Last week, I watched the Parliamentary debate around the first reading of the Marriage Amendment Bill sponsored by Labour MP Louisa Wall; squeezed in-between bills to tighten up water discharge under the Resource Management Act and tweaks to minimum wage legislation. Basically, Louisa’s bill involves rewording the current legislation on marriage so that it cannot be specifically used to exclude lesbian and gay couples from obtaining a marriage license. (If you need a primer on same-sex marriage and legislation in New Zealand, it’s here.)
Warning / Disclaimer: I don’t expect this post to offend most Christians. I am well aware that there are Christians and there are Christians – I know, I used to be one. However, there are some people this may upset, so I am sorry about that. I will try to be considerate.
Last Tuesday, we watched the Firefly episode Jaynestown, which included this wonderful scene in which River attempts to ‘fix’ the Sheppard’s Bible.
I laughed so hard, I almost hyperventilated. These days, religion, God and Christianity almost never enter my thoughts, but once upon a time they pervaded almost every part of my life, so out of curiosity, I decided to do a little Internet stalking down memory lane.
In 1823, the Right Reverend Thomas Dick, using the latest astronomical research and the Holy Scriptures, painstakingly figured out that there were 21,891,974,404,480 people living in our solar system. This rather remarkable discovery was published in his popular book The Christian Philosopher: The Connection of Science and Philosophy with Religion. This successful and seminal work enabled three very important things to happen. One, Dick was able to give up teaching. Two, the escalating war in Scotland between science and religion was diffused. And, three the idea of living in space was given legs; an idea which over the decades has learned to crawl, then walk, then run, until in our own day and age the idea is running so fast it’s become humankind’s inevitable destination – one day we’ll move off our little rock and out into the galaxy.