Told ya so — calls for multi partner marriage

Here at Stuff.

A group is calling for the Government to consider legalising multi-partner marriages.

The group set up a Facebook page just before the Marriage Amendment Bill passed through Parliament last week, legalising gay marriage.

A statement on the page described multi-partner – or polyamorous – marriage as “responsible, adult, committed non-monogamy,” and said all committed loving relationships between adults regardless of number should be respected and given legal acknowledgement.

“Some Australian Greens have now got a lobby group going, there are several MPs around the world coming out as poly and poly-friendly and it seems the time is right to at least bring it to the attention of the New Zealand public and New Zealand parliament,” the group said.

“This will be a long-term project but with the rest of the world getting on the bandwagon legal multiple partner marriages/unions may one day be accepted.”

The “slippery slope” towards legalising polygamy, polyamory or incestuous relationships has often been an argument raised by opponents of the Marriage Amendment Bill.

Why is it so phlipping hard for Philip Harding to think properly?

From Scoop 22-04-2013:

Charter Schools Give Opportunities to Teach Discrimination

Monday, 22 April 2013, 2:55 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Principals’ Federation

Let’s review their press release. 

Charter Schools Will Provide Opportunities to Teach Discrimination

The ACT party’s proposed charter schools will open the door to religious groups to teach Kiwi kids discriminatory practices, including that same sex marriage is wrong.

It is hard to believe just how daft this piece of writing is.  Does Mr. Harding, president of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, not realise that the law practices discrimination ALL THE TIME.  That is exactly what the law is intended to do.

It may surprise Mr. Harding, but the new [marriage] law will also discriminate — against Christians and Muslims and many others.  Yes, it will discriminate in just the same way traffic laws discriminate against people who drive on the wrong side of the road.  Yes, the new law will discriminate against those who don’t agree with same sex marriage, and it will also discriminate against polygamists and children, neither of whom have a lawful right to marry whomever they choose.

I dare say that New Zealand school principals also practice discrimination.  Yes, I’ll bet some cold cash that they discriminate against betting at school.  I bet they also discriminate against students who cheat in exams, beat up other students, or swear at school principals.

‘Just as New Zealanders are celebrating the latest legislation change that brings an end to discrimination against same-sex couples having the right to be legally married, we are opening up a whole new opportunity for discriminatory practices to flourish,’ says President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, Philip Harding.

What exactly does Mr. Harding mean by “Just as New Zealanders are celebrating…”?  Does not know that New Zealanders are NOT overwhelmingly in favour of this new law.  Did he fail to educate himself with the 17,000 vote TV3 poll in which 78% of people were OPPOSED to the bill.  Is Mr. Harding really this ill-informed?  Was this Press Release reviewed by others in his organisation, and if so, are the rest of his staff likewise uneducated in this matter? 

There would be nothing to stop any group setting up a charter school and teaching Kiwi kids that discriminatory practices are to be valued and that evolutionary theories of science are wrong.

Notice how Mr. Harding mixes his morality with evolutionary theory.  This guy really needs to listen to Kim Hill’s interview from last Saturday morning with Professor John Lennox from Oxford University.  Like Kim Hill, Mr. Harding just does not get it.  Perhaps I should quote from Professor Richard Dawkins or Professor Will Provine.  Yes, these darwinist atheists agree with each other that if darwinism is true then there is at rock bottom no right, no wrong, just matter in motion.  Yes, free will is an illusion and the wrongness of rape is a social construct.

Notice the irony, and the lack of thinking.  Mr. Harding wants to prescribe his morality on 78% of New Zealanders, yet at the same time wants to cuddle up to a theory that removes any basis for logically prescribing any objective morality.  And if Mr. Harding’s moral values are “no right, no wrong…” then why should anyone really care what he thinks anyway?  Oh, that’s right, it’s not about right and wrong —  it’s really about power.  Yes, the power of Mr. Harding to force his spaghetti bowl morality upon the rest of us.

