Balls, Paths, Teachers, Daunting, Erred, Dr Who

Several articles of a religious nature from the SMH newspaper:

Purity Balls

An increasing number of young American women and girls are attending purity balls with their conservative Christian fathers who promise to protect their daughters’ chastity until marriage. About 88 per cent of these women lose their virginity before they wed, writes Neela Banerjee.

There are a few things about these Purity Balls that make me go WTF? The biggest one is the sexual abstinence thing, it’s just not very viable (88% is a very high failure rate), the sexual urge is a very primitive and strong urge. One that at times needs to be tempered, but also needs to be acknowledged. Another problem is the lack of sexual education these people get, they are told “just don’t do it” and not provided with the knowledge to prevent unwanted pregnancies or STDs if they do ‘do it’.

And the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the US found that rates of sexually transmitted diseases were higher in communities with a high proportion of pledgers.

I agree with PossumMomma, the best thing to do is provide education and develop a mutual trust and respect with your children. I wouldn’t encourage young teens to have sex, quite the opposite, but it’s better that they understand all the consequences and know all the options regarding contraception, STDs, etc. if they do want to have sex.

Catholic WYD – Clearing a path

It’s getting closer and the special laws are in place, so Sydney is now a Police State. The special World Youth Day Act means the State government can direct the Sydney Council to do whatever World Youth Day Co-ordination Authorities request! Apart from all the radical traffic changes, the authorities are/were planning on removing trees in a park to provide easier passage for the C-WYD pilgrims. Are these pilgrims so blinded by faith they need obstacles cleared from their path so they don’t bump into them? ** snerk ** 

The final paragraph of the SMH article sums things up quite well, and not just about C-WYD.

“I think we have to be careful about how communities are being disempowered under the guise of ‘You need this for security or to make this event successful’. Part of living in a democracy is consultation and coming up with better decisions together.”

Catholic WYD – I wonder what the Teachers really think?

Teachers and staff from Catholic schools ave been asked to give up to six days of their own time in school holidays to supervise overnight sleepovers for Catholic World Youth Day pilgrims.

Quite rightly, they are concerned with the logistics, duty-of-care and how to deal with inappropriate behaviour. I wonder how many also aren’t keen about losing their holidays?

Daunting World for Newly Secular

For ex Orthodox Jews the real world can be very daunting, and lonely. An interesting article featuring the story of Assaf Philip who used to be an ultra-orthodox rabbi. When Assaf decided to become a secular Jew it

cost him his family, most of his friends and excommunication from his entire community.

So, like Scientology, Exclusive Brethren and undoubtedly other religions, the ultra-orthodox Haredi Jews also practice disassociation for anyone who leaves their faith.

With no money, and no education in basic areas such mathematics and the sciences or the English alphabet, Philip says he was ejected from his home almost within hours of his rabbi learning he had lost his faith.

Philip, and others like him also have very little social skills as the Haredi Jewish community is a fairly closed community. Philip’s wife was picked for him by his father and rabbi and he met her only a couple of hours before their wedding.

Some of the other problems that secular Jews perceive are

that being Haredi carries with it certain privileges which include not having to pay tax, not having to work and not having to do three years of military service.

and some people think our government is lenient on the religious.


One last one I stumbled upon whilst trying to find the online links to the above articles. An opinion piece written by the Anglican Dean of Sydney Philip Jensen, the Anglican equivalent of the Catholic Archbishop George Pell. For those not in the know the Sydney Diocese of both the Anglicans and Catholics are the most staunchly traditional of the diocese around Australia. Pell and Jensen are also well known for voicing their opinions.


Church of Rome hath erred

So starts Jensen’s opinion piece.

Jensen says he thinks it’s an honour that Sydney is to host the Catholic WYD, but he is protesting none the less. Jensen’s protest:

is against the enormity of the claims of the Roman Catholic Church

Well that’s one thing I agree with Jensen about, but I think it may be the only thing.

Some people are born as Protestants. They are anti-Roman Catholic because of their own tribal roots.

SAY WHAT? People aren’t born as any religion, they get indoctrinated and brainwashed into the religion they are unfortunate enough to have been born into. They are anti-Catholic because their parents, Ministers and other authority figures tell them to be.

Jensen then goes on to rejecting various Catholic doctrines including the Catholics claim to divine authority, particularly

the Pope claiming to be the Vicar of Christ

Hmmm, something else I agree with, sort of. The Pope has no more ‘divine authority’ than anyone else, especially if you consider there is no divine authority.

Jensen then tells us that the Catholics have every right to get money from the government. It’s just being hospitable and like any other event hospitality is expensive. I wonder then how much money the Gay Mardi Gras gets from the government? I also wonder if Jensen, and Pell wouldn’t mind being just as hospitable to a World Atheist Day?

