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Showing posts from July, 2012

Marriage site shut down by webhost [UPDATE]

The stuff article should really have started with, "A website dedicated to defending the definition of marriage...", but never mind. What's pretty amazing is the scale of the attacks against the site after just a short time of being online. The gay marriage crowd show their true colours. A website dedicated to opposing gay marriage has been removed from the internet the day it was launched after it was the target of one of the "largest unprecedented attacks" on a website in New Zealand. The "Protect Marriage" website, launched today by Family First, crashed in a matter of hours as a result of a "large-scale denial of service attack" according to the site's webhost. It was back up and running at 1pm, but had been removed completely by the webhosting company later this afternoon, to "protect its own servers". "Due to large scale Denial of Service attacks against this domain it has been decided to ensure the stabilit

Maori water claims look to be halting asset sales

I oppose asset sales, but not for this reason. The Government has been warned it may face legal action if it ignores the Waitangi Tribunal recommendation over water ownership. But the Prime Minister today would not rule out action on asset sales before the tribunal's final findings. The Waitangi Tribunal issued the direction yesterday for the Government to halt its asset sales programme at least until the tribunal delivers its full findings on a water rights claim in September. The tribunal said selling shares in state assets before it delivered its full findings could "cause a significant disadvantage to [Maori] claimants" if their claims were subsequently found to be well-founded. The Government should do what most governments do when threatened with legal action over something that amounts to arm twisting over a share of the shares - change the law. This is going to be interesting. Related link: Govt warned over Tribunal response ~ NZ Herald

What will be undermined by same-sex marriage

John Key says that changing the definition of marriage to include two people of the same-sex will not undermine his marriage to his wife, Bronagh. “You go through all the merits of the argument and look at what people put up; but my view is that if two gay people want to get married I can’t see why it would undermine my marriage with Bronagh,” he told Radio Live. Well, good. I don't think anyone has ever seriously argued same-sex marriage would undermine John Key's marriage to his wife, or would indeed undermine any person's marriage. However, how future generations, including how John Key's children and grandchildren will view marriage is another matter entirely. If you expand a definition enough, it will soon become meaningless. Already in NZ today, we have young women who don't even contemplate marriage at all. Their idea of a future is to get pregnant to some young man who probably won't stick around and go on the Domestic Purposes Benefit . Th

Whale Oil's marriage convulsions [UPDATE]

Family First have set up a website that supports the reality of marriage : The National Marriage Coalition . ( UPDATE 31/07/12 5:45pm: Marriage website shut down by web host ) The new website has lead Whale Oil tp mischievously suggest that Family First should support the redefinition of marriage , because they have on their website twenty-one reasons why marriage matters. ... 21 reasons why marriage matters and all of those can easily be appleied to same-sex marraige…making me wonder why Family Fist is opposed to marriage equality in the first place. If marriage matters so much shouldn’t they be wanting as many people as possible to enjoy their 21 benefits of marriage…including gay people? The problem with Cameron Slater's reasoning is that applying a label to a relationship does not make that relationship a marriage. Given the high number of divorces in the West today, there are many men and women who might have the label, but are also not really married in actual

Colin Craig is being set upon by the liberals [UPDATE]

But I don't think it's because of what he is saying as such, it's because of the side he's on. Take the following, which David Farrar has leapt all over : Mr Craig told 3 News that people choose to be gay rather than being born that way, many as a result of being abused as children. Many years ago, I had a gay friend who confessed to me one night that he was planning to have one last night with his friends before killing himself. That was the beginning of a one very long night where I found out more about his life that I would have ever guessed, where he also told me he had been sexually abused by both male and female relatives during his life. I don't really know much more as my focus was more on helping him with his will to live at the time, rather than anything else. Also, my co-blogger Fletch, posted a New Zealand study found that those that identified as gay or lesbian were three times more likely to have been abused as children. ( link to press rele

