Technorati Tags: ,

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Father Elias' Theology of Human Touch

Touching without respect is violence, a penetration into someone’s privacy and honour against his or her will. In a true encounter between persons the physical contact is based on respect for the other, and expresses some kind of affection.

The different kinds of physical contact between a man and a woman and between men mutually is analogous to their different kind of friendships.

Men’s mutual friendships are naturally based in some cause higher than themselves. According to their natural intuition, their expressions of affection must necessarily communicate about something that is not enclosed in nature and therefore does not imply immediate pleasure - if not they feel uncomfortable, too close, to softish, ‘yucky’. Their physical contact tends to be agonistic, i.e. competitive, combative, risky even. Instead of a natural pleasure, the physical encounter with other men brings a spiritual joy beyond the action, when the higher cause is attained; the cause is a goal to be achieved, called ‘triumph’. It is expressed by conspicuous symbolic gestures that remind the combat itself. The agonistic activity and the celebration afterwards are essentially a public affair.

If there is no such higher cause, especially in the case where transcendence is forbidden, men will invent an artificial one, and its expressions will be destructive, like blind aggression, binge drinking, drug abuse. I reckon sexual gang behaviour also falls into this category.

The friendship between man and women is more enclosed in nature, which gives it an immediate pleasure and feeling of peace. A higher cause is present, but not so much as a matter of necessity, but as a superabundance. A new life may be given. The Creator may answer to the encounter. He may not. A kid is not something you 'fabricate' or 'realise' like a victory or an artefact, because it has the right to be received gratuitously. No one makes kids, the Creator gives them and the parents receive. Of course a family is not built without wisdom, but any 'planning' should not destroy the fundamental gratuity of new life. The physical encounter between man and woman as well as it possible outcome - all is to be gratuitous. No competition, nothing to be proven. The physical contact is not agonistic, but a union with the other. This gives a tremendous relaxation. And this encounter itself is essentially secret.

Often in the comfortable upper middle class, but unfortunately also in some Christian (intellectual) environments, the physical contact between males is suspect by definition - it's for brutes or for perverts. In fact this attitude is caused by fear, fear for showing yourself as you really are. Because that's what happens in agonistic activities and truthful anger! This fear inhibits young men and stops them from maturing. All sorts of compensational behaviour may appear later on - not necessarily in a sexual context. Being from this environment, I now recognise all this. I've had to liberate myself from it. I'm getting more free every day!
Technorati Tags: ,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Norway opens its doors to Morde Vanunu!

After hectic political discussions within the three-party Norwegian coalition cabinet, the Minister of Immigration, Bjarne Hakon Hanssen, (Labor, Norway´s biggest Party) said last Friday that Mordechai Vanunu is welcome to Norway: " If he gets a job offer here, he will of course get a permit to stay and work in Norway". Vanunu is the nuclear whistleblower who has been Israel´s hostage since his kidnap by Mossad agents from London in 1986.

Confronted with the fact that Vanunu is banned from leaving Israel by government decree, a member of the cabinet, Aslaug Haga, Center Party leader and former deputy Foreign Minister, admitted that a major diplomatic effort towards Israel will be needed. Then, on Sunday night, a meeting of the National Committee of the third member party of the coalition cabinet, the Socialist Left Party, decided to invite Vanunu to come to Norway in May this year.

- This welcome to Norway does not solve Vanunu´s problem, but is a major step forward, says Fredrik S. Heffermehl, a Norwegian, for the International Vanunu Committee. Up to now our efforts to protect Vanunu´s elementary human rights have received only cold shoulders. After 21 1/2 years the brutalit inhumanity against Vanunu has to stop. Since a secret deterrent is ineffective, Vanunu did Israel a service by documenting the nuclear weapons program. Israel´s illtreatment of him is totally meaningless, unfair and unacceptable from a state laying claim to be a democracy under the rule of law, Heffermehl says.

Vanunu has been exposed to severe inhumanity and human rights violations for 21 1/2 years, first the kidnap, then a secret trial, then 11 1/2 years in strict isolation, and then - at the end of his full sentence - he was not free, but subjected to additional punishment, bans on travel and talk, a grave violation of his basic freedoms under international treaties. Vanunu has done more for a nuclear free world than most of us, and has suffered more for his principled action against an illegal weapon, our

The political breakthrough for Vanunu, with the three-party coalition government, followed a brilliant piece of investigative journalism, where Vidar Ystad, one of Norway´s finest political journalists uncovered that since 2005 The Norwegian Immigration Authority has held the view that Vanunu fulfilled all requirements for political asylum in Norway and, further, that the former conservative government of Kjell Magne Bondevik had broken the law when its Minister of Immigration, Erna Solberg, presentleader of the Conservative Party, interfered to stop the Immigration Authority from granting asylum to Vanunu.

