Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
Bishop William Morris, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Toowoomba, has taken early retirement. That’s the way he describes it. catholic-hierarchy.org puts it more bluntly. He was removed.
I have met Bishop Morris. I have vague memories of being present with a group of Anglican clergy at his ordination as a bishop in Toowoomba in 1993 (I was then in the parish of Roma – not the Roma – the cattle town in Western Queensland). He seemed to me to be a kind and decent man.
Bishop Bill Morris certainly did a good job of repairing the damage done by a pedophile teacher at a Catholic school in Toowoomba.
The problem is, Bishop Morris has probably caused more damage to the Church than the pedophile whose actions he denounced.
Anyone with a brain knows that only a tiny proportion of Catholic clergy are pedophiles, that priests commit a disproportionately low number of child sex offences compared with the rest of the male population, and that any kind of sexual abuse is abhorrent to the Church.
But when a Bishop teaches something contrary to the Catholic faith, even in apparently trivial ways, he undermines the credibility of the Church, and the body of Christ is harmed.
In 2006 Bishop Morris wrote a ‘pastoral letter’ to his diocese in which he suggested that the problem of low numbers of priests could be solved if women were ordained.
Some of the laity were alarmed by this and sought clarification. When that clarification was not forthcoming, they brought the letter to the attention of Archbishop Bathersby and eventually, the Pope.
Then Bishop Morris claimed he had been misunderstood. He was only pointing to the ongoing conversation on this matter that was taking place around Australia.
No he wasn’t.
If that had been his intention he could and should and would have said immediately it was brought to his attention that some people thought he was advocating the ordination of women, that this was not the case. He would have apologised for any misunderstanding and reaffirmed the teaching of the Church. But he didn’t.
Bishop Morris says he has been brought down by a few disgruntled conservatives who went behind his back and complained about him because of his ‘progressive’ views.
This is tyranny. Bishop Morris has been vociferous in his complaints against Rome.
He told the ABC that Rome controlled bishops by fear ”and if you ask questions or speak only on subjects that Rome declares closed … you are censored very quickly, told your leadership is defective, and threatened with dismissal”.
Yet he attempts to censor and malign faithful lay people in his diocese who want the truth to be taught.
Every Catholic has a reponsibility to defend the faith. The lay people who asked Bishop Morris to teach the faith were honouring him by believing he was truly a Catholic Bishop. When he did not respond and they went to Rome, they were doing what they should never have needed to do, what his actions had made necessary.
And he blames them, blames Rome.
The best thing he could do now would be to acknowledge that he acted wrongly, that he betrayed the trust placed in him, and apologise.
Instead, he appears to be encouraging protests against his removal.
He really believes that he knows so much about what Jesus would do, would say, that he feels no compunction in ignoring what Jesus actually did, actually said, and what the Church has taught faithfully for 2000 years.
Everyone is entitled to his own opinions. But you cannot be a teacher of the Catholic faith if you don’t believe the Catholic faith.
I am sorry for Bishop Morris. I am sorry for the people has hurt by his lack of integrity. I hope he will come to repentance and undo some of the harm he has done.
I am grateful for the courage of Archbishop Bathersby and Pope Benedict, and for the lay people who spoke out. I hope the Diocese of Toowoomba, which I know and love, will grow through this, and continue to witness to the love of God, and and the unchanging Gospel of hope and life and truth.
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15
So that he can ask her in person, ‘Why is assisted suicide banned in Australia?’
To save you the trouble of talking to Julia, I’ll tell you Terry.
Assisted suicide is banned in Australia because it is wrong, and Australia is a civilised nation, where doing wrong is discouraged.
Terry says this is about seriously ill people being allowed to die with dignity.
No it isn’t.
Diginity is not about avoiding difficulty, pain, dependence on others. We might wish to avoid those things, and it is not wrong to do so when we reasonably can.
But they are part of life, and we do not and cannot know either what it means to be human, or who and what we are, without them.
What a bizarre notion of humanity it is that claims dignity is about remaining free of the very things that teach us to be humble, thankful, patient.
Diginity is not about avoiding pain, but bearing it with courage. Not about being independent of others – we can never be that in any case – but about being so strong in our weakness and dependence, that even in our darkest times we can still be an inspiration to others.
No man is an island, and no woman either. Despite ‘my rights,’ my life does not entirely belong to me.
I do not ask to avoid pain or loneliness or even fear – all those things will come to me no matter how vigorous my asking that they may not. I cannot avoid them without avoiding humanity.
I do ask that when I face those things, I do so with such courage and gentleness that I inspire courage and hope and gentleness in others.
That is dignity. That is what it means to be human.
Comment from Bill Maher on Real Clear Politics (language warning):
“All this talk of people who burn the Koran and nothing about the people who reacted in such a stupid way. We are always blaming the victim and not holding them — not most Muslims, but at least a large part of Muslim culture that doesn’t condemn their people,” Bill Maher said on his show “Real Time” Friday night.
“There is one religion in the world that kills you when you disagree with them and they say ‘look, we are a religion of peace and if you disagree we’ll fucking cut your head off,'” Maher said. “And nobody calls them on it — there are very few people that will call them on it.”
“It’s like if Dad is a violent drunk and beats his kids, you don’t blame the kid because he set Dad off. You blame Dad because he’s a violent drunk,” Maher concluded.
And from website The Religion of Peace:
If we should respect the Quran because not doing so causes Muslims to get angry and kill, then here are the other things we should stop doing:
Educating women. Selling alcohol. Pre-marital sex. Sharinga non-Muslim religious faith. Democracy. Disaster relief. Sporting events. Allowing women to dress as they please. Being gay. Being Hindu. Being Christian. Being Jewish. Being Buddhist. Being Sikh. Being Ahmadi. Being Sufi. Going to the wrong mosque…
Quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn if someone wants to burn a book, any book. If a person’s paid for a book, he can do what he likes with it.
I am not going to join the chorus proclaiming Pastor Terry Jones a try-hard loser. I don’t know anything about the man. I suspect he is more sought by the media than seeking the media.
What I do think is that his burning of the Koran was a reasonable act of protest.
This is a book which inspires murder, torture, the mistreatment of women and minorities.
It is a book which, read through the lens of the example of Muhammed, a serial rapist, torturer, murderer and child molester, means misery for hundreds of millions of human beings.
It is the book of a religious group whose default emotional setting is inflamed.
It is the book of a group of people who thinking burning a book (their book – burning other books is OK) justifies burning and beheading people who look like, or may have once have been in the same country as, the people who burnt the book.
So go ahead and burn it. The trouble is not with the burning, but with the cringing.
General Petreaus described the Koran burning as ”hateful, extremely disrespectful and enormously intolerant”.
No it wasn’t.
He then went on to say that the fury this had aroused was an understandable passion.
No it isn’t.
Burning a nasty, racist, violent book is a legitimate act of protest. Burning and beheading people who had nothing to do with it is murderous brutality.
Jones was right. The reaction to his little protest proves there is something to protest about.
Kow-towing to bullies does not work. They need to be told stop it and grow up.
Forgiving bullies does not work, unless they have first shown that they have changed and will bully no longer.
Otherwise making excuses for inexcusable behaviour merits the warning JP Donleavy gave about forgiveness in general (no link, but from the Unexpurgated Code):
“Forgiveness. Be careful, those getting this then do the unforgivable. Which is frequently a lot worse than the first lousy thing they did to you.”
Now a couple of quotes from a woman who runs a small business in the rural US:
Ann – I am not a political activist. I am the owner of three small businesses who looked around two and a half years ago and said, “Oh, HELL no.” Politicians make me ill. I can never and will never be a politician. For the last two to three years I have been focusing heavily on explaining and exposing Marxism, Islam and the fraud that is Obama. But that is triple-redundant, isn’t it?
iOTW – What is your take on what is known as the Ground Zero Mosque?
Ann – They can build a mosque at Ground Zero when we can build a Catholic Cathedral Basilica over the top of the Kaaba in Mecca. You know what? Check that. They still couldn’t build a mosque at Ground Zero, because Ground Zero is the sacred burial space of 3000 people that THEY MURDERED. No mosque at Ground Zero E.V.E.R.
iOTW – Islam uses the constitution to their advantage. How do we do battle with Islam without trampling the constitution?
Ann – Declare war against the Caliphate, just like we did against the Third Reich. Same bloody thing. And I’m not kidding.
iOTW- What do you think of General Petraeus and his assertion that inciting Islam puts our soldiers in harm’s way?