Maggie Barry being tarred and feathered in the media

I'm astounded that what National MP Maggie Barry said in Parliament the other day has exploded in this way. National MP Maggie Barry's suggestion that a childless Jacinda Ardern can't speak with authority on child laws has been ridiculed on social media. On Wednesday, in a debate on extending paid parental leave to six months, Ms Barry asked the Labour MP, "How many kids do you have?" and later added: "Don't be so precious, petal." The comments were mocked on social media, with Twitter users applying Ms Barry's logic to other areas - including whether only the former TV gardening host could talk with authority on an invasion by triffids. Is Maggie Barry being set upon because of her very strong views against euthanasia? This has the whiff of a determined character assassination about it. Related link: Barry mocked for childless snipe ~ NZ Herald

Same-sex marriage will become an election issue for Conservatives

Good on the Conservative Party for standing up on this issue. The Conservative Party is calling for the protection of marriage in New Zealand after Louisa Wall’s Marriage Amendment Bill was drawn from the ballot in Parliament today. “It is important that marriage remains between a man and a woman” says Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig. "Make no mistake, this issue will be an election issue, and the Conservative Party looks like it's the only party with a clear policy of supporting the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman," “This is not an issue of rights; it’s an issue of respect. Respect for the many stakeholders in what marriage means. A tiny minority want to change the rules of the game to suit themselves, and that isn’t right,” he says. “It’s time for all New Zealanders who recognise the importance of marriage being between a man and a woman to stand up and be heard, because our Parliamentarians lack the backbone to do it,” he says.

Demonic activity and exorcism

Anthony Hopkins in The Rite The Catholic News Agency has an article on it's website of an interview with a trainee exorcist, who never imagined himself doing exorcisms when he first became a priest. It was something that must have been inspired by Our Lord Himself, for he says that when he was consecrating the bread and wine during Mass one time, he prayed the following: “At the moment of consecration of the precious blood I asked the Lord to shower his blood upon the youth and to help any young men who may have a vocation to the priesthood.” The instant reaction of one 13-year old boy shocked the young priest, “ he fell backwards and started growling . And I thought, ‘I wasn’t expecting this!’” I don't think anyone quite expects an overt manifestation like that. I had my own experience of overt diabolic activity many years ago when I was still dabbling in New Age stuff. I had the thought that an old building, such as the one I was wandering through at the time

Same-sex marriage bill drawn in Parliament

It was inevitable. Same-sex marriage generally heralds persecution of those who disagree. In Scotland, the Archbishop-designate Tartaglia sees himself going to jail over this issue. “I could see myself going to jail possibly at some point over the next 15 years, if God spares me, if I speak out,” Archbishop Tartaglia said in an interview with STV News July 24 His comments came just a day before the Scottish government announced it would legislate in favor of same-sex “marriage.” Archbishop Tartaglia warned that the redefinition of marriage will have “enormous implications for religious liberty” “I am deeply concerned that today, defending the traditional meaning of marriage is almost considered ‘hate speech’ and branded intolerant. Such a response is undemocratic, closes debate and is highly manipulative,” he told EWTN News on July 24 Last month the leading Scottish lawyer Aidan O’Neill warned that same-sex “marriage” legislation will radically undermine religious liberty

Court Agrees Greater Risk Of Suicide, Women Who Have Had Abortion.

Court in U.S rules that State of Dakota is allowed to say that women who have had abortions are at increased risk of suicide – and even planned Parenthoods expert concurred. A federal appeals court affirmed the last provision of a long-disputed informed consent law today, ruling that the state of South Dakota can require abortionists to inform women seeking to terminate the lives of their unborn baby that they face an increased risk of suicide. [...] “As a result of this case upholding all eight major provisions of South Dakota’s Abortion Informed Consent Statute, pregnant mothers will now be informed: 1) that ‘an abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being;’ 2) that the mother’s ‘relationship with that second human being enjoys protection under the Constitution of the United States and the laws of South Dakota;’ 3) ‘that relationship and all rights attached to it will be terminated;’ and 4) the abortion places the mother ‘at increased risk for

Just go home with your loot where the police can't get you!

