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Religion and Politics

There is an old adage that warns we should never discuss religion or politics. It’s bizarre that two such influential aspects of our lives should be off-limits. The obvious implication is that, in these two areas, people’s minds are already made up and closed to any information, argument or change. Are we scared that our beliefs, under scrutiny, may be shown to be flawed? Are we unable to explain why we believe something, or hold a certain view, or support a certain religion or political party or policy? Are we unable to be tolerant and civil? Are we unwilling to learn? Is it heresy to question?

There is a growing dissatisfaction and feeling of disillusionment and disappointment with both religion and politics. To use the parlance of the day, their business model is broken. This is hardly surprising as they have allowed very little organisational change in hundreds of years.

We subsidise these two institutions to the tune of trillions of dollars every year. It’s time we demanded a productivity drive – changes have to be made. An efficiency dividend perhaps, or performance based payment? What is the return to stakeholders? If these were private companies, the entire board and management team would be sacked and new directions taken.

Experts warn that we are heading towards an apocalypse driven by climate change, resource depletion, environmental degradation, overpopulation, and income inequity, yet our two greatest institutions seem intent on ignoring these challenges in favour of power and greed.

Religions spend an enormous amount of time and money on worship – to what end? Recently, Pope Francis said

“We don’t want this globalised economic system which does us so much harm. Men and women have to be at the centre (of an economic system) as God wants, not money. The world has become an idolator of this god called money.”

A noble sentiment no doubt, but somewhat hypocritical when, each and every week, some of the poorest Catholics around the world contribute to the church’s unbelievable wealth.

The Catholic Church, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world. The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, T.W.A., etc. At a conservative estimate, these amount to more than 500 million dollars in the U.S.A. alone.

The Vatican’s treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest. But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, artworks, stocks and shares worldwide, then the staggering accumulation of the wealth of the Catholic Church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment making it one of the wealthiest institutions on Earth.

Avro Manhatten, in his book The Vatican Billions, said

“Jesus was the poorest of the poor. Roman Catholicism, which claims to be His church, is the richest of the rich, the wealthiest institution on earth. (…) How come, that such an institution, ruling in the name of this same itinerant preacher, whose want was such that he had not even a pillow upon which to rest his head, is now so top-heavy with riches that she can rival – indeed, that she can put to shame – the combined might of the most redoubtable financial trusts, of the most potent industrial super-giants, and of the most prosperous global corporations of the world?”

Their wealth is so big that they could create sustainable social programs to end famine on Earth; they have the power and the means to oppose wars; they have the financial resources to create an Eco-friendly planet — the biblical heaven on Earth. But how could they be willing to invest in “green technology” when they have huge investments in fossil fuel industries? In fact, wars perfectly suit their financial investments.

The church’s failure to remain relevant to today’s society, with its preoccupation with power and wealth accumulation, its adherence to celibacy, and its refusal to allow women in positions of authority, make it reminiscent of eunuch guards protecting an ancient temple of gold.

“And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!” Revelation 18:16

Government is the other institution with the means and duty to protect us. We collectively invest our money, entrusting them to make decisions in our best interests. This is not a loan to be handed out to big corporations, nor is it to payroll jobs for your mates or to use on private jets and chauffeured limousines to go to “social networking” functions.

We should not have to pay more to give Gina Rinehart a tax free zone in which to make billions from developing our resources whilst repealing the mining tax that might give us some return for our patrimony to help pay for the damage her coal will cause to the planet. We should not have to rely on the largesse of big corporations to give us a fair return on our money and assets.

We should not have to pay for politicians to use Parliament as a theatrical stage. This isn’t a high school debate we are having. If it was, the behaviour would be far better, the arguments more coherent, the speech far more eloquent, and it would actually address the arguments for and against the specific point. Each side would listen carefully to each other and try to find flaws in the opposition’s proposition. Real flaws, based on facts, not on personalities or spin.

“Chamber sitting” is a total waste of time. Speeches are ignored, question time is a debacle, debate is stage-managed or gagged, point-scoring by endless repetition is the mind-numbing methodology, and not one constructive thing is achieved other than voting on legislation, which could be done remotely.