Ann – I have an offer for General Petraeus. I’ll GIVE him one of my balls. Then I’d still have two, and he would have one. He is a politicking coward who cares only about his pension and cashing in on his rank after he retires. The suicidal, defeatist Rules of Engagement he oversees are the unequivocal proof of that. He should resign in disgrace – yesterday, and then present himself to each and every family of our war dead and BEG their forgiveness for failing in his duty as their son or daughter’s commanding officer.
Here’s a bit more, complete with Koran with bacon bookmarks:
You may disagree with some of what she says, or the way she says it.
Freedom of speech, and safety to speak what we believe, is a great privilege. To lose it is to lose civilisation.
Given odd exceptions (I wouldn’t want to live in Venezuela at the moment, for example) where would you choose to live?
Where are women treated as equals, and gays and lesbians accepted and safe? Where would you feel safer? Where would your children be safer? Where can people of any race and religion participate in business and politics? In which countries are there schools, universities, hospitals, stable government, a free press?
And which countries are people trying to leave?
After the name calling, the next step of desperate malingerers is to take people who disagree with them to court.
So it should come as no surprise that having been caught fiddling with the facts yet again, Michael Mann is taking legal action against those who have pointed out that his deliberate manipulation of data to gain scentific notice and financial reward amounts to fraud:
Dr. Tim Ball received the second of two libel lawsuits from North Vancouver law firm of Roger D. McConchie on Friday (March 25, 2011). Global warming doomsaying professor Michael Mann files the latest writ.
Mann, the infamous creator of the now discredited ‘hockey stick’ graph was once the darling of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a tax hungry government funded organization that blames mankind for raising global temperatures by 0.7 degrees during the 20th Century. Now he is desperate to hit back at his critics with the help of Big Green’s immense financial resources. Below we examine the shady background of Professor Mann and explain what Ball must do to defeat this latest legal challenge.
The IPCC plucked Mann from total obscurity after his problematic and “rushed” Ph.D was granted. His viva voce examination was in 1996 and he was required to make corrections. Such a two year delay suggests substantial errors and which would normally require a second viva, but this was strangely not recorded. Then, despite having no reputation as a researcher Mann was bizarrely appointed not only as an expert by the IPCC but as Lead Author for the 2001 Third Report.
Several fellow academics, including Dr. Judith Curry smelt something rotten among mendacious Mikey’s tree rings and their fears were confirmed when Canadian statistical experts, Steve McIntyre and Professor Ross McKitrick found a string of ‘errors’ in Mann’s work. All the errors warped the wooden data in favor of the man-made global warming hype.
It transpired Mann and his secretive clique of climatologists who ‘pal reviewed’ his junk science benefited to the tune of millions of dollars in government research grants.
Dr Tim Ball is a retired scientist, well respected, but with little in the way of financial resources. He is an easy target.
If you are not sure what was done in the ‘Hockey Stick’ data that was so wrong, watch this short video from Berkeley Professor Richard A Muller:
Earth Hour is a waning fad. A couple of years ago, when I left security lights on in my shop, people wanted to know why I was not interested in saving the planet.
This year, when I put a note in the window explaining why we would not be keeping Earth Hour, people said they had no idea it was happening.
Some more thoughts on this from Ira Levant:
What’s remarkable about this month’s Japanese calamities is how few people were actually killed. Ten thousand are dead and 17,000 are missing — a tragic loss. But compare that to another earthquake in Japan in 1923 that killed more than 100,000 people.
This month’s quake was more than 10 times as powerful, but a combination of better construction methods and better emergency response saved lives.
Japan’s earthquake was the fifth largest ever recorded, a startling 9.0 on the Richter scale — where each number is 10 times more powerful than the previous number. A 10.0 earthquake has never been recorded.
This is very encouraging — and it’s a testament to human achievement.
Saturday was so-called Earth Hour, a publicity stunt created by the World Wildlife Fund where enthusiasts were supposed to stop using electricity for an hour. Only a rich, luxuriant society would fetishize poverty and want. Japan is still rebuilding; there are still parts of that country where electricity is not back on. They are in a permanent state of Earth Hour deprivation — not as some fashion statement but because of a tragedy. How is that state of despair a morally commendable situation?