It seems that if thieves steal stuff in New Zealand, that all they have to do to get away from police is to go home! On Saturday night, Echo Liu, her husband Frank Yeng and their 1-year-old son Jayden returned to their Matipo St home in Riccarton to discover they had been burgled. Among the items taken were Liu's iPhone, her diamond watch, the family's computer and iPads. "They took a lot of stuff. They even took my skin care and make-up products," Liu said. But Liu said the "most heartbreaking part" was that her iPhone and the computer contained all their photos of their son. The couple instantly thought to turn-on the "find my iPhone" software they had installed on Liu's phone. Using Yeng's iPhone the GPS showed Liu's iPhone was moving from Matipo St towards Riccarton Rd. Liu called the police and explained they were tracking the offenders. Yeng got in his car and followed the vehicle to a Gloucester St property and wa

Danny Watson on getting priests to reveal Confessions

As promised from last week , I've put the first part of a talk back show on NewsTalkZB about forcing priests to reveal the contents of a Confession together into a You-Tube video. It's got Danny Watson's introduction and the first caller. I've added my responses to a few things in as text. Here's the link to story of the martyrdom of Father Francis Douglas in WWII for refusing to reveal Confessions to the Japanese: Martyr for the Seal of Confession

Fulton Sheen on Temptation

Part II (9:56), Part III (3:21) Temptations are a part of life The stronger you are, the stronger the temptations you will face. Defeating temptations makes us stronger.

A new (old) word from Shakespeare

The other night I came across a word that I had never seen before. I was reading a little of A Midsummer Night's dream to my 11 year old son to give him an idea of what the play was actually like. We have just started going through Beautiful Stories From Shakespeare , which tells each play as a story, however, the book misses out the poetry of the play itself and quite a bit of story as well, as the it's really only a summary for children. So, I found A Midsummer Night's Dream on the Kindle (I have the Complete Works of Shakepeare on the Kindle) and  and started reading from the beginning of Act 3, Scene 1, where a troup of players are organising their parts and practising their lines. One of them, Bottom, becomes enchanted by the fairy king with an asses head, and the fairy queen, falls in love with him after having her eyes smeared by the fairy king while she was asleep with the juice from an enchanted flower. I think by the time we got to where the queen, Titania

Our family won't be buying shares

Kiwis with $1000 or more to spare are being targeted in the Government's first big power company float - with the promise of bonus shares if they hold on to them. We just don't have thousands of dollars lying around doing nothing. We actually owe quite a bit of money on our mortgage, and it looks like we're going to have to extend it to buy a new car soon, as our 1997 Mitsubishi with 250K on the clock is on it's last wheels. Now that I think about it however, we do have our super schemes in Australia. If the Government could think of a way of transferring some of our super money over from Aussie, we might actually think about using that to buy shares. Or pay off some of the mortgage - it would be a difficult choice. Related link: $1000 to buy a share of NZ

Weird, faith based approaches to healing at Whanganui Hospital

Whanganui Hospital is trialling weird, faith based approach to healing. Christian prayer and traditional Maori healing are to be offered at Whanganui Hospital as part of a natural therapy service - but a sceptic says they could do more harm than good. Hospital staff will trial the service focused on spirituality and the healing and strengthening of the mind for three months before the district health board considers opening it up to patients. I say weird, because, I don't quite see how you could offer Christian prayer as a natural therapy service. Whanganui Hospital already has two chaplains, and a chapel where people can pray. Why put Christian prayer into a natural therapy service, why not just leave it with the chaplains and the chapel? Or, do they think by mixing Christianity in with the other stuff, they can somehow equate all of them? Reiki, massage and meditation will also be available, Maori health director Gilbert Taurua said. Reiki is incredibly dangerous, and

How to stop jaywalking

The authorities are wringing their hands over the numbers of idiots jaywalking in Wellington. For some weird reason, it's turned into this massive cultural practise that doesn't really happen to the same extent in larger cities. Even on really busy, multi-lane roads, the occasional random pedestrian will dash out and weave their way through cars. I find it incredibly disturbing as a driver, as well as distracting. So, I propose, just like we have speed cameras to catch drivers going 10K over the speed limit, that problem streets be kept under surveillance and fines be given out to jaywalkers. It doesn't have to be a big fine - something in the range of $10 to $20 - but just something to make people think about whether it's really worth it to jaywalk, or spend the extra time walking to a crossing point and waiting for the green man. Will be updated with a link soon.

