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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Can I have a "Praise Jesus!"?

I do personally treasure a belief on a modern, secular society. But I believe it to be more imminently compromised by a major political party secretly getting into bed with an authoritarian religious sect like the Exclusive Brethren, than by a tiny handful of immigrants. - Russell Brown's Hard News

Does not compute, RB.

He makes this criticism in context of Dr Brash's much anticipated (ie. over-hyped) Orewa speech tomorrow (?) where there may be an anti-muslim immigrant stance based on the dribble of teasers released by official sources prior to the speech.

I don't like the Exclusive Brethren either, but political parties take money from almost everyone and have meetings with almost everyone and then after meeting and taking the money of almost everyone then proceed to screw almost everyone over by doing almost nothing that everyone wants. Party leaders can be at Anti-Zionist/Pro-Palestine marches in the morning and then at Anti-Palestine/Pro-Zionist rallies that same afternoon - that's what politicians are like: they are vote whores and that's never going to change. For a cult that involves both Christianity and a form of burqa the Brethren are an anathema to most non-brainwashed non-misogynists and I think their backing of National (and Brash's feigning of ignorance on the matter) was a tremendous fumble despite not really being of the magnitude of the axis of evil their opponents made it out to be.

However for Brown to suggest that that is worse than "a tiny handful of immigrants" is utterly incorrect - especially if we are to take his statement about treasuring a secular society at face value. State schools that are supposedly "secular" routinely yield to the pressure from Muslim cult groups to enforce the headscarf/mini-burqa on their female students. That is the thin end of the wedge. A Christchurch school has set up a mosque/prayer/room for this cult. It is the Muslims pressuring formerly secular schools into giving them rights (and rites) in connexion with their cult. Will this encourage other cults to do the same? There was a case in Wellington of a Christian cult taking cult lessons at lunchtime that seems to suggest the cultification of state schools is under way. It must be resisted. That sort of brainwashing shit must not be allowed to happen on school property during school hours. The current system of officially "closing" the school during a prayer or a cult lesson is completely unacceptable and against the spirit of a secular state education system.

There is an almost endless drain of naivety that accompanies this issue - a suspension of reality - as many people (and not all from the Left) in one breath condemn Christians and in the next think it fine for Islamic cults to set their own uniforms for schools and practice their "beliefs" (ie. the warped doctrine that their repressive family is in the grip of) at school. That sort of compromise extends the power of cult groups and encourages them. How can they get out of their oppressive marriage contracts when the school says they cannot be free of their cult uniform? How can females be told in school they can do anything - but when the males of the family insist they wear the emblem of the cult and they are given no help by the school in resisting? And as for arguments about females wanting to wear it!? - They have been brought up/brainwashed since birth into thinking they must - for a child to say they are choosing to wear it is for a child to admit their mind is enslaved.

And as far as beliefs go political parties too are in the same league. Would a school tolerate party arm bands being worn? Gang patches being worn? Would they tolerate political doctrine being disseminated on school proprety at lunchtimes and arm bands being worn and checked upon and a separate party HQ being housed on campus? Would people be comfortable with that? With gangs making sure their patches are worn properly and a gang room set aside? Is their a sunstantial difference here? At least gangs aren't promoting a foreign allegiance!

We hear stories from all over the globe about Muslims wanting their law (Sharia) to be enforced for their members and for the State to change the law to enable their cult members to do so. In the northern states of Nigeria they are in the majority and have done so. It is not just the Christians that are not happy - so too are many Muslims. In the US and elsewhere it is the hardline fundamentalist Christians that seek to have their type of laws enforced in a similar fashion. Same story there - many Christians are unhappy about this (eg. anti-evolution theory, ant-gay, anti-happiness laws in some states of the US). The lesson is Do not, under any circumstances, let these fucking cult freaks anywhere near a school. And keep the fuckers out of the country. If they have on their application "Priest" or "Imam" or "Bishop" etc. they must be turned back. We ought to actively resist the foreign cults at a governmental level rather than take their money and change laws to suit their voters (esp. the Labour party). RB should be more upset that Steven Ching got on the Labour list due to $$$ and was very reluctantly jettisoned after a series of dodgarama revelations than National's Brethren connexion. Labour was quite happy for this Ching character to be an MP despite his ethical failures because of money and ethnic relations. They are a dirty bunch.

I take issue too with RB's assertion that Muslim immigrants are a "tiny minority". Maybe now that is correct. In the near future? [Stats Dept. says in 2001 Islamists numbered 23,637 - only about 0.5% of the total population (BTW: Jews were 6,636 and "no religion" was a massive 1,028,049)] I wonder what the census in March is going to show? A decrease in Muslims? - I don't think so. Thanks to the stupid "family reunification" category there will be many more elderly cultists winging their way here to enforce their beliefs on their children and provide a cult backbone as well as a linguistic and behavioural police for these new immigrant families who may have otherwise have integrated successfully but instead will be enduring a traditionalist existence under the over-bearing tutelage of their elders. In Auckland Muslims are plentiful and visible. Men in white Arab-style outfits shuttling their black burqa-ed womenfolk around are not merely occassional sightings anymore. These medieval Afghanistan-like scenes are not just in the Koran-belt of Sandribad and Roskillistan either.

What is the point of them living here? If inter-marriage is the base of modern NZ then we are eroding that significantly by allowing people here who obviously have absoultely no intention of ever allowing anyone from their group to marry (or it seems even communicate with) those outside of their foreign clique.

Many Indians here are Hindus and have been growing quickly (Stats Dept 2001: 39,864, 1991: 17,661, 1986: 8,148) and have a reputation for dodgy marriage practices, violent misogynism and cult behaviour - all without the neccessity for silly headgear. The same criticisms as above can also be put upon them to some degree. Go through the all the cult groups. Jewish and African male (and female) genital mutilation rituals comes to mind as both religious and ethnic barbarism it would be good to outlaw on a rational rather than racist basis. The lists go on and on.

Remember the nature of the cult group is its exclusivity and systems of control - and parental pressure for their children to marry inside the cult and have many children (incl. in-breeding) is part of that. That is usually their core function: to perpetuate themselves. Unfortunately that means that for any outsider they will have to convert to get to marry. So the cult grows while the non-cult population decreases and the objective of a secular state slips further away. There are apparently parts of the UK where this scenario is playing out, incl one city councillor who can't speak English and needs a translator and state schools adopting muslim-style uniforms [no link].

Are you a cultist? (in a NZ context)

  • You wear a religious garment on more than one occasion per week. (If you wear a small item of religious jewellery more than once a week you could still be an atheist/agnostic.)

  • You attend or participate in a religious ritual more than once a week.

  • You deny your children any opportunity or possibility of opting out of the cult.

  • You will not marry someone other than a cult member.

  • You accept that your cult beliefs are exclusively correct and/or are timelessly correct.

  • You accept the instructions of cult leaders.

  • Tahi "yes" - you're a bit religious.
    Rua "yes" - you're a bit of a fundy.
    Toru "yes" - you are a fundy.
    Wha "yes" - you're a cultist.
    Rima "yes" - you're a fundy cultist.
    Ono "yes" - you're a nut-bar fundy cultist.

    Our immigration should keep out anyone with two or more "yes" answers. The chances of anyone answering four "yes" and integrating adequately into NZ society is almost zero if there are any language barriers. At five "yes" CYFS should be checking on the kids.

    Oh, and to the nut-bars in anything that purports it is a "cultwatch" or similar Christian type organisation supposedly against cults, I'm sorry, but you are one too - only scared (paranoid) that the other cults are more successful.


    At 31/1/06 4:59 pm, Blogger Maria von Trapp said...

    "Oh, and to the nut-bars in anything that purports it is a "cultwatch" or similar Christian type organisation supposedly against cults, I'm sorry, but you are one too - only scared (paranoid) that the other cults are more successful."

    Well, you're wrong. I only answered two yesses and that would be the first two. The answers being my choir robe (twice) and two (choral) services a week.

    A proper response will be on my blog shortly.

    I am from Cultwatch, and there is a critical difference between a cult and a religious group. A cult practices mind control to control it's members beliefs. A religious group allows varying beliefs and practices within the group.

    I'm not "scared" that Cults such as Destiny or the ICC are more "successful."

    I'm scared (like most NZers) when groups such as this make people leave their homes and families, encourage forced tithing and march on parliament against gay rights.

    These things fuck me off mightily, just like your stupid belief that because I'm a Christian I am subjected to mind control and cult type behaviours.

    You have no clue.

    www.cultwatch.co.nz for some real information readers

    At 31/1/06 7:56 pm, Blogger Lucyna said...

    Tim hates all religion equally, don't you Tim? The thing is all religion is not equal. And yes, I do equate Islam to a cult, a death cult if you will. Christianity is not in the same league by a huge mile. In fact, neither is Hinduism or Buddhism.

    But other than that, a well written article. I'd change the questions, though. Make them far more explicit.

    Like, if someone satirises your religion, do you:

    a) go out and kill them
    b) hold a riot
    c) write letters to the editor and encourage all your friends to do the same.
    d) do nothing, happens all the time, doesn't matter to me at all.

    That kind of thing.

    At 31/1/06 9:13 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

    By my definition Maria, you are "a bit of a fundy." But because your cultish engagements seem to be of a musical variety you may even be less than that. Where's your commitment, woman!? I question whether your religious observation is nothing more than a veneer for choral artistry. I knew some people connected with "cultwatch" back at university and they were part of the Evangelical Union - that has influenced my thinking on the matter in part. I will investigate the website you mention and look forward to your post on the issue.

    Yes, I do hate all religions, but to the extent that they are cultish I dislike them more. Maria would be in that camp too by the sounds of it. I note that the Danish Prophet Muhammad-as-bomber-in-cartoon and the stance from some Muslim countries is Salman Rushdie-fatwa-esque in hyperbolic over-reaction. This is far more embarassing to these Muslim countries than they appreciate. I recall when John Banks on his radio show in the mid-90s calling for some sort of boycott of countries where they eat dogs and cats - the call to boycott Denmark, Danish products and pressure the EU is of a similar vein to that piece of idiocy... only the governments seem to be doing it for real.

    You say "not all religion is equal" - and in so doing without clarification you taint Islam with a seemingly unique fanaticism esp. when you describe it as a "death cult". But the Amritsar massacre could be described as evidence of a Hindu death cult against the Sikhs, Sabra & Shatilla evidence of a Christian & Jewish death cult against Muslims, Kosovo as a Christian death cult against Muslims, Croation massacres as a Catholic death cult against Orthodox Christians, Serbian massacres against Croatians as a death cult of Orthodox against Catholics etc. etc. There is strong evidence against other religions too - but I will take your point.

    At 1/2/06 1:13 am, Blogger peterquixote said...

    i donts like to embarrass you tj but the fascists agree with you, yous have put a good case, especially these bloody socialist governments what have to make up laws for minority terrosist, now did you see that Winston has also picked up on the islamic terrorist what crashed that mercedes story,and i thinks he agree with you to,

    At 1/2/06 5:20 am, Blogger Psycho Milt said...

    "This is far more embarassing to these Muslim countries than they appreciate."
    Indeed, they seem to have no appreciation of that fact whatsoever. I've been surprised at Kuwaiti politicians' seeming inability to grasp the concept of a government that's not in control of its country's media - to them the Danish govt's refusal to "reprimand" the journalists involved and apologise for not controlling them better isn't a perfectly ordinary consequence of having a free press - it's the Danish govt giving them the finger and saying "Fuck you".

    These guys have all visited Western countries, they've heard all the blather about freedom of the press ad nauseum, but it's like none of it has sunk in. They fondly imagine that if the Prime Minister of Denmark had any respect for them at all, he'd make a few phone calls, get those responsible sacked and perhaps taken down the cells for a good beating, and then promise the various Moslem ambassadors that it won't happen again. The idea that we don't do that in the West just seems to have gone right over their heads. It's a depressing business.

    I do have to point out re your quiz, Moslems can marry non-Moslems. There are plenty of Kuwaiti men married to Western women (who should be Christians, preferably not Jews or atheists). But there are of course no Western men married to Kuwaiti women, or at least, not in Kuwait - that would get said Western man a terrible accident ("Police reported he was attempting to change the light bulb on his 7th floor balcony by mounting a chair on a table") or the worst case of suicide by beating yourself to death that the coroner's ever seen.

    At 1/2/06 8:35 am, Blogger Mark said...

    Good post. I also am opposed to individuals who "bless" some new fucking building or place "rahui" on beaches where some poor prick drowned. Mumbo bloody jumbo.

    At 1/2/06 8:51 am, Blogger sagenz said...

    Russell tries to score a political point and gets bitch slapped. Excellent post. who watches the watchers.

    At 1/2/06 11:00 am, Blogger t selwyn said...

    My jaw clenches and eyes narrow when I see a dog collar officiating at any NZ state event (esp. embassies). But that religious aspect is the extent of my concern, Mark. I object to the religious people trying to hijack ceremonies. A period of mourning and a form of honouring the dead by way of observing a temporary local restriction is not "mumbo bloody jumbo" it is an appropriate way for a community to acknowledge a tragedy. Like the lowering of a flag for a period - although when I saw the NZ flag at half mast in front of the Auckland Regional Council/Police Regional HQ for the death of the bloody Pope I was mightily displeased! But if you want to go and windsurf amongst the corpses from the Wahine, collect shellfish while everyone else is looking for the bodies, or drive your car over the remains of the victims of a traffic accident then I guess that's your call.

    At 1/2/06 11:12 am, Blogger t selwyn said...

    On that rahui/blessing issue I note also that white crosses on roadsides are commonplace and that Transit NZ finds them annoying rather than informative. I half agree. There is one up here on Ponsonby Rd (outside the Fire Station) for a pedestrian who was run down last year or possibly 2004 (I think the offender may be going to court - I'm not sure). I think it best to help formally terminate the grieving process and remove the cross/memorial marker for all accidents on the first anniversary of the incident. The family and friends can have a memorial service at the site and take it down in a dignified procedure. That would mean we wont after fifty years have death markers littered all over the show and also helps all involved "move on" and put it behind them. I would recommend a one year presence for these things in any protocol that Transit or local councils may develop. Or do they do this already?

    At 1/2/06 1:12 pm, Blogger Mark said...

    Agreed re mourning, respect etc for rahui. But doesn't rahui also have a spiritual aspect and that spirituality is imposed on other members of the community? I also understand that a rahui is kept in force even after the body is found and I suggest this is not done for practical reasons, but for spiritual ones.
    Of course, I could be talking out of my backside here. But I think you need to be consistent with your vehement dislike of religion having regard to your empathy with tikanga. I would also assume that if the Ratana Church was to put forward opinions based of its religion, you would likewise disregard them.

    At 1/2/06 2:18 pm, Blogger Mark said...

    D'oh! I see that you have made previous comments re Ratana.

    At 1/2/06 5:44 pm, Blogger Lucyna said...

    Tim, I've been trying to find something that could summarise why Islam is a death cult.

    Prophet of Doom is written by a guy who met with Islamic terrorists to try and understand why they attacked the US, and then researched Islam's holy books to discover that Islam itself is what inspired the terrorists. Islam is spread by terror and death, that is what Jihad is. Jihad is the most important thing a "good" Muslim can do. Islamic holy books are filled with exhortations to conquer, murder, rape and plunder. Quite unlike any religion that is called a religion today. The entire book is available online to read and has many, many quotes from the Islamic holy books to back up my claims of it death cult.

    At 1/2/06 5:45 pm, Blogger Lucyna said...

    .. backup my claims of it *being* a death cult.

    At 2/2/06 11:41 am, Blogger Rich said...

    To summarize then:

    Tim: all belief systems other than the Maori traditions are evil and should be suppressed.

    Lucyna: Islam is evil and should be suppressed. All other belief systems are ok.

    Ever heard of tolerance? (Just tolerating things you agree with isn't tolerance)

    At 2/2/06 11:47 am, Anonymous RR said...

    Tolerate those who don't tolerate you back?

    At 2/2/06 12:28 pm, Blogger Lucyna said...

    Rich, all other belief systems are not OK. Satanism is not ok. All those wonderful old religions that regularly sacrificed people to their gods are not ok.

    Yes, I have heard of tolerance. Tolerance must have limits. Or are you advocating tolerance without limits?

    At 2/2/06 3:20 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

    Rich: I'm saying:

    1. The State should not have any religious ceremonies (eg. the parliamentary prayer).
    2. Cultists are still free to be cultists; but the Sate should not be encouraging them, non-cultists should not be encouraging them, we should not change the rules to suit cultists and cults. Coercive practices of cults need to be firstly acknowledged (that it has gone beyond an individual belief to a system of control and oppression esp. over children and vulnerable younger men and women) and secondly that the cults be acted against - by the law if necessary.
    3. I don't even know if I understand what "spiritual" is and how that may differ from religion so when people use that word interchangeably I'm not sure what it is and whether that should be tolerated or not.
    4. If we are to tolerate cults and religion I would prefer that they be indigenous (not necessarily Maori) - and stem from us rather than foreign ideas for foreign people, propogated usually by foreigners and accountable or controlled by foreigners (eg. Catholics, Islam, Judiasm and just about everything - even Ratana and Ringatu are still based on Christianity).
    5. The key to undermining cults is secular education - that is why it is especially distressing to see cults muscling into state schools.

    At 2/2/06 5:05 pm, Blogger Rich said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    At 2/2/06 5:06 pm, Blogger Rich said...

    The limits of tolerance are when people start doing serious harm to others. If I wanted to engage in Satanist rituals amongst consenting adults then I consider that my business. If I take it to human sacrifice then that's murder, and we have laws about that.

    If for instance, a muslim kid wants to break away from their parents religion we have CYFS and stuff to try and balance their rights. Which is always messy, but there's no other good way of doing it.

    What you authoritarians seem to forget is that if a person commits a wrong, then ultimatly that's their own moral responsibility and no-one elses. When the state commits a wrong, then in a democracy we are all culpable.

    Throwing refugee children in concentration camps because their parents have the "wrong" religion (which is what your desire to control immigration leads to) is something that (would) taint us all.

    At 4/2/06 1:03 am, Blogger t selwyn said...

    The privileges that our society ascribes to cultists are usually inconsistent with the rules which our society expects everyone else to adhere. The following example is one I witnessed myself in the Auckland District Court: A muslim lawyer in full Pakistani-style garb wears a turban sort of hat - he asks the defendants before the court to remove their hats! Hypocrisy and double standards all round. So because he is a cultist he is allowed an exemption from the rules? What makes his hat any different from anyoner else? One rule for all? This seems like an example of respecting religion and disrespecting the court - the fact the court doesn't interpret the act as disrespect is unfortunate. Or is it "cultural" rather than religious? Either people are allowed to wear headgear or not. "My baseball cap is an intergral to my cultural and religious beliefs, your honour... - well it worked for the foreign guy."


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