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.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A new outlook.
I'm glad I never had to go to war, but if I ever had to, or if I ever do find myself in combat, I hope it is against a group like ISIS (Daesh). I could fight them with resolve! If I'd been at war against Germans, Italians, Japanese, Vietnamese, Koreans or any other nation Australia has fought against I might have been in combat with individual people I had nothing against at all. But if I fought against the Islamist terrorist calling themselves ISIS then I would know: they really are BADDIES. They chose to be where they are, they personally chose this war. They have done what is abominable, in the murder or children and the persecution of Christians, or any other religious group for that matter. If my nerve did not fail me, if I did not prove to be a coward, I could fight against them with certainty that this is a just fight. Stopping them from doing the vile things they do is a just cause. I pray that God gives victory to all who take up arms against them. I pray that if they are ever a threat to my family or friends God will give me the means to fight them effectively, and not fail to withstand them. Just as the world has faced Nazis, Fascists, Communist terrorists and other monstrosities, so it now faces the renegade Islamists who want to oppress the entire human race. God give us victory against them. The mass murder attacks in France have brought it home to Europe: they can't dissimulate any more or hide behind sanctimonies about conciliating with Islamist grievances. We have to stand up to it. May the only true God be with us all.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

When will we ever learn?

When you're under twenty one, or so, it can be really annoying to see older people dismissing your views as if you know nothing at all. And sometimes the oldsters who dismiss you can overlook something they need to know. Their rude disrespect or arrogant sense of superiority can blind them and cost them. But having said that, I'm old enough myself to see why it happens sometimes.
The same old things go around and come around.
I'm a nineteen fifties model. I was born in 1953, the same year the Korean War ended. I can remember newsreaders talking about President Eisenhower. And I can remember one of the catch cries from the time: "Ban the bomb." That was the anti nuclear activism of the day.
I can't recall the exact order or the times when the different politico-social fads went round, but in the sixties and seventies the Western world went through phases of concern about global crowding and famine, then pollution, especially in the very late sixties with acid rain. There was concern about heavy metal poisoning of soils, of water ways, all legitimate concerns, but the point is: these themes came and went, and then came again. There was even a global warming alarm sometime in the sixties. People were afraid the number of humans would generate so much body heat that they would raise the planet's temperature and it would start killing crops and causing starvation.
If you live long enough, you see the same things come and go and then come again. If it's the first time someone's heard it, they think it is new. They don't understand why older people are less impressed. To them (us!) it's a case of 'here we go again.'
I'm convinced the world will end, when Jesus Christ comes again. It will end when God decides the time has come. Nothing humans can do will stop that, nor should it if they only knew what was right. Nor will that day come any sooner than God decides, no matter how much humans think their behaviour changes things. So we have a finite span on this planet, no doubt; but it is rather vain for people to think it all depends on them.
How long before people get it?

Monday, September 21, 2015

It tells you something!
Thousands of refugees heading to Europe, trying to get a new life, are heading straight into the homeland of their supposed enemy - Christendom! It tells you something, doesn't it? If they wanted to live in an Islamic society, there are stable Moslem nations like Saudi Arabia which are closer. Many of them are living in Turkey after fleeing Syria, or other Islamic nations racked by war, and Turkey is a peaceful Moslem country. So why the West?
Could it be because Christian societies, or even societies with a Christian past, seem to be better places to live. Human rights are better protected. Toleration of belief and opinion are observed. The individual cannot be killed for changing religions, or stoned for (alleged) adultery. Women have the same legal rights as men and are not forced to cover their heads in public, or even their faces. In short, the West with its centuries of Christian tradition is a much safer and happier place to be. It's a cruel irony that so many westerners become jaded and depressed, amidst all that they have. They don't know how bad it can be. And they have been deluded by 'intellectuals' into rejecting the creed that gave us all so much, Christianity. But even so, the West attracts people from nations like Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as some countries in Africa. Seeing all this, wealthy Moslems promise funding to build mosques for them in Europe. Not help where they are and rehoming, but mosques in the heartland of the enemy, Christian lands. And here's some news I found really heartening, reporting in one Australian newspaper. There are a number of Moslem immigrants in the West, notably Germany, attending Christian churches and wanting to become Christians. So the Islamic nations could not only lose some of the people they will need to rebuild their war-mangled countries, they could see some of those they call theirs becoming Christians instead. I pray it's true. I would rejoice in seeing new brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus redeemed for those who want to overthrow and enslave us, forcing us to bow to their religion and attacking ours. How marvellous if that all backfired, and instead of Islam colonising and invading Europe, Christianity took people from the Islamic world.  Some of the leaders of the Moslem world could do with asking themselves why it should be that their people want to move to the West, why Moslem style government does not appeal to those they need to populate what they think are the lands of the faithful.
God will be glorified, no matter how His foes try to bring down Him and His.
Come again, Lord Jesus.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Getting it said.

