Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hate speech can work both ways

Andrew Bolt asked, what may happen to opponents of same sex marriage in this country? One could look at other countries for the answer. According to some commentators In Canada, where marriage laws were reformed 11 years ago, freedoms of speech, press, religion and association have all been affected. Anyone who writes or says something that could be deemed as 'homophobic' or questioning same sex marriage, could risk prosecution, or lose their job. People who express their opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman, or that children have the right to be brought up by their biological parents, could be accused of discrimination. In America, businesses like photographers, bakeries, and hotels, have been singled out for boycotts, and then faced threats of prosecution under anti discrimination laws, because their owners refused service to same sex couples on the grounds that they believed in man/ woman marriage. In the UK, owners of a Bed and Breakfast were sued for refusing to let a same sex couple stay in a double room. This couple was close to retirement age, but they were then left with nothing after having to sell their home, and their business to pay their legal bills. Once marriage laws are changed, it is pertinent to wonder how long it will be before similar things happen here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

On Bullying of LGBT students in the name of 'religious freedom'.

I have just read about a bill passed in the US State of Tennessee. Critics of this Bill, claim that this Bill, legislates the bullying of LGBT students, on the basis of religious freedom. I'm thinking about this objectively. I am a Christian, but I do understand the argument that no one deserves to be made to feel inferior for being 'different', whether this has to do with race, gender, sexuality, or disability. It's been a long time since I was at school. I do remember being bullied. It is interesting that some here, comment that Christians are the ones doing the bullying. I have to disagree with them. I was not among the popular kids in high school. Going to church was not considered cool. There are lots of reasons why bullying happens. Why concentrate on sexuality? It seems that anyone who is 'different' will be a target for bullies. Based on my experiences, I can list a few reasons why bullying happens. I won't pretend that my own experiences, are unique, and have never happened to anyone else. This article discusses some. Some kids are studious and academic, instead of good at sports. Some kids are quiet, and sensitive. Some kids lack self confidence. Some kids will show kindness to those that other kids are nasty to. Debates about the reasons why kids are bullied, are much broader than what is being acknowledged here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

In my city, many like to argue over the aesthetics of the many public spaces around town. This usually happens on the pages of Melbourne's newspapers. Once again, someone decried Federation Square, which, since it opened 12 years ago, has been a very popular public space. Federation Square may be unusual looking, especially compared to the neighbouring Flinders Street Station, Young and Jackson's, and St Paul's Cathedral, but Federation Square is much more attractive than the Gas and Fuel Building that it replaced. Who finds the Jolimont Rail Yards 'beautiful'? I thought that many in Melbourne consider them to be an eyesore. Isn't a plan to cover the railyards over, on a wish list for urban planners? There are trees strewn around the yards, but also weeds, litter, and miscellaneous maintenance equipment. Should any plan to improve the Jolimont Rail Yards precinct ever be implemented, one hopes that whatever is built there, will become something that Melburnians can feel proud of.

Rewriting history...

During the weekend, I read of a group of shipwreck hunters. Exploring a wreck site off the coast of Cape York in Australia's north east, these hunters found some Spanish dollars. A small bronze cannon dated from the 16th Century, was found in Australia's Northern Territory. Renowned underwater film maker, Ben Cropp, now claims that he has found other items. He is now looking to find the wreck of a Spanish galleon, last seen in 1595. For many years, it has been believed that Portuguese explorers reached Australia many years before the Dutch, and then Captain Cook, did. If proof is found that the Portuguese explored the Great Barrier Reef, then history will need to be rewritten.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My contribution to an Andrew Bolt blog...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Has religion been one of the main causes of war?

As I often read tabloid newspapers, I often come across opinions that cause me to either think, consider what I believe for myself, or groan, and roll my eyes. One that made me think, and consider my own understandings of world history, appeared in Saturday's edition of the Herald Sun. David Allwood, responding to Jackie V’s positive assertions about Christianity, stated, “most wars are caused by religious beliefs.” Without trying to defend those conflicts that have been waged in the name of religion, like the Crusades, it is incorrect to blame religion as the main cause of wars in world history. The three volume Encyclopedia of Wars, chronicled some 1763 wars from the history of the world. The authors found that 123, or 6.98 per cent of wars were religious in nature. Furthermore, the wars that have led to the most loss of life were waged by people who wanted nothing to do with the idea of God. 42 million people died under the Communist rule of Joseph Stalin. In the 20th century, almost 170 million people died in conflicts under non-religious dictators. So, it can be argued that, to blame religion as a major cause of war, is an argument that, under examination, does not stand.

Friday, October 18, 2013

There has been much comment this week, about an anti abortion rally, March for the Babies, and the scuffles that took place between pro abortion activists, and the anti abortion side. I am a Christian, but I am able to consider complex issues, such as abortion by thinking about them outside the framework of faith. I did not attend this rally last weekend, but feel that the way that the pro life protestors were treated, was unfair. I guess I have issues with the activities by some sections of the anti abortion movement, like harassing women entering abortion clinics, must be deeply uncomfortable. The tactics and behavior of the left wing activists, at this rally last weekend, was thuggery.