As for evolutionary theory, perhaps Mr. Harding would care to do what Richard Dawkins (cowardly — not my word, see this link) has failed to do, and step up and debate his beloved theory.

‘Interest in charter schools from religious groups has been significant,’ said Harding, ‘and the religious beliefs they follow are inconsistent with the values of wider New Zealand society,’ he said.

The significant interest Mr Harding refers to is presumably PRIOR to this latest law being passed, in which case what exactly is his point?  And of course we really have no idea what ‘significant’ means because Mr. Harding failed to educate us sufficiently by defining “significant” and providing a numerical figure.

‘There has never been any evidence that the New Zealand tax payer is crying out for another choice of school and no political party, including John Banks’ ACT party, promoted such policy during the last election campaign,’ said Harding.

This is self refuting and illogical.  In the previous paragraph Mr. Harding says that “interest… has been significant” and only one paragraph later he is claiming the opposite: “There has never been any evidence that the New Zealand taxpayer is crying out…”.

Seriously, if this what the sort of buffoonery that is coming from the leadership of New Zealand schools, then I hope every child moves to “another choice of school”. And shame on Mr. Harding for tarring the New Zealand Principals’ Foundation with his poorly reasoned politics and ‘morality’.

CS Lewis eBooks

Just wondering… why is it that CS Lewis’ eBooks are so expensive? On Amazon they are priced around $9.99 USD each, and as far as I am aware they do not come on special. And www.logos.com do not appear to have any of his books.

Any idea what is going on here?

Quick update on the Arnold Fruchtenbaum meeting

Arnold Fruchtenbaum is a Messianic Jewish scholar and expert on the life of the Messiah from a Jewish perspective (MP3s and DVDs are available — scholarly and popular books by that title may be on the way).  Arnold was born in Russia and escaped Hitler before landing in the USA.

Arnold is a Bible encyclopedia — rumor has it he even studies the Bible in the shower.  His scholarship is perhaps best evidenced during the Q and A times following each lecture.  Arnold appears to know the Bible off-by-heart including the ability to cite chapter and verse for almost everything.

Arnold’s lectures are highly structured and methodical, and delivered in an accented monotonic manner.  Notes are provided including lots of whitespace for you to add your own notes on them.  Every lecture section ends by a Rabbi joke.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum

Following the lecture given in the photo above, one questioner asserted that the Jews have a debt owing to the church.  Arnold replied correctly that the actual debt is the other way around.  The church is hugely in debt to the Jews, and part of that debt should be an apology for the disgraceful treatment the Jews have received at the hands of Christians during their diaspora. This disgraceful behavior continues in parts of the anti-Semitic church today.

Related:

Ariel Ministries blog

Each additional year of education, odds of attending religious services increased by 15%

From here (H/T to here).

Hardly a Christian friendly article, but interesting nevertheless.

‘PROTESTANT ETHIC’ 2.0: THE NEW WAYS RELIGION IS DRIVING ECONOMIC OUTPERFORMANCE

A few snippets:

Organized religion in particular may be losing its appeal, particularly among the young. According to recent surveys, religious affiliation in the United States appears to be declining somewhat and secularism is on the rise; over the past 40 years the percentage professing no religious affiliation has grown over 140 percent while the percentage of the deeply faithful dropped 15%. The share of the population who claim “no religion” has risen to 15% overall and 22% of those between 18 and 29, notes a 2009 study by researchers at Trinity College. If these trends continue, the non-affiliated could represent a larger part of our population than the largest denomination, the Catholic Church.

No surprises here. The USA is trending in the same direction as its forerunners, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Many in the pundit class identify religion as something of a regressive tendency, embraced by the less enlightened, the less skilled, intelligent and educated. Yet some scholars, such as Charles Murray, point out that religious affiliation is weakening most not among the middle and upper classes but among the poorer and less educated who traditionally looked to churches for succor and moral instruction. Secularism may have not hurt the uber-rich or the academic overclass so far, but it appears to have helped expand our lumpenproleteriat.

