CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Some Open Minds Should be Closed for Repairs

Jun 30, 2008

Of the making of moonbat ideas there is no end. Every day we seem to encounter more bizarre and destructive ideas in circulation. And the mainstream media is quite happy to disseminate such foolishness. Let me focus on just one culprit, the Melbourne Age. As evidence A, consider two recent articles found there.

The first was a feminist case for polygamy. I kid you not. Actually the writer says she has converted to Islam, but she tries to make her appeal in terms of feminist theory. Polygamy may not be so bad after all, she tries to argue.

Mind you, she does try to add a caveat, to make her argument appear less appalling than it in fact is. She says, “Nevertheless, the reality is that polygamy can leave women and children vulnerable. Ironically, it is probably easier to abuse polygamy in Australia, than in traditional Muslim societies, for Islamic law insists that polygamous men be held accountable for their responsibilities, particularly as the Koran warns that if a man is unable to treat more than one wife with justice, then he may not consider polygamy.”

This of course is pure Islamic propaganda: the idea that women in Islam are actually treated pretty well, and that wives in polygamous marriages are safe and protected. She is simply living in lala land here, and is whitewashing a very serious issue. The abuse and mistreatment of women in Islam, especially in polygamous marriages, is well documented.

But here we have a Western intellectual (she is finishing her PhD and is a researcher at the Centre for Islam and the Modern World at Monash University), and Muslim apologist trying to con us into thinking that women do just swimmingly in Islam, and the Age is happy to run this bit of indoctrination without the slightest qualms.

But let me pick up on another of the many silly things said in this article. Rachel Woodlock concludes her piece with these words: “Polygamy is a reality for some families”. OK, and what of it? May I remind her that drug abuse is a reality for some families. Incest is a reality for some families. Child abuse is a reality for some families. Domestic violence is a reality for some families. By her reasoning, we should merely shrug our shoulders and say – using her own words – these are also “part of the diverse fabric of family life in 21st century Australia, although admittedly a minority practice.” So as she contemplates legalising polygamy, she should in all fairness also consider legalising these situations as well.

What was that line from Orwell? “There are some ideas so preposterous that only an intellectual could believe them.” But wait, there’s more. Just a few days later, the Age ran an opinion piece by High Court Justice Michael Kirby, arguing that the Bible should not be used to condemn homosexuality, and that genuine religion will simply live and let live on this issue.

There is much in this article that can be contested. Let me focus on just one bit of woolly thinking. Kirby says this: “Most of the world’s great religions are founded, ultimately, on simple principles of loving God and one another. It is from those principles that religious tolerance derives.”

But the good judge is clearly out of his depth here. Not only is he apparently ignorant of the major differences which exist between the various world religions, but he seems not to know much about particular religions as well. His description could not be used of Buddhism, for example, as it does not even posit a god. And Hinduism has many gods – up to 330 million. And the Koran hardly even mentions the word love. Submission to Allah is clearly the central tenet of Islam.

Christianity might seem to come closer. Jesus did say the greatest commandment is to love God and our neighbours. But the word ‘love’ needs to be carefully defined here. Jesus made it clear that if we love him, we will keep his commandments. And he made it quite clear that he supported the Jewish thinking about human sexuality, which said that only heterosexual marriage is an option here.

Indeed, love is never mere mushy sentimentality in the Bible. It is hard-headed stuff. Love is closely bound up with our obedience to the Father. Those who do not obey show that they do not really love. And obedience means we let God be God, and let him determine what appropriate sexual morality is and what is not.

Love in the New Testament is defined by moral and mental clarity. For example, Paul in Phil 1:9-10 prays that our love may abound more and more. But he does not stop there. He wants this love to abound in “knowledge and discernment”, so that we can “discern what is best, and be pure and blameless” when Christ returns.

This sort of love has nothing to do with the wishy-washy tolerance which is so much a part of contemporary culture. It certainly is not a love which makes excuses for sin, and seeks to call right what God has clearly called wrong.

Paul warns us in Col. 2:8 to “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ”. There is plenty of godless philosophy and vain deceit, based on human tradition, being pedalled these days. The Melbourne Age is full of it, as are most other media outlets.

We are told to steer clear of such false worldviews and shoddy intellectualism. The trouble is, so often today the same sloppy thinking and mushy morality can be found in the Christian churches. No wonder we are losing so many battles. It seems that a lot of open minds really need to be closed for repairs. And the sooner the better.

www.theage.com.au/opinion/polygamy-is-a-reality-for-some-families-20080627-2y2k.html
www.theage.com.au/opinion/religious-condemnation-of-homosexuals-denies-human-rights-20080629-2ytn.html

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7 Responses to Some Open Minds Should be Closed for Repairs

  • Oh yeah, Kirby has been badly persecuted by Christians; that must be why he reached the highest court in the land.

    Rather, there is real judicial homonazi persecution of Christians, as in the People’s Republic of Canada (which also protects Islamofascism from criticism). So Kirby’s paranoia is really a classic case of projection.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Kirby is a HC justice. His duty is to impartially interpret the law but instead he gets his activist head meddled in politics. Kirby was appointed under the Keating gov’t if I remember correctly. I am not looking forward to any appointments Rudd might make over his term in office.
    Damien Spillane

  • Well we have already had a first KRudd choice in fellow Queenslander appointment of the new GG who has a history of radical feminism and pro abortion advocacy with Planned NON Parenthood and is nice and cosy with the majority of Emilys List women state and federal politicians.

