18 Oct: Daily Homily (Religion & Children) and Tweets

I haven’t done many religion tweets in these posts, so I’ll write about it instead. A couple of weeks ago I once again had proselytizers at the front door. This time, they were from the Seventh Day Adventist Church. One was a man in his 30s or 40s, and the other was a boy of about sixteen. The poor kid was obviously extremely nervous.

He told me where he was from and invited me to a meeting at his Church. Because he was clearly so scared I just thanked him and refused the invitation in the nicest possible way.

But the whole thing left me feeling extremely annoyed, and not just because I hate people knocking on my door to tell me about God.

The thing that annoyed me the most was that here was another kid whose mind was trapped. He was never going to get the opportunity to explore all the options for his life that most Kiwi kids can. It’s such a waste of a life.

Like many of you, there was a time when I believed in a god. After a lot of years and a lot of confusion about all sorts of things I finally realized God didn’t exist. My mind was free.

I’m one of the lucky ones. No one in my family thinks any differently about me, or treats me any differently than they did before. In fact, some have come to the same or similar conclusions as I have about God and religion.

Hundreds of millions of children around the world don’t have that same freedom. Some are not exposed to different ideas about God or religion. If they are, it is only to vilify those with a different belief or opinion.

Children should not be forced into one belief system or another. They should be taught the facts about religion honestly, but have the option to make up their own minds about what path to take. Anything else is brainwashing.


Political Tweets

Un-fu€king-believable! Does this guy have no compassion? Has he never come across people born with difficult health problems? Or who’ve had accidents? Or any of the other reasons someone may not be able to afford healthcare.


Is lack of compassion a disease that afflicts large numbers of Republicans? Trump, once again displaying his lack of empathy.

Human Rights Tweets

Carrie Fisher is cool!
(Via Ann German.)


NowThis just made a video about what Fisher did too.

Well said.
(Via Ann German.)


I believe every child has the right to a good education, and that education should be paid for by the taxpayer at least until the age of eighteen. This tweet is an ad by Apple – a good news story relating to a particular school at Papamoa Beach near Tauranga. But it’s actually something that is happening throughout New Zealand as the government does its best to lift the attainment level of all students.


This happens far too often!


Weather Tweets

These guys are doing a great job distributing supplies to people in western Puerto Rico.

Sports Tweets

Why doesn’t everyone start like this?!


He’s got the moves, just not at the appropriate time.

Scenic Tweets

The gorgeous colours of autumn in Poland.


Now there’s a use for Lego I’d never thought of!

Science Tweets

The History of ISOLDE: the Isotope Mass Separator On-Line facility at CERN in Switzerland. There are at least three more of these short documentaries to come, so stay tuned! A religious fu€kwit has also made a documentary called ‘CERN Insider Exposes Demonic Portals’. You can look it up on YouTube if you like – I’m not providing a link!


Space Tweets

I’m a day late with this because of the time difference between NZ and the US, but Happy Birthday Mae Jemison!


Entertainment Tweets

Jerry Coyne alerted me to this, but was good enough to give it to me as it’s a New Zealand story.


Flora Tweets

New Zealanders don’t admit good things about Australia very often, so make the most of this: these myrtles are gorgeous! The same family as our Pohutukawa, which is one of my favourites.


Marine Tweets

Very cool!


Bird Tweets

Well, that didn’t go too well!
(Via Ann German.)


Look at that Takahe chick! They’re so cute!


Budgie balancing act.


A gorgeous Kakapo chick half way through losing its fluff and gaining its feathers.

Dog Tweets

Has this one been at the Dognip?

Cat Tweets

Cat’s close-up vision is really poor – they can’t focus very well up close. Sometimes the result is hilarious!
(Via Ann German.)


So is this cat doing this deliberately for its kitten to play with, or is it just pi$$ed? Either way, the result is fun for us!
(Via Ann German.)


Pretty boy!




Look at those eyes!


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29 Responses to “18 Oct: Daily Homily (Religion & Children) and Tweets”

  1. Linda Calhoun says:

    “Is lack of compassion a disease that afflicts large numbers of Republicans?”

    Heather, you see that as a disease, but they don’t. A lack of compassion means they’re STRONG people. They believe that their meanness will make other people STRONG. If you’re hurting and you say so, you’re just a weak whiner.

    It’s not going to change, since they don’t see it as a problem.

    They also think that fear is the best, or maybe even the only, teaching tool. I have heard more than one conservative express the sentiment that respect always has an element of fear, which means that they have never had the experience of respecting someone they’re not afraid of. (Just think of what that means for their kids! If they’re not afraid of their kids, they have no respect for them. Imagine growing up like that!) They have no concept of modeling as a teaching tool, or of research, or of openness to others’ ideas.

