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Lectionary, Quotage

Creative replatforming & patriotism.

We are to obey the secular authorities, true. Even when they are foolish, cowardly, and threatened by loud minorities. Even when the press defends those who would oppress, as the NZ Herald now does. The controversy over Lauren Southern is a test of the moral fibre of the leadership of my nation: either we are prepared to understand that there is a truth and righteousness, or it is relative, and to criticize those who beat, mutilate and murder is gross intolerance. I think Southern is far more correct than the NZ Herald. But I don’t tip over their newsstands or picket their paper.

Which is what they want to do to Southern.

Every editor of a newspaper or other public platform can sympathise with the Mayor of Auckland when he decided to close council venues to speakers whose views he considered hurtful to ethnic and religious minorities.

He is accused of interfering with free speech, which invokes the freedom to hear and read as well as express an honestly held view.

Free speech is an inherent right and vital in a democracy. It can also hurt and offend people criticised in debates that will often be “divisive”. If Mayor Phil Goff closed council-owned venues to all divisive meetings, democracy would be in trouble. Ethnicity and religion are subjects that appear to cause him difficulty, and he is not alone.

The mayor — and editors — do need to give people a fair hearing before barring them from public halls or websites or newspaper pages.

Many people base their judgments on material found in cursory research. Anyone making decisions about giving people a platform to broadcast a message need to ensure that deliberations and research are considered, thorough and reasonable.

In this instance, Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, who had been booked to speak at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna, would be as challenging for editors as they are for Goff. Some of their views are nauseating and inflammatory.

For instance, Southern clearly hates Islam’s view of women as unintentional temptresses and all that follows from that. She disagrees with the liberal view that this attitude to women should be tolerated for the sake of Muslims’ acceptance in the West, or that if it is challenged it must be done respectfully. Southern does not respect Islamic law and mores and it is difficult to insist she should, even if one disagrees. She has also supported missions trying to hamper the rescue of shipwrecked refugees and was banned from the UK, deemed to be not “conducive to the public good”.

If people have a right to be angry, hurtful and offensive on their own online platforms, they have no right to insist that others give them another. Some editors would be happy to publish that sort of material, others would require a more respectful tone, not just for the sake of people’s feelings but also because calm, reasoned, respectful argument is usually more intelligent and therefore interesting.

NZ Herald

Southern and Molyneaux could take lessons in provocation from Paul. Arrested, and with no platform, he was able to speak truth to a whitewashed wall of a High Priest and mention the resurrection of the dead in front of a bunch of rabbis.

But there was a cost, and it was one the editor fears. He set off a riot. He was again placed under arrest, for his safety. Leaving the accusations that he had offended the priests and scribes and Sadducees unspoken.

Acts 22:30-23:11

30Since he wanted to find out what Paul was being accused of by the Jews, the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and the entire council to meet. He brought Paul down and had him stand before them.

1While Paul was looking intently at the council he said, “Brothers, up to this day I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God.” 2Then the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near him to strike him on the mouth. 3At this Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting there to judge me according to the law, and yet in violation of the law you order me to be struck?” 4Those standing nearby said, “Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?” 5And Paul said, “I did not realize, brothers, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a leader of your people.'”

6When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” 7When he said this, a dissension began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge all three.) 9Then a great clamor arose, and certain scribes of the Pharisees’ group stood up and contended, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10When the dissension became violent, the tribune, fearing that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force, and bring him into the barracks.

11That night the Lord stood near him and said, “Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome.”

Paul knew from what he had come and who he was. He was a Jew: his genealogy was through the tribe of Benjamin. He had been trained as a Pharisee — a group whom Christ testified sat on the seat of Moses — and he had been zealous for his nation. At the end of his ministry he is still clear of whom he his and where he came from. He did not see being a Jew as a sin, nor that the nations should dissolve, but in Christ. For his preaching had — this zealot, who persecuted the church — been to the gentiles, whom many Jews despised and most would have nothing to do with.

And from that he saw a profound equality. All of us, from the leper and whore to God’s High Priest, are fallen. We all need Christ. In him there is unity.

Ephesians 2:11-22

11So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision” — a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands — 12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

The fact is that we are in nations. There is nothing wrong with being in a nation. There is nothing wrong if the hymns are different, the vernacular language different, if the gospel is preached. Again, it matters not if the dress is different: our women do not dress as modest Roman or Greek women did — but as modest people in that nation dress, as should we. [1] I will note that the nation may be smaller than the political entity, but that can lead to conflict.

The explosive comments were delivered by Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok during a private meeting attended by some 80 people working for the Netherlands’ international organizations. Footage of Blok speaking to the audience via video link was leaked to the current affairs program Zembla on Wednesday, and the inflammatory remarks promptly spread through the Dutch media.

“I have asked my ministry this and I will pose the question here as well,” Blok can be heard saying in the video. “Give me an example of a multi-ethnic or a multi-cultural society, in which the original population still lives, and where there is a peaceful cohabitation. I don’t know one.”

The minister went further and said it might be all fun and games to go to a “Turkish bakery on Sunday” if you live in a well-off part of a city, but a “number of side effects” promptly become tangible if one lives in a migrant-packed neighborhood.

“You very quickly reach the limits of what a society can take,” Blok stated.

One of the event goers gave Suriname as an example of a peaceful multicultural society. Bok, however, brushed off the claim, branding the former Dutch colony “a failed state.”

“And that is largely to do with the ethnic divisions,” Blok said.

Singapore was then given as an example of such a society. Blok agreed with that to a certain degree, stating, however, that the tiny South Asian country is actually very careful in its migration policies. “Singapore is indeed a mini-country, extremely selective in its migration,” Blok stated. “They do not allow poor migrants…”

Singapore is more engineered than Blok suggests. The immigration system is set up to ensure there is a Chinese ethnic majority, and by that I mean a Southern Chinese majority. Which is their right. [2]

The equality we have is in Christ. We are in nations: and in those nations we should be. The current immigration scam is disempowering the nations of Africa as their most talented and able are poached to run the health system while their young men are encouraged to arrive and be street sweepers. It is far better and cheaper to provide aid where such poor people live than it is to bring them to functional nations.

For eventually they will reform and be strong again. However, the liberals won’t like this: in the Anglican polity, the Ugandan church now has missional bishops in the USA, for there is need for an orthodox Christian presence in North America.

And we, like the Ugandans, need to preach the resurrection of the dead, and confront the cowards, who act righteous but are as rotten as the grave/

1. The Amish are, in their way, like the Muslim woman in hijab. Immodest. As are their men. Their dress brings attention to them, when we should dress in a manner that indicates we are a member of that society.
2. I like Singapore, but as a European I could only live their for a short time.

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