Allan Takes Aim Blog

Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

 Ideas constipation is a political ailment

One thing’s become clear to me during the current election campaign: the side that will win Saturday’s election is the one giving voters a sense of confidence that the future will be better than the past.

One would think political parties would have learned this lesson by this time. Labor however, has chosen to continue in the same vein by producing ideas they say are innovative and the basis of new and constructive policies for the future but which, when examined seem like echoes of past ideas and policies that were tried and found wanting, which is why I say  ideas constipation is a political ailment.

More to the point, Labor tried to cure its constipation when its Treasurer increased its dosage of financial debt medication and changing Prime Ministers. But the new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd instead of suffering from constipation, seemed to suffer from verbal diarrhoea with words tumbling from him in torrents.

And did voters understand him? Unfortunately, he was the only one who seemed to understand them with opinion polls not only suggesting they did not understand him but wished him gone. Unfortunately for him, many ministers in his government felt the same.

His opponent Tony Abbott started off with the same level of popularity as Kevin Rudd is now enjoying though I doubt based on his narcissistic persona, he’s finding it enjoyable. Clearly too, Mr Abbott read the electorate better than Mr Rudd. Indeed in some respects the race to the finishing line in the election could be likened to that fabled race between the tortoise and the hare because despite Abbott’s slow speed it looks as if he will get there before Rudd.

Of the other parties none, except the Palmer United Party, expect to win. But not does its constant optimism lighten the political arena it is one of the best examples of political bravado I’ve seen for a long time, even that of the Greens.

The Greens are an odd party. Apart from members with a strong left wing socialist bias it attracts the odds and sods of politics. How any sane person can think the adoption of its policies will keep the world of the future in its current environmental state is beyond belief. And its fanciful ideas on how to cure global warming are in the same category. A world powered by windmills is symptomatic of its delusional fancies and total disregard of Mother Nature’s role in guiding the world since it began which includes the attraction of opposites and the creation of children, which brings me to its push for gay marriage.

I am sick to death of hearing that unless “LOVE” between members of the LGBTI can be translated into marriage they do not have equality in society. Nor do I have time for religious zealots who think marriage a religious sacrament.

Not being of any religious persuasion myself, I do not believe love is necessary for marriage and if LGBTI people cannot understand that, then they really don’t understand marriage and alsoy clearly have little understanding of what equality means.

Comment welcome.

If you would like to receive these Articles automatically you can RSS it or become a follower by using the ‘follow’ connection at bottom right of the published page.

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

Marriage is a universal culture. Same sex marriage is not

With the word gay having been hijacked by the LGBT community, the phrase ‘I’m having a gay old time,’ is forcing heterosexuals to defend their sexuality. Indeed the time seems to be coming when it will be politically incorrect for people to claim they are heterosexual.

Frankly, I don’t care what someone’s sexuality is but as a lover of words, I object to gay, a perfectly good word, being dumped from the dictionary to meet the demands of the LGBT community. From this I can only deduce that no longer can heterosexuals claim to be gay a situation that to me suggests discrimination.  And isn’t that what started the argument?

That said and much as I think the LGBT community should have the same rights as everyone else, I admit to being totally confused as to why they should invoke marriage as a right. Marriage is a rite but not a right. Marriage is merely the title of a legal contract that has been used for eons to describe the relationship between a man and a woman that may, or may not, have the capacity to produce children. At the same time the contract also makes them responsible for such children and the protection of their legal rights.

Speaking as one half of a marriage of over fifty years with one surviving married child, it seems to me that giving members of the LGBT community the ‘right’ to use marriage as the title of their contractual relationship shows a lack of common sense.

A signed legal contract that binds two men or two women in a relationship should entitle them to the same social benefits, including the possibility of adopting children. As for the LGBT community, it does them no credit to wail continually in the media, like people crying wolf, about the unjustness of not being able to marry.

Let me add that I have good friends, not wolf criers, in the LCBT community whom I wish could marry and have children. Unfortunately for the packs of wolf criers, they do not want to marry but would be happy to have a contract with a different title.