It was human development, industry, capitalism, electricity — and in Japan’s case, safe nuclear power — that has made the difference between their more modest death toll and the 230,000 who died in Indonesia’s earthquake and tsunami in 2004, or the 220,000 who died last year in Haiti. Haiti’s earthquake was less than 1% as powerful; it was their lack of industrial development that made it so deadly.
Is that really the state of affairs we want to be worshipped on Earth Day? For centuries, guilty, rich, white liberals have professed their admiration for the “noble savage” — an unspoiled man, typically in a pre-industrial civilization, not yet spoiled by our modern ways or troubles.
It’s a fantasy, it’s condescending, it’s political psychotherapy for the idle rich who feel guilty about how easy their own lives are, and who are clearly looking for some spiritual meaning they themselves lack. But in a world where there are enough natural threats to man’s happiness and longevity, fetishizing primitive economies is a suicidal fetish.
Japan will rise again — over the objections of those who would sentence it to a nuclear-free, industry-free, permanent Earth Day.
Muslim extremist Yahya Ibrahim has made many useful suggestions about effective methods of killing Jews and Americans, including the use of chemical weapons, the conversion of SUVs by adding blades to their wheels so they can mow down pedestrians, and random shootings in crowded cafes.
Mr Ibrahim objects to being called an extremist. He is, he says, a moderate teacher committed to religious tolerance. And he will behead any kuffirs who say otherwise. Or sue them, at least.
Mr Ibrahim is suing the Sunday Telegraph over an article which suggested he might have discriminatory or anti-semitic views, and that he might share such views with students in the UK.
Mr Ibrahim is hurt and confused by the claim that calling Jews pigs and monkeys and suggesting ways to kill them and other infidels is discriminatory.
Incidentally, Mr Ibrahim works at Australia’s largest Muslim school.
Meanwhile, Melanie Philips is in trouble for calling the arab savages who murdered the Fogel family ‘arab savages,’ along with the people who handed out sweets and danced in the street when they heard that a group of triumphant islamic warriors had managed to cut a baby’s throat and murder her parents and siblings in their sleep.
Clearly Melanie is wrong, wrong, wrong.
The people who did this thing worked for Mossad, and so did all the people in the street. Or if they were arabs, they only meant to borrow the Fogel’s stamp collection and things got out of hand. And anyway, those Jews shouldn’t have been there in the first place. In their house. In a Jewish village. And the people in the street were handing out sweets and dancing because the weather was so nice. And also, it’s judgemental to call someone a savage. His feelings might be hurt.
Nope. Sorry. They’re savages. Slime. Filth. And that’s probably an insult to other savages, slime and filth.
And finally, Israel Apartheid Week, (aka Hate Israel Week), is off to a flying start in the UK.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where men and women are equal under the law, where people of any faith can worship without fear of persecution, where gays and lesbians need not be in fear of being mutilated and murdered, where people of every faith and race have equal rights to property and to vote and to assemble.
In Palestinian controlled Bethlehem, by contrast, where the Christian population has fallen from about 60% in 1990 to about 15% now:
There are many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion,” he said. PA officials are directly responsible for many of the attacks, and some Muslims who have converted to Christianity have been murdered.
Naturally, ignorant nitwits around the world are complaining about – Israel.
A roundup of Islamist violence from the last few days from The Religion of Peace:
March 12th 2011 (Kandahar, Afghanistan) – Four civilians are cut to shreds by a roadside bomb.
March 12th 2011 (Baghdad, Iraq) – Seven Iraqi soldiers on their way to work are brutally machine-gunned in their car at point-blank range.
March 12th 2011 (Itamar, Israel) – The Fogel family including a baby and two young children are stabbed to death in their sleep at home.
March 12th 2011 (Hairdin, Pakistan) – A married couple and their four young children are turned into debris by an Islamist mortar attack on their home.
March 11th 2011 (Karachi, Pakistan) – A seminary teacher is assassinated by sectarian rivals.
March 10th 2011 (Peshawar, Pakistan) – Mujahideen fire on a car containing a peace committee contingent, killing the driver.
It is hard to imagine anything more revolting than sneaking into a house at night and stabbing a baby to death. Though vile, brutal and cowardly, acts like the murder of the Fogel family are not uncommon, as the above list shows.
Especially concerning was the celebration of this family’s murder by Palestinians, and the distorted coverage, or non coverage, of these events in the mainstream media.
