March 16, 2005

ACT Without Knowledge Or Forethought

ACT has come out against the Pathways To Arts and Cultural Employment (PACE) scheme run by WINZ, claiming that it leads to people just sitting around on the dole, dreaming of being artists or musicians, when they should be getting a job and "doing their art in the weekends and after work".

Well. The PACE scheme has 1,200 participants. There are more than 80,000 people on the benefit. So basically, ACT has decided to villify the less that 1.5% of people on the dole who are actively entrepreneurical!

The PACE scheme just allows people to legitimately say "I'm looking for work and training towards being a graphic artist" rather than WINZ saying "Well, too bad, you've been assigned systems analyst." You still have to front up with your jobseeker plans and regular updates of your efforts.

ACT should be getting in behind these people, the majority of them young, creative and talented, and saying: these are our up-and-coming creative sensations who are trying to establish small businesses and exploit niche markets. Encouraging them might just stimulate ACT's precious economy!

Just on those church shootings (I find the connection morbidly fascinating, which is why I'm going on about it):

So while they remain unable to explain why Mr. Ratzmann stormed out of services two weeks before - or even whether the sermon that upset him was given via videotape by the church's international leader, Roderick C. Meredith, or by Mr. Gregory - the police see the little-known church as the key.

"We believe that the motive has something to do with the church and the church services more so than any other possible motive," Capt. Phil Horter of the Brookfield, Wis., Police Department said at a news conference on Monday. "We're looking at the church totality, whether it's members of the church, members of the hierarchy of the church, the sermons of the church," he added.

The Living Church of God, an offshoot of a sect seen by some as a cult, the Worldwide Church of God, is a fringe group that advocates literal adherence to the Bible, observes a Saturday Sabbath, rejects the Holy Trinity concept and frequently focuses on a coming apocalypse. - from the

I'm amazed it doesn't happen more frequently in those types of churches. They are so rigid and self-righteous that it can build up frustrations and guilt and anger within people that either breaks their spirit or breaks their minds. Particularly, I think, if you are a more sensitve and emotional type of person, who finds dealing with rules and expectations stressful and guilt-ridden.

The church for me, having been 'born into it', left me always feeling like someone was watching me to catch me out for all the terrible sins I committed every day. Certain things, like "God views all sins as bad as each other" sunk into my kiddies brain and left me too scared to go to sleep some nights unless I died without confessing all my sins and then God would be very, very angry with me.

Yes, ok, I was a silly kid and I took it all very seriously - but I was being told all the time that this was the one true church and the one right way and it terrified me because I could never, ever be good enough and I felt that inadequacy deeply.

Posted by phreq at March 16, 2005 01:25 PM | TrackBack

Yeah, my mum used to be told "you know the feeling when you burn your little finger - well all of you will feel that way in HELL". I have issues with most organised religions.

Posted by: Emba at March 16, 2005 08:14 PM

it's weird, eh. as a catholic, it was all about 'being tempted is one thing, but acting out on it is another, and if you resist temptation then yay you, but as long as you're sorry about, it's all good' (but in less of a 'i'll do then confess it and then it gets cancelled out' type way. so i was never really worried about screwing up, cos i was taught that if i did make a mistake, as long as i genuinely regretted it and tried not to do it again, i was ok.

i never understand why ppl want to make life harder for themselves by adding all these rules like 'make one mistake, JUST ONE, and you'll spend the rest of your life doing penance'

Posted by: Zephfi at March 16, 2005 09:01 PM

Well, I was born into this church too, and have never lost a night's sleep fearing God. Why don't you people talk about something that you know something about? You obviously misunderstood the point of anything you heard at church. God is love and love casts out fear.

Posted by: mo at March 19, 2005 12:18 PM

Excuse me. But my experience of the first 14 years of my life within that "church" is as valid as anyone else's experience.

Good for you, anonymous poster, if you *were* brought up in the WWCG and didn't get screwed over by it. But you are in a minority. Watching that "church" implode and the agony of the adult members was a grindinglty awful experience.

What I heard at that "church" were a lot of rules, a lot of fear, and a lot of manipulation. As a child, no doubt I did not understand the technical points of doctrine. But I did understand the fear, the punishment and the abuse I suffered at the hands of members of that "church".

God was *not* a god of love in that church. He did not cast out fear, he coated people in it. And I think my personal experience is as valid as anyone elses, and I certainly DO know what I am talking about.

Posted by: phreq at March 19, 2005 06:32 PM

I gave my name and email am I anonymous? I did grow up in Worldwide and am now a young adult in the Living Church of God. I wasn't referring to you, I'll call you anonymous poster since I'm fairly certain your parents didn't name you phreq, when I said "talk about something you know something about." I've been very frustrated with the way that people have used this tragedy as an opportunity to attack my religion, like the victims deserved to die because they're not in a mainstream church, or like it's no surprise that someone in this "fringe" religion lost it and started a massacre during a church service. People overlook the fact that our church is a PACIFIST church! We are registered and accepted as conscientious objectors from military service in the USA b/c even the government knows that our religious beliefs PROHIBIT violence.

I know some had bad experiences growing up in Worldwide and I'm sorry you did. Yes, your experience is valid. But so is mine. I had a wonderful childhood. You have a right to say whatever you want about my church, but I have the same right to defend it. I'm sorry I did it in a way that made you angry.

Posted by: mo at March 23, 2005 05:21 AM

Hi Mo,

Thank you for taking the time to write back, and I also apologise for my aggressive tone – I didn’t realise that you were referring to the LCOG – I have no experience of that church. I totally agree with you that it’s frustrating when people assume that non-mainstream = bad. I think a lot of the WWCG was good and for a lot of people who weren’t as extreme as my parents, it wasn’t such a bad thing.

I’m angry with the church because I was raped by a member in authority – but also, my parents were just not normal, and a lot of things are their fault. I hurt that they used the WWCG doctrine to back up their abuse of me. I totally agree with you about the Catholic church, and about extremism in general, and it makes me mad seeing “Christians” who use God to keep people in fear and discredit the vast majority of Christians who are wise and able to see Love not Fear.

I know the WWCG for most people was not as bad as my experience; I’ve got friends who didn’t get as badly affected, largely because their parents weren’t sociopaths. Then again, I know a lot of people who have been broken – to the point of suicide – by the doctrines.

I don’t think the WWCG was evil – I think that it had some members who were evil – but the Church itself wasn’t.

I wish you all the best in the LCOG – one nutter shouldn’t tar the whole Church. I hope that your congregation can turn this tragedy into a growing experience that brings you closer together in fellowship and relationship with each other and God.

Sorry again for my aggressive reply, and thanks for taking the time to write back.

From Phreq (named by my parents as Jen)

Posted by: phreq at March 23, 2005 06:56 AM
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