Showing posts from August, 2014

Logic left behind

I understand religion.  But I don't understand the whole "Rapture" movement that exists in the US. Now it seems they've remade the Kirk Cameron "classic" on this very subject (based on the  novel which is part of a series ). I'm talking about the new Nicholas Cage movie "Left Behind". Here's my problem: Without entering into the whole "argument from evil/suffering" thing, it's abundantly true that the "end of the world" comes every day for millions of people [well, hundreds of thousands, as Michael points out below], whether by tsunami, earthquake, war, famine, disease, murder accident etc. From a Christian perspective, this doesn't matter in the long run because believers go to Heaven. If this is so (and I'll assume here that it is), why would God engineer a special "End of Days" where believers get treated specially - just on this one day ? Is some pilot really going to be "rapt

The shame of First World poverty

Watching the video "Cardboard Stories: Homeless in Orlando" (see below) made me think about those who assume: "The poor have only themselves to blame; they don't deserve help from the State." I think these people are cloaking their callousness with a kind of "fiscal pragmatism": one that successfully ignores the fact that we are talking about real people  - not some numbers on a statistical chart; one that is based on appallingly misconceived, bigoted and ignorant generalisations about the causes of poverty. In the US you can see exactly what such a simplistic mindset produces: a poverty where even those who have jobs can be homeless; where some people are forced to give up their kids in order to save them. And it seems that we in Australia are hell-bent on heading in the same direction.  We can see this with our own " work for the dole " expansion, Medicare co-payments, cuts to social services, harsher qualifying criteria etc. It'