Donald Trump seems to be doing the same thing in the U.S. that a lady named Pauline Hanson did in Australia a few years ago. He's putting things on the agenda that some people try to avoid. He says things that some people won't say, even if they think them. I believe  western democracy is the best system of government available in this world but one of its limitations is that it's hard to escape 'political correctness', a reluctance to discuss certain issues because the moral blackmailers start jumping up and down throwing accusations at whoever dares speak. Then once in a while we find someone who won't be scared, who says the things others won't say. Whatever you think of them, it seems to me they serve one important purpose. They get subjects out into the public domain and stop the gagging of personal expression. There is a place for that, provided it does not lapse into slander and dishonesty.
It's not my place to say who should win the U.S. presidency because I'm not an American and the citizens of America should decide that for themselves. We in Australia don't like non-Australians telling us how to run our country so we should not tell others how to run their nations. But this I will say: it's good to see someone speaking out about the issues that others try to avoid or try to be so polite about that they end up being less than frank. Donald Trump could be going too far in his comments on migrants from Mexico but the concern about illegal and uncontrolled migration is there. It won't go away because the goody-goodies don't like things said about it. A country has a right to control its borders. In Australia, Pauline Hanson complained about large scale migration changing the culture and nature of Australia, without the agreement of all Australians. She was right, too. Whatever the race issues, Australian people saw our movement into the country on a scale that could change it without that issue being properly considered or publicly debated, but no-one wanted to say so publicly - until Pauline Hanson got up.
There is a place for this, I believe. Say what you think, and let others remember that you don't need their approval to think what you do. If people genuinely respect freedom of speech, then they know of the need to agree to disagree sometimes. That's a test of how real they are, when they claim to support freedom of speech. As well as that, in principle, public opinion matters in a democracy because the views and wishes of the people are part of how they govern themselves. So let them speak. There is a need to stop the pernicious stifling of debate on some issues because the self-styled censors and thought police don't like hearing it. I can talk. I hear things said that strike me as quite appalling, but it's not for me to deny others the right to say what they think. And it's not for them to try silencing me either. So if "The Donald" as "I'm told they call him gets up and says things that others might want to hear said, more power to that. When it's all been said, then the vote. Then people can decide who they want to elect as leader. But let's hear it all said first. That is real democracy.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Wrong approach.

A study reported in the Australian press yesterday said that homosexual people  report lower levels of happiness in life than heterosexuals. The professor running the study said that this reflects on society, because, he says, it treats homosexuals badly. That was predictable, and I think honestly it shows the same blindness that people often do when trying to alleviate a problem. It could be that homosexuals are unhappy not because society makes them unhappy but because they are doing something that God did not intend when He made the human race. I know some people would attack me furiously for this but that's in God's hands.
Homosexuality is forbidden by God. The Bible says that. So to try living that way is to depart from the way of life God intended His children to live. Apparently there is no such thing as a homosexual type brain.
People want society to change to accommodate them. Society does not decree essential human nature and how life is supposed to be lived. The Divine did and does that. Flying in the face of it is futile. You can't reinvent the universe to suit a doctrine.
We need to seek God's way, not invent new ways to be and say it's about being modern. Some things are timeless.

