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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Footloose

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God, I love the Sony Walkman

Amongst GenX’rs the movie of this name from 1984 is semi-famous.

If you were into dancing then you loved it.

If you weren’t then, “meh”.

I was definitely in the latter category so avoided it like the plague at the time and since.

A couple of years ago my poor, beloved wife tried to get our kids to watch it.

Fail.

Part of my objection was that the basic plot was cliched even for its time. The story is that a “Big City Boy” – played by Kevin Bacon – moves to a small town in America that’s dominated by a Christian Preacher, played by John Lithgow, who bans dancing.

It’s very 80’s, especially in the way it plays so well to the hate against the Moral Majority and Jerry Falwell that existed on the Left and Hollywood at the time (and to this day).

There probably were some towns in USA history that did not like dancing (or booze), but they’d died a long time before the 1980’s – or even the 1950’s. But the movie was made by Boomers, so naturally they had to haul their obsessions with 1950’s American Conservatism into the 1980’s and pretend it was real.

This attitude is still here as the Boomers move closer to being beneath the earth, as shown by this comment about the Catholic Church from one such regular on Kiwiblog a few weeks ago. Still stuck in their upbringing of Fire and Brimstone speeches from the pulpit in the 1950’s/60’s they are utterly clueless as to how far the Catholic hierarchy has moved into the secular world of gay fucking plus – let alone the various Protestant faiths No wonder pedophiles headed for the seminaries after the great Counter-Culture revolution of the 1960’s.

A side-effect of this is that such people – secular atheists, and especially secular, Left-Wing, atheists – adamantly refuse to admit where their side of the fence is now moving.

“Gender-based policies, rules, and practices can have the effect of marginalizing, stigmatizing, and excluding students, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression,” it states, citing “practices that may be based on gender” such as “grouping students for class activities, gender-based homecoming or prom courts, limitations on who can attend as ‘couples’ at school dances, and gender-based events such as father-daughter dances.”

The practical effect will be that such dance evenings a schools will simply be canned, or more likely abandoned due to a lack of enthusiasm. Reverend Shaw Moore could only dream of such enforcement of his morality, but then that’s true of most of the Left’s Stasi-like enforcement nowadays vs. the fears conjured about the Moral Majority in the 1980’s.

These assholes are the Moral Majority, or at least they act like and obtain the results commensurate with power.

One side note is that this is just one of many movies that led to the game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon:

players challenge each other to arbitrarily choose an actor and then connect them to another actor via a film that both actors have appeared in together, repeating this process to try and find the shortest path that ultimately leads to prolific American actor Kevin Bacon

Written by Tom Hunter

August 2, 2021 at 6:00 am

Posted in History, Humour, Ideologues, Religion, US Politics, USA

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How many more times

Sigh.

It’s 2020 all over again as my daughter received word this morning that her graduation ceremony in Wellington this coming weekend has been cancelled because the Great Chinese Lung Rot Pandemic has struck again. Or more precisely because of the now standard reaction of our government with a lockdown that has been extended into the week.

Last year this happened to my son’s graduation – twice. We were finally able to nail it near the end of the year.

And as is often the case the decision to cancel was not in the hands of the university but the government building where the ceremony was going to be held.

So, cancelled flights, hotel bookings etc, and with no certainty of when they can be reinstated although the end of July is under discussion. But who knows if that gets blown up then?

Gosh I really miss that whole “Two Weeks To Flatten The Curve”. It held a note of optimism, whereas this looks like it’s never going to end. So let’s also repeat a couple of items. First from The Swedish View on COVID-19:

Getting out of the lockdowns will be the big challenge since the question is around which restrictions can be lifted, followed by watching for upticks in cases and deaths at each stage, with increases met by what? Reinstating the restriction?

Second is a South Park piece. I already put this up some months ago but it’s worth repeating: just replace the word “bailout” with “lockdown”.

Meantime, here’s Led Zeppelin in all their youthful glory on a Danish TV channel in 1969:

Politics as Religion

As religion, at least traditional Christianity, declines across the Western nations, other beliefs seem to be filling the resulting vacuum.

Strangely enough it’s not Atheism, which continues to amount to perhaps 2-3% of the population. It would be fair to say that the space is being filled with Agnostics, people who don’t specifically say they don’t believe in a god or gods, but who merely say that they don’t practice any religion.

More specifically perhaps it’s people who just don’t bother to think about religion and god much from any POV: it’s just not part of their life.