And spare me those people, high level politicians in particular, such as British PM David Cameron, Australian PM Kevin Rudd and U.S President Barack Obama, all of whom recently saw the light about gay marriage equality after a lifetime opposing it. Not that I think such conversions aren’t genuine but in some cases I think the conversion owes more to political expediency than truth.

The same thing also happens in some cases when parents, suddenly confronted by a son or daughter preparing to take up a permanent relationship with a same sex partner, show how much they love them by publicly becoming converted to the idea.

While I respect their conversion and the opinion of many highly intelligent supporters of gay marriage, I have yet to read an opinion from any of them that would lead me to support the idea. That apart only fourteen countries in the world have adopted the proposition of same sex marriage which still leaves more than 200 countries that don’t. Even in the millenniums to come I doubt universal agreement on this issue will ever be achieved.

But let me disabuse you also of any idea that my opposition to marriage has a religious basis. It doesn’t. My opposition comes from comparing same sex marriage with my own. In the months before my wife gave birth, I experienced emotions and thoughts that can never be experienced by same sex couples.

Such thoughts and emotions apply particularly when danger occurs to mother or baby as it frequently does, during pregnancy. At such times, the non-sexual intimacy between the potential mother and father that provides support for the mother, is often necessary? Clearly in same sex unions that cannot happen.

Finally, same sex couples who say they want to get married because of love have no idea of what marriage is only because marriage takes more than love to make it work

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This article replaces the article posted two hours ago

Hand Fasting: the right title for same sex marriage?

The ‘right’ to same sex marriage is in the category of rights conjured by people for whom the word ‘right’ has become a mantra and to hell with the ideas of people who disagree with them.

However, an issue that never seems to be mentioned is that, in every respect, except for the use of the word ‘marriage’ men and women of the same sex who enter into a legal contract of union gives enjoy the same civil rights as a heterosexual men and women. On that basis alone LGBT couples are no more dispossessed of a right to live on equal terms than any other man or woman in society.

Unfortunately for them, the contract between a man and a woman can in some, but not all cases, lead to the birth of children which is not something that can happen with people of the same sex no matter how coyly they present adopted children as ‘their’ children.

Before going further and discussing Hand Fasting, let me disabuse you of any idea that my non acceptance of same sex marriage comes from a religious basis. Indeed, not only do I object strongly to LBGT groups calling me homophobic I object just as strongly to religious movements hijacking marriage. Having no belief myself, other than that nature is mans’ creator, it is clear that nature’s creation process failed by not giving every man and woman the same attributes thus creating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with the same sexual needs as heterosexuals that can only be satisfied by different sexual practices.

Sad as it is, the men and women that nature created who were genetically different to others of the same sex are not the only ones nature has disadvantaged. Many men and women, genetically the same, can face problems beside which the problem of not being able to enjoy a marriage ceremony pales into insignificance.

That apart I have come to the view that in some cases the desire of some LGBT for ‘marriage’ is motivated by narcissism – which is love of a kind – or merely a device to legalise what even some LGBT people regard as the nearest they will get to heterosexual intercourse. I’d also like to tell the LGBT community that sex isn’t necessary in marriage, even between heterosexuals and nor is love. Indeed love is a much abused word yet allegedly it is the power driving LGBT groups to demand marriage.

If truth be known sex is a greater driver of marriage than love. And perhaps when the initial urge for sex weakens in heterosexual marriages such marriages often break down. Indeed, if heterosexuals were honest about their reasons for getting married I suspect sex with the girl of their dreams was a motivating force. That said however, some marriages are not founded on sex and love but on hope and respect.

But the saddest thing about the same sex marriage debate is its politicisation. That former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Hollande and U.S President Obama changed their mind is not unusual; politicians regularly change their mind when they think it politically beneficial. And if parents didn’t change their mind when faced with the issue they would be seen as poor parents. Nor does it make any difference if same sex politicians claim to be either father or mother in a same sex union: it is an inescapable fact that they cannot.

That said Marriage has always been understood as contract between a man and a woman. While I do not support the idea of it being attached to a contract between two non-heterosexuals, my research has produced what I think a suitable alternative.

