Islamic tolerance at work.

by Sebastion Melmoth, Chisling Wells UK

Hagia Sophia—Greek for “Holy Wisdom”—for a thousand years was Christianity’s greatest cathedral. Built in Constantinople, now Istabul, then the heart of the Christian world, it was a symbol of defiance against eastern aggressive Islam.

For nearly seven centuries Islam attacked Constantinople and finally broke through in 1453.

Hagia Sophia’s crosses were desecrated, its icons were defaced, and it was converted into a mosque, surrounded by triumphant tall minarets.

So much for the cant about Islam always being tolerant of other faiths.

Holywar2050Anyway…

After Turkey teamed with the losers in WW1, there were political upheavals there ending with Kemal Ataturk being the boss. As part of many, many reforms, Ataturk transformed Hagia Sophia into a “neutral” museum – not a Christian cathedral but not a mosque either. Nobody, but nobody, could hold religious services there.

Now the push is on by resurgent Islam to turn the museum back into a mosque.

And that is not the end of it.

As you read this, other historic Christian churches are currently being transformed into mosques, such as 800 years old church—also called Hagia Sophia—in the Black Sea city of Trabzon.

After the Islamic conquest, it too, was turned into a mosque, but because of its “great historical and cultural significance” for Christians, under the secular Ataturk it was treated like the Hagia Sofia and turned into a museum with its frescoes and icons restored.

However, recently, local authorities decreed that the frescoes would again be covered and the museum turned into a mosque.

The 1600-year-old Studios Monastery of St. John the Baptist is also set to become an active mosque.

And the existence of the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world, the 5th century Mor Gabriel Monastery, is at risk. It is inhabited today by only a few dozen Christians dedicated to learning the monastery’s teachings; the ancient Aramaic language spoken by Jesus, and the Orthodox Syriac tradition. Muslims have filed a lawsuit accusing the monks of practicing “anti-Turkish activities”, and of illegally occupying land allegedly belonging to Muslim villagers.

The highest appeals court in Turkey ruled in favour of the Muslim villagers, saying the land that had been part of the monastery for 1,600 years is not really its property. Flinging away the slightest pretence to be real lawyers it absurdly ruled that the monastery was built over the ruins of a mosque—even though Muhammad himself wasn’t born until 170 years after the monastery was built!!

Calls to now turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque is not about Muslims wanting a place to pray—there are 3,000 active mosques in Istanbul alone. It’s about their trying to revive the glory days of Islamic jihad and conquest and restoration of the Caliphate.

They make no bones about it.

And the West could not give a toss. No complaints from the usual “save the…” mob

The US even co-operates with Muslims building a mosque next to the Twin Towers atrocity.

A symbol of tolerance?

Or a symbol of smirking triumph?

This is the way the US ends – with a PC whimper.

The Silly Putty Polly

Jim

Kevin Rudd thinks that he can recreate himself simply by supposing it to be so.

It is the same as sitting in a garage and whispering, “I’m an Alfa Romeo, I’m an Alfa Romeo, I’m an Alfa Romeo, Brmmm, Brmmm, BRMMM!”

Julia Gillard is similar. She morphs from time to time into new personas, the last two changes made with the aid of very simple props – specs.

In New Julia with Specs #1 she was the steely eyed, jaw jutting defiant Julia, Destiny’s Mistress and re-incarnation of Catherine the Great.

In New Julia with Specs#2 she was the soft Julia. Granny Julia in a comfy chintzy chair bathed in subdued lighting with Vaseline smeared over the lens; peacefully knitting with that sleepy happy look that is only seen on the face of one who has downed a couple of Mandies with a full bottle of Chivas Regal.

Rudd probably taught her this Jedi mind trick.

When Rudd did his first Dance of the Seven Veils he displayed himself as, in his words, an “old-fashioned Christian Socialist.”

ALP-Bitter-TonicMy – an old-fashioned Christian Socialist!

This was the stuff to give the troops, a phrase to unite the Party. Translated, they heard, “I am a true socialist, awful smart, but humbled and softened by Christian teachings, you know, dignity of the individual, sanctity of life, and stuff, and all that. I am Socialism with a kindly, blokey face.”

In those old days he did TV interviews just leaving church after morning service, he was the Ruddeemer.

But that was when he was relatively unknown. He had not become leader of the Labor Party and, more particularly he had not led Labor to electoral victory. 

After that event, he very quickly distanced himself from the “socialist” part of Christian socialism. Socialism, he said soon after the election, is an out-dated 19th century policy that has no value in today’s world.

What? That fast???

Well, now that Socialism’s gone, what about the Christian bit?

Well, just two months ago while quoting Hamlet to show the depth of his sincerity (to thine own self be true) he suddenly announced that he was all in favour of Gay Marriage.

Gay Marriage is hardly one of the pedestals of Christianity, particularly the flavour he likes – the “old fashioned” one. So one must wait to see how he reconciles it. So far he has gone the secular route – if two men love one another blah blah.

During the Kevin 07 campaign he dropped socialism altogether. No, now he was an “economic conservative”. He was the scourge of “neo-liberals”, Howard was “mean” and all Rudd’s speeches were larded with words like “kind” and “compassionate” and “warm” and “open hearted”.

A bit like the speech he made in parliament after the lynching of Julia Gillard, when he urged politicians to be nice to each other.

What he was doing then he is doing still. He is sitting in Julia’s old-fashioned chair humming to himself, “I am an kindly intellectual, I am an kindly intellectual,” then announcing publicly that if the voters elect him they virtually will get a much kinder version of Tony Abbott. One who listens, one who cares? So there is no need to vote for Abbott – vote for Kev and get prosperity with decency.

And government by kind hearted union bosses?

But there is hope. A strait jacket costs less than a hundred bucks.

Jim McCrudden is a retired lawyer, an avid admirer of Dickens, Shakespeare and many others. He lives on the NSW South Coast, has a keen interest in politics and sits on local government.

The Greens – society’s termites


TerpstraMilne’s Greens must condemn bestiality proponent, Peter Singer 

I see that Sarah HansonYoung is all worked up about Australians against redefining marriage. Redefining marriage won’t lead to polygamy, she assures us. Just trust the Greens. Except – oops! history teaches us otherwise. 

Also, don’t make slippery slope arguments about redefining marriage and bestiality or else “free speech” HansonYoung will fake outrage and cry bigotry. Except oops! Greens legend Peter Singer is a bestialityfriendly academic. 

How Orwellian. How Hanson-Young. If the Greens and their supporters want to act as Australia’s conscience on sexual politics, then they need to be completely frank about their past and their elders, including Singer. 

Here’s some history. According to the Greens, for example: 

With greatly increased membership after these successes, the party tackled the 1996 Federal election.  Our lead Senate candidate was Peter Singer, but we achieved only 2.9% of the vote statewide, largely because of a strong Democrats campaign led by Cheryl Kernot.  Within a month of the Federal election, the Greens took on both many local elections and a general State election.


Since then, Peter “sex with animals does not always involve cruelty” Singer has come out to defend bestiality. 

But moreover, Singer was one of the founding members of the Victorian Greens. Or as he told Talking Heads (28/05/2007): 

When Bob Brown and others decided that there should be a national Greens Party, obviously one aspect of that was forming a Victorian Greens, so I was one of the founding members, but I never thought that I would do anything more than, you know, just be an ordinary rank and file member until there was a by-election in Kooyong.

Then, there are his controversial positions on “afterbirth abortions” and the like. As The Australian reminds us:

But Greens leader Christine Milne defended him.

“Peter Singer . . . deserves his global reputation for challenging people to reconsider their views on ethical behaviour, animal welfare and the human condition,” she said.

Professor Singer co-wrote the 1996 manifesto for the Greens with former party leader Bob Brown.

Curious how the current leader of the Greens hasn’t distanced herself from a bestialityfriendly academic. Instead, Milne equates his name with terms such as “ethical behaviour” and “animal welfare.”

When bleating Greens attack pro-marriage conservatives, while blessing Peter “sex with animals does not always involve cruelty” Singer, it’s time to stand up for values. Just trust the Greens?

Ben-Peter Terpstra contributes to many publications including MH and Quadrant.

Preaching to the (un)converted


Preachers have a lot to offer society, but their authority on politics is often lacking, writes Michael G.

Rarely in Australia, but more often in countries such as the United States, preachers play a part in the shaping of political debate. This can be a very good thing when they have unique experience in situations and events and are able to offer an authorative opinion. But it is a very bad thing when they do not and merely offer platitudes instead of wisdom.

It is the realm of service to their fellow man that preachers, priests and pastors indulge. Much media on religion does much to denigrate it, speaking of paedophile priests, money-hungry churches, and various degrees of dissent and scandal. Little is shown and known of the plentiful good things–from large Catholic hospitals operating to the humble pastor visiting a couple at their home to help save their marriage.

From these good things, preachers draw a raft of insight unknown to many. It is they who know what it is like to have the poor knock on the door of their church and beg for money and shelter; it is they who know the impact of welfare as they counsel drug and alcohol addicts; it is they who know of the degree of struggle from among their congregation and outside it. Much more could be listed than should be contained within this paragraph. Preachers have the benefit of seeing things that the average person does not.

Yet there are severe limitations on the amount of insight that can be offered by preachers commenting on politics. For one, a preacher may not have experience of the kind listed above. Without having seen or been through such things, they have little that can be said of worth.

More importantly, however, is when they do have such experience, but not the appropriate knowledge of how best to deal with these problems of society. Here a comparison with the Greens can be made. The Greens often bring up worthy causes–the environment, and the quality of education and healthcare–with sound reason. But the policy programme suggested to remedy these causes is ignorant because it separates ideals from outcomes.

Preachers fall victim to this trap, too. They are often at the forefront of calls for higher welfare, health, and education spending, and various forms of intervention into the lives of Australians and their businesses. For those familiar with economics, von Mises’ dictum of “if this policy is implemented, will it have the effects you intend?” is appropriate.

Good intentions are not at question; authority on the subject matter is. Knowledge of how to achieve successful outcomes must be combined with practical experience: well-meaning platitudes are not enough. A lot of policy suggestions from preachers would likely have disastrous outcomes and merely harm those they are seeking to protect.

Tony Abbott was wise to comment that “the priesthood gives someone the power to consecrate bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. It doesn’t give someone the power to convert poor logic into good logic.” Preachers have much to offer in diverse political debate. But the maximisation of their impact depends on the realisation of their limitations.

Michael G is completing studies in finance and history at Flinders University and works in banking. He is a Christian (Baptist).

2010’s Atheist of the Year Award

Ben-Peter-Terpstra Ben-Peter Terpstra praises the recipient of his Atheist of the Year Award

In 2010’s Hitch-22: A Memoir, the atheist Christopher Hitchens writes that, “The ‘WMD’ question, as everybody hopes now to forget, was very often a rhetorical tool in the hands of those who wanted to leave Saddam Hussein in power. Attack him, and he would unleash the weapons of horror that he had wielded so promiscuously before.” He makes some excellent points, for people with French Alzheimer’s.

In 2010’s Nomad: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations, the atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali states: “Given the choice, I would by far rather live in a Christian than a Muslim country. Christianity in the West today is more humane, more restrained, and more accepting of criticism and debate. The Christian concept of God today is more benign, more tolerant of dissent.” 

Later she unapologetically adds, “Religious people are generally more effective than state-salaried caseworkers because they give more time, and when the beneficiaries of this kind of very practical help realize that it is coming from volunteers, that in itself is impressive.”   

But, I have chosen S.E. Cupp to receive this year’s Atheist of the Year Award. While, Hitchens and Hirsi Ali have written some explosive shockers this year, Cupp’s latest book, Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity was, without doubt, 100% fearless.

In Chapter II, Thou Shalt Hate Prop 8, she stood against the violent methods used by some gay activists. Indeed, Cupp reminds us that they had “vandalized Mormon temples and buildings in California and Utah and sent threatening letters and packages containing white powder to Mormon and Knights of Columbus centers.”

And, she bravely tackled the left’s silence on violence: “How many stories on the violence against Mormons and Catholics were featured in the New York Times or Newsweek? Zero. Not one.”   If you love bigotry, hang with censorship-first journalists.

But more than that, Cupp disproved the establishment media’s central thesis that President Obama was the messiah, answered my cheeky questions, and even challenged fake libertarian/atheist Bill Maher with facts on television, without once making fun of his high heels.

Noteworthy too is the author’s conclusion. “As an atheist I like to think that Judeo-Christian values form points of my moral compass.”

And while Hitchens admits to visiting/attending the odd shul and bar mitzvah, I applaud Cupp’s decision to challenge anti-religious barbarians, because the elite media’s silence is fueling violence. 

Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works are posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). He also blogs for News Real, the team blog of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

An atheist is not for Christmas

Ben-Peter-Terpstra It is no surprise the media like the fact that Julia Gillard is an atheist, writes Ben-Peter Terpstra.

It’s no coincidence that our state-serving media loves our new atheist PM. Most secular journalists see themselves as defenders of reason against the supposed evils of religion, and Christianity specifically, for some unreasonable reason. Therefore, it makes sense for God-hating media elites to embrace green messiah figures. But who are they fooling?

