As a broad generalisation, most prejudice and misinformation is based on ignorance of the facts or, worse, a stubborn refusal to accept them.
We know only a fraction of the facts underlying the creation of the universe and all that exists within it. Scientific research is a slow and laborious process of establishing a hypothesis, testing it, repeating the testing process until it becomes evident that the statistical probability that it is correct enables it to be established – for the time being – as fact. Without that evidence, the hypothesis is rejected.
If new evidence appears later and puts doubt on the accepted truth, then the whole process is repeated to either confirm or reject the existing ‘truth’; and, if necessary, update it.
The Roman Catholic Church accepted, on Biblical evidence, that the sun went round the Earth, and when Copernicus and Galileo had the audacity to challenge that belief, they were punished by the Church.
In those days it was accepted that the books of the Holy Bible were sacred truths and to question them was to blaspheme and risk excommunication or worse.
We now know that the Old Testament is essentially the history of the Jews – the first monotheistic peoples, so far as we know. The Arabs were also monotheistic and they revered their prophet, Muhammed, who acknowledged Jesus Christ as a major prophet, but believed that people should follow his own teachings, which are recorded in the Qur’an.
The first 5 books of the Old Testament also, as the Torah, form the start of the Jewish Tanakh.
It is infinitely sad that the Jews, the Islamists and the Christians, who share a foundation in their faiths and all of whom, effectively, look to the same god, cannot find peace with each other.
Because the ministers and priests of the Christian churches, the Rabbis of the Jewish faith and the imams and mullahs of Islam, became the source of knowledge for the common people, scientists over the centuries have fought and are still fighting – an uphill battle to overcome ignorance.
I have just browsed through some of the following work – ‘A Pastoral Response to the Homosexuality in the Church’ by Rev. Matt Glover, Lilydale Baptist Church, October 2010 – who prefaces the work with the statement:
“The following was written as part of my theological studies and in response to the pain and suffering I have seen in my journey with the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community.
All the stories told are taken from current literature, however I hope to continue and expand my research in 2011, with new examples and real life stories, taken from people that I have met.
If you or somebody you know would like to tell your story, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Matt Glover firstname.lastname@example.org”
I think I can safely state that the attitude of the Christian church, the Jewish community and those of the Islamic faith – in fact all who follow a religion with its roots in the distant past – in relying on their ancient records as ‘truth’ is leading them into ignorance as well as prejudice and denying truth as it is now revealed.
I personally do not give a damn if Israel Folau and his followers disapprove of an adult for being homosexual, if that adult has had time to come to terms with his sexuality. But when a pre-teen or teenager is being vilified, teased and tormented at school, while he is slowly realising that he is not attracted to girls, to be told, by his football hero that he is a sinner and will go to hell unless he repents, is an invitation to consider suicide.
In my opinion, whether Folau’s employer suffers financial loss or not, Folau’s actions are immoral and unacceptable, because his ignorance of the truth about sexuality – ignored by those whose directions for moral behaviour in the Bible are being accepted in denial of modern scientific evidence – is damaging a vulnerable human being.
The very fact that the Coalition government can relate this to financial loss by the employer, reinforces the fact that, despite frequent references to their religious affiliations, finance trumps morality every time!
There are many priorities demanding attention from governments in today’s world.
First and foremost is the rapidly approaching deadline for initiating effective action to ensure global warming does not reduce the world to an unlivable furnace. (I hope you will all be out protesting government inaction on Friday 20 December!)
In no particular order after that come:
- rapidly growing inequality – which the Coalition admits its policies are exacerbating by holding back wage rises and raising NewStart;
- proper treatment of refugees, in the knowledge that we are likely to be inundated by refugees from those countries which are literally being inundated as a result of global warming;
- creating jobs for those currently employed in the fossils fuel industries, developing country-wide recycling systems;
- humanising the service provisions by Centrelink and NDIS;
- improving health service access in rural and remote regions and last, but far from least;
- recognising that people with limited or no means MUST be treated with compassion NOT contempt!
To seek to prioritise protection for immoral religious bodies – have we already forgotten the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to the Sexual Abuse of Children? – is absolutely gobsmacking and tells us more about the moral fibre – or lack thereof – of our politicians than almost anything else could!
The Lucky Country is dying.
The Land of the Fair Go has vanished into the morass of entitled politicians looking after their best mates while the rest of us go off to buggery!
WHY ARE WE NOT OUT ON THE STREETS PROTESTING?
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