Monday, March 28, 2011

Social Justice, Doggy Birthdays, Gay Marriage, and Emails

1. Was sent a link to an editorial that made me remember how dense I can be.  It's about the proposed Israeli boycott.  I didn't understand it before.  I thought just the council itself was planning on boycotting, and I was wondering when does a council buy anything?  What would it be? They refuse to buy their meeting refreshments from an Israeli company?   

The editorial writer, David Penberthy clarifies things.  They want to ban all Israeli products in the Marickville area.  So if you live in Marickville and want some Israeli...something, you'd have to take the bus over to another neighborhood.

I think Penberthy is a bit over the top when he says Byrne's been busy advocating a polite modern rendering of Kristallnacht in the Inner West, campaigning for a ban on all Israeli products in the Marrickville Council area.

I think refusing to buy Israeli products is a bit different than destroying property and rounding up Jews to take them to death camps.  I don't know if it's right to call it Kristallnacht, even if you label it as a polite and modern version.  

 The thing you do have to worry about is the situation escalating.  It could start with a boycott and move into a non-polite version of Kristallnacht.  My feeling though is that these things are somewhat less likely to happen, because of the Internet.  Although there's prejudice aimed at certain groups, those of us who are not bigots can see it coming easier, and we can help to fight against it.

Or...maybe not.   It could be that we speak out against it, but nothing happens.  Yeah.  I change my mind.    I mean how many people are speaking out against factory farming?   It still goes on.  How many people are speaking out against what's happening to Bradley Manning?  He's still locked up and being treated horribly.

People did speak up against the slaughter of Jews, and they did risk their lives to save them.   Eventually the Holocaust ended. But we still lost 6 million Jewish people. That's a LOT of deaths.   

2. Decided to play my Adelaide vs. Hobart Flickr game. So let's see what random photos I encounter.

For Adelaide, I got a photo of a doggy birthday party.  It reminds me of my sister. She had a birthday party for her Libby.  

Here's a picture of the doggy's birthday cake.   Her name's Bella.  

And here's Bella eating some of her cake. I wonder if it was also appropriate for human consumption.  

For Hobart, I got this photo of a sound wave.  I think it might be special camera effects.  

I have to give the point to Adelaide's doggy birthday party.  How could I not?  

3. Read a FANTASTIC editorial about Christianity and homosexuality.  I sometimes defend Christian bigotry regarding homosexuality feeling that this is part of their religion. Murray Richmond, a Presbyterian minister really makes me re-think all of that.   

That's not to say I believed that all Christians are anti-gay.  I know there's a lot of Christians who are open-minded...accepting.   They interpret the Bible in a way that doesn't promote bigotry and/or discrimination.   But what about he people who don't?   What about Christians who feel it really IS sinful and wrong to be gay?  Should I have tolerance for that viewpoint?

This is my favorite part from Richmond's editorial.   One reason, I think, is that it's easy to condemn homosexuality if you are not gay. It is much harder than condemning pride, or lust or greed, things that most practicing Christians have struggled with. It is all too easy to make homosexuality about "those people," and not me. If I were to judge someone for their inflated sense of pride, or their tendency to worship various cultural idols, I would feel some personal stake, some cringe of self-judgment. Not so with homosexuality. 

I think that's a fantastic point.  And Richmond asks, So why had we singled out homosexuality as a litmus test for True Christianity in the first place? Why had it become such a lightning rod for self-righteousness?

Is gayness really the worst sin in the bible?    What are the other ones?  How about the seven sins?   Gay men are excluded from being Boy Scout leaders.  What about men who exhibit sloth-like behavior?  Anger? Pride? Lust?  Are they allowed to be leaders?

Someone needs to send Julia Gillard that editorial.  If a Christian Minister can change his mind, maybe an atheist can do so as well.

4. Thought of posting it on Gillard's Facebook wall, but she does not allow people to post on her wall.  

5. Found Julia Gillard's contact page.   I sent the editorial.  Maybe it will help if other people send it as well....hint...hint....

6. Forwarded the editorial to Wayne Swan as well.   

7.  Read David Bradbury's first speech to Parliament.   In 2008, he said We must promote policies that support and sustain the relationships between people, their families and their communities, because a strong and cohesive society is the only foundation upon which the architecture of the state can be securely built.  

Wouldn't marriage be a good way of supporting and sustaining relationships?

8. Created a Sarah Hanson-Young Family for my Sims 3 neighborhood.  Jack built their house, and gave them a tiny swimming pool.

9. Read article about a mother who was kicked off a bus in Darwin because her toddler was laughing too loud.  That's kind of funny. And sad.   It will be a great story to tell the kid when she's older.

Was the baby really that loud?  Maybe the driver was having a migraine or something?  It all sounds a bit bizarre.  

10. Read about a proposed Euthanasia clinic in South Australia.  They're planning on doing it without waiting for it to be legalized.  That may be tricky, but I admire their courage.  

I'm looking at the comments here.  One person says, will South Australia be the legalized murder capitol of Australia,watch out people in nursing homes, you won't be able to trust anyone.   Do people really believe that legalized euthanasia is going to give people free range on murdering the elderly?   I doubt that's going to happen.  I mean it may happen a few times.  People will murder someone, and try to get away with it.  But guess what.  That already happens without legalized Euthanasia.

I like Cicero's sarcastic comment.  This is outrageous. It is my right to live for as long as possible, to be a burden on the health system, to impoverish my family and to suffer greatly before going to heaven.  Although the health system bit is unnerving.  That leads to the dark side of euthanasia.   There's the worry that people with extreme health needs will be pressured to give up. Are you sure you want to go on living?  I can't imagine it's pleasant now that you can no longer walk or breathe on your own.

Hopefully, most people will not choose euthanasia; and hopefully no one will be pressured to choose it.   We don't want to get to the point where someone says, We could put a cast on that leg. That's fine.  The itching will bother you.  OR you could take these pills.....

So yeah.   I CAN see a dark side.   It's there.   I won't deny it.   But I also can imagine people with cancer, in horrible pain.   I can see them thinking I'm going to die soon anyway.  Why do I have to go through this?    I think it's wrong for ANYONE to be pressured to die or live.  I think they should be able to make the choice themselves, and get assistance and support with whatever path they choose.  

11. Felt all warm and cozy about Kevin Rudd.   On his Facebook page he says,
Facing the Q and A audience next week. Please wear soft shoes if you are planning on throwing them.   That's very cute.  I like his sense of humor.  

12.  Read Anna Burke's first speech to Parliament.   It was done back in 1998.  She shares a philosophy I've heard before.  Burke says, I am deeply committed to multiculturalism. I am proud to be representing a party that has a strong record of promoting the richness of ethnic diversity, rather than merely tolerating it.   Yeah.   I've heard it before, but I can't remember if I agreed with it or not.   Right now I disagree. I think it's great if we can MORE than tolerate it, celebrate it, think it's awesome, etc.   But sometimes that's kind of impossible. Sometimes we really have to struggle just to accept something, and not have a tantrum about it.  I cannot bring myself to celebrate the fact that other people eat meat.   I cannot bring myself to celebrate the fact that there are religions out there teaching the idea that nonbelievers will burn in hell.  At best, all I can do is tolerate these ideas and actions.  

On the same token, not everyone can love the fact that we don't send our child to school. Not everyone can love the fact that I believe in reincarnation.  But I do appreciate them doing their best to tolerate it.