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Creation of doubt

We all have doubts and sometimes we create them. I like many others are appalled by the beheading in France, as the news gives us “The teacher killed in a suburb of Paris in an Islamist terror attack has been named as Samuel Paty” as well as “The history teacher, who is said to have discussed images of the Prophet Muhammad with his pupils, was beheaded”, as a Catholic I am appalled, yet as an academic I wonder why the matter was set into motion. In 2015 many learned “If you set aside for a moment the issue of whether satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad are insulting, there’s a separate and complicated debate about whether any depiction – even a respectful one – is forbidden within Islam. For most Muslims it’s an absolute prohibition – Muhammad, or any of the other prophets of Islam, should not be pictured in any way. Pictures – as well as statues – are thought to encourage the worship of idols”, as such we see that Islam FORBIDS any representation of the prophet Muhammad. So is the stage one where a person was beheaded, or is the stage where secular France, knowingly and intentionally disrespects a religion? This is a much harder question isn’t it? I took the events of 2015 at I was against them, yet at that point I was not aware about the Islamic rule of their prophet. As a Catholic, I have an issue of people intentionally disrespecting any religion, it is for that same reason that I refused to read the Satanic verses by Salman Rushdie. I have nothing against the man, I was in those days completely in the dark on Islam and the book was an open attack on Islam. I heard people I knew commenting on how brilliant a book it was, but I knew that they too had no knowledge, none what so ever on the rules and believes towards Islam. As a Catholic, I still laugh over the joke Sir Ken Robinson made “He shares this story of a teacher who asks a 6 year old girl, “What are you drawing?” And the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of god.” And the teacher said, “But nobody knows what god looks like.” And the girl said, “They will in a minute””, idols and images of the Catholic faith are not a taboo, it sets the joke of anticipation and the premise towards the willingness to fail, a fear most Christians have in abundance. 

As such, why would Samuel Paty create a situation where he got ahead of himself? I do not condone what was done to him, but in defence of any Islamic person, why did he openly offend any religion in a school class? There is no way that there were no Islamic children in that school. I wonder if there is any school left where we share the classrooms with non-christians. Can we set the stage where we openly mock a religion whilst demanding respect from these very same people at the same time? As I personally see it, we create doubt, in ourselves and we create doubt in others. Why is that?

When we take a step back and we consider the Crusades (1096), we need to realise the state where we see “The crusader presence remained in the region in some form until the city of Acre fell in 1291, leading to the rapid loss of all remaining territory in the Levant. There were no further substantive attempts to recover the Holy Land after this”, consider the middle east being in a war for 196 years, this sets a stage (in those days of close to 7 generations that know a stage of war, a never ending war where hatred is taught (to at least some degree) from grandfather, to so to grandson, and that stage is made worse by intentionally disrespecting Islam, and you wonder why there are angry people? This is a stage that goes back to the Council of Clermont, where in 1095 it was decided that “capture Jerusalem for Christendom from its Muslim occupiers. The Pope’s speech to the church hierarchy and crowd of laymen at Clermont famously promised all participants a remission of their sins, a strategy which proved hugely popular amongst Europe’s nobility and knights and which was copied in all crusades thereafter”, apart from the stage where the reward was ‘promised all participants a remission of their sins’, basically on the promise of killing any saracen in sight. Can someone enlighten me where slaughter was approved in the Bible? All whilst Pope Urban II was viewed as “a reformer and active promoter of the idea of expanding Christendom by whatever means necessary. Hailing from a noble family from Burgundy, France, Urban II would establish himself as one of the most influential popes in history”, yes and a war lasting a few centuries longer 196 years achieved that? 

So as we get to “On 27 November the cream of the French clergy and a crowd of laymen gathered in a field just outside Clermont for the finale of the council. It was here that Urban II made his now famous speech in an obviously pre-prepared set piece. The message, known as the Indulgence, was addressed in particular to Christian nobles and knights across Europe. Urban II promised that all those who defended Christendom and captured Jerusalem would be embarking on a pilgrimage, all their sins would be washed away, and their souls would reap untold rewards in the next life. In case anyone was concerned, a group of church scholars later went to work and came up with the idea that a campaign of violence could be justified by references to particular passages of the Bible and the works of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE)”, The man (not the actual Hippo) got his fame with the Just War theory. A stage where we are taught “The purpose of the doctrine is to ensure war is morally justifiable through a series of criteria, all of which must be met for a war to be considered just. The criteria are split into two groups: “right to go to war” (jus ad bellum) and “right conduct in war” (jus in bello). The first concerns the morality of going to war, and the second the moral conduct within war. Recently there have been calls for the inclusion of a third category of just war theory—jus post bellum—dealing with the morality of post-war settlement and reconstruction”, perhaps the French UN essay writer, might reflect on the Just war theory, I mean, she has such a great handle on fiction, might it not be an idea to set the record straight on historic events? I see and understand the stage of ‘Just war theory’, there is nothing wrong with it, but consider the stage we were at in 1095, the middle east was not a christian bastion. In 1000bc Jerusalem was Jewish, in 586 bc it became Babylonian, Alexander the Great made it Greek, after that is became Egyptian, then Roman, after that it became Muslim, 400 years before the first crusade. Can anyone even tell what Jerusalem was supposed to be? 

