May 17 -
May 24, 2003
nasty article, a couple of journalists on The Australian try to
work up hatred towards missionaries, in what is meant to be a news report
related to the murder this week of Seventh Day Adventist missionary Lance
Gersbach in the Solomon Islands.
Look at this quote,
presented with no supporting evidence at all:
death, many have been left pondering the missionary mentality, and wondering
who, church or heathen, benefits most from persuading poor and tribal people
to accept a culture of spiritual and economic dependence.
Gersbach wasn't killed
in a case of mistaken identity. Whether or not a martyr, he represented the
religious imperialism that holds down and drowns a people's autonomy.
Whoever killed him was not thinking about eternal damnation but removing an
object he regarded as an obstruction.
in what claims to be a quality newspaper.
The Aussie Bible
is due out soon (no links available). Here’s part of the story of the Good
Samaritan, now retitled “The Good Bloke”:
A bunch of bushrangers
attacked him, stole his dough, and left him as good as dead. A big wig from
happened to pass by, took one look at the bloke, crossed the road and
hurried off. Another official who was on the road that day did the same.
Then a really ordinary
bloke (a grubby old street sweeper you wouldn’t look twice at) passed by and
felt really sorry for him. So he used his first-aid kit to patch him up, and
then put him on his old nag, took him to the nearest pub and took care of
Good friend Fred
Peatross has a provocative new blog,
FutureMargins.com, and I
recommend it. If you know Fred, you’ll be heading there already. If you
don’t know him, here’s a quote from Christian worker Buff Scott, Jr.:
Fred Peatross has been
kind enough to send me his
[newsletter] since its inception. The Lord has blessed him with a sharp mind
and humble spirit. I consider him a reformer whose efforts at renewal are a
good 20 years ahead of the "pack." I'm always blessed by his insight. Truly,
the Christian community needs more of his calibre!
Friday 23rd May, 2003
starring Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman, is already causing a stir, with its
portrayal of a “more human” God.
CNN on recent movie Gods –
iconography is mainly set aside. Movie Gods are usually self-help humanists
who don't favour those who worship under the Crucifix, Star of David, the
Quran or at the feet of Buddah.
But even that is
apparently too much for some. Comments
religious fervour moves in and sinks the last 20 minutes, drowning the
actors in more prayer speak and sky gazing than we've seen in a studio
release since "Lilies of the Field." You don't have to be an atheist or an
ACLU attorney to be creeped out by the movie's lip-service spirituality,
which panders to the common denominator that imagines heaven to be an
all-white loft complex.
Thursday 22nd May, 2003
Worship Where You
Former colleague Garth
George (VERY former – it was more than 30 years ago that we worked together
on the Auckland Star)
criticises a youth who is claiming that his local Burger King
discriminated against him by
ending a job interview when he said his religious beliefs wouldn't let
him work on Sundays -
How sad. Not only does
the young man not have a leg to stand on but by his actions he is likely to
bring contempt upon his faith.
His church leadership
certainly needs a shake-up if he hasn't been told to cancel his complaint,
learn an important lesson from this situation and go look for another job.
The important lesson
is that employers are looking to engage people who will do what they're told
when they're told and who will put that before anything else. Burger King
was looking for an assistant manager, not a Christian, just as the Herald
employs me, not because I am a Christian but because I am an experienced
And just as the
Herald couldn't care less what I do with my spare time, Burger King no
doubt couldn't care less what young Mr Ward does with his - as long as, in
both cases, it doesn't interfere with our work.
Mr Ward complains that
"worshipping on Sunday is a religious ritual but they [Burger King] are
making no allowance for that". Of course they're not. Why on earth should
industry, like the newspaper game, is a seven-day-a-week business. I took
that into account when I started and paid the penalty of weekend work for
most of my 45 years in the trade.
It is only in the past
few years that I have not had to work any part of a weekend - except in
emergencies - and it's wonderful, I can tell you.
But I don't
necessarily indulge in religious ritual on Sunday. I worship where I stand -
every day of the week.
Bene Diction for a year of
excellent blogging. I’m proud that Bene started on my website.
Wednesday 21st May, 2003
David Beckham on
It doesn’t matter what
he does, Manchester United footballer is
always in the
news. Here he is
on religion. It’s not a recent quote, but it’s still fun -
Discussing his current
view of religion he said: “I’m not sure if I believe in life after death. I
haven’t made up my mind yet… I don’t really have a particular religion that
I stick to or that I would consider myself to be. I don’t go to church or
pray, but I do have a definite sense of spirituality.”
And that sense of spirituality is something he and Victoria are keen to pass
on to their 18-month-old son Brooklyn…. “I definitely want Brooklyn to be
christened, but I don’t know into what religion yet.”
parental abuse from the media -
Today's parents are
the most child-sensitive in history but they are also confused, insecure and
driven. And the result, according to a visiting
family relations expert, is the "overscheduled child".
"Parents today see
their main role as identifying their children's hidden gifts and talents,
and bringing them forth," William Doherty said. "They feel this huge
pressure to develop their children's potential." And so children from a
young age were swept up in a whirlwind of organised activities and lessons.
Driven by fear their
children might fall behind or miss out, parents turned their own lives into
a frenzy of car-pooling and cross-suburb commuting.
Hollywood Prefers Aussies
X-Men star Hugh
Jackman says Australian actors are popular with
because they are far less trouble than big-name Americans.
appreciate us because we can work hard, don't bitch and moan much and have a
very relaxed view of the film industry," Jackman told German magazine
Jackman, who starred
in the hit X-Men films and action thriller Swordfish, is among
the growing number of Australians in
Hollywood led by
Academy award winners Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush and Mel
Gibson and including the ever-busy Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Noah
Taylor and Naomi Watts.
Tuesday 20th May, 2003
Would Jesus have a
home mortgage? Would He invest in a retirement fund?
money management links personal spending decisions to Christian
priorities, and the practice has gained a significant following in recent
years, particularly among evangelical Christians….
All money belongs to
God in popular Christian financial theology, so earners have a duty to spend
it responsibly. Christian financial planners encourage savings and
investments for short-term emergencies and retirement.
But they often
discourage aggressive retirement plans because they hoard money, instead of
spending it on good works while having faith in God's provision for the
See also my
Shares Would Jesus Buy?
Was Jesus Black, or
An old joke, but still
funny, in the
Monday 19th May, 2003
Back in Business
Blogs4God are back
in business after a lay-off for a few days. To mark their return they’re
featuring an excellent essay by Internet Monk Michael Spencer.
Michael, in his
own blog, comments:
published an old piece of mine. "If
It Looks Like An Evangelical Skunk." The whole thing. On the front page.
Wow! It's kinda incomprehensible if you don't know that it's my response to
this rant by Eric Rigney, "Christian
Propaganda is Better Left Behind," which is at least partially inspired
by Rob Dehrer's review of the first Left Behind Movie, "Do
Fake Boobs Go To Heaven?", which contains one of my favourite sentences
in all of the world: "It's like The Day of the Jackal as conceived by Ned
Flanders, and produced by the film and video department of a rural Bible
college." Anyway, thanks to the good people over at blogs4God.
The Perils of Being a Priest
A Sydney congregation
want their new priest sacked because he demanded the removal of Aborigines
gathered on the footpath outside the church. He also evicted a man who had
been living in the presbytery for more than a decade. The previous priest
used to distribute the collection money to those gathered outside the
The Sad Perils of Being a Missionary
Sunday 18th May, 2003
Unexpected Benefits of Judaism
and director Nora Ephron
wonders why she was possibly the only White
House intern President Kennedy didn't hit upon:
Perhaps it's because
I'm Jewish — don't laugh, think about it, think about that long, long list
of women J.F.K. slept with. Were any Jewish? I don't think so.
Saturday 17th May, 2003
It’s Official –
Big Brother is Disgusting
warned the reality TV show Big Brother to clean up its act.
complained about the unsavoury antics of 21-year-old housemate Carlo who has
been urinating in a flower bed.
Queensland Health is
also concerned about Carlo bathing in a sink used by the other contestants
for washing up dishes.
Carlo is among
housemates facing eviction this weekend.
His disgusting antics
in the house also include brazen pimple popping and regular nose picking.
Last week Macquarie
Bank executive Dennis Eager boasted (apparently at a cocktail party) that
Macquarie Infrastructure Group (MIG), owner of the Midland Expressway in
Britain, intended to fleece users with high tolls.
He got the sack a few
days later, and the bank, in damage control mode, declared his comments did
not reflect management views.
But this morning
The Australian explained why he got the boot:
It does appear Eagar
fell – or was pushed – on to his own sword for stating exactly what the
company thinks, and that he has been obliged to resign for telling the truth
about MIG's attitude towards tolling.
The issue also exposes
the way the company spruiks the market with tales of the myriad riches to be
had from toll roads, while at the same time seeking to placate motorists
with calming words about its reasonable approach to tolling. Last week that
contradiction was exposed.