Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lucia Pope Francis and boys taking their same-sex partners to school balls

Today's Dominion Post contains a perfect example of a person who has taken in the media interpretation of Pope Francis and considers that to be the correct one.  Here's Des Darroch of Kilbirnie's, "Point to the Editor", published in the Dominion Post today:
Monica Devine (Letters, Dec 30) criticises the rector of St Patrick's College, Silverstream, for allowing same-sex partners to attend the school ball.  Pope Francis, Time magazine's person of the year, responding to a recent question about gay rights said: "Who am I to judge".  Pope Francis needs every encouragement in 2014.
There are so many things wrong with Des' interpretation of what Pope Francis said and why he said it and what it might mean, that I really need to break everything down in order to be clear.

Pope Francis talking to the press on the plane back to Rome from Rio De Janeiro after World Youth Day, 28 July 2013

On 28 July, 2013, Pope Francis held a press conference during his return flight from Rio De Janeiro.  He was asked many questions, and you can read all those questions and his answers on the Vatican website.  During that press conference he was asked about Monsignor Ricca's private life and the gay lobby. The specific question was:

I would like permission to ask a delicate question: another image that has been going around the world is that of Monsignor Ricca and the news about his private life. I would like to know, Your Holiness, what you intend to do about this? How are you confronting this issue and how does Your Holiness intend to confront the whole question of the gay lobby?

As you can see from the question above, Pope Francis was not asked about "gay rights" as alleged by Des Darroch of Kilburnie.

However the problem is that the infamous, "who am I to judge" that has been attributed to the pope and applied to gay rights by such persons as Des, has been plucked out of a very long answer because of the goings on of a certain Monsignor Ricca. The actual sentence that the pope uttered, in Italian, so here it is translated, was:

If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?

People who are searching for the Lord are not agitating for acceptance of their same-sex partners at the school ball.

The entire paragraph answer that Pope Francis gave to the question, I will now quote in full so that you can see the context of that one sentence. I've bolded the sentence that was summarised down to "who am I to judge", by Des of Kiburnie.

About Monsignor Ricca: I did what canon law calls for, that is a preliminary investigation. And from this investigation, there was nothing of what had been alleged. We did not find anything of that. This is the response. But I wish to add something else: I see that many times in the Church, over and above this case, but including this case, people search for “sins from youth”, for example, and then publish them. They are not crimes, right? Crimes are something different: the abuse of minors is a crime. No, sins. But if a person, whether it be a lay person, a priest or a religious sister, commits a sin and then converts, the Lord forgives, and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives. When we confess our sins and we truly say, “I have sinned in this”, the Lord forgets, and so we have no right not to forget, because otherwise we would run the risk of the Lord not forgetting our sins. That is a danger. This is important: a theology of sin. Many times I think of Saint Peter. He committed one of the worst sins, that is he denied Christ, and even with this sin they made him Pope. We have to think a great deal about that. But, returning to your question more concretely. In this case, I conducted the preliminary investigation and we didn’t find anything. This is the first question. Then, you spoke about the gay lobby. So much is written about the gay lobby. I still haven’t found anyone with an identity card in the Vatican with “gay” on it. They say there are some there. I believe that when you are dealing with such a person, you must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of someone forming a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. This one is not good. If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a beautiful way, saying ... wait a moment, how does it say it ... it says: “no one should marginalize these people for this, they must be integrated into society”. The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers and sisters to one another, and there is this one and there is that one. The problem is in making a lobby of this tendency: a lobby of misers, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of masons, so many lobbies. For me, this is the greater problem. Thank you so much for asking this question. Many thanks.

Later, Pope Francis had an opportunity to clarify his "who am I to judge?" statement that has wrongly been taken up by all and sundry as Pope Francis giving his endorsement to gay rights. This is what he said to a Jesuit magazine:

In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are “socially wounded” because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro, I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: “Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?” We must always consider the person.

I totally agree with the pope.

When it comes to boys who are gay in Catholic schools, it is not good for them to be encouraged to take their same-sex partner to the school ball.  For that gives them the idea that same-sex partnership is approved of by the church and is a way of life that is good for them in the long term. I bet if you asked the pope what he thought about boys taking their same-sex partners to school balls, what he would not say was that it was not for him to judge. Earlier in his press conference, he was asked why he did not talk about abortion or same-sex marriage.  His answer was:

The Church has already spoken quite clearly on this. It was unnecessary to return to it, just as I didn’t speak about cheating, lying, or other matters on which the Church has a clear teaching!

The people who think Pope Francis is taking the Catholic Church in a radically different direction, such as Des who wrote the very short letter to the editor which they deign to call a "point", really need to pay more attention to what the pope is actually saying. Again, the pope is Catholic, what a surprise!

