Essay: Islam, Politics and why it matters.

Islam, Politics and why it matters for us.

Reverend Felicity O’Brien November 2013

View as PDF                 Discussion Notes PDF

Supplementary Power Point

Introduction

This talk is about the religion that is called Islam. First we look at its beginnings with a brief historical overview, noting the great divide between two parts of Islam, Sunni and Shi’a, and some of the consequences of that split. We will explore briefly the spread of Islam and Muslim peoples throughout the world, both in ancient and modern times. We will look more closely at some of the groups in both Sunni and Shi’a, and how this plays out both religiously and politically, especially the more radical sector. Then we will explore the interaction of other countries with Islamic nations, the geopolitical scene, where differences between Islamic factions have been exploited by outsiders, in particular the U.S.

Finally, we will consider why this matters to us in New Zealand, especially to Christians, and I apologise to members of the audience who are not included in this group, but that is where my perspective comes from, as a minister in the Anglican Church.[1]

 Part 1: History of Islam

Fourteen hundred years ago, in a mountain cave, an Arab businessman was praying, worried about how his society was deteriorating. Money-making was becoming all-important, and the poor were getting poorer. People were restless, and knew that other surrounding countries practised more sophisticated religions than the Arab paganism. Some believed that their own highest God, Al-Lah (which means ‘God’) was the same deity as that worshipped by the Jews and Christians. But there had as yet been no prophet and no revelation to the Arabs in their own language. The man in the cave, Muhammad ibn Abdallah, woke one night overpowered by a mighty presence of the Angel Gabriel, and then he heard words of poetry pouring from his mouth. Tradition has it that he was illiterate, so therefore the elegant words must have come supernaturally.[2] Continue reading

Abducted children killed by al Qaeda?

Guest post by Kevin O’Brien

Evidence is strongly pointing to Al Qaeda having abducted the children and set them up as claimed gas attack victims of the Syrian Assad Alawite forces.

Ghouta chemic attackRead the rest of this here and here. The report to the UN is here (it’s a long PDF download, very graphic and distressing.)

ScreenShot242-cropThis appears to be video of the abduction and the children being put to sleep.

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Secret delight

I wanted to write a companion post to Kevin’s recent post about God and global resources.

When our oldest son was about 18 months old, it was his second Christmas. His father and I filled up a stocking for him, laid it on his bed while he slept, and set up the baby monitor. On Christmas morning, we heard all sorts of noises and delight as Morgan uncovered all the presents wedged into the stocking. His first word had been ‘train’ so it was no surprise when this came over loud and clear on the baby monitor. We tried not to laugh too loudly as we heard his delight in his new goodies!

In a way, I wonder if God also delights as parents do, when we discover the good things the Creator has placed in the world. And it’s not unscriptural to suggest this analogy – just remember the story of the egg and the stone – surely  earthly parents will give  their child what is good,- how much more will your father in heaven do this for you? (paraphrased)

When God made the universe, over many billions of years, via  a big bang, or evolution, or by whatever means, God placed all sorts of minerals and elements within it. As human beings develop their minds and their cooperation that we have been created with, we can do more to uncover the resources of the earth. One of these is thorium – Kevin’s post yesterday talked about thorium as a way forward for safe and cheap nuclear fuel. God did give us free will however, as to how we use it, and that’s where a problem lies. We can choose to use something for good, or for evil. We can use it wisely, or exploit it. Sometimes the end results are not clear at the beginning, so motives are mixed. But what God did not do is make us into little marionettes, to be manipulated by God whenever he felt like it. No, and because God did give us this free will, we cannot blame God when we don’t discover something to use, or when someone uses it for non-lifegiving purposes. We must take responsibility for our own actions, which again must be guided by love. If we accept that God loves us, then we must accept that God loves everyone else too, and enlightened self-interest – with self meaning all the people on , – must mean that we all can strive for the good of everyone in how we use the resources available to us.

Even if we don’t accept that God loves us, then surely it is still in the best interest of ourselves and the earth to behave as if other people have rights to resources too. That is why thorium is so exciting – because it will do away with the desire to experiment with biofuel, which uses up available agricultural land.

God in climate change

Guest post by Kevin O’Brien

Christians worry too much, relying on their own understandings and accepting the misinformation barrage.God has a simple logical proof as well as his word that disproves the reality of the whole of the climate alarmism.

The latest leaked draft IPCC report AR5 attempts to cover over their previous failed scary projections by offering “trust me it will get worse”. Unfortunately science in the climate arena has largely abandoned truth for advocacy and PhD student models. This is no comfort to those who have come to believe their island homes will swamped or other speculative alarmist scenarios.

God has his answers:

Firstly for us to try to reduce the global temperature by only 1/20 of a degree would cost 4/5ths of the worlds productive output. What sort  of God do we have that would put us in that position? This chart is based on accepted science referred to on the 50 to 1 site:

Claymore_1_edge

Secondly we don’t have the world-wide productive capacity or land to enable a switch to biofuels, nor are wind farms or solar panels sufficient. Renewable energy is more aspirational than real. Here it is described as a disaster: it should be described as totally impossible on a global scale. Can we trade topsoil for fuel oil? Where do we get scarce phosphorus for future food crops? God does not expect us to beggar ourselves or our neighbours to produce motor fuel.

Thirdly the switch to renewable energy brings great injustice. Who is to bear the rising food prices and resulting famines? Our God is a God of justice so this is against Gods’ will.

