Category Archives: Haphazard
We were each given seven minutes to give a perspective (no problem!), and thus this is only a sketch of some ideas. There was then some Q&A. I was asked to bring a perspective from a) a Christian and, b) the context of TEAR Australia’s work with the global poor. As a rich, white, educated, Western male I did my best to speak on behalf of the bottom 3-or-so-billion…
Law is a mere tool, a political construction, used by humans to achieve a certain social ends. Like any tool, it is subject to the use and abuse of the one wielding it.
Much of the time law can be understood positively – law created by those elected representatives for the good of most, of not all, people. So long as law serves in this capacity it demands our respect. Such laws help society to construct more just, albeit impersonal, structures.
However law does not always work this way. Read the rest of this entry
It is tempting to believe we can make the kingdom. Work a little harder, longer, better.
Our symbols are not a shovel, a hammer and a wheel.
Our symbols are far more extravagant: rainbow, parting sea, empty tomb.
We may shoulder a cross but we walk in resurrection. Recreation out of nothing much – that, my friends, we cannot make.
Grass and gophers, sparrows and spiders. The gift received with gratefulness: it can’t be bought and sold.
Bring us out from exile, bring us to our home. As we work for your kingdom, set our hands aflame.
Whether you are for, against or undecided on #Kony2012, no one would have expected to wake up to the news that one of the co-founders of the campaign, filmmaker Jason Russell, had been admitted to hospital for medical evaluation under odd circumstances.
The gleeful rants did not take long to fill the internet. Personal attacks against Russell in the aftermath of his breakdown are not hard to find as the wheels of social media turn, crushing anyone who falls in its midst.
Personally I find this both interesting and unfortunate. When #Kony2012 dropped I expressed my concerns about and overall disapproval of the campaign in a blog post which I eventually removed. One of the reasons for this removal was the personal attacks that I attracted, both from those I know and those I do not, for offering some considered cautions. I never made a personal attack against anybody involved with Invisible Children, and sought to stick to the actual issues involved. Unfortunately the same courtesy was not extended to me by some readers.
Of course I was by no means the only one offering critiques of #Kony2012. I was, however, disappointed by those whose critiques consisted solely of cruel personal jeers. Such critiques are not in any way relevant to the issues of #Kony2012 and reveal more about the authors than the targets. Read the rest of this entry
Below is a beautiful TED talk by Susan Cain about the power of introverts and their place in a changing society. Whether you are an introvert, or are an extrovert who wants to understand introverts better, have a look.
There is also a great article over at The Atlantic entitled “Caring for Your Introvert”. It is not new, but it is fantastic:
Warning: This post is almost completely untheological. Non-guitarists may wish to click off now – you may get bored!
Guitarists, you may be deeply offended by my opinions (I know how personally we take out tastes in guitars…)
Some of my readers may be aware that I enjoy playing, writing and recording music. These days it’s nothing serious – I just enjoy it.
My journey through guitars is interesting, to me at least, and I wonder whether it reflects anything about me as a person.
I first started playing music at 14 when I picked up the bass. From there I added the guitar and then other instruments subsequently.
My first guitar was a cheapy, but the guitar I aspired to was the Gibson Les Paul. As a teenager there was something about this guitar that just stood out to me. Guitarists often know Les Pauls for their attitude, their fat, punchy, thick sound, and their heavy weight.
For non-guitarists who have bothered to get this far, think songs featuring Slash from Guns ‘n’ Roses, Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin or Pete Townshend from The Who for famous and typical examples of the Les Paul sound.
The rougher edged growl of the Les Paul sound resonated with me, and so when I eventually bought one I thought I had found my perfect guitar.
But tastes change. People change. Read the rest of this entry
Since I’m Australian I am not exposed much to American Football, so I apologise to my American friends for my ignorance.
Additionally I apologise to my Australian and other non-American friends who simply don’t care.
My exposure to Tebow did not result so much from football per se as much as from Christians getting mega-excited about the new Christian-sportstar on the block who reportedly once touted the Bible passage John 3:16 on his eye-black.
One of the things I have seen in the news (and on my Facebook feed) over the past couple of days is Tebow’s “miraculous” 316 passing yards on Sunday during the NFL playoffs. Here is how CBS, the American television station who aired the game, reported the event: Read the rest of this entry
Here’s some food for thought about our beloved Saint Nick:
- Children must take personal responsibility if they are to be rewarded.
- The poor, who generally receive less, are therefore lazy.* Santa is actually a big fan of the rich, since he gives them more presents even when they are naughty! (Note: when Santa talks about being naughty and nice, he is talking about how hard we work).
- Santa has a virtual monopoly of the toy market at Christmas, and uses uncompetitive strategies, such as giving away his products, in order to put his competition out of business.
- Santa uses slave labour to make his toys, confining them to an isolated sweatshop in freezing and often unstable conditions (assumedly so it is too difficult to investigate working conditions in the factories). There is no minimum wage or overtime, and the food they get is whatever is left over after Santa is finished (which is always none).
- By doing so he also takes jobs away from people here at home.
- “Saint” Nick subjects eight reindeer, and endangered species mind you, to pulling his obese frame across the entire world in one night – talk about hard labour!
- Santa has shares in coal mining, which is why he no longer gives coal to the naughty – he keeps it for himself. Imagine the price he can sell it for in the future when there is an energy crisis!
- Santa doesn’t demand redistribution of your wealth, unlike those damn trick-or-treaters.
The Right-wing shouldn’t be so quick to applaud Santa’s championing of laissez-faire economics, since he is also an advocate for completely open borders. Indeed Santa is himself an illegal immigrant, travelling without a passport and sneaking undeclared goods into the country. And you thought boat people were bad…
In addition Santa is leading people to Hell! Westboro Baptist Church told me so.
Is this the kind of person you want your children to be looking up to?
* Santa started his out enterprise in the old days by donating toys to the poor. In suppose even charities can lose their way, turning into money-making schemes.
I was told that a number of the people present had previously attended particular Pentecostal churches, but having been prayed for for healing over varied periods of time without success some had been ostracised by these communities.
If order and predictability were what someone was after in a church service this was not the place for them – some congregants danced alternatively in the middle of songs, other shouted out comments during the proceedings and one blessed soul prayed that God would make them famous and give them a Logie* award. Two members even declared their marital engagement during the announcement time, though I was told that this was a regular occurrence, often between different people.
In the midst of such “chaos” I must tell you that I sensed the presence of God more potently than I have in a long time. Read the rest of this entry
One definition of a contemporary hipster might be: Read the rest of this entry