Tag Archives: Australia

Does anyone in Australia like Jesus anymore?

A monk in a scriptorium. Medieval manuscript o...
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Australia is to remove the birth of Jesus as a reference point for dates in school history books.

Under the new politically correct curriculum, the terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) will be replaced with BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era).

The Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, yesterday condemned the move as an ‘intellectually absurd attempt to write Christ out of human history’.

I love this quote:

‘Australia is what it is today because of the foundations of our nation in the Judeo-Christian heritage that we inherited from Western civilization,’ he said.

via Australia goes all PC with a ban on BC: Birth of Jesus to be removed as reference point for dates in school history books | Mail Online.

First, Australia was founded as a penal colony, hence Mark Stevens. Second, if you track the history of it, BC and AD were created in the 6th century and made it into English in 1708. So, hardly the stuff of foundations.

Further,  while I do believe that all human history turned and still turns on the birth of Christ (more so the death, but okay…), the dating system is off.

Anyway, I blame Mark Stevens for this.

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Web censorship, Western Style

Interesting enough, the some of the this technology – especially that which was used in Egypt – was manufactured in the U.S.:

For a long time, the dominant conversation around internet censorship has focused on two of the practice’s giants: Iran and China.

Arguably owners of the most sophisticated filtering methods, the criticism levied against these two countries has been deserved. And yet, the focus on them has largely been at the exclusion of other countries that also censor the web to varying degrees – including an increasing number of democracies.

In recent weeks, Turkey, Tunisia, and Australia have all made headlines for their various plans to introduce new filtering schemes. Though each country’s plan differs, they all have similar focus: curbing access to obscene content.

But while blocking obscenity may reflect the will of the people, such filters nonetheless have implications for freedom of expression.

Web censorship moves West – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

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Fred Phelps on Australia

This is the video of the story on 60 Minutes Australia where Fred Phelps, of Westboro Baptist, says he has a map of Australia that looks like a weenie. And that he hates Australia, and pretty much everything else in the world.

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Fred Phelps loves Australia

Just kidding. Phelps hates Australia.

“Australia is Sodom in the Pacific. And we got a map of it, shaped like, kinda like a fat weenie. You know how an Australian map looks right in the big middle of the ocean. Well we got Sodom written across it S O D O M. … Absolutely you’re doomed. … England and Australia are past any hope. They’ve spit in the face of God for the last time”.

Pastor Fred Phelps, Westboro Baptist Church.

60 Minutes, Australia. 22 May 2011.

Catholic Clubs and gaming machines

One of the Catholic Clubs in Sydney

In the late 1970s when my brother applied to join the local licensed Catholic Club in suburban Sydney, he needed a reference from his Parish Priest. To join you had to be a practicing Catholic and show your reason for joining was furthering the aims of the club – being supporting the Catholic Church. Back then the local club sponsored trainee priests at the seminary. The club had poker machines (slot machines) like all licensed clubs in Sydney, but they did not consume the club. In the past 25 or so years poker/gaming machines have come to dominate licenced clubs in Sydney, including the Catholic Clubs. And now you don’t need to be a Catholic to join a Catholic Club. Just pay the $5.00 or $10.00 membership fee and you’re in. Most of the large clubs now have multi-player machines that have large jackpots, and machines that are electronic versions of casino games like blackjack and roulette. The Australian government has recently announced plans to impose curbs on gaming machines in clubs and hotels, including limiting bets per play to $1.00, and requiring players to pre-commit to how much they are prepared to lose in the machines each day. Not surprisingly the Club industry is outraged. In a recent issue of the Jesuit magazine Eureka Street, editor Michael Mullins writes that the Catholic Clubs should take a moral stand and publically support the proposed curbs. And he argues that gambling is a modern form of slavery for problem gamblers, and is therefore against the seventh commandment.

The Catholic Catechism agrees, stipulating that while games of chance are ‘not in themselves contrary to justice’, they ‘become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement’. … The Catholic Catechism says:
‘The seventh commandment forbids … enterprises that for any reason — selfish or ideological, commercial, or totalitarian — lead to the enslavement of human beings … It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights to reduce them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit.’

Mullins claims that the clubs have the official backing of the church. If they still have, then the Catholic Church needs to apply some pressure to the clubs to ensure they show some social responsibility.

Catholic clubs donating funds to children’s sporting groups and other community organisations is, on the surface, ok. But if a substantial amount of that money has come from the pockets of problems gamblers, then it is not ok. Not at all.

Moral challenge for Catholic clubs | Eureka Street

Church of the Latter-Day Geek

Romsey Uniting Church
Romsey Uniting Church

What started as a joke on the Australian television program Adam Hills in Gordon St Tonight, is now an actual church. Uniting Church minister Rev Dr Avril Hannah-Jones will be leading the first service of the ‘Church of the Latter-Day Geek‘ at the Romsey Uniting Church, north of Melbourne, at 4:00pm on April 10, 2011. Rev Hannah-Jones is encouraging people to dress-up in sci-fi costumes, and Klinglons are welcome. Very inclusive … as the Uniting Church in Australia most definitely is. One suggestion on the program for a new set of commandments was “Thou shalt forget about The Phantom Menace”.

What some Priests think about the Catholic Church

St Mary's Cathedral (World Youth Day 2008)
Image by Christopher Chan via Flickr

I present this as is …

ONE priest said he learnt more about God from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings than the Catholic Church. Another compared the fervour of World Youth Day to the Hitler Youth. And a 47-year-old, whose only ambition had been to be a priest, said: ”Given the state of the church today, I look forward to the night when I go to sleep and just don’t wake up again.”

Such were the varied, often frank and sometimes bleak views of Australia’s Catholic clergy revealed in an anonymous survey. The Charles Sturt University academics Chris McGillion and John O’Carroll approached 1550 active and 160 retired priests for their views on their lives and their church, and 542 took part in the written survey. The results, plus 50 face-to-face interviews, were the basis of their book Our Fathers, which revealed that many thought the Vatican was out of touch, bishops were bad managers and the future of the church was a cause of great concern.

The rest, including thoughts on Bishops, abortion, sex before marraige, and the celibacy of  priests, is in the news article. The link in related articles is an extract from the book.

Priests lose faith in their church | SMH

 

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