Saturday, January 21, 2017

Get the irony here!

                                                           Get the irony here!
This seems to me a classic irony. Wolves in sheep's clothing also being sheep trying to impersonate wolves.
Among the 'outraged activists' joining in the protests against the election of President Trump are people who insist they are the purest and most noble of visionaries, trying to enlighten society and save the rest of us from our blindness and foolishness. They would no doubt claim to have the halos and wings of angels in terms of goodness and knowledge of truth. They wish they could get control of schools and influence the minds of they young, to take up their ideas. To some of us they are ravaging wolves, whose pernicious influence would poison the society that supports and protects them if they could. They trample on what has been held sacred for centuries, presume to know better than millions of thinkers and believers in the past. So they can be seen as wolves in the guise of sheep. But here's the irony. While trying to look like wolves to their enemies, they are also revealing themselves as sheep. They follow the lead of those who tell them what to think, turn up to 'demonstrate' when told to do so, chant what they're told to chant, hold signs and banners they're told to hold, and follow the leader like the sheep in Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty Four", with their bleating 'four legs good, two legs bad'. So while trying to look like wolves, and being dangerous in their way, they are also sheep manipulated by whoever has some use for them and can flatter them into doing what is wanted of them. Sheep being revealed as wolves, wolves revealed as sheep - all at the same time.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tell me: what next?

Speaking from Australia, I would love to know what American people think about the Presidential Election result.  What do think about Donald J. Trump winning office?
Since I'm not a U.S. citizen I won't take it on myself to comment. I'd like to know what others think. One thing I do believe, though. The trendy, left leaning, social justice warrior faction who assume they always know best have been told that not every one sees things their way.The same goes for the Brexit, my mother's home country rejecting the politically fashionable view and deciding to leave the European Union. So what's happening? Is it just angry disillusionment, or have millions of people finally decided they've had enough of a self styled intellectual elite telling them what to think?
As a Christian, I'm really tired of seeing what I hold sacred held up to contempt or laughingly declared obsolete, like the idea that men and women are made in certain ways quite different; they are one or the other, that can't really change; and matrimony is the union of one man and one woman; and that we are all accountable to God. If it's true that Hilary Clinton wanted Christians to disavow or change their beliefs to fit political fashion, then I'm glad she lost the election. There you are, I've said it. But of  course I don't have to live under what ever leadership American people choose, so I can't claim to say too much.

Any thoughts to share?
All human righteousness...

I'm really saddened by what's happened regarding Bill Cosby, and Rolf Harris here in Australia. If the allegations are not true, and it's a huge diabolic deception, then it's shocking that such a thing can happen in the modern age. If the allegations are true, it's really rotten and sad that people whose work I loved as entertainers have turned out to have such evil hidden sides. When the accusations first began I didn't know whether they were honest or whether some pathetic parasite had tried to get a life by claiming victimhood and hoping to get their hands on some money. Unless the judicial systems and investigative mechanisms in two advanced countries are a disgrace, the accusations of sexual assault and indecent interference must have some substance. All I can say is, I hate that it should be true and find it drives me away from belief in human goodness.
The first time I saw Bill Cosby, on a T.V. variety show in the 1960s, he was doing Junior Barnes and the snowball. It was a delight. I rolled around on the floor laughing. Clean humour, laughing at the human condition and human behaviour. Pure gold in a world which relies on smut or laughing at hurt and calamity, it seemed to me. Rolf Harris likewise. He presented songs like Jake the Peg, with comic antics accompanying, or daft comic songs like "Tie Me Kangaroo Down", and it was just innocent fun. I'm thinking, we need more like this; or is the world too cynical and mentally toxified for it?  There was hope for our society while it could appreciate this sort of entertainment. So then it comes to light, unless we're being horribly deceived, that both these people have an evil hidden nature.
So I'm reminded, again: never put complete faith in a human being and treat them as larger than life, and talk about 'role models'.  Mere human beings are not all as seriously evil as some cases, but we all fail some test at some time. I knew about myself, very early in life, that I could fail. I'd make careless mistakes that could have caused calamity. The problem was compounded by the fact that I was told other people could do everything right, which just made me feel like an even bigger waste of space. Then with time and maturity I could see that no-one's perfect; but some people are held up as examples to others, or at least as what we all should be if we could be. Then it happens, again and again. The celebrity crashes and burns. The idol has feet of clay - or soft mud, even. So I can't ever assume that any mere human person can be completely relied on.
SO  I need Jesus Christ. I'm confirmed in my belief that the Bible gets it right when it says, all human goodness is sadly short of true rightness.
If some spiteful left winger or social justice warrior was glad to see the two people I've mentioned fall, then I say to them: don't think that makes you look any better to me. You too are only human. You too would cringe if The Truman Show was real and a record of your life was shown to the world. That's a scary thought for anyone, now I think of it. The only way a person would not be bitterly ashamed of some things that could be known about them is if they are psychopathic, and have no conscience or sense of wrong doing.
I need to be forgiven. We all do. Bill Cosby does. Rolf Harris does. And while we're on that subject, keep going, and list every human that every lived.
Thank you for being my Redeemer, Lord Jesus. I pray millions more turn to you, admitting their need.
To anyone who reads this, my best wishes for the  year 2017 A.D.