Maori water superstition and freedom of belief

"People say 'in this resource is my taniwha, my guardian spirit. He protects me, he protects my water resource. He's not your taniwha so if you are going to use that resource without my permission, he will do terrible things to you '. I'll take the risk. Just like people who believe in taniwhas take the risk of Hell through their superstitious beliefs. But, hey, they have the freedom to believe what they want about water spirits as long as they allow the rest of us the freedom to disbelieve that those self-same water spirits can harm us. Related link: Taniwha proof of Maori water rights

Sexual harassment by atheists at conferences

So it seems that less women are attending an atheist gathering in Las Vegas, some of whom are not going because of the amount of unwanted sexual attention they get at these sorts of conferences. (RNS) As skeptics, atheists and humanists prepare to gather for their largest meeting in Las Vegas this weekend, attendance by women is expected to be down significantly. Officials for The Amazing Meeting, or TAM, said Wednesday (July 11) that women would make up 31 percent of the 1,200 conference attendees, down from 40 percent the year before. A month before the conference, pre-registration was only 18 percent women, organizers said. The explanations are many -- the bad economy, that women, as caregivers, are less able to get away, and that more men than women identify as skeptics, whose worldview rejects the supernatural and focuses on science and rationality. But in the weeks preceding TAM, another possible explanation has roiled the nontheist community. Online forums have crackled

Confession on the airwaves [UPDATE 9]

Boy, is NewsTalkZB talk back fascinated with Confession today! Sean Plunkett, mostly after 11am (looks like it's unavailable) and Danny Watson between 12:15 and 3pm ( link to week on demand - Wednesday ). Update 8 : Starts at 1:10pm with a lead in by Danny Watson "If I'm right the point of confession is to verbalise something that you've done that was wrong, and it's to ally some of your guilt by doing that. And whether you do that with the priest, whether you do that with a confidant, whether you're doing that with your god or whatever, it's all about the person that is confessing. There is value and merit in that. However, at the same time, what if you are confessing about a murder, a rape. What about if it's a paedophile that's telling a priest or someone else, some of the heinous things they've been doing. Doesn't the person listening have a responsibility back to the community at some level? I understand the confession wouldn

If CYF was Catholic, the pitchforks would be out in force

Why am I not surprised that child abuse of this magnitude is happening. More than 70 children and young people were abused while in Child Youth and Family care last year and no central records are being kept on the abuse. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett revealed the information in Parliament today in response to a question from the Greens' Holly Walker. Ms Bennett said that of the 71 cases of abuse - 30 were by CYF-approved caregivers and the rest by "third party'' caregivers. " Thirteen have been prosecuted by police , the others have not. Even though they were substantial forms of abuse - they weren't at a level police were able to prosecute,'' Ms Bennett said. Can you imagine the difference in reaction to this if the Catholic Church was involved? "For an agency that's in the business of child protection it is astonishing that it didn't see fit to collect data on children in its own care who were subsequently abuse

Beliefs about Hell

Fr Barron comments on hell, and how you have to believe in hell if you believe that God is love and that man has free-will. Hell is not somewhere that people are sent, rather it is a place where they go if they reject God's love, and it's always locked from the inside. There was a post about Heaven being hotter than Hell on one of my side links at some point recently. I can't remember which blog. I think the person was implying that there was something wrong with this concept as presumably Hell is supposed to be where people are being burned alive forever. But if you think of Hell as the rejection of God's love and the fire of Hell being God's love that because it is rejected, torments those in Hell forever, then in Heaven God's love must be a heck of a lot stronger because God would tone it down quite a lot for the souls in Hell, therefore Heaven would be hotter than Hell. Related link: Would God send someone to Hell? ~ Matt Fradd

