Autumn…

It’s starting to really feel like autumn here in southern New Zealand.

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Yesterday morning we had the first frost of the year – not a bad one, but enough to remind me that winter is on its way. The heater has been on more and more. We’ve had two weeks of pretty much nonstop rain, and everything is sodden, including several bad storms that have felled several established trees in the district – things look stark and bare without them.

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Autumn always makes me become contemplative – I think back on the year that has passed, and plan for the year to come.

This year, most of my free time has been taken up with various renovations we’ve been doing – we had nightmare builder who literally made everything worse that they touched, and now we’re still dealing with the fallout from the “work” they did.

Not happy – and I’m probably going to have to call them back, to fix more of the problems they’ve caused. I won’t be keen to ever call in a builder to my house ever again!

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It has all been emotionally draining and financially devastating.

Regardless, things are ticking over and moving along, albeit slowly. I’ll be glad when everything is done.

This year has been one of great change for me, for the better. I’ve reached some big decisions that were hard to make, and feel like life has rounded a corner. Sometimes the hardest decisions are the best ones for us, but they hurt at the time.

In my case, I was stewing over a number of difficult choices I knew I had to make, but was avoiding making those choices for fear of hurting people I cared about.

Now I’ve taken the steps I needed to take I feel better – I’m still in limbo, before everything is done, but I know there is light ahead.

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Kind of like autumn really. You know you have to pass through winter, and the cold and the dark, but there is promise of spring ahead.

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Same sex marriage laws change in the UK – and the Churches get all confused

With the change in laws allowing same sex marriages to take place in the United Kingdom, the first marriages have taken place.

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Not everyone is happy of course. The Churches are looking all confused – on the one hand preaching that “God is love” while on the other hand saying, “wee-eeeell, maybe God is love – but not quite for all people. Not for you gay people over in the corner, anyway.”

And the politicians who, in not too distant memory were all iffy and uffy about same sex marriage, now rush in their full acceptance of the cause, saying, “We were on your side all along! Yes, really!”

Then there are groups who claim that same-sex marriage will persecute traditional marriage types. I’m not sure how – and neither are they, as they don’t quite specify the details – but they’re vehement on the matter.

Vaguely familiar

The thing is, all this denying and delaying and complaing and whinging about being persecuted sounds eerily familiar. The same complaints were heard, and the same arguments, every time a persecuted minority (or majority) has gained rights.

The same arguments were used against the civil rights movement in the US (didn’t you know whites are discriminated against?), and the same against women rights (men are being persecuted now – didn’t you know?). It’s the same old line, used over and over.

It never held water then, and it doesn’t now.

Australia is a backwater

My home country of Australia is starting to look more and more like a backwater of human rights. I’m embarrassed. I’m living in New Zealand now, but I follow the Aussie news, and I feel ashamed that Australia hasn’t led the way on this issue. Especially when so much of the population is clearly in favour. It seems like the politicians have stopped listening to the people. Or maybe that happened a while back…

But you can’t stop change. The Churches in the UK are against this, but popular opinion is changing so swiftly in favour of this issue that they’ll soon be left behind, if they aren’t already. Just one more way in which mainstream religions are losing touch with popular culture.

These are interesting times we live in. I think there are some issues that are changing a little too fast for my liking, such as the amount of violence on TV and film. But other issues, such as rights for minorities, can’t change fast enough.

What do you think?