During my research I discovered that in mediaeval times a form of marriage called Hand Fasting, a Norse custom first adopted in the Hebrides of Scotland, before spreading southwards. Like later marriage contracts Hand Fasting was bound by a contract which stated: “that a man take a maid as his wife and keep her for the space of a year without marrying her; and if she pleased him all the while, he married her at the end of the year and legitimatised her children; but if he did not love her, he returned her to her parents.” While the practice eventually died out it remained legal in Scotland until the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1939.

Hand Fasting, it seems to me could become the alternative name for same sex marriage. A Hand Fasting Act could then be drafted by LGBT lawyers to ensure it accurately covered their concerns. The Act might also make happy, people who are concerned about conditions applying to adoption by LCBT couples.

It seems to me also that not only could a Hand Fasting Act be appropriate but that it also provides the opportunity of creating a ritual for when a Hand Fasting ceremony is performed. A Hand Fasting Act could work well.

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

Life’s four great professions

This particular blog did not come as the result of inspired thought but because an old envelope with a large and bright red capital P stamped on it that I had rescued from a collection of old envelopes, was sitting on my desk in front of the computer. For the life of me I can’t remember where the envelope came from but, no doubt when it came a letter was enclosed advising me of some wonder product that would make my life better, or a request for a donation from a charity I had never heard of.

However, while musing about what the P stood for it suddenly dawned on me that P was the first letter of four words that described four great professions: performer, priest, politician and prostitute professions which, in many ways, are associated with acting, a career I always wanted to take up. In fact my army discharge book shows acting as the choice of my future.

You might disagree and favour philosophy, psychology, policing and psychiatry. If you do, so be it. Perhaps you’re right, but nonetheless I’ll stick to my chosen four.

The reason for my choices:

First choice: Performer

Throughout my working life I have been described as many things, often uncomplimentary, as a performer as, indeed, as have many of you. Don’t believe me? Indeed, if you could look at reports about your working life almost certainly you will have been described as excellent performer; good performer; moderate performer; or poor performer. I am sure also that, like me, while you will be in complete agreement with the first description you will quarrel with the second and strongly refute three and four.

Second choice: Priest

A lot of people won’t agree with me that being a priest is a great profession but for millenniums the priesthood has attracted many people, even if for the wrong reasons. In my own case though it was only for a short period, I felt called to the priesthood, which, when I gave it up, left my mother distraught. And while my mother was distraught at my decision, the order I had entered was probably thankful.

But my brief association was illuminating. Indeed as I spoke to others who professed the same call it seemed to me that some wanted to be priests because subconsciously, they found the public rituals of priesthood satisfied their desire for recognition in the same way as actors.

Third choice: Politician

For many people being a politician is no longer a vocation but a profession because like the priesthood, it satisfies peoples’ need for recognition, something they achieve when playing in a parliament’s comedy of error. Unlike actors, many stay on the political stage until the audience decides they have had enough of their bad acting.

Unlike actors, however, most politicians are well paid with good conditions and very good perks. It is unfortunate, however, that some gain fame not because of their acting prowess in their parliamentary comedies of error but for exceeding the lawful use of their political power in the search for even better perks.

Fourth choice: Prostitute

Now you might find it strange to find me saying that being a prostitute is to be a member of a great profession. These days, of course, in civilised parts of the world (with some exceptions) prostitutes have been replaced by sex workers.

I can’t speak for male philosophers or psychologists but it is known that, over the years, priests and politicians have enjoyed the professional services of sex workers. But what makes it a great profession is that having members of two two such professions using their services they seem to have the best of all worlds: priests to save their soul; and politicians as patrons. I can only add that my research indicates low unemployment in this profession.

Comment welcome.

If you would like to receive these blogs automatically you can RSS it or become a follower by using the ‘follow’ connection at bottom right of the published page

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

Forget marriage: introduce wedding contracts

Although I do not believe in God but because I am an opponent of what is described as same sex marriage not only am I described as agnostic but homophobic. Not only do I object to the latter description, so do many other people in Canberra of the same disposition.

What gets lost in the arguments about same sex marriage is the claim by its proponents that it is a human right. The fact is, since time immemorial, marriage has been seen as a contract between a man and a woman and nor can I find any reference to it as human right. That religious groups decided to make marriage a rite does not validate it as a human right.