    One of the most extreme examples of this philosophy can be found in the Debi Pearl model of child rearing. The Pearls advocate beating your kids with a rubber hose, starting at AGE FOUR MONTHS. They believe that when a baby cries, it’s being “willful”. (Not sure how they arrived at the four-month cutoff. When a baby younger than four months cries, it’s OK, but at four months old they’ve suddenly developed an ability to form intent.) You beat them to “break their will”. There is, of course, no possibility that they’re crying because they’re wet, or hungry, or tired, or TERRIFIED of being beaten.

    The creepiest part of this, for me, is not just the meanness, but how much they are ENJOYING their meanness. I don’t imagine they are going to give something up that provides them with that much pleasure and satisfaction.


    • I’ve come across the Pearls, and I don’t know how they get away with not being prosecuted for child abuse. It disgusts me that they make money from their books. I’ve seen them interviewed and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It’s illegal to hit a child, including your own, in NZ. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. We still have horrible cases where children are killed by their parents, and quite honestly religion is rarely a factor in those cases. When it comes to lower level abuse, I don’t know whether religion is a factor or not. There are certainly communities where it’s more prevalent, and those communities are often religious ones, but I’ve no idea whether that’s a factor country-wide.

      My father believed you couldn’t have respect without fear, so I know exactly what it’s like to grow up like that. That being said, I never had any respect for him, so it didn’t work on me. I’ve always seen those who try to dominate that way as weak, and that’s how I saw him too.

      I have seen that pov of strength through might expressed places like Fox. They believe the huge US military is what gets them respect. It’s not. It’s what means they often get their way and are able to bully other nations, but whenever they use their might that way they lose the respect of most of us. Obama refused to take advantage of that advantage on the world stage and as a result, the US was far more respected during his presidency than ever before by almost every country in the world. That’s changed again of course.

      • Linda Calhoun says:

        Parents in the US who injure, or even kill, their children, get off if they have a religious justification. Secular people who injure or kill their children get prosecuted. There was a case a couple of years ago in Oregon where religious home-schoolers beat one of their kids to death for mispronouncing a word. The authorities showed up and removed their other two kids, one of whom was unconscious. The youngest was too young to be in “school’, so he was not assaulted.

        They got off with probation. The judge said they really were “good people”, they just didn’t understand…. At least they didn’t get their kids back.


        • Bloody disgusting! We have a problem with child abuse, but at least here religion is not an excuse. I don’t know how it compares with other countries though. By the statistics we appear to have high numbers of child abuse, rape, domestic violence etc. However, I suspect that’s because there are ongoing efforts to make sure there’s a supportive environment for people report these things. We can always do more of course.

        • j.a.m. says:

          “Parents in the US who injure, or even kill, their children, get off if they have a religious justification.”

          Please get help.

      • j.a.m. says:

        Obama created the conditions for ISIS, dithered over for years — and then Trump came in and defeated it.

        • Mark R. says:

          “Obama created the conditions for ISIS…”

          Please get help.

          Why must republicans condense the most complex, generational-lasting issues into bumper stickers. W. shoulders much more of the blame than Obama, but the real issue is ISIS regional sympathizers: Turkey, Syria, Iraq and many powerful Sunni monarchies like Saudi Arabia. They could not have risen and taken power as fast as they did without the financial support of their neighbors. And if you have to name an impetus for ISIS, it would be the rise of Al-Qadea in Iraq (2004) in response to W.’s unwise invasion and the subsequent disastrous handling of the aftermath.

          And recently more evidence is revealed about Trump’s true (non)feelings toward American soldiers and their families. He is so rotten that even if he actually did come up with the plan and led the charge to destroy ISIS, he would still be the hideous, hopeless, pussy-grabber that he is. ISIS and their ilk aren’t gone anyway.

          But speaking about creating conditions, how about those conditions Trump’s creating in North/South Korea? That one is going to be hard to blame on Obama or Clinton, though I’m sure if a conflict started, he would do just that. Not that it would matter much at that point.

        • The #1 cause for the rise of DAESH was the de-Ba’athification of Iraq by the Bush administration following the Iraq war, closely followed by the way the first new Shi’a government treated the Sunnis and the Kurds.

          The war against DAESH has been ongoing for some time. The military has been following the same strategy since the attack on Mosul began. There is nothing new that has been done by the US military in Iraq and Syria since Trump came into office. To say Trump won is ridiculous. He is simply the president who happens to be in office at the conclusion of the ongoing war.

          If Trump starts making noises that he won the war he will do a lot of damage to the delicate situation in the Middle East. Most of the fighting in the ground was done by Iraqis, especially the Kurds. They also had support from the Iranian military. The US, other NATO allies, NZ, and Aus, also provided extensive training. The US air support was invaluable, and the war couldn’t have been won without it, but it was the same strategy throughout.

