Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who needs God with an ego like this

Off the political rants for now.

Normally my daily drive up Melbourne's western ring road only causes me traffic-related stress. However on this particular morning, I had a whole new reason to laugh, cry and cringe all at the same time.

But first, a preamble: Doctor Francis Macnab, a qualified psychologist, is a revolutionary in post-modernism. When it comes to Christianity, he is full of opinions. The narrative runs to an age-old theme: Only raving fundamentalists would believe in a virgin giving birth, God becoming a human being for a spell, and a guy walking out of his grave after being dead for three days. We all know those things don't happen because, well, I didn't see them.

In fact, Dr. Macnab was behind a $120,000 newsprint and billboard campaign back in late 2008 stating that the Ten Commandments was "the most negative document ever written". It was to promote his views that, among other things, Abraham is a concoction, and Moses was a mass murderer. Free invites to the Jewish community, then.

Plus, Jesus obviously wasn't deity, didn't die for our sins and certainly didn't walk out of the grave. In fact, I think Macnab is ambivalent as to whether he even existed or not, because it's nice to be flexible. God, by the way, is not a distinguishable personal entity but a concept we can find within ourselves through personal reflection and...so on...

This is all fine. It's a free country. The thing is, Dr McNab is a Uniting Church minister. He's the UCA version of John Shelby Spong.

As one commentor on a Macnab article wrote "Just WHAT does it take to get someone de-frocked these days?"

That's a good question, and I don't know. Believing in absolute truth, perhaps? That certainly isn't a great career move for men-in-frocks these days. But, being a "Christian" leader who re-defines what being a "Christian" really is, by tearing up the original instruction manual...well, that makes you a revolutionary. A hero. An agent of change. It means book sales, book signings, the public speaking circuit at smug, academic humanist universities and, if you're really controversial, a spot on the telly.

On that logic, I should be able to advertise as a brothel, and when clients arrive, put them through a course of Valiant Man. Viva la revolucion.

There's a more detailed look at Dr. Macnab here in the Melbourne Anglican.

Back to my fateful trip on the western ring road on this particular day- Doctor Macnab has a new advertising campaign. While the UCA are trying to offload property and send the proceeds to the needy, Macnab has spent (presumably around another $120,000) on these:

Three people listed in order; NIGHTINGALE, KING, MACNAB.

Good to see Macnab has found his inner god.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Life Panels

The outrage against Citizen Sarah Palin's use of the term "death panels" to describe a provision in Obamacare, continues in the US.

Call the words what you like- a monumental benefit of her using them was that it actually sparked national debate. Not bad for a private citizen posting on Facebook.

Otherwise, the 1000+ page Obamaplan, which hardly any Democrat Congressperson even read, was to be thrust through Congress without consultation with the American people.

What Palin said, paraphrased: " 'Death Panels' we be deciding on eligibility for end-of-life care for your loved ones, and those not considered to be conventionally useful to society". (Note Palin used quotes in her original statement, indicating she was clearly being tongue-in-cheek with the term, using it metaphorically to make a clear political point).

What Obama said, paraphrased: "There won't be 'death panels'. This is scaremongering. There will simply be an independent, arbitrary group, appointed by the government, who will provide consultancy and guidance on critical health care issues..."

Right. In other words, death panels. But spoken with more Ivy League smoothness.

After Obama accused the naysayers of "scaremongering", he then suggested that if we don't adopt Obamacare, "more people will die".

Here's a quote from a supporter of Obamacare:

"Sarah Palin said "death panels". Well I got news for you honey. If we were gonna get rid of useless people, you'd be the first to know" - CNN political commentator Bill Maher.

Charming. The concern for human life oozes from every word. Here's a quote from an opponent of Obamacare.

"(Down Sydnrome child Trig Palin) has proven to me that every innocent life does have purpose, and there is no accident. And I’m gonna choose the creator’s idea of perfection over society’s definition of perfection any day." - Sarah Palin.

OBAMACARE UPDATE: A very salient quote from Dr. Russell Blaylock, a "respected medical professional" (I haven't vetted this source and don't count on the veracity of that description, but it is a widely agreed point):

"One of the things that concerns the legal minds of this country is that any bill that contains arbitrary language can be interpreted after it's passed any way they want to. And in this bill (Obamacare/ HR 3200), virtually every page gives arbitrary powers to the Secretary of Health and Human Services."

As if they needed more czars.