Criminalise prostitution and those who use their services

New Zealand used to criminalise prostitution, but this was deemed unfair because the people who went to prostitutes were subject to no legal sanction. So, rather than doing the reasonable thing and making sure that using the services of a prostitute was criminalised as well, our idiotic Parliament of the time just decriminalised everything. But, after nearly 10 years of decriminalisation, prostitution is now out of control. Sex workers have wrecked more than 40 parking signs in the last 18 months by using them to solicit clients, a tell-all-book on South Auckland street workers claims. The Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board released the book detailing business owners and residents dealings with street prostitutes today in their fight to ban them from working near homes, schools and sports grounds. In the book, Donna Lee, the manager of the Hunters Corner and central Papatoetoe business districts, claims sex workers, among other things, are damaging public property "Prostitute

Marriage and inequality

An interesting article in the New York Times that articulates the major differences between married couple families and single parent families that are contributing to increasing inequality. Children from married couple families are more likely to marry each other, and those from single parent families (mostly girls) are more likely to raise their own families by themselves.  This partnering between children raised similarly is what is becoming the largest barrier to upward mobility. But striking changes in family structure have also broadened income gaps and posed new barriers to upward mobility. College-educated Americans like the Faulkners are increasingly likely to marry one another, compounding their growing advantages in pay . Less-educated women like Ms. Schairer, who left college without finishing her degree, are growing less likely to marry at all, raising children on pinched paychecks that come in ones, not twos. Estimates vary widely, but scholars have said that changes

Philadelphia priest not found guilty of covering up child abuse

Contrary to what has been reported in the media, the Catholic priest found guilty of covering up child abuse wasn't actually found guilty of covering up child abuse as the media would have you believe.  He was only found guilty of "endangering the welfare of a child", one of the four charges against him. In the end, Msgr. Lynn was found guilty of only one of the four charges he faced . The cleric acknowledged that he knew that Edward Avery was ministering at a parish in the vicinity of children even though Avery had received a credible complaint years earlier of sex abuse. Avery was then accused of abuse in his new assignment, and it is because of this episode that Lynn was found guilty of a third-degree felony of “endangering the welfare of a child .” What's more, this verdict will most likely be easily overturned because the statue under which he was charged shouldn't have been applied to him. Again, the crime for which Lynn was convicted was endangerin

Interesting turn in the Father F molestation saga

The police were told and did nothing. NSW police were told that a Catholic priest now at the centre of a child sex abuse scandal was abusing boys almost 30 years ago, but took no action against him. In 1983, the father of an 11-year-old altar boy told officers in the town of Moree that his son had been touched inappropriately by the priest, known as Father F for legal reasons. The boy's father, who asked not to be named, said he raised the allegation with the late Monsignor Frank Ryan, a church official in the diocese of Armidale on three occasions, but nothing was done. "So I spoke to the police and they said they were aware of (Father F's) activities and something would come out of it," the father said. "But nothing happened." Ok then, nothing to see here, let's move on to blaming the priests who were told something of the Father F's crimes against children 9 years later ... Related link: Police 'took no action' over priest&#

Time to get rid of the Waitangi Tribunal

Maori claims on water highlight just how ridiculous the claims on the Treaty of Waitangi are becoming. The Principles of the Treaty can mean whatever anyone wants them to mean, and now it's a potential claim on water, which just shows that the whole Treaty process is looking more and more like a complete rort. Most people were likely too polite to say that in the past, but water might be the issue that inflames the population to the point of demanding that claims on the Treaty of Waitangi cease. When there's money up for grabs, then there's incentive to go for it. Sex abuse claims against the Catholic Church, where it's cheaper to just pay out than investigate or fight the claims show that: Many Abuse Accusations Against Catholic Priests Are 'Entirely False' . The number of commentators that I've heard on the radio over the last couple of days who have said to just pay the Maori out to make this whole water issue go away, through shares in asset sales

Outrage over sex crimes against children depend on whether they are Catholic or not [UPDATE]

Compare and contrast Guy in charge fires all the teachers, whether they are guilty or innocent. Presumably they'll go on to get jobs elsewhere, but no matter, he's dealt to the problem. Faced with a shocking case of a teacher accused of playing classroom sex games with children for years , Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy delivered another jolt: He removed the school's entire staff — from custodians to the principal — to smash what he called a "culture of silence." "It was a quick, responsible, responsive action to a heinous situation," he said. "We're not going to spend a long time debating student safety." The controversial decision underscores the 51-year-old superintendent's shake-up of the lethargic bureaucracy at the nation's second-largest school district. His swift, bold moves have rankled some and won praise from others during his first year of leadership. Superintendent fires entire school staff over

Is this a Maori water grab?

Unbelievable! A Waitangi Tribunal began today after the Maori Council lodged a claim over the issue of water rights . The hearing has been fast-tracked because of National's asset sales programme and will consider whether Treaty claimants are being denied a future stake in the state-owned power companies and the broader questions of Maori water and geothermal rights. The Tribunal will consider how water and geothermal resources may be covered by the Treaty of Waitangi and government plans to partially sell off 49 per cent of state owned energy companies. Opportunism at it's finest. Maori Council spokesman Maanu Paul told the Tribunal the spirit of the group's claim had been lost in the words of the claim. "What is freshwater? It is a spirit." It was a sacred thing, he said. "I am the water, the water is me." Taipari Munro, of the Whatatiri Trust, spoke of the angst of his people who had lost control of the Poroti Springs. He rejec

More secular hypocrisy on sex crimes

[The Department of] Corrections has repeatedly refused to identify where freed sex offenders are living, citing privacy concerns. So let me get this straight. It is a crime if the Church fails to tell people in their diocese that a person accused of sex crimes is working there, but we let the Government place known sex offenders into our community without telling us? And even when the government tells us, it's a Claytons tell. They'll say that a sex offender is in the area, but not show any photos or divulge any useful information other than "be scared, be very scared". And guess whose rights trump the children: Police powers to warn the public of a paedophile in the area are carefully controlled. In 2006, repeat child sex offender Barry Grant Brown won a $25,000 payout after a court ruled that police breached his privacy by delivering a leaflet warning residents that he had been freed Isn't it about time that the same standards start applying to all? (An

Secular Immorality

The Hand Mirror are railing against Family First and their stance on sex education. Apparently, consent and pleasure is the main criteria for teaching children about sex. I suggested Consent isn't everything Their argument stems from these opening thoughts, and thus becomes somewhat irrelvant to me, as I got stuck on the idea that consent and pleasure are the defining criteria. You can see this flawed logic in action, with CYF condoning illegal behaviour, because it doesn't fit with their ideology. I think it shocking that criminal activity is endorsed by school councillors and CYF workers (who can then arrange an abortion without parental knoweldge and cover up their little "mistake"). Technically, 14 year olds cannot consent, so the 20 year old is guilty of statutory rape, or whatever new terminology for this has become. Either way, it was still illegal, and yet not just ignored by secular authorities, but condoned! Crazy.

Whale obsessing about priests again

Phew at least he didn't root a woman ~ Whale Oil Beef Hooked He, if we are talking about the subject of the article in question, didn't root anyone . The priest was involved in a meeting more than twenty years ago with another priest, Father F who cannot be named, who did admit some wrong doing against some boys (how much is not clear) roughly thirty years ago. Presumably what the priest in question heard is not enough to convict Father F , so the media are just making a story out of it instead presumably to keep in the public mind that only Catholic priests molest boys and to discredit the largest Christian body in Australia that is vociferously protesting same-sex marriage. Whale Oil seems to enjoy posting these sorts of stories and perpetuating the myth that molestation of boys is something that the Catholic Church encourages, which of course, she does not.