The solution that fits all this: we will adapt to the natural climate changes, the islands will not sink unless supporting water reservoirs are used up, coral will still grow up to sea level; the earth has an unmeasurable equilibrium which each of us will find different in our own lifetimes.

There is energy. God hasn’t abandoned His every growing people to a world without adequate agreeable energy. Nuclear fuel has got a bad reputation because the electric power industry preferred to use uranium to provide a by-product for atomic weapons.

Thorium is no use for bomb making nor popular with terrorists but does make good heat and hence electricity. While it is radioactive, you can hold it safely in your hand. It is now being used in low temperature reactors which cannot explode or do a Chernobyl. The reactors have the potential for factory assembly for neighbourhood use and the fuel is plentiful. Trust God to have provided even before we were aware of our needs.

IPCC Climate change “Pig in a Poke”, Where’s the truth?

This month the IPCC will meet with great publicity to write the political executive summary of their 5th Assessment Report. See Vincent Gray on the background to these here. David Rose at the Mail on Sunday questions how they got it all so wrong.”Climate change sceptics are more outspoken. Dr Benny Peiser, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, described the leaked report as a ‘staggering concoction of confusion, speculation and sheer ignorance’.

A fine technical explanation countering man made global warming.

IPCC AR5 Renews Demands For Governments Buy Their Climate Change Pig In A Poke

Guest essay by Dr. Tim Ball

Buying “a pig in a poke” refers to buying an unseen piglet in a sack. The piglet was actually a cat, so when you opened the sack after purchase “the cat was out of the bag.”

Governments bought the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ‘pig’ ‘that human CO2 was causing global warming wrapped in the ‘poke’ of their Reports. IPCC assured buyers it was a pig with 90+ percent certainty.

They fooled governments and media four times now they offer a new poke in Assessment Report 5 (AR5), but with 95 percent certainty it’s a pig. This is despite the fact that the cat is already out of the bag. Their predictions have failed. For 17 years global temperatures have declined while CO2 levels continue to increase. Arctic summer ice, supposedly all gone by 2013 has recovered by 60 percent in one year. Severe weather has not increased. Damage done by policies already implemented, such as green jobs and alternate energies, is already evident. Newspaper coverage declined dramatically as people sense problems even if they don’t understand (Figure 1). Decline followed the peak created by Gore’s false fantasy An Inconvenient Truth.

2000-2013_climate_coverage

Figure 1

Instead of acknowledging error, the IPCC [tries] to defend the indefensible. This alone warrants disbanding of the agency. Continue reading

Living with the climate is cheaper: 50 to 1

The 50 to 1 Project site for more –

I heartily recommend this short video to you – it tells us why climate change should not be financially crippling our planet.

You may recollect some of the same information in our previous blog about Lord Christopher Monckton.

Viscount Monckton – The triumph of the individual over the hive mind

Some earlier posts on this site:

Deprivation & no climate change

Salvation in traditional vs green theology

Global warming takes a vacation

Global cooling from UN

Warmist injustice

Sermon: What’s the Sabbath for?

Sermon for Longview 29 August 2013

Luke 13:10-17

Today’s reading is all about the Sabbath, and what it’s for. Some cultures have been very restrictive in the past about what you could and couldn’t do on a Sunday – I remember reading books like Little House on the Prairie, and being horrified that on a Sunday you couldn’t play, and just had to read sermons and other religious books.

Now, these days, that isn’t such a terrifying thought – in fact it’s quite relaxing. And that’s part of what the Sabbath is all about. Relaxing, refreshing, restoring. Continue reading

547 and a half percent – Loan Orca loose

Guest post by Kevin O’Brien

I'm coming for your bacon at 547.5% annual rate.

I’m coming for your bacon at 547.5% annual rate.      Click to enlarge.

Let the borrower beware.

Once interest rates beyond 48% annualised were unconscionable, now in New Zealand, we have no limit. The Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 is a national disgrace in removing the old restraints and general possible review of loan contracts by the Courts. The Act has smoothed commerce but it now putting smiles on the faces of the loan orcas ( like loan sharks but nastier) who are increasingly becoming more predatory. ‘Save My Bacon’ – a NZ loan company – may do anything but that if they call in external debt collectors following a default. They say they freeze the interest after 45 days before they renegotiate from there, with the amount repayable growing by a further 67% during that time. The daily interest rate is 1.5%. Depending on compounding the annualised rate may exceed the 547.5% (1.5%x365). Continue reading

Who is is taking the land – food from the children’s mouths?

Land = Food, not biodiesel.


Deprivation – and no climate change (UN).

Now that the UN Climate Change Chief has admitted NO global warming in the past 17 years, recall what has been and not been done. Whose keepers are we? Part of this video raises these issues.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

UN Climate Change Panel Chief admits lack of warming…

The Australian -Climate NO climate Change

(Paywalled)                                                                                                   (Click image to enlarge.)

This is how the lack of warming show shows up on a graph based on UN data.

. Some scientists are proposing that we are entering a period of potentially rapid cooling which would be much more difficult to live in with reduced food production and restricted energy choices. The IPCC computer models have been shown to fail miserably to predict long term climate. Can we afford to take the risk of them being wrong?

Graphic from the Mail on Sunday article by David Rose

Graphic from the Mail on Sunday article by David Rose (Derived from  IPCC Draft AR-5)

Now, enjoy the wriggle: warmist denies warming requires warming!

Trenberth : Warming No Longer Requires Warming