Posts Tagged ‘history’

The unchanging meaning of marriage?

A fascinating reflection on what marriage has meant throughout history, and how expanding the definition to include same sex couples, is (in historical terms) a minor change.

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January 26 is when Australia celebrates itself as a nation.

January 26 1788, when ships of the ‘first fleet’ landed on a beach in Sydney Cove and founded a penal colony – and because of that, people up to thousands of kilometres away from that place today will celebrate it.

I have in a previous posting suggested that January 26 is not the right date to celebrate the nation of Australia.There are numerous arguments surrounding this date; the foremost being the invasion concept, whereby white people invaded Australia, dispossessing the inhabitants of access to lands they had used for millennia. Whether or not you subscribe to that concept, there is validity in it, if only at an historical level. It is true that over the first century of European settlement, white people overcame and dominated where once indigenous culture held sway, and today this is a western nation with history both good and bad – this is not just opinion, it is historic fact…

Be that as it may… I believe that January 26 is the wrong date even if you do not have an indigenous heritage.

Celebrating the landing of the First fleet as the beginning of Australia must be an insult to all those who call Australia HOME!

Celebrating the landing of ships from elsewhere suggests that we (Australians) are a relocated people, that HOME is really elsewhere.I may have a European heritage, and it is nice to reflect on and learn from that, but I am insulted at the mere suggestion that home (or the old country) is elsewhere. Others will have a European, Asian, African, indigenous (or some other) heritage, and their heritage will mean to them what it will mean to them; but if they are Australian and call Australia their home, how can January 26 and what its origins are, be a fitting date to celebrate the nation as a whole?

March 3 is a more fitting date to celebrate the nation of Australia, for it was on March 3 1986 that the government abolished the right to appeal to the Privy Council in London, thereby removing the ability of the British Government to make laws for Australia. In essence, making Australia a fully sovereign, independent and federal nation.This may appear to some a somewhat technical or officious act. How or why can people celebrate a holiday based on a piece of paper? The most well known secular holiday in the world is based on a piece of paper – the 4th of July.

The United States of America celebrates the signing of their declaration of independence from Great Britain on the fourth of July 1776 (twelve years before the First fleet). Thirteen colonies became states under a national legislature (Congress). To establish this new country’s rights they were then already at war with Great Britain.

The US celebrates their country on the date they became a country. We (on the other had) celebrate this county on the date we became a prison.

Another thing that we can celebrate about Australia, especially on a different date, is the fact that

  • Australia became federated in peace (1 January 1901) ,
  • Australia was granted political autonomy in peace, though in the middle of WW2 (9 October 1942)
  • Australia was granted full and legal autonomy in peace (3 March 1986)

Australia became a fully federated, independent, sovereign, and federal nation in peace – when so many other nations came to be in war.

Celebrate Australia!

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Every day the world turns, history follows its course, countries and governments rise and fall, and our eyes are focussed on what is happening in the here and now.

Suddenly echoes of momentous events long ago can be heard within the din of the contemporary, and the ghosts of those times tap us on the shoulder to point to what they did.

Versailles, and all what it may have stood for, is finally fulfilled on Sunday. The bill the allied powers imposed on Germany in 1919 will have been paid… and the dead can finally rest…. but can we?

What lessons have we learned from the newly fulfilled treaty?

What mistakes do we, to this day, repeat?

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Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, like other Catholic clergymen before him, has blamed homosexuality for the current child abuse.

The Pope has blamed modern society for the abuses

Homosexuality? Modern society?

Could clerical child abuse be among the church’s oldest ‘acts’?

The Didache, possibly the oldest known instruction to Church officials, says  they should not to seduce boys. This document dates back to about 100 AD. Clerical chaild abuse appears to have been an issue over 1900 years ago.

Canon 71 from the Council of Elvira – 309AD – says that clerics who sexually abuse young boys should be expelled from the church. Clearly clerical child abuse was a big issue in the 4th century… why else mention it?

While it is possible that most or all the books of the New Testament were first written before 100 AD; the Canon of the 27 books of the New Testament was not accepted or formalised as such until the 3rd Council of Carthage – around 397 AD – Books of the New Testament were first put into chapters in the 13th century, and verses first in the 16th century.

Clerical child abuse is not a new phenomenon – it is as old as the religion itself, which in turn tars all denominations.

If these abusers were not clerics, and their crimes were discovered, they would be arrested, charged, and if found guilty, jailed…. why is it different for clerics of any religion who commit such acts?

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May this time grant you peace, whoever or whatever you may celebrate.

The end of another year – a time of peace for a weary world… I hope.

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