Wednesday, 3 December 2014

What is happening to my world?

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Many years ago an old family friend said to me: “I feel sorry for you young guys today; I reckon your father and I have lived through the best of times.” I expressed surprise at the claim. I reminded him that he and dad had lived through two world wars and a depression, how on earth could they be described as the best of times?

I’m not certain what prompted his remark. Thinking back it might have been when we were going through the so-called first oil shock, circa 1973, when the OPEC countries banded together to raise the price of oil from $3 a barrel to $12. Or perhaps it was the second oil shock in 1979 when our government panicked, believing the doomsayers’ warnings that oil would soon run out, and introduced carless days to reduce demand.

Those two events triggered severe recessions, but thirty-five years on we now know the world is still awash with oil to such an extent that in America petrol is less than three dollars a gallon.

Nevertheless today we might well be facing the worst of times.

For instance there is a life and death struggle going on to ensure a large section of the African continent doesn’t succumb to Ebola.

Meanwhile Mr Putin is perilously close to initiating a European war and potentially a third world war with his foray into the Ukraine with a downed passenger airliner already a casualty.

I do have some sympathy for his stance. The democratically elected president of Ukraine, who was pro-Russian, was overthrown by a street mob that was tacitly encouraged by the West. In previous decades we saw America’s reaction when right wing dictators in South America, financed into office by Uncle Sam, were overthrown by the rank and file. It was swift and ruthless, not unlike Mr Putin’s.

Western interests also encouraged others to topple their rulers during the “Arab Spring.” Egypt is now under military rule after its disastrous coup, Iraq has never recovered from America and its “coalition of the willing” pursuing its strong-man leader and in Syria a rebellious section of the populous, supplied with western weaponry, spawned ISIS which is now challenging world peace with frightening brutality.

Our hypocrisy over who we support and don’t support is breath-taking.

We recently put out a red carpet for the Chinese Premier conveniently forgetting that their human rights practices don’t sit well with twenty-first century ethos. For instance they execute thousands of murderers and drug dealers every year.

The brief Brazilian tourist Philip Traynor-Smith can thank his lucky stars he’s not domiciled in China.

But the worst human rights practices are undoubtedly being displayed by those fundamentalist Muslims assembled under various nomenclatures such as The Taliban, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and Isis. Their very existence threatens us all and their terrorist tentacles have the propensity to reach into the uttermost ends of the earth.

Many of their Imams and clerics have apparently declared a holy jihad against the “infidels of the world” and their followers are told that by killing an infidel they are assured a place in heaven.

Incidentally an “Infidel” is a non-believer.

The contrast between Islam and Christianity is stark. My conversation with a fundamentalist Muslim might go something like this: “Does Allah really ask you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven while Jesus tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and he wants you to be there with me?”

But there are no onward Christian soldiers to fight the good fight. We have mortally mitigated the strength we once had. Our churches are rendered almost powerless by a population who have largely chosen the wide path to bypass them. Even the Pope has had to water down some of the tenets of his faith to maintain momentum.

And don’t look for any sustenance from our leaders. Our great cornerstone religion is under further assault. The latest incursion in to its very existence is coming from the New Zealand’s legislative chamber. The Speaker of the house is proposing that in future, prayers are only offered up to Almighty God.

Every religion, every civilisation, believes in God or a god.

Only Christianity believes in Christ.

Not daring to offend anybody, the Speaker wants Jesus name expunged.

If they can eliminate the founder of Christianity from the prayers in parliament, where will He be removed from next, Christmas and Easter?

“Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14


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