not make you a decent human being, in fact it acts in the opposite way for many.
What Pauleastbay assumes here is that Lucia has supposedly maintained that one can only be good if they are Christian. That is a misunderstanding of what she has said in the past.

Big Bruv, in the same thread, goes off the rails very quickly. Lucia is talking about the Christian context our culture has developed from, and makes an assumption that many people today, even if atheists, could well have been baptised Christian, and the thread fills up with disbelief and a quick decision by Big Bruv that she lies.
Given that most of the people I know were baptised (born in the early 60′s, I think it was more of a cultural than religious thing) I am interested in finding out what that means for me in the eyes of a sky fairy follower.

Now that I think about it, in my wide circle of friends (it comes from being incredibly popular) there is not one child that I know of who has been baptised.

Guess that proves Lucia’s assertion that 50% of the public are sky fairy followers to be another one of her Catholic lies.
Of course, he frames the argument to be slightly different than what Lucia discussed, but nevertheless, it still doesn't warrant calling her a liar. Lucia takes the time to borrow from the Statistics NZ Census information:
In the 2006 Census, just over 2 million people, or 55.6 percent of those answering the religious affiliation question, affiliated with a Christian religion (including Māori Christian).
But the larger problem is a lot of atheists today refuse to accept the huge influence our Christian heritage has had on shaping our culture. In this sense, Chritianity is more than just a religion. It is cultural, so even Big Bruv suggesting, at the beginning of his comment, that people were only baptised as a cultural thing, proves Lucia's point correct, without even needing to resort to the census.

Whilst Big Bruv and Pauleastbay want to consider Chrisitianity only as a religion, and thus, right from the beginning, misunderstand many of Lucia's comments, Lucia speaks as much on our cultural context, which is seeped in Christianity.

Christianity, to the horror of the anti-religious bigots has been a vital part of our history and the morals our society is founded upon. Such morality is far more encompassing and pervasive than the narrow selective definitions cherry picked from puritanism, for example. A scary thought worth denying by many anti-Christian bigots so as not to confuse their world view.

Even if this society becomes an atheistic one in the next 200 years, they will all be atheists that sprung from Christianity, and the mark of this Chritian heritage is indelibly stamped on every modernist rationalist's forehead as if they had been baptised.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lucia Born again - what does this mean?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lucia A brave woman

I've just listened to Heather Walsh speak on the radio to Larry Williams on NewsTalk ZB. What a brave woman to just put her story out there in that way.

As for the man who walked free today, what the **** is wrong with our justice system??? Too much erring on the side of serious criminals who are a danger to others.

Related link: Man who kept sex slave revealed ~ Stuff

Lucia Why it's ok to be against Heresy

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lucia Wikipedia is full of porn

That's just great. It's where the children go to research their school assignments and it's full of porn and the Wikipedia people won't put in a filter. So, be warned parents, if your children are looking at Wikipedia, you don't really know what they might be looking at!

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger warns that one of the site’s primary uses is actually for viewing pornography, and despite the outcry for content filters, none have been implemented.

“Wikipedia really faces an existential kind of question,” Sanger told LifeSiteNews. “Do they want to be an adults-only website, or one that continues to welcome children?”

A survey of 176,000 Wikipedia readers and contributors in 2010 revealed that as many as 25% of users are under 18 years old. According to Fox News, Wikipedia is used every day by millions of children doing research for school.

So just how much porn are children viewing?

Wikipedia features some of the most disgusting sorts of porn you can imagine,” Sanger states in a blog post on his website, “while being heavily used by children.”

According to Wikipedia traffic statistics, the majority of the site’s most frequently viewed pages are explicitly pornographic.

I'm amazed, I had no idea!

Related link: Loads of porn on Wikipedia warns co-founder ~ LifeSiteNews

Lucia New study shows gay parenting is harmful

Wow, the results of this study are explosive, especially since there is a worldwide push for gay marriage and adoption.

Children raised in a lesbian household are 50% more likely to later describe themselves as homosexual, bisexual or asexual, than children raised by heterosexual couples.

In a stunning new study, reported in the Washington Post newspaper, long-accepted assumptions that there were no differences between gay and straight parenting have been overturned with long term data.

Among the other revelations, children raised in lesbian homes are more than twice as likely to be contemplating suicide, at a rate of 12% against 5% for heterosexual families.

On the issue of child sexual abuse, the differences are horrific. While two percent of children in heterosexual households report being touched sexually by a parent or other adult, a stunning 23% of children in lesbian family units report sexual abuse by a parent or other adult – almost 12 times higher than the rate of child abuse in heterosexual families.

While fewer than one in ten children who grew up in married heterosexual families have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections by adulthood, more than double that number – 20% – of children raised in lesbian families end up with sexually transmitted infections.

Children raised by lesbian families are overwhelmingly likely to end up on social welfare – at 69% – compared with only 17% of children brought up in heterosexual families.

Overall, lesbian parenting had negative outcomes for children in 24 of 40 categories overall, while for gay men raising children there were negative outcomes in 19 out of 40 categories.

On the strength of the results, study author Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin said today: “The empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go.”

Ultimately, the best environment for children to be raised in is in a traditional family unit, where the mother and the father are married to each other and make sacrifices for the good of their children. As soon as focus is on the parents and what is good for them, then everything goes downhill.

Hattip: Investigate Daily

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lucia The perils of blogging morality

It's quite often the quick posts that cause the reaction.

Little did I know on Sunday morning when I typed out a hurried post while I ate my breakfast before I left home for the day, that condemning IVF as totally immoral would have the usual suspects calling me sick, and new commenters telling me I'm being judgemental and real Christians don't do that, and then those that leapt on the "against nature" comment, trying to make it more that it was.

Right, real Christians stay silent when couples mistakenly think that it's perfectly fine to buy a woman's eggs, possibly causing her to become infertile herself, and use those eggs to artificially create children, most of whom never get the chance to be born because most women just want to bear one child, not twenty. So, the excess become expendable. And it's the right thing to not condemn this, to not point out the immorality of treating children like production line goods.  That sounds like an inverted morality, where the good stay silent so the evil and the ignorant can go about their merry way.

I've had a commenter tell me he is Catholic and that he sees nothing wrong with IVF and that his parents had him artificially created through IVF, as if what I've said somehow casts doubt over his right to be alive. To him, I say, what's done is done. You're alive, you're here. Your life is miraculous. I do not condemn you or your parents. However, if you are Catholic and your parents are Catholic, they absolutely have to go to a priest and confess how they conceived you. Even if an act is done in ignorance, it's still important for them to gain absolution. You'll see from the quotes below, that IVF being immoral is not just my personal opinion, it is the position of the Catholic Church:

The "Catechism of the Catholic Church," quoting from the Vatican document Donum Vitae, (Instruction on respect for human life in its origin and on the dignity of procreation) asserts: "Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus) are gravely immoral. These techniques infringe on the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him, and bound to each other by marriage; moreover, these methods betray the spouses' right to become a father and a mother only through each other" (#2376). Indeed, in the act of procreation the spouses are called to cooperate with God; therefore, the Church teaches that a child's coming-to-be should be sought only as a fruit of the spouses' personal loving union in the marital act.

The "Catechism of the Catholic Church" also addresses those cases where the techniques employed to bring about the conception involve exclusively the married couple's semen, ovum, and womb. Such techniques are "less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable." They dissociate procreation from the sexual act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons (husband and wife) give themselves to one another, but one that "entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of the doctors and biologists, and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children" (#2377).
This is one of the major problems, once a number of the other issues are moved aside, that the dignity of the person who is alive thanks to IVF is compromised.  Their creation is somewhat suspect, even though as a human being I would affirm completely their total right to be alive, there could always be a level of uncertainty on their behalf.

I'm generally a live and let live type person.  If someone condemns me for a position I have, then if I have certainty in that position, I am completely unaffected.  I am not bothered too much that Big Bruv considers me evil and pops out of the woodwork to say so at any opportunity.  I just think he has a problem that I'm not a part of.

