I have at times, a touch of envy for those who pay no attention to the news but go about their lives making the best or worst of what they have. "Ignorance is bliss". At the moment that might be a good place to be because the number of horrendous events activating headlines is at a very high level.
Christchurch March 15 started this round for most of us; a peaceful Friday, until. Now there seems to be stories everywhere regarding the assault on Christianity. Except it's not the beginning, it's been under way a long time, just mainly outside what we call "the West". The sad news is that New Zealand has been lassoed and cannot escape its capture. It's surprising to me the references to Christchurch still being made and now we are "responsible" for the retribution targeting Sri Lanka. True or not, Isis (Islamic State) has laid the claim of revenge for Christchurch. Maybe they didn't get the Prime Minister's message.
John L Allen Jr is the author of The Global War on Christians. Referencing Angela Merkel's response to the Sri Lanka bombings, "It is shocking that the people who gather to celebrate Easter together were consciously targeted in this malicious attack". Except, he writes, "the shocking thing about the carnage is that it is NOT shocking — and instead forms part of an ugly, predictable global pattern". I thought Merkel's comment weak, probably subdued by her open arms, come one come all invitation.
Similarly, both Obama and Clinton used the same language in tweets regarding the murder of 360 (and climbing), "Easter worshippers" in Sri Lanka. Not a mention of Christians or churches. This in contrast to their reaction to Christchurch where both used Muslims and mosques in their commentary. Thus assisting the case presented by David Horowitz in a new book Dark Agenda, the war to destroy Christian America.
Italian academic Augusto Del Noce argues "the prevailing orthodoxy dominating the West is one of secular humanism inspired by Neo-Marxism, critical theory and scientific rationalism".
Don't, by the way, confuse critical theory with critical thinking. Regretfully Neo-Marxism and critical theory are making headway in Australasia, and especially in the USA, Britain and Canada.
The commentator and author Mehdi Hasan, responding to condemnation of Christchurch wrote, "I am a Muslim and I consider myself to be on the left, but I'm embarrassed to admit that in both Muslim and left circles the issue of Christian persecution has been downplayed and even ignored for far too long". But there's more.
Dr Kevin Donnelly, author of How Political Correctness is Destroying Australia, says "the subservience to multiculturalism and uncritically celebrating diversity and difference … is best exemplified in the national curriculum. Christianity, if present, is considered to be on the same footing as indigenous spirituality. Harmony Day and Sorry Day are on the same level as Christmas and Easter".
Salim Mansur, a name not recognised in New Zealand, but should be, is a Canadian citizen, a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario. From his book Delectable Lie, a liberal repudiation of multiculturalism, "although multiculturalism once seemed a very good idea … it is increasingly shown to be a lie — a delectable lie nevertheless — that is destructive of the West's liberal democratic heritage, tradition, and values based on individual rights and freedoms. This could have been foretold, as indeed those philosophers and historians of ideas who viewed freedom as immeasurably more important than equality in the development of the West did foretell. They admonished people against the temptation to abridge freedom in pursuit of equality". By the way, Mansur is a Muslim, albeit a dissident one. Delectable Lie is 173 pages of delectable reading and thoroughly recommended for the citizenry of this country.
Simon Kuestenmacher is director of research at the Demographic Group, where Bernard Salt of smashed avocado fame, also resides. "Losing faith in religion leaves young trapped in painful search for meaning", said a column written by Simon last week. Not a religious article per se, Simon deals with demographic trends, consumer insights and cultural change. Nevertheless, the headline is poignant. Douglas Murray's recent headline equally so. "What hope for a world without religion?" Indeed, did Eric Hardy Smith just help delay the inevitable?
Eric Smith joined the Australian Imperial Force on January 28, 1916 in Perth, and was part of the 44th Battalion AIF 1916-1919, aged 18. He was my father's father. Here is all, until very recently, I knew about my grandfather. He returned from the war a wreck. Having suffered from being gassed on more than one occasion, his nerves were shot. He attempted school teaching but couldn't cope, so returned to a family farm north of Perth. After alcohol became a problem, he entered an asylum where he died in 1949. I now have his war records, which were sent to me recently. He was in France and was injured and repaired to hospital in England on three occasions. There is more to discover but this is a small tribute that I write on Anzac morning.