Matters Not, an AIMN commenter with parliamentary experience, said

“The ‘common sense’ of Parliament is an historical hangover – relic of a past time when face-to-face communications was the only option. At one level it’s now a joke. But while voting can be done from afar the ‘socialising’ and ‘politicking’ cannot.”

Is this really what we are paying them for?

The amount of time and money that is wasted on polls, advertising, image consultants, spin doctors and message control is staggering. Hundreds of millions are spent by politicians on making themselves popular so they can get re-elected. What a fraudulent waste of our taxpayer money.

Tony Abbott’s expense entitlements as Opposition leader were over $1,000,000 each year. These include travel and office costs. When you consider all the parliamentarians, entitlements add up to a huge amount of money. I wonder how much we would save if the Finance Department had to approve all expenses before purchase and have them pay the bill rather than periodically accepting spurious claims for reimbursement from every MP. Perhaps better still, increase an MP’s salary by a specified amount and make them pay for everything from their own pocket. Bet that would put paid to weddings, private jets, trips to sporting events with your daughters, and custom made bookcases. It might also put people like Mark Textor and Peta Credlin out of a job making way for staff with useful expertise.

The official Federal Parliament website states that

“the most important change (to the Westminster system) since 1867 has been the growth of the party system. Nearly all members of the lower houses are now elected as representatives of political parties. Party discipline in all the parliaments has been greatly strengthened, and in some of the parliaments it is almost unknown for an MP to fail to support the agreed party position-that is, the position agreed by a majority of the parliamentary party. In some of the parties, an MP may be expelled from the party for failing to support the party line.”

In the last 150 years the most important change has been to form gangs that stifle debate and disenfranchise their members under threat of excommunication? The party system has become corrupt, susceptible to manipulation by wealthy donors, factional bullying, preselection and preference deals.

Imagine if we elected people on merit rather than party affiliation. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if each individual MP voted for what was best on the basis of expert advice and informed debate rather than being told how to vote to best serve your party’s donors. Gina can’t fund everyone’s campaign – well she could, but bribing 145 people is a lot harder than just bribing the leader of one party.

Our Parliament is hamstrung by archaic ceremony and tradition. This is very costly and extremely unproductive. In the 21st century surely we can come up with a better system.

So I say to our religious and political leaders, lift your game!

Religions of the world should remember that their core beliefs are basically the same and there should be interdenominational co-operation to preach and practice charity, tolerance, peace, and love.

“O mankind! We made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other).” (The Qur’an 49:13)

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18 “

Politicians need to reminded of their job. They are our guardians given temporary stewardship of our wealth to provide for all Australian citizens and to fulfil our global responsibility as a prosperous nation. It is NOT their job to increase the wealth of a few at the expense of the many while spending every moment campaigning for re-election.

“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.” -Thomas Jefferson

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

– The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

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32 comments

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  1. Don Winther

    Gee Kaye Lee I love the way you think, this could have been a great country but the big boys have stolen it from us and most of us didn’t even notice. There is not much left, 200 years of building and 20 years of selling. Why do we need politicians now that we have the internet, a bit of good software and advance Australia fair. Get rid of the free loaders.

  2. Helen Light

    I am a female minister of religion, so obviously not a Catholic. While there are some parts of the church that support the status quo, there are other parts of the that are firmly behind action to prevent climate change. One such group that springs to mind is a facebook group called Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.
    Almost every minister I know appears to vote Green, and thus supports every move to stop climate change.

    There are churches that have solar panels on them, and many churches have reduced their carbon footprint over the last few years.

    Another important point: the first Sunday in May is designated Religious Pluralism Sunday, in which churches are invited to help our flocks think about the fact that at the very heart of every religion are exactly the same teachings. Members of the Progressive paths of each religion will acknowledge that they only follow their particular path because it is the path in which they were raised. I have been celebrating this Sunday with guest speakers from other religions or by including readings from other religions, so that my people can learn more about other religions.

    The groups you should be directing your frustration to are not the progressives from each religion, but the fundamentalists, who have such strange ideas about most things, especially their religion. (The best way to counter them is to have them discover for themselves what their text actually teaches, as most don’t know.)

