Gen­der neu­tral scare­mon­ger­ing?

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE -

In ‘‘The Pre­car­i­ous Path of Progress’’, Rick Long sug­gests that gen­der-neu­tral cloth­ing and a de­cline in Chris­tian faith are lead­ing us down a ter­ri­ble road where we’ll be vul­ner­a­ble to fun­da­men­tal­ism.

If that’s the con­cern, be­fore blam­ing oth­ers it might be worth look­ing at what sort of a lead­er­ship the Chris­tian faith has set.

If you’re wor­ried about progress, you need to do bet­ter than wait 350 years to apol­o­gise for threat­en­ing to burn at the stake that bloke Galileo, who pointed out that the earth moved around the sun, rather than the other way as the Catholic Church be­lieved. Progress does not come from hav­ing mil­lions of peo­ple adamantly be­liev­ing that the world is only a few thou­sand years old and cre­ated lit­er­ally as stated in the Bi­ble. And surely the dog­matic stance that the leader of the Church is in­fal­li­ble - fun­da­men­tally in­ca­pable of er­ror - is hardly a ba­sis for change and progress.

If you’re con­cerned about stand­ing up to ide­o­log­i­cal fun­da­men­tal­ism, then re­visit the gen­eral si­lence of the Church dur­ing Nazi Ger­many and the Holo­caust, in­clud­ing the church’s role in help­ing Nazis to flee af­ter the war. It took un­til 2000 for an ac­knowl­edge­ment that ‘‘It should not be con­cealed that the Catholic Church was blind for too long to the fate and suf­fer­ing of men, women and chil­dren from the whole of Europe who were carted off to Ger­many as forced la­bor­ers’’.

And if you’re fret­ting about a de­cline in Chris­tian faith, maybe it’s time to look at the Church’s his­tory of en­demic sex­ual and phys­i­cal abuse, along with sys­tem­atic cover-ups.

In short, per­haps the an­swers lie within and need fo­cus on the lead­er­ship and ac­tions of Chris­tian in­sti­tu­tions, rather than com­plain­ing about the pop­u­la­tion at large.

The pri­mary mes­sage of Je­sus was ‘‘Love one another’’. Where does writ­ing a col­umn that reg­u­larly crit­i­cises oth­ers, lauds right-wing gov­ern­ments, be­moans girls not be­ing re­quired to wear school skirts, and han­kers for a re­turn to a past golden age (while con­ve­niently gloss­ing over sys­tem­atic sex­ual abuse) fit into that sim­ple dic­tum of love? (Abridged)

Minty Hunter, Carter­ton

It was good last week to see an ar­ti­cle that is look­ing at a al­ter­na­tive to the un­eth­i­cal prac­tice of put­ting a drug in the pub­lic drinking wa­ter. This is worth think­ing about: ‘‘ What physi­cian in his right mind would pre­scribe for a per­son he has never met whose med­i­cal his­tory he doesn’t know, a sub­stance which is in­tended to cre­ate bod­ily change, with the ad­vice: Take as much or as lit­tle as you like, but you’ll take it for the rest of your life be­cause it may ben­e­fit other peo­ple’s teeth.’’ This is a quote by John Bald­win Joint Chair on the UK All Par­lia­men­tary Group Against Flu­o­ri­da­tion.

Put­ting any form of med­i­ca­tion into the pub­lic wa­ter sup­ply takes away the rights of in­di­vid­u­als to have in­formed con­sent about what med­i­ca­tion they take. This is the main rea­son why 97% of Western Europe has re­jected wa­ter flu­o­ri­da­tion and why only 4 % of the world still flu­o­ri­dates their wa­ter.

Wil­liam Cooper, Master­ton WRITE TO US

Do you feel strongly about an is­sue in your com­mu­nity or have some­thing to say about your town? Con­tact us: piers.fuller@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz or PO Box 902, Master­ton. Please use your full name and con­tact num­ber, no anony­mous let­ters will be ac­cepted.

Anti-flu­o­ri­da­tion groups don’t want it in their wa­ter sup­ply.

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