Fletch Christmas and Christmas Television

Colin Hogg from the NZ Herald comments today on the dross that was served up to us as holiday fare on TV this Christmas season.
There's no such thing as bad television. There's just some stuff you wouldn't watch unless your life depended on it, and that's a little hard to imagine.

Unless you're a TV critic, of course, and you're viewing your way through that strange and barren time around Christmas and New Year when the channels empty out their rubbish and their recycle bins.

It's a cruel and merciless season and if there's anything new at all it's either full of Christmas cheer or it's stuff they didn't want to run when the advertisers were interested.

On Christmas Day it would have felt almost irreligious not to watch The Queen's Christmas Message (TV One, 6:50) and, anyway, she only talked for 10 minutes and it was about the only time you heard God mentioned during the religious holiday on prime time TV
He is right, of course. It was awful. Christmas Eve daytime shows were exactly the same as any normal weekday, with the usual Emmerdale through to Dickenson's Real Deal on One and whatever it is they put on the other channels. Even the midday One News takes a break as the presenters apparently go on holiday (and still are until next month). And the Vicar of Dibley specials again?

Christmas Day was chock full of repeats as well.

Tonight is much the same - old movie reruns and repeats galore. I guess the advertisers expect that everyone will be out partying and won't be watching - hence, a load of old rubbish programmed.

The point Hogg makes about God and religious programming is also well made. Christmas is slowing slipping into the secular (try saying that three times fast!), and Easter even more so, as people forget the reason for the holidays they are supposed to be celebrating - yes, celebrating.

I looked up the meaning of celebrate online, as it says -
1. To observe (a day or event) with ceremonies of respect, festivity, or rejoicing.
These days, I wonder if some of the younger people know exactly why we have this day off worldwide and what they are supposed to be celebrating?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Lucia What the media tells you about Pope Francis, so make sure you get better news sources

I continue to be amazed how many news articles there have been published in the New Zealand news media on Pope Francis.  This is probably because he is considered to be less Catholic than other Popes have been.  For this reason, it is important for those that are really interested in what Pope Francis has to say, to read better news than just the local Stuff, because there is important information being missed out in the more secular NZ press.

Compare the New Zealand Stuff article from Reuters with the much more comprehensive AsiaNews.it.  Pope Francis was talking about Saint Stephen's martyrdom, celebrated by the Church as a Feast Day on the day after Christmas.  The day we more commonly refer to as Boxing Day, or the day when everyone goes to the shops to get really good sales items.

The Stuff article connects Pope Francis' words to what is occurring in Islamic countries with regards to religious freedom.  However, religious freedom is also under attack in Western countries, those that "protect freedom and human rights on paper".  From the Stuff article:
Francis did not name any countries but the Vatican has long urged Saudi Arabia, the site of Islam's holiest places, to lift a ban on Christians worshiping in public.

This year there have been a number of incidents of intolerance and attacks against minority Christians in Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria and other countries where their rights are guaranteed by law.
In my opinion, if you read carefully what the Pope is saying, he's not referring to just those crazy Muslim places.  From the AsiaNews.it article, much more of his exact words:
For the pope, Saint Stephen's martyrdom is the reason why "we are praying today especially for Christians who suffer discrimination because of their witness to Christ and the Gospel."

"We are close to those brothers and sisters who, like Saint Stephen, are unjustly accused and subjected to violence of various kinds. This happens especially where religious freedom is still not guaranteed or not fully realised. In my opinion, there are more today than in the early days of the Church. As it happens however, even in countries and places that protect freedom and human rights on the paper, believers, especially Christians, encounter limitations or discrimination."

Countries that protect freedom and human rights on paper could easily mean countries such as Britain and the United States, there have been clashes between the right to freedom of religion and the new right to not be discrimated against if a person wants to call themselves married to a person of the same sex and all that leads to.  Such as Catholic adoption agencies having had to close because they won't adopt children to same-sex couples. Where choosing not to make a cake for a same-sex marriage will get you sued.

Then there's the increasing pressure by Muslims and atheists against Christian symbols and holidays, such as the wearing of a cross in Europe.  In America, saying the word Christmas during the Christmas season is not allowed in some places, which then means Christmas carols can't be sung and children's handmade Christmas cards can't be given out.  And then there's the ACLU trying to get the 10 Commandments removed from state monuments.

Etc, etc, etc ...

The Pope continues:
"For these brothers and sisters, I would ask you to pray, for a moment, in silence, everyone," the pope said off the cuff. After a brief moment of silence, he continued, saying, "Let us entrust them to Mary," and called on everyone to say a Hail Mary for them.

"For Christians," he added, "this is not surprising because Jesus foretold it as an opportunity to bear witness. Nevertheless, injustice must be legally reported and eliminated."

"May Mary Queen of Martyrs help us experience Christmas with the ardour of faith and love that shines in Saint Stephen and all the martyrs of the Church," the pope said in concluding.
I started this post off with the intention to just highlighting a couple of the many tabs that I have open on my desktop at any one time that all be turned into a blog post.  However, I can't always seem to be able to just do an off the cuff post, no matter how hard I try, I often have to make sense of it.

So, I will finish off with some snippets of a post by Tim Stanley.  He's writing about the media creating this fictional Pope Francis, and it's that fictional Pope Francis who got named Time Magazine's Man of the Year.  Again, this is why it's vitally important, if you are a person who is interested in news about the Pope to read better news sources than the secular ones for a more complete picture of Francis, because he's not who the media thinks he is.

There are two Popes. One is Francis as he actually is: spiritual shepherd of the Catholic faithful, the man chosen to defend and articulate the beliefs of the Church. The other is Francis as the liberal establishment would have him be: a crusading humanist on the verge of making the Catholic Church socially acceptable at Manhattan dinner parties. Guess which Pope Francis Time Magazine just made Man of the Year?

The Catholic writer Billy Newton has done a great run down of why Time's Pope is not the real Pope, with two killer observations. First, the magazine calls him The People's Pope – as if a pontiff could be anything else, or as if all those that came before him were distant aristos who ate the poor for breakfast. Second, Time is obsessed with sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sexy sex. Will the Pope embrace homosexuality? Will he make it a little less wrong to have an abortion? Will he distribute prophylacticos to the masses of Rio, flinging them from his Pope-copter like confetti on a parade? Or, at the very least, will he stop talking about sex and leave Catholics to run their own sex lives in peace?


The Time piece misunderstands Francis and his job description. It trawls through the details of his biography and mines every little ambiguous thing he's ever said because it presumes that the Church is an extension of the will of one man. It is not. It is, according to Catholic doctrine, the mystical body of Christ. It is the Way, the Truth and the Life as discovered through revelation, scripture and tradition. It is not guided exclusively by a man but by the Holy Spirit. It cannot err, change its mind or bend according to fashion because it is a divine instrument and God doesn't change his mind. Sorry if all this language seems a bit religous-y, but we are talking about a Church here – not a political party or a corporation. As such, it can't be reduced to biography.
Related link: Time Magazine's Man of the Year is Pope Francis. Alas, it's not the real Pope Francis ~ Tim Stanley, The Telegraph

Sunday, December 29, 2013

ZenTiger The Universe as a Hologram

The link is not related to this book.  Or it is.
The Universe as a Hologram: A very interesting theory that sounds a bit like looking into the mind of God (but that's just me).

An interesting panel discussion in the link below that discusses the concept and what it means for quantum physics, black holes and our view of the universe.

The thin sheet of reality

ZenTiger The Science Is Settled

It's been suggested by the warmists that AGW Scientists are not the sort that make ridiculous statements without having the full force of scientific consensus to fall back on. This list of newspaper articles shows many stories on AGW are laced with thick doses of hype, made by politicians and experts alike in their crusade to justify global taxation schemes.

Meanwhile, an ice breaker is caught in the ice during the summer months down in the Antarctic. The larger ice breaker sent to free it has had to turn back. Maybe the science isn't settled after all?

On the other hand, do we have the same scientists lining up to announce that man made climate change is the cause behind less extreme weather events? The logic used here is that whenever extreme weather events occur, it must be man made climate change to blame, so I'm presuming the good news for 2013 in the USA can only mean all those extra fuel miles burned up to get to Copenhagen and Kyoto have really paid off for the world.

AGW has been around for a while now, and a lot of those predictions made 5-10 years ago can now be measured, and are found wanting. It really should discredit a lot of the studies that argued their particular climate change models were accurate and to be believed, but I suspect excuses will be made, with no sense of humility nor shame. And for that reason alone, it is fair to consider that the science isn't actually settled.

Arctic Ice Free by 2013
Extreme Weather not so extreme in 2013 in the USA
Ship enjoys a cool summer in the Antarctic
IPCC Floundering (and a link to the graphic I used in this post)
Annus Horribilus for Global Warming
Update: Stll Waiting for Warming

Friday, December 27, 2013

Lucia Animal attack on teenage German Tourists in NZ

NZ is raising more and more of these types of human beings that don't act human, that act like animals with no regard for the safety of the victims, no sense of proportion, no understanding that overwhelming force just to steal is completely unnecessary.

My guess is the teenagers involved in the attack on German tourists on Boxing Day have not been raised in proper family structures and act more like animals in a pack, or even zombies, than rational human beings because they just don't know any other way. It's horrifying.

Four teenagers will appear in court today charged in relation to the alleged aggravated robbery yesterday of two German tourists camping in Whakatane.

The German couple's camping trip turned into a nightmare when they were forced to flee their attackers following the early-morning Boxing Day attack in the Bay of Plenty town.