But Christians needed expansion and the famine and destitute in Europe gave them the idea to tap into the wealthy reserves of the Arab nations. This is a stage that had war upon war, all whilst none had any clue who they were up against, merely that their enemy was non-christian, can we afford a repetition? Well, I actually do not care, if it decimates 96% of the population, I’ll be happy, because this planet will end up with all kinds of live stopping it become extinct. So back to Christians, can we tell how many versions there are? There are dozens of bibles all different, there are Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, 7 day advents, Quakers and a whole range of subversions and additions. Yet there are as far as I can tell, two forms of Islam, Sunni Islam and Shia Islam and they both have the same Quran, to the letter. Sunni’s and Shia’s pray together and their pilgrimage takes them all to the same to places. I believe that we create the doubt in ourselves and I do not care on secularism, armistice or atheist values, which of them allows for the open and wanton disrespect of Islam we see?

It does not make the violence acceptable, but we created that stage ourselves, we need to see that and we need to see it quickly. In case you wonder if it is just Islamic violence. I offer you the setting of another challenge. Buy a cow, go into Mumbai with that cow and slaughter your own cow, good luck getting out alive, your changes are not that good. If that setting offends you, then why allow the entire stage towards an image of Muhammad, in a school no less.

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Behold the truth on a console

It was a setting my mind went into when I was looking at the PS5 presentation at 06:00. It suddenly hit me, a new IP, one that has never been done before. So what if the game is not a game, what it is a story about the truth. A setting where we get to be different people, unlocking christian history. The early days, the treaty of Claremont, the Malleus Malificarus, the Ghibellines papers, the list is near endless and for the most, Christians are unaware on a lot of this. Let’s face it, when was the last time you got the truth served as a game (well, sort of a game anyway). Walking through the Vatican, unlocking art, unlocking the history of artists. A setting of papers, paintings and sculptures. In all this, did the Vatican Apostolic Archives ever considered that their in-house digitisation project would be a stage of informing the people? Even as they attempted to both make the documents more available to researchers, so why only researchers?  Why not inform us all? And in this way preserving ageing physical documents will be preserved all over the world. In this way we can serve up the history of religion in many ways, on many grounds and in a playful way. I remember (when I was young) getting late to a sermon. I asked the man sitting next to me ‘How long has he been speaking’, the answer was ‘about half an hour’, when I asked him what it was about, I got ‘He hasn’t told us yet’. 

You might laugh, but if we look at this neutrally, when was the last time we got the real goods on what happened? Who has ever liked at the treaty of Claremont? When we see “Pope Urban’s speech on November 27 included the call to arms that would result in the First Crusade, and eventually the capture of Jerusalem and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In this, Urban reacted to the request by Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus who had sent envoys to the Council of Piacenza requesting military assistance against the Seljuk Turks”, I wonder how many people had any clue on what the crusades were about. It was about greed, not religion (well less about religion). The movie Kingdom of Heaven (by Ridley Scott) touches on it, but for those with a larger interest in RPG and not killing things (optionally not killing things) we could have an option. There is of course the option, that you unlock a character that can actually go into Jerusalem, it is an idea. I just got the idea less than an hour ago, so it is still evolving in my mind, even whilst I am writing this. If the Vatican wants to reach the youth of today, the 5 consoles embrace close to 638,000,000 people, as such, is it such a bad idea?

And it is not merely about the documents and the Vatican, if you are not French, there is a decent hand the you are not aware of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims, so why not? There are a whole range of churches and cathedral who have had a larger push in nations and I think the it is time to give the people the low down on these places. 

Is it a crazy idea? Yup, I will be the first one to admit that, is it a bad idea? There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, there are 638 million console gamers, there is a really good chance that these groups overlap. Skyrim is one of the most successful games ever made and it only has 20 million copies, when you see the other two numbers, does it make sense to take that walk? I believe it does and there is every chance that this game could make it on all of the 5 consoles, optionally PC and MAC too. 

So will we behold the truth or merely bash the ‘x’ button on Devil may Cry 5? Well the is up to you to decide, but consider Minecraft, everyone laughed initially, yet now there are well over 100 million people playing that game (most on PC), so whilst this idea is bouncing in my head, I will consider ordering my PS5 and I await a shop calling me back with the explanation what I have been waiting for my iPad since May, and it better come with more than a ‘there is a new model arriving in 2 weeks’.

Hasta Lasagna and Auf Wiener Schnitzel!

