These issues have become somewhat absolutist in that the two sides that are arguing are almost arguing contrary viewpoints. In the case of the shootings and killings in Canada, it is clearly absolutist as the discussion is over whether or not the murderers were terrorists. However, this divide is problematic as it is a political issue, which has seen Canada get it self involved in military efforts overseas for which they should not be participating and have no absolute need to participate. The leader of the new Democratic Party of Canada, Thomas Mulcair, publicly stated that he did not believe that these murderers were indeed terrorists, but the leaders of the conservative party of Canada and the Liberal party of Canada, both of whom are commonly seen as "upsets", have actually stated that they each agree that these were terrorist attacks, even citing the statement from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that they believed these were terrorist acts. British celebrity, Russell Brand, went on to his YouTube channel, called The Trews, to give his opinion, stating that the claim of these as terrorist acts, especially when three RCMP officers were killed in Moncton, New Brunswick, and yet, these acts were not seen as terrorist acts; Russell Brand went on to suggest that this is the case because the man who killed the police officers had no affiliation to a religious group, unlike the other two gunmen, even though it has been reported that mental health issues are a very likely major factor in the cases of the latter two gunmen.
The issue in Britain over equal marriage has some clear absolutist approaches to it as it is either a yes or no vote, either supporting gay marriage or rejecting gay marriage within the confines of a church. In my particular church, there seems to be an equal split of those in favour and those against. However, it is also known that my particular church tends to take a somewhat liberal stand in support of equal marriage and I can easily understand why this ought to be the case. Marriage all to be a fundamental right available to everyone and not just to those who are attracted to the opposite sex, but the simplest defense against the this, which many conservative Christians will tend to use, is that "It is not allowed in the Bible". However, this argument is highly flawed and that is why this debate is taking place. Nonetheless, even though it has been suggested in numerous sermons at this church, a lot of the people who are still against same-sex marriage seem to still be using the old excuse that has been rejected in sermons. Therefore, we need to understand why they are still rejecting this and why they are using the same excuses that I've been debunked in sermons in order to see if they are rationale for wanting to reject this is valid. At the same time, we need to understand why this church wants to go ahead to allow same-sex marriage is in the church. We have some idea as to why already, but there are still on answered questions it appears as those who are against are willing to question various motives and philosophies surrounding these alternative viewpoints. Thankfully, though, the church is going to engage in conversation with itself to ask all of these questions and to respond to all of these questions before making this decision and that is very encouraging. It is better for these discussions to take place and for rational decisions to be made rather than simply making a decision without first consulting with those who will be affected by it. However, such actions do you need to take a considerable amount of time and time seems to be a factor here as the notice of the discussion has only come up recently. Therefore, One immediate question that must be asked is whether or not we have sufficient time to come to a resolution on this matter with the a little amount of time we have to discuss it.
The issue of gender equality in the workplace and sexual abuse is not so simple in this particular instance as there are many unanswered questions still regarding the actions that took place, what consent was allowed, and who is to blame for all of these actions. There are a lot of "feminist" approaches to the situation and, for the most part, they are reasonable; women should not be subjected to unnecessary abuse and violence for any reason at all. However, this is where the understanding of what it means to be a "feminist" reaches Muddy Waters; The female accusers in this particular situation have gone to the media prior to going to the police for the most part and the accused is being ridiculed because he is a celebrity figure that has previously been praised for his efforts with the radio broadcaster and especially because he is a male. I do not and will never claim to be a "feminist" because I believe that equality is more important then siding with one gender. I would rather see myself as a "humanist" as this term promotes a stronger sense of equality for all rather than support for a few. Looking at much of the feedback people have on this issue, many people are very quick to set judgement (and punishment if they could) on Ghomeshi, although he is the accused and we are meant to live in a society where people are seen as "innocent until proven guilty". As I stated in my previous post, I cannot see how going to the media before going to the police on such an issue is adequate and I believe that such actions were done deliberately to "punish" Ghomeshi just in case the police investigation that is current Lee happening goes nowhere. The irony to this is that the police investigation will probably question the motives of these women for going to the media first and that will create serious problems for the women and hence, for the issues that have been presented as a result of this situation. I am not saying that I think the presenters actions, even as he presented in a Facebook message last Sunday night, our "acceptable", but there is a valid point and that the issue of consent must be raised, and where these women have gone to the media before going to the police, one must wonder whether or not they consented to these actions initially. It is not fair on Ghomeshi to be found guilty without having gone to trial as this creates the opposite absolutist argument of "guilty until proven innocent", which is commonly seen in our society as being inappropriate. Siding with the women because they have claimed to have been abused by this man is not okay because the evidence has not yet suggested this. The problem that I have with the feminist movement is that it to easily takes sides on issues such as these, where as a humanist movement would more easily seek equality and justice for all, having investigated the situation saw early and coming to inappropriate decision regarding this situation. Of course, that is not to say that all the feminism ask in this way, but it has taken such an approach in the past and this is inappropriate.
So that just leaves us with one question... Why call this post "backtrack"? A lot of the reason for this is because there have been people this week who have backtracked on previous comments on these issues. One example in the case of the CBC radio presenter is the leader of the Green party of Canada, Elizabeth May, Who initially sided with the presenter, then backtracked after hearing and reading some of the details of the accusations the women have presented. I, too, have questioned this, but I have chosen to stand my ground on this issue because I do not think it is fair on the presenter to be condemned as "guilty" without having these issues addressed properly and resolved. The broadcaster fired him, even though he had provided information to them regarding these accusations, and now there is a potential lawsuit against the broadcaster for unfair dismissal. Regarding the shootings in Canada, initially, there were many reports that were praising the TV media for presenting fair and balanced stories of these incidents, not immediately concluding that these work "terrorist attacks", but now, this has become a political game as politicians are fighting amongst each other as to whether or not these actually were a terrorist acts. I feel that there will be more backtracking on this issue as there are many good points being presented to suggest why they should not be deemed as terrorist acts at all, especially the murders of the three police officers in my home province of New Brunswick last June, which, again, were never seem to have been terrorist acts because the murderer never claimed to have any religious affiliation with any particular faith group. So, is backtracking a good thing to do? In my opinion, it is somewhat okay, but I would have to seriously question why the first opinions were being upheld before the backtracking took place. I feel that jumping to conclusions is the easiest suspect of this, but of course, there may be other solutions or reasons for this. Nonetheless, although the new suggestions or opinions or ideas have probably been thought out more meaningfully, the initial thoughts should have also been thought out meaningfully and carefully before being publicly addressed as such. I am willing to state that I do not believe that the shootings in Canada were committed by "terrorists", that Jian Ghomeshi ought to be seen as innocent at this time and that he ought to receive much more support then he is apparently getting right now because of these horrible accusations being made by accusers who were willing to teach his image by going to the media before the police, and that although I personally am in favour of same-sex couples getting married, I do not necessarily believe that we have discussed this as thoroughly as we could have been doing previously and that it would be good for a church community as a whole to understand why there are same-sex marriages, why the British government has allowed these marriages to take place, as in many other countries now, and why this particular church should have the go ahead to conduct such marriages themselves.
Discussion is important. However, jumping to conclusions, even if you are discussing issues with other people, is not a good thing to do. You must be thoughtful, caring, and careful in your discussions so that you can get a better sense of the picture that is the issue at hand. You need to be patient in discussing issues with others and you should not let your emotions get the better of you, as this provokes the temptation to jump to a particular conclusion that could very well be the wrong conclusion to make.
The Canadian Cat