Three of those charged in relation to the the attack are males aged, 14, 17 and 18. The fourth person is a female aged 15. The 17-year-old is from the Whakatane area and the other three are from Opotiki.

Police said they were still looking for a fifth youth who was believed to have been involved in the incident.

A witness who saw the young couple's injuries described the 18-year-old German woman's blonde hair as being stained red with blood, with a "massive" gash in her forehead.

The 19-year-old German man's teeth had been smashed in and his face was blackened and nearly "unrecognisable".

Police yesterday said they had recovered weapons believed to have been used by the attackers but would not confirm whether wooden bats were used.

In another news item that I've read from the Dominion Post it says the young man has lost hist teeth and that bats were used.  My goodness, an attack on sleeping campers with bats just to steal stuff.  Incredible.  They could have just threatened them.

Quite honestly, even if you don't believe in God, surely those that champion the loss of Christianity in NZ should be able to see that fear of God and eternal burning in Hell could have prevented this sort of attack. Yet without that fear that our actions here on earth have eternal ramifications, anything goes. Why not act like an animal if it gets you what you want and stuff the consequences, because they are temporary anyway?

As an aside, isn't it interesting that the German tourists are being referred to as adults and the attackers as teenagers and youths, yet the tourists are also teenagers, being aged 18 and 19.

Related links: Teens charged over attack on German campers ~ Stuff

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lucia Comments are now properly functional

Whew, it looks like everything is working now!

What have I done, you ask?  Well, I've added the commenting system, Disqus to this blog.

After seeing it in action on multiple blogs, I came to like how it allowed me to keep track of commenters across numerous blogs.  Though, I seem to be one of the few people that actually follow others on it.

I also liked the ability to reply to comments directly and the voting system.  Having gotten used to voting for really good comments on some blogs, I found myself frustrated when there was no voting ability on others.

Most of all, however, I like how it's more connective.  Through being able to see the activity of commenters on other sites, it's makes blogs that use it feel less isolated from each other.

Here is my profile on Disqus. If you scroll down, you will see comments I have left on other sites as shown below:

I'm also following 10 people, and that allows me to see their comments when I go to my Dashboard. The link I've just given though, is not actually to my Dashboard, it's to the Dashboard of the person clicking on it. So if you are logged onto Disqus, you will see your own comments there and the comments of others you are following.

To follow a person, just click on their name when you see them in the comments and then click on the Follow button on their profile. As an example, here is William Stout's profile. As I wasn't following him when I took this screen shot, there was an obvious Follow button available.  Below, you can see it in grey towards the top right of the screen shot:

To log on in order to comment, just use your Google login.  Disqus accepts Google accounts, Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts and of course, Disqus accounts for logging in.

Here is a screen shot from the Merry Christmas thread.  I've logged out so I could show you how to log in.  Just click on the Login with the arrow just below and to the right of the space for the comment.  It will give you a number of options for logging in.  If you normally comment here easily with no problems, just choose Google and you'll be away:

Please say Hi to test it out!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lucia Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful and safe Christmas, everyone!

We're off to midnight Mass tonight, for the first time for me in many years, and for the first time ever for my children and husband. Should be good!

The commenting does work, so if you don't see it, try using your mobile app for now until I get it sorted out properly.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lucia Comments are down for now [UPDATE 5]

I'm changing the commenting system over to a 3rd party and have run into some trouble with it, in that what should have been a simple import and change over has not been. It did pop up briefly for me on one post and then disappear again, which is weird. I'll look at it again tonight, but in the meantime, our commenting is not quite available. Or maybe it will just start working by itself. Hopefully!

UPDATE: I've been in contact with Disqus support and they've sent me a screenshot of this post with a comment loaded in Disqus. That's the comment I made from the mobile. Apparently it's all working. I haven't had a chance to go through all their suggestions to make it work for me on my desktop, but in the meantime, if anyone out there can actually see the comments, please make a comment and let me know.

UPDATE 2: Interesting. Clearing all my cookies (after just trying the Disqus cookie) allowed me to see the comments. Logging into Google made them disappear again.

UPDATE 3: Repeating deleting my cookies now doesn't work in letting me see Disqus. I have Google two-step verification. I wonder if there's some sort of interference there.

UPDATE 4: Moving the Disqus widget to the bottom right-most column seems to have helped with showing the number of comments in each post. Not helping with showing the actual comments, however.

UPDATE 5: I think I have it working!!!! Woo Hoo!! It was a ZenTiger twitter account gadget that might have been stuffing things up. He can move it to his own page if he still wants it.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lucia Tony Abbott stands up to the UN on an issue NZ caved over

Image from The Financial Review

Good on Tony Abbott!!!

A ban on parents smacking their children risks turning Australia into a nanny state, says Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who admits he smacked his own kids.

A UN Committee on the Rights of the Child report asks Australia to abolish the right of parents to use reasonable chastisement to discipline children, News Corp Australia reports.

