It seems that these days being a Christian means you’re about as popular as a Jew at a Hamas rally. Come to think of it, some Jews are very welcome at such rallies and can be seen marching proudly with Muslims amidst banners proclaiming “We are all Hamas/Hezbollah now”. Useful idiots abound within both the Jewish and Christian community. A brilliant cartoon appeared in Al Age (of all places!) recently about one such useful idiot:
So why does Christianity get such a bad press?
And why do some atheists find Christianity offensive, yet not Islam? Here I must make clear I’m not attacking all atheists, as many acknowledge the contribution that Judeo-Christian ethics, with its separation of religion and politics, has made to civilization and are fully aware of the dangers of Islam. So maybe we have atheist ‘useful idiots’ as well!
Take Dick Gross, or Godless Gross as he calls himself in his blog:
Whether you're a hard core atheist, heretical apostate or just a wishy-washy doubting Thomas, the big human issues of meaning, ritual, belonging, death and suffering still have to be faced. Dick Gross has written and broadcast on these issues from a godless perspective for over a decade. Join him on his blog as he wanders through the big issues of existence without a god to help him. (source)
Recently Gross addressed the issue of the Islamic prayer group at Alma Road Neighbourhood House and Q Society’s involvement.
Now as an atheist, you’d assume he would condemn both Islam and Christianity. But you’d be wrong:
The Alma Road Community House is a bog-standard neighbourhood centre. Its ilk can be found in most Australian suburbs, affording that little bit of social glue by providing a home for group activity. That is unless, of course, that activity is Islamic and then that community activity becomes, in the eyes of some, something more sinister.
For one hour a week, a Muslim group uses the Community House for a prayer meeting. When this became widely known, it was on. In short an Islamic prayer group using a local community hall in a traditional Jewish area encountered antagonism not from the Jewish locals, in fact many prominent Jewish groups came out in support of the ‘‘right to prayer’’, but from a group talking the secular talk. However, the promoters of secular society had documented links to Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party.
The main protagonists were the Q Society, an anti-Islamic group. There are lots of pictures on its website of the Aussie flag and much disturbing rhetoric about some ill-defined threat posed by Islam to Australian society.
Objections were lodged against the application to change Alma Rd centre to a ‘‘place of assembly’’, which would allow for meetings of up to 100 people, from a previous limit of 10 people. About 50 were regularly attending the Friday night Islamic prayer group.
On the planning question, however, there was no sustainable objection…The increase in parking demand is trivial…There are 15 churches and synagogues within a stone’s throw. This poor little community group affects no one. But the letter of the law gave the objectors an in.
This was an issue where the ostensible arguments hid the real agenda. So the agenda of the Jewish groups was ostensibly inclusive but was saying ‘‘Don’t kick marginal religious groups like us.’’ The Christian-linked group was peddling its disturbing message under a veneer of secularism. The neighbours were hopping on the hate train under the guise of planning issues. The councillors were obliged to have open minds, but came to the meeting wearing orange ribbons (the symbol of Harmony Day)… Ultimately, the right decision was made and amen to that.
What are the lessons for the godless? First bigots will steal our secular clothes to bash religious minorities they oppose. Such bigots will tarnish our brands. Secondly, ostensible motives hide an array of hidden motives. Finally, the biggest weapon we have in our armoury is love and tolerance. So I say long live community prayer sessions, Islamic or otherwise.
Why are Islamic institutions more prone to planning objection? Is it bigotry or do Muslims take up more parking spaces than non-Muslims? (source)
So apparently atheists like Gross are spreading “love and tolerance”, while Q Society are bigots pretending to be secular to ‘tarnish the godless brand’. Funny, I would have thought the brand could hardly be more tarnished, given the great atheist ideologies of Marxism and Nazism, which resulted in the deaths of countless millions of people. And love and tolerance don’t exactly spring to mind when names like Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Che Guevara or Pol Pot are mentioned.
For background to all this, see:
Sharia arrives at your friendly Community House, and
Port Phillip Council – master dhimmis and moral inversions.
Meanwhile, back to Gross’ “bog-standard neighbourhood centre”.
Most of the objections were to the Islamic prayer group, but Council had no trouble dismissing objections and unanimously granting the permit. You can read the full report: HERE
Here are some excerpts
Religious Activities on the Site
8.3.1. There have been extensive objections to the use of The House by a group of Muslim men comprising between 30-40 men which meets for prayer from 1-2pm each Friday and have done so since 30 January 2009.
8.3.5. … the application has been made for a Place of Assembly, which is defined in the Planning Scheme as “land where people congregate for religious or cultural activities, entertainment, or meetings”.
8.3.10. Concerns that The House may transition into a Place of Worship (defined by the Planning Scheme as “land used for religious activities, such as a church, chapel, mosque, synagogue, and temple”) are considered to be unwarranted given the broad range and variety of activities that occur at the House. It is acknowledged that the intensity of such activities may grow to the extent that they occur more often or with greater numbers, however, should the proposal be supported, a condition requiring a management plan for The House can ensure that a broad spectrum of recreational, cultural, educational and religious activities continue to be provided. In addition, a condition could also be imposed to prevent the change of use of the land to a Place of Worship.
12.2. Objections to the use of the site for occasional religious purposes do not take into account the fact that religious activity could already occur on the land, as there is no restriction on local community groups gathering for mutual support and recreation, of which prayer can be said to form part.
12.3. It is considered that the planning issues are the increase in the numbers of people attending The House, the traffic implications of a more intensive use, the extended hours of operation, and the ability to ensure that a broad spectrum of activities remains on offer in line with the use of the land as a Place of Assembly.
12.4. It has been determined that there are no unreasonable traffic and parking implications with the increase in numbers to The House (up to 100).
13. RECOMMENDATION – NOTICE OF DECISION TO GRANT A PERMIT
1. A Management Plan must be prepared which must provide for the following matters to the satisfaction of the responsible authority:
a) Details of how a broad spectrum of recreational, cultural, educational and religious activities is to be provided consistent with the original purpose of the Neighbourhood House.
b) Details of how user numbers will be managed to ensure equity between activities maintained;
c) Measures to ensure that programmed activities take precedence over private bookings;
d) How user behaviour will be managed;
e) How bookings are made and managed;
f) How the duration and frequency of the bookings are managed to ensure equity between activities will be maintained;
g) How and when bookings are reviewed;
h) What measures will be employed to encourage the use of public transport to and from the site;
i) The method used to calculate and register the number of users on site to demonstrate that maximum user numbers permitted on site at any one time are not exceeded. This user register must be frequently maintained and must be available on request to the responsible authority;
j) The methods and measures to be taken by management and staff to ensure that users do not cause nuisance or annoyance to persons beyond the land.
5. Change of Use
The primary use of the land for the purpose of a Place of Worship is not allowed under this permit.
6. Protecting Neighbouring Amenity
The amenity of the area must not be detrimentally affected by the use or development through:
a) The movement of pedestrians to and from the land;
b) Emissions of noise, artificial light, vibration, smell, waste water or waste products.
Despite the conditions the Council has imposed, it is difficult to see how they can be implemented, especially as the House is already being used as a Place of Worship.
How can the Management Plan control user numbers or manage user behaviour? Have these managers ever tried to control of mob of angry Muslims?
The Muslims are already causing ‘nuisance or annoyance’ and affecting the amenity of the area, but Council are happy to ignore “ Emissions of noise, artificial light, vibration, smell, waste water or waste products. “
So let’s all just carry on wearing orange ribbons and celebrating Harmony.
Then all problems will melt away like snowdrops!