Monthly Archives: March 2011
There is something wrong with this picture…
“Bob Brown’s Bitch”?
“Ditch the Witch”?
Such are utterly inappropriate ways of referring to any Prime Minister of Australia, though unfortunately these were not the most slanderous banners at today’s anti-carbon tax rally outside Parliament House…
Some will defend such a display, reasoning that Gillard broke an election promise by proposing a carbon tax.
Newsflash! Gillard is not the first politician to break a promise; I suppose we should level a series of profanities at every politician who lies (or perhaps changes their mind…)? Read the rest of this entry
Mostly the heat generated by the carbon tax issue has been around the increased cost of living for families when it is implemented. The focus of the debate is of course on the government’s plan; the Coalition’s plan has flown mostly under the radar because it is at this point not being discussed as a reality in Parliament.
Annabel Crabb’s Tuesday article on The Drum website made an apt observation, namely that climate policy always seems to be fought on the enemy’s lawn; keep the focus on them and you will prosper. This is certainly the Coalition’s plan, and in a way it is successful. Read the rest of this entry
Micah Challenge is a global movement of Christian agencies, churches, groups and individuals which aim to deepen people’s engagement with the poor and to help reduce poverty as an integral part of our Christian faith.
Every quarter TEAR Australia puts out a magazine called Target which focuses on news and issues in aid and development. I was privileged to be able to write a short Bible study for the latest edition.
This quarter’s theme is (dis)Ability, and as you might guess it addresses disability and the creation of an inclusive world.
My study is called ‘The Tyranny of Normality‘. Feel free to give it a read, along with the rest of the latest Target.
Pauline Hanson is back! (in the news…)
This time she is running as an Independent in the NSW state election (Australia). Whether you agree or disagree with Hanson, no one can deny her apparent ability to rise from (political) death occasionally (even if she is shot down almost immediately).
Some of the more memorable events in Hanson’s political career include:
1. her co-founding of possibly Australia’s most controversial Party, One Nation, which was widely labelled as harbouring racist policies (1997),
2. one of the most memorable maiden speeches in Parliament , which was also widely labelled as racist (1996),
3. her recording a video for her supporters in the event of her assassination (1997),
4. her being convicted of electoral fraud (2003, though it was soon overturned).
How is it then that such a controversial figure in politics, whose reappearance in public life has spawned even more accusations of racism, can still capture the imagination of such a decent percentage of the population?* Read the rest of this entry
I was in a discussion the other day about politics. My friend and part-time opponent utilised no actual policy criticisms, but rather simply referred to the leader of said party with a set of unflattering names.
Such name-calling was additionally supported by false accusations and misunderstandings about complex issues and historical trends.
Now, I’m quite aware that this story is ambiguous at best, and a straw man at worst. It would, of course, be quite rude and untrustworthy for me to divulge any more details.
Most of us have, I suspect, been in such a discussion though at some point. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a personal conversation, politicians blatantly lie all the time, like the Liberal Party here in NSW, Australia, who are claiming that the government’s proposed carbon tax will cost households $500 dollars annually – this figure is completely made up! (The tax, after all, has not even been formulated yet.)
I don’t really have a point here (I just want to get this off my chest), though perhaps it is a lesson for all that people should really stop lying when they argue politics, religion, science, or anything else.
Please give me, to the best of your ability and understanding, real facts and not rumours you heard off your friend the other day.
Please give me well thought out opinions, and not some drivel with words you don’t actually know the meaning of.
And please do not give me plain lies just to try and win an argument; you just look silly!
I don’t normally write about atheism and belief in God. I believe such discussions should generally be left to the context of personal relationships; public debates on the topic change no one’s opinion (people have almost always made up their mind before the often shrill debates begin).
However after watching Scott Stephens’ Compass interview with The Chaser’s Julian Morrow on the topic of Life’s Big Questions, I thought I would make a brief comment about atheist “non-belief”.
Morrow, speaking about his Jesuit Catholic upbringing, recalls:
So you know that’s a lot of inculcation and indoctrination time that I was exposed to.
… I think it is indoctrination. And I remember seeing it in my little brother; seeing a little baby who had absolutely no conception of these ideas of God or the devil or Jesus or resurrection and they’re simply inculcated into a person to the point that they accept them. Read the rest of this entry