Monday, June 6, 2016

It's here.

It's here.

If the internet is to be believed, then a church in Europe has removed the Cross from its front because the Cross, the symbol of Christianity, might offend Muslims. It's difficult for me to express the sheer contempt I feel for such craven sanctimony, denying the emblem of the Saviour to placate people who claim the right to take offence at other peoples' beliefs. But it's happening, the report says. The people responsible talk about conciliation, about seeking to live in peace with the migrants who have flooded into Europe, but that conciliation would be at the expense of peoples' right to hold their beliefs publicly.  Then the article explains that the 'pastor' who made that decision, a woman, is a lesbian activist. Claiming the authority of the church, wearing the traditional clerical collar, she denies the teachings of Christ and sets out to deny the church its mission, to speak the Word in truth.
The Abomination of Desolation is standing where it should not. That was foretold in the Book of Revelations. It seems to me that it's happening now. In a country which supposedly allows freedom of worship, Christianity is supposed to be muted and gagged. And in the name of the church, someone is advocating what the Bible rejects. The church is being subverted.
Perhaps this has happened before. We keep expecting the end to come, and yet we know that only God knows when the Second Coming will be. We can't claim to know the hour. But there are times when it seems to me that we must be in the end times.
Am I wrong? If anyone reads this, feel free to tell me what you think. But there is something right out of order about someone calling themselves a Christian leader and denying the proclamation of Christ, in the shape of the Cross marking a building as a church. And there is something quite wrong with a supposed Christian leader claiming the authority of the church to advocate for what God's word rejects.
What's going to happen in Europe? Will it collapse like the civilizations in the past, and enter a new dark age? I hope not. Or will people see the need to turn back to the true God and speak out? People in the West have had it pretty easy by the standards of this world, and it seems to have made them complacent, not grateful. Is this how God is calling them back to Himself? Or is it a sign that the end is near?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