 

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Sexual abuse is apparently fine

The Washington Post gives us the news one hour ago. The article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/private-letters-indicate-the-vatican-imposed-but-didnt-enforce-restrictions-on-former-cardinal-mccarrick/2019/05/28/dc3ca440-814f-11e9-b585-e36b16a531aa_story.html) gives us: ‘Private letters indicate the Vatican imposed, but didn’t enforce, restrictions on former cardinal McCarrick‘, the setting here is that “an aide to former cardinal Theodore McCarrick released excerpts from emails and letters laying out how the Vatican tried to quietly sanction McCarrick years before he was defrocked for sexual abuse“, so this was not in the short run, this is not a small matter, the Washington Post has additional articles on this in 2018, and it gets to be worse when we consider that clerical abuse expert Richard Sipe published excerpts from the 2005 and 2007 settlement documents in 2010. Yet I am still in another phase. You see most of us got the wakeup call through the movie Spotlight (2016), we had heard rumours left, right and chapels, but the fact on just how big and large the problem is has not made it to mainstream media to the degree that it should had. How can I as a Catholic, remain Catholic when I am confronted with: “send reported abusers for mental health counseling; reassign them to pastoral work regardless of what a professional recommends (i.e. restriction of access to minors); allow them to work again unsupervised; wait for another report of offence; repeat the cycle; cover it all up“, which we got from Richard Sipe in May 2010. And it gets worse when you consider: “The trouble is that it is sealed within the system. Few of the seminarian/priest victims will talk on record. They have everything to lose. Sexually active priests who have no intention of being celibate do everything to cover their tracks“, so according to the release evidence (excerpts from court cases) and the amounts settled was a lot; basically, all the funds that the people hand over for charity, for the church, for the needy. From that amount around $4 billion regarding cases that go back up to 35 years, the largest amount $600 million regarding 221 priests to dress the wounds of well over 500 victims. Whilst none of these clerics are in prison, these people give us lectures on humanitarian aid and the suffering in places like Saudi Arabia? How hypocrite can we get?

So as Newsweek, who was the source gave us one part, they also gave us BishopAccountability, who is actively ‘documenting the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church‘ give us the additional “We document settlements involving 5,679 persons who allege sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. These survivors are only one-third of the 15,235 allegations that the bishops say they have received through 2009, and they are only 5% of the 100,000 U.S. victims“, the realisation that this is from the last 10 years and that it involves over 15,000 allegations, as i see it a large prison holding up to 25,000 priests called ‘Concilium Vaticanum locum seorsum‘ (Vatican Isolation Location) is required, build at the expense of, as well as funded by the Vatican. I reckon that in the end it is a cheaper way to resolve the issue, when we set these beasts in prison for 5-15 years, things might look up. How acceptable do you find the notion of: “wait for another report of offence; repeat the cycle; cover it all up“? How will you see this when it involves your child or a relative you were close to?

In all this the lamest of all reasons is seen with: Adult men make less instantly sympathetic victims than children, and the alleged incidents involving McCarrick are less headline-grabbingly horrifying“, so why is the DA not doing his/her job? Crimes were committed, hundreds of times, over and over again, yet we see no convictions, we see no culling of the acts by these priest. When you see all the evidence stack up with a failing to convict and as I see it: “before the 88-year-old simply passes away in seclusion“, is not a verdict or punishment, it is merely a stage of house arrest with optional benefits.

The only thing it does is leave us with the clarity that ‘abuse is fine‘, which is weird, because I know it to be 100% wrong, so why are people sitting on their hands? Why are people trivialising the fact that globally thousands of victims were created and the Catholic Church did next to nothing? At present there are 22 US senators who are Catholic, and how many of them have been active towards the prosecution of these clerics?

Even as lawmakers have passed a bill that would force priests to disclose information about child sexual abuse that they hear in the sacrament of Confession, we see in the Catholic sun that Archbishop José H. Gómez, vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he was “deeply disappointed”, which we cannot accept, that feeling of disappointment is a mere 15,235 allegations too late, a stage where we see that there are up to 15,235 victims in the US alone and for the longest time priests would cover for one another and more upsetting higher elements in the Church were part of the cover-up. It is when we consider the CruxNow (at https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2018/08/24/what-new-jersey-bishops-now-retired-knew-about-mccarrick-settlements/) and we take notice of “The Metuchen Diocese made settlements of $53,333 and $100,000, where one (2006) was regarding a former priest who said he had been abused by McCarrick and others. This priest submitted the first known written complaint about McCarrick“, this puts Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski in the firing line, yet we also acknowledge that he also reported the offenses to law enforcement, yet what actions were taken are not known to me at present. Yet this indicates that at least a Cardinal or higher had to be aware of it as early as 2006, giving us 13 years of danger to more victims. However, to get back to Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski, you see Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington was never informed of the settlements according to the Catholic News agency. It gives questions when we read: “Cardinal Wuerl said last week that he was never informed that those settlements had been reached“, it leaves the actions of Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski open for debate and investigation. The fact that Richard Sipe personally wrote a letter to Benedict XVI in 2008 stating the hazard that is Theodore Edgar McCarrick (source: New York times, 2018) supports the view that the events were known in the very top of the Vatican, and as such, how can we remain comfortable as Catholics? I certainly do not feel comfortable at all.