A former leader of the Conservative party, Kare Willoch, has been adamant that Norway must grant asylum to Vanunu, and a former leader of Labor, now President of Parliament, Thorbjorn Jagland, stated in 2005 that Norway´s Mid-East diplomacy should not bar the country from speaking up for Vanunu.

Fredrik S. Heffermehl, the International Vanunu Committee

For further information: ,
phone: +47 2244 8003 (cell phone: +47 917 44 783)., ("Updates") gives access to a legal briefs by US lawyers, my report on the decision against Vanunu in Israel´s Supreme Court etc.

And thanks to Eileen ( for posting this one on the forum
Technorati Tags: ,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Women have caused all our problems (Ross56 writes on Adam & Eve)

There was Adam and God hanging around in the garden. Adam was ok, but God seemed obsessed. Well, I think it would have appeared that way to Adam anyway. You see God kept parading animal after animal in front of Adam, and asking him the same question every time, “what will you name this one Adam”? I can picture Adam sitting there saying, “Elephant, donkey, rat, mozzie”, with an ever diminishing sense of purpose.

Why was God doing this to the guy? I reckon it was for stirring the embers of deep longings for a partner, within Adam. Because you see, God kept asking him if he wanted this creature as a partner. God, being God, would have known that a numbat, wombat, or a tortoise was not going to cut the mustard.

When Adam was about ready to climb the walls, God did his thing, bida-boom bida-bam! And there before Adam was Eve. Right here I reckon Adam had a slow smile growing wide on his face, while his eye and chin quivered.

You know the story; God laid down the rules especially the one about the tree in the middle of the garden, and Adam and Eve got down to business, so to speak.

Eve stops and looks at the tree in question. There was Satan, watching the woman, and with one lie from his mouth, he changes all relationships. I’m going to paraphrase here, but in essence Satan said, "why do you want anxiety, through trusting in god for your yearnings? If you …. (Fill in the space) you will not need God. Just eat the apple.” Go back and look at the space that you need to fill in.

For me; at times through my life I could have put many things in there. Things like, having a powerful job, or a powerful car, a good looking girl friend, or wife, my children being the best mannered, or the best at what they do. One that used to be quite dominant in my life was a false belief that if everyone thought well of me, or liked me, the world would become survivable. This goal is fading as I grow. Fill the space with what ever is true for you.

Eve was being tempted with the concept of total independence from god. She must have thought that this sounds like a great idea, so she ate the apple. Then it happened …. Nothing, not a thing happened, zip, nada, zero. The birds kept singing, and the bee’s kept buzzing, and the sky did not fall in. Why? I promise that the answer will come soon, but not yet. If you have worked out the answer, just humour me and read on, OK!

Now back with Adam, he probably was sitting there doing his Adam stuff. I can see him in my mind now, building something. In his shed, with a beer in his hand, whilst listening to classic rock and roll on the CD player, or maybe that’s myself I’m thinking of. At any rate, Eve rocks up, and tells Adam to eat some apple, because she has done so, and nothing happened. Also giving him the spiel about not needing to rely on the Lord for life. “Yes dear,” would have sprung out from his mouth, because, like myself, this makes it sound like you have been listening, when in-fact you have been concentrating on trying to get this no good, rotten stinking thing-a-majig to fit into this other dam thing in your hand.

“Eat the apple...!” hits his ears with an increased volume that snaps him into the present. He didn’t think they should. She repeated the order, so to keep the peace he takes it from her hand and eats it. Right then, right there, that’s when the goulash hit the fan.

It had very little to do with the apple. A unique relationship had been broken, and another had been poisoned. As before, God being God, he would have been absolutely, utterly aware of the events that had transpired, yet as was his habit, he would stroll through the garden, enjoying the warmth of the amber sky and the cool of the enveloping dusk.

He came to the two in question, and asked them about the obvious change in routine. No more eagerness to stroll together taking in the beauty between and around them. Moreover, they had covered their wobbly bits, and were hiding in the shadows, filled with anxiety, shame, and fear. Even though he new why, God asked for the story so they could hear their responses, and therefore understand the coming ramifications.

“She did it,” screams Adam. There was his defence for all to examine, in essence, this being a type of victim event. Eve had her turn, and you guessed it, another victim, she blamed Satan.