    I understand that Pope Francis has been investigating the whole issue of environmentalism, and expect that in the near future he will release a new teaching about climate change. If he doesn’t, he will be inundated by people like me pointing out the error of his ways – not that he would necessarily take any notice of women, let alone non-Catholic women.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Thank you for your insight Helen. I have met many wonderful people of various different faiths who work hard to help people, and also for change within the church, and I applaud you for your work. Father Rod from the Gosford Anglican Church is also doing some great work welcoming all, atheists included, and asking us to be better and to ask for better.

  4. FairGo

    How right is this article? Absolutely 100% truth …
    At present, religion and politics is a debacle … Australia is moving away from what should be a transparent and accountable practice in these 2 separate Entities; instead both parties engage in widening the gap between the poor and rich …. We, as Australians must demand that both religion and politics go back to a grassroots level for what they both are suppose to represent; I.e., equity and a fair go for all people who live in this nation …

  5. jasonblog

    Excellent article & thanks also to Helen Light for her comment.

    Jesus Christ was famously a socialist and the Catholic Church is but a convenient continuance of the Roman Empire… It was the world’s first trans-national corporation & the Pope Alexander XI remains a favourite of those who seek to manipulate and deceive.

    I find it amusing that somehow what occurs on the stock-market is considered ‘news’ and features prominently in bulletins. I much prefer the anarchy of Christ storming the temple and turning over the tables of the money changers…

    I suspect that Pope Frank is mostly genuine and will look to make changes to the church. It will be frightfully embarrassing if the Catholic Church ends up with a more progressive attitude to climate change than Australia’s Abbott-led government!

    Dare I say the Machiavellian machinations that ruthlessly control the workings of political parties have resulted in a diminished democracy for the rest of us plebs. I truly would like to see more independent voices having the courage to engage with the disparate points of view that reside within the populace at large.

  6. Stephen Tardrew

    This is an awesome article Kay and I totally agree.

    Truly Machiavelli would smile the silent smile of recognition as prince and church role into one appalling grab for wealth, power and political influence. It becomes more and more difficult to separate the two. I have regularly deferred to my religious ethical and caring fiends who I hold in high regard. However in this century we can no longer adhere to magical and mythical thinking while the military industrial complex is driven by religious ideologues Democrat, Republican; Labor, LNP or whatever else. We are being ruled by a bunch of uneducated primitive troglodytes. If you don’t understand science you know little to nothing.

    The double edged sword of Damocles hangs over our world as religious acolytes reject science and reason for mythological thinking paying lip service to the poor while accumulating massive amounts of wealth held by the few. Just stand by and wreck the biosphere. Yeah that will work. This is an abomination of epic proportions. Where the hell are the ethics.

    No more hedging or pretending that religions have not been responsible for massive amounts of suffering injustice and inequality as well as blind prejudice against minorities.

    I have clearly expressed how a contemporary understanding of paradoxes and counterintuitives in science can lead to foundational principles of determined origins while setting the grounds for metaphysical hope, awe and wonder. It does no one a service when atheists or any kind of dogmatist make claim to absolute knowledge when there are infinitely many unknowns and unknowables (Godel’s incompleteness theorem; Georg Cantors set theoretical axioms of infinity; Max Tegmark’s modelling of infinite universes and Einsteinium block time etc.). Just follow the axioms of physics and the mathematics of infinity to discover how profoundly vast and mysterious existence is. Yes we can embrace metaphysical hope without religious dogmatism. Most people want happiness, security, goodness, joy, love and some meaningful sense of purpose.

    There is a wave of disgust at the LNP while our whole culture suffers the dogmatism of fools and ideologues.
    Yes we can frame a contemporary meta-theory however it means willingly challenging our prejudices of old.

    People do not create their realities nor do they chose to be born into poverty and hardship. Just to be born in this country is a great privileged. Go to the third world and find out how incredibly lucky we are. There is no choice or personal responsibility here. If you want to keep your religion then learn to love your sisters and brother as yourself; be humble and share the gifts and wealth you are given.

    The cost of not doing so is incredible hardship suffering and destruction of the biospheres as we know it. What is this self destructive masochism driven by greed? Are we so blind we cannot see we are the nemesis of our own demise. Now this certainly demands personal responsibility.