When we realise that the Vatican was informed again in 2000 and 2006, yet in the end nothing was done for decades, that is the larger evil in all this and it is right there within the Vatican. The fact that according to news that McCarrick lives currently at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas and not in prison is really beyond me, the fact that the Washington Post gave us three hours ago that the Vatican imposed restrictions, but did not enforce them (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/private-letters-indicate-the-vatican-imposed-but-didnt-enforce-restrictions-on-former-cardinal-mccarrick/2019/05/28/dc3ca440-814f-11e9-b585-e36b16a531aa_story.html), gives rise to additional issues on several levels, yet if there is hope to be seen it does not come from the very top, but from the other side as Rev. Anthony Figueiredo, it is also in that article that we are made aware of “Cardinal Wuerl has previously stated — and he reiterates again — that he was not aware of any imposition of sanctions or restrictions related to any claim of abuse or inappropriate activity by Theodore McCarrick“, this ‘revelation’ is not about Cardinal Wuerl but on Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski, consider where McCarrick went, what kind of a danger he would optionally be to the people there; it is my personal view that the bishop created a dangerous place of intentional harm by keeping quiet, how Christian is that? How Christian are we when we merely accept that there is no prosecution to a lot more members of the clergy?

When we see: ‘Why ‘moderate’ Muslims need to speak loudly against terror‘, yet we also see that we do nothing against the Vatican on these transgressions, where is the greater evil, in the Vatican or in Mecca? Most Christians would consider Mecca to be ‘evil’ yet as we allow for the Vatican transgressions, can we even tell what evil is and what it looks like?

In the 80’s I knew what evil was and what it looked like. I felt like a proud Catholic going up against the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah. Today I am still against the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, yet from those days I am not certain that my mind was playing for the right team, as such my mind wanders all over the place. What do you do when you learn after half a century that would have played for the wrong team? I know that Christians were never innocent, there is plenty of evidence that they wiped at least 17 civilisations from existence, the fact that Catholics are optionally to be seen as an internal cancer that is destroying itself from within is far more dangerous. If we are here to give rise to a better soul and the messenger cannot be trusted to protect our soul, where are we left?

If sexual abuse is fine, and we are no longer able to tell the falsehood of that, how doomed are we really? It is at this point that I recollect (in reality I searched for this) the Quran, specifically Taha 20:102: “The Day when the trumpet shall be blown, and on that day we shall gather the sinners together, blue-eyed (- the spiritually blind ones)“, to be honest ever since I saw Spotlight (2016) I have felt like a blind man, when you fear the people you would easily trust, how deep is the trouble that Christians face and how utterly wrongful has the Vatican reacted to all this, and how many more mistakes will they willingly make to let it all go away under cover of denial, settlement and ignorance towards the victims that they created?

I wonder if we learn the truth of that in time, all of us.

 

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Not the worst idea

An article hit my eyes this morning. First I was furious; this was easy as I had been set up with a lousy morning already. The one where you wake up knowing that bashing a person to death would be met with life in prison and the thought that this would be OK. I was that angry this morning! So, it is a given that you should not read certain news in an emotional state, but then I realised. ‘This might not be the worst idea‘. The article is ‘Marriage equality opponents call for broad right to discriminate‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/21/marriage-equality-opponents-call-for-broad-right-to-discriminate), you see, here we see the shortsighted, optionally two individuals who embrace the life of ‘Homo flaccidicus‘ (aka Homophobes). With “Monica Doumit, responded that the group “believes that no one should be coerced to use their creative talents to endorse a message with which they disagree”” we see opportunity. I will get to that later. And with “For example, we support the right of the many advertising agencies and meeting venues who have denied us service during this campaign to do so.” Monica Doumit opens a can of worms she would have been much better steering clear of. Tiernan Brady is right when he states that the comments showed the ‘No campaign‘ was engaged in was merely “a blatant attempt to unravel existing anti-discrimination laws which serve everyone in Australia well, not just LGBTI people”. Yet, Tiernan my friend, it might not be the worst idea. You see, Monica showed to be not the best intellectual mind and I will now lower my standards to meet hers. You see, these same people will not be forced into a different state, they forgot about their own self-interest in this. It will be their duty to loudly point at adulterers all the time and perhaps even stone them (I am opting for mandatory stoning). When you consider that amongst the penises and vaginas they know at least one out of three is involved with adultery (apparently that is what the statistics claim), so their foundation of friendship will be diminished by 30% at the very least (optionally for footy players this number allegedly goes up to 60%). So not only will they lose business to friends, the people that they are stigmatising will move to other grounds as well. So soon there will be no business left for them. Well, the Muslim community will, according to: “Sahih Bukhari (83:37) – Adultery is one of three justifications for killing a person, according to Muhammad.” be lowering the population soon thereafter as well. So house prices will dwindle down and I would like that too as I can’t afford a house in Sydney at present. So, getting back to the snakes and caves! When chastising the adulterers, as we read: “Mark 10:12 – And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery“, so these people will have to point out even more weaklings (in their mind). With divorce being close to 40%, these ‘discriminating No sayers‘ will soon have no friends, no business and no future. And the nice thing is that if THEY do not do these things we can do it for them and put them out of business that way as well. You see, doesn’t the heavenly father massively frown upon hypocrites?

