Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Weekend at the 'G

I spent the weekend competing in and watching the Victorian Athletics Championships at the MCG. This event was used as a dress rehearsal for the Commonwalth Games.

It was good to be out on the track and having a run. I've been at Aus. and Vic. championships before but this was different. The procedure of warming up at the outside track (Olympic Park), having to be in the call room in the bowels of the MCG 30 minutes before your race, using the 50m track that has been built in the car park under the Great Southern Stand, having your spikes checked by officials, patiently waiting in seated rows according to your lane draw, being led out onto the MCG all added up to a unique experience.

There were four rounds in the 100m, the first round had 20 heats comprised of nearly 150 athletes from all over Australia and quite a few from surrounding countries. The goal was to make it through to the 2nd round (48 athletes left) as a miracle would be required to proceed further. Mission accomplished. I didn't make it through to the semis (last 16) and only three Victorians made it to the final. But I did 'win' one thing. My coach told me that I had the fastest reaction time out of the blocks in all the 100m races. I found that very hard to believe, so I went to the results and checked the reaction times. It was true. In my round one race. And it was a legal reaction time. Not bad for a 36 year old. I'll hang my hat on that one.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Trial and tribulation

There is a strange trial going on in Italy at the moment. It involves Luigi Cascioli, an ex-trainee priest who is now an atheist, suing a current priest, Father Righi, after the priest attacked him for casting doubt over the historical legitimacy of the gospels. He decided to fight back.

His complaint is as follows:
"This complaint does not wish to contest the freedom of Christians to profess their faith, sanctioned by art. 19 of the Italian Constitution, but wishes to denounce the abuse that the Catholic Church commits by availing itself of its prestige in order to inculcate – as if being real and historical – facts that are really just inventions."

There are many who believe that there is no credible evidence outside of the gospels that Jesus was a historical figure. For example, Earl Doherty. There is interesting discussion of this on infidels.org.

The first hearing on the 27th of January contained an interesting statement from the defence. It was along the lines that the blame of a possible historical forgery is not to be put on Don Righi but on those who have sustained it before him.

Love that defence! The priest is only spoon fed. The church tells him what to say so he says it. He doesn't think for himself. It's not his fault that he doesn't ask questions about his own faith. It's almost an admission that they can't prove Jesus' historical existence.

Guess how much coverage this trial is getting in the Italian media? It's a round figure. More specifically, zero. Don't want people questioning the dogma that they have had forced down their mouths.