Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Same-Sex Marriage is not a subversion of the institution of marriage

March 4, 2012 2 comments

Today, Cardinal Keith O’Brien wrote in Sunday Telegraph that same-sex marriage is wrong. As a Catholic, I beg to differ.

I believe Cardinal O’Brien to be a fabricator of untruths. For this I direct you to a paragraph written by the Cardinal:

In Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, marriage is defined as a relationship between men and women. But when our politicians suggest jettisoning the established understanding of marriage and subverting its meaning they aren’t derided.

I know direct you to Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights:

Article 16.

  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Nowhere in Article 16 does it say that marriage is an exclusive arrangement between a man and a woman. It just says that men and women (of legal age) can marry. Men can marry men, women can marry women and men can marry women.

Also in Article 16, it states that dissolution of a marriage is allowed. Not so in the Catholic Church. For Cardinal O’Brien to invoke Article 16 is disingenuous and for him to provide an addendum to an international document without democratic support is immoral.

Marriage has always existed in order to bring men and women together so that the children born of those unions will have a mother and a father.

By that logic, and actually the logic of the Church, that infertile couples must have their marriage annulled due to the fact that they can’t produce children – the only product of marriage. But that also means that widows and widowers must be condemned if they so choose to remain unmarried.

This view point comes from a man whose employment revolves around celibacy and being married to the Church. I have no problem with this, it’s an admirable quality to dedicate one’s life to a cause. However, Cardinal O’Brien must also acknowledge the historical context as to why celibacy was forced on the priesthood – to protect the wealth of the Catholic Church from claims to its estate from children of priests. There is nothing in the New Testament (for which Christians derive the majority of their faith and understanding from) to say that those who dedicate themselves to the Church cannot dedicate themselves to a family. To love. Conversely, there is nothing in the teachings of Jesus Christ that marriage is a union exclusively between a man and a woman.

Those of us who were not in favour of civil partnership, believing that such relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, warned that in time marriage would be demanded too.

Yes, those who have argued for civil partnerships have then argued for marriage. Yes, civil partnerships will, for some, be “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved” because they, as Christians, cannot be physically, mentally nor spiritually satisfied with the legal rights of marriage. This is because, as I am sure Cardinal O’Brien is aware, that marriage is much more than legal rights but of a spiritual and emotional union between the couple and God. To have that denied, when you are a believer, creates insurmountable stress, thus creating all the “evils” that the Cardinal lists.

As a Catholic, I know that attendance rates in Britain have dropped off in recent years and it is unsurprising considering the illiberal behaviour of a surprisingly liberal branch of the Church. The success of the Church has always been down to its ability to adapt, but I fear that those who seek to “preserve” it are in fact destroying it.

The recent Ordinariate will erode the tenements of the faith. The Ordinariate do not believe in the faith of the Church. They don’t accept transubstantiation. They just don’t like women or gays. By appeasing to these types of people, the idea of transubstantiation, the sanctity of Mary (an unmarried woman, I hasten to add) and the emphasis placed on the Angels and Saints will all be eroded to suit a small minority who are bigotted.

The Ordinariate, Cardinal O’Brien, is more corrosive to the Catholic Church as a whole than allowing a few people who love each other to marry. Who knows, attendance rates might go up if they are allowed to marry.

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized

Norway Attacked

It transpired on Friday afternoon that Norway had been attacked by terrorists. With a huge bomb going off in the Governmental quarter of Oslo. An hour later a gunman opened up at the Labour Party Youth Camp at Utøya killing around 90 people in total.

Late on Friday, Norwegian Police released information they had on the apprehended gunman, Anders Behring Breivik. Theory of an attack from Islamists was rejected, even though Abu Suleiman al-Nasser claimed responsibility for the bombings. The theory that it was retribution of Norway’s involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya as well as a Norwegian newspaper reprinting the cartoon on Muhammed in 2006, was also rejected.

The press, and others, are asking themselves who is Anders Behring Breivik and why did he choose his target? Obscurely, his Facebook profile was made public and the profiling began. He was a right-wing Christian who was interested in the environment, who’s favourite books include On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. His only Twitter update was a quote from Mill:  “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests.”

There is doubt, however, to the validity of Breivik’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as they were both activated on the 17th July 2011.

It is possible that the Labour Party was targeted. With bombs going off near their headquarters in Oslo and their Youth Camp targeted in Utøya. But the question is still why? The Red-Green Coalition is Norway is successful, but also an anomaly in Scandinavian politics which has seen a shift to the right in recent years. Norway is not unknown to right-wing violence, but it is on this scale.

Breivik considers himself a Nationalist and an Islamophobe. His targeting of the Labour Party could have something to do with Støre, the Norwegian Foreign Minister, who in the past week has endorsed Palestine’s bid for membership of the UN and opening negotiations with the banned Islamist terror group Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Breivik is currently being investigated and questioned by Police.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Equality Before the Law

July 22, 2011 2 comments

In the history series, I have come across a proposal from 1943 on rejuvenating the legal system. I wonder what Legal types out there think of it…? Comments are welcome.