The myth of the peaceful atheist

Reason tells us that history matters. “The total number of people murdered by their own anti-Christian governments in the twentieth century – communist, socialist, fascist – equals about 170 million,” to paraphrase the political scientist Rudolph Rummel. But figures vary. I mean, what happens if we add forced abortions, partial-birth abortions and assisted-suicide crusades to the mix? At any rate, reason clearly tells us that militant atheism kills more people than war. Godless governments don’t treasure life.

The myth of the secure atheist

Reason tells us that atheists aren’t as secure as they make out. Indeed, some of them are just getting back at their dads. So, when the psychologist Paul Vitz subjected the apostles of atheism to the same theories they used against Christians, he found that they were projecting. While, there are always exceptions to rules (and Vitz provides qualifications and extensions) it was found that the psychological source of militant atheism can be traced back to the absence of a good daddy. In Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism, the New York University Professor writes, “Looking back at our thirteen major historical rejecters of a personal God [including Hobbes, Meslier, Voltaire, d’Almbert, d’Holbach, Feuerbach, Butler, Freud, and Wells] we find a weak, dead, or abusive father in every case.”

The myth of the charitable atheist

Reason also tells us to value sociology, before concluding that father-hungry atheists are benevolent angels. Very well, then. What does the sociology say? Professor Arthur C. Brooks found that: “Religious people are far more charitable with their time and money than secularists. Religious people are more generous in informal ways as well, such as giving blood, giving money to family members, and behaving honestly. Religious people are far more likely than secularists to be politically conservative.” So, quantitative proof undermines the atheist’s faith too.

The myth of the benevolent atheist leader

Reason isn’t too fond of godless leaders. Father-hungry Hitler said, “The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death” but then killed Christians anyway. For he was a green politician: “Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. All that’s left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic.” But who was he fooling? Not my Dutch Resistance-serving grandpa. He was a Christian.

Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works are posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). He also blogs for News Real, the team blog of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

A Bible is for life

Ben-Peter-Terpstra The bible was a part of Sir Robert Menzies, writes Ben-Peter Terpstra.

A Bible is for life. Our Robert Menzies understood this. Before he became Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, he was the President of the Melbourne University Students’ Christian Union in 1916. Not surprisingly, therefore, Menzies credited his religious education for many things – but his support for church schools and church-run colleges stands out.

One of Menzies’ favourite teachers, Frank Shann, encouraged the knowledge –hungry WASP to memorise thousands of lines of poetry, “chiefly Shakespeare,” writes the historian A. W. Martin. Still, it was the Bible that helped him make sense of it. Or to paraphrase the atheist Christopher Hitchens: You can’t read Shakespeare without a Bible!

The Bible was a significant part of Menzies’ life. As a former Wesley College boy, he had a good foundation although his family’s Protestant roots must also be acknowledged.

But back to university. Stuart Piggin states:

 While at Melbourne University, studying law, Menzies heard a lecture given by C H Nash, who was to become Principal of the Melbourne Bible Institute in 1920. Menzies later testified to Nash and to Leyland Wang, a visiting Indonesian Christian, that Nash held high a copy of the New Testament (it happened to be a Greek New Testament) and proclaimed ‘In this book is all I know of Jesus Christ and all I need to know of what God has in store for me’. Menzies testified that in consequence of this dramatic scene, he never gave up reading the Bible.

Or as I like to say, “Preach it boy!” And: “You go brother!”

Sure. Many of the world’s most influential men knew their Word. “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible,” wrote Abraham Lincoln, the anti-slavery Republican. “The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world, “declared Charles Dickens, the wittiest of authors. And to the chagrin of secularists everywhere, the Victorian-period homosexualist and dandy Oscar Wilde must have been tickled by the Bible too. Why? Because it is said that he became a Christian on his deathbed. Although, granted, maybe this isn’t as shocking as it sounds, because it is also said that the New Jerusalem will be fabulous.

So, yes, please pity the bitter atheist who thinks that religion (especially Christianity) is a barrier to knowledge. It is embarrassing to be blunt.  Just read Scientists of Faith: 48 Biographies of Historic Scientists and Their Christian Faith, by Dan Graves, and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Our nation was built on Judeo-Christian principles too, and it is a better place because of them. Menzies loved his Bible because it was for life. But most significantly, it was a part of him.

Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works are posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia).He also blogs for News Real, the team blog of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.