Christian theology and spirituality has a lot of myths and misconceptions about it in popular culture.
2020.10.25 01:48 Anglicanpolitics123 Christian theology and spirituality has a lot of myths and misconceptions about it in popular culture.
I have posted about the myths of Christian history. This one is about the myths of Christian theology. Part of these are just things that are flat out wrong. Others are over-generalisations. And sometimes Christians themselves can perpetuate these myths. (i)Christian doctrine teaches an old man who lives in the sky
(ii)Omnipotency in Christianity means God can do absolutely anything
- There are some people, religious and non religious, who think Christian doctrine teaches you to believe in an old sky father or old man in the sky. That's a false understanding of the classical Christian view of God.
- The classical Christian view articulated by people like Thomas Aquinas and Paul Tillich is God is the pure act of being itself. So he's not an old man living in a particular location in the cloud. He's the ground of existence itself. That's what Christianity means by God.
(iii)You have to believe Jesus died as a human sacrifice to satisfy an angry God.
- This is another misconception. And you see this misconception in questions like "can God create a rock so large he himself couldn't lift it". The classical Christian understanding of omnipotency as defined by people like Aquinas is that God can do everything that is consistent with his nature. C.S Lewis in Problem of Pain defines it that God can do anything that is intrinsically possible.
- With these definitions, to be blunt, it means that there are certain things God can't do by nature. God can't not exist if he's the source and ground of existence. God by nature can't authorise something evil because his attribute is the "summum bonum"(Supreme Good). God not being able to do certain things isn't a contradiction to the doctrine of omnipotency because as I said, in Christian theology omnipotency has a specific definition.
(iv)You have to believe in the hereditary guilt of everyone to believe Original Sin.
- This particular view is called Penal Substitution. It is held by Calvinists and Conservative Evangelicals. Many people however assume it is the normative view on how Christian theology understands the crucifixion of Christ. It isn't.
- In Christian theology there is the concept of 'Atonement theory'. There are at least 6 different theories or perspectives on the atonement including the Moral influence theory, Christus Victor, Satisfaction theory, etc. The Penal Theory was developed in the 1500s in Calvinist circles. Meaning before the 1500s it was never preached and even after it's only held by a select group of people. The Orthodox Church doesn't believe it. The Catholic Church doesn't believe it. Even many Protestant Churches don't hold to it except something. So there is nothing in Christian doctrine that requires you to hold to this view.
(v)You have to believe Hell is a literal torture chamber
- Basically you have to believe that everyone inherited Adam's guilt in order to believe in the doctrine of Original Sin. This is a particular understanding of Original Sin that has it's roots in Augustinianism but it's not a universal one. The Orthodox Church in the East never accepted it.
- They viewed Original Sin more as an ancestral sin. Essentially it's like someone who poisons a well. The villagers who get sick from the well poisoning aren't guilty of their condition. But they do need treatment and healing for their condition. This is the perspective of Ancestral sin. In recent times the Catholic Church too has moved to a more Ancestral Sin view and so have other theologians in other traditions like mine. So believing in hereditary guilt is not a requirement to be a Christian.
(vi)You have to be a religious exclusivist
- Basically the idea is that Hell is a Divine Auschwitz. And God's gonna throw the majority of humanity there. That is often times the pop culture image of hell.
- For many of the saints and mystics that's not the vision of hell they had. They spoke about hell as a state of being or a state of existence. It's an existential condition. Not a physical one. St Isaac the Syrian describes it as a conscience burning with bitter regret, a bitter regret produced because they committed the ultimate sin. The sin against love.
- St Isaac uses the analogy of someone who has been unfaithful to a partner they are in a committed relationship with and then they have to come face to face with that person. There is a tremendous amount of pain and that pain burns the heart. It's that pain that someone feels when they commit the "sin against Love". This view of Hell as being an existential condition was also supported by Martin Luther and John Calvin. And it's a view rooted in the understanding that the Biblical texts are using symbolic imagery when speaking of hell.
(vii) You have to accept Biblical Inerrancy to believe in Biblical inspiration
- This one basically is you have to believe everyone outside your own religion is gonna burn in hell to be a Christian. So you have think anyone who isn't a Christian cannot be saved.
- There definitely are Christian exclusivist but that is not a required theological position. In my school of thought Anglican thinkers such as Charles Gore and C.S Lewis himself has spoken of an inclusive position to people of other faith traditions. The Roman Catholic Church, especially since the 2 Vatican Council has taken an inclusivist position to people of other faiths outside Christianity.
(viii)You have to accept Biblical Literalism
- This one is basically you have to think that every page of the Bible inerrant to believe it is the inspired word of God. Inerrancy is largely a modern doctrine developed in the 19th century and it became codified in conservative evangelical circles in 1978 at the Chicago conference.
- Inerrancy was not accepted by many prominent Christian theologians in good standing like C.S Lewis, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, etc.
- I have posted on this before but sort of like Biblical inerrancy, people assume that one has to accept every word of the Bible as being literal in order to be a good Christian. Not the case.
- Fundamentalism as a movement did not emerged until the 19th century in conservative American Protestant circles. In the Patristic and Medieval Periods it was very common for people to read the Biblical texts allegorically. In fact one of the criticisms of the Protestant reformers was that the Medieval thinkers were using the allegorical reading excessively.
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2020.10.17 03:12 AceofSkulls Baptism
(Plz minor to little judgement) so my best friend has asked my partner and myself to play a major roll as the godparents to their child. The issue is that we’re Pentecostal dedicated but not baptized as our religion encourages us to be baptized later in life. Now their church requires the god parents to be baptized Anglican and my church has no issues with us being baptized out of the church so long as it’s Christian. My question is how do I approach the Anglican priest (pastor??) about it?
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2020.10.12 22:03 MaleficentLight111 Could we get married by an Anglican priest (in U.S. or Greece), if my fiance is not baptized?
Hi, all. I hope I can ask this clearly enough to be understood. My partner and I plan to get married in the not so distant future (don't have a set time frame, yet), and I am exploring ideas. Ideally, I would like to elope, as in private ceremony for the two of us, and I think I might prefer to do so in Greece. We live in the U.S. It is important to me to be married in a Christian ceremony.
I was baptized in the United Methodist Church many years ago. I started attending a local Anglican church about two years ago, although it has admittedly been on and off. My partner was raised in a Catholic family and attended mass, but as part of a military family, he moved a lot, and somehow he was never baptized. He has expressed interest in getting baptized now, but he did not have a good experience when he reached out to the local Catholic church about it and kind of gave up.
Although he would ideally like to get married in a Catholic ceremony (and I would be fine with that), we can't, since he is not baptized. I believe he is willing to try going through the process to get baptized again, despite the bad luck he had the first time, but I don't know how long the process would take and if it would take longer than the date we ultimately decide to marry on, if that makes sense. He is only interested in getting baptized in the Catholic church, due to that being his late mom's wish. So if we were to explore being married in the Anglican church instead, could we do this before he gets baptized, since I am baptized? I have been trying to research this online, and it sounds as though only one party must be baptized.
I feel our options would be:
1.) Get married in an Anglican ceremony in Greece (if allowable in our circumstance)
2.) Get married in an Anglican ceremony in the U.S. (if not allowable in Greece but allowable in U.S.) and then do a symbolic ceremony in Greece
3.) Get married in a civil ceremony in Greece and have our marriage blessed by a priest after he ultimately gets baptized, if we can't have a religious ceremony with only one baptized person
Thanks for any insight!
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2020.10.07 04:45 Truth-Willout This is what pops into the bored mind.
I’ve seen it mentioned a few times here, how Dwreck met Jill by seeking out J’Boob as his ‘prayer partner,’ now, what the frack is a ‘prayer partner?’ I’ve never heard of this, and while I’m an atheist, I was brought up C of E, or High Anglican Church. Is this a fundie thing? Why would you seek out someone you don’t know to do this with, is it like a MLM? You have to recruit as many people to pray with as possible or is it what initially popped into my head, a fundie tinder?
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2020.09.25 00:58 convertthrowaway1231 How Would you feel about a Convert Rabbi?
Hi all. I have no idea if this is the appropriate place for this question--redirect me as necessary. Also, this kind of ran away from me a bit--there's a TL;DR at the bottom.
I should say straight out that, while I have my undergraduate degree in comparative religion, that was some time ago so I want to recognize that I'm coming into this with some ignorance. I don't talk about this kind of thing on the internet too often, so I'm putting some trust in my fellow redditors here (usually a bad idea). Here goes:
A bit about me, for those who care.
I'm in my late twenties. My partner and I have been dating for nearly 7 years. She's born and raised Reform, I grew up Episcopalian in the Rust Belt. You've probably heard a version of this story before.
My partner and I both acknowledge that marriage is becoming less of a possibility and more of a happy inevitability, which raises questions of things further down the line. You guessed it: conversion.
I've struggled with the idea for a while. I was lucky to grow up in an Episcopalian denomination which encouraged "radical hospitality"--effectively saying that "our rules don't need to be your rules." Everyone's personal journey in faith was accepted--what worked for some did not necessarily need to work for all, but all were welcome around the altar. As a result, my own personal faith-journey has landed me in something of an "all rivers run from the same source" mindset with respect to one's faith/religion/etc. I can go into greater detail about my perspectives if people have questions but, as for the Jesus thing, I think (if he existed), he must have been a pretty swell guy and a hell of a grass-roots organizer, but I don't personally accept evidence that he was anything more than human.
I've discussed this at length with my partner, who has stressed to me that my personal faith perspectives are not at odds with the Reform congregations in which she was brought up. More recently, my attitude towards the prospect of conversion has become something closer to "the world needs more Jews right now than it does Episcopalians.", and I'm enthusiastic at the prospect of taking this journey--especially for the person who completes me. However, there's a bit of a wrinkle.
The Problem: I have delusions of grandeur
My father is a physician--that's his "day job". In his early 50s, when I was around 10, he began the process of ordination as an Episcopal Priest. Seeing my father grow into his role as a priest inspired me. The faith aspect of the role struck me as seeming less important than the role a clergy member plays in a community. I am working toward my own secular career at the moment, but since my youth I have always held somewhere in the back of my brain the intent to act as how I saw my father: a person, often a leader, in a community whose role is to provide guidance, be it spiritual, ethical, or personal, in whatever capacity they can for their flock. I knew early on that I wanted to do that. I want to provide for whatever my community turns out to be in that same way.
So as I more seriously consider the conversion process, with all the work and care that goes into it, the thought has naturally occured to me: "well, I still want to pursue a role as clergy someday". However, I am aware on at least a basic level that the process of ordination in a Protestant Christian capacity is a completely different ball game than studying to become a rabbi. To be honest, I don't even know the degree to which convert-rabbis are a thing among the big three denominations, though it strikes me that Reform would be the most likely to accept the idea of the three.
Beyond considering even the possibility, the reality of what that would mean also comes into focus. I am Episcopalian because a few hundred years ago a self-important monarch wanted a divorce, and he spearheaded a new form of Christianity to permit that. Being the monarch, it became the state religion, and whomever my ancestors were back then followed suit. I love and respect the Episcopal church as it currently exists. It's grown from Anglicanism to beocme something (on the whole) much more inclusive and forward-thinking than just about any Christian denomination out there. But it is not an ethnicity. It is not baked in with a culture containing thousands of years of collective trauma, triumph, and growth.
What I'm getting at here is, no matter how great I am as a convert, I'll always be a newbie by comparison. Even as a rabbi who has studied for the role, what could or would I possibly have to offer a congregation of people who have held this identity since their birth?
Maybe I'm putting a cart before the horse, here. I know that I should think about this one step at a time--conversion first, the rest later. But the call to something more is going to remain. It has for 17+ years so far. Would you care to hear the words of a rabbi who has co-opted this identity for less than one quarter of the time you've lived it? At worst, would it be appropriative?
Thanks in advance for any input given, here. This was way too long, but honesty typing all this out has helped me get some of this sorted internally, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I can't exactly go meet with a rabbi during COVID, and most of what my partner has to offer is "I think it would be fine".
TL;DR: I am looking into converting for my partner, but I have always felt called to clergy. I am concerned that a convert-rabbi would seem disingenuous to a congregation of Jews who have held this identity, with all its privileges and setbacks, since birth. Assuming I convert, and I study to become a rabbi further down the line, would I have anything to offer a congregation? Would you care to hear what a convert-rabbi has to say about Torah?
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2020.09.11 04:01 PodgeYarn I want to convert, but I'm scared I've broken too many rules to be allowed in.
Hello, In short, on my long road to Catholicism I stopped off at a whole host of religions. From witchcraft, to paganism, gnosticism, satanism, and many types of protestantism. I'm over the course of my religious journey I committed many mortal sins, the most grievous of which range from blasphemy to idolatry. I'm worried that I won't be able to join the Church due to this long list and mucky past.
I started as a very loose protestant and had considered joining the Church in the past due to a misplaced love of the pomp and circumstance of it. I had never done any reading, never read the bible, didn't know the reasons behind any of the traditions. I think I just liked the structure of it. At the time I was suspicious of the church due to me thinking it anti-feminist, anti-choice, and highly patriarchal, I really can't think of much I agreed with it on looking back.
A mix of feeling like God sounded like an abusive partner and suddenly losing my priest resulted in me becoming disenfranchised with Christianity as a whole for a long time. Theres a strong pull for women my age to try witchcraft and so like a lot of ladies I know, including my roommate and a few close friends, I did too. Originally my anger at God had me looking at occult and Goetic practices, but eventually I moved on to Norse Heathenry. I did that for years, but it felt flat. Yes it was ritualistic, lot of offerings and spells and candles, but there was no meat to it. Still, like a lot of my friend group I continued to mock christianity and refused to listen to anything that agreed with it.
Eventually I took a religion class that made Christianity sound like it had something. My professor brought in elderly people from our local parish to explain their religious views. It was beautiful and inspiring. But I still wasn't ready to listen. My kid brother is actually what brought me back. He asked me to read him his favorite Old Testament stories. So I found my told bible and did. And then I didn't put it away. It just sat on my desk for months. And when I moved out, I had the odd feeling I should bring it with me.
Eventually I felt moved to read it. What I found was the gorgeous faith and promises those elderly guest speakers had eluded to. I broke down crying a few pages into Matthew. I begged forgiveness and decided to move back to Christianity. Unlike anything else I had found, this book had Truth. It had answers, it was filled with love and mercy. I broke my idols, threw away my crystals and tools, let my pagan friends take books. I was done with that for good, I had found my home.
From their I looked into a variety of christian beliefs. Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, UCC, but they all lacked something. I found that only Catholicism echoed the teachings of the Bible, had apostolic succession to back its claims, and had centuries of theory and history and authority.
I so desperately want to join the Church. I did some reading and found a lot of what I've done to be mortal sins. But I'm held back by the feeling that I've broken too many rules already. As if I've excommunicated myself before entering its doors.
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2020.09.07 18:03 SilentRansom Have you been able to let go of anger?
I was, like many of you reading this, born and raised in church. My grandparents were Pentecostal pastors, my parents became evangelical pastors when I was around 10. This has been my entire life.
Serving the church, all of my hobbies, passions, and ambitions were for and in the church. I was so excited then, so ready to go on some grand adventure with god. I constantly read theology, faux-sperational books by mega church pastors, CS Lewis, you name it. I was convinced that working in the church was my destiny, that it was supposed to be me and my parents saving the world from hell. That I would one day, take over the church and lead it just like my father, just like the mega church pastors I admired and envied.
There were so many things I didn’t do. I didn’t drink or go to parties. I didn’t cuss or really even hang out with many people, even friends I had in school were second to the work I felt I was here to do.
I was passionate about music, becoming a worship leader full time, making a little bit of money from it. But music was always a means to an end, it wasn’t ever about expressing things I felt and wanted to explain with art. I played music in order to worship god, and lead others in doing that as well.
I’ve avoided things that I feel would hurt my parents reputation, things I saw as “ruining my witness”. I specifically remember playing a cover of a song that mentioned wine in it. My mother told me I needed to make some decisions about how I wanted to be seen by the world, so I never played that song again.
Now, all these years later, I still worry about things like that, despite the fact that I’m not Christian, despite the fact that the church ripped my family apart, and took joy in watching the pain that was left.
People show up to my job to try and get me to come back to the church, back to Jesus. I don’t really have social media because of the constant hounding and harassment from my fathers and grandparents’ church.
I’m angry. I don’t smile much, except when I’m with my partner. She and I live a solitary life.
Everyone I know is Christian. I live in a very conservative part of the US. I could throw a rock in any direction and hit a church. I literally cannot escape the constant reminders of my past.
I tried staying with Jesus in the beginning of my deconstruction. I went to different churches, switched denominations (Anglican/Episcopalian), even after I left church, I tried to hold on to Jesus with everything in me. After a while, I had to let go of him as well.
I spend days in a furious and sad anger. I pace my apartment, cursing the people in those churches. I fantasize about telling them off, and in my darkest moments, committing violence against them. I am not a violent person. I’ve never even been in a fight.
I’m desperate to get this hatred off of me. It sticks to me like a stench, like a rash that slowly closes my throat.
If you’ve let go of anger, made peace with your past, how did you do it? How did you move on?
I’m sorry for the length of this post, and the uncomfortable, disorganized structure of it. I never write like this, but I let myself be honest for once.
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2020.08.28 00:14 Pilgorepax RC to Anglican inquiry. Feeling uncomfortable in the roman catholic church these days. Thinking about becoming Anglican, but I have a lot of hurdles to get there.
I came back to the RC Church over 3 years ago after living between 12/13 - 21 as an atheist (I flirted with Buddhism and Islam for a time in between). I've been a devout RC ever since, and I dedicated 2 years to trying to become a friar. Ever since that feel apart, I've been battling with a good number of spiritual and worldly problems with RC church.
There seems to be a narrow view of social issues and political issues, at least in my RC community. I seem to be the only one outside of the conservative spectrum. I think the church doesn't always practice what it preaches, and remains flimsy on certain beliefs for the sake of converts. As my friend says, "the catholic church doesn't have a social conscious outside of pro-life and soup kitchens". I feel that the RC church helps the poor sometimes just to say "hey! Look at what we're doing. We're the good guys" but I guess that could go for every Christian denomination. If you're not conservative, then you're a borderline heretic, or at least that's what it feels like. Pope Francis is not taken seriously by the majority of catholics in my opinion. Also I'm rather heavily involved in my diocese, and I've made a lot of friends in the church. I feel that I would likely be somewhat ostracized if I leave.
In my country, all federal political party's left of centre or liberal have forbidden their federal politicians from voting for pro-life initiatives. Although I have a personal issue with legislating morality, this means that if you're catholic, you can only vote conservative, under threat of excommunication due to indirectly voting for pro-choice laws (although the excommunication would never happen). I don't vote on ethical and political grounds, but these rules keep me further ostracized.
I can't wrap my head outside of theology outside of the RC church. Of course, I know Anglicans do believe in a lot of what roman catholics do. I guess I could become an anglo-catholic, but that even seems difficult. The RC church has me rather convinced on transubstantiation, the sacrament of reconciliation (which I love), and the RC church being the "true church", just to name a few. The emotional repercussions from becoming a "heretic" is real for me.
I enjoy devotional practices. Such as eucharistic adoration, the brown scapular, devotion to the sacred heart, the Jesus prayer, rosary, divine mercy chaplet, reading about the saints and asking for their intercession and more. I couldn't imagine giving up all of these.
My grandparents, who are the only other practicing Christians in my family, and are diehard roman catholics, are the rock of my life. They're basically my parents. I could never openly been an Anglican in front of my family.
About 2 months ago, I entered into a chaste relationship with another man. I'm basically living out a hidden life amidst my RC friends, family and the priests I know. I'm not sure that I can be a part of a church that believes that I'm inherently evil because of my bisexuality. My sexuality isn't a huge concern for me, and neither is it to my partner. We're very private people. But I do believe in a person not deceiving themselves. I think the devil wants people to pretend and deceive themselves. Of course that falls into the discussion of closeted homosexual RC priests, which I think is an absolute tragedy.
I'm just shooting out thoughts here. If anyone has any good advice or resources for me, I'd be extremely happy to hear you out or take a look at what resources you send. I'll be meeting or calling an awesome Anglican deacon I know in the next few weeks to talk about everything.
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2020.08.25 10:41 HerrNoviomagus "Remarriage" after civil divorce
It is my understanding that C.S. Lewis wife Joy Davidman was married with William Gresham in a civil "marriage" and divorced him over infidelity and abuse. Both of them where atheists when they married. Because Lewis did not recognise a civil marriage between two atheists as a sacrament, he was convinced that he could still marry her in the Church (the Anglican Church that is).
Is Lewis right? Let's say that two atheists with no intention of having eternal vows marry each other before a civil authority and one of the partners converts to Christianity. Could he or she still receive the sacrament of marriage (or in other words is the atheist civil marriage invalid in the eyes of the Catholic Church)?
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2020.08.23 08:24 jw_mentions /r/AmItheAsshole - "AITA for snapping at my roommate for pushing Intermittent Fasting & Low-Carb diets to us?"
I am a bot!
Please send NotListeningItsABook
a private message with any comments or feedback on how I work. EDIT: As of Mon Aug 24 23:19:13 UTC 2020, the post is at [2924pts14c]
Post Body: Let me get this out: I fucking loathe diets. I was forced onto my first diet when I was 6 and I had a tummy. Weighed every morning, sent with tiny portions to school, forced into after school sports, always on a new diet. Thanks, Mom. Did I ever learn about portion sizes, calories, etc? No, of course not. But I make a mean cabbage soup.
I'm 28, 5'2" and 150lbs, heavily active. I just don't count calories, don't restrict, don't diet, at all. If I want it, I'll eat it. I'm fuckable, that's all that matters to me.
So a new gal, Kris, moved into our house with me and three other women. The rest of us have lived together for 2-4 years depending, we all get along.
Immediately, Kris started evangelizing her diets to us. IF, Low Carb, supplements, etc. She wore down two of the other women who were willing to try, essentially, skipping breakfast and bread. I just said "Nah, not for me."
She started ramping it up. When I'd make breakfast in the morning, she's come into the kitchen and make faces and go on and on about how she can't believe anyone still eats breakfast, it would make her nauseous all day, don't I feel gross and bloated eating all that bread, etc etc. I was very grey rock with her and said things like "No." "Doesn't bother me." "I like it."
When it was clear she wasn't getting through to me, she amped up. She would bring it up when we were all hanging out, saying things like "It's soooo hard when you have people who aren't supportive cooking bacon and eggs at 8am."
At one point, I said "Hey, are you trying to tell me I'm fat? You make a lot of weird comments about what I'm eating and when."
She denied it and was like "Oh I'm SOOOOOO sorry if you felt offended."
Anyway, I was cooking up a breakfast sandwich for myself when she came in and sat at the table sipping black coffee and she folded her arms and said, "You know, there are all kinds of studies saying that the whole 'breakfast is the most important part of the day' was just a marketing tactic to sell certain items."
I said "Okay."
"You don't have to eat breakfast, you know."
"I like it."
"But does your body really NEED it? You should listen to your body and do what it needs, not what you want. Keto can help you deal with all the extra cravings and-"
At that point, I was 200% done. I said "Kris, shut the fuck up about your shitty diet. I don't care. I have never cared. Stop trying to force this dogshit down my throat. I'm only going to say it one more time, and if I have to again, it'll be the start of me starting the process of kicking you out. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. About. Your. Diet. No. One. Cares."
She went off stomping calling me a mean brat, unsupportive, etc etc. I'm also, I guess, a fat acceptance body positive poisoner or whatever. One of the other roommates, who quit IF after like two weeks, is with me. The other thinks I just created drama. AITA?
Related Comments (14):
Answered the door to a pair of
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|Author ||EntirelyOutOfOptions || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 01:52:11 UTC 2020 || |
|Score ||698 ||as of Mon Aug 24 23:19:12 UTC 2020 |
|Conversation Size ||88 || |
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Jehovah’s Witnesses while wearing only a towel once. They were undeterred.
I had a pair of
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|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 04:29:03 UTC 2020 || |
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JW's turn up in my back yard one day and hang around for 10 minutes while I continued dissecting a dismembered horses hoof (it was just the lower leg, not the entire horse!)...
Used to be
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|Author ||TurkishSuperman || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 14:48:29 UTC 2020 || |
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a JW, encountered many people at the doors who were atheist or Catholic and we even were taught ways to hold conversation with either (like asking atheists what made them decide there was no God, or if they just always believed that). I have a feeling you're either exaggerating, omitting, or just happened to encounter a couple of mentally unstable ones (which, to be fair, there were soooo many of)
I had a neighbor who was a few mental issues. He chased a group of
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|Author ||Pyesmybaby || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 03:25:48 UTC 2020 || |
|Score ||213 ||as of Mon Aug 24 23:19:12 UTC 2020 |
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JW's down the street screaming that he was Satan. He passed a few years ago and they have just started coming back to our street. I miss Neil sometimes.....
Best way to get them to go away is to tell them you are an
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|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 05:27:21 UTC 2020 || |
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apostate. They can’t talk to
apostates and they skitter away. Can even get signs posted to make it less likely they even knock. Lol. Best way to deter them.
The last time I had
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JWs knock on my door, I'd just brought my Cocker Spaniel puppy home from her first obedience class and given her a bath. One wet pair of friendly pawprints on their knees and I never saw them again.
When my mom came here from India as a young bride, she didn't know anything about
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Jehovah's Witnesses, so she invited them in.and served them tea as a polite host should do. They we're thrilled because they thought they had fresh meat. They started on their speeches and stuff, and my equally naive father thought that this was a genuine sharing of experiences and a fun exchange of religious ideas. So he started telling them all about Hinduism and the Bhagavad Geeta and stuff. They never showed up again.
I had some
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|Author ||Unicornmadeofcorn || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 10:06:33 UTC 2020 || |
|Score ||3 ||as of Mon Aug 24 23:19:12 UTC 2020 |
|Conversation Size ||0 || |
|Body ||link || |
jehovas witnesses that were these sweet little old ladies. I said I was Catholic (raised, I guess I'm more agnostic now), we had a nice 15 minute discussion about God and family, they gave me a pamphlet and went on their way. Haven't had them back for over a year, so they either gave up on our area entirely or marked me off the list for visits. Didn't even have to ask.
On my 3rd birthday my mum told them she really aint got time for even trying to listen to them with two children that small...
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|Author ||baewcoconutinmyarms || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 06:18:29 UTC 2020 || |
|Score ||21 ||as of Mon Aug 24 23:19:12 UTC 2020 |
|Conversation Size ||0 || |
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They asked when she will have time
She said they should try again in 10 years or so..
They have to have a list because my 13th birthday was the next time they came
We moved twice and lived
door to door with some
jehovahs witnesses for 5 years during that time
Answering the door with no bra just gets you more missionaries according to my little sister. The Mormons kept coming back with more (young male) partners. The
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|Author ||christikayann || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 04:00:52 UTC 2020 || |
|Score ||16 ||as of Mon Aug 24 23:19:13 UTC 2020 |
|Conversation Size ||1 || |
|Body ||link || |
JW's started sending over middle aged or older females (probably to protect their sons/husbands from the awful half naked heathen)
Reminds me of a story my Arab ex-boyfriend once told me. He'd just moved to this country and encountered some Mormon missionaries who asked him if he was up for a discussion about religion and faith. Being a friendly and social guy he said sure and planned an evening where his 'new mates' could come to his house for a fun cultural exchange. Brought out his Quran, showed them the prayer mat and happily talked about growing up in a Muslim country. During the night he slowly started realising that the missionaries were, in fact, trying to convert him to Mormonism. Unlike the
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|Author ||RavishingRoses || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 12:03:30 UTC 2020 || |
|Score ||15 ||as of Mon Aug 24 23:19:13 UTC 2020 |
|Conversation Size ||1 || |
|Body ||link || |
JWs your parents encountered these ones didn't give up so quickly and continued calling him for about a year
Got to enjoy my friend answering the door to a pair of
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|Author ||TheBardDidIt || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 05:58:24 UTC 2020 || |
|Score ||17 ||as of Mon Aug 24 23:19:13 UTC 2020 |
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JWs after a night at a fetish ball. Still in full gear. Makeup a mess from crashing into the couch. Superb.
Telling them with a straight face that you're a witch is also pretty effective most of the time. (Source - am pagan.) If that doesn't work, I also went to seminary, so I could technically probably out-Bible them, but I wouldn't bother. Easier to just tell them to get the fuck off my porch.
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|Author ||hermionesmurf || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 08:31:37 UTC 2020 || |
|Score ||11 ||as of Mon Aug 24 23:19:13 UTC 2020 |
|Conversation Size ||0 || |
|Body ||link || |
Also helpful to live in the bush in Tasmania. If I got
a JW or what have you here, I'd just be impressed they managed to find me.
You don't need something weird like that to get rid of
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|Author ||sisterofaugustine || |
|Posted On ||Sun Aug 23 09:24:36 UTC 2020 || |
|Score ||30 ||as of Mon Aug 24 23:19:13 UTC 2020 |
|Conversation Size ||0 || |
|Body ||link || |
door to door missionaries, I'm Anglican and I got rid of a pair by telling them the truth.
Might have helped that I live in a former British colony, and I phrased it as "I'm actually with the Church of England, my family's descended from the British colonists, we're all quite eager to see this land returned to the English crown, we're not interested in leaving Anglicanism, but do come in for a cup of tea, I'll happily discuss church and country with you lads." They ran away screaming something about Englishmen stuck in the 1800s, I couldn't imagine why.
In truth, I hate the British Empire and I wish they'd do away with their dumb and costly monarchy, my mom's family are all descended from the Celtic Isles, and my dad's only half English, and while I am Anglican, the English stereotypes are detestable. But I figured a Proper English Protestant would scare these drips off, and it was more fun than pretending to be a Satanist or a pagan.
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2020.07.21 16:45 Akandoji PU opportunities in Early Game: Patch 1.30
Thought I might make a list of potential PU opportunities available in the early game in patch 1.30, since I got many questions on how I got PUs in my past runs. Note, T0 lasts 75 years where your dynasty spreads, T1 is a direct inheritance period and lasts for 5 years (or PU if you're small), and T2 is a succession war that lasts for 20 years.
1.) Imereti starts off with an old and heirless king. Possibly Poland, Moldavia, Theodoro or Byzantium could RM them and get the PU.
2.) Milan starts with an old and heirless ruler. His death gives Restoration of Union CBs to Austria and France. Also, its T2 period is very close to the start date (first 10 years), so an RM could grant a PU.
3.) Burgundian Inheritance obviously. Get an RM, make sure Marie gets on the throne after Charles, savescum if she dies or doesn't become heir, then get the BI. Any nation of any size can get the inheritance, although if BUR has multiple marriages, they'll choose the strongest partner.
4.) Castile tends to disinherit Enrique often, making Juan, a very old ruler, heirless.
5.) If you are a Wittelsbach (ie. Palatinate or Bavaria), Denmark (and Norway and Sweden) can be contested in a claimed throne war. Do it before they get a random event to put an Oldenburg on the throne. The Danish king is also infertile.
6.) Ladislaus von Habsburg is the same ruler in both Austria and Hungary. The Hungarian Matthias Corvinius event has a 75% chance of choosing Matthias, in which case Ladislaus will die - for both Austria and Hungary, around 1455. This is by far the easiest (and only) way to fight for an Austrian PU (without the Spanish mission) early game. Friedrich III tends to be in his mid-40s in this time.
7.) Bohemia can be claimed via RM, then claim throne CB. Pretty textbook.
8.) Like Austria, Brandenburg has Friedrich II and Albert Achilles, both of whom are quite old (I believe just 1 year apart). So if Achilles dies early (happens quite often), Brandenburg doesn't get the Ansbach succession, but also often lands in a succession war stage, where you can just wait it out.
9.) Aragon can end up in a succession war if Joan II dies before Alphonse V. Happens rarely compared to the previous opps - I've seen Aragon lose Naples often.
10.) Byzantium is in T1 from 1455-1460, assuming no HRE Emperors have died and no Curia Controllers have changed. Meaning inheritable. Their ruler is old enough, he dies often, to be replaced by Konstantinos, who's often heirless.
11.) Muscovy tends to not marry many folks in the late game, leading to a late game Russia PU very often.
Now for mission PUs, which are by far the best way to get PUs through CBs (since the reqd war score is always only 60%):
1.) Austria has PU missions on Bohemia, Hungary, Poland, Milan, Bavaria and Naples
2.) Burgundy gets PU missions on all electors for 50? years, if they are refused entry into the empire.
3.) Provence gets PU missions on Hungary, Aragon and Naples.
4.) England gets a PU mission on France.
5.) Netherlands gets a PU mission on England/GB if it turns Anglican.
6.) Savoy gets a PU mission on France (after eating up a ton of French territory).
7.) Bohemia gets PU missions on Poland (thus Lithuania too) and Hungary. They get Subjugation missions on Brandenburg and Saxony, which I don't really like since the AE is insane.
8.) France gets a PU mission on Naples and Spain. They have a subjugation mission on Poland which is good if you want to start the War of the First Coalition.
9.) Spain gets PUs on England if it turns Anglican, Portugal and Austria.
10.) Bavaria gets PU missions on Brandenburg, Palatinate and Austria (after eating up Tyrol).
11.) Lithuania gets PU missions on Poland and Muscovy.
12.) Hanover gets a PU mission on England/GB.
13.) Hungary gets PU missions on Austria, Bohemia, Poland-Lithuania and Naples.
14.) Franconia gets a PU mission over France
Note that if the target nation is a subject, you get perma claims instead, which are pretty useless tbh.
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2020.07.14 11:12 RancidWatermelon Becoming a Monk
I hope you don't mind me posting here to ask a question. Im not a Roman Catholic, but I am on the Catholic side of Anglican. Unfortunately a lot of Anglicans don't quite grasp my desire to be a monk and I've seen other conundrums from others about relationships vs the religious life and the heartache and pain caused.
I just wonder if there are any monks here, any aspirants or explorers?
I have wanted to be a monk for half my life. Im rapidly approaching the cut off point for acceptance. I am a shy, timid creature who's life has been dealt many blows. My life has stalled, and stuttered, but I have persevered. It is only relatively recently that God found me, and since then, I knew that the only thing I want to do, is to serve God.
It opens up more questions than answers. I believe that the way I am supposed to serve God, is by becoming a monk, specifically a Benedictine monk. I feel that I am a contemplative. In this busy world, in the job I do, in the life I lead, I have very few opportunities to do that. Something always needs my time.
People tell me I should be in the world but not of it, I shouldn't shut myself away behind closed doors. If God wanted me to serve him where I am, surely he would give me that peace and joy and tell me Im on the right path, he would take away the desire to become a monk, he wouldn't keep showing me signs that he wants me in the monastery. Yet if Im not happy in the world, is it selfish of me to think that I might be happier in a monastery? I know it won't get rid of problems, problems might even be amplified. But there is a peace and joy there. Why doesn't he want me to serve in the world? It would be the path of least resistance, it would be the easier option.
But I have a partner and I am unable to end the relationship. She is very emotional and I want to leave her in a good state in the hands of God. I believe God, a few years ago, gave me everything I thought I needed to be happy including the relationship. But Im not happy. I now know I must end the relationship to follow God. But I cannot. If God wanted me in the relationship, he would make me happy. If God wants me in the monastery, he would open a path allowing me to end the relationship. He's doing neither. I don't know what to do apart from pray pray pray every day and be patient.
Has anyone struggled with these or other thoughts?
I always leave something out of the post. What that something is, is that I have been discerning for about 10 to 15 years.
I've been attending various monasteries, I have a spiritual director, learning everything I can about discernment, including ignatian spirituality.
So I truly feel that this is where Im called.
I've been going through the process with the monks at one monastery, and the next step really is down to me to say goodbye to my girlfriend, sort out my finances, and become a novice. That's how far down the path I am.
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2020.07.07 17:08 seth_ellis_throw Dumped by an Evangelical --- I should have known better.
So she dumped me after about nine months, we dated from September 2019 until February 2020, on Valentines Day I asked her to be my girlfriend. So we dated for longer than we were officially in a relationship for, she dumped me in June.
So we meet in September 19, we instantly clicked and had chemistry, we had sex on the 2nd date, and probably would have had it on the first if we did not have the date in a park.
It wasn't until the third date that I mentioned religion. I told her I was non religious, and she told me she was an evangelical, "born again". Due to having previous Christian partners I didn't even question what evangelical was. I thought it was another BS arm of Christianity like Anglican or Catholic or Protestant. She basically told me that she couldn't force her faith onto me or to anyone and I didn't think her faith was such a big deal for her.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I strongly believe our time together should have been ended at this point.
I will also add that she is Portuguese, so her version of evangelism may differ from the American one. I'm in the UK.
This discussion about religion was the last we had on religion until she dumped me. At no point did she ever try to talk about any kind of religion or God to me.
Everything else in the relationship was fine.
The day before the dumping she said she couldn't wait to see me again...and have sex with me!
The day of the dumping: We had been a little wound up with each other over trivial things, because of the lockdown and not being able to see each other.
She sent me a video of some preacher preaching, I said thanks but this doesn't do anything for me.
That was it. Our relationship was over. At that moment she decided that she wanted someone who loves God as much or more than she does. Her final message to me was almost like a sermon, where she hoped that I would find God and Jesus one day, and that I will never be alone or feel hurt, and that these feelings are great. She said she'd pray that I found someone else.
She dumped me despite not having any real friends in this country, apart from me. (Or did have me) she tried to commit suicide in her teens after having a hard life, so my guess is she turned to religion because she was lonely.
She has dumped me, a real friend, in favour of her fantasy, imaginary one.
Also, why was a supposed devout "Christian" having sex outside of Marriage? She has slept with loads of guy, she said she's lost count of the number she's slept with in the past.
NEVER date an evangelical if you're atheist or non religious.
Edit: We actually met on Badoo. The least Christian online dating app there is, apart from maybe POF and Tinder!
She was the one who pushed for a relationship around November, but I wanted to wait.
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to atheism [link] [comments]
2020.07.03 16:00 etavisa123 Ajestic hill stations in Himachal Pradesh
| || | submitted by etavisa123 to u/etavisa123 [link] [comments]
Summer in India is very hot and dehydrating and May is the hottest month if compares to others, hence, nature is the only escape to beat heat and pollution. We help you to find hassle-free Indian Visa Online
. Thankfully, there are several hill stations in India
where you can visit. However, Himachal Pradesh is one of those wonderful hill stations where you can visit to beat summer in a beautiful, pleasant way. There are hill stations in both the northern and the southern parts of India—Leh Ladakh, Uttrakhand, and Himachal Pradesh
are amongst the best places to experience hill station vacation with family and partners. While the generous Himalayas welcome you to Himachal Pradesh with opening its arm wide to the lush greens, Ghats and meadow green slopes.
However, if you are gearing up for your India visit during this summer, then don’t forget to roam these wonderful tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh—
Shimla Shimla is one of the enchanting and gorgeous tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh
. It was established as the summer capital of India by the government of the British Raj. Over here, there are stunning numbers of colonial-style buildings, which are once used as office spaces, but now it has converted into resorts and hotels where you can accommodate. Shimla still has its British aura and while you are here, you will fall in love with every aspect and landmark of it. However, don’t forget to visit the Jakhoo Hills
; it is the place of polo lovers.
Manali is another amongst the best places in Himachal Pradesh where you can drop with your life-partners, friends, and family. If you want to experience the gorgeous weather of Manali, green mountains and fresh air, then you must visit from May to July; it is the best time to witness snowfall. That’s not all; you can also enjoy various activities and sports at this time. You can go for adventure sports at Solang Valley
, go for bird watching and you can also visit the old and ancient temple of the town. You can also go for trekking and camping, which starts from Kullu Manali.
Kasauli is a beautiful tourist attraction in the range of Himachal Pradesh, which was built by the British government. The Anglican Church
is one of the most important and enchanting landmarks, from here you can take a walk till Monkey Point
to witness the ethereal nature and picturesque view. The sunrise and sunset from here, give an unforgettable and surreal feeling and make you explore wide nature with your partners and friends. The gorgeous place is no short of enchanting spots. Visiting here will leave you stunned, especially when you walk down to the Gilbert trail. If you want an urgent indian visa
to travel in India, then do apply now to get an e-visa within 24 to 72 hours.
Bir happens to be the most excited and charming place in the snow slopes of Himachal Pradesh, and it is one of the best and enchanting locations for those who love parasailing. In Bir, you can find so many Buddhist monasteries in the regions of Bhattu and Chogan
. Over here, you will get engaged with the 13th-century temple of Lord Shiva. Here, you can make a wish for your grandeur life from the lord. That’s not all; you can also visit the Palampur Tea Cooperative
to witness how tea making is done. This will be a great adventure for you.
Chitkul is situated near the Indo-Chinese border of India, and thus, it is known as the last inhabited village, because now, people don’t stay here, but it has not lost its charm to tempt people to visit. The scenic beauty is stunning because the population here is less. You can enjoy nature at this point fullest, and can also explore the unexplored places. From here, you can walk to the Charan-Chitkul pass
so that you can sit near the alluring Baspa River,
and enjoy the beautiful picturesque scenery. If you are an international traveller and curious to visit India, then you need a valid India visa
to enter the country.
In this article, you have got to know about the trekking and tourist spot in Himachal Pradesh. The charm of this state will mesmerize you if you visit here with your partners and friends. So, make your list of visiting places including Himachal Pradesh this summer, and explore the hidden-gem of nature.
2020.07.01 10:59 PolyMercutio My disapproving mother sends me to despair.
After practicing non monogamy for a year, I (25m) and my partner (25f) agreed to open up to poly. I reconnected with an old friend from school days (24f) when we met on an app and have been dating her for the last couple of months. It's been really hard due to the UK lockdown since we found ourselves in a situation where none of us can touch, but we're all really happy with eachother.
My mother, however, is not. She's got Mental Health issues which I live with her to take care of, and when my situation change to poly came up she was hesitant but seemingly accepting. However, since then she's started conversations about her disapproval 4 or 5 times, she tells me how I'm hurting both of them and how as a woman she feels like I'm being a horrible person. This leaves me with so much anguish that I've taken to ending the conversation as soon as it starts (talking it out for an hour didn't seem to help) but she lets me know that she disapproves, she thinks the whole family will disapprove and it's not right.
My family isn't particularly religious (UK anglican) however I feel like they may make the same accusations towards me of stringing my partners along, especially as they all have more conservative partners. I dread them finding out but I want to let them know after lockdown and things get easier to cope with. My own Mental Health issues have spiralled since she's been making these bouts of vocal disapproval and it's affected the way I see myself and my interaction with my partners.
She asks me about it less now, but every so often she pipes up whether I'm "going to pick one after lockdown" or whether I'm "still dating" my longer term partner (25f) or if we're "just friends" now. I and my partners have made it clear to her but it's heart breaking that her mindset is so fixed.
TL;DR how do you deal with parents that won't accept the poly lifestyle? How do I tell my family?
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2020.06.28 16:26 TFilms How can I easily convert HRE princes as Anglican GB
In a game I am currently playing I am trying to make the HRE Anglican, become the emperor and then go through with with the reforms. The HRE has religious peace and the age of absolutism has just started (1611).
As a result of my interference with the HRE throughout the age of reformation I have managed to make just under 20 princes Anglican (out of approximately 60). I have got France, Burgundy and Brandenburg as PU subjects and have taken over Iberia so wars are fairly easy to win the trouble I have is a lack of cb's in order to get princes to convert. On top of that Austria is the emperor with hungry as a junior partner so any war I get into while easy becomes tiresome fairly quickly.
I have already looked through trying to declare war on minors outside of HRE with HRE allies but there are not that many and the ones that are will be hard/impossible to force convert due to high war score requirements.
Is there any way I can easily go about converting princes without too many wars, or a war that will not involve Austria? and if possible with as little AE as possible.
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2020.06.14 23:54 GodGivesBabiesFaith Conservative Parishes in Toronto?
May be moving to my wife’s hometown due to health and a growing family that is leading us to likely need more familial support. Seminary and possibly pursuing a career as a hospital chaplain has been on my mind as a possibility the past several years, and I think Wycliffe may be a good fit for me as well.
I know about the Communion Partner Bishops and the Anglican Communion Alliance, but I am having difficulty finding what parishes are sympathetic.
Would appreciate y’alls help
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2020.05.22 12:09 peter_j_ [EVENT] The 2026 Ecumenical Synod of China
With the decriminalisation of Christianity in China
in 2023, the sizeable Christian denominations in China
have been consolidating their massive congregations. With the coming out of even the most reclusive house churches, an ecumenical synod has been called, which will allow all of the denominations in China to discuss their future within the PRC. President Xi has extraordinarily allowed the Synod to take place without official Communist Party delegation, the 300 invitees having an ecclesiastical desire to ascertain the best route forward for church and state relations. Here are the Synod's proposals, and their responses:
That the Church in China should seek official representation within the Chinese Communist Party
The proposal, tabled by the Chinese Anglican Communion, seeks to have an ecumenical delegation in the CCP, representation within the party conferences, and policymaking process. Under the proposal, the Ecumenical Council would attempt to send delegates based on the size of each denomination, to liaise with the State and Party on all matters, providing a voice within the Government from the Church.
The proposal was opposed by the Roman Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations, but received backing from the Chinese Orthodox Church and the Evangelical Alliance of China, in addition to several other smaller Episcopalian, and Presbyterian denominations.
That the Church Should Seek to Establish Deeper Denominational Connections with Linked Overseas Partner Organisations
Proffered by the Chinese Orthodox Church, the principle is that Denominations should seek to establish deeper unity bonds with their denominational brother and sister churches and or Patriarchates. Seconded by the Catholics and Anglicans, as well as those Evangelical Churches with links to original sending missionary churches in other countries, the question was raised by the Lutheran Church as to whether or not deeper links of this sort would invite stricter surveillance and mistrust from the State.
They thus proposed that the proposal have a proviso to ensure that such links had no official links with other States, something rejected by both the Anglicans and Catholics.
That the Church Should Undertake a Special Missionary Focus to North Korea
Protestant denominations are pushing hard for this, though Orthodox and Quaker denominations posited that the Ecumenical Synod should not have an official position on this, since it might be interpreted as statist subterfuge. The Orthodox community voiced their concerns about proselytisation from different confessions more broadly, and it is likely the movement will not pass, though all Chinese denominations are certain to conduct considerable missionary activity to and from North Korea in the near future.
That the Church Should Forbid Ecclesiastical Leaders Whom Are Members of the CCP
A Methodist proposal, this move seeks to eliminate the tension between China's proven past of surveillance and infiltration of non state groups, and the encouraging signs received so far with regard to Christianity's new place in China. If all denominational leaders are non-CCP, then the theory went that the Church would be safer from surveillance and manipulation.
The Baptist Church countered that ostensible membership would do nothing to delineate true believers from spies, and that the rule of thumb should be Christ's parable of the wheat and tares
That the Church should agree a vow in writing not to allow the State to use it to further its agenda
No objections were raised to this motion by the Catholic Church, but privately many feel this agreement would be ineffectual in the event of real State attempts to circumvent this agreement.
That the Church should agree not to have Chinese (or other) flags in places of worship
This one was deeply divisive, with powerful voices on both sides of the disagreement. Many felt that Chinese flags in the churches would celebrate Christ's dominion over all nations, and recognise the place in Christianity for submission to earthly authorities. Others felt that flags would bring the State's authority into God's house, on a par with bringing in paraphernalia from other religions. Deep divides exist, even within single denominations on this issue.
That an Ecumenical Council be Created, to follow this Synod by Annual Meetings to Provide a Forum for Issues of mutual and Ecclesiastical Interest
No real opposition was voiced for this, though many wanted to go further with proposals to deepen the links, though most considered this premature.
That Denominations agree a Statement of Faith which Establishes all present Denominations as Part and One with the Church of Jesus Christ
Some denominations have been very cagey about this one, as no creed has yet united all the groups, and theological questions in China are just as widely promulgated as elsewhere.
That Denominations Agree Not to Undertake Polemical Stance Against Each Other, and Disavow the Monikers "Heretic, Blasphemy, Reprobate and Cult" with Regards to Each Other
This too has not gained traction, as several denominations have excommunicated each other as things stand. Whether the denominations will take on a mediated statement couching enough provisos to be palatable, remains to be seen.
That Denominations Agree to Exclude the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, and all Jewish and Muslim Groups From this Council
A couple of small denominations expressed their concern, but this is likely to be approved
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2020.05.19 04:43 lolpolice88 The land of the wrong white crowd: Growing up and living in the shadow of racism
" For much of his life, Trevor Richards has been fighting racism both here and internationally, most notably as one of the founders of HART (Halt All Racist Tours) which campaigned against New Zealand’s sporting ties with apartheid South Africa. Here he looks back at the history of New Zealand’s race relations, which was once touted (by Pākehā New Zealanders) as the best in the world.
I was one of the early baby boomers, born in South Auckland towards the end of 1946. I grew up in the north, in Kaikohe and Paihia, before heading off to university in Auckland. My teenage stamping ground was the cradle of early European settlement. Kororāreka, New Zealand’s first capital until 1841, was a short ferry ride away. Re-named Russell in 1844, I could see it from our front door. It was on the hill overlooking Kororāreka that Ngāpuhi chief Hōne Heke Pōkai and his supporters chopped down the flagstaff, not once, but four times. War followed.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where, five years earlier, Heke had signed the Treaty, was even closer to where we lived. Five minutes in the opposite direction was the site of the country’s first church. Built of raupo, it had been constructed in 1823. The church which now stands on the site was only erected in 1925, but its adjoining graveyard dates from 1826. The Mission House and the Old Stone Store in Kerikeri, New Zealand’s two oldest surviving buildings, were no more than a short Sunday afternoon drive away.
Being surrounded by all this history was great. But in school, we weren’t taught much about it — and what we were taught was a history viewed pretty much through a 19th century Pākehā lens. Growing up in the Bay of Islands felt like growing up in the middle of an old disused movie set. The props from our past were all there, and we doffed our hats in their direction on occasions, but it was as if they no longer had any real relevance to contemporary life.
Trevor, after a day of fishing.
As a Pākehā kid, I can’t recall the word “racism” being used very much. In the 1950s and 1960s, most Pākehā New Zealanders believed that our race relations were great. At Northland College in Kaikohe in the early 1960s, Prime Minister Keith Holyoake told our school assembly that New Zealand had “the best race relations in the world”. Newspapers were regularly reporting someone or other expressing such views.
Our next door neighbour in Kaikohe, a widower in his 80s, certainly believed that this was the case. One night in 1957, as we were tracking the Russian Sputnik across the night sky , he commented approvingly on a recent newspaper story praising the state of our race relations — before going on to marvel at the strength of the light the Russians had put in their satellite.
At the time, most Pākehā believed that they had been fair in their dealings with Māori, and that, if there was a problem, it was the other party in the relationship that was to blame.
For most, this wasn’t based on any real understanding. There was little or no awareness of anything indigenous. Māori history, language, culture and values were subjects for neither contemplation nor discussion. Most Pākehā wouldn’t have known the difference between a pōwhiri and a waiata.
In the days of my childhood, land confiscation and the systematic destruction and debasement of an indigenous culture were unacknowledged concepts. An awareness of the effects of English colonialism and its impact on Māori was an understanding for a future time. To many Pākehā at this time, Māori was simply “Hori” — an overweight, happy-go-lucky, not very bright character who was work-shy and drank too much. This derogatory term became more common in the 1960s as Māori became increasingly urbanised.
What often sustains racism and gives it potency is that it’s not recognised for what it is by those practising and benefiting from it. A majority culture can belittle the minority culture without thinking — without even knowing it’s doing so.
Many Pākehā (fewer now) took their privileges for granted, and were oblivious to the conditions under which Māori and other ethnic minority groups lived. The “natural order of things” often turns out to be the result of a narrow, insular, self-serving vision based on a series of unrecognised, embedded racist assumptions. Those racist assumptions can form the basis of the majority culture’s attitudinal DNA.
Trevor with his sister Shirley, parents Ruth and Wilfred, and maternal grandparents Nellie and Frederick Civil.
I don’t remember much of my early years in South Auckland. Kaikohe I remember well — which is different from saying that there was much understanding involved. TS Eliot writes in Little Gidding,
the last of his Four Quartets
, lines that first struck home when I was writing Dancing on Our Bones: New Zealand, South Africa, Rugby and Racism: We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
That observation is certainly true of my recollections of growing up in Kaikohe. Looking back, Māori were all around us, but what did we know about them and their lives? It was Pākehā who were in control and the town reflected Pākehā dominance. Māori had lived in the area for more than 500 years, but the streets and roads in the town centre were named after Europeans — Clifford, Routley, de Merle, Bisset — whoever they were.
Kaikohe was not unique. It was pretty much the same throughout the country. Irrespective of whose whakapapa dominated a particular area, the names on street signs were mostly European. In Kaikohe, some roads had descriptive names — Hillcrest, Memorial, Park, Recreation. There were some streets named after trees — Kowhai and Tawa — and yes, a few on the outer reaches of the central township did have Māori names. Hongi, Heke and Wihongi.
But, mostly, central Kaikohe was all very Pākehā, despite its history, and the significant number of Māori living in the area. There was a large Māori settlement in the west of the town on Rangihamama Rd, which most people I knew referred to simply as “Rangi Rd”. Unlike the roads in the town centre, Rangihamama Rd was bumpy, potholed and unsealed.
Most, if not all, of the retail outlets were owned and operated by Pākehā. The local council had a succession of white mayors and although there may have been Māori councillors, I don’t recall any. The town’s one picture theatre, the Regent, had two floors: upstairs and downstairs. In the years that I was at college, upstairs was one shilling and three pence, downstairs was nine pence. Upstairs had comfortable padded seats. Downstairs the seats were much less comfy. Pākehā sat upstairs. Māori sat downstairs.
That wasn’t the law — but it was the reality, the result of a mix of social convention and economic realities. At the time, I didn’t regard any of this as in any sense wrong or unfair. It was just the way it was.
Kaikohe Primary School, forms 1 and 2, 1958. Trevor is second from right, bottom seated row. Until 1969, most Māori children went to the Kaikohe Native School.
At primary school, we were taught about the arrival of Kupe, Toi and Whātonga and The Great Migration. At Northland College, we were taught about something called “The Māori Wars”. It was some time before they became known as “The New Zealand Wars”.
Fortunately, some of our teachers were living in advance of their time. In the fourth form, I recall writing an essay in which I quoted from a book, written by an early settler, which I had found on my grandfather’s bookshelf. The author was no Elsdon Best. Alongside one of the passages critical of Māori, which I had taken from the book, my teacher (Jim Gale, who, by the 1970s, was a well-known anti-racist activist) had quoted from Lear in the margin: “More sinned against than sinning.”
All power to teachers! In Kaikohe, in the 1960s, there were scarcely any others to keep the flame of liberal values alive.
Trevor, with wreath, on Anzac Day 1961.
Northland College isn’t much more than half an hour from Waitangi, and the Treaty grounds were no more than a brisk walk from our home in Paihia, where I lived during the last few years of my time at secondary school.
My first enduring memory of Waitangi was February 6, 1963. The Queen, on her second visit to New Zealand, attended celebrations at the Treaty grounds. I was part of a Boy Scout Guard of Honour which greeted her as she stepped ashore at the Waitangi jetty. I’d been told by our college principal that “this will be the most important day of your life”.
That was a build-up on which the day sadly failed to deliver. Everybody in the official party down at the jetty had just looked so uninspiring. The PM, Keith Holyoake, looked too much like New Zealand Herald
cartoonist Gordon Minhinnick’s caricatures to be taken seriously, and the Queen didn’t look that much different from many others her age that I’d seen at the Kaikohe A&P Show.
As to the actual events at Waitangi which followed, I don’t remember much about them. Platitudinous speeches are rarely memorable. I left the Treaty grounds, empty and disappointed, half wondering how I was going to get through the rest of my life if this day was its most important.
The basis of national identity is often myths and easy generalities. When it came to matters of race, this was certainly so of New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s. During those decades, assimilation was New Zealand’s official race relations policy. For most Pākehā, this meant claiming that once Māori adopted white ways and behaved like whites, they would be treated like whites. And that was it.
Assimilation was not a two-way street. Pākehā were not required to adopt or adapt to important aspects of Māori culture. For Māori, even speaking te reo was out. That was a road in the wrong direction.
Although we didn’t know it, as we baby boomers were growing up, huge changes were taking place in New Zealand society.
In 1945, the majority of Māori had lived in rural communities. Only 26 percent lived in towns and cities. By 1966, this had risen to 62 percent, and by 1986, almost 80 percent of Māori lived in towns and cities.
For Pākehā, the “golden weather” of New Zealand race relations was coming to an end. As Māori and Pākehā mixed more, the hoax of assimilation became more clear. Young Māori radicals began arguing that, for Māori, the way forward was to return to and rediscover their roots. A Māori renaissance was underway. When Ngā Tamatoa declared there was no Māori problem — “What we have is a problem with Pākehā” — many Pākehā, who hadn’t spent five minutes examining any aspect of their relationship with Māori, felt threatened.
Members of Ngā Tamatoa on the steps of Parliament Buildings, 1972. They are (from back left) Toro Waaka (Ngāti Kahungunu), John Ohia (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkenga), Paul Kotara (Ngāi Tahu), Tame Iti (Ngāi Tuhoe), and (from front left) Orewa Barrett-Ohia (Ngāti Maniapoto), Rawiri Paratene (Ngāpuhi) and Tiata Witehira (Ngāpuhi). (Alexander Turnbull Library)
I was at Auckland University when Ngā Tamatoa was formed. What Syd Jackson, Ted Nia, Tame Iti and others were talking about wasn’t all that radical. Their chief concerns were the continuing confiscation of Māori land and the rapid disappearance of their language. What was “radical” was their presentation of this message. Articulate and uncompromising, their take-no-prisoners approach signalled the beginning of a new chapter in Māori protest.
As the ‘60s became the ‘70s, the focus on race issues, both domestic and international, increased. Academics and church leaders, university students and trade unionists were speaking out.
In 1970, Eric Gowing, the Anglican Bishop of Auckland, neatly tied issues of apartheid and domestic racism together when he said “what we think about sporting contacts with South Africa depends on what we think about racism”.
In 1970, anti-apartheid organisations, including the recently formed HART (Halt All Racist Tours), churches and trade unions came together to form the New Zealand Race Relations Council (NZRRC) under the leadership of Jim Gale, my Northland College fourth form social studies teacher.
The council’s basic aim, “was to extend and promote understanding, cooperation and harmony between the races”. Honorary vice-presidents included the Māori Queen, Te Atairangikaahu, the Ombudsman, Sir Guy Powles, Cardinal McKeefry, the four Māori MPs, and two Anglican bishops (Eric Gowing from Auckland, and Walter Robinson from Dunedin). The patron was Sir Edmund Hillary.
The growing indications were that there was no way, when it came to race issues, that 1970s New Zealand was going to be quiet. I was happy to know that whatever it was that lay ahead, there was a solid base of mainstream New Zealand that had committed itself to an important set of beliefs — even if the NZRRC’s aims had been somewhat quaintly expressed.
Rob Muldoon, New Zealand’s PM from 1975 to 1984.
And so it came to pass. Dominating most of the following decade and beyond was Robert Muldoon, National’s leader during much of the Third Labour Government (1972-75) and the prime minister from 1975 to 1984. He was the chief advocate of a virulent set of racist, populist policies and an unpleasant man.
If New Zealand was going to have a prime minister with such views, I was pleased it was someone who so polarised the country. Every time he made one of his more egregious statements, more people joined the ranks of those wanting change. By the end of the decade, racism had become an issue on which the country was deeply conflicted.
Central to this growing ongoing racial division were issues of land alienation. In 1975, Whina Cooper led a highly publicised 1,000-kilometre hīkoi from Te Hāpua in the Far North to Wellington protesting against the continuing loss of Māori land.
At the time, Māori land ownership had dwindled to five percent. The hīkoi was inspirational and game-changing. The genie was out of the bottle. In the early days of 1977, activists moved on to and then occupied land at Auckland’s Bastion Point in an attempt to prevent Ngāti Whātua land coming under the control of the Crown. They remained there for 507 days.
Protests spread as far as the United Kingdom. Coinciding with the 1977 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting that was being held in London to mark the Queen’s silver jubilee, London-based HART activists, Kathy Baxter and Dave Wickham, organised protests outside New Zealand House demanding the return of Bastion Point to Ngāti Whātua.
In early 1978, another major land dispute flared up in Raglan, where local golf club authorities were planning to extend their 9-hole course to 18 by expanding over an ancient Māori burial site. The protest at Raglan and at Bastion Point were both eventually to have successful outcomes, though not before hundreds were arrested.
Looking back, on issues of race, it was not just “radicals” who were dominating the political landscape. The Third Labour Government was also making an impact. In April 1973, it cancelled that year’s Springbok rugby tour. In 1974, February 6 became known, for a brief period, as New Zealand Day.
At Waitangi that year, Prime Minister Norman Kirk’s spontaneous gesture of taking a small Māori boy by the hand as he moved to the speakers’ rostrum became a much talked about symbol of hope in the country’s future.
Not all my friends had viewed Kirk’s gesture positively — the word paternalism was heard on a number of occasions. But when I compared Waitangi 1975 with my experience of Waitangi 1963, I felt that as a country we had made some progress.
In October 1975, Labour created the Waitangi Tribunal to hear Māori claims of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, which included unresolved land disputes.
In 1976, the incoming National government entered office encouraging sporting contacts with South Africa. On the domestic race front, New Zealand Day reverted to being Waitangi Day.
In 1977, the Waitangi Tribunal convened briefly, but quickly went into recess.
In the 1970s, it wasn’t only Māori who were under attack. We’d welcomed 80,000 immigrants from neighbouring Pacific Islands when the New Zealand economy was booming and there was a shortage of labour, but couldn’t get rid of them fast enough when, by the mid-‘70s, the economy was in trouble.
The Dawn Raids, which had begun under the Third Labour Government, and intensified under the 1975 National government, focused on rounding up Pacific Islanders who had overstayed their visas. Sāmoan and Tongan overstayers were singled out. Many were stopped in the street and asked for proof of residency. At the time of these Dawn Raids, the majority of those guilty of overstaying were not citizens of New Zealand’s Pacific neighbours. They were from Australia, the UK, and South Africa — but that was okay, because they were white.
The Polynesian Panthers at a protest rally in 1971. (Photo: John Miller)
Throughout the 1970s, the two strands of New Zealand’s anti-racist struggle — domestic and international — had supported each other. HART had been formed in 1969, the year before Ngā Tamatoa. Syd Jackson and Hana Te Hemara, representing the New Zealand Māori Students’ Association, were two of the 14 at the meeting which established HART.
From the beginning, Syd and other Ngā Tamatoa members were active in the anti-apartheid campaigns. One night, Syd and I were speaking in Rotorua against the 1976 All Black tour of South Africa when a bomb threat closed the meeting down.
HART also worked alongside the Polynesian Panther Party, which had been formed in Auckland in 1971 to promote the interests of New Zealand’s Pacific Island community. In 1972, HART organised a speaking tour in Christchurch for the Panthers to help them widen their support.
In 1974, representatives of Ngā Tamatoa, the Polynesian Panther Party, HART, and CARE met with representatives of the Ponsonby Rugby Football Club in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade them to abandon their planned 1975 tour of South Africa. At the time, 60 percent of Ponsonby residents were Polynesian, and polls indicated that 81 percent of Polynesians living in Ponsonby were opposed to the tour. The following year, HART branches around the country joined with other sympathetic organisations and individuals to prepare food for those on the hīkoi.
In the post-war period, it wasn’t only the realities of New Zealand race relations that many New Zealanders were either ignorant of, or in denial, about. As race became a major issue on the world stage, many in New Zealand were slow to respond positively to the new developing international consensus, especially when it came to Southern Africa.
Support for apartheid among politicians, sportsmen and business leaders was always more widespread than was officially conceded. In a visit to South Africa in 1967, the deputy prime minister, Jack Marshall, had been struck by what he had seen. On his return to New Zealand, in a letter to the South African prime minister, John Vorster, he wrote that he was “impressed by the good relations which seemed to me to exist between the Bantu and the white people. I saw no evidence of tension or resentment”. On another occasion, Marshall had also expressed the belief that Māori were “good bulldozer drivers”.
Tauranga’s National MP George Walsh visited South Africa and Southern Rhodesia in 1972. Of Ian Smith, he said: “This dedicated prime minister is becoming well known for his generous outlook.” He declared that Southern Rhodesia was “the best run country in Africa”, and that, in South Africa, “under separate development, the racial problems will resolve themselves”.
Allan McCready, who was the minister in charge of the Dawn Raids of the mid-1970s (and who went on to own a racehorse which he named “Dawn Raid”), commented on his return from Southern Rhodesia, in October 1973, that: “You can take the Bantu out of the bush, but you cannot take the bush out of the Bantu.” To Rotorua MP Harry Lapwood, anti-apartheid protestors were “mentally sick or warped in mind”.
With Nelson Mandela, in 1995.
In 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected the first president of a new, democratic, non-racial South Africa, but, as late as 2008, at least one politician was still failing the apartheid test. In his first television debate with Helen Clark in the 2008 election campaign, National Party leader John Key claimed that he couldn’t remember whether, when at university in 1981, he’d been for or against that year’s Springbok tour — which is a bit like not being able to remember which party you voted for in the last election. What was probably running through Key’s mind when he gave this dumb answer was whether it was politically safe in 2008 to admit to having been in support of the tour.
There were many others, and they weren’t all politicians. A Wellington stockbroker and former All Black, Ron Jarden, returned from South Africa in 1968 convinced that apartheid was the only possible method of controlling and developing South Africa’s multi-racial society. “The natives have freedom from want and freedom from the danger of getting a spear through their stomach. They have family unity and continuing security and opportunity. Are these not more important than political freedom?”
Tom Pearce, the chairman of the Auckland Regional Authority, and an erstwhile house guest of Southern Rhodesia’s Minister of Law and Order, Desmond Lardner- Burke, praised the role of white men in history and called for restraining orders to be placed on anti-apartheid leaders.
For those seeking racial justice at home and abroad,1975-84 had been a particularly grim period. Internationally, New Zealand had always promoted the view that it was strongly opposed to apartheid, but its support over this period for New Zealand rugby’s continued links with South Africa rather got in the way of that claim.
For the National government, it wasn’t, as was often claimed, a case of keeping politics out of sport. Between 1972 and 1984, National fought four successive election campaigns making sport central to its political appeal. When the government’s international anti-apartheid rhetoric conflicted with its pro-apartheid domestic decision making, the government acted in accordance with domestic imperatives, but continued to keep on mouthing the rhetoric internationally.
Not so well remembered are the 1960-72 positions of New Zealand at the United Nations, when it either voted against, or abstained on, most resolutions which condemned South Africa.
At the time of Southern Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965, a Tanzanian representative was prompted to describe New Zealand as “enemy number one of Africa” — a theme which Tanzania and over 20 other nations were to give practical effect to 11 years later, when they walked out of the 1976 Montreal Olympics in protest against the New Zealand government’s outspoken support for that year’s All Black rugby tour of South Africa.
Prime Minister Muldoon had gone so far as to say that the 1976 All Blacks had gone to South Africa with his personal blessing and goodwill. Foreign minister Brian Talboys meanwhile had continued to assure the international community of New Zealand’s abhorrence of apartheid.
The Muldoon government had once again mouthed the anti-apartheid rhetoric for international consumption, while at the same time singing from an entirely different song sheet for perceived domestic advantage. As Africa boycotted the Montreal Olympics, the government was to discover the perils of speaking simultaneously out of both sides of its mouth.
By 1981, the New Zealand of my childhood was at war with itself. The battle between the values held by many of my parents’ generation, and those held by many baby boomers, was changing the way New Zealanders thought about themselves — the way they thought about the country they wanted New Zealand to be.
We were deeply divided over a wide range of issues. It was not just race. That divide included our attitudes to women’s rights, gay rights, and the issue of New Zealand’s role and place in the world. Were we an appendage of Empire, or were we an independent Pacific nation? In 1973, the Labour government answered this question when Prime Minister Norman Kirk sent a navy frigate to French Polynesia to protest against French nuclear testing in the Pacific.
The impact of the 1981 tour was widespread. First, we did not stop the tour, but we did show solidarity with those suffering under apartheid. Nelson Mandela told Dame Catherine Tizard in 1995 that, when he heard about the cancellation of the Hamilton game, “it felt like the sun coming out”. Second, at a time when they were badly needed, HART projected positive images of New Zealand internationally. We didn’t allow a small-minded, insular and racist government to speak for us. Third, we affirmed and promoted the power of protest. This had a positive impact on many issues, none more so than on issues of domestic racism.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of the tour protests was the way in which it springboarded the issue of Māori sovereignty into the mainstream of liberal thinking. Increasingly, it wasn’t credible to oppose racism in South Africa while ignoring it at home.
In 1981, activist and artist Ralph Hotere, ONZ, was painting his Black Union Jack
series. My favourite is a mixed media work carrying the handwritten inscription Greetings from the land of the wrong white crowd.
I love it, partly because its message, a vernacular play on the translation of the original Māori name for New Zealand, is totally unambiguous.
In 1985, the Fourth Labour Government, elected the previous year, revived the Waitangi Tribunal and extended its brief to cover claims to include any alleged breach of the Treaty since 1840.
In 1987, the Māori language became an official language of New Zealand. Not much more than a generation previously, kids in primary school were whacked for speaking te reo.
Trevor with Springbok captain Francois Pienaar in 1994.
From 1988 to 1996, I was Africa Programme Manager for Volunteer Service Abroad, visiting projects in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa on a regular basis. The anti-apartheid campaigns of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s had exposed much anti-African sentiment in New Zealand. Born of ignorance, arrogance and racism, these views often went hand in hand with attitudes unsympathetic to the rights of tangata whenua. Travelling frequently in East and Southern Africa over this period exposed me to rich, sophisticated, and vibrant cultures about which their New Zealand critics knew nothing. As John Lennon said: “Living is easy with eyes closed.”
I’d been actively involved in the New Zealand anti-apartheid movement and the wider anti-racist struggle for more than 30 years. In 2004, my partner was appointed to a job at the OECD. For 12 years, we lived on Paris’s left bank, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
France is so very different to New Zealand in so many respects, and yet, in some respects — and I am thinking now of racism — it’s not that dissimilar. Paris has an international reputation for being liberal, even revolutionary. To the casual tourist, it may be these things, but for many of those who live there, particularly those from any of France’s former colonies in North and West Africa, the City of Light is also a city of darkness.
Living there, it doesn’t take a terribly sharp scalpel to cut through the pretence and discover a society strongly infected with racism. France’s Muslim community, the largest in Europe, is a social underclass. This is a consequence of both France’s colonial past and its post-colonial history of indifference. At the time that I was living in France, an estimated 40 percent of Muslim youth in France were unemployed. French Muslims represented 7 to 8 percent of the country’s population, but 70 percent of its prison population. I doubt that the French figures today are very much different.
In New Zealand, we have recently passed the first anniversary of a white nationalist terrorist attack on two Christchurch Mosques. Fifty-one Muslims were killed. Twice, while I was living in Paris, the city was the subject of major attacks. The first, in January 2015, killed 17. The second, in November 2015, killed 130.
In both countries, the epicentre of these attacks became awash with candles, messages, flowers, graffiti. After the second attack in Paris, French journalist Natalie Nougayrede wrote: “It has become both a shrine and a celebration of the Paris we knew before.”
Similar sentiments were common following the Christchurch attack. But the nature of the attacks suffered by Paris and Christchurch were very different. In New Zealand, the attacker was a white nationalist and Muslims were the target. In France, the attackers were Muslim Jihadists, and it was French journalists, French Jews, and the French population as a whole who were the targets.
The response of many New Zealanders to the Christchurch attack was to stand by and embrace its Muslim community, but anti-Muslim incidents were also reported. Veiled Muslim women were yelled at in public places and told to go back to where they came from. (New Zealand is where they come from.)
What would the reaction have been here if the Christchurch attack had been carried out not by a white nationalist targeting Muslims, but by foreign Muslim jihadists, targeting the New Zealand population as a whole? Probably not too dissimilar to the reaction in France, where in the week following the first attack, 26 French mosques were attacked — by firebombs, gunfire, pigs heads and grenades. It was similar after the second attack.
To those who are culturally and/or ethnically different from mainstream Pākehā New Zealand, this country can demonstrate genuine empathy. It can also display an embittered version of hate. Fortunately, I don’t believe that these differing responses exist in equal measure.
Arriving back in New Zealand after 12 years in Europe, some changes were immediately obvious. Most noticeable was the growth and public acceptance of the use of te reo. What a delight! And how good it’s been to see basic “teach yourself Māori” being offered online as one of the activities during the coronavirus lockdown. Not that te reo has gained universal acceptance. For too many, the language is regarded as “useless”.
Returning, it was also encouraging to find that Waitangi Day celebrations had lost much of their hard-edged confrontation. At the time of my birth, the Treaty of Waitangi was just six years on from its 100th anniversary. Earlier this year, it reached its 180th anniversary.
Recently, the Māori Council issued a challenge to New Zealand. By the time of the Treaty’s 200th anniversary, it said, “we must set ambitious targets to rid the nation of racism”. Since 1840, racism has been an enduring feature of New Zealand life. Today, that racism is recognised for what it is by many Pākehā. For much of the last 180 years, it was not.
What are the chances of ending racism in New Zealand by 2040? The news on this front would seem to be both good and bad.
Structurally, racism continues to impact strongly on New Zealand society. The life expectancy of Māori is less than that of Pākehā. The percentage of Māori in prison — especially Māori women — far exceeds that of Pākehā. The percentage of unemployed Māori and of Māori living below the poverty line far exceeds that of Pākehā. The percentage of Māori in home ownership is lower compared to Pākehā.
Unemployment. Prison incarceration. Irrespective of country, racism always seems to impact negatively in exactly the same areas.
At the same time, attitudes and understanding are changing. There’s been undeniable progress since my visit to Waitangi in 1963. But it’s a slow and uneven progress across many fronts. Grievances associated with basic issues such as land alienation remain, as the recent occupation at Ihumātao illustrates.
For many, an unwillingness to recognise this country’s roots remains entrenched. In the poorly designed 2015-16 debate over whether New Zealand should change its flag, bad taste and racism were to the fore. The most popular new designs were ones better suited to either cereal packets or jam jars. The least supported — often ones with the better designs — were ones incorporating Māori motifs.
Ōtorohanga College students who presented a petition to parliament calling for the New Zealand Wars to be taught in schools.
One piece of good news is that teaching New Zealand history in schools will soon be compulsory. Some schools are teaching some New Zealand history some of the time, but the Ministry of Education doesn’t know how much or to how many. As far back as 1938, James Cowan, one of New Zealand’s early preeminent historians, was questioning why New Zealand schools were teaching English history and not our own history. I must’ve been one of the lucky ones, even if what I was taught at Northland College was a history that reflected the prevailing attitudes of the time.
Move forward 81 years from Cowan’s observation to September 2019, and we have Jacinda Ardern’s announcement that, by 2022, all schools and kura in the country will be expected to teach New Zealand history. The curriculum changes being made will ensure that all students are aware of key aspects of New Zealand history and how they influenced and shaped the nation. Could this have elements of being a game changer?
Take Hōne Heke, for example. Chopping down the flagpole at Kororāreka is one of New Zealand history’s abiding images. I left college with a very 19th century colonial understanding of events: that Heke was some sort of lone, troublemaking malcontent who was finally put in his place by Governor George Grey.
But what if we’d been told that Heke, a Christian, and the first Māori to sign the Treaty, had been given assurances by Rev Henry Williams that, under the Treaty, the authority of Māori chiefs would be protected? The British government never kept this promise. Heke and other Māori felt betrayed. Their multiple attacks on the flagpole were taken out of a sense of that betrayal.
Historian Vincent O’Malley has written recently that “a mature nation takes ownership of its history, not just cherry-picking the good bits out to remember but also acknowledging the bad stuff as well. Moving confidently into the future requires a robust understanding of where we’ve come from and been”.
In one of the more famous lines in New Zealand poetry, Allan Curnow writes: Not I, some child, born in a marvellous year Will learn the trick of standing upright here.
Vincent O’Malley again: Reconciling ourselves to the history of this land — finding a place to stand — is not just about supporting the settlement of historical Treaty of Waitangi claims. That’s part of the story but not the whole solution. It’s about ordinary New Zealanders taking the time to acknowledge and even own this history. Learn about it, respect it, pass it on, make sure your children and their children learn these stories too. Not so they can feel guilty or ashamed about the actions of their ancestors. But so they can be big enough, and confident enough, to say, “yes, this is part of our history too.” It is only through understanding, accepting and reconciling ourselves to that history will we “learn the trick of standing upright here”.
Some New Zealanders are on the road “to ending racism”. Some are not. A large number of those who are not are probably not even aware that there is a need for such a journey. On the campaign trail, I would often quote Martin Luther King: History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
The Māori Council’s vision of ending racism by 2040 is an aspirational goal. The trick to making it more than that is for the country to learn what it means to stand upright here. That is happening. But by 2040?
📷Trevor Richards was one of 14 people who established the Halt All Racist Tours movement (HART) at Auckland University in July 1969. He was the movement’s first chair (1969-1980) and international secretary (1980-85). In 1977, he worked for the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid in New York, assisting in drawing up the UN International Declaration Against Apartheid in Sport. His account of New Zealand’s long campaign against apartheid sport, Dancing On Our Bones: New Zealand, South Africa, rugby and racism
was published in 1999. © E-Tangata, 2020"
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2020.05.19 03:02 clericb1tchrollN420 Tired tired tired
I could never stop feeling like I’m fucked no matter what. Grew up fundie indie Baptist white a 5 point Calvinist flair, think Jack Hyles meets Bible Belt south. Think I’d grow up catholic guilt or something wth. Never felt saved. Even during my Anglican journey out of evangelicalism it was hard to feel “assured”.
My youth was rapture this.....rapture that..... government this.... government that.... sex is this......sex is that......
I’m crazy now tbh. My solace is in a good strain or a couple drinks. My big problems are I married someone who has sexual experience but doesn’t want to do those types of things with me and I can’t tell if I believe still or not. Also, in a marriage where sexual exploration is drudgery for some reason. I saved myself for this???????????????
So exhausted. Tired of deadbedroom(I was a Virgin, partner had a few partners before me but now that I’m wanting to be explorational, partner is saying they’re asexual. Tired of wondering whose church has the correct theology. Tired of feeling guilty for wanting sexual partners. Tired Tired Tired
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2020.04.17 20:27 Duncs11 Sir Duncs writes about secularism
Every so often, Parliament begins to debate the same topic - the matter of Britain’s status as a secular state where we respect the right of freedom of and from religion for all people. The most recent attempt is of course the proposed ‘Anglican Renewal Bill’, but this is far from the only time this has been attempted, with it being a popular topic amongst the regressive socially conservative fringe of British politics for many years. For reasons which effectively boil down to a desire to impose a religious faith upon people, repealing secularisation has always had a small, but noticeable, element of support.
It is immensely bizarre that a bill which passed in 2016 on what is effectively a social issue gains so much ire when one would expect it to be considered a fait accompli - a part of modern Britain, whether one would have supported it back in the day or not. Other liberalising and progressive causes have certainly not attracted the same level of ire as secularisation has. I hardly see (other that amongst the darkest fringes of the remnants of Britain’s fascist movement) a desire to scale back the rights of gay people to enter into a state-sanctioned union with their partner. I hardly see people fighting for the reintroduction of the metric system. I hardly see people fighting for the reintroduction of the belt. Yet, it is not unusual to see people fighting for the reintroduction of theocratic rule into the United Kingdom.
It seems utterly bizarre to me that people are fighting for the theocratic tradition when Britain’s tradition is now debatably one of complete secularism. The Secularisation Act was passed back in 2016 - and I was one of the votes that helped push it through much to the disgust of some of my colleagues (many of whom would later find that a party led by me wasn’t sufficiently regressive for their tastes, in a shocking turn of events). For the last four years, Britons have lived in a state where there is a wall of separation between the Church and the state, and we have been better for it. That four years is certainly not a short period of time, especially when one considers the significant economic reforms that have been implemented and undone over that period - and the economic battleground is one that ebbs and flows far, far, far more than the social background. Typically, once progress is made in law socially, there is not much in the way of a concerted effort to undo it - secularisation is very much the outlier. It seems very strange that a group of so-called traditionalists are now fighting to undo one establishing British tradition and replace it with one that has been outside of British law for the last 4 years.
The crusade of the theocrats also strikes me as being incredibly out of touch with modern Britain. It is no longer the 1950s when the bulk of society were White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestants. We now live in the 2020s, and Britain is a diverse melting pot of different religions and cultural backgrounds. As of 2018, 52% of our population profess to be of no religion, while only 38% profess to be Christian - and only 12% of the total are Church of England Christians. It seems utterly wrong to demand that we enshrine into law that the faith of 12% of the country is the faith of the country itself, and in turn infringe on the freedom from religion of the other 88% of the country who are either of no religious creed or of a different faith than the Anglican branch of Christianity.
Antisecularism seems to insist that we, as a nation, toss aside our growing tradition of religious toleration and secularism and instead embrace their old tradition which works for just 12% of the population, and is woefully outdated in the modern world in which Britain finds itself. Contrary to the misinformed arguments of the anti secularist collective, secularism is not state enforced atheism or anything close. Secularism is the state staying out of religion, ensuring that all people can exercise their own religious faith (if they have one). I have nothing against those who find solace in going to church and singing hymns on a Sunday. I have nothing against those who wish to believe that pork and alcohol are wrong. I have nothing against those who believe that Jesus Christ visited America and that native Americans were originally white. I have a great deal against those who would seek to use the institutions of Government to impose their religious creed upon others, and I will continue to fight to ensure that the desires of a small number of theocrats cannot override our right to freedom of and from religion.
We must all be vigilant against a coming assault on our secular status, because as the Anglican Renewal Bill proves, the hard-right are going to go on fighting this like the Japanese holdouts who fought on after Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers. If there is one thing to admire the theocratic parcel of rogues about, it is their desire to undo a vital social change and send modern Britain back decades.
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2020.04.06 10:43 G33kyArmy Closested Fan- What can I do?
This subreddit has probably heard this song and dance before. Grew up in the Christian household, Harry Potter was of the devil, blah blah blah. I started getting angry when my fellow Christian friends, who were even more sheltered than I was, were Harry Potter fans, and they defended it.
I eventually brought up arguments with my mom when I was 18, like how Rowling grew up Anglican, why are Narnia and LOTR ok but HP not if Rowling was religious, whatever. She literally said "I don't know", and left the room. So I decided I would watch the movies at Bible college with my roommate and not judge a book by its cover. I loved them! Oh my word, I loved them! And before book lovers give me grief, I had to do a lot more reading at Bible college than I do at university. I started reading book 1 with my Amazon prime free trial, but school got hectic, so I had to put it on hold, and I only got to chapter 7 before the trial expired.
My older sister caught me watching the first movie, I made her swear not to tell , but one day when making a joke with one of the aforementioned sheltered HP fans, a joke that I would have understood before watching the movies because I listen to friends and have the internet, my dad asked how I knew those, and my sister blurted out that I was watching the movies. Never spoke of that again, and I still wonder if my dad remembers, and sometimes wonder if he told my mom.
I watched die hard with him for the first time this past Christmas, and Alan Rickman... if it wasn't for his iconic voice, wow! I literally started screaming "is that Alan Rickman?!?!" Had to say memes were the reason I recognized his voice, but it was because HP, and I was a closeted fan of Sweeney Todd. Not closested on Sweeney Todd anymore because I took an elective on musicals, and one of the assignments was a paper on the Sweeney Todd adaptation. So it was "for class, not my fault" (but my advisor said they talked about it in years past, so I literally took it in hopes of watching Sweeney Todd)! If only signing up for the Harry Pptter English course could be the same happy coincidence scenario, but how would I explain why I took a course on Harry Potter?
Anyway, my parent's, but mainly mom's baseless foundation on the anti HP stance is honestly infuriating! The breaking point for me was around Christmas. I'm learning Korean in my free time, and my language exchange partner, who was an exchange student, went back at Christmas. She and I became really good friends, and that goodbye was hard! We gave each other presents before she left, and she wrote at the end of my card " But know this. The ones that love us never really leave us. And you would always find, in here", and cited it as Harry Potter, and drew little glasses beside it. I held myself together until I read that. Then I started crying. Later, I was talking to my mom about the card, and she asked if she could read it. I forgot the quote was in it until she was already reading. Finally, she got to the quote, and these were her exact words: "aw...oh. it's from Harry Potter..."
I had to bite my tongue, I wanted to scream! You love it until it's from Harry Potter?! Is that quote not a sign that there's more to it than the Christian to witchcraft converting spells I think she thinks are in there? I hate this. One of my friends says she thinks my mom's obsession with hating this is almost creepy. I am just fed up with it. It's gotten to the point that I literally wrote part of a Philosophy paper on why the anti HP thing is bogus because it was looking at it logically and also helped me vent. I wanted to ask my mom to "proofread" sooooooo badly, but I don't want the consequences.
I know, I know, I'm 21, I'm an adult, but I still live with them, I mooch off their Netflix and don't want to be caught if someone tries using it while both account slots are being watched, I want to be able to call myself a slytherin with friends in front if them, I want to be able to start reading the books before I graduate university, but I am not ready to deal with the reactions. My biggest thing is I still want to respect my parents. We agree on a lot, including the religious elements, I'm still a Christian, but we disagree on a lot, and I still have to listen to their opinions and rules to live here.
I've literally said my priority when I move out is buying all the movies.
I feel lost. How can I make myself more calm and less antsy about being secretive, and not get so worked up about the arguments that I find utterly illogical? The big thing is the secrecy, because I hate having secrets. But this is just getting hard after almost 3 years of secrecy.
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