So when people appear to overreact about a post here that is not specific about any particular person, and condemns a procedure and not the people that are involved, then I realise that there is an uncertainty within themselves that requires external validation in order to quiet the voice that they'd rather not hear.

I'm sorry, I can't help that.  I'm not going to stay silent about an immoral procedure just people can feel better about themselves.  The only one that can give them the total acceptance that they need is God Himself.  I would strongly recommend anyone who feels this way to pray to Him and asks for help.

What I do know is that every person alive today was in the mind of God from the beginning, no matter how you were conceived.  Take comfort in that.

Before I formed you in the bowels of your mother, I knew you
Priusquam te formarem in utero, novi te
(Jeremiah 1:5)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lucia The dirty little secret: IVF and Selective Reduction

Thanks to StMichaelsPress for this video.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fletch Gay Marriage - A Push From The Top Down

Brendan O'Neill from spiked magazine has written a wonderful column explaining the big push for gay marriage right now. He writes that the push isn't coming from the public (be they straight or gay), as was the case in black civil rights and women's suffrage; no, it's a 'top down' push by the cultural and social elites.

I will just post a couple of quotes here, but go and read the whole thing.

The reason the gay-marriage issue can feel like it came from nowhere, and is now everywhere, is because it is an entirely top-down, elite-driven thing. The true driving force behind it is not any real or publicly manifested hunger amongst homosexual couples to get wed, far less a broader public appetite for the reform of the institution of marriage; rather it is the need of the political and media class for an issue through which to signify its values and advertise its superiority. Gay marriage is not a real issue – it is a cultural signifier, like wearing a pink ribbon to show you care about breast cancer.

But no one benefits from the charade of gay marriage. The fact is that marriage is not simply about co-habitation or partnership; it is not even simply about having an intense relationship. It has historically been about much more – about creating a unit, with its own rules, that is recognised by the state and society as a distinctive union often entered into for the purpose of raising a new generation. Yes, some couples enter into it for other reasons – for companionship, larks, a party or whatever – but we are not talking about individuals’ motives here; we are talking about the meaning of an institution. Collapsing together every human relationship, so that everything from gay love to a Christian couple who want to have five kids is homogenised under the term ‘marriage’, benefits no one. It doesn’t benefit gay couples, whose ‘marriage’ will have little historic depth or meaning, and it doesn’t benefit currently married couples, some of whom may feel a corrosion of their identity.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lucia IVF totally immoral

The article on the front page of the Sunday Star Times is horrendous. It's titled, "'Mums' fly for baby help". Only, they are not mums, they are women who want to be mums. Real mums wouldn't go through a process where a great many children are created and only a few or one are chosen to be born. The rest being presumably frozen or killed.

More and more women desperate to have babies are heading overseas to find egg donors as frustration grows at restrictive medical laws and practices in New Zealand.

In the past year about 30 couples have travelled to the San Diego Fertility Centre in the United States for egg donation, and more than 70 per cent of the women are now pregnant – almost double the success rate at home. Others have travelled to countries such as Spain and Argentina.

The women and their doctors say "fertility tourism" is the only choice for some couples, because potential New Zealand donors are not encouraged to offer their eggs.

It's not the only choice. A more moral choice would be acceptance of the fact they cannot have children. That trying to beat nature is morally wrong. Not only for the children created, but for the donors as well.

"It is a bigger deal than donating sperm," said Mary Birdsall, medical director of Fertility Associates in Auckland. "We don't want to take eggs until women are older and have completed their own families, just in case."

Risks of egg donation include ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome, bleeding or, more rarely, infection at the time of egg collection, which can result in infertility – a reason younger women are cautious about donating.

In the US however, women in their early 20s can earn up to US$10,000 for their eggs. "Lots of young women are putting themselves through university by donating eggs," Birdsall said. "The donor websites feel a little like a Miss America pageant."

Ten thousand dollars for a young woman would be a huge temptation. I wouldn't call getting money for your eggs, "earning". More like giving up something that should be not be sold.

