Thursday, August 23, 2012
Canada's largest Protestant church decides where Israel's borders should be drawn
The UCC started out as mostly former Methodists but has a Presbyterian form of government. It ignores Bible principles and, like most liberal churches, its membership is declining. Their view of Israel's borders is not of course Biblical.
In reflecting on their pretensions, one is reminded of the words of Jesus: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.... Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"
You can see one of the Pharisees concerned here -- fittingly dressed in an all-white robe. Jesus knew their type well
Canada's largest Protestant church has approved a boycott of products made in Israeli settlements.
Meeting in Ottawa, the governing General Council of the United Church of Canada's General Council on Friday supported a resolution calling for a boycott of goods produced in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
Details of how the boycott will be applied will be determined in the coming weeks and months, officials told the National Post.
The resolution calls on church members "to avoid any and all products produced in the settlements"; requests that the Canadian government ensure that "all products produced in the settlements be labeled clearly and differently from products of Israel"; and requests that products produced in the settlements not be given preferential treatment under the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.
The boycott does not extend to products produced inside Israel's pre-1967 borders.
Prior to the final vote, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said it was "outraged" at the bid to boycott settlement products, saying the "decision represents a radical shift in the United Church's policies, betrays the views of the vast majority of its members and flies in the face of decades of constructive interfaith dialogue."
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies also criticized the bid at the time, with president and CEO, Avi Benlolo saying in a statement that "I don't know if church members truly understand how utterly offensive and imbalanced this proposal is, or whether a latent anti-Semitism within the church is slowly coming back to life."
California law barring parents from 'curing' homosexual children moves through legislature
A first-of-its-kind state law that would restrict parents from trying to "cure" their minor children's same-sex attractions seems headed to the governor's desk.
If both state houses can agree on the final language, the legislation, which would ban all sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) treatment for minors, will be sent to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature sometime in September. But, so far, there has been no indication from his office on whether he will sign the bill into law.
Whatever the governor does, he's sure to face criticism. Backers see it as a civil rights issue, while critics say lawmakers are infringing on not only parents' rights but also on the mission of mental health professionals.
"[The law] unconstitutionally prohibits speech…violates privacy and personal autonomy rights, intermeddles in theological disputes, clashes with other laws and creates significant unintended consequences," Matt McReynolds,, a staff attorney with Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute, said.
"As long as this bill threatens to shame patients and silence counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, we will vigorously oppose it," McReynolds told Fox News. "We cannot afford to let the state invade the counseling room or doctor's office to dictate what views on sexuality are acceptable and unacceptable."
Sponsored by a coalition of gay rights groups led by California Equality the bill was introduced by State Sen. Ted W. Lieu (D-Redondo Beach). Lieu told Fox News his interest in the issue was sparked by a news report he saw on television in 2011.
"The story detailed the harmful impact on vulnerable minors of this kind of supposed reparative therapy," Lieu said. "So when California Equality approached me about introducing a bill to ban that kind of therapy for minors, I jumped at the chance."
Lieu also cited studies like the American Psychological Association (APA) 2009 Task Force, which reported SOCE therapy could lead to depression, feelings of shame, self-loathing, drug abuse, high-risk sexual behavior, anger, withdrawal and in some cases, even attempted suicide in minor children, if those same-sex attractions continue to persist.
Libertarian and conservative political and legal groups including McReynolds' group and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a nationwide group of conservative mental health providers based in Salt Lake City have blasted the bill.
David Pickup, a Glendale, Calif. therapist said he's been a member of NARTH for more than eight years. He told Fox News that he went through his own SOCE treatment and uses it to treat his patients.
Pickup said that although he's had thousands of sexual interactions with men, he never identified himself as being gay.
"I describe myself as being a heterosexual man with a homosexual challenge," Pickup said, adding that after his own SOCE treatment he had feelings for women and now only experienced attractions towards men "once in a blue moon."
Pickup claims that SOCE treatments work to varying degrees on "95 percent" of his patients and he vehemently opposes SB 1172 as a "violation of parental rights," and said the law would have a "chilling effect" on the ability of therapists to treat their patients.
Pickup also claims mainstream mental health groups like the APA 2009 Task Force report labeling SOCE change efforts as "posing critical health risks" to lesbian, gay and bisexual people was based solely on "anecdotal evidence."
Brad Dacus, president of PJI told Fox News that whether or not the therapy is viable isn't for lawmakers to decide. Parents, patients and therapists should not be dictated to, he said.
"This is really a serious violation of the constitutional rights of patients and counselors, a violation of privacy and an outright attack on the rights of parents to decide what is best for their children," Dacus said.
Lieu responded to the criticism by pointing out this was a health issue and his bill was written to protect the health, welfare and rights of minors who were experiencing same-sex attractions.
"We (the government) intervene all the time to restrict the rights of individuals and parents regarding health issues," Lieu told Fox News.
"We pass laws saying minors can't buy tobacco products; anyone under 21 can't legally drink alcohol and we force parents to put their very young children into car seats while they're driving," Lieu said.
While public opposition to the bill has been loud and long, it was actually opposition to portions of the legislation from mainstream mental health associations that forced Lieu and the bill's sponsors to amend it.
