God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Truth, facts and lies

Living together as society means compromising on the way, we want to live together; it means tolerance towards the life design of my neighbour and to acknowledge the boundaries of what is still acceptable and what not.

For this to happen and for society to function we need to agree on some facts or truth, which build the base of every exploration of boundaries and limitations, freedoms and expectations.

The advent of social media and global connectivity via the internet has given rise to an ugly side of these advances which we call fake news, conspiracy theories or simply lies. This has brought us as societies, but also as human mankind in a danger zone.

For example Donald Trump lies regarding election results jeopardizes the US democracy with consequences for other countries and their safety and well-being. His lies and fake news about climate change has serious consequences for Mother Earth and the future of human mankind. His denial towards Covid-19 costs thousands of human beings their lives.

The denial of truth and the ignorance towards facts is not only in the political arena dangerous, also other organisations weaken themselves because of it. Look at the Catholic Church and its dealing with the topic “abuse”. Not acknowledging the facts brings besides pain and hurt also disrepute and a silent withdraw from many, looking for a new home for their belief system or drifting into the fake news corner and hoping that denying facts and changing the narrative rescues somehow their faith. We see this in so many instances in the USA even much broader than only in the cases of abuse or only the Catholic Church, looking at the Evangelical churches and major parts of the Catholic Church where meanwhile ideology, focusing on one aspect while actively ignoring or fighting all other not so convenient parts of reality trump (in the real sense of the word with a big T) religion and transform it into a blindly followed ideology.

Obviously fake news, lies, blind ideology have a shelf life, which is definitely prolonged by the use or better abuse of social media, the bitter flip side of something which was aimed to connect people and ended up to divide them in ways we never thought we will see. Do you recall the enthusiasm of entering a new millennium, the dream of a global village, the possibility to communicate and foster peace and dignity around the globe and the belief, that digital communication will bring all the positive goodies to the world we live in?

We are doing a detour now regarding truth and common grounds – and maybe as human mankind we are allowed to do so. But I would argue that the silent majority has now seen enough to determine the dead end and the destruction caused. Now is the time to stand up for the truth, for valid discernment and reasoning and I believe that especially religion – and religion does not mean necessarily church institutions – has a major role to play: the tradition of mystics (think Karl Rahner) and Global ethics (think Hans Kueng) and yes, the encyclicals and universal writings of Pope Francis are waiting to be more – or again – discovered and put into practice.

At the end truth will prevail – the costs to get there – that is the only thing we can determine as human beings and influence as part of societies.

Filed under: Catholic Church, General, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Internet based health tracker

mobile phone mast

mobile phone mast (Photo credit: osde8info)

My Health Tracker is a webpage under the “thebody.com” and it can help you organize your HIV treatment information privately and securely in one place. This way, you can take better charge over your health and keep track on what you are doing and how you take your medication.Whether with computer or cellphone or mobile tablet – all these items turn into a source of support. My labs keep track of your laboratory blood results, My meds helps you to list all your medication taken. My journal allows for a sort of diary and My reports let one create various graphs and reports to be printed out and take for example with to your doctor. In one word: An amazing helpful website recommended for those anyhow connected to internet via modern communication tools. And frankly: most people even in South Africa have a cellphone which can be used for social networks like Facebook. So it is simple just to add another and this time life-supporting tool for those living with the HI virus. To get to the relevant page click here.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sorting out the social media…

Social media work is important in our days and I am in the process of get them all together in a way they make sense for me and HOPE Cape Town. So here they are for those who are interested:

HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust webpage:
http://www.hopecapetown.com

HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/HopeCapeTownAssociationTrust

HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust Causes:
http://www.causes.com/hopecapetown

HOPE Cape Town Association Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/hopecapetown

Website Stefan:
http://www.stefanhippler.com (in 2 weeks ready to go)

Blog Stefan:
https://stefanhippler.wordpress.com

Twitter Stefan:
http://www.twitter.com/stefan_capetown

Facebook Stefan:
http://www.facebook.com/stefan.hippler

Enjoy and keep connected and comment whenever you feel like it. We are one.. as SABC 2 always says.. And it is all about communication

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

05.12.2010 Back home…

After 6 weeks back  home again… and slowly one starting to sort out all the impressions collected on this very long trip. Whom do you have promised to contact, whom to send details, information; let alone all the emails still waiting for a reply. Not to forget the reminder of those emails not answered directly. Emails can be cruel – because it seems that everybody expects me to be online 24/7… Even with a Blackberry that is not the case anymore – humanity fades if one is only determined from the peep of a blackberry or the next internet accessibility. Yes, I do try to be up to date with all my emails and answer as soon as possible. But I refuse to become a slave of the modern world being available around the clock or at least within the next hours. There are emergencies, but generally it is time to overcome the fascination of the technical advance – all the modern communication should serve human mankind, not make the people more restless and hectic. See who is preaching.. 🙂

Filed under: General, Networking, Reflection, ,

03.02.10 emails

Emails can be a blessing and a curse.  I spend half of my day answering them being behind it a bit through the travel last weekend. It is amazing how fast an email box can fill itself up – and it is amazing how fast people can answer emails once in a while. It seems to me that everybody is just sitting and waiting to press the “reply” button whenever I send one out.  That are the so-called sisyphos days where the box is as full as the end of the day as it has been earlier in the morning.
Luncheon with a friend of mine and once again it is good to chat and exchange ideas from person to person – no email can replace this personal word, this looking in each other eyes and reading the expression of body and face.
Surely, communicating via internet is easy because it seems so anonymous and chat rooms are full of people exchanging all sorts of secretes and personal details because not seeing a person means to them to be anonymous. But we all know meanwhile that this is not true and that all footsteps on the internet are recorded almost for eternity somewhere and somehow.

At the end of such an office day one looks back and asks oneself: “What have you done the whole day?”  Good question – next question…. 🙂

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , ,

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