Binyamin Netanyahu is right to note that the incitement of violence and hatred against Jews is part of the daily life of Palestinian arabs, and something approved of by Israel’s ‘peace partners’ Hamas and the PA, despite their claims to the contrary.
As Israel on Sunday was mourning the slaughter of the five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction named a town square after Dalal al-Mughrabi, the leader of the 1978 bus hijacking in which 37 Israelis were killed and 71 were wounded.
“We stand here in praise of our martyrs and in loyalty to all of the martyrs of the national movement,” Fatah member and Abbas adviser Sabri Seidam said at the unveiling of a plaque showing Mughrabi cradling a rifle against a backdrop map of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The square was festooned with Palestinian flags.
Pamela Geller has more on the Fogel murder, including photos of the family, a video, commentary on the press coverage, photos of Palestinians handing out sweets on the street in celebration, the glorification of past family murderers by the PA, and quotes from the Koran and hadith showing how this murderous hatred and violence is justified.
A selection from some patient and thoughtful replies by Mark Shea to an enquirer at his blog Catholic and Enjoying It!:
1. Do you believe women should be ordained into the Catholic priesthood?
The question is not whether they should be, but whether they can be. And the Church has already given its answer: She lacks the authority to do that in the sacrament of Holy Orders, just as she lacks the authority to consecrate chocolate eclairs and milk (which I would much prefer) in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
The faith is not the private property of the Pope which he is free to alter on a whim. Jesus and the apostles never ordained women, just as they never baptised in olive oil or wine (though they do use these elements in other sacraments). We can’t improve on what they handed down.
7. Is Catholicism a repressive religion?
No. Catholicism is the most joyfully liberating thing I have ever encountered. The repression lies in a culture that constantly tells you what you may and may not think, say, and do. My culture tries to squeeze me into a box everyday. Standing alone against all the parties, shibboleths, tribes and code words is one thing: the Catholic faith which, as Chesterton says, alone can save you from the degrading slavery of being a child of your age and which, by the way, is the only thing that can get rid of my sins.
If anything, what really terrifies most postmoderns about the Catholic Church is that her intellectual subtlety and freedom of thought is too terrifying for those who are only comfortable with slogans, catch phrases and simplistic labels.
8. Do you believe that the Church eventually accept homosexuality due to society’s acceptance of the act?
If by “the act” you mean homogenital sex, then no: the Church will never accept it because it is unnatural, contrary to nature, and cannot be reconciled with Scripture or tradition.
If by “homosexual” you mean the homosexual person who feels desires that are intrinsically disordered, then the answer is that the Church always has and always will accept such persons, just as she accepts persons like me, who likewise feel disordered desires in the area of another bodily appetite: eating.
The problem is not that homosexuals feel disordered desires. The problem is when the person with disordered desires demands that the Church and the world pretend those desires are not disordered.
US Department of Justice statistics show that although they constitute only 1% of America’s population, Muslims have been responsible for 186 of 228 terror cases investigated since 9/11.
The Tamil Tigers and Columbian FARC are next with 32 cases between them.
And, no, of course we shouldn’t blame all Muslims for this. And we don’t. Despite scare stories about Islamophobia, Jews in the US are ten times more likely to be the victims of a hate crime than Muslims.
Why are Muslims in America and Australia so over-represented in terror related offences?
It is a question I would have thought moderate Muslims were as anxious to answer as the rest of us.
Yet the response to Republican Peter King’s investigation of the extent of radicalisation of American Muslims and the response of the Muslim community to this radicalisation has been protest rallies and personal attacks including death threats.
A little more from Rick Moran at Frontpagemag.com:
Why this has developed into such a wildly controversial matter says more about those who are threatening, smearing, and hysterically criticizing King than it does about radical Islam. When the left allies itself with extremist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in order to wave the flag of political correctness in America’s face, you realize that the problem is bigger than simply rooting out extremism. The exaggerated, over-the-top, self-righteous posturing coming from media outlets like The New York Times bespeaks a refusal to face up to the challenge of radical Islam in America and how to combat it.
And if we’re not prepared to address the threat of extremism in our own country, how can we possibly fight it overseas?
Leftists and their Muslim grievance-monger allies are deliberately seeking to block efforts to discover the extent of the problem of terrorism by viciously attacking the New York congressman. They are opposing King in the name of some misguided belief that because terrorism comes from a specific religious group, we must blind ourselves to the danger, else we would be guilty of “bigotry.”