Fertility counsellor Joi Ellis said it was important to consider how the child might feel about that lack of connection. Parents also needed to consider what it would be like to raise a child when they didn't know their full genetic history. "It's a significant loss for a woman to give up the idea that those children will have arisen from the use of her eggs. There is usually considerable grief attached to that."

Um, yeah. But this isn't about the children, it's about the adults.

Related link: 'Mums' fly for baby help ~ Stuff

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lucia Emperor Nero's Gay Weddings

As Tacitus relates one incident (Grant’s translation): “Nero was already corrupted by every lust, natural and unnatural. But he now refuted any surmises that no further degradation was possible for him. For…he went through a formal wedding ceremony with one of the perverted gang called Pythagoras. The emperor, in the presence of witnesses, put on the bridal veil. Dowry, marriage bed, wedding torches, all were there. Indeed everything was public which even in a natural union is veiled by night.”

Such was only one instance. We also have from historian Seutonius, a contemporary of Tacitus, a report of Nero’s marriage to Doryphorus (who was himself married to another man, Sporus).

Read more: Gay Marriage—Nothing New Under the Sun ~ Catholic World Report

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lucia Thoughts triggered by Holocaust Centre visit

I visited the Holocaust Centre in Wellington the other day with my son's class, and I still feel emotional about it. When you spent time reading about WWII and the Holocaust, even though there is a distant personal connection, still there is this unreality to it.

Yet the Holocaust Centre pierced through the unreality in some way. I think in a big part it was the garment that one of the girls wore, even in freezing cold snowy weather.  This wasn't the typical striped pyjama uniform that is commonly seen in pictures of inmates from concentration camps.  It just looked like a long shirt dress thing that might have passed mid-thigh, if the wearer was small with short sleeves, so barely any protection against the weather.  How she could have survived wearing something that looked not much more more than a sackcloth with a collar, I cannot imagine. The inhumanity of those who would do that to her, I cannot imagine, either, even thought I know it exists.

What was worse, however, was hearing about unsafe it became to be Jewish in the environment she grew up in. It seems that even the best of societies can turn on each other. Not everyone, of course, but enough. I found a diary entry on the Jewish Virtual Library by Calel Perechodnik where the main problem of what occurred in Poland with regards to not doing enough during the Holocaust were articulated:
I am not in the least blind. I don't consider it to be a duty of every Pole to hide, at the risk of his own life, every Jew. But I believe that it was the responsibility of the Polish society to enable Jews to move freely within the Polish neighborhood. Polish society is guilty of not strongly condemning the “trackers” of Jews.

It makes me wonder if on some level there was an unconscious scapegoating going on, ie if these people are sacrificed, then the Nazis will be appeased (like evil gods) and will therefore leave everyone else alone.  (See the Scapegoating Mechanism in this post on human sacrifice and the Hunger Games).

I started thinking about human nature and our great weakness in not being able to do what is right.  In the video that we were shown at the Centre, a Holocaust survivor was talking about how the concentration camp that she was imprisoned in, turned her and the other inmates into animals, which then "justified" their cruel and inhumane treatment.  She was tested beyond her strength, and then (in her mind) turned into an animal.

German execution of 51 Polish hostages in retaliation for an attack on a National Socialist (Nazi) police station. (Source: Poland during WWII not what Obama thinks

I also thought about what I knew about the invasion and occupation of Poland during WWII by the Nazis, and especially what German Governor Hans Frank had said in 1940, when he was asked by a journalist  to compare the General Government in Poland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.  It was a bit of an exaggeration, but still gives an idea that what went on in Poland, in every day life under the Nazis was horrific.
In Prague, big red posters were put up on which one could read that seven Czechs had been shot today.  I said to myself, "I had to put up a poster for every seven Poles shot, the forests of Poland would not be sufficient to manufacture the paper."*

The Devil's tactic is to divide and conquer and he certainly did that in Poland during WWII.

I'd certainly like to think that if I were in a similar circumstance that I would act ... better.  But if and until I am pushed to the edge like that, I'll never know.  Until then, I can only keep up with my prayers to God the Father to not be tempted beyond my strength.