Friday, July 17, 2015

They don't deserve to be here.

Like millions of others, I'm disgusted by the actions of a migrant to the United States who launched a coward terrorist attack and killed four U.S. marines. That person chose to enter the U.S. seeking permission to live there. The U.S. government accepted them, on behalf of the people of the nation, and in response this migrant turns on the place. They probably expect they will be welcome in Paradise as a hero. It is contemptible, not brave. If they were genuinely brave and heroic they could join an armed conflict and fight, not pretend to be a civilian non combatant and launch an ambush. It is pathetic hypocrisy to ask to live in a country and then turn on it. I can hear the usual sanctimonious do-gooders making their excuses, and I think that's all humbug. This was the act of a punk wanting to get a life by cheating, looking for a cheap and tinny way of being a hero. It is also treachery. When two other wanna-be heroes detonated the bomb at the Boston Marathon, a newspaper in Australia published a cartoon which I thought was worth keeping and framing. It showed the Statue of Liberty holding up the torch and calling on people to come to the new land, and two rats scampering in, taking the chance to get something they did not deserve. Well said! It is quite literally like asking for someone's help, getting into their home and then turning on them. I can see no excuse, nothing to be said in defence of those who do such a thing. We have the same problem in Australia. Migrants who needed Australia, it did not need them; and on being allowed to come here and take out citizenship they turn on the people of the country that gave them what it did not owe them. I wish the United States well in upholding the traditions that Western civilization is rightly acclaimed for, and that the world should be glad of: personal freedom, the rule of law not despots, and humanity towards others. I wish for the thwarting of those who would undermine the West with addle-headed stupidity and applaud those who attack it in the name of a doctrine that oppresses people. Like Australia and Britain, my two parent countries, the U.S. is not perfect and like other Western nations it has suffered through political correctness and left wing thinking compromising natural justice and common sense; but it still stands, and the tide might turn soon. God bless us all.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


These events are a few weeks old, but I felt today that I had some thoughts to put down. Reported in the press, a couple of Christians who run a bakery were approached to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, proclaiming 'support gay marriage', and the Christians declined. As far as I'm told they were not hostile, they simply did not take up the offer of some business on conscientious grounds. Christian teaching rejects the notion of same-sex relationships and the bakers seem to have felt that they were acting untruly to their own beliefs to make a cake celebrating such a relationship. So it seems the same-sex couple did not simply take their business elsewhere, they had to start a lawsuit over it. They can have their same-sex relationship, I know that, but they cannot tell other people 'you have to approve and want to be part of it.' So they set out to make trouble for people who stood by their own convictions. The next development was, as I heard it, an appeal went out seeking help for these Christians, and the response was such that they have been given much more money than they would lose if they lost the lawsuit, so they are better off than if they had knuckled under and done what the non-Christian society tries telling them to do. I was delighted to see that people will stick by them and back them up when they stand by their beliefs and convictions, and will not be told they have to celebrate something they do not believe in because an intolerant society, proclaiming 'freedom for all', takes away their freedom. This is not about beating up on same-sex couples. it is asserting that Christians, Jews, or others who do support the idea of same-sex coupling can stick by their own beliefs. They are NOT trying to stop the homosexuals from having their wedding. They merely choose not to be personally involved. We must all have that right to our conscience. I will not turn up at a homosexual or lesbian wedding ceremony and throw bad eggs. I'll leave them to it. But I will can not be told I have to attend the ceremony and show approval of it. That is what real tolerance actually involves. We can't stop certain things but we can't be told to support them. It was really good to see other standing by this couple instead of abandoning them to suffer, with people making pious comments like "I don't judge" and letting the Christians suffer for acting on their own convictions. I say again, they did not try to stop the wedding, they simply chose not to be involved. If those who set out to sue them feel refuted by the support the Christians received, let them just get this: they can do their own thing but not force others to tell them they're wonderful. A bad thing it is to curtail freedom under the guise of protecting it.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Blood on our hands?

