Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
Many of the media criticisms of Pope Francis have been unfounded, unfair, or simply silly. But this much more thoughtful article by Adam Shaw, an actual practicing Catholic, points out a history of mediocrity and confusing comments that are doing real harm. No question Jorge/Pope Francis is a great pastor and a caring man. But he does not have the intellectual capacity or discipline to be Pope. Of course, the fact is, he is Pope.
Some people would say this means he ought to be, and therefore whatever he says and does is part of the divine plan.
Yes but, yes but, yes but … human stubbornness or deceit or pride can get in the way of God’s perfect plan. That’s what sin does. There was a considerable amount of wrangling in the last conclave. That sends warning signs. What we can do is pray for Pope Francis, that God will lead and encourage him in the right way, and at the same time exercise the critical judgement, thoughtfulness and reason that the Church has always encouraged in its members.
All things work together for good, for those who love the Lord. Romans 8:28
Or so says this imam.
I know we are all fed up with hearing about this. But watch this, and think, seriously, whether the attitudes on display here are compatible with Western values and liberal democracy.
And I promise this will be the last thing I post on this. Until the next atrocity …
Iran is building a military base in the Kurdish heartland of Northern Iraq, apparently specifically to target the Kurds, who are leading the fight against ISIS.
If this marks a new level of understanding betweeen Iraq and Iran, then it amounts to the creation of a Shi’ite arc extending from Hezbollah in Lebanon, through Syria and Iran down into Shi’ite majority Iraq.
The Saudis won’t like this.
People seem not to realise that religious belief was essential to the development of science.
1. The belief that the world is real, objective, and largely independent of our perceptions, and not simply illusion (maya in Sanskrit). That is, that there is something real and enduring there to investigate.
2. The belief that the world is reasonable, and organised in a reasonable, that is, orderly and consistent way, not not simply according to the whim of ancestors or nature spirits or fickle and jealous gods.
3. The belief that the material world is good, and therefore worth investigating, as opposed to the view that the material world inferior, something to be spurned or escaped from.
We take these beliefs so much for granted; that the world is real and objective, that it is ordered according to laws which can be investigated and understood, that nature/the universe is good, and that investigating and learning its laws and systems is a good and worthwhile endeavour, that we forget that only one culture has ever held these views consistently over a long enough period for science to develop.
Science is a creation of the Christian West.
The more science drifts from Christian theology, that is, the more it drifts from understanding reality as independent and objective, and the more it drifts from believing truth is an absolute value in its own right, the more it will be become empty, political, and corrupt.
Fukushima, vaccines, chemtrails. It is always the same.
CT (Conspiracy theorist) “Something really bad and scary is happening!”
Me “I don’t think there is any evidence to support that.”
CT “That’s because there is a massive cover-up. The (government, power companies, big pharma, Monsanto) are deliberately hiding the truth from the public.”
Me ” How do you know that?”
CT “Because there is no evidence. If they weren’t covering it up, there would be. Isn’t that obvious? Are you crazy or something?”
That is the subtitle of Paul Driessen’s powerful book describing how Western “green” restrictions on the cheap energy the West demands and takes for granted result in suffering and death in the world’s poorest nations:
It could just as well be the tile of Brendon Pearson’s article “Carefree ignore consequences of limiting supply of fossil fuels” in The Australian a few days ago. This is just a few paragraphs. Read the whole thing.
“The response from green advocates is that the emissions from coal and fossil fuels are different — they can be replaced by renewables. Let’s do the maths. Last year wind and solar energy produced the equivalent of nine days of global primary energy needs. Coal produced 109 days and fossil fuels combined produced 313 days of the world’s annual primary needs. Despite all these power sources, 1.3 billion people still missed out on electricity and a further 1.7 billion only had partial access.
To put this problem into context — the energy used by Christmas lights in the US in an average festive season is more than the national electricity consumption of many developing countries, such as El Salvador, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nepal or Cambodia.
Halting or limiting coal or fossil fuels output will simply mean that those with no or partial access to electricity would have to wait much longer in the dark.
That is an uncomfortable but incontrovertible fact. If you limit something or make it more expensive to the poor then you are delaying or denying that access. Not just for weeks, months or years, but generations. Hundreds of millions of people will live shorter, more miserable lives as a result of the choices of the comfortable and warm.”
That is it exactly. The cost of cozy green self-righteousness is that hundreds of millions of people will live shorter, more miserable lives.
A longish article from Mark Musser on the origins and continuing influence of the theory of sustainable development:
Understandably, Albert Speer Jr. has spent much of his life trying to escape the long shadow of his father, Albert Speer, the Third Reich’s architect during the 1930s who later was baptized as Hitler’s Armaments and War Production Minister during the heights of World War II. Albert Speer Sr. died in 1981. After serving 20 years in Spandau Prison, Speer made millions off of his best-selling books that described his life deep inside the Third Reich. In 1984, Albert Speer Jr. began a very successful architect company in Frankfurt, Germany called AS & P, or Albert Speer & Partners.
Today, AS & P is a very profitable high end international architectural company that has building projects in Germany, the Middle East, and in China. Much of Speer Jr.’s earlier financial success in the 1970s took place in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. Speer Jr. loves the Middle East and Arab culture. He is currently working in Qatar. Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup because of Speer Jr.’s audacious plans to design a carbon neutral sustainable arrangement of soccer stadiums.
AS & P pursues a holistic approach to architectural design that roots all building activities into the surrounding culture, landscape, and regulatory environment. AS & P proudly advertises its emphasis upon sustainability in the area of ecology, economics, and social quality. AS & P has even published a “Manifesto for Sustainable Cities – Think Local, Act Global.” Albert Speer Jr. is also an international lecturer on environmental sustainability. According to Der Spiegel, Speer Jr. is credited with having introduced the idea of sustainability into German urban planning. Others consider him to be the green conscience of the construction architect industry and one of the first sustainable practitioners of green building in Germany itself.
While Speer Jr. has publicly stated he has purposefully tried to place as much distance between himself and his father as possible, this is not exactly true. In reality, Speer Jr. has followed his father’s footsteps, not only in terms of being an architect, but also because of his obsession with sustainable development.
Roger Franklin writes in Quadrant Magazine:
On the western flood plain of the Maribyrnong, the lesser of Melbourne’s two brown rivers, Buddhists have built themselves a handsome temple and, most arresting, a gigantic golden statue of their guiding philosophy’s founder. It is quite the spectacle and well worth a glance as your Werribee-bound train approaches Footscray station. But unless you have a particular interest in the sound of one hand clapping, a glance is all it’s worth — and, obligingly, Buddhists don’t see any need for grants and government programs to promote “understanding” of their creed. Alas that another religion were so content to mind its own business. As Fairfax Media demonstrates today with a series of profiles — Australia’s Muslims Speak Up — it seems that one cannot be regarded as a fair and unbiased citizen without an obligatory knowledge of Islam, its adherents, their agonies and the bigotry we are told yet again makes the lives of Australia’s faithful so very difficult.
That, at any rate, is the series’ intent. The end result, however, is the polar opposite. Unwittingly, wrapped in its gush of multi-culti pablum, at least one of the profiles illustrates why one doesn’t need to be a peddler of prejudice to find Islam more than somewhat alien and not a little unsettling.
Reading Aisha’s story in The Age, it seems clear that her every experience of islam was violent or at least unpleasant, from her failed marriage to her repressive and hostile high school, and most of her experiences of non-muslim Australian society were by contrast warm and colourful and welcoming. Yet all this seems to prove to her is that Australians are racists and it is no wonder so many muslims are angry.
Very, very sad. But surely this is not a surprise to anyone?
The mother of toddler Sanaya Shaib has been charged with murder after she confessed to killing the 13-month-old infant.
An ISIS supporter has been charged after allegedly carving “e4e” — representing “an eye for an eye” into the head of an Australian Digger he was sharing a cell with. The former soldier, who served in East Timor, (and was) deemed a low security inmate, is fighting for his life following the alleged attack inside Kempsey prison on the state’s Mid North Coast.
It is believed the 18-year-old attacker choked the 40-year-old and carved ‘e4e’ into the front and back of the victim’s head. The teen then allegedly placed a towel over him and poured boiling hot water on him.
The former Toowoomba-based soldier was rushed to the Port Macquarie Base Hospital and put in an induced coma, believed to have suffered a broken sternum and severe wounds to his neck, head and face.
Senior prison sources said the 18-year-old attacker was a known supporter of the terrorist group and had been previously caught sending graphic images of beheadings via internal mail to other ISIS extremists housed in Goulburn’s Supermax.
Bourhan Hraichie has now been charged with causing grevious bodily harm with intent and intentionally choking a person.
Sources said the teen was also previously found to have a hand-drawn ISIS flag inside his cell, as well as having carved one into the wall. Hraichie had been isolated from other inmates previous to the alleged attack because he was being “disruptive”.
The pair were in the same cell for just a few hours before Thursday’s alleged attack inside the prison’s maximum security section. Authorities were alerted when a medical alarm system, known as a “knock up” was activated.
ISIS is known to use the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” mantra when inflicting their brutal torture. It is understood the teen allegedly used a razor blade to etch the slogan, but prison authorities would not confirm it.
NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin confirmed the attack, saying it “appears to have had a strong fundamentalist element to it” and that the teen had “clearly identified himself as a radical”. “I am appalled that these two inmates were placed in the same cell,” Mr Severin said.
The general manager of the prison, Greg Steele, has since been stood down from the role.
From the always useful New English Review.
This is simply getting to the point of absurdity. We have to start taking what these people say about their own beliefs and intentions seriously, or more and more ordinary people are going to be hurt.
A couple of days after that advertisement appeared, Tanweer Ahmed, a Sunni Muslim, traveled 200 miles in an Uber car from Bradford in England, to Glasgow in Scotland, where he waited for Assad Shah to leave the convenience store where he worked, then stabbed him 30 times, stamped on his head, and sat on his chest waiting for him to die, which he did later that night.
“Mr Shah’s family, originally from Pakistan, are members of the Ahmadiyya Islamic sect, which preaches ‘love for all, hatred for none’, but is seen as sacrilegious by orthodox Muslims.” Family members now fear they will be Islamic murderers’ next targets.
The UK Daily Record quotes a source who says that “The hardline Sunni Muslims call Ahmadiyya Muslims kafir. They say they are non-believers.”
87 percent to 90 percent of all Muslims, or about 1.5 billion people, are Sunnis. Additionally, “the majority of modern Muslim scholars continue to hold the traditional view that the death penalty for apostasy is required.”
This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilisations which disregard it.
“The death toll from a massive suicide bombing targeting Christians gathered on Easter in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore rose to 70 on Monday as the country started observing a three-day mourning period following the attack.
Meanwhile, in the capital of Islamabad, riots erupted for a second day when extremists who have been staging a protest since Sunday surged toward the Parliament and other key buildings in the city center. The demonstrators set cars on fire, demanding that the authorities impose Islamic law or Sharia. The army was again deployed to subdue the rioters.
The Lahore bombing, which was claimed by a breakaway Taliban faction that has publicly supported the Islamic State group, took place in a park, crowded with many families with children celebrating the holiday on Sunday. Many women and children were killed and at least 300 people were wounded.”
Pakistan is in trouble. It cannot protect its minorities, and has little will to do so. Its government is unstable. It has nuclear weapons.