Let’s be clear about this. Most Muslims are decent people.
That does not mean there is no problem with Islam.
Consider some of the brutal attacks carried out in the name of Islam over the last few days. These are not crimes which just happened to be committed by Muslims.
Christians, Hindus and Buddhists commit crimes. These were crimes perpetrated by people who claimed that these acts were justified or commanded by their faith – that they were following the example of Muhammed:
2nd March 2011 (Islamabad, Pakistan) – Taliban gunmen kill Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in Pakistan’s cabinet.
2nd March 2011 (Frankfurt, Germany) – Two US airmen are killed and two civilians wounded when Arif Uka, a 21 year old islamist, fires into a bus.
1st March 2011(Mardan, Pakistan) – Nineteen are injured when the Taliban throw a grenade into a girl’s school.
1st March 2011 (Bara, Pakistan) – Islamic militants behead a civilian and dump his head and torso in separate areas.
1st March 2011 (Miranshah, Pakistan) – Four villagers are abducted and executed in captivity by Sunni fundamentalists.
28th Feb 2011 (Srinagar, India) – An engineer and father of three dies from shrapnel injuries suffered from an Islamist grenade attack at a market.
28th Feb 2011 (Baramulla, India) – A shopkeeper is murdered by Mujahideen gunmen.
28th Feb 2011 (Dabwak, Nigeria) – A Christian mother and four of her children are slaughtered in their home by Muslim militants.
27th Feb 2011 (Landi Kotal, Pakistan) – A tribal elder is abducted and murdered by suspected Lashkar-e-Islam.
27th Feb 2011(Pattani, Thailand) – A 54-year-old salesman is shot to death by Muslim militants.
And in the latest ‘nearly’ scare, on March 1st islamic militant Rajib Karim was found guilty of plotting to blow up a BA passenger jet. Karim had moved to the UK from Bangladesh in 2006.
He was “committed to an extreme jihadist and religious cause” and was “determined to seek martyrdom”, jurors were told.
These are examples from just the last few days.
If Christians started behaving this way, and saying they were doing so in the name of Jesus, I, and every Christian leader in the known world, would be saying as loudly and clearly as we could that such actions were repulsive and utterly incompatible with Christianity.
But Muslim leaders, even those who claim to be moderate, do not do this – or at least, not clearly and consistently.
Watch this video from France:
OK, so that’s France. This is Australia:
So tell us please, Mr Wilkie, how does being concerned about this make someone a racist?
On the NPR (US public radio) website, Brian Reed writes condescendingly about the benighted residents of Kiribati.
Even in a place as vulnerable as Kiribati, there are skeptics.
“I’m not easily taken by global scientists prophesizing the future,” says Teburoro Tito, the country’s former president and now a member of Parliament.
“Saying we’re going to be under the water, that I don’t believe,” Tito says. “Because people belong to God, and God is not so silly to allow people to perish just like that.”
Tito is not alone in his views. Of the more than 90,000 people counted in Kiribati’s last census, a mere 23 said they did not belong to a church. According to the most recent census, some 55 percent of citizens are Roman Catholic, 36 percent are Protestant and 3 percent are Mormon.
As a result, many are torn between what they hear from scientists and what they read in the Bible.
Silly deniers! If only they’d listen to reason! Then they’d realise their whole country is going to be submerged.
Except that the faith-filled folk of Kiribati are the ones whose views are closer to reality.
This graph shows changes in sea level at Kiribati over the last twenty years:
This graph shows what the rise would look like if the alarmists’ claims were true:
Now a study by scientists in New Zealand and Fiji has found that not only are sea levels in Kiribati and Tuvalu not showing any dangerous long term rising trend, but the islands themselves are growing.
Professor Paul Kench, of Auckland University, who co-authored the study with Dr Arthur Webb, a Fiji-based expert on coastal processes, said the study challenged the view that the islands were sinking as a result of global warming.
“Eighty per cent of the islands we’ve looked at have either remained about the same or, in fact, got larger.
“Some have got dramatically larger,” he said.
“We’ve now got evidence the physical foundations of these islands will still be there in 100 years.”
There is a collision between faith and science. But it is the warmists’ faith, not the faith of Kiribati Christians, which distorts the facts and makes for bad policy.