Just recently a young Australian named Jake joined the Daesh death cult calling itself IS. He left his home in Melbourne, got to the IS so called 'homeland' and became yet another young person who has been drawn to that that cause. The latest report alleges that he became a suicide bomber. Some of his blog posts indicate that he expected to die. So he's gone the same way as hundreds or thousands of youthful people, some of them from the U.S. or Australia or Europe, who've been consumed by the evil thing that claims to be retaking the world over in the name of God. There are those who find excuses for people who do this, and for Islamic terrorists generally, trying to argue that it's the Western world's fault, we've provoked them, and so on. I say humbug, I don't accept that at all. But I do have one observation to make. Jake Bilardi was sometimes bullied. He was pushed around and given a hard time, to the point where it seems it left him wanting to lash out and get back at the tormentors; and instead, he let himself be persuaded that he must die trying to change the world, by people who are worse than the tormentors who gave him a hard time. That's part of the wretchedness of it. The cause he took up is no improvement on the thing he wanted to change. Now I won't accept that it is everyone else's fault he made this choice. Millions of people suffer from the oafish and cruel treatment of others. They do not all decide to kill or maim and try to convince themselves they are doing something heroic in the process. But as soon as I heard, and saw evidence of this kid being bullied, I thought of others like Eric Harris and Dylan Kleibold who carried out the horrible mass shooting at Columbine High School; and others who have turned maniac mass murderer after being trashed and mistreated by those around them. It is TOO EASY to say they were driven to it, and it could insult them by suggesting that they are too simple to take responsibility for their actions and abide by moral choices like the rest of their society. For all I know, the people mentioned and others like them might have done something desperate even if they had not been aggravated. I can't tell and I won't accept that they are blameless victims. But one thing I know: when someone is bullied or trashed by people who do it just because they can get away with it, then those victimising them are doing evil and should be confronted by the fact. Human beings have a soul and a conscience. It is moral laziness and wickedness for them to push around and victimize someone they see as weaker, or someone they despise because that person does not impress them. They justify their behaviour by saying life is a competition and the cream rises to the top. SO DOES THE SCUM. People who win in this world and hold others in contempt would do well to read the parable of Rich Dives and Lazarus the beggar. Dives had plenty in this world, and did not care for those who were starving. Dives went to Hell and the beggar who starved went to Heaven. Those who misuse those they are able to misuse will answer to God. The day is coming. God will make people realize what they refused to accept in this life. Come again Lord Jesus.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Humans propose but God will decide.

