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Saturday, June 24, 2017

News Weakly - 6/24/2017

I don't suppose anyone is particularly paying attention, but I thought it was funny when the New York Times put up the story of how the European Court of Human Rights ruled that "Russia’s ‘Gay Propaganda’ Laws Are Illegal". I was only amused not because I think that Russia is correct in its laws or that it's not. I was amused because a European court of human rights thought they had the authority and power to declare the laws of a sovereign nation "illegal". As if there is some world body that gets to tell nations "You may pass this law and you may not pass that one." I mean, if, for "illegal", they substituted "immoral", "unfair", "unkind", "not in step with other European countries", or even "a violation of human rights as we currently define them", that would be fine. But when did a European Court of Human Rights get to pass ruling on the legality of a Russian law (or the law of any other sovereign nation)? What's next? "Your American 'free exercise of religion' law is no longer legal because we say so" or some other nonsense? (After all, they wouldn't be the first to say that, would they?)

Being Missional
The Diocese of Truro, an Anglican church in the UK, is advertising for a Strategic Programme Manager to lead their missions department. They want someone with an undergraduate degree, good management skills, those kinds of things. What they are not concerned about is whether or not the person is "a practising Christian". No need, as long as they are "sympathetic to the aims and objectives of the Church of England." I just ... I don't know ... I don't get it. Are not "the aims and objectives of the Church" to make disciples who follow Christ? But, hey, no need to be a follower of Christ as long as you ... want others to? Nope, not getting it at all.

Human Rights - New Revised Version
Canada has had an epiphany. All those years (read "since the dawn of time") that people thought that male was male and female was female they were wrong, wrong, wrong. Last week the Senate "passed Bill C-16" which makes “gender identity or expression” a protected right and if you discriminate against someone on that basis you are violating Canadian law. Make sure you get that pronoun right or else. Nor should you anticipate that you actually have freedom of speech in Canada, at least in your use of gender-related words. So, in Canada, at least, gender confusion is a human right and ought to be nurtured and supported and anyone attempting to help set them free of their confusion is violating their rights. It used to be that "human rights" were in place to protect; now we're using them to oppress.

While we're on the subject of Canada ...
Also in Canada, "A new Canadian law considers denying a child's gender identity a form of abuse." Ontario legislators have passed Ontario Bill 89 that gives the government the right to take children away from families if the parents or caregivers don't support the child's gender identity. According to the law, "The matters to be considered in determining the best interests of a child are changed." Good parents will give "due weight" to "the child's views and wishes" and will affirm (Remember that definition? That was "celebrate and encourage".) a variety of issues including "sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression." It is not yet clear if they will actually use this law to remove children from homes that have some sort of rational idea that gender is apparent and gender confusion is something to overcome rather than indulge, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Total Surprise
Now this item was a complete surprise. You may not believe it, but apparently an increase in the numbers of drivers who have access to drugs that impair the senses (like legalized marijuana) produce a larger number of traffic accidents. Wow! Didn't see that coming. Oh ... wait ... yes, we did.

On Politics and Weather
In the wake of Republican Karen Handel's victory over Democrat Jon Hossoff for Georgia's 6th Congressional District, the National Weather Service has issued widespread flash flood warnings because of the downpour of liberal tears across America. Must be true; I read it on the Internet.

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