Some might be surprised to learn that religious affiliation grows with education levels. A new University of Nebraska study finds that with each additional year of education, the odds of attending religious services increased by 15%. The educated, the study found, may not be eschewing religion, as social science has long maintained, even if their spiritual views tend to be less narrow, and less overtly tied to politics, than among the less schooled.

I guess this will be a surprise to the ‘Brights’ like Dawkins and his other ‘Religion for Dummies’ mates. No surprise in my circles however.

Religious people also tend to live longer and suffer less disabilities with old age, as author Murray notes. Researchers at Harvard, looking at dozens of countries over the past 40 years, demonstrated that religion reinforces the patterns of personal virtue, social trust and willingness to defer gratification long associated with business success.

But perhaps the most important difference over time may be the impact of religion on family formation, with weighty fiscal implications. In virtually every part of the world, religious people tend to have more children than those who are unaffiliated. In Europe, this often means Islamic families as opposed to increasingly post-Christian natives. Decline in religious affiliation — not just Christian but also Buddhist and Confucian — seems to correlate with the perilously low birthrates in both Europe and many East Asian countries.

How does the New Atheism fit into this?  From the above observations, I think we can understand at least two facets of the current New Atheist secularist shrill.

First is possible underpopulation of New Atheists as the new world order shakes out. A reasonable fear for the New Atheists secularists is that their highly evolved selves are not passing on their genes in competitive numbers.   Thus instead of genes, they attempt to force their memes onto the rest of us by preaching, and by making converts and disciples through the university, media, and book publishing arenas.

The second is overpopulation of religious people. As populations continue to grow toward the theoretical 9 billion asymptote, religious people are not going away. What better way to halt religious growth than to decrease religious breeding using the guise of Earth overpopulation. FWIW, I’m partly with the secularists on the second point given the Biblical mandate to look after the planet; I just don’t share their panic of overpopulation or their global warming hysteria, I mean climate change hysteria, scare tactics.   Given the intellectual bankruptcy of the New Atheists, there may not be too many Brights left in years to come anyway.

Interestingly, Africa is not mentioned at all in the article.

Israel and Turkey — Evil abounds…

Those behind the Turkish flotilla evidently see justice through different eyes than mine. Consider for example the Turkish method for helping solve the “Palestinian problem”. 1. repeatedly lobby the press with the terribleness of the Palestinian plight. 2. Load boats full with activists and set sail for Gaza. 3. Provoke the Israelis at every step. 4. Bash Israeli soldiers with metal bars and throw them off the upper decks of the ships. 5. If the Israelis use force to defend themselves against the “peace” activists, then condemn the Israeli soldiers as violent warmongers.

How stupid are people — that they gullibly fall for these sorts of tactics.

The “Palestinian problem” could be solved overnight if the oil-rich Muslim nations (with ~400 times the land area of tiny Israel) dug deep and assisted their brothers in arms. But these the Islamic nations (including Turkey) prefer to use and abuse the lives of people made in God’s image, as political and military pawns. Yes, these Muslims care little about the lives of their fellow Muslims, so long as they can be used to provoke and antagonize the Israelis, and fulfill their hate-filled demonic agenda.

Now the Turks are going to have another go at being jerks. They realize of course that Israel is effectively in a no-win. If “peace activists” again set out for Gaza, but this time with bigger ships, what are the Israelis to do? Back down and appear weak? Or just let these scoundrels run amok, ultimately letting future ships move weapons and rockets into Gaza so Palestinian thugs can rains rockets down upon Israeli civilians?

In the Palmer report, New Zealand’s Geoffrey Palmer says the Israelis used excessive force. No, this is false: the truth is that Palmer’s conclusion is an excessive farce. The Israelis did what they had to do, and if anything should have defended themselves more vigorously against the “peaceful” (do words mean anything?) flotilla.

