May 26 - May 27, 2002
Monday 27th May, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
Relapsed Catholic is not on holiday
Canadian. Good posts today. And yesterday, and the day before…
Fool’s Folly has a thoughtful post on
Mark Byron thoughtfully comments right back.
Junk Yard Blog tried to install a firewall and ran into problems. And
Sand in the Gears has phone problems. So, no posts from those two until
all the bugs are worked out. We hear you Bryan and Tony. If I can’t figure
out how to fix the log-in password on my XP Pro, I’ll be posting from…er,
um, uh-uh…no, I won’t be posting until I can pin down my trusty tech and get
her to sneak into this machine.
Here’s more anti-Semitism to go with the post below on the Internet game.
Little Green Footballs says Eurovision Song Contest presenters told
local viewers not to vote for an Israeli singer. LGF has a great comment
section; it can be as informative as the blog.
Tal G. has the story too.
Damian Penny a Canadian, responds to
Tim Blair an Australian. who asked Penny to explain what the heck the
husband of the governor-general was talking about recently. It’s kind of
like the Australian-Canadian dialogue we have going on here, eh? I don’t
know if Ralston-Saul has an official title if he is only the spouse of a
governor general, but I do know he’s indecipherable at the best of times. He
must have done some bad drugs back in the 60’s.
Tim Blair has the latest on the Nancy Crick suicide. This tragedy is
getting more bizarre.
-posted 9:40am, by Bene Diction
It Had to Happen
The O’Reilly Network is coming out with a blogging
The Essential Blogger. This makes sense. If you go into your local
bookstore or library there are computer books
crowding the shelves like proliferating rabbits in a pen. Release date is
set for August 2002. Now, if there were a Blogging for Dummies book,
yours truly would be first in line. Link via Canadian David Janes of
Ranting and Roaring.
Christianity in the Third World
Islam may not be outstripping
Christianity as the world’s fastest growing religion. In his new book,
The Next Christendom, author Phillip Jenkins says Samuel Huntington (Clash
of Civilizations) and other academics are missing the larger picture of
the explosion of Christians in the southern hemisphