Hat tip: Kabi
Gary Ablett Snr is a raving loony, and a plagiarist. Take a look at this bizarre rant about evolution, intelligent design, humanism, and why life doesn’t spontaneously arise in a jar of peanut butter.
First let’s deal with the plagiarism. The tenth par of the article is lifted, pretty much verbatim, from the website of Grace Haven Ministries, a US evangelical organisation.
FOR example, humanism, the central philosophy of our schools and society, teaches that man is above all else, that he alone is the centre of meaning. Teaching that man has meaning totally apart from God, (humanism) leave morality, justice and behaviour to the discretion of “enlightened” man and encourages people to worship man and nature rather than God. Living without God’s divine truth causes humanity to sink lower and lower into spiritual darkness and depravity, blindly following a philosophy that intends to heighten the dignity of man, but which instead lowers him to the level of animals rather than a spiritual, emotional and moral being. Man has been classified as merely natural phenomena of time plus chances, no greater than rocks, animals or clouds.
|Grace Haven Ministries:
Humanism, the central philosophy of our schools and society, teaches that man is above all else, that he alone is the center of meaning. Teaching that man has meaning totally apart from God, humanism leaves morality, justice and behavior to the discretion of “enlightened” man and encourages people to worship man and nature rather than God. Living without God’s divine truth, humanity sinks lower and lower in depravity, blindly following a philosophy that intends to heighten the dignity of man, but which instead lowers him to the level of animals. Rather than a spiritual and emotional being, man has been classified as merely a natural phenomenon of time plus chance, no greater than rocks, animals or clouds. The Apostle Paul described this foolish and demeaning perspective of man in Romans 1:20-25.
Oh dear. Naughty Gary’s been cribbing his homework, and he’s even managed to insert a couple of typos that were not in the original text. Worse yet, the passage above is probably the most comprehensible in the whole article (that’s what twigged me to the plagiarism in the first place).
OK, so he lifted a paragraph without attribution – it’s hardly a hanging offence. Let’s take a look at the rest of the article.
Next time you stop off for a latte at your local coffee chain, you might want to think about where your money’s ending up:
A SECRETIVE ministry with direct links to Gloria Jean’s Coffees and the Hillsong Church has been deceiving troubled young women into signing over months of their lives to a program that offers scant medical or psychiatric care, instead using Bible studies and exorcisms to treat mental illness. (The Age)
According to The Age, ‘Mercy Ministries’ preys on women struggling with mental illness, pocketing their welfare payments and preventing them from accessing medical care.
The whole dodgy operation is funded, it seems, by Gloria Jean’s coffee shops. The GJ website lists the corporation’s values as follows:
At Gloria Jean’s Coffees, our values are simple:
- We demonstrate a commitment to excellence and innovation in everything we do
- Our partnerships are based on integrity and trust
- We believe in people, building and changing lives
- We foster a culture of joy and passion throughout our company.
No mention of brainwashing, medieval exorcisms, stealing people’s welfare payments or withholding medical treatment, but I guess you can’t say everything in your mission statement.
The bill to implement a statewide relationships register passed the lower house of state parliament last night.
This is good news for GLBT people in Victoria, as it will enhance the rights of people in same-sex relationships. It’s far from perfect, however – the implementation of a separate, less-than-equal status for people same-sex relationships creates a legal and social anomaly that will have to be corrected in the future (presumably, in the distant future, by amendment of the federal Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples full access to marriage or civil unions with equal status to marriage). The bill doesn’t add any new rights to same-sex couples, and the rights of same-sex couples are much the same whether they choose to register their relationship or not.
Importantly, the bill doesn’t add any particular rights for GLBT people in relationship to parenting, custodianship, or adoption. Victoria does not allow same-sex couples to adopt children, except in the case of stepchild adoption. It won’t improve access to IVF, either. But it’s a step in the right direction.