So what they claim is not the worst idea, because they are forced to adapt to standards that will make themselves pariahs to the open world and there is no turning back from that. Merely because we all hate hypocrites and as we realise that Catholic Priests with young boys are no more than sodomites committing adultery, we could hang them in the trees around St. Mary’s Cathedral. This is the polarised world the No-sayer wants, and as it will largely impact these people, let us try this solution for a while. Their defence is that they are not announcing violence, merely stating their belief. Yet they forget that stigmatising and refusing service out of the allowed path of commerce is basically Psychic Assault, which in my book translates as: assault is assault no matter how you slice it.

So as these outspoken ‘no sayers’ (a path they are allowed to) are moving into the field of the ‘broad exemptions to discrimination law‘, they pretty much dug their own grave. In the mere practicality of these events, yes there are people who are uncomfortable with certain settings and they might voice this. So that couple could move on, especially as there are well over 2200 photographers and dozens good photographers are chomping at the bit to get any job that is out there. You see, the Guardian also gives us: “He said a bill would be guided by three principles: “Firstly, existing discrimination in the Marriage Act should be eliminated; secondly, a strong protection for religious freedom should be provided; and thirdly, we should not reintroduce commercial discrimination in Australia.”“, we can agree that part one is not an issue, it should not affect anyone who is not into the LGBTI field and their happiness should not affect the hetero sexual population in any way. If someone claims that it does, they are more likely to have internal struggles on contemplating what happiness is in the first place. I have always been in favour of religious freedom and as such there should not be an issue for the most either. There will always be groups that are offended by ‘another‘ religion. We merely need to look at Ireland in the 70’s to see that happen and nowadays they are so accommodating to large corporations like Apple that they have seemingly forgotten about the ethical issues between Protestants and Catholics and is seems that this wave is now moving to France and Luxembourg as well. Now we get the final part. With ‘we should not reintroduce commercial discrimination in Australia‘ another can of worms is opened. You see commercial discrimination never ended, it merely got pushed into the corner where the light is low. The evidence is clear in nearly every shop and we see the impact every day, but we ignore the evidence. We the people, we the multicultural sexual community (homo and hetero) are getting great at economic discrimination and as such there remains an issue where, if not set out in the open and force the issue towards people like Monica Doumit this will gradually become a way of life and that is not what we want, moreover, it is one that we need to fight visibly and outspoken, because before we know it, we will have a world where anything not in the mind of a small group becomes the standards and the bulk of us move from being a citizen to be no more than a pariah. This is a real danger and that is why I took my example over the top. By forcing them to the letter of the exercise as they ‘unravel existing anti-discrimination laws‘, by making them act against their own foundation of values, they will soon learn that their view was not merely wrong, it was self-destructive. So as we push for that to happen, if these laws are ever adjusted, we can than also tackle to a larger extent the commercial discrimination that is still in place.

We end up getting two wins in the event, I merely wonder if we can pull it off whilst keeping casualties to a minimum. I am not convinced that the casualty list can be kept to a minimum, yet what would be clear is that the casualties would go far beyond the LGBTI group, which might show the other casualties on how unfair and unacceptable the forced life of an LGBTI person was in the first place.

So as I stated at the beginning, it might not be the worst idea. It merely is one that comes with a higher cost than most trying to instigate it realise.

 

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Comprehension

At times, I am at a loss. This is one of those times, and it started as I was confronted with the article ‘Treat surrogate parents as sex offenders, says Italian minister’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/06/treat-surrogates-sex-offenders-italian-minister-angelino-alfano). You see, here I have two levels of confusion.

Let me explain. The first level involves the women that do this. I do not mean this in any negative way! I get it when it is family, but even then, there is part of me that does not quite grasps it. There is nothing as noble as ‘to give thine own body’. You see, no matter how noble it is, I could never fathom a surrogate mother, not her way or her intent, but the fact that once the baby was born that she would have the strength to part with it. We see and read on how teenage girls offer children up for adoption, mainly because they were not ready and they are unable to care for the child and the child might end up having a much better life. In those instances we try to be understanding, but we all realise that this could eat away at the soul of the young woman who did this. There have been many books and many movies, yet the reality is that only that mother can truly state and express what it felt like.

I think it would not be a pretty picture.

So in that light, understanding that a surrogate mother might actually be capable of raising that child, the willingness to part with it is incomprehensible to me, and I need not comprehend. In all this, I never looked negative against the woman who made that choice. So when I read ‘Angelino Alfano says ‘wombs for rent’ should be punishable with prison, as he suggests new laws will make it easier for gay couples to use surrogate mothers‘, I wonder what kind of an idiot Angelino Alfano actually is. Is he just anti-gay, is he anti-surrogate? From what I read I feel certain that he is anti-intelligent!

