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Christian heritage

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 Contents - Aug 2011AD2000 August 2011 - Buy a copy now
Homily: Benedict XVI: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Pope Benedict XVI
The Carbon (dioxide) Tax: a religious perspective - Peter Finlayson
News: The Church Around the World
Britain's anti-Christian brave new world - AD2000 REPORT
Events: In defence of the authentic meaning of marriage - Canberra, 16 August 2011 - Babette Francis
Bishop Conley on the new Missal translation: 'The very words of God' - Bishop James Conley
Defending the Catholic Church against ill-informed attacks - Fr John Flynn LC
Obituary: John Wright (1923-2011): pillar of the Catholic faith - Michael Gilchrist
Exegesis: Genesis account of creation and fall: what does the Church teach? - John Young
Young adult Catholic ministry: further progress - Br Barry Coldrey
Letters: Archbishop Hickey - Frank Bellet
Letters: Unseen kindness - Anne Lastman
Letters: , - Arnold Jago
Letters: Catholic schools - Fr Brendan Dillon PP
Letters: No oxygen - Fr M. Durham
Letters: Rose-coloured glasses - Cathy Cleary
Letters: Christian heritage - Fr Bernard McGrath
Letters: Anglican ordinariate - Michael Apthorp
Books: PRODIGAL DAUGHTERS: Catholic women come home to the Church, ed. Donna Steichen - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: STANDARD-BEARERS OF THE FAITH: Lives of the Saints for Young and Old - Terri Kelleher (reviewer)
Poetry: Consequences - Bruce Dawe
Books: Order books from
Reflection: The new evangelisation: 'missionary spirit' needed - Fr Dennis W. Byrnes

Christianity works well for the greater good of society despite some doubters. It benefits millions by the moral improvements due to the churches, schools, hospitals and institutions it runs.

Three of the greatest commandments of our Judeo-Christian heritage form the very bulwark of our civilisation: the sacredness of human life, the purity of marriage and the right to private property. Without these laws, many unwanted or allegedly useless lives are killed for convenience: the unborn, the defective, and the aged. And without these laws increasing numbers cannot be trusted to be honest in their dealings regarding property, and the fair time, money and effort needed for work and social affairs. Fewer seem to care anymore and the trend is tragic.

Even 4,000 years ago Hammurabi of Babylon had the wisdom to discern six of the ten commandments for the peace and prosperity of his people, recognising the natural laws of good behaviour/morality. But unique to our Judeo-Christian heritage are the commandments against polytheism, idolatry, and evil thoughts. These are ennobling rules and are hard to account for without a revelation of God as a loving creator, law-giver and saviour giving us the necessary reason and strength to be self-sacrificing, when required, for the sake of others, and the truth.

Churches preach, teach and practise persuasively against hate in thought, speech and deed whereas mere civil laws on such are easily used to suppress free speech and religion by those who claim to be offended "victims" of others' beliefs.

Democracy works best when most people, most of the time, are virtuous and can be trusted. Few laws are then needed: "He governs best who governs least". A South-Sea Islander once reproved a soldier for using the thin pages of a Bible to roll his cigarettes: "If it weren't for the Bible, you'd be in my cooking pot!", he said.

What will stop the present mad rush into lawlessness and the slaughter of the innocents?

What the gods (devil) wish to destroy they first make mad. How mad is it when evil becomes a free choice?

Bendigo, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 24 No 7 (August 2011), p. 16

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