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Showing posts from June, 2012

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.

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 t

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

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.

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 t hinking of the same-sex marriage debate when I say that the logical arguments do not conne

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.

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.

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

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 bi

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. Rabi

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

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 bitin

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

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

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 unco

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

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 disc

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?

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

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.

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 irrat

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 wide

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

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

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 carr

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.

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

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 so

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 sa

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 c

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

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

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. Tha

Born again - what does this mean?

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

Why it's ok to be against Heresy

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

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

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 inve

The dirty little secret: IVF and Selective Reduction

Thanks to StMichaelsPress for this video.

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 ri

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.

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

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, how

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

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

History Channel: The real face of Jesus

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