The committee would also like teachers and childcare workers to report cases of parents smacking their children.

But the idea has not grabbed Mr Abbott.

"I was probably one of those guilty parents who did occasionally chastise the children, a very gentle smack I've got to say," Mr Abbott told the Seven Network on Thursday.

"I think that we've got to treat our kids well, but I don't think we ought to say there's no place ever for smacks.

"All parents know that occasionally the best thing we can give is a smack, but it should never be something that hurts them."

Mr Abbott said it was "always a danger" that these types of bans moved Australia towards a nanny state.

"I think we often see political correctness taken to extremes and maybe this is another example," he said.

I always thought that there was something going on in the background that our previous Prime Minister, Helen Clark filled John Key in on when John Key did his infamous about turn on the smacking bill that Green MP, Sue Bradford put into Parliament.

Helen Clark, of course, went on to work at the UN (surprise, surprise) when National, headed by John Key, won the election because of the public's annoyance over the extent of political correctness that Labour had overseen in their years in power.

Most people expected National to overturn the hated smacking bill when he became Prime Minister, especially once the referendum results came in that overwhelmingly supported overturning the legislation despite how the political pundits tried to spin it.

Yet, John Key did not overturn the legislation and tried to find excuses as to why he couldn't. "A whole lot of people" wouldn't like it, he said in an interview on radio when grilled by the host as to why the he couldn't change the law now that the people had spoken.

This one issue alone highlights the differences between the two Prime Ministers.  John Key, raised by a single mother, has not been able to stand up to the pressure exerted upon him by the United Nations, while as Tony Abbott, who had a father in his life that "set out quite deliberately to make his son a fighter and a leader," was able to call out banning smacking for what it is - political correctness taken to extremes.

Related links: Tony Abbott admits to smacking his children, rules out ban ~ The Age (link contains an autoplay video that can be turned off if you're quick enough)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lucia 2014: The Year of Jan Karski, anti-Nazi Resistance fighter

Jan Karski, before a wall-map of the Warsaw Ghetto at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, recalls his secret 1942 missions into the Nazi "prison-city-within-a-city" (From Wikipedia)

Cool. As many readers will know, I am of Polish descent and all things Polish from WWII interest me greatly.

The Polish parliament has declared 2014 as “Karski Commemoration Year,” named after legendary anti-Nazi Resistance fighter Jan Karski, who brought the first updated reports about the extermination of European Jews to England, and later to the United States, in the fall of 1942. Karski was also one of the Righteous Gentiles and an honorary citizen of Israel.

Last Friday’s decision by the Polish parliament was supported unanimously by all members of both the ruling party and the opposition. It was the result of an intiative by Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorsky, and was sponsored by Poland’s President, Bronislaw Komorowski.

Throughout the year, Poland’s representatives around the world will endeavor to remind the world of Karski’s actions, telling people the truth about the struggles of the Polish Resistance movement, and especially about the extermination of the Jewish people on Polish soil.

Karski visited the Warsaw Ghetto many times, before embarking on his dangerous mission. Dressed as a German officer, he also investigated the living conditions in the ghetto-transit camp of Izbica. His report was intended for the Polish government-in-exile in London, but Karski also delivered it to representatives of the Bund and of other Polish Zionist organizations, who had found refuge in England.

While doing so, he proclaimed that “these people still have equal rights, since they are citizens of Poland and their parties were represented in parliament before the war.”

Based on Karski’s testimony and on documents he provided, the Polish Foreign Minister-in-exile, Edward Raczynski, prepared a detailed report on the Holocaust and submitted it to the Allied authorities on December 10, 1942.

He did not receive an adequate response. Winston Churchill refused to see Karski, saying that his reports were exaggerated. In July 1943 Karski was invited to see U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt but, according to Karski, the President treated the reports of annihilation of European Jews with suspicion.

Karski’s requests that the railway lines leading to the camps be bombed were turned down. His suggestion that German cities should be threatened with destruction, unless the massacre of Jews stopped, was also rebuffed. Karski did not despair and met with almost all influential personalities across the country in order to tell his story but, in his words, nowhere did the plight of Europe’s Jews raise real interest.

Read more: Poland names 2014 after anti-Nazi Resistance fighter Jan Karski ~ Haaretz

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lucia Catholics are now the largest religious group in New Zealand, yet Christianity overall is dropping

From NewsTalkZB:

There's been a massive change to New Zealand's religious landscape.

New census data shows Catholics outnumber Anglicans for the first time in New Zealand history.

At the March census, just over 490,000 people identified themselves as being Catholic, compared with 460,000 Anglicans.

Unfortunately, last census in 2006, there were 508,437 Catholics in New Zealand, so the top position is not really that much of a newly attained status to celebrate.