Now we get to the religious part, because Italy is all about Catholics. At times I think that Italy is all about Catholics, food and adultery, but we get to that soon enough. So, you’ll see some scriptures, but again, reasoning later.

So Angelino Alfano, answer me this, of all your friends who committed adultery, Leviticus 20:10 “If any man commit adultery with the wife of another, and defile his neighbour’ s wife, let them be put to death, both the adulterer and the adulteress“, so how many of those ‘friends’ did you put to death? Or perhaps we should take a look at his actions as stated by the Financial Times on October 2nd 2013 (at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a142b3a8-2b46-11e3-a1b7-00144feab7de.html#axzz3wXhbQy5b), where we see: “the young Sicilian lawyer has been compared to Judas Iscariot in leading a betrayal of his long-time mentor“. Interesting, so who was that Judas Iscariot person? I wonder if there was a punishment for treason, so in all that, it should be clear that  Angelino Alfano should not be making too many statements for a few reasons (read: I will not remove his freedom of speech, just request he keeps a centre of discretion with all his alleged transgressions).

Now, for the other side.

In the Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Philippians 2:3 we see “Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves“, it seems that the happiness for the others is taken in much higher regard. In following there is Timothy 1, where at 6:18 we see “To do good, to be rich in good works, to give easily, to communicate to others,” and finally in Corinthians 10:23-24 we see: “All things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify. Let no man seek his own, but that which is another’s

At face value women who did this have done a Samaritan act of sacrifice and goodness against their nature but not an unnatural one. In a tale of two villages where a storm destroys the bakery of one, should the other baker not make available the oven so that the other village will not perish? Is that such a far stretch? So in that same light should a man of such hypocritical disposition not be shunned for his words and actions? When we read “Treating couples who use surrogate mothers as sex criminals, as Alfano suggested, would entail harsh penalties“, you see the subtext ‘couples who use surrogate mothers‘ is part of this and he seems to be driven to label this as ‘forms of human sexual behaviour that are crimes‘, are they? You see, legally speaking, the intent was given as ‘who use‘, yet this is not the case, the surrogate mother volunteered, which is not the same, she offered and was not used. This now gives us the path he might try to walk which is ‘Treating surrogate mothers who volunteer assistance to same sex couples as sex criminals‘. It seems to get a little dicey now, doesn’t it! As any Samaritan act of good intent is usually not prosecutable. So what started this?

You see, surrogacy is illegal in Italy and that, even if some would considered it to be ‘the act of a non-enlightened nation‘, it is the legal premise that Italy is allowed to make, so when Angelino Alfano comes with the quote “We want ‘wombs for rent’ to become a universal crime. And that it is punished with prison. Just as happens for sexual crimes”, we should all question what is in his mind, perhaps it is the voice of some obscure cleric from Sicily (his origins) who has a massive anti-gay agenda. Perhaps this is not about any of that! Remember the Financial Times part? That is a while ago, but his position is nowhere stable, in addition, in Politico we see “Last month, Angelino Alfano, Italy’s interior minister, described as a “symbol of victory” a plane carrying 19 young Eritreans from Ciampino airport in Rome to Luleå in Sweden. Italy, he said, would send an additional 100 people “in the next few days”” (at http://www.politico.eu/article/why-eu-refugee-relocation-policy-has-been-a-flop-frontex-easo-med/), the UNHCR reveals that on December 31st 2015 153,600 refugees had arrived in Italy, 97,584 on Angelino’s island of Sicily (read: 63.53125% roughly). So is this really about the surrogacy issue, or is he just making waves especially as he heralded a new home for 19 of those refugees (aka 0.000012369%) with the additional 100, meaning he got a solution for 0.000077473%, yes we can all see where the importance of Angelino Alfano is. It is in the smallest of margins where we see his actions, so as I read this, I am not convinced it is his ‘anti’ approach in all this, it is his need for visibility as I see it and he is not doing it in the most intelligent way imaginable.

Instead of an actual effort to solve the logistics of the refugee tsunami that hits Italy and his island Sicily, we see a surrogacy and an anti-gay tainted pass ono a group that can find a sheltered solution outside of Italy, so instead of solving the problems Italy does have (aside of the 2,230,198,602,275 € debt Italy has at present), we see another politician waste time, space and energy on a topic that is not his to solve and one that has absolutely no solving value for Italy at all.

In all this I feel decently certain that even the Bishop of Rome would side with me that although it is a discussion worthy of the Cardinals Conclave, these women might be beautified for their divine compassion 100% sooner than Angelino Alfano ever will.

Now for me, I have always been leaning towards man-made or positive laws. I feel that the interpretation is important and that we do not always have the wisdom to properly interpret, which is why I have always been a fan of Dr BJ McEniery’s article ‘Physicality in Australian patent law’, which was published in the Deakin Law Review. You see Intellectual property has always been under powerful evolutions, yet the fact that long ago there was a clear understanding that physicality was something that would evolve and the law had no way off seeing how and towards what is always in the back of my mind. Ignoring Natural law is therefore equally stupid. As a Catholic I tend to be more Christian than Catholic, where it is important to see and weigh the intent on the person, so even as I do not rule out the less Samaritan paths a surrogate mother could be on, the powerful drive within any mother would counter this strongly whenever possible, which gets me to the positivity of their act against the trivial and self-righteous mindset of Angelino Alfano and on that scale he does not fare well.

So even if you disagree with my choices of bible passages, there is almost no way where you can consider in favour of the trivial path Mr Alfano is on. I would hope that his holiness the Bishop of Rome would sooner rather than later (as well as several members of the curie) would consider speaking out that the need to solve the suffering of 153,600 refugees take a massive priority over the possible issue that a handful of surrogate mothers might bring, especially when they are openly and voluntarily offering their Samaritan womb on this. So if Angelino Alfano ever (in a legal Samaritan way) rescues the plight of 1536 refugees (aka 1%), only then if any energy is left should he look at small and insignificant issues. but by that time his political reign has ended and the press will not have any time for him as they will be wanting to hear from the next elected official.

There are many issues that plague Europe, some we might never fix, some we can possibly fix and some can be fixed, do we really need to look at issues that do not presently require fixing?

I will let you be the judge of that, but for those who do have a Christian background they still adhere to remember the Gospel According to Saint Matthew (7:1) “Judge not, that you may not be judged, for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again“, which is good advice, advice that might be a little too late for Angelino Alfano if we are to believe the Divine Comedy. For was it not Antenora where the transgressors of treason of party and nations ended up, to be frozen in ice up to the neck? Now, let’s be fair, Mr Alfano is no Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, yet as we see the credits he heralds in whilst Italy remains in dire need and he voices his view to a ‘universal solution’ where Italy has no problem, where is his actual allegiance and as such is that not utterly detestable? Yes it is, which does not make it treason or treacherous, yet as Italian Minister of the Interior, his responsibility is for internal security and the protection of the constitutional order. As such he can prosecute surrogacy within Italy, yet it does not mean that it is his job to waste time for the change of a ‘universal solution’, especially as surrogate mothers are in no way an internal security issue, yet the 153,481 (if he ever got the additional 100 towards refugees towards Sweden) might be. As I see it, the refugee logistics fall squarely in his lap, an issue he does not seem to be addressing, which we should regard as a failed level of comprehension on his side.

 

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Is it offensive?

It is Saturday evening and I am about to chase up a different side. It all started with the Guardian article (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/30/angela-lafranchi-who-links-abortion-and-cancer-stars-at-families-congress) and as a non-medical scientist I took great offense to it. Not just that, I found much of the article offensive to some degree. Why you might ask?

Well, that is as ever a fair question. I remain a Christian. I have a Jewish background and the one element (my maternal grandmother) is the one unknown. If she is Jewish, then so am I. My father was a Catholic and I grew up with Catholic links. Yet at some point I turned slightly Anglican. This is all relevant! You see, the Jewish background of my grandfather was kept a secret. I never knew (until 2003), after that I went digging a little and it seemed that my grandfather had a proud heritage, his family, the Lazarus family has links that go back to the pre-Victorian setting of Exeter (UK) going back at least to the mid-18th  century. That is a pretty good achievement, so why keep it a secret?

I grew up being a Catholic boy, but I was never that religious, I had my dark moments and like many youthful man, I so loved my neighbours wife (especially when she was sunbathing) as I was only 17. So, I was pretty much a kid like many others. I turned Anglican, like some others when I learned of the child abuse issues and moreover the way the Catholic Church (in several nations) dealt with it. It made me sick to see such injustice. How does it all link together? Well, there are two sides, the first one is how I react to some information the other is how I want to regard this information.

Part of this article reflects like it is a gathering of loons, which is in part offensive because the average Christian is not a loon, yet they are painted in that corner. It becomes even more offensive when their ‘star’ speaker is Angela Lanfranchi, who links abortions to breast cancer. This is not only wrong; this discredited view should be regarded as psychic assault against Christian women. The American Cancer Society (at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/moreinformation/is-abortion-linked-to-breast-cancer) and several other highly reputable sources all over the world state the following “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women (aside from skin cancer), and it’s the second leading cancer killer in women. Because it can be a deadly disease, it’s one that many women fear” the information then gives us “A 2013 Danish study of over 25,000 women who had at least one full-term pregnancy found no link between induced abortion and breast cancer risk over 12 years of follow-up” this is just one of many studies, yet enough evidence has been given to give proper claim that this link does not exist, so I wonder why Angela Lanfranchi is currently not being investigated and prosecuted for possible psychic assault, I regard the act of scaring women into a pro-life stance is just plain criminal.

This is the most visible, but not the only part that I found offensive. There was more and this part falls to Fred Nile, leader of the NSW Christian Democrats stating “All this softening up of legislation is because we don’t have committed Christians there“. I disagree, we have plenty of committed Christians, but we also have a separation of state and church. I have nothing against any leader who at times as a Christian has moral stances, which he should be allowed to state. Yet, the vast majority of our population has made certain choices in life and these values have been democratically adopted.