I've read two political commentators who advanced the same interesting explanation for our world's recent troubles. Their explanation is that for several centuries after the beginnings of Islam in the Seventh Century A.D. as the Christian calendar dates it, Moslem attackers were very successful in conquering the areas around them. Starting in what is now Saudi Arabia, they expanded the Caliphate, the area ruled by Islam and according to its law. For a time they reached into Spain and other parts of Europe. That was where El Cid made his name, the Spanish warrior who led a successful fight against Moslem invaders from North Africa. Part of Eastern Europe also were under their rule. That is why there are still Moslems on Bosnia, and other parts of what was once Yugoslavia, and the Eastern parts of what was the Czar's Russian empire and then the Soviet Union. There was a time when the Islamic rulers of the Middle East reached that far. Then the tide turned, Christianity or at least nominal Christian powers and rulers beat them back. Then after the Renaissance, and the great advances of European civilization up to the Industrial Revolution, Europe returned the 'compliment' by invading the Middle East, with Napoleon Bonaparte taking Egypt. So by the reckoning of some Islamic thinkers, history has 'gone wrong' and they need to set it right. Their view is that Islam is meant to rule the whole world and they have to make that happen. So if they mean to keep making that happen the rest of the world has a fight on its hands. What some people, myself included call the 'free world' is going to have to resist the attempts by militant Islamists to impose a world wide caliphate or Islamist state on us all. If these commentators are right then we can expect more of the sort of attacks that we've seen in Paris and Sydney recently, and in Canada when a soldier on ceremonial duty was killed. Now some of the left respond to this by carping about the attempts of Christians to impose their beliefs. It is true that some vile things were done by the conquistadors in South America. There were also the Crusades, which caused great bloodshed and by some accounts atrocities also. That response by the fashionable left was predictable. They will try to say that 'religion' as they call it, will always cause conflict. But is the Christian approach, the GENUINE Christian approach, ever as barbarous and the behaviour of the Daesh (or IS) invaders in the Middle East, murdering children because they refuse to renounce their beliefs? Whatever has been done by Europeans calling themselves Christians, the way of Jesus was to spread the WORD, the GOOD NEWS, not to commit wholesale genocide. And here is a critical point. Jesus in person told his followers that if a village would not receive them in His name, then depart from it and shake the dust of it from their feet. He did NOT say to kill them all, as have some of the barbarians claiming to represent Islam in Syria and Iraq today, or the thugs who attacked the World Trade Centre towers, or who bombed busses in England or firebombed a night club in Bali. Jesus said to leave them, and go on elsewhere, NOT to threaten them with death if they will not convert. And Christianity, by the authority of the Bible, does not mandate death for people who renounce the Christian faith. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE. So I defend Christianity, asserting that it does not have the record of bloodshed and cruelty that other belief systems have employed in attempting to spread their influence. I have this confidence also. Though shocking things may yet happen, the TRUTH will triumph. Jesus will prevail, and His Word will be heard all over the world. Come again, Lord Jesus. The world waits in pain for the return of its Saviour.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's come to us.

It's come to us.

Just before Christmas, we had a terrorist incident in Sydney, N.S.W. the capital of my home state. It had to happen, we're part of the world that the militant Islamists have directed their hate against. An individual entered a café and held people hostage for hours before finally shooting two of them fatally, a lawyer and the café manager. It caused huge grieving in Sydney, as the press reported; and made the news overseas, I've been told. It came a bit close to home, as well. My wife and I don't live in Sydney but four of our children do, and one of our sons and his girlfriend have been in that café where it happened. We're thankful they weren't there that day, needless to add. But I'm struck by the way some people are still trying to minimize the influence and significant role of militant Islamism in this thing. I don't say "Islam" because I know well that many practicing Muslims do not involve themselves in, or sympathise with, this terrorist and hostile behaviour of that sort. But it is futile at least and blindly stupid at worst to pretend that Islamism, militant fanatical offshoot of Islam is not anything to do with it. It is. The gunman involved forced some of those he was holding at gunpoint to display an Islamist flag in the café window and invoked the cause of Islamist retribution against the west for fighting against the cult that calls itself Islamic State. So militant Islamism is involved, it is not just a case of one person being disturbed as the apologists have tried to argue. This attempt at playing down the terrorist danger is akin to the appeasement of Hitler that the leaders of Europe engaged in, in a futile attempt to stop a war. It's like the proverbial ostrich burying its head in the sand. The hope seems to be that if you ignore the thing it will go away. That's part of the problem the western world has in facing and dealing with this business. Some people, the 'new age' quasi left are trying to tell us there is no threat here and we should not act as though there is. If I was more paranoid I would suspect them of trying to undermine the resolve of the western world, specifically Australia here, to face the danger and recognize it. My question: what do they hope to achieve, and how long do they think they can keep insulting peoples' intelligence and keep credibility.
I hear that the surviving Boston bomber is going on trial. What sort of things are being said about him? Are people trying to claim he is a victim?