Friday, December 28, 2007

Stuff, Religious Stuff

Stuff I found over at BBC:

God-u Akbar: Malaysian row over word for 'God'

Fighting monks: Unholy dust-up at Nativity church


Pretty scary what's happening in Pakistan these days.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

No, Santa isn't Coca Cola's evil invention.


Only in America is it an issue whether to use Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays/Season's Greetings. And a contentious issue at that. Some people seem to have this idea that saying Merry Christmas to a non-Christian is offensive or tantamount to proselytising. It's a a non-issue, really-- Kuala Lumpur in December is awash with Merry Christmas signs after the Hari Raya Adilfitri signs come down. My Central Asian colleagues (mostly Muslim, and one Jew) greet me Merry Christmas, and I greet them back with Merry Christmas which they graciously accept.

So the next time someone feels offended at being greeted Merry Christmas on the 25th of December, tell him to go back to work and return all his presents. But do it nicely-- it's Christmas, after all.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

God Hates the World (the video)

My friend dr.sbdink alerted me to this vid. I heard about this on the news some time back, but I saw the vid just now. If I didn't know better, I'd say this was some sick joke. Watch it and see for yourself. - Watch more free videos

Monday, December 17, 2007

Manila, T minus 2 hours

At the CX lounge now, at the beginning of my annual vacation in the Bay Area to visit my folks. I'm taking CX this time instead of the usual NW, even if the latter is cheaper by around a hundred dollars (which isn't much these days, really). CX has much better service and food, and seemingly a non-politically correct employment policy, if you know what i mean. Also, I get to relax at the business class lounge even if I'm actually flying coach, thanks to my miles courtesy of Central Asia.

I'll miss you terribly, Dear. Take care always, ok? Hopefully next year we'll be taking this flight together.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Advice for Your Excellencies

Just read this story over at Inquirer: Bishop opposes QC birth control ordinance. Now, Bishop Ongtioco isn't the first bishop to oppose such measures, and I'm pretty sure he won't be the last. So to help the Magisterium engage the "anti-life" propagandists over at City Hall and various reproductive health centres, let me offer Their Excellencies some pieces of advice:

1. Stop confusing the laity by abortion-baiting (i.e., lumping contraception and abortion in the hope of transferring the distaste for the latter towards the former). There is a clear line between contraception and abortion-- even abortifacient drugs don't blur this line-- and you know this. Abortion-baiting is dishonest and condescending, something I'm sure Your Excellencies don't want to be.

2. Avoid making medical claims because, however we look at it, DD does not equal MD. Also, if Your Excellencies will point out that some contraceptives can raise the risk of certain cancers, you will be hard pressed to explain away the fact that contraceptives can reduce the risk of some cancers, and sex without contraceptives raises the risk of other cancers.

3. Emulate the great apologists like Justin Martyr and Irenaeus of Lyons by avoiding name-calling and sloganeering. Do you think the Athenians would have listened to St. Justin if he called them "boy-lovers", Your Excellencies?

4. Do not use "freedom of conscience" in your argument if you are trying to stop the dissemination of certain, even destructive, information. Free will can only be directed towards God if the conscience is given complete information, Your Excellencies. How holy is choosing the strait and narrow if the wide and broad was never shown?

5. Drop the argument that a teacher should be allowed to choose what she teaches based on her conscience-- this is a very treacherous slope. What applies to the Catholic teacher will also apply to the Jehovah's Witness teacher and the Iglesia ni Cristo teacher. Think about it, Your Excellencies.

6. Do not oppose humane, non-judgemental counselling and health care for anyone, even those you consider automatically excommunicated. Being humane and non-judgemental are good things, Your Excellencies.

7. Stop telling the laity how to have sex, Your Excellencies. Celibate men do not exactly make the best sex therapists, just like Stephen Hawking doesn't make the best track coach.