Supporters of same sex marriage also talk of it as an issue of equality. Indeed the idea of same sex marriage could be likened to some kind of Utopian philosophy which, like every Utopian philosophy in history will end up a successful failure. That is not to say that no good comes of trying to get these philosophies accepted.

In any case, what is equality?  For me equality is an abstract quality that cannot be defined because what is equality for one person will be seen as inequality by another. Equality, in fact, is like a colour spectrum with infinite stages and a spectrum on which hetero sexual unions and same sex unions occupy different places.

Much of the debate about same sex marriage has centred on religion, particularly the various brands of Christianity with many Christians citing the bible as the defining authority on marriage. The bible, unfortunately, is a collection of stories that, although I do not believe in God, nevertheless have valuable lessons to teach us. However when marriage pre-Christianity is mentioned, it is described as being between a man and a woman. I suspect too, that even in the days of the Neanderthals when a man and a woman got together as a family their union also was called marriage.

That said, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I find the absence of sex in the same sex marriage debate more than passing strange. I have no qualifications in psychology but I feel safe in saying that sex is the underlying attraction of a man for a woman; in many, if not most, cases love comes in second and union with the possibility of children, even if not in every case, comes third. Yet the mantra of the same sex lobby is that love is the attraction.

Having been married for 54 years and having the joy of one living daughter from a family of three, I think qualifies me to say the life of a male and female couple is infinitely different to that of the lives of two men and two women. Strangely too, I hear LGBT couples talk of ensuring the future of their children as if through their sexual coupling they had procreated. Sad it may be, but no matter what law of equality is introduced, that will never be the case.

And yes I know they can have children as individuals but if they have children they came because of third party intervention. This does not apply to couples who having married and become fathers or mothers clearly thought that being in love with a reflection of themselves was better than the opposite.

Is there a solution to this complex question? I believe there is and also believe it a better solution than merely covering LGBT unions under the Marriage Act. Not to offend anyone but doing so is like trying to mix oil and water or trying to put square pegs into round holes.

My solution: scrap the current Marriage Act and create two separate acts covered by contract law: The Hetero Union Act and the LGBT Union Act will create contracts of union that couples will have to sign. Both contracts will spell out the differences between hetero and same sex union based on how each can be affected by host of societal issues.

The contracts will grant each couple the same legal rights with the latter group having to accept that nature has never seen their union as equating to hetero unions nor will it ever do so. Churches can, if they wish, bless the contract as has been done in days gone by.

As a last paragraph, the words same sex marriage has become a marketing slogan iterated by many people who know nothing about it or the people involved. Indeed I think many of them say they support same sex marriage because they think it makes them radical and up to date.

Comments welcome.

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

God is shrouded in mystery

At the every outset I should make it clear that I don’t believe in either the God of Christians or the Allah of Muslims.. Believe me, too, when I say my name has not been misspelled, it is Allan even if the name derives from the followers of an Arabic tribe that moved to Europe in the third century AD and settled in France.

How their descendants arrived in Scotland I have no idea. In any case I don’t know of anyone who has any idea about where their family originated. While the TV programme “Who Do You Think You Are?” has been successful in tracing the ancestry of certain guests I don’t think it has ever traced the particular ancestry of any to pre 3 AD.

This brings me to God, Allah and the multitude of Gods that existed pre Islam or Christianity. Of Christianity it is said that its leader, a young Jewish man called Jesus Christ was the Son of God which is the start of the God mystery as his mother, married to a man called Joseph, was a young Jewish lady called Mary.

The mystery about this relationship is that, the seventh of the Ten Commandments allegedly handed down by God to an old Jewish leader called Moses centuries before Jesus Christ about how people should live, condemns adultery, yet biologically Jesus was the son of an adulterous relationship. And the fifth of the commandments says mothers and fathers should be honoured, a commandment that in this case would seem not to have been honoured.

As for Jesus himself, apart from gospels stories by itinerant writers after he had been crucified and died, nothing much is known about him except he was said to be unmarried. However, recent discoveries suggest Jesus had married a woman called Mary Magdalene who clearly subscribed to his religious philosophy thus making Jesus as mysterious as his God, his alleged father.

