Month: August 2011

Jay-Z on freedom of speech

I was reminded on this brilliant and funny line from Jay-Z’s track 99 Problems listening to it this morning, and inadvertently an excellent point regarding freedom of speech:

I’m like fuck critics; you can kiss my hole asshole
If you don’t like my lyrics you can press fast forward

 

Freedom of speech means that inevitably people are going to say things we don’t like. If you don’t like what someone has to say, you can always turn it off. Their freedom to speak also includes our freedom to tune out.

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Can there ever be a political settlement on homosexual marriage?

Homosexual marriage is hitting the headlines yet again today, as MPs will debate changes today to the Marriage Act that would allow homosexuals to get married.

This debate, brought about by Adam Bandt (the Greens MP for Melbourne), has unsurprisingly stirred up anger from church leaders and family organisations; and members of the homosexual community, including Bob Katter’s homosexual brother and former AMA president Kerryn Phelps. For both sides, this issue really transcends the removal of one line from the Marriage Act – it is one front in the ongoing Culture Wars. (more…)

Christian teenagers and dating: a youth pastor’s dilemma pt 3 – dating vs marriage

Here is the third part of the series on dating and Christian teens. Here is part one and part two. In part 1, I laid out what dating is and why I think it is so prevalent. In part 2, I went through the Bible’s view of marriage and its importance. In part 3, I compare dating to the Bible’s view on marriage.

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The balance has not been restored

Here is a letter I have written to the ABC regarding the supposed ‘satire’ Restoring the Balance, broadcast on triple j on Sunday nights.

I would like to lodge a complaint to express my disgust at the Restoring the Balance show on triple j. To take a legitimate criticism of the ABC, and triple j in particular, that there is an element of systemic left wing bias and then turn in it into a ‘satire’ of conservatives is insulting to me as a young conservative.

I can put up with the favouritism that the Left gets on triple j, and the tokenistic approach to airing conservative views, but to have a show that lampoons that feeling amongst conservatives is like rubbing salt in the wound. It shows the contempt that triple j management has for conservatives.

If triple j were serious about restoring the balance of commentary on their station, they would either a) have a show where serious and reasonable discussion of issues are had from a conservative point of view; b) change the tone of the show to criticise the substance of conservative views rather than denigrate a stereotype for the benefit of their sniggering buddies; or c) pull the show from the air as it serves no purpose but to insult half the voting population with demeaning, lame jokes.

Restoring the Balance as it stands is a disgrace to the public broadcaster, as no other religious or political group would ever be subject to such treatment (in fact, if a commercial station do such a thing, triple j would be first to condemn them in outrage). It is not ok to think that WASP conservatives are fair game while shielding others from the same sort of vilification.

The funny standard for austerity

The European sovereign debt crisis has brought about a strange mutation of the word ‘austerity’. Austerity down the ages has usually been associated with self-denial, plainness of style and asceticism. However, somewhere along the line, governments have managed to co-opt it to mean quite the opposite.

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