Interestingly, the definition of ‘registrable relationship’ in the bill (i.e. the definition of who is allowed to apply for their relationship to be added to their register) specifically excludes people who are married. I wonder whether this applies to Brent and I (we were married in Canada in 2004, but of course that marriage is not legally recognised here. But we are married.)
Unsurprisingly, the debate in the state parliament last night was peppered with the usual nonsense about erosion of the institution of marriage.
“What this Bill does is to establish a structure which is a step toward equalising the notion of a same-sex relationship, in particular, with that of marriage,” he [National Party leader Peter Ryan] said. “I must say I think that anybody who does not see this legislation in that context is being naive and is kidding themselves.” (Herald Sun)
Honestly I don’t get (a) the logic of that; or (b) what difference it makes. The argument goes that marriage is somehow cheapened by allowing gay men and lesbians access to it – in other words, the strength or value of marriage is contingent on its capacity to exclude some people. This seems absurd to me. And in practical terms, I guess it has to be pointed out that in countries where same-sex couples can marry (Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa and Spain) the sky has not fallen. Different-sex couples in those countries don’t seem to have fallen into disarray (any more than is normal) since their laws were changed.
As a way forward, let me suggest this as a compromise which would make everybody (the churches, teh gays, et al) happy. Let’s redefine ‘marriage’ as something that ONLY the churches can confer, and change the existing marriage laws to refer instead to ‘civil unions’ (or ‘domestic partnerships’ or whatever). A small change in the law would say that couples can enter a civil union either by being married (in the church of their choice) or via a non-religious civil ceremony. The rights and privileges we currently ascribe to married couples would be given to anyone in a civil union, however they chose to formalise their relationship.
This arrangement would allow the religious to continue to profess that ‘marriage’ is a religious institution. Undoubtedly some enlightened churches would allow same-sex couples to marry, and good for them if they do – less progressive churches would simply refuse to recognise the religious validity of such unions (the Roman Catholic church already does this). The churches could also decide whether or not they would allow couples to divorce and in what circumstances they would do so (a plus for some conservative churches!) but of course this would not prevent the dissolution of the civil union.
It astounds me that this modest, workable proposal has not been canvassed more widely. The existence of a religious institution (marriage) as a key part of our civil law is a historical anomaly and needs correction. My plan does that. It respects the right of all religions (from the completely sex-obsessed loony right to the merely deluded left) to define for themselves what ‘marriage’ and ‘divorce’ mean. And it puts all relationships – straight, gay and miscellaneous – on an equal footing.
Consider these two stories, both of which are fairly current:
1. In the UK, the British government has told Catholic adoption agencies they must comply with new laws which prohibit discrimination against same-sex couples seeking to adopt children, as must all adoption agencies. The agencies have two years to comply with the rules, and in the interim they have a statutory duty to refer would-be adoptive couples to other agencies. Predictably, the Catholics have responded with anger and warnings of ‘a new morality‘ being imposed by government via the workings of the UK Equality Act 2006. The Catholics don’t like the idea of a new morality because the old morality, in which they were legally entitled to discriminate against people on the basis of their religious superstitions, suited them just fine.
2. In Australia, where it’s an election year, the federal government has announced plans to ban same-sex couples from adopting children overseas. This is somewhat old news, as the legislation has been announced before, but it wasn’t an election year then. Last time it was an election year, the same federal government outlawed same-sex marriage (not that it was legal or anything). The Catholics and their fellow travellers applauded that action (which was supported by the lickspittle Labor opposition) and no doubt they are now drafting sermons in support of this move too.
The contrast between Australia and its former colonial power is clear. Britain is demonstrating that it is a confident, secular nation which cares deeply about the principles of non-discrimination. The British government’s actions on to bring adoption agencies into line with that principle have drawn considerable protest from the god-botherers, as did their decision to legislate for same-sex civil unions a few years ago, but Blair and his team have shrugged that off, as they should.