We must provide an efficient legal system which not only protects society against the anti-social activities of individuals, but safeguards individual liberty against the State. In a planned order, where the State has become more highly organised, it is more than ever necessary to ensure that no encroachments are made on the proper freedom of the individual. The Courts must be within the reach of all. No one must be handicapped from obtaining justice because he cannot pay the costs. Probably it will be found desirable to make the legal profession a national service under a Ministry of Justice which will be subject to democratic control.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Maths of AV

There’s been lots of chatter about the ‘complexity’ of AV and that votes get counted more than once. This post will delve into the maths behind AV to prove that votes aren’t counted more than once. Plus, ranking things in order of preference is pretty simple.

Let’s assume that there are four candidates and the voter uses three preferences 1, 2, and 3.

1=x 2=y 3=z

Assume that the vote goes through three rounds.

First Round

x=x

1x=x

1=1

Second Round

x=y-x

2x=y

2=1

Third Round

x=z-y

3x=z

3=1

Now to explain the maths.

Why does x=y-x or x=z-y?

Because the current preference must have the previous preference subtracted from it.  If we replace the letters with numbers it equates to 1=2-1 and 1=3-2.

Why is there a multipler, such as 2x?

Because it is used to indicate which round of voting the vote is currently in.

Therefore, at the end of the three rounds, the third preference still has the same value as the initial vote cast, it’s not worth more or less, it’s just a redistribution.

Categories: Uncategorized

Privacy and the cult of celebrity

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Super-injunctions have recently dominated the news cycles. The heart of this is privacy and individuals attempt to remain private.

The cult of celebrity is fairly recent phenomenon in Britain and super-injunctions have become an increasingly used tool for the rich, powerful and public personalities to keep their private lives private.

Why is there an invasion of privacy?
In short, the cult of celebrity is responsible. Most people are interested in the lives of others to substitute the mundanity of theirs. My grandfather recently remarked on the Royal Wedding that he would not watch the broadcast because he would not want to be party to something that he has not been invited to. A wedding is a private affair, an affair is a private affair, being a banker is a private affair.

Private affairs are not in the interest of the public, yet they are deemed to be of interest due to the cult of celebrity. The public’s morbid obsession with the intimate lives of celebrities and, to a degree, celebrities’ obsession with disclosing their intimate lives to the public. It is self-perpetuating madness.

In order to inhibit the growth of super-injunctions, and injunctions as a matter of fact, it would be wise to take a moral stock check and abolish this terrible cult.

Categories: Uncategorized

Politics from 1948

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The following is taken from an article by Sir Richard Acland in The Listener, from January 15, 1948 entitled ‘Morality and British Politics’. Note how things were then and how they are now.

“The first step in democratic service is to join a political party. You join as a rank and file member of a local branch. The more diligently you serve your party and your cause, the more likely is it that they will ask you, for example, to become branch secretary. If you serve with self-sacrifice and show wise political judgement, you thereby increase the chance of you being made a local councillor. And as such you cannot but be aware of the fact that faithful service might lead someone to nominate you as candidate for the House of Commons.”

Categories: Uncategorized

FLATLINE

April 28, 2011 1 comment

On Wednesday the British economy flatlined. Despite a weak growth of 0.5% for Q1 of 2011 the economy flatlined. This is to say that the contraction of Q4 for 2010 was more or less equalised by Q1’s figures.

The maths for this is as follows: 100 x 0.995 x 1.005 = 99.9975. It’s actually a slight contraction of 0.0025%, which is as good a 0% growth. Now to explain the maths. 100 is the constant. 0.995 is the result for Q4 2010. 1.005 is the result for Q1 2011. One then multiplies it together to get the average, which gives one what the economy is actually doing.

What is the economy doing?

As a whole it is doing nothing. It’s not growing but nor is it contracting. It’s just existing. Stagnating if you will. The individual sectors are doing things. The business services and finance increased by 1%, transport and communication increased 2.7%. The government grew by 0.7%, so much for the smaller state… Hotels and restaurants grew by 0.3%. Manufacturing increased by 1.1%, and agriculture, fishing grew by 0.6%.

Construction contracted by 4.7%. Mining and quarrying contracted by 0.4%. Utilities, such as electricity, gas and water, declined by 3.5%.

What’s next Quarter going to look like?

Tough call. The economy could contract as the austerity measures begin to take hold and consumer confidence begins to fall. Construction is likely to contract even further as the Regional Spatial Strategy was scrapped last year and the localism bill will encourage NIMBYism. Government is also likely to contract and probably quite sharply too. Q2 and Q3 are the interesting quarters, and potentially scary quarters too as they could usher in another recession.

What is certain?

Nothing is certain, but expect the Bank of England base rate to remain at 0.5% for the remainder of the year.

Categories: Uncategorized