That said it seems strange to me that although a lot is known about the creators of pre Christian civilisations (Roman and Greek et al), God remains a hypothetical figure although the religion known as Christianity is, despite its many ups and downs, the West’s major religious belief system.

As for Islam’s its founder is known as Muhammad with the Quran (Koran) the central text of the Islamic philosophy that Muslims believe was revealed to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel. While mention of Muhammad in the Quran is scarce, it has verses that can be interpreted as allusions to Muhammad’s life. Of itself the Quran however provides little assistance for a chronological biography of Muhammad thus, in many respects, like the life of Jesus it lacks historical context.

It must be said that lack of historical context seems not to have been a problem because the combined total of believers in the 2,000 year old religion and 1,500 years old religion is greater than the combined total of all other religions. That this is the case says much for the persuasive powers of the originators and followers through the ages.

However, it has to be said also that these persuasive powers were often exercised by armies wielding swords and later guns while their leaders continually said they followed a God of peace. Sometimes these wars were also internecine affairs, a situation that still applies and a situation that will apply for centuries to come or until even more persuasive leaders will emerge preaching new philosophies.

However, instead of bringing peace I suspect these philosophies will bring new wars that again will be internecine, inter-territorial and inter galactic.

Had I even the faintest idea of what these new philosophies will be about I would say so, but I don’t. That said I will end by say that if Scottish poet Robert Burns were alive today he would probably amend his 1784 Dirge to end with the words: Man’s inhumanity to man makes millions mourn. Unfortunately, as in past centuries, man will not heed these words.

Comments welcome

As I write this short blog it is 7.30pm on Christmas Eve in Canberra, Australia. The temperature is still 18 degree C a drop from 35 degrees C. Even after forty three years in Austraiia I still find it difficult to equate the latter temperature with Christmas.

Also an agnostic, I had almost decided not to do a Christmas blog but then changed my mind. That I changed my mind was not because I had suddenly been reconverted to a belief in God but because I think the idea of a God might be no more fanciful that some of the ideas in history that people have come to believe in.

The fact is that as a religion only 2,000 years old, Christianity is only a babe in arms compared to other religions still being practiced today. For example Paganism is still extant and practiced, as is Animism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and a host of other beliefs that existed long before Christianity was born. And that is not to mention the many other religions in Asia that were not known about in the Roman world.

And who can prove that Animistic, Jewish or Pagan Gods didn’t have the same powers allegedly held by the Christian God. Although the foundation of these beliefs took root thousands of years before Christianity, their followers all managed to invest them with a hierarchy of high and low priests a practice that continues to this day even in the Christian church.

At the same time, some of these ancient religions had priestesses. Unfortunately the males in the larger groups of pre Christian believers identified God as male, also an identification that continues to this day. Curiously smaller Christian Churches today have re-appointed women as priests while the larger Christian Churches are split on the matter. Little wonder that the proverb attributed to Jean-Baptise Alphonse Karr (1808 -1890) but likely based on a phrase by Aristotle that ‘everything changes but everything stays the same,’ is still in common use.

A prime goal of all churches is the pursuit of peace. And while my wish for Christmas is fanciful and having realised long ago that not only is it unachievable but that it would take the miracle of miracles for it to ever happen, nonetheless my wish for Universal Peace in the world remains.

Now you might think that by my words I am unduly pessimistic; not so: I am merely expressing an opinion that has grown in my thinking over many years. To some extent peace is a universal value. Unfortunately it has also become a commodity that some people use as they pursue their ambition for power.

Indeed the word peace has become so devalued it has lost its meaning and become the shibboleth of politicians, demagogues, dictators, religious leaders and leaders of military regimes who use it to support the falsehood that theirs is the way to peace if people would only support them.

Would that it was otherwise, but unfortunately, no one can guarantee peace.

But fanciful or not let me say to all my readers, do what you can for peace because it seems to me that peace will come only when those whose religion is war are defeated when they meet the might of all people who want peace.

Merry Christmas Blog: Allan Takes Aim; web: https://donallan.wordpress.com; e-mail: dca@netspeed.com.au v



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