He then speaks of a view “A drug-free society. A pro-life society. No pornography or prostitution. A society with wholesome public entertainment. A God-honouring, Christ-centred Christian nation“, I do not agree with it, I oppose it, but I also refuse to personally attack him for it. He has a right to his view as we all allow for a freedom of speech, but I will address this in a moment.

We agree that there are courts, there is rule of law and there is freedom of religion, so why do we see the quote “Catch the Fire pastor Daniel Nalliah founded the anti-Islamic political party Rise Up Australia and famously blamed the Black Saturday bushfires on Victoria’s abortion laws” laws do not set fires, people do, Islam has a peaceful foundation whilst the Catholic church has eradicated at least 17 civilisations, yet they would state that these 17 civilisations were all led by the devil (an assumption on my side).

The article ends with one of the vilest of proclamations “He said 90% of all the world’s poverty was caused by the breakdown of the family unit“, so who is not in poverty? Would that not be those in their Ivory towers (like New York), how many of them are Christians? How many are Atheists and more important, how many of them have a family? Family breakdown did not cause poverty, yet exploitation and greed caused poverty which led to family breakdowns all over the world.

This is all so offensive because the bulk of the Christians are people like me and many of you readers. We have a firm foundation of rational, so why are the loons always so linked to Christianity?

It seems like a self-answering question but it is not.

In regards to my view of abortions I remain on the fence. Pro-life wants to set it to zero, which is just wrong, but the fact that it is so openly available is also not right. There are cases of rape and incest where a woman does not want it, it should be her right to remove that what was forced upon her. The other side is also not acceptable, the Christian woman who kept the baby, is her right, yet the criminal father cannot rely on any chance to be given citizenship. That is exactly what seems to have happened in the UK, the man as the bleeding heart refugee lawyer won the argument that “his right to family life would be violated if he were removed to Nigeria“; the Strasbourg court seems to have little regards for the victims of violent crimes. Can anyone blame the position of Theresa May and her goal to remove the Human Rights Act?

Yes, this is still all about the Christians!

I personally am all for a drug free society, I am not against a pro-life society, but I feel that 100% pro-life is not acceptable either. So what is wholesome public entertainment? This is shown in the next quote “Without God they get filled with they get filled with pornography or terror or computer games“, well the bulk of all people are not violent, even if they have video games. Many are not in league with terror, yet Christians have annihilated the bulk of all non-Christian civilisations, so how are Christians allowed to exist? As for pornography, or better stated ‘erotic art’, the Catholic Church has founded a whole cadre of them. One of the more renowned masters of the erotic arts is Agostino Carracci, who is also responsible for “The Last Communion of St. Jerome” (not the Botticelli edition). So what would you do? Burn those paintings too?

Perhaps these Christians want to take a look at their own past. In early 1497, a priest named Girolamo Savonarola started a few bonfires, this event would later be known as the bonfires of the vanity. Hundreds upon hundreds of paintings and writings were destroyed as they were regarded sinful and immoral. The only person to go to these lengths lately was Adolf Hitler (Kristallnacht), so yes, that is a group of people we all should relate to (you do understand that this is a sarcastic remark?)

In my view such people of visibility have always used religion and the church to proclaim a new era whilst basically bullying behind scriptures. When we look at Savonarola we see “while Savonarola intervened with the king, the Florentines expelled the ruling Medici and, at the friar’s urging, established a popular republic. Declaring that Florence would be the New Jerusalem, the world centre of Christianity and ‘richer, more powerful, more glorious than ever’“, so a seat for the promise of power, something we have never seen before. That last quote came from ‘Savonarola The Rise and Fall of a Renaissance Prophet‘, which gives us another message of a want-to-be-a-prophet-through-violence.

Yet, this is not the church, this is not Christianity. I have seen it in several ways. The mother and her two daughters working every Friday a morning as a volunteer, doing not just good deeds, but simple acts of goodness that are pivotal in making this a better world. Those who speak in kindness even as junks lash out in verbal abuse. There is much wrong in this world and true Christians try hard to make it a better world. They are not visible as speakers or in a forum. They volunteer for the SES, help with houses in need, they are with organisations like Marine Rescue; they work weekends for the heart foundation and the cancer council. They are not in the limelight, yet they are all true Christians. Some are Anglican, some are Catholics and for the most none have any anti-Islamic sentiments.

So here is my opposition to the entire article, whatever they call a ‘family congress’ seems to be a collection of religious loons. God did not speak there, because this message as we read it is about a military tactic. It read that their approach is about segregation, isolation and extermination. None of these tactics are god’s words, they are the words of man and the power hungry drive behind it. After all this one perfectly valid question remains. Why do they call this a ‘World Congress of Families conference’? Isn’t every family made of the children of other families and are they not made from individuals? If the smallest element in an equation is ignored, how can the formula make sense, or even more, be valid to begin with?

 

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