However, there do seem to be just as many “spiritual” believers around as ever, people who believe in, have faith in, something beyond themselves, something not always corporeal. For example I’m always surprised at how many crystal worshippers I encounter: I thought it was a hippie thing that died out with the 1970’s. Imbuing nature with spirituality seems to be a thing as well. Attend any Tangi in this country and you’ll soon learn how spiritual Maori are.

Unfortunately it seems that politics is one of those growing religions, as outlined in this clever essay published on substack, Fanatics:

It’s not hard to see why wokeness is so frequently compared to a religion. The metaphors are everywhere: the washing of feet, the prostrations, the proclamations of faith, the sacraments, the martyrs, the confessions, the heretics, the hallowed ground, the Original Sin, the evangelism. Last summer’s protests for racial justice often had the look of a religious movement. Many of its practitioners saw it explicitly in those terms.

The article has links for each of those specific examples if you want to check. There are broader comparisons that work just as well and are more important:

If religion gives meaning to the lives of the faithful, there are a lot more Americans now who lack that meaning than there used to be, and they’re concentrated on the left side of the political spectrum. It’s not difficult to imagine these people seeking the kind of meaning that religion would otherwise have provided them  — a sense of belonging to a larger community; a feeling of collective purpose; an affiliation with a temporal reality that transcends the duration of a single human lifespan — in other things. In their politics, for example.

Actually there’s a specific religion the author has in mind; good old American Calvinism, whose 18th and 19th century aspects he notes before delving into today:

All of these tendencies fit as comfortably into American left-wing social justice culture as they did in right-wing Christian evangelical culture in the 1990s. Liberal Twitter in 2021 is one big digital Calvinist village, everyone trying to out-virtue-signal one another to prove their ever-tenuous membership in an amorphous club of the morally elite, picking over everyone else’s tweets for signs of political heresy, and calling them out to the mob in a desperate attempt to deflect scrutiny from themselves. The same political culture prevails on college campuses, media outlets, and the non-profit industrial complex. Increasingly, it is becoming the norm in Congress.

It does seem awfully familiar, especially when explicit examples of modern political behaviour are seen in Social Media, but:

The problem is that politics is, in important ways, the very antithesis of religion, and in a democratic society, the more politics takes on the shape of faith, the more intractable and dysfunctional it becomes. That’s because politics, when put to its proper use, is the search for what disparate groups share in common, and the bargaining over their differences. Religion is practically its inverse; at its root, it’s tribal. And so as our politics have taken on the character of religion, they have become tribal, too.

He goes on to specifically look at the tribal/religious aspects of Australia’s Aboriginals but also how blending this with politics can only end badly. It’s a lengthy article but worth your time to read.

He’s also not the only one saying this, but unfortunately the trend is speeding up rather than slowing down. Most religious arguments have ended in wars sooner or later, only after which did things settle down in new patterns until the next great uprising. Perhaps that’s the fate of the West again?

Written by Tom Hunter

June 26, 2021 at 9:23 am

Fire and Brimstone

Today I heard an amusing anecdote about a Catholic parish in Melbourne.

The time was somewhere in the early sixties and the parish encompassed a large swathe of the country which supported and contributed players to the Collingwood Football Club. (Readers should clue themselves up to the nexus between Collingwood FC, gambling and the Catholic Church by going here .)

One day a feisty old priest delivered a sermon on the virtues of giving to the church.

“I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that Sunday collections are down. Remarkably, during the same period, Collingwood has not had a win. Parishioners are reminded gambling is a sin.

If you must gamble, gamble on God, not on Collingwood.”

Adolf could have written that sermon himself!

My informant was ten years old at the time and has never forgotten the moment .

Written by adolffinkensen

June 6, 2021 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Australia, Humour, Religion

WHAT IS GOD’S TRUTH?

My old friend John Stringer has written in Kiwiblog here of the schism facing the Anglican Church in New Zealand.    It got me thinking … ‘what is God’s truth’.

Always wondered about that having a father who was staunch Anglican (confirmed by the Archbishop of Canterbury no less) and a mother who was an equally staunch Baptist.    I was brought up theologically confused.

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that God’s table is a smorgasbord of theological truths with some in conflict with others and some more important that others.    People are free to pick and choose from that smorgasbord and do so based on what is important to them.

We live in an ever changing world were nothing is immutable except birth, death and taxes. 

Atheists of course have it easy … nothing to worry about … except if they discover too late they were wrong.   For myself and I’ve always had a soft spot for the Salvation Army … matching their mouths with muscle.

Written by The Veteran

September 28, 2018 at 5:30 am

Posted in New Zealand, Religion