Friday Night Free For All

Haven't done one of these for ages, but was reminded when I accidentally found the first ever one: Friday Night Free For All on Sir Humphreys' on June 10, 2005. More than seven years ago now. Since then, a number of other blogs have taken up the open thread concept, KiwiBlog's General Debate being a prime example. I think they are a good idea for places where commenters gather. We're not so busy in that way anymore, but for blogs that are busy, it gives people an opportunity to talk to each other about anything rather than having to loosely stick to the topic of the post. It builds community if it's done well.

Chris Trotter is looking for a Labour Hero

Chris Trotter would make a good propagandist, if he put his mind to it and if we all weren't so cynical. But really, we are talking about politicians, so kind of facing an uphill battle with this one! John Key’s extraordinary success as a political leader owes a great deal to how closely his own career conforms to the heroic monomyth. The story begins with John, an ordinary Kiwi joker with a head for figures, setting out on a risky journey into the fantastic world of high finance, where all but the hardiest and most cunning traders are eaten alive. Having mastered the magical art of making money, and acquired a vast fortune, John returns home from his adventures determined to put his hard-won skills to good use among his own people. It is difficult to imagine a “hero” better suited to the needs of twenty-first century New Zealand. John Key’s very ordinariness confirms his “Everyman” status, and amplifies the potency of his success. The power he wields is not his own, but a w

Dunderheads in the Vatican [UPDATE]

Mark Shea mentions the dunderheads in the Vatican keeping the results of the transparency report secret and then goes onto to explain how he thinks it's wonderful being in a Church with such ineptitude on blatant display. I *like* that the Catholic Church is so transparently inept and so plainly filled with such obviously failed and ridiculous people, not only among us laity, but throughout the ranks of its clerics as well. My abiding sense, ever since converting, has been one of relief. In sectarian Protestantism, the question is always whether you are pure enough, whether you are a “real Christian”, whether your “really meant it” when you asked Jesus into your heart, whether your latest grotesque failure means your whole life as a Christian has been one huge fraud. The great thing about the Catholic communion is that it begins every single act of worship with the Confiteor in which we all look at each other and say, “Who am I kidding? i don’t belong here any more than you do, s

Hope for the Hopeless

The story on the front page of the Dominion Post today is horrendous. What an awful, awful life is was that Bridgette lived. Bridgette Peacock always knew that "narking" on her violent partner wouldn't sit well with some of his fellow gang members. But after he kicked her unconscious and left her in a gutter, she knew she had to do something - if not for her, then for her kids. It got to the point where her six children , aged 4 to 15, were so used to the routine violence that " he would be beating me and they wouldn't even flinch, they'd just keep watching TV – it was pretty ugly". So she decided she had had enough, and in May she gave evidence against partner Michael Kane McRae at a trial in Wellington. Yesterday, McRae, 31, a Nomads gang member, was sentenced in Wellington District Court to 3½ years' jail on two counts of injuring with intent, and two of assault. [...] Ms Peacock, 34, a Masterton rest-home carer, said it was for he

How to get the Pope

Terry Mattingly of GetReligion has noticed a strange AP article on Pope Benedict's dismissal of a bishop. I noticed the story a couple of days ago, and found myself quite alarmed by it. Anyway, here's what Terry has to say: So what’s up with the Associated Press, all of a sudden? It used to be rare to read an AP report that totally needed an “analysis” label, but now it seems that these stories pop up all of the time. This time around, we’re talking about a report on Pope Benedict XVI’s unusual decision to dismiss one of his European bishops outright — just like that. No ifs, ands or buts. The bishop was simply shown the door. Now, this is the kind of inside-baseball stuff that canon lawyers and church activists simply live to talk about. So what’s up with the top of this AP opinion essay ? Note how quickly the piece moves from facts into straight out, connect-the-dots speculation — with no attribution clauses whatsoever. Terry has more to say, which is worth