* Quote from Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw 
Also used in this article from Spiegal Online: When we finish, nobody is left alive

Monday, June 4, 2012

ZenTiger Prime Minister Obama and the GITMO death camps

The President of Canada, Barry Obama, made a slight gaffe when he accidentally read the exact contents of his teleprompter, and suggested the Nazi death camps located in Poland, were instead "Polish death camps". Ironically, it was during a time when he was awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the late Jan Karski, a hero of the Polish resistance in WWII.

Similarily, in his 2008 election campaign, Obama said he would confer with “the President of Canada.” (true story) What an idiot - conferring with himself. And what was he going to confer over? That he could see Russia from the Yukon? Yes, the media got stuck into Sarah Palin but continues to give him a free ride.

Surely, it's time he continue exercising his diplomatic skills and appeals to Cuban president, Raul Fidel Castro, and urge him to shut down the Cuban torture camp at Guantanamo Bay? Before history records otherwise?

Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World ~ Amazon

Sunday, June 3, 2012

ZenTiger Judges should be angry and irrational

Thrilling news today for the unemployment figures. The Labour Dept can reduce the unemployed totals by 10,000 if the Sunday Star Times story can be believed. 10,000 people in NZ are apparently on the run from the law. These people are wanted by police for murder, sexual assault, robbery, and, generally, failure to show up in court. But the good news is that being on the run, they presumably aren't working because then it wouold be easy to track them down. So thrilling news for the unemployment figures, which should exclude criminals from the totals, just as they exclude people in prison and others not in productive employment (such as politicians?).

The story that caught my eye this week though is far more significant. A judge thinks premeditated action is worse than an anger response as he criminalizes a mother for asking her husband to smack their child after several other non-physical disciplinary techniques had failed. Given that the judge thought the pre-meditation was worse than a smack in anger, this shows he just doesn't get the fundamental concept that anger has no place in discipline, and conflating child abuse with child discipline is one of the major flaws in the anti-smacking argument.

Let's apply the judge's own logic to his job: Every time the judge dishes out punishment, he believes he should be angry and irrational rather than considered and thoughtful.

That explains the severity of the punishment these parents got:

Yes, reasoned discipline is such a heinous crime that these parents had their children taken away from them, the mother lost her job, and was of course found guilty of child abuse. If only we treated murders and rapists as harshly. Then again, maybe we would if they showed up for trial. They are on the run to evade irrational judges, whilst good parents foolishly think that mild physical discipline would at worst, result on a smack on the hand show up for the court case. Instead the judiciary exacts the most excruciating mental torture by using techniques such as job loss, countless interviews from police and government agencies, and stretching the trial out over 18 months.

Image found at Sarah, Maid of Albion

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lucia History Channel: The real face of Jesus

Lucia Weed helps with not thinking

Given New Zealand's high marijuana use, I wonder if an inability to think is behind many of our other issues?

"I mainly smoked weed, which is great for not having to think."

Paul Wood, on his months on remand and early part of his sentence.
Front page of Insight, Dominion Post today.

Related link : Convicted killer gets third degree

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lucia Statutory rape not a big deal in NZ

The Consumer's Voice NZ Blog has a post up naming a number of people involved in the under-age sex scandal aired on Close Up the other night, where a 14 year old girl was enabled in having sexual relationships with multiple older men. Statutory rape? Not in New Zealand it seems.

Thanks, Chuck, for the link.

Related link: CYF, Rosa Trust Counselling, an Albany Church, Youthlaw, two Schools, & Family Court endorse under-age sex with a minor (Close Up, 30/5/12) ~ Consumer's Voice NZ

Lucia Some people really, really hate NZ Conservative

There is yet another same-sex marriage debate on Kiwiblog today that just regurgitates the same old same old.

Even attacks on bloggers from NZ Conservative who have commented there, attacks on this blog, and attacks on me. I just put that down to the extreme discomfort people have with their own lives when having to interact with those who hold to a higher moral standard on sexual matters, and who have the temerity to argue them! I kind of wonder if they want us all rounded up and shot.

Anyway, rather than participate, I'll just link to a number of the posts I've already made on this subject that bear repeating for the few that might venture over to have a look-see.