Here are some reminder videos of the “peaceful” thugs, some wielding metal pipes and knives.

[Read more…]

“Passing away” makes me really mad…

Perhaps I am missing something, but why do Christians so often use the phrase “passed away…” of someone who dies?  Are these Christians annihilationists?  For example, on this Crossway Books page we find:

Recognized internationally for his work in Christianity and culture, Francis A. Schaeffer authored more than twenty books, which have been translated into a score of languages and sold millions worldwide. He and his wife, Edith, founded L’Abri Fellowship international study and discipleship centers. Schaeffer passed away in 1984, but his influence and legacy continue worldwide.

So did Schaeffer pass away, disappearing with the ether, until he was no more?

Or did he pass on in to the next life to be with the God he believed in?

Do words mean anything?

New Zealand Mobile Phone Companies

So the pricing has finally changed, but who knows when or if lower prices will trickle down to the consumers…?

Here are the mobile phone companies in New Zealand:

Any others?

Here is a page listing the cheapest mobile prepaid prices in NZ.

Related

Julian Assange and Facebook privacy

I have no desire to endorse Julian Assange, but that does not mean his claims below are not true or at least partially true:

Source: rt.com/news/wikileaks-revelations-assange-interview/

Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented. Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US intelligence. Facebook, Google, Yahoo – all these major US organizations have built-in interfaces for US intelligence. It’s not a matter of serving a subpoena. They have an interface that they have developed for US intelligence to use.

Now, is it the case that Facebook is actually run by US intelligence? No, it’s not like that. It’s simply that US intelligence is able to bring to bear legal and political pressure on them. And it’s costly for them to hand out records one by one, so they have automated the process. Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them.

I would agree with his concerns about Facebook (and Google) and privacy, and would add that it is quite astonishing how quickly people have lumped large quantities of information into the FB database. If an evil dictator was to rise to power now, or in the distant future (yes, computer hard drives have long memories), this source of information would provide a great way to get rid of certain distasteful groups of people.

Regarding Assange’s claims about US intelligence — the truth or falsity of this claim obviously requires solid evidence which presumably is would be rather hard to find.

Logos versus Amazon pricing

I have Logos on my Mac. It is a nice App and there is talk of integrating an export to Kindle feature. It is thus tempting to buy “Logos” books rather than “Amazon” books since Logos books could (potentially) be moved to the Kindle for the express purpose of reading on the highly portable Amazon device.

But … it is reasonable to pay $27 to Logos for an RC Sproul book on the Gospel of John when you could buy the identical book for Kindle for $7.99? Further, why is secular pricing so much lower than pricing set by Christians for Christians? I would prefer that my money went into the hands of Logos and RC Sproul than Amazon so that the Kingdom of God may be financially enlarged, but instead I feel ashamed…

Here are the links to the items:
t.co/sO6a6sp
t.co/cFTuLwN

Kindle versus Nook

Nook sounds closer to book, but I personally prefer Kindle.  What about the book munching Albert Mohler?

These reviews are a bit old but still interesting from a heavy reader’s perspective.

Kindle review here: www.albertmohler.com/…/the-kindle-experience-a-personal-report/

Nook review here: www.albertmohler.com/…/giving-the-nook-a-good-look/

By the way, Amazon have dropped the price of the bottom end Kindle to $114 USD — the catch? It comes with minor advertising. I find Amazon’s targeted advertising pretty good so it seems like a no-brainer.

The 25 Most Influential Living Christians

Dr. William Dembski tweeted this page listing the 25 most influential living atheists.

(I found this page much funnier: www.superscholar.org/features/10-dos-10-donts-for-college/)

Who then are the 25 most influential living Christians?

Perhaps this is a harder question, not because of lack of names to choose from, but rather due to too many choices? Or perhaps because I am more familiar with influential Christians.