  7. Matters Not

    Helen Light said:

    … thus supports every move to stop climate change.

    Yes perhaps, but are you suggesting that the all powerful ‘god’ you possibly believe in is simply sitting on the sidelines? Neither an instigator of climate change nor a ‘being’ prepared to prevent same? Or is my ‘binary’ opposite to crude? If so, please explain.

    As for:

    There are churches that have solar panels on them, and many churches have reduced their carbon footprint over the last few years.

    Is that also a lack of ‘faith’ that your god is either not all powerful but seeking some type of ‘revenge’ for some type of ‘slight’. Or will you resort to the often stated mantra, that god helps those who help themselves?

    Serious question. Then there’s Stephen Tardrew who wrote:

    .. in this century we can no longer adhere to magical and mythical thinking …

    Stephen, unfortunately what you’re describing is the ‘is’ rather than the ‘ought’. More’s the pity!

    Less ‘magical’ and ‘mystical’ nonsense!

    It’s we who create an intellectual reality, and it’s we who can recreate a different one.

    Just sayin …

  8. Maree Elizabeth

    fantastic article … aimn .. you keep knocking my sox off…

  9. Macvag

    Let Mammon run the show fully! I Fight fire with fire.
    We should outsource the selection of our politcal leaders to the likes of SERCO – or other similar “service provider” If it is good enough for our governments (nearly all flavours) to outsource the running of our important “public services” to a small cadre of overseas service providers who have unknown owners/ shareholders and don’t need to follow industrial awards and other mucky people friendly stuff, surely outsourcing the polies who have favoured this form of outsourcing is an even better idea?
    It would save a lot of time & money. No more running elections with all that hot air and masses of wasted paper and we the people could then do something useful, like vote for “selection criteria”, suggested salaries and progression criteria as well as désirable human “qualities” and/or appropriate experience.
    Vote now:
    Do you want your elected MP to be;
    Humanely intelligent
    Civilised
    Honest
    Service oriented
    Articulate
    A good listener
    Experienced in. ….

    Greedy
    Easily corrupted/ already corrupt
    Clueless
    Has an MBA
    Shares in coal oil property development gas fracking …..

    Put in order of preference.
    —–

    Then we might just get a few more good candidates – And we could pay them a whole lot less than we pay the current bunch of whinging bludgers and if the outsource agency itself mucks up and gives us a destructive bunch ( like the bunch we have in charge now -axing jobs, taxing the poor to pay the rich) we the people can sue them for breach of contract.

  10. Stephen Tardrew

    Matters Not

    We create nothing we simply interpret, with inadequate tools based in primitive biochemistry, a world of rationality, logic, irrationality and paradox. That we feel we have choice subjectively yes. That we have any idea about the foundations of choice generally not really. That the universe is primarily determinate yes. The difficulty is getting around these contradictions. Everything happens as a necessity of its factual existence regardless of human justification. Logic, rationalism and empiricism surely get us closer to the facts however when our magical and mythical desires conflict with the facts and we willingly ignore them, we are acting out of habit not informed deductive analysis. Magic, mythology and religion are born out of confusion and ignorance whereas science and logic are born out of facts within the constraints of complexity and probability. To analyze the “ought” you must have solid rational foundations in the “is” or the “ought” will just mislead and confuse. We generally assume too much in a world that is only partially knowable and explicable to us. The good is self-evident to me and not so to others and that is due to a complex interplay of physical and biological imperatives, genetics, socialization and culture. Things are never that simple. I share the notion of justice and the good not as an “is” or “ought” but as a reflection of my particular biochemistry and life experience and thank heavens I can share it with flow travelers of similar ilk.

    These are deep and complex issues that require some thought and analysis. By understanding the facts and particular interpretations of science and the profound implications of physics, cosmology and biochemistry, including unresolved paradoxes and counterintuitives, the mind is set on a different path that is not beholden to traditional modes of thinking. Few are given the chance to to have clearly defined exposure to the facts of science and its limitations. It is these paradoxes and counterintuitives that make things really interesting.

    I hope that is enough to give you a foundation of my particular understanding of the complexity of turning “is” to “ought.”

