Sunday, April 27, 2014

I know...........I have been absent from this blog for ages. Health issues and other matters left me somewhat drained and uninterested.
But I'm back and I hope I can engage you to participate too. Here's a new post for 2014! Long live Liberty- of speech, or anything and of course(something no one can control-THOUGHT!

Onward Christian Soldier?
I don’t normally buy a national newspaper; I’m content to browse the pages of my ‘Free’ local paper, The Manly Daily. Yesterday, I happened to be the recipient of The Sydney Morning Herald, courtesy of our ex-neighbour. She has moved on to another home in the area and sent me a text message to say I was welcome to take possession of her copy of the Sydney Morning Herald, which I did. I then proceeded to ‘browse’ the pages of the publication.
For those who are unfamiliar with the political scene and goings on in Sydney Australia- A little over a week ago, Sydney siders were shocked to learn that our ‘squeaky clean’ ex-Premier Barrie O’Farrell had resigned from the premiership having been ‘caught out’ over a bottle of very expensive wine. Turns out, a lobbyist had ‘gifted’ him a bottle of Grange worth AUD 3000/- no doubt expecting favours in return. It so happened that Barrie did no such thing (good on him) and I am led to believe that the lobbyist then dobbed poor Barrie in to the ICAC. That’s Independent Commission against Corruption (for those who don’t know). When asked about it, he said he could not recall having ever received it. Mind you, the lobbyist paid attention to detail, in that the Grange in question was bottled on O’Farrell’s birthday- 1959 and on the exact day of Barrie’s birth-I forget now, which date that was but who cares anyway. It’s sad really; to lose a position of such importance and responsibility over a bottle of wine; no matter how expensive the drop.
Anyway, enter Mike Barid, the new Premier. He is my local(Manly) member of parliament and from all outward appearances, a nice enough fellow. I pass him by often when I am on my early morning walk along the sea front and he has on occasion, returned my smile and nod of G’day. I often saw Bruce Baird (Mike’s father) walking his dog along the said sea front, even after he had moved from NSW state politics to the Federal arena. The tradition it seems, continues in the family.
Back to the issue of the SMH 26th April 2014 and page three with a picture of Mike Baird and the caption, “Onward Christian soldier- a premier’s faith”. The article goes on to describe Barid junior as a family man with religious Christian beliefs. In fact it reports that he even considered becoming an Anglican minister before entering politics.
For those interested, please access the article with the following link:

No harm in this religious fervour. I sincerely hope though, that young Mike has considered that every religion believes “their God” created the Universe and controls all forms of life-and for that matter death and the afterlife too. So hopefully Mike Baird will be astute and compassionate enough as Premier, to recognise that we are human beings first and foremost-nothing else matters. I hope he is sincere when he says he will govern the state of New South Wales for everyone. That he will not personally discriminate or be influenced to by his team of reportedly fervent Christians, against people of other faiths and that includes people of NO religious faith too!
I read with interest, comments reportedly made by Mike’s chief of staff, Bay Warburton, ''I've served Jesus in a number of different jobs and now I'm serving Jesus as a chief of staff,'' Mr Warburton said. ''And Mike, who's the Treasurer - he believes he's serving Jesus as the Treasurer of the state. He believes that he has a great opportunity to help people by making responsible decisions about the money from this state.''
He said he prayed for guidance before taking a job to make ''wise choices''. ''And how do you do that? Well, you read your Bible … and you understand what God's plan for your life is and how he wants us to make choices and what sort of criteria we should use to make those choices.''
Mr Warburton told the students they were privileged to learn about ''the Lord of the universe who put stars in the sky, who created the world, who created every single part of what we live in, who created each and every one of us''.
I’d like to remind Mr Warburton, that people of other religious inclinations believe (as mentioned earlier) that “Their Lord, is the Lord of the Universe”. Try convincing them otherwise. I hope you are not going to impose ‘your Lord’ on all these people of other religious faiths, Mr Warburton. And what about those who simply don’t believe in any “Lord of the universe”?
Reverend Freddy Nile would be pleased by all this Christian spirit in the upper echelons of the NSW parliament. Consider what the article further reports:
Mr Warburton is not the only like-minded colleague in Mr Baird's inner circle. A notable addition to cabinet is his close friend Rob Stokes, the new environment minister, who holds a diploma in Bible studies. During Wednesday's swearing-in ceremony Mr Stokes omitted the words ''under God''.
He later said the decision was guided by Matthew's gospel in which Jesus frowned upon the swearing of oaths.
Jesus frowned on many things. Barrie learnt a bitter lesson when he misled ICAC on that very expensive bottle of Grange. And Jesus would have frowned on that no doubt! But unlike ICAC, Jesus would have also forgiven Barrie. The ICAC didn’t- that’s only human! J
The article reveals even more of what’s to come into the parliament of NSW:
New finance minister Dominic Perrottet - a former protégé of one-time ''religious right'' faction leader David Clarke - attended Redfield College in Dural, a school run by the conservative Catholic order Opus Dei.
Mr Clarke, whose wife Maria-Louise is an Opus Dei member, remains parliamentary secretary for justice.
Throw into the mix the deputy Premier and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner - who attends the evangelical C3 church - and the Baird/Stoner government is shaping as the most devout in living memory.
Mike, the good citizens of NSW don’t need devout leaders. What they need are honest men and women to act in the interests of ALL citizens no matter what their race, colour or religious persuasions; if any.
Let me be fair in also transcribing (from Sean Nicholls’ article) what Mike said about his (Mike Baird’s) religious convictions and faith:
But Mr Baird rejected the notion his government would be influenced by the strength of religious belief in his office or his cabinet. ''I'm not going to hide who I am and what's important to me, but I govern for everyone,'' he said.
He said faith ''is a matter for the individual''. ''My position has been clear in the Parliament,'' Mr Baird said.
''I don't go into Parliament and seek to legislate that. I'll respond on the basis of conscience.''
It’s nice to know this fact Mike. But is the next little tit bit true?
Mr Baird is on the record as opposing same sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research and same sex adoption. However, he committed to allowing Liberal MPs a free vote on such matters, as did Mr O'Farrell.
I wonder if Jesus would have frowned on Gays, Lesbians or same sex marriage. Jesus is reported to have said to a blood thirsty mob of self-righteous (so called) stalwarts of the law, “Let he who is free of sin, cast the first stone!
Mike, please consider our Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, gay, lesbian brothers, sisters and people of all walks of life, living in NSW and the world, when you make decisions concerning their welfare. You have been entrusted with a very important job. I sincerely hope your religious beliefs (Faith and belief are not the same thing, Mike) do not interfere with the general welfare of the people of NSW on religious grounds.  Religion and Politics don’t mix. Remember Mike, Jesus is also reported to have said, “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God, what is God’s”!

Bless you J!