    As Peter Westmore (News Weekly) noted; The appointment of a Governor-General is a political appointment. Undoubtedly, Kevin Rudd’s appointment of Quentin Bryce, a fellow Queenslander, reflects Mr Rudd’s own preference. Ms Bryce’s background was that of a feminist lawyer, but she was appointed by the Liberal Government of Malcolm Fraser as convener of the National Women’s Advisory Council (NATWAC) in 1982.

    An annual report of NATWAC at the time stated that she was a member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, the radical feminist lobby group; the Union of Australian Women, a body aligned with the pro-Soviet Socialist Party of Australia; the pro-abortion Family Planning Association (Queensland); and the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties.

    In 1989, she was appointed Sex Discrimination Commissioner, at times attracting criticism for recommending the amendment of the Sex Discrimination Act which exempted religious schools and voluntary organisations from the provisions of the act.She also campaigned publicly, while a government employee, against legislation to restrict abortion in the Australian Capital Territory.

    The ‘Inquirer’ section of the weekend Australian had an article by Kenan Malik entitled “Law and the Wives of Others”. At 19 and the daughter of a traditional Middle Eastern immigrant family, Mira says polygamy should be legalised for Muslims because she believes it is sometimes the best way of dealing with marital problems that in a Christian society would lead to divorce.But Mira’s experience as the daughter of a father with two wives has been horrendous: she says the arrangement has split the family. Neither of her parents plans to seek a divorce despite the second marriage tearing her father away from her mother, Mira and her five siblings, she says.

    Mira tells Inquirer that she believes polygamy is a viable option where a first wife cannot have children or provide the husband with full happiness over the years. She says she would consider it herself. “If I am not someone who can give him what he wants, then yes, maybe there is someone else who can,” she says. “But if I can be happy with him and it works for us without problems, then I would want him just for myself.” Mira’s Lebanese father moved here in his youth, met her Syrian mother on a trip to the Middle East and brought her to Australia, where the couple married.

    She says her father intends to make his main home in Lebanon with his second wife but will come to Australia periodically. He continues to provide some support for her mother, but she is devastated and finds it difficult to cope. But both her father and mother regard both marriages as lawful under Islam. Mira says her mother and the rest of the family have decided to make peace with their fate. “If he’s happy, then that is the way it has turned out and we have to accept it.”

    It is astounding the indoctrination and fuzzy thinking of this 19 year old girl she would even consider polygamy for her own hyperthetical marriage ! But them again perhaps she has happily accepted genital mutilation of her body and really believes that what ever a man dictates is to be accepted without question.
    It also struck me that our society is expected to foot the bill via Centalink for this family of 6 children as the father pursues a life in Lebanon with wife number 2 ! The talk of Fate reminds me of the meaning of Islam = submission.

    Jennifer Parfenovics

  • Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said something very similar to the “accepting present realities” argument: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7232661.stm

    C.S.Lewis in Screwtape has the devil instructing his nephew to guide his subject away from eternal to present realities: “Your business is to fix his attention on the stream. Teach him to call it ‘real life’ and don’t let him ask what he means by ‘real’. Remember, he is not, like you, a pure spirit. Never having been a human (Oh that abominable advantage of the Enemy’s!) you don’t realise how enslaved they are to the pressure of the ordinary. I once had a patient, a sound atheist, who used to read in the British Museum. One day, as he sat reading, I saw a train of thought in his mind beginning to go the wrong way. The Enemy, of course, was at his elbow in a moment. Before I knew where I was I saw my twenty years’ work beginning to totter. If I had lost my head and begun to attempt a defence by argument I should have been undone. But I was not such a fool. I struck instantly at the part of the man which I had best under my control and suggested that it was just about time he had some lunch. The Enemy presumably made the counter-suggestion (you know how one can never quite overhear What He says to them?) that this was more important than lunch. At least I think that must have been His line for when I said ‘Quite. In fact much too important to tackle it the end of a morning’, the patient brightened up considerably; and by the time I had added ‘Much better come back after lunch and go into it with a fresh mind’, he was already half way to the door. Once he was in the street the battle was won. I showed him a newsboy shouting the midday paper, and a No. 73 bus going past, and before he reached the bottom of the steps I had got into him an unalterable conviction that, whatever odd ideas might come into a man’s head when he was shut up alone with his books, a healthy dose of ‘real life’ (by which he meant the bus and the newsboy) was enough to show him that all ‘that sort of thing’ just couldn’t be true. He knew he’d had a narrow escape and in later years was fond of talking about ‘that inarticulate sense for actuality which is our ultimate safeguard against the aberrations of mere logic’. He is now safe in Our Father’s house.”

    As for the tolerance of those who say we should live and let live there is nothing live and let live about evolutionary humanists; we will all be forced to conform to their standards. They will force us and our children to accept and join in with their sexual lifestyle – just as happened in Sodom.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Hi Jennifer, do please keep commenting.
    Stan Fishley

  • To be flippant with situations such as polygamy and other versions which oppose the divine definition of marriage or family that leads to sufferring of women and children is what we would term “intellectual dishonesty”. The biggest group in the 20th/21st century that has been oppressed in the name of a religion must be the Moslem women and their children.
    Siti Khatijah

  • Dear Stan, you would know me as Jennifer Keuneman (first marriage name). I attended the Uniting church Warrandyte many years ago. You visited my stone cottage in Albert Rd and met my mum Margaret. My eldest son Pieter (now 28 ) was just little and rushed inside to tell us god was coming down the path! I must add Pieter has since become a wonderful Biblical creationist Christian and would not recognise you as god anymore! Piet has a gift of inspired songs based on Gods’ Word and a gift of preaching and teaching excercised at Rosebud community church.
    Jennifer Parfenovics

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