Jensen then discusses secularism.

World Youth Day does not compromise the separation of church and state. Nor does it undermine secular government. The Government provides facilities and security for any group, either religious or non-religious. We can only complain when there is favouritism for any particular group.

This is the confusion of secular with secularism. It is the confusion of secularist philosophy with secular government. Secular means this age – of this world. We have a government that is secular, i.e. relating to the things of this age – hospitals, building, roads, economy and so on.

Secularism is the religious philosophy, which teaches that there is no other age or world than this one.

The secularists wish to impose atheistic belief on society through government. They are the ones who do not believe in the separation of church and state. They try to use government to enforce their viewpoint. Thus they oppose the normal secular support that is given to Roman Catholics.

There are some valid points in the above quote but there is something wrong with the underlying ideas, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Can any tell me what Jensen has got wrong here?

Dr Who makes more sense than the Bible

One last thing, did anyone watch Good News Week last night? If you missed it you can watch the video here (episode 13, 122Mb). Towards the end of the show [40 min mark] they were talking about Dr Who and Paul said:

… because even a two hearted time travelling alien who lives in a dimension warping  [police] phone box makes more sense than the bible.

I cacked myself laughing 😆 I’ve just watched that bit again, trying to transcribe the above quote, now I’m typing this with a big smirk on my face. The article in question that GNW were discussing is:

The church is ailing – send for Dr Who

There’s another blog in that article alone, but I think I’ve done enough for today.

Last but not least – Five points to anyone who can make a good sentence from my headline.

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9 Comments

Filed under atheism, atheist, bible, Catholic WYD, Dr Who, Jew, pope, purity ball, secular

9 responses to “Balls, Paths, Teachers, Daunting, Erred, Dr Who

  1. half rabbit

    This is the confusion of secular with secularism. It is the confusion of secularist philosophy with secular government. Secular means this age – of this world. We have a government that is secular, i.e. relating to the things of this age – hospitals, building, roads, economy and so on..

    No that is the meaning of the latin origin saecularis. Secular according to the oxford dictionary means “1. not religious, sacred, or spiritual.”

  2. AV

    An increasing number of young American women and girls are attending purity balls with their conservative Christian fathers who promise to protect their daughters’ chastity until marriage.

    Paging Dr. Freud.

  3. Jensen also said that if Jehovah’s Witnesses or Yoga Teachers wanted to hold their world conferences in Sydney they would also benefit from the Government’s largesse. I asked my State MP whether the World Muslim Youth Day (if there is such a thing) could meet in Sydney and apply for funding and he didn’t hesitate before say “No.” He also told me that he thought I was alone in objecting to the Government purse being used to promote a particular religion (my words, not his!).

  4. How about “Dr Who teaches catholics to land their Tardis anywhere they’d like/on our freshly upturned earth?” As for purity balls, that’s just too creepy to incorporate…

  5. Claire

    Why on earth are we putting $86 million to the event diretly and $40 million to randwick racecourse, btw? Anyone?

  6. Claire, welcome and 4 points, I had to deduct 1 for lack of balls (in your sentence not on you) 😆

    Supposedly the $40M for Randwick is to re-turf it, renovate the stadium and fix anything else the Catholics break – why the Catholics aren’t paying for damages I don’t know – why we are giving money to a very rich sport to renovate their stadium I don’t know.

  7. Cricket Tragic

    I hate to be a party pooper Oz, but as I am rather a pedant, I must post this comment. Could I point out that while Phillip (double ‘l’) Jensen is indeed the Dean of St Andrew’s cathedral in Sydney, he is not the Anglican Dean of Sydney (there being no such creature) nor is he the equivalent of our friend Mr Pell. A dean in the Anglican church is attached to a cathedral and is not the ‘boss-man’, he (or she, if there are any) looks after the cathedral. Mr Pell’s equivalent in the Anglican church is actually Peter Jensen who is the Archbishop of Sydney and in fact Phillip’s brother. This rather incestuous-sounding arrangement is probably the reason for your confusion Oz.

  8. Fair point C T, I had got confused. It is normally Peter Jensen who I see in the media, and I hadn’t realised he had a brother who was also in the church, hence assumed (wrongly) it was the same person (I thought I’d just mis-remembered Peter’s name).
    Yes, it is Peter Jensen who is similar to Pell, not only as head of their respective churches, but also their opposition to gays, women priests and all things ‘modern’
    Here’s a recent letter from Peter, and a quote

    … Archbishop [Peter] Jensen argues: “This dispute is not really about homosexuality. It’s really about authority and who runs the church.

    how very telling.
    There is also an article in today’s Good Weekend section of the SMH titled “The Archbishop Says No”.

  9. Pingback: Palin pregnant when she married - Page 11 - Political Forum

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