  11. bjkelly1958

    Great article, Kaye Lee. If our Government is meant to run the business of Australia, where is the mission statement, company goals, key performance areas and associated indicators? Why don’t we get to judge them at an AGM, instead of a three yearly election?
    Is there a simple mechanism for calling a Special General Meeting if we the shareholders are alarmed by our Government’s performance between elections? The only way I know of involves a motion in Parliament and the Governor General. Should there be an easier way?
    I agree with the thoughts regarding breaking with the system of parties selecting and then “selling” their candidates to the electorates, using their “war chests” created by donations from wealthy self interests be they business or union.
    If candidates had to win their position because of what they would do for their electorate, rather than what their party would d for the country, perhaps we’d have more honest politicians and get away from the Presidential style of campaigning foist upon us of the past couple of decades

  12. Don Winther

    Hi Macvac,
    Barack Obama will be looking for a job soon and could have Abbotts job.He knows how to restore a country after its been run by an idiot. One 457 visa its easy and there is a nice house there for him and his family. Abbott can get a job pulling GMH Holden apart because he is good at destroying things, industry, jobs and people.

  13. Stephen Tardrew

    Don I hope this is tongue in cheek.

  14. lawrencewinder

    good article…
    “Rabbutt” cannot dare admit that if he’s wrong and climatically we all go to hell in a hand-basket, then he’s as criminally liable as is a military officer accused of war crimes committed under his command; as are the so-called “think tanks” who push misinformation and promotion of environmentally damaging technologies and practices.

    Are the Liarbrils affordable?

  15. Sabai Sabai

    OK Kaye, you’ve done your piece on the vatican, which is good, needs to be done. Now, can you do a similar piece on islam. Mention things like sharia law, FGM, sectarian violence between sunni and shia, Aisha, mo’s child bride, washing his semen stains off his clothes. Speaking of child brides mention that too. All of this stuff is happening in Australia right now so if you’re going to rip into the catholics rip in to islam too.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Sabai I am not aware of sectarian violence in Australia. Perhaps you could provide me with a link? I did hear about the child bride….the fellow was arrested because that is against our law. I think I heard the father was also to be charged. I am not sure what you want me to say about sharia law. Are you scared it will be imposed on you, because that is just silly. Larry Pickering will tell you that every Muslim is waiting for the chance to kill you. Don’t let that idiot make you fearful. Don’t ascribe the actions of fundamentalists or terrorists in other countries to Australian Muslims. If they wished to live in a Muslim country they would hardly have come here. They are just people like me and you…some good, some bad.

    And I wasn’t “ripping into Catholics” and have no intention of ripping into Muslims. I was talking about the wealth of the Catholic Church and the responsibilities of leaders of both a religious and political persuasion.

  17. mischmash1

    As always so well written and thought provoking Kaye Lee. As a young teenager years ago when our family were visiting relatives in Europe I remember our visit to Rome and how I refused to visit the Vatican City, as even then I felt they had so much money, gold, power that they could feed every starving child on the planet. I ended up wandering through the ruins of Rome rather than ogle the wealth of a church.

  18. Sabai Sabai

    I didn’t even know Pickering had said that till I saw it on this site. My concerns come solely from personal experience from living in four different countries and travelling in many more. Most times the truth about islam came from muslim friends and associates, well they weren’t muslim, they were decent human beings who thought islam was a load of crap, they were just were just forced to go along with it. I learnt much from them. I’ve learnt much from devout muslims too by their actions and words.

    Yes, all parties involved in the Hunter valley child bride case have been arrested. However, it’s just the tip the ice berg, One of my fellow school mates disappeared one day, Lebanese muslima, all of 14 years old. Found out later from her brother that she was sold to a bloke 20 years older than her. That was 35 years ago and I doubt much has changed since then. In the late 90’s I was friends with a lovely young Turkish muslima who was sold but had escaped her violent husband but lived in fear of reprisal. A teacher I know has described how a 13 or 14 year old muslima suddenly vanishes from school, where do they go?

    As for sharia, it’s here, not officially. The above paragraph, all OK within sharia. I’ve met men with more than one wife, the marriages are not registered so all his wives can be on a single parent pension. Sharia compliant. Could go on but I won’t.

