Global Christian Perspectives – March 18, 2016

gcp-badgeWhen: 4 PM Central Daylight Time, March 18, 2016

Where: The EnergionDiscussion YouTube Channel

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Proposed Topics

These are not yet broken down into time, and there will likely be more topics before the event.

I’d like to discuss this, but Allan won’t be with us, so it might not be fair:-

I’m wondering what Elgin thinks of this article:-
I can see elements of this in the UK as well, though our “Mexico” is probably currently the former Eastern Bloc countries which hhve joined the EU

I suspect we might want to discuss Elgin’s recent post:-
FWIW, it is now decided that refusal to provide services on the grounds of the sexual orientation of the recipient is illegal here (but you wouldn’t get large fines or civil damages flowing from it). We’ve also had a case involving a cake maker. 


Global Christian Perspectives – March 11, 2016

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Here are the notes:

Wednesday this week is International Women’s Day. A lot of articles recognised this, including this one:-

Thursday this week is the 20th anniversary of the Dunblane school massacre in Scotland, which was the first of two giving rise to the now almost complete ban on handguns here. On my list of things the US and the UK don’t understand about each other (and which we haven’t got to yet) is guns. Why does the States still permit so many handguns when they cause so many deaths? I have in mind this clip too:-

From Henry: Michael Dowd:
I think this would be worth discussing. I’ve had correspondence with Dowd before, some of which was mildly combative. 🙂
Elgin and myself have a lot of disagreements in our recent exchanges about socialism. I don’t know it he has time, but this article from the admittedly somewhat left wing playwright David Hare interests me:-
The thing is, the state I grew up in in the 1950s to 1970s was far more socialist than the UK is today. It had quite a lot wrong with it, as Hare concedes in his article. But it also had a lot right with it, which has been abandoned in the quest for more and more liberalisation of markets. No-one in my generation had to pay for tertiary education (as long as they wanted it and could get a place at an university, granted there were far less places available then than there are now), nor did they have any difficulty getting a job (and lots of people elected not to go to university because they could get very well paying jobs with apparently good job security).  I was incredibly privileged to grow up then; now, my children have crippling amounts of student finance debt as their start point in life and struggle to find jobs at anything more than minimum wage even with a good degree from a good university. Similarly, those who wanted housing could get it at reasonable cost in a large public rented sector; that now largely doesn’t exist, and those without jobs can’t get accommodation and those without accommodation can’t get jobs, and there are people sleeping on the street, which was unheard of in the 1970s except for very small numbers of socially maladjusted people. Those who do have jobs have no security in them – industries are thrown on the scrap heap, and if you want to keep employed you have to keep learning new sets of skills (which these days employers won’t pay for you to acquire, whereas in the 70s they always would).
The entire workforce is only slightly better off than the unemployed and the homeless – after all, they’re typically a couple of paychecks from that anyhow, and they are totally insecure.
I am frankly expecting that unless I fail to live much beyond the three score years and ten (which actually is quite likely given the state of my health), I will see the system break down completely. Either we’ll end up with a populist demagogue leading us who will be effectively a new kind of fascist, or there will be a popular uprising which could produce nearly anything. In either case, I expect a major breakdown in civil order, and for the end result not to be a liberal democracy and not to be espousing any kind of free market.

Global Christian Perspectives – March 4, 2016

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Discussion Notes:

gcp-badgeUS primaries: it seems very likely that the candidates will be respectively Trump and Clinton now. Where does that leave us from a Christian, an American and a world perspective? We know Ted Cruz’ perspective:-

Does the mainstream (i.e., liberal) media really want Trump to be the nominee? See link.
In addition, I continue to heard reports of a whole range of stories, some of which are beginning to come out from Trump’s upcoming fraud trial, to mafia ties being readied for after he locks up the nomination.  In a year that in normal circumstances would be diffcult for Democrats, and with such a bad candidate as Hillary Clinton virtually impossible, Trump would be about the only way the Dems could win.

I still have quite a lot of the items where the US and the UK don’t understand each other left over from last week… one of which is that we completely fail to understand why anyone would vote for Trump (whose surname is unfortunately, via the meaning of a brass instrument, also a term for a fart in some areas of the UK… which might lead me to comment on people who emit a lot of hot air which smells bad).

From Elgin:- I am troubled by things such as this. If these are really that dangerous where is the government demanding a recall of all such products? Are these prohibited in the EU?
No, they aren’t prohibited in the EU. If there is a link, it seems to be considered a very very slight one. The situation is different if you consider talc which is inhaled, which I believe can be linked with mesothelioma.
In the last day or two, we have seen tear gas used on two sets of migrants in Europe, one on the Macedonian border (where Macedonia has decreed that they will only accept a very limited number of migrants crossing even considering that they virtually all want merely to transit Macedonia en route for Northern Europe, thus creating a buildup of 7000+ migrants in a camp on the border designed for only 2000) when they tried to storm a gate in the border fence, and near Calais and the tunnel entrance where (with UK prompting) the French have cleared a substantial amount of a refugee camp (called “the jungle”, so not a desirable location) which is composed of people wanting to come to the UK and whom we won’t let in. Meanwhile, there are over 1.5 million refugees currently in Turkey and a similar number in Lebanon, and the flow doesn’t seem to be reducing much. While there is currently an uneasy ceasefire in Syria (not including ISIS and al-Nusra), few people think there’s a long term solution on the horizon. The issue of the Christian imperative to hospitality, particularly to the distressed, is not figuring large in the consciousness of most of the (majority Christian) EU countries. This is accentuated by tear gassing some of them…
Meanwhile, in the UK, the campaigns for staying in the EU and leaving it are just taking off (there’s a clear link, as a lot of people in the UK are paranoid about refugee numbers and think that staying in weakens our position). Both the main political parties are divided, with quite a few prominent Conservatives joining the “Out” campaign, while significant numbers of Labour voters and a rather smaller number of their MPs are not following the traditional internationalist line one would expect of the left (not that much of the Labour Party is very left these days – compare the Democrats in the States). There are issues here a little similar to those in the States of attitudes to the Federal government (the EU in some ways functions a bit like a federal government for Europe), but the main one is trade. Personally, I’m not wonderfully happy about the way the EU operates, but losing privileged access to a market of 55 million people would be so damaging that I can’t countenance exit (and besides that, Norway, which is not in the EU, finds that it has to pay up and regulate itself pretty much as would be the case if it were a member, but without having a vote…). What I fear is that the dislike of even bigger government and the fear of immigrants will outweigh the fear that we’ll tank our economy…