I wondered which categories the Christians would fit in to and whether the categories differed significantly from those of the 25 influential atheists.

The 25 atheists listed can be roughly categorized as follows:

  • Scientists
    • Richard Dawkins
    • Sam Harris
    • Stephen Hawking
    • Steven Pinker
    • Steven Weinberg
    • Lawrence Krauss
    • Edward O. Wilson
    • P. Z. Meyers
    • Peter Atkins
    • David Sloan Wilson
    • William B. Provine
  • Technologists, futurists
    • Ray Kurzweil
  • Philosophers and historians
    • Daniel Dennett
    • Peter Singer
    • Paul Kurtz
    • Jennifer Michael Hecht
    • Barbara Forrest
    • Kai Nielsen
    • Richard Carrier
  • Journalists, writers, magicians, skeptics, activists, literary agents, psychologists
    • Christopher Hitchens
    • Michael Shermer
    • James Randi
    • Philip Pullman
    • John Brockman
    • Susan Blackmore

So what would a list of 25 Christians look like and what categories would they fit in to?

  • Scientists, mathematicians
    • Dr. William Dembski
    • Dr. Michael Behe
    • Dr. Henry Fritz Schaeffer III
    • Dr. Walter L. Bradley
  • Theologians, pastors
    • Dr. Albert Mohler
    • Mark Driscoll
    • Dr. John Piper
    • Dr. John MacArthur
    • Dr. Timothy Keller
    • Dr. Don Carson
    • Dr. Gary Habermas
  • Philosophers and apologists
    • Dr. William Lane Craig
    • Dr. Stephen Meyer
    • Dr. Ravi Zacharias
    • Dr. Norman Geisler

Send us some of your suggestions.

5 Ways to Maximize Your Audio Listening

For the Christian apologist, learning and study is crucial. The challenge is this: you don’t have enough time in the day to read it all, listen to it all, or process it all. You must be discerning in what you choose, and then be able to work through it in a way that is not going to kill your productivity. For this reason, the following methods are quick tips for making the most of the overwhelming amount of resources available to Christian apologists today.

The five methods are here.

COMMENT: Well said Brian! It is time Christians rid themselves of TV addiction and other trash that fills their lives and put their hands to the plough.

Muslim silence is again deafening

Where, oh where, have the Israel-haters gone?
Where, oh where, could they be?

When a Turkish ship loaded with international Israel-hating activists was sent to invade Israeli waters, Israel responded, and the media world went berserk. What a setup!  Israeli soldiers were attacked with knives and metal bars and few people were even killed in the action.  The gullible media, hearing what they wanted to hear, swallowed the activist’s propaganda hook, line and sinker, and were later embarrassed as Israel released video footage of the “peaceful” activists at work.

Today, doctors in Libya are reporting a bloodbath as government backed tanks and planes bomb rebel fighters.  The mad Libyan leader says the rebels are backed by al-Qaeda.  Three men from a BBC news team were captured, beaten, and finally released by the government forces.  All believed they were going to be killed.  The worst treated of the three was a Palestinian. Others captured by the government forces fared much worse. Some were witnessed post-torture, screaming in pain with broken ribs.  Where are the peaceful Israel-hating activists now we wonder?

Son of Hamas Mosab Hassan Yousef speaks of these sorts of atrocities committed by Hamas leaders on fellow Palestinians. I wonder if the activists have read his book, or would doing so upset their irrational Israel-hating agenda.

Islam had a barbaric founder, spread through North Africa by the sword, and continues to be the source of atrocities in 2011 in numerous countries around the world. While Muslims build mosques all over Britain, and even attempted to insult Americans by building a Mosque near ground zero, Christians continue to be persecuted (Pakistan) at hands of many Islamic tyrants. Silently. Every day. And the activists say and do nothing. Hypocrites.

See the conditions in Libya for examples and others from around the world.