And it is right to be.
Mohammed ElBaradei says that Israel signed a treaty with Mubarak, not Egypt.
Not one of the parties or movements which could potentially form part of a new Egyptian government is friendly, or even neutral, towards Israel and the West.
Said Abdel-Khalek, former editor in chief of the Wafd Party’s Al-Wafd, said that the conflict with the Jewish state will be renewed because “there isn’t a house in Egypt that doesn’t have a martyr, killed in one of our wars with Israel. There are too many open wounds. I was an officer in the 1973 war and I can’t put my hand in an Israeli’s. And the vast majority of the people share this feeling.”
Let’s be clear: The 1973 Yom Kippur War was an unprovoked attack on Israel by three much larger countries, a war which those countries lost, and an officer for one of the aggressor nations says this was such an offence against the Arab people that it can never be forgiven.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this. Arab national leaders, and leaders of popular movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, have said with absolute consistency that the existence of Israel is an offence that cannot and must not be tolerated.
This means that any attempt by Israel to defend its people or borders is perceived by the Arab world as an unforgiveable act of violence – Israel has no right to exist, so it has no right to defend itself.
Iranian influence is growing in the North, fueled by Amadinejad’s relentless and continuing calls for the destruction of Israel.
In the South, Bahrain’s monarchy is weak, detested by the 70% of the population who are Shi’ite, many of whom will look to Iran for leadership.
After the US abandonment of long time ally Mubarak, the Saudis know that they cannot rely on America for support if the going gets tough. They cannot afford to be isolated. Of necessity, they will now value the US alliance less than the friendship of their neighbours.
Israel too, must now doubt the support it can expect from the US or the UK in the event of any conflict.
From the US, because the US seems to lack the political will to get out of bed in the morning, let alone come to the aid of a friend.
From the UK, because any assistance from the UK in an Arab/Israel conflict would cause a wave of hostility and violence to be stirred up by the UK’s powerful and radical imams.
So Israel is now surrounded by unstable regimes looking for a diversion from their problems, or by states which openly declare their intention to destroy Israel as soon as possible, while its two strongest allies look like they are ducking for cover.
And then there is this – a million Egyptians shouting, ‘To Jeruslaem we go, to be martyrs for the millions.’
Israel is right to be worried.
There are many people for whom that ruling by a judge in Austria will come as a great comfort.
There are many more for whom it be a source of astonished dismay.
Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a critic of islamic activism in Europe, has been on trial in Austria for inciting hatred and denigrating religious teachings.
The judge began the delivery of his verdict by pointing out that the integration of Muslims into the community is a question of public interest, that it is acceptable to ask questions, and even to be critical. It is not acceptable to incite hatred. The judge found that Elizabeth’s remarks had not done so.
However, Elizabeth had also said that by today’s standards, Mohammed was a paedophile. I have said the same thing. He was also a mass murder, torturer and rapist.
I do not see how it is possible for a fifty-four year old man having sex with a nine year old girl not to fit the definition of paedophilia.
The judge disagreed. A person is only a paedophile, he said, if that person’s primary sexual interest is in children. Mohammed did not fit that description because he had other, adult wives, and because he continued to have sex with Aisha after she was eighteen.
Elizabeth was found guilty of denigrating religious teachings, and fined €480.00.
By the judge’s line of reasoning, if someone has sex with children, he is not a paedophile if he continues to have sex with them when they are adults, or if he has more sex with adult women than with children.
That is just plainly idiotic.
It may well be the case that Mohammed’s behaviour, which included raping women captured in war, was acceptable in his time and culture.
But that is not what Elizabeth was concerned about.
There would be no problem if Muslims acknowledged that some of Mohammed’s actions might have been acceptable then but are not acceptable now, and therefore that he cannot be taken as a moral exemplar.
But they cannot do this. For Muslims Mohammed is the highest moral exemplar of all humanity. His actions and the teachings of the Quran apply everywhere and at all times.
If Mohammed did something, no court or law can forbid it. If the Quran commands or even permits something, no court or law can forbid it.
Just as one example, the Quran provides for rules for waiting periods after intercourse before a man can divorce a wife. It includes a rule to cover the prescribed waiting period if a man wishes to divorce a wife with whom he has had intercourse, but who has not yet started to menstruate.
Elizabeth is right. The judge is wrong.