Friday, 30 May 2014

The Royal Commission Continues

And so it transpires that Detective Peter Fox, the policeman whose whistleblowing was instrumental in setting up the current Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, is an unreliable witness: "
The Australian today cites an independent NSW inquiry's report:
The commission formed the view that Fox had developed what amounted to an obsession about both the Catholic Church and alleged conspiracies involving senior police ... Other parts of his evidence given before the commission were “implausible” and “deliberately untruthful”.

I’m still glad the Royal Commission has happened, in a way, because it’s lifted the lid on the Salvation Army and the Anglicans and the other institutions where child abuse was taking place.

What angered me was that it was so obviously a ‘Get the Catholics’ exercise in pandering to the ABC and Friends, while ignoring the huge amount of sexual abuse that’s taken place of children in state care and in state foster placements, and the current huge amount of sexual abuse of Aboriginal children in remote areas.

The inevitable calls for married priests arise. These conveniently overlook the problems with paedophilia in churches where married clergy proliferate, and also conveniently overlook the vastly disproportionate numbers of male-on-male sexual assaults that have taken place.

There are two immediate and up-front solutions for Catholics faced with this kind of challenge.

1) Dioceses need to vet the seminary applicants a lot more closely – tick; being done already. Inspired by the example of the late Ronald Conway, they also need to vet the vetters a lot more closely.

2) If you are a Catholic, support your priests to live a celibate life by word, by prayer, by practical assistance, by example. I’m trying to do this; I’d invite any other Catholics to do so as well.

I’ve personally been blessed by knowing a great many celibate priests who were genuinely celibate. Celibacy actually put them in an ideal position to give me wise advice, and to give me the sort of kind-hearted, generous and fatherly support and protection that I’d been lacking for much of my life.

Married priests can counsel the married, but they will draw primarily on their own experience. Celibates can also counsel the married, but they can draw upon the huge range of experiences that they’ve had with hearing the problems of other married couples and counselling them, and the families with whom they’ve been involved.

People think celibacy means being dead, or living in a cupboard and hiding from reality/sex. It’s not. Practising it faithfully opens your heart and your mind in ways that you simply can’t imagine or expect, and it gives you greater objectivity as well. The good priests I’ve known have had an inner freedom and self-mastery that gave them a joyous and positive outlook on life, and they were in turn able to transmit that to me when they gave me counsel.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Return of the Jedi

The IPA's Julie Novak recently took on Simon Copland in a Guardian-sponsored debate over libertarianism and sexuality. Catallaxyfiles very kindly drew my attention to this.

Julie Novak says that libertarianism is good for gay people. Simon Copland repeats some rather tepid first-year-sociology-lecture material about heterosexuality being a direct product of Friedrich Engels (or something; I have to admit I wasn't really paying attention by that stage, because it was like listening to Rik from The Young Ones all over again.)

I disagree with Simon Copland, but I think he speaks out of ignorance. He is simply repeating what he’s been told over and over, rather than doing some broader reading and a bit of really independent thinking.

Given Simon’s current employment and occupational provenance, I’d say he’s used to trotting out the well-worn line that ‘marriage has always been oppressive to women’ because he CAN say that, as a man, and get murmurs of approval from every gay man and woman in his (self-selected) audience. This makes him feel good, and they all seem to like it as well, so naturally he believes it to be true.

If he bothered to learn a little REAL history, he would soon realise that marriage in general, and in Western Europe in particular, had until recently developed into an effective legal and social way of protecting women, and the children they become pregnant with, from desertion and abandonment by feckless men.

We have managed to undo that in the last few decades with easy divorce, with the results around us: sole parent families, almost all female-headed, form a substantial underclass of poverty in Australia. Fatherless children continue to underperform across a broad range of social indicators.

Meanwhile, men, set free by 24 hour / 7 day contraceptive protection for women, do what they like, when they like, to whoever will let them, and then for some reason ‘refuse to commit’, much to their disappointed sexual partners’ surprise.

The state has taken on the responsibility of protecting, feeding, clothing and otherwise providing for these fractured casualties of our commitment to deconstructing marriage. It has not done a good job. I’m not saying all husbands and fathers do a good job, but most of them can do a better job than the state.

Until we find a proven, effective, and legalisable REPLACEMENT for marriage, I’d be a bit less hasty in demolishing it. In the meantime, women and children continue to suffer even more grievously precisely because our society does not value marriage any longer.

PS Julie, I respect you both as an economist and a pushy broad, but we have to face some facts here: gay people form a tiny minority of the Australian population.

The 2011 Census produced a count of 33,714 same-sex couples in Australia. That’s 67,428 individuals. If we are generous and include the shy couples and the singles, we might just make it up to 80,000 with a good tail wind. (If we can’t count accurately, we can all just guess, and this is my guess.)

That’s around the same number of people who listed their religion as ‘Jedi’ in the 2001 Census. I am all in favour of religious freedom, but I really don’t think we need to change marriage laws to accommodate Jedi, either.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

We Shall Not Be Moved

And how. I don't fancy the coppers' chances of moving some of these young ladies in a hurry. Not without a block and tackle, anyway.

PS Note to people who bring their small children on demonstrations - any demonstrations of any kind:

1) You are either despicable (children are not to be used as human shields so that the police won't get involved), or -

2) You are criminally stupid and culpable (if the protest turns violent, the police can't wade in with riot shields or horses, for fear of hurting your kids. This leaves you and your small children completely undefended. Had you thought about that?)

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Home Again, Home Again

Ahhhh, it's good to be home again. But it was worth it. I had a splendid time at the Liberty and Western Civilisation Symposium in Melbourne.


* Roger Scruton's eloquent and almost hour-long discourse, with minimal notes, on Everything Pertaining to The Topic;

* Claudio Veliz's equally eloquent and almost as long 'three minutes', ditto;

* Asking Michael Kroger to get out of the way because he was between me and a nice hot cup of tea;

* Catching up with various chums like Paul Collits, Dr Mark McAndrew (also from Perth), Elizabeth Bogoni from the Dawson Society in Perth, David Daintree from the Dawson Centre in Tasmania, Greg Melleuish (top marks for his pithy presentation), and the inimitable John Roskam;

* Putting faces to names: David van Gend, Ian Callinan, Nick Cater, Kevin Donnelly; Tony Thomas; and finally Roger Franklin (who was kind enough to drive me to the airport today);

* Meeting the much-maligned and misunderstood Bolta, who stepped in for John Howard at the Roger Scruton session;

* the Socialist Alliance demo (!!) that appeared shortly before afternoon tea, but it was out in the lobby, and it was twelve or so spotty students chanting about university fees. There were around 400 of us, so we had to stay indoors until they'd moved the demo to a safe location, for fear of them being crushed under a stampede of angry libertarians exercising the Fisk Doctrine.

John Roskam went outside and pointed out to them the irony of them trying to shout down a symposium discussing the loss of freedom of speech in Australia. This was rather above their heads, so he asked if he could have some selfies with them instead - which annoyed them enough to make them go away.

But anyway ... Here is one happy snap, at least:

Paul Collitts (left) is not quite quick enough to escape, but hardcore Roger Scruton fan Elizabeth Bogoni (right) is having fun. The drinks afterwards were rather good, even though I didn't have my gold frilly frock to hand. PS Got a super haircut on Thursday at swanky salon Rokk Ebony in Collins Place - and it cost me less than Maurice Meade. I can see why people move to Melbourne.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Off to Melbourne

I'm off to the Eastern Wilderness on Thursday morning. This is so that I will be fresh and awake enough to take part in the Liberty and Democracy in Western Civilisation Symposium on Friday. Keynote speaker: Roger Scruton!

The program and all the other details are here. I don't think I will get any selfies with prominent members of Australia's Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (VRWC for short), but you never know your luck in the big city.

There are drinks afterwards. With any luck, it should end up looking like this - just as long as I pack my gold frilly frock ...