In Australia, anti-discrimination legislation at all levels of government universally provides an exemption for religious organisations. In most cases, this exemption permits the churches to discriminate against gay men and lesbians even in activities which are unrelated to their ‘core business’ of proselytism and ministry — so Catholic employment agencies, Catholic welfare agencies, Catholic hospitals, schools, homeless shelters and so on are all free to discriminate against individuals based on their gender, race or sexual orientation. Why is this allowed? Do we really believe discrimination is wrong, or not? I can (just) accept that some people carry these antediluvian superstitions in their head about Heaven, Hell and the rest, but I can’t see why this should qualify them for an exemption from the law.
The reasons why politicians allow this nonsense to persist are, of course, cynical in intent. Politicians pander to the churches to shore up their political support.
The churches continue to wield a great deal of influence in Australia, as they do in many countries including Britain. The British government doesn’t seem too deeply bothered by the prospect of an anti-government backlash from the pulpit, but in Australia the memories of the dark age of the DLP and Cardinal Mannix, when for two decades our political process was hijacked by the Catholic church, are still fresh — fresh enough that I don’t expect a lot of opposition from the ALP on this latest anti-gay move. They may even vote for it.
The argument behind all this posturing is familiar: children have a right to a mother and father, we’re told. But of course many kids don’t have a father and mother, for lots of reasons, and this has always been so. Even when the law changes to give children in same-sex relationships access to their third parent (as was the case earlier this year in Canada) there is an outcry from the religious lobby. The elephant in the room is that this has nothing to do with children’s rights and everything to do with perpetuating discrimination against normal, loving people who happen to be homosexual and who want to raise a family. The politicians and churches want to shoehorn human behaviour into a narrow, inflexible, and unnatural set of ‘norms’ — and we are the ones accused of ‘social engineering’!
In the 21st century, Australia is a notionally secular country which remains in the thrall of the Christian churches, while Britain, with its constitutionally established church, is an avowedly secular humanist state. Why?
Bible-thumping homo-hate-rock from someone clearly sorely tempted by the ways of Sodom (not that anyone would do him with that moustache) … or parody?
Read the bible, and you’ll be sure
To enter heaven — there’s no back door.
Righteous man, get on your knees,
There lies no virtue in sodomy.
You filthy sinners should just let me be
‘Cos Jesus my saviour’s the only man for me!
God hates a fag
God hates fags…
Joe is calling for remixers…
UPDATE: There’s a discussion in Progress at Joe. My. God. suggesting the video is a wind-up, and naming the perp…
UPDATE: Donnie Davis has a video blog in which he thanks Andrew Sullivan (“obviously a great Christian man”) for “getting behind me.” Much discussion about whether Donnie really is an ex-gay or a (very clever) parody at Towleroad and elsewhere. Developing, as they say on Drudge…
FINAL(ish) UPDATE: JMG has exposed the truth, or at least some of it…
Pell told the crowd he’s been reading the Koran, in order to better understand Islam and its followers:
On the pessimistic side of the equation, concern begins with the Koran itself. In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages.
Conveniently, the Christian Bible is completely free of violence, as is the entire history of Christianity, so Pell is the ideal person to make these observations. No-one could compile a list of invocations to violence in the Bible, because there aren’t any.
Having rubbished the Koran, going so far as to publicly question ts status as a divine text, Pell then brought his considerable learning and wisdom to bear on the vexing question of climate change. Apparently, there’s notthing to worry about because God will take care of us:
It is not just a question of having more children, but of rediscovering reasons to trust in the future. Some of the hysteric and extreme claims about global warming are also a symptom of pagan emptiness, of Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature. Belief in a benign God who is master of the universe has a steadying psychological effect, although it is no guarantee of Utopia, no guarantee that the continuing climate and geographic changes will be benign. In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
You see, it’s clear: we shouldn’t do anything about climate change because that would be like sacrificing goats to Baal; instead we should place our trust in the master of the universe, the benign CEO of our metaphysical multinational megacorp, and everything will be alright.
That’s it for me, I’m off to burn some coal.