That opposition, which included several smaller mental health groups, was led by a coalition of the state's four largest mental health associations: the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), California Psychiatric Association, California Psychological Association and the California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (CALPCC).
Today, the bill only bans SOCE treatments for minors, regardless of their parents' desires. Initially, the bill's sponsors had wanted a total ban on SOCE in the state. Also cut was a provision that subjected mental health providers to damage claims and civil suits by their former patients and immediate family members if they violated the law.
But one major sticking point remained. Randall Hagar, Government Affairs director of the California Psychiatric Association told Fox News the coalition remained opposed because the bill's definition of SOCE was "overly broad and could have inhibited minors from discussing even legitimate issues, fears and concerns about their sexual identity with their therapists."
Dr. Jo Linder-Crow, executive director of the California Psychological Association echoed Hagar's concerns. "It would have been too easy to misinterpret," she said. "Our concern was that proverbial law of unintended consequences and what could happen to our patients."
A compromise was finally brokered that enabled the coalition to move to a neutral position on the bill, Hagar said. In laymen's terms, Hagar said, SOCE was defined as any therapy whose sole purpose or aim was to change a person's sexual orientation from same-sex to opposite sex attraction.
Banned SOCE treatments would exclude psychotherapies that provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients' coping, social support and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices and do not seek to change sexual orientation.
No nanny no more
Britons do not like nanny. Despite decades of her telling us what foods we should eat, how much we should drink, and what lifestyles are safe, a majority of us wish she'd stop. This is the finding of a new poll commissioned by the ASI. Its full findings are well worth a look, but here's a snapshot.
71% agree that "It's up to me, rather than the government, to secure myself a job," and only 7% disagree.
51% agree that "I think most of my retirement pension will probably come from a pension fund I have saved myself," compared with the 22% who disagree.
Housing divides on party lines, with a majority of Labour voters agreeing that government has a duty to provide it, and a majority of Tory voters disagreeing.
Should government provide advice on what foods people like me should eat and how much to drink? 48% disagree and 22% agree.
The statement that "Politicians and Civil servants are well-equipped to make personal decisions on my behalf" finds only 9% in agreement, versus 65%who disagree.
Would young people like to run their own business? Of the Of the 18-24 age- group, 49% agreed, versus 27% who did not. Among 25- 39 year-olds some 44% agreed that they would like to do this, versus 30% who disagreed.
It seems that despite all the nannying, the British prefer to make their own decisions, and young people might well be out there creating the new businesses for our future prosperity.
British welfare housing and social cleansing: try to keep a straight face while the Lefties tie themselves in knots
Sometimes inequality is a good thing, apparently
By Tim Worstall
There are times when I find it difficult to suppress the giggles at the contortions that Lefty philosophy can entail. Take the stories about flogging off the expensive council houses to build cheap ones. Apparently this would mean that poor people would no longer live right next door to rich people and this would be a very bad idea. As the Telegraph reports:
"Senior Liberal Democrats and council leaders raised concerns that the policy could force hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged families out of desirable neighbourhoods and into “ghettos”."
Sounds bad, doesn't it?
"Critics said the plan could result in social “cleansing” as council tenants disappear from expensive postcodes, especially in parts of London and the South East."
Horrors. According to Gabrielle Omar, director of architect firm Lolli & Square:
"Another worry is that we would be creating new ghettos, reversing some of the work that has been done to integrate communities."
"Critics warned that it would lead to “social cleansing”, with low-paid workers progressively moved out of more expensive areas."
How could they?
But there's something that confuses me here. The argument being put forward here is that rich and poor should live side by side. That this engenders a feeling of community, that we all become as one by living next door to each other. This could be true, of course; I'm certainly willing to give the belief a try.
My confusion comes though from the other thing we are regularly told by assorted Lefties: that inequality kills. That just by having rich and poor in the same country, let alone the same neighbourhood, suicides rise, jealousy rises, heart attacks climb, cancer rates inflate. I'm sure that somewhere or other Wilkinson and Pickett, perhaps in The Spirit Level, insist that it is the very knowledge that others have so very much more that produces these results. I'm also willing to consider this belief, give people an opportunity to prove it.
But think how much angels-on-pinheads philosophising is require to believe, let alone assert, that national inequality kills people while local inequality is a desirable thing. That a pay differential of 50 to one between two people who will never meet, are in fact entirely unaware of each other's existence, causes the ruin of society while the same two people living next door to each other is a wondrous joy to behold.
Further, given the campaign against pay inequality within companies, this idea that the top should not get more than 20 times the bottom, how twisted does logic have to get to then insist that pay inequality within geographic communities must be maintained rather than reduced?
As I say, I don't really mind either argument: they may or may not be true but I'm happy to consider either. It's just that the same people advancing both does give me the giggles.
And as for this:
"Critics of the idea said it would simply open up the expensive London housing market to more rich foreigners. Karen Buck, the Labour MP for Westminster North, said it would add to the capital's "inflated, overseas, money-driven housing bubble"."
In what possible universe can this be true? We aim to increase the number of (possibly expensive) houses which are available for people to purchase. It's a perverted view of the world that says that an increase in supply is going to raise prices and inflation. In fact, it's laughable.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.