Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Experience Of Watching Ray Comfort's Latest Movie "Audacity"

Like Tim Farron, Ray Comfort believes homosexuality is a sin (equal to stealing, adultery and "fornication"). His latest movie "Audacity" is dedicated to the subject of witnessing to homosexuals. It makes for some uncomfortable viewing.

Uncomfortable mainly because of Ray Comfort's excruciating "gotcha" footage where he wanders up to people in the street and leads them off down the garden path.

Just like watching this video of Richard Dawkins destroying an ill-prepared Brandon Flowers (I love Dawkins but seeing him up against Flowers is as uncomfortable as watching a lorry drive over a rabbit), Comfort bamboozles these unprepared people by playing with words.

For instance he gets them to say whether they think homosexuals are "born that way". If they agree he then asks if they think adulterers are "born that way". This is draw a comparison between betraying the trust of someone you love and loving someone of the same sex. Like deers in headlights they are taken aback by this "logic". Yet Comfort's belief that these two things are both equally sinful is based solely on scripture whereas adultery and homosexuality are facets of human existence that have extremely complicated genetic, social and psychological causes and explanations that require a lot more discussion than just a "gotcha" attempt at conversion.

And his question "Are you a good person?" seems to bring out the worse in people. Who on Earth just says "Yes" or "I think I am"? All of us know we are in some way flawed (and no I'm not suggesting we're all sinners but that we could all be better people), the only way I could ever answer that question is "I try every day to be better". He then uses their silly answer to tell them they are sinners and they need to repent. It is like watching a cat play with mice. Painful.

The movie itself, set around these visual asides, is full of cardboard characters who don't appear fully human. The angry gay. The good Christian boy. The questioning girl. The easily converted gay (okay there are actually a fair number of these). I'm really not sure this movie was aimed at actually converting anyone, it is all very much "soul food" for the converted. Maybe I'm just not the target audience but it just seems to rely too much on a belief that the Bible is true. I mean if you don't accept that, how on Earth does the rest of it make sense?


Monday, 24 August 2015

A Cultural Libertarian? I Guess I Am

After I got off my "EQUAL MARRIAGE NOW!!!" kick I got on to my "Ugh! New Purtians are the worst" kick. From the desperately rubbish lose the lad's mags campaign through to persecuting innocent young people off of university campuses, the new Puritans have been pushing further and further into our lives.

Breitbart (yes I know) has a wonderful article today about the "Rise of the Cultural Libertarians". I have to say that, despite it being a little too fawning in its praise of the movement, I found myself nodding at every "belief" it described.

Yes, many of the Cultural Libertarians doing the loudest shouting are obnoxious and, may I say, odious. But... they are also often pretty spot-on on many political issues. Somehow they manage the seemingly, if you spend any time on social media anyway, difficult task of opposing rape AND opposing false accusations.

I'm not a fan of labels and I guess I share little politically with many Cultural Libertarians. But hey it fits me better than a lot of other labels. And one I feel I can adopt with some sort of pride.

Monday, 3 August 2015

On #CecilTheLion, It Is Time To Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is

Gosh. The articles, blogs and tweets on the agonising death of Cecil the lion have been voluminous (and varied). From hate pieces against the barbarian(s) that caused his death (you might be starting to get a feel for how I feel about this), through the "Twitter mobs are evil" articles and the "You eat meat so don't be a hypocrite!" and out to pieces on the evil of white people and how the trophy hunting industry is a boon to needy Africans.

I'm not here to deal with any of that though. There are more than enough foul-mouthed folks out there after the blood of Walter Palmer (and other trophy hunters). There are more than enough people spot on about the evils of social media hate mobs and how helpful any financial input into some African economies can be.

No I'm here to talk directly to the people who stand on the principle that killing endangered (or at least at risk) animals for fun is morally different to killing for food or population control but don't like being too mean to others and want to do something positive instead.

We'll never stop trophy hunting (and poaching for other purposes such as supply the Chinese "medicinal" industry) if we don't think about how we can stop the reliance on this trade of the local people in the areas concerned and deal with their concerns and issues (like predation of livestock and damage and danger to life and property from the local megafauna). And that is why, if you really care about African megafauna, you need to put your money where your heart is... If you aren't already start donating to one of the many good conservation organisations working in Africa.

I've joined the Born Free Foundation today. Partly because I find their approach to be right and partly because I remember buying a few Born Free books as a kid as a jumble sale and falling in love with Elsa.

Yes we can all sit around waving our virtual pitchforks and call for the death of a total stranger. But if we can start funding organisations on the ground who can help change things for the better for the people and animals of Africa then we'll really make a difference (and honour the story of Cecil the lion).

Let's make Cecil the Elsa of this generation and push forward with making our world a little nicer for everyone and everything.