We're in this together.
The question was posed: "Why should the Australian Aborigines have to give up their culture and way of life because this land was taken over by Europeans?" The same could be said about any number of cultures lived by indigenous people before their land was colonized or taken over by those from outside. It is a legitimate question in some context but it can be used for guilt inducement, not as a call for justice. It needs to be viewed in other ways, as well.
One answer it that the same thing happens to ALL of us. It's not always so obvious, but it's going on as we sit here. Things are changing in the world, changing the way we live whether we like it or not and not always making things better. Change is not always fair or good, but it is part of the human condition. It may not be by physical invasion. Technology invades privacy. Modern employment patterns intrude on private and family life. Alterations are imposed on us, not always for the best. It can be inaccurate to point to certain examples only.
If you want, you can keep the superficial aspects of the past. That's what the rockabillies do. They still have Bakelite radios and other things from a past era. But if I'm rightly informed they also take advantage of modern medicine if needed. So be it. They are allowed to dress in period styles if they wish. They should be, too.
If people want to really avoid being affected by the changing world, then in a free society you can live as the Amish do. They eschew modern technology, drive horse drawn buggies and live without telephones or electronic media. It can be done, if not easily. Important to note is that the Amish are able to do this because the wider nation around them, the United States, protects them and their right to live as they do. What they are avoiding also confers certain protection on them. That is worth considering before people beat up on Western civilization.
In Australia, there are still settlements where Aboriginals live their traditional way, or as close as they can or choose, and likewise, that choice is given them because the modern nation of Australia allows and even supports them in doing so. There have been cultures in the past who were completely swept away by invaders, or just by circumstances changing. The original people of the Chatham Islands, off New Zealand, were wiped out by the Maoris, who came later. The original inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands were wiped out by the Caribs, who were there when Europeans arrived. No-one was there to stop the complete annihilation of a people in those days. They are gone from the world forever. Other indigenous or First Peoples survive because the modern nations that formed over them now protect their right to keep their identity. The Australian Aboriginal people survive as an identified, ongoing people because a modern nation which invaded their land now protects them. There are Aboriginal communities in inland Australia which continue to live in the traditional way, or as close to it as they choose, but the certain added things like cars, mobile phones, alcohol and Western medicine. There were some abominations in the past, with massacres of Aboriginals, stealing of their children, and racist rejection of some who tried to adjust to European society. It does not undo that or cancel the misery it caused to say this, but it is still true that such things happened everywhere on Earth. It is a good supposition that any human being alive today had some ancestors who were invaded, and some who were invaders. The conclusion to be drawn is that the world forces change on all of us, some of it good (like forbidding infanticide?) and people such as Aborigines are quite prepared to take up those parts of European life that suit them. The world we are all born into has been wrought and shaped by all sort of horrors and evil, as well as some humane changes and progress. We all have to live with what we know, and try to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We all might wish we could bring back the past, especially if it is romanticised.  The hippies of the 1960s wanted to go 'back to the earth'. Before the Industrial Revolution most people did live close to the earth. They lived in villages, small agricultural settlements, and farmed. The coming of industrialization changed that.  There was much misery in the process, too. But if you REALLY want to go back to the earth, to the past, give up your mobile phone, the internet, antibiotics, access to kidney dialysis, and modern surgery.  Get the point?
The age of King Arthur is over for Britain - if it was really so good.
The age of Brian Boru is over for Ireland - if it was really so good.
The age of Pemulway is over for Australia's first people - even if it was really so good. What happened in those days to people who developed glaucoma or cataracts? Did traditional healers have effective remedies? What happened to a child born with hole in the heart? Could they treat it effectively?

History is full of sadness, All our ancestors suffered. We all have to endure change, whether or not we benefit from it. Sometimes it is for the worse. But look at the wider context to understand it properly.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

So we're useful after all.

