Standard of proof
I am curious after reading Bill Norquay’s letter (October, Crosslight). Bill and his Friday discussion group appear to reject anything that is not known to science. Specifically they regard a virgin birth as an impossibility even though the only reason it is not commonplace is a gene behaviour issue.
But here is the curiosity: they claim to believe in God and a “kingdom of God” both of which are less supported by science than any physical event, including raising the dead. To me this seems a massive inconsistency.
Do they perhaps believe their God has no supernatural power, no omniscience and no way of knowing of our existence?
Narre Warren North, Vic
Passing on peacefully
I am a resident of Condare Court aged care facility and formerly an active member of the Glen Iris-Hartwell Parish.
A few years ago, the Tasmanian parliament rejected a private member’s Bill on Voluntary Assisted Dying. I was invited to make a submission on the draft legislation, which I did.
I made copies of my document for interested parties and lodged two of them with Uniting AgeWell, one with the social worker at Elgin St and one with the senior nurse at Condare Court.
I was disappointed my paper failed to gain much interest. I was inspired to write it by my friend Margaret Luginbuhl, a registered nurse of long experience, and also a former Catholic.
Her mother, a practising Catholic, was in her mid 90s when she died and was a patient in a Catholic nursing home.
Old age had taken over, she had memory problems and had become confused, and her doctor was pretty sure there was a malignant growth in her stomach.
His suggestion was that she be transferred to hospital for X-rays and probable invasive treatment. At this stage, Margaret stepped in for serious discussion with her mother’s doctor, who had also been Margaret’s GP for many years.
Margaret expressed her wish that her mother be permitted to die in peace.
Her GP took over, pain relief was raised to an appropriate level, and Clare passed out in her sleep three days later.
The nursing sister in charge congratulated Margaret on her intervention, about which the Catholic Church raised no objections.
Pride and change
It was a sea of orange cards, no blue or yellow, when the church council at Beaumaris Uniting Church – St Martins decided to allow same-gender couples to marry at our church.
As the person who introduced the proposal I would like to share what I told the meeting:
I believe passionately that St Martins should welcome same-gender couples to marry here should they wish to do so.
I would feel this even if I did not have two adult gay children. That I do adds further depth and commitment to my conviction.
I firmly believe that my two gay children should have the same legal opportunity to marry the person they love (especially in this church should they chose to) in the same way their ‘straight’ sisters were unquestioningly able to do.
A person’s sexual orientation should have nothing to do with him or her wanting to come before God to bless the marriage.
To support our gay children in the Pride Marches last year during the horrendous postal plebiscite on this issue was to feel the widespread support in the wider community. It was heartening and reassuring at a time of great vulnerability and distress for the LGBTIQ community.
References in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, to exclude gay people from mainstream cultural observations and customs, such as marriage, derive from an ignorance and fear of difference.
We tend to fear and demonize what we don’t understand. Such attitudes and feelings are perhaps at the heart of continued discrimination and prejudice experienced by gay people today.
It has taken a very long time, but society now understands a little better that we have nothing to fear from the LGBTIQ community. We cannot turn back the clock on years of persecution and bigotry, but we can all work toward a more inclusive, accepting and loving society which celebrates diversity.
As Christians, Jesus reminds us of “a new commandment I give unto you, that you love another as I have loved you. By this shall all people know that you are my disciples”.
He further teaches us of the two great commandments: to love God and love your neighbour as yourself. Gay people are just as much ‘our neighbours’ as straight people, and as such are entitled to the full protection and potential of the law, including same-gender marriage.
Evolution is anathema to some Christians, but it doesn’t rule out creation. It’s obvious that many species have evolved over millennia for we have archaeological evidence to prove it, but this doesn’t disprove creation because creation is not finished and is an ongoing process.
It didn’t all happen in six days and then remain static thereafter.
Some proof of this can be seen in ice ages coming and going, sea levels fluctuating (the Mediterranean Sea basin being dry in some ages), coastlines changing, and continental drift that has seen the continents moving away from Gondwanaland.
All this is obviously part of God’s plan for the progression of His marvellous Creation.
I read with tears, “Letters from the Holy Land” (July, Crosslight) from Ann and Joe. Thank you for printing these insightful, first-hand diary and photo accounts from warzone danger.
For me, what shone brightly against the nightmare of Israel’s relentless oppression was the buoyancy of the Palestinians, humble, welcoming, unbreakable, as reflected in Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, persistent in prayer”.
Particularly moving was Ann and Joe’s reminder of Raza al-Najjar, the 21-year-old nurse shot dead while rescuing injured protestors, and the doctor’s cathartic painting of her memorial on the separation wall.
Israel has sold its soul for land. The way it has and continues to terrorise Palestinians demands the attention of all who seek justice.
Ferntree Gully, Vic
Way off track
What a state we are in – housing costs almost impossible for lower income groups and our jails are full.
Victorians spend much time discussing the pokies’ issues and their effect on society. Do we realise the great impact of Racing Victoria which now has some 200 licenced pokie machines? And is as yet to unveil a new multi-million dollar grandstand which took two years in building plus groundwork to re-align the straight.
Fellow Victorians we have a rare opportunity to ask questions of our candidates for the forthcoming election. One question is – do we need a public holiday for a horse race? Or is it more appropriate to celebrate with an annual Peace and Harmony Festival on the 11th day of the 11th month?
Ringwood North, Vic