    Here’s two links to sectarian violence in Sydney and Melbourne. There’s more to be googled.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/home-front-opens-in-a-foreign-war-20130629-2p3pi.html#ixzz2XeoDyebq
    http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/syrias-civil-war-spills-over-in-sydney/450/

    Once again, this is the tip of the ice berg, my own research, years ago revealed it’s been going on for years. Much of it won’t be reported. My Grandad lived in North Africa, the different tribes and sects fought each other continuously, their only thing they had in common was their hatred of jews.

    Why not rip into catholicism and islam? They are belief systems that have brought and continue to bring untold misery to millions of people the world over. Catholicism has moved with the times somewhat but islam continues to dwell anywhere between the 7th and 15th centuries. I’m all for questioning any organised belief systems, there should be no sacred cows.

    As for muslims not wanting to kill me, well on numerous occasions I’ve been threatened for absolutely no reason at all save for standing my ground and being a kaffir. Female friends have been harassed, male friends attacked.

    I’ve an issues with the religion itself, it’s prophet, as described by the hadiths and the koran was a deeply unsavoury character. The book itself is just some nasty fairy tale full of 7th century thinking and beliefs. I’ve witnessed first hand it’s treatment of women and homosexuals, it has no place in Australia.

    Anyway, why do I ask that you discuss it? Well I found this article via http://polyfeministix.wordpress.com/. When I find a site like this with the word feminist in it’s title I’ll google various words such as islam, sharia, FGM and so forth. Rarely do I find anything written about it, you’ll find an article like this one,

    An Open Letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Women

    It criticizes Abbot about his policy regarding women but not much about girls and women suffering at the hands of men steeped in their barbaric 7th century religion in Australia.

    Please don’t call me a racist, islam and muslim is not a race, it’s an ideology and it’s followers and they can be of any race or gender. Please also don’t mention the fact that we have woman hating crims here, I’m well aware of that.

    Thanks

  19. Kaye Lee

    Sabai, may I ask where you come from originally? There are many problems in other countries that we do not have here. For individuals who try to bring their violence and intolerance here, we have laws to protect us against them.

    The links you gave to supposed sectarian violence here were two stories about the same guy who said he has been threatened. Why is he telling the papers instead of the police?

    Quoting from your link

    “NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas told The Global Mail there are a handful of perpetrators in an Australian Muslim population of half a million. It is not all about politics, he says.

    “Some people who have a criminal background and have been involved in criminal activity in the past appear to be simply using the events in the Middle East as an excuse to cover up their continuing criminal activities in Sydney, such as extortion and so on,” he says.

    You speak of several incidents of girls you know being “sold”. GO TO THE POLICE. Don’t sit here telling us online. If you actually know this to be true. or know others who have evidence then help these girls by reporting it.

    Does your use of the word “kaffir” indicate you are South African? I would hate to think that you brought your prejudices from there. I do not see a problem with Muslims here. I see a problem with gangs who make money from drugs.

  20. Sabai Sabai

    Sorry about the delay, was at a funeral.

    OK, I was born in Sydney, I’ve lived in the UK, Holland and Germany. Yes, on the books we have laws to protect us but we also have laws that stifle open debate. The laws dealing with criminal activity seem like hardly a deterrent anyway. The rapist that raped and murdered the young Irish woman in Melbourne 2 years back was a serial offender and was released to rape again. Ditto for the Daniel Morcombe murderer.

    Read the following two links,
    http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/crime-court/all-charges-dropped-against-registered-sex-offencer/story-fnjuhoxe-1226838013886

    “cultural differences”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/making-brutes-pay-for-murder-changes-to-nsw-law-are-needed-now-says-the-mother-of-murder-victim-mariam-yousif/story-fni0cx12-1226866934083

    12 years for a brutal murder.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/hotline-plan-to-help-hidden-child-brides-in-sydney-20140301-33sqm.html

    “A mother and father came into her office and proudly spoke of how they had just celebrated the wedding of their daughter in Iraq.
    Dr Sharobeem had said to them, ”Fantastic! Where is she?” They pointed to a petite and silent 14-year-old girl sitting next to them.
    ”I looked at the child in the room and I froze,” Dr Sharobeem said.
    The child bride was two months pregnant and in need of a doctor.Not wanting to scare the family, Dr Sharobeem told them they had committed a crime but promised to keep their secret if they made an appointment for their daughter to see a nurse.”