We're living in the technical age, so they keep telling us. Teach your children to code, to use computers. We must be the clever country, and learn all about computer applications. It goes on and on. Okay, I'm glad to have the use of computers and technology, Facebook, blog sites, web pages and all those things. But my area is arts. The two things I did best as school were English and History. The way people talk sometimes, those areas of study are a waste of space. No, we insist, those of us who prefer history and literature to maths and physics.  Literature and history deal with ideas, debates about ethics, about right or wrong. It's not only about HOW to do things. It's also about WHY do things, or even SHOULD we do them. Knowledge without conscience is a dangerous thing. Michael Crichton expounded an important idea when he wrote "Jurassic Park". One of his characters explains that knowledge too easily gained is like inherited wealth, the people who gain it do not properly respect what it took to gain it and they sometimes use it recklessly and dangerously. Since we now learn in a few hours what took people like Isaac Newton years to learn, the human race uses the power that comes with knowledge without proper respect for that knowledge. It's not so hard to understand. If you are good at painting or engraving, you can be an artist or a forger. The difference lies in your personal ethics and conscience. So we keep insisting that our areas of study have a place, but it doesn't seem that people take much notice sometimes.
Then in the newspapers I read something quite stark, which should be a bit of a warning.
A high proportion of the killers fighting for ISIS, or Daesh, have high educational qualifications - ins the sciences. They've studied and learned, they know HOW to do things, and that makes them dangerous, because they do not have a good conscience in WHAT they do with what they know.
So those of us who believe philosophy has a place, who say it's important to study history and see how the past shapes the present, and how things happen; and read the ideas of writers who aim to enlighten through their literature; we stand vindicated. Knowledge is not all it takes to make a good world. Conscience and understanding are needed too. It's now enough to know how to do things. We must also think about why we do things, or what we should do with what we know.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Breaking out.

I'll speak with proper respect for other nations and their peoples' right to choose their own leaders. So this is not an out of order comment on the U.S. and its people.  It's an observation about politics in the Western world, which some of us dare to call the 'free' world.
One of our columnists in Australia wrote recently that 'the left made Donald Trump'. Her reasoning seems quite sound to me, and what she wrote worth considering. It's a fabulous irony, spiced with poetic justice, if it's true. If anyone reads this, I'd be glad to know what you think.
The argument goes that the left movement, collectively, has set itself up as some kind of thought police, out to squash any commentary or movement they do not approve of; and in their determination NOT to be gagged, the usually silent majority go to the other extreme and support whatever the left hates most, whatever it really is trying to suppress. Donald Trump says the things a lot of people try to stop anyone saying. He proposes things that make the politically correct flinch and gasp with pretentious displays of horror. He dares. He will not be intimidated. And I am happy to say that I admire it. Someone who can't be gagged by the self appointed umpires of the debate, the wanna be mind controllers who think they can mess with other peoples' heads and tell them what to think. We had a phenomenon in Australia something like it when Pauline Hanson launched the One Nation Party. She rejected multiculturalism and all the other pet projects of the self proclaimed progressives. She gained a huge vote, more than the Greens and one other small party put together, and rattled a few cages in the process. She said what people are not supposed to, such as that too much migration might be bad for Australia, especially when it came from cultures unlike our own. Mr Trump dares speak critically about migration from non English speaking places, and as with Hanson, he provokes howls of sanctimonious condemnation from people who claim the right to tell us what we can and cannot say. Someone I know well who is living in the U.S. at the moment said that if he was voting he would vote for Trump. The first reason: no one owns him. He is self financing, so he's beholden to none and can take whatever position he chooses. Myself, I love seeing the loud mouth, self righteous left getting told, the rest of us do not have to think what you want us to. We do not have to accept your standards of political correctness. We do not have to agree with you about how a country should be governed or its people should live. We can think what we think and if you don't agree you will be reminded that freedom of belief goes for everybody, not just whoever the left approve of.

Where does the Western world go from here?  Those who called themselves free thinkers did all they could to eliminate the influence of Christianity but did not have something better to replace it with. They told us they did, and let the show down badly. Will the people of the free world return to what gave them so much good in their society? Christianity teaches respect for all, altruism and peace among people, and that is where we get individual rights from and civic sense in communities. Will we go back to it or keep following the braggarts and jackals in sheep's clothing who tell us their political ideas are better. I look at some people who think they know how we should all live and recall the teaching, "Believing themselves wise they made themselves into fools."  (Parapharasing).
God be with us. Jesus forbear with us. Perhaps the Second Coming is near. Only He knows.