Sleeze-bag flees the country

New Zealand doesn't appear to consider child sex offenders as dangerous, for here we have a case of a convicted sleeze-bag being able to flee the country prior to sentencing. Though, I wouldn't really call him a child sex offender as such, as the girls in question were teenagers. A convicted child molester facing up to five years in prison for attacks on two young girls has managed to obtain a bogus passport and skip the country ahead of sentencing. And he appears to have left his wife facing the rap for allegedly helping him get it. Interpol has been called in to track down Christopher Ian Crause, 47, of Hamilton, who was found guilty at trial of four counts of sexual connection with an underage girl, four of doing indecent acts with an underage girl and two of supplying cannabis to a person under 18, in Hamilton District Court in March. He was released on bail to be sentenced on June 15 but did not turn up, with police confirming to the Times this week they suspected

International Criminal Court investigating NZ for eugenics

This might cause a bit of embarrassment over here. AUCKLAND, New Zealand, July 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has decided to launch an inquiry into a complaint against the New Zealand Government’s antenatal screening program for Down syndrome and other conditions. The complaint was filed with the ICC by SavingDowns, the Spina Bifida Association of New Zealand (SBNZ) and Right to Life New Zealand. SavingDowns is an organized group of parents with children with Down syndrome. The groups allege that the screening program, introduced nationally in February 2010 by the Ministry of Health, targets unborn children with Down syndrome and other conditions such as Spina Bifida for birth prevention. They also claim that such programs are eugenic, discriminatory and put parents under undue pressure to abort wanted babies. The irony being that abortion in NZ is only legal if it puts the mother's mental or physical health in danger.

Education at the time of the American Revolution

I found this snippet of information about the level of education in the American colonies before public education very interesting. A people is most educated when the parents are totally behind and involved in their child's education and they don't pass that responsibility on to others. 4. The level of education for Americans at the time was astounding. Though no public schools existed in any recognizable sense in the eighteenth century, some “Common Schools” did. At a Common School, tutors and teachers drilled students for hours in Greek and Latin. Even if a student only attended school from, say, ages 6-8, he would learn only classical languages. Parents were expected to teach their children to read , almost always from the King James Bible. The colonists met with great success, and the American colonies probably contained the single most literate people in the world at that time. For those attending one of the several colleges in the American colonies (Harvard, Ya

New Jewish History Museum in Poland

Awesome, the history of Jewish life in Poland needs to be told. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, going up in the heart of the former Warsaw Ghetto, will narrate the 1,000-year history of Jews in Poland. It is a history that is unknown to many and that has been overshadowed by the tragedy of the Holocaust, which was carried out by Germany in occupied Poland. The highly anticipated museum is expected to open in the fall of 2013, in the 70th anniversary year of the doomed Warsaw ghetto uprising. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was a doomed attempt to fight back against the Nazis, despite certain death. It was either die passively by being carted off the the concentration and death camps or go down fighting. Related link: Jewish history museum in Poland gains crucial donations ahead of 2013 opening ~ Washington Post Note: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is not to be confused with the Warsaw Uprising a year later, which was inadequately supported by the allies and actively thwarte

Guardian Angels

I love this comment by a person online whom I will never meet about his (or her) Guardian Angel. It has stayed with me since I first read it last year, and I finally remembered to track it down today. I was given the incredible gift of seeing my Dear Guardian Angel in a dream. I wish that I could put into words the whole long scene, but suffice to say: 1. He was STUNNINGLY incredibly beautiful. Very manly actually, even though clearly not "a man", but beautiful - like the perfect face. His eyes sparkled, rotating with all colors (I am color blind) in stunning magnificence. (He was 40 feet tall at one point and had transformed from a statue in a cathedral.) 2. He was ON GUARD. He was all business. Super serious and reminded me of an old Marine Corps recruiting poster, but was looking out, over my head off into the distance with a steely, penetrating gaze that - itself was awesome. 3. He looked down at me - right at my face - (AWESOME) and very clearly said so