    So I doubt reporting girls being sold would barely register, I’m an emergency services worker, I’ve talked to nurses and paramedics who’ve attended to calls when a FGM session goes ‘wrong’ Reports are filed but little if anything is done. I’ve talked to midwives who’ve delivered babies to fully infibulated teenage girls, horrifying.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-02-06/female-circumcision-happening-in-australia/2594496

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/asylum-seeker-charged-with-abduction-two-counts-of-rape/story-fn9hm1gu-1226863696740#

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/afghan-refugee-esmatullah-sharifis-rape-sentence/story-fni0fit3-1226651596447

    There’s a 600 pound gorilla in the room and ain’t nobody talking about it.

    Why did that bloke tell the papers instead of the police? Probably more effective and it may get the police to actually do something. I can’t blame them mentioning the aforementioned gorilla can get you into a lot of trouble.

    Indeed people will use historical violence going back centuries as an excuse for criminal behaviour, so maybe would be a good idea to keep them out of the country. If you happen to be a psychopath, islam is the perfect ideology for one to vent their psychopathic urges, Twenty years ago while living in Germany I was invited to become a muslim by my Bosnian muslim workmates. They listed the “benefits”…..

    I would be given a hot teenage muslima as my chattel. I could wage jihad against the infidel in the balkans, I would be allowed to rape and pillage my capitves. I could lie and steal from any infidel I chose, because, they’re infidels. If I had taken up the offer I would have been a muslim patriarch in Bosnia with at least 2 wives maybe 3. I like my beer and bacon too much!

    Kaffir is the arabic word for infidel. You and I are kaiffirs, look it up. If you think I’m prejudiced you ain’t seen nothing till you read the koran. I could write a long and detailed essay on how I’ve arrived at where I am, one day maybe.

    Take care, interesting times ahead.

  21. Kaye Lee

    I am not interested in discussing this with you any more. You are a bigot. You no doubt think Geert Wilders is a role model. Your fear is not my fear. Your prejudice is not my prejudice. Your reality is not my reality and the fact that you are an emergency services worker fills me with horror. You pick out a few rape stories and tell me to fear muslims? Would you like me to do the same about Catholic priests, scout masters, football players, incest stories? Your sort of intolerance is what is wrong with this world.

  22. Sabai Sabai

    So be it, Kaye, bury your head. If I’m a bigot you’re an apologist for a nasty, vicious religion. Those rape stories were all asylum seekers living in the community. I bet you could never face their victims or the victim’s parents. You are a moral and intellectual coward. Yes, please run stories on priests, scout masters and the like, if the stories are true I have no problem with that but if you do, run a few on a certain ‘prophet’ a role model for over one billion, who.

    Married a six year old and raped her at nine when he was over fifty.
    Massacred the men of a tribe and enslaved the women and children.

    Try that for starters. The difference between this paedophile prophet and the priests and scout masters is that 1.6 billion drones don’t hold them in high esteem but are truly disgusted by their behaviour.

    I don’t think Geert Wilders has done anything close to what the ‘prophet’ achieved in his lifetime and beyond the grave. Nevertheless Geert is deserving of more flak in your eyes no doubt.

    Anyway, this emergency services worker in his time has saved two lives, assisted in the birth of one and rescued a few more from dire situations. Hands that help are holier than lips that pray and much holier than banging your head on the floor five times a day.

    Coward

  23. Kaye Lee

    I will leave your comments so people can see exactly what a bigot looks like. They can see your irrational fear and the hatred in your heart and they can say no….I do not want my country to allow this sort of vilification. Your views do not represent the Australia I know. Perhaps you would be happier goose-stepping in Germany or inciting racial hatred with your mate Gert.

  24. Bacchus

    Hear, hear Kaye Lee!

