Gender neutral scaremongering?
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
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Anti-fluoridation groups don’t want it in their water supply.