After the figures were publicised, I was amazed at the number of people who phoned into NewsTalkZB the other day, and believed in God and Jesus and quite a bit of the whole Christian landscape, yet did not want to identify themselves as religious and therefore picked the "No religion" option in the census. As my son says, they're hippies, against authority and human structures, yet people need both in order to flourish.

Identifying as religious has now declined overall in New Zealand to below 50%. This will give the de-Christianisers an intense amount of ammunition in order to remove Christian symbols, holidays and eventually Christianity from public life. Already the Wellington City Council is not putting up Christmas decorations this year, though I doubt that was inspired by the drop in Christians in NZ, and more by the fact that the mayor is a rabid Greenie (who tend to be Marxists and therefore atheists).

I think Catholics need to take advantage of being the largest religious denomination by becoming more obviously Catholic, and therefore attractive to all the lost souls out there. Otherwise, converts to Islam such as Muhammad Grant Morgan, might become the norm:

Christmas is tricky time for Muhammad Grant Morgan, juggling the traditions of the past and present.

Mr Morgan, of Titahi Bay, was raised in a loosely Anglican household in Berhampore, Wellington, but never really took to the church.

"My parents are Anglican but I don't really remember going to church."

He grew up without any religious convictions but, coming into his 20s, became increasingly dissatisfied with his life. "I was looking for something . . . I went through a whole process of searching for three or four years."

While living in Malaysia in 1996, he converted to Islam. Ten years later he returned to New Zealand, with his Malay wife and four children.

He does not drink, prays regularly and last year went on a 28-day pilgrimage to Mecca. He said his faith had given him the clear direction he felt he needed.

Catholicism gives very clear directions, except that many people choose to ignore them. Just look at this thread on Being Frank, a NZ Catholic blog site and read the comments by PaulineM. She is very much representative of what a significant number of Catholics in NZ believe. That type of Catholicism is not attractive because it doesn't lead to Christ.

Related links: Census figures show change in religious landscape ~ NewsTalkZB
Census points to non-religious New Zealand ~ Stuff
Council takes the cheer out of Christmas ~ Dominion Post

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lucia On Rodney Hide's criticism of Conservatives

I used to admire Rodney Hide. His blog was the first political blog that I spent quite a bit of time on when I first ventured into the NZ online political scene. It must have been around 2003. Anyway, I thought he was pretty clued on at the time. Now I can only shake my head at reading this sort of thing:

I am left wondering if the conspiracy theorists have found a welcoming home with the new Conservative Party. Certainly Craig was anxious not to offend those who believe that governments are mass dosing us, that 9/11 was a government job, and that Nasa staged the moon landings in Nevada.

Of course, it could be that Craig genuinely believes such nonsense possible. After all, conspiracy theories have the same amount of supporting evidence as the idea that a supernatural being made the earth and all its creatures in six days in 4004BC and now oversees human affairs.

The defining characteristic of the Conservatives may well be gullibility.

I consider myself to be a Conservative, yet I do not believe the world was made in 4004BC, and not by "a" supernatural being, but by Being Himself, and that it may or may not have taken Him six days to do it, though days are somewhat irrelevant to Him as He is outside of time as he made time exist.

I think the defining characteristic of Conservative critics might very well be petty mindedness and an inability to see the big picture.

Related link: Rodney Hide: Sign up, ye gullible and trusting ~ The NZ Herald

Sunday, December 8, 2013

ZenTiger Rocket science - it's not religion

Rocket Scientists don't always have the answers
Religion. It's not rocket science.  It doesn't pretend to be.

For some though, science is a religion, or at the least, some imagine science can replace it.

I seems some people are waking up to the fact that religion doesn't kill people, politics kills people (The biggest criticism of Islam is it is as much a political system as it is religious.) Getting rid of religion just creates a world of atheists, some of which will find other reasons to run their own power-mad agendas.

An article over on Salon discusses  the "new atheists" (Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins and others) are (or were, in the case of Christopher Hitchens) are so fixated on the idea that religion poisons everything, they are unwilling to face up to the flawed nature of human nature, and how this plays out in the real world, not their imaginary world built on biased interpretation of religion.  It's not always about religion, it's more accurate to deal with these issues in the realm of politics. Religious belief is certainly an influence, but so is colonialism, feminism, capitalism, resource availability, media influence, the monetary system, wealth distribution, class division, and so on, and so on.

Now, I'm making a leap here that should be obvious.  It's more correct to say that the new atheists imagine that atheism can replace religion - not that science is religion.  Agreed.  However, their logic is that science, in their minds, seem to "prove" the improbability of God.  There is effectively a direct connection that relies on believing science can explain why and how we got here, and the implications that science might simply be a vehicle God uses to express his will seems even more far-fetched than the billions of galaxies coming into existence in an instant, and life spontaneously evolving from a random chemical soup.

Have a read, it is worth the 3-4 minutes.

Hattip: Whoar

Source: Christopher Hitchens' Beliefs challenged

A couple of quotes I liked:

As a poorly-practicing Christian who reads enough science to be functional at dinner parties, I would like to suggest a truce — one originally proposed by the Catholic church and promoted by the eminent Stephen J. Gould. Science, the study of the natural world, and religion, the inquiry into the meaning of life (or metaphysics, more broadly) constitute non-overlapping magisteria. Neither can invalidate the theories of the other, if such theories are properly within their realm. Any theologian or scientist who steps out of their realm to speculate upon the other is free to do so, but must do so with an adequate understanding of the other’s realm.

A rule of thumb among biotechnology venture-capitalists is that half of published research cannot be replicated.” I’m sure scientists are well aware of the problem and working to rectify it.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

ZenTiger A double attack - on the Pope and Conservatives

Rush Limbaugh - Shock Jock
Rush Limbaugh, a shock jock (so guess what's coming next) accuses the Pope of preaching Marxism.

That was attack number one.

The liberal/progressive media carrying this story likes to represent that Rush Limbaugh speaks for all Conservatives.

That was attack number two. Here, the media want to promote the idea that Christian Conservatives are for sticking it to the poor. It's a win-win. Paint the Pope as a Marxist, paint the conservatives as heartless.

Rush's comments are dealt with quite easily. His polemic view is simplistic to the point of stupidity. Anyone criticizing excessive greed is not automatically a Marxist. I like the Vatican response: "It does not seem worth the trouble of answering seriously," said a Vatican spokesman.. A quick Google search finds plenty of other places quite willing to take the trouble to answer, although after all is said and done, it really isn't worth taking the time to answer seriously.

What the Pope said makes perfect sense - and I suggest many Conservatives would agree. Unfettered capitalism (greed and economic exploitation) is not a good thing. The solution is not Communism, and any student of history will understand the Catholic Church has a long history of opposing Communism, which is an atheistic doctrine as much as it is an economic one. Marxists can see where unfettered capitalism may lead, but their solution is worse. Catholics and Conservatives understand the role of respecting property rights. They understand the importance of working and receiving a living wage.  Conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism.  Whilst they understand the importance of community they also understand the reality of inequality - it is a necessary side-effect of diversity and freedom.  That does not translate to class warfare, in the Marxist sense.

Rush Limbaugh is a shock jock. So I'm not shocked by what he said.

It is also worthwhile to point out that the progressive/liberal media take every opportunity to mischaracterise Conservatism.  All the better to use the Pope as a convenient object for misdirection.

[Updated/Edited 5 minutes after post to focus some sentences on economic conservatism. ]

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lucia Can't eat your lunch near long dead bodies

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the cultural sensitivity that is being brought up is actually invented for political gain. How else to explain the story today that Maori are will be offended that workers ate food outdoors near a place where archeological work was being carried out?

A Labour MP has accused Kapiti Expressway workers of being "extremely offensive" to Maori by eating their lunch at a wahi tapu site as historical human remains lay nearby.

Darien Fenton said at a transport and industrial relations select committee meeting yesterday that the workers were spotted eating their lunch at the wahi tapu site at El Rancho, Waikanae, which includes the Takamore urupa, and a macrocarpa known as the Maketu tree.

But the New Zealand Transport Agency denied that the particular site in question was wahi tapu, and believed appropriate protocols were followed.

Ms Fenton told the committee she had spoken to two women from Te Ati Awa. "[They] understood the site was tapu until the archaeologists had finished their work, yet we found workers having lunch onsite which was extremely offensive to local Maori."

Speaking later, she said that seeing workers eating on the sacred site, with recently discovered human remains from the burial site nearby, had shocked her.

"It was incredibly culturally insensitive and showed a degree of ignorance I didn't think existed in New Zealand any more.

"I was pretty gobsmacked by it all. People are already stressed enough. Everybody should know that the whole site is wahi tapu."

Maori used to eat people and yet they can be offended when others eat any other type of food near long dead bodies? How does that make any sense??

Related link: Workers eating at 'sacred' site offend Maori - MP ~ Stuff

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lucia Colin Craig on the Moon

Luna 2, the first man made object to land on the Moon, sent by the Soviet Union.

If what's been spread on the airwaves is to be believed, Colin Craig doesn't believe men landed on the moon. Amazing how what someone says can be spread like Chinese Whispers where it almost takes on a life of it's own. Yet the story, as reported in The Herald is this:

Mr Craig's initial comments were made during an interview with RadioLive host Marcus Lush.

Mr Craig said he had "no idea'' whether astronauts had landed on the moon, and hadn't had the chance to look into chemtrails - a conspiracy theory that suggests the trails left by aircraft come from the deliberate spreading of chemicals.

Asked about the moon landing conspiracy - which suggests the Apollo landings were faked by the US government - Mr Craig replied: "I don't have a belief or a non-belief in these things, I jut don't know."

Asked again, Mr Craig said he had "no idea" whether man had walked on the moon.

"That's what we're told. I'm sort of inclined to believe it. But at the end of the day, I haven't looked into it. And I know there's some very serious people that question these things."

Ouch. I know what he's saying, that things can necessarily be known if you can't verify them personally. In the end you have to take a lot on faith, because you can't be everywhere at once to check out the veracity of every single little thing. However, that subtle conversation of how reality and our beliefs interact is better left in a small discussion with a group of friends, not a swarm of pyranhas looking to take you down and eat you for breakfast.

Later on in the day, given the reaction to what he said, Colin Craig clarified what he believed:

In an interview with APNZ today Mr Craig appeared to move away from earlier comments about whether man has landed on the moon.

Mr Craig said: "Of course I think we landed on the moon, but it doesn't mean that I'm the expert on that."

"I think people should talk to people who are experts, whereas they can talk to me about politics or an issue in New Zealand, that's relevant to New Zealand, and then I will have an opinion on it.

"Do I think they're right? Probably not. But that doesn't mean that I'm the person that's going to be sort of judge and jury of whether their little view of the world is right or not."

But it was far too late, the whisper had been uttered and there was no way to retrieve it. Today, on the Tim Fookes Morning Show on NewsTalkZB, Tim Fookes was asking for people's opinions of a political party leader who believed in conspiracy theories, already carrying on what had been started the night before.  So, John Armstrong told Colin Craig through the NZ Herald, that he had a problem.

... when someone who conceivably could end up being a minister following next year's election is unsure whether he believes man has walked on the Moon, it is time to press the "whoop-whoop, pull-up" warning button on the dangers of potential coalition with a party which might also believe Paul McCartney is dead and Elvis Presley faked his own death.

Craig was not fully subscribing to one of the great conspiracy theories, but he was not dismissing it out of hand either.

That was breakfast-time. By lunchtime, Craig was shifting away from his ambivalence faster than the Space Shuttle on take-off.

Too late. His lunar-tic observations during an interview with RadioLive's Marcus Lush came close to overshadowing John Banks' press conference at which he announced he would not be standing for Act in Epsom next year as well as stepping down as leader at the party's annual conference in March. Given Banks will be in the High Court dock next year facing charges of electoral fraud, both decisions were inevitable. He correctly described his standing aside as a necessary circuitbreaker for the party. It gives Act one last chance of reviving itself. That is going to be a tall order.
Hmmm, I disagree.  Craig could actually make a good conservative leader despite not being a savvy debater who can recognise a pitfall at hundred paces.  He seems like a smart guy, so will hopefully learn fast.  Debating and governing are two different skills.

I don't think whether or not Colin Craig is a bit vague on men landing on the moon is the real issue, however.  I think it's Conservatism itself that scares media people (who are mostly liberal) witless and attacking Craig on this issue is just the poxy for their fear.
Related links:
That Interview on Radio Live - AUDIO
John Key: Colin Craig is 'winding up' media ~ NZ Herald
John Armstrong: Hello Colin Craig - you have a problem ~ NZ Herald

Craig on conspiracy theories ~ David Farrar, KiwiBlog
Colin Craig is a conspiracy theorist—chuckle chuckle—all the way to the bank ~ Terry Wallbank, The Conservative

Lucia Half naked women try to attack Cathedral in Argentina, held back by Rosary praying men

Abortion inspires Diabolical behaviour:

Buenos Aires, December 2nd, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Extremely disturbing video footage from Argentina shows a mob of feminists at a recent protest attacking and sexually molesting a group of Rosary-praying Catholic men who were peacefully protecting the cathedral in the city of San Juan from threats of vandalism.

The women, many of them topless, spray-painted the men’s crotches and faces and swastikas on their chests and foreheads, using markers to paint their faces with Hitler-like moustaches. They also performed obscene sexual acts in front of them and pushed their breasts onto their faces, all the while shouting “get your rosaries out of our ovaries.” (Note: Some of the most graphic content has been removed from the video. Uncensored footage is available here. Viewer discretion strongly advised.)

According to InfoCatolica, some of the women chanted a song, with the lyrics: “To the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, who wants to get between our sheets, we say that we want to be whores, travesties and lesbians. Legal abortion in every hospital.”

During the attack some men were visibly weeping. None of them retaliated against the abuses heaped on them.

Warning: Video below is uncensored. Contains sex acts and half-naked women. Go to the LifeSiteNews link for a cleaner video if you prefer.

I got to just over halfway through before I teared up. The degradation those women are subjecting themselves to is horrendous to watch. What must Pope Francis be thinking about what was happening in his home city??

Related link: Horror: Violent mob of topless pro-abort feminists attacks praying men defending cathedral (VIDEO) ~ LifeSiteNews