  25. Sabai Sabai

    Obviously you have a problem with someone who ‘hates’ paedophiles, mutilators of women, mass murderers and violent ideologies. I don’t know how to classify you KL as you have already classified me. Except, that you are a coward. I’ve read some of your other articles and see how you quote from historical figures like Jefferson and books like the ‘holy’ koran. Re Jefferson, didn’t he keep, buy and sell slaves? He may have even fathered a nipper with one? Wasn’t he one of those evil, white hetero males who waged war on a islamic state in North Africa? Didn’t he want the Native Americans booted off their land?

    As for you quoting the koran, right down to the exact surah. What of it? Sure it says some ‘good’ things but it says a whole lot of nasty things too and a load absolute crap as well.

    I’m more than happy for you to leave my comments and the links and thanks for leading me to Mr Pickerings site and Facebook page. I don’t agree with everything he says but this country needs to discuss some issues openly. I also see that he has no problem with different races, it’s ideologies he take issue with. I saw that you tried to have his FB page banned, which is so typical of the left, getting someone in charge to deal with someone they don’t like rather than debating with them rationally. Like you won’t do with me, you have not replied to any of the material I’ve written above except to call me a bigot. So much for free speech!

    Craven

  26. Stephen Tardrew

    Sabai Sabai go to bed without your dinner and repeat one thousand times I will not be naughty.

  27. Kaye Lee

    “Obviously you have a problem with someone who ‘hates’ paedophiles, mutilators of women, mass murderers and violent ideologies.”

    No, I have a problem with someone who thinks that every Muslim is guilty of those crimes….all 2 billion of them, and that those crimes are confined to people of the Muslim faith.

    FGM is an issue, one you are obviously passionate about, but stopping it has more to do with community engagement and education than law enforcement. The key is to break down cultural barriers and make migrant families understand why it is a crime in Australia.

    A young woman who was a victim of FGM has now become active in raising the issue. She says it is common practice in Sierra Leone.

    “This is a culture, it is rooted in our identity as a nation and who we are. It’s making sure that we send this brief message that says we are not going to tolerate FGM in Australia and we will do whatever it takes, including the law, to make sure that no child has to go through what someone like me has gone through. I think we can stop it. I mean, what is the point of going into a battle thinking you have lost? I don’t believe in that, I think we will win this.”

    The founder of the group African Women Australia, Juliana Nkrumah, works with NSW Police to tackle the issue. She says the real answer is not in law enforcement and goes beyond publicity campaigns.

    “We are giving them information and we are saying this is what it is: it’s against the law, it’s against the health values, and the rights of the child. We’re telling them… and they come back and say, well now we realise it is a health issue.”

    It sounds to me like giving these women safe haven in Australia has been a wonderful idea and they feel empowered to act for change.

    “As for you quoting the koran, right down to the exact surah. What of it? Sure it says some ‘good’ things but it says a whole lot of nasty things too and a load absolute crap as well.”

    As does the Bible.

    You suggest that Larry Pickering’s page is a place for rational debate. I most certainly don’t hang out there, but when I have been there the comments have made me very afraid.

    ” you have not replied to any of the material I’ve written above except to call me a bigot. So much for free speech!

    Craven”

    This is the fifth answer I have written to you. I am not sure how you feel your free speech has been impinged or are you referring to my choice as to whether I answer you or not? Bullying me has never worked. Perhaps if you weren’t so aggressive and fearful you would get a better reception from the people you meet.

    No person in Australia should ever live in fear. The vast majority of us do not. We must all campaign to protect the vulnerable, to help victims escape abuse and to eradicate hate fear and violence from our society. That’s no doubt what asylum seekers are hoping for when they risk their lives fleeing from the sort of abuses you describe.

  28. peter gilet

    All very well, but the Catholic church is not particularly rich. The property of each docese is held by the bishopt/archbishop of that diocese, and in reality, by the parishes which are served by the property. Much of that wealth in fact is used to provide services for the poor. Some of those parishes and dioceses are rich. But then so are some Baptist communties, and none are anywhere near the wealth of big business, the Australian government, or even some city councils. The stigma of being rich was originally invented during the Renaissance when people like Henry VIII wanted to get his hands on church property. We need to ask why, so much later, the myth is still being nurtured in oiur own society. Any ideas? The Vatican does indeed contain some very valuable buildings and museums in its less than square km or land, but so too does the City of London.

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