          If Republicans start crowing bull$hit about “rules of engagement” and how attacking civilians was what won the war, there will be more new terrorists created than the world knows what to do with. It makes me sick to hear people on Fox etc going on about how they want to murder civilians and thus commit war crimes. It seems to me that they don’t even think of the innocent people in the affected regions as actual people. Maybe it’s because they’re brown, or mostly not Christian. The allied commanders on the battle field know better than to commit war crimes, and didn’t, at least not deliberately. It’s another myth that people like you like to cling to. If your precious God is real and He thinks this desire to murder people is what gets you into heaven, I’m glad I won’t be there. I don’t want anything to do with such revolting people.

          • j.a.m. says:

            The commander in chief gets the credit or blame. Obama did exactly as you say: He prized the adulation of the Davos crowd over America’s strategic interests. Far more innocent people suffered as a consequence of Obama’s incompetence, naivete, feckless dithering and hamfisted micromanagement than will ever be harmed by a tweet. Sometimes the way to end innocent suffering is to get the job done.

          • Trump’s tweets could lead to WWIII if he can’t control himself in relation to North Korea.

            People he abuses on Twitter get death threats and require Police protection.

            He encourages civil discord.


            George W Bush has come out against the way Trump is managing the country. He never did that during Obama’s presidency.
            McCain admitted Obama was a decent man that he disagreed with on the campaign trail. He recognizes that Trump is not a good man.

    • Trevor says:

      Trump needs help to climb steps himself, that’s why he clung to Teresa May’s hand, remember?

    • Linda Calhoun says:

      Ah, yes.

      Here’s your “argument”: “I can provide a single example of someone in your philosophical camp who does the same thing, therefore you have to STFU and have no right to criticize an entire subculture that embraces that viewpoint for reasons we consider to be excellent”.

      Even if we’re not perfect, at least we can acknowledge that this reporter’s behavior was uncalled for. I’m still waiting for you to admit that anyone who agrees with you has ever done anything wrong that you don’t blame on Bill, Hillary, Barack, JFK, Dawkins, Darwin, etc.

      Personal responsibility, my ass.


      • j.a.m. says:

        I’m not aware of blaming anyone for the acts of others, nor absolving them of their own. I have merely pointed out instances of hypocrisy and double standards.

        And I’ve never said a word re Darwin.

    • Mark R. says:

      Wouldn’t you hope that a survivor of childhood polio would stand up for sick people? How is it that he wants to take away healthcare from millions? I wonder what turned him into a heartless human-being. Reminds me of speaker Ryan who went to the college of his choice because of social security and now doesn’t think others should be able to do so. Just thought I’d point these out since you like showing examples of hypocrisy. The difference is that if these examples of hypocrisy were enacted it would be detrimental to many millions.

      • j.a.m. says:

        I would hope that a Senate leader would stand up for the country’s long term best interests, and I think both McConnell and Schumer do just that, each by his own lights. To call someone like McConnell heartless is just stupid demagoguery. And no, it is not hypocritical for Paul Ryan to propose that it might just be prudent to modernize and rationalize a scheme that was devised a very long time ago for a very different country. The country is fortunate to have someone of his talents in public service. The contrast with the other party’s leadership is striking.

    • nicky says:

      It is indefensible (IMMO) to make fun of people’s physical disabilities, something Mr Trump, btw, appears rather fond of doing.
      I wasn’t aware that Mr McConnell was a polio victim (like FDR), sorry for him, but being that does not make him less of a despicable cad.

    • nicky says:

      In February 2017 Andrew Exum in The Atlantic predicted exactly how Mr Trump would ‘usurp’ the claim to victory against ISIS/ DAESH.

      “Predicting is difficult, especially the future” (ascribed to so many it would take half a page) but predicting that Mr Trump will take credit for about anything ‘positive’ Obama achieved, or basically anything positive full stop, is a given.

  2. nicky says:

    That article is rather misleading and slightly ridiculous. The final offensive to take Raqqa was basically Kurdish and started about halfway 2016, making steady progress. Giving more battlefield decisions to field commanders? Since when does the US president (be it Mr Obama or a Mr Trump) command the YPG?

    • Yes. j.a.m. should see what British commentators are saying about the temerity of Trump to claim the credit for the defeat of DAESH. Their respect for him has plunged to new lows.

      • nicky says:

        New lows? Are they fracking the rock bottom now? 😁

      • j.a.m. says:

        Public respect for the lying liberal lamestream media hit rock bottom long ago. The same old left-wing yakking heads said the same old things about Reagan, Dole, Bush, McCain, Romney, Rubio, Cruz, Florina, Christie, Carlson, Walker, Paul, Huckabee yada yada yada. They never change their tune.

        • nicky says:

          You mean Mr ‘Bridgegate’ Christie? Have to give it to him though, he advised against Mr Flynn. All his elaborate work for the ‘transition’ was literally dumped in the trashcan (thanks to Ms Ivanka and Mr Kushner).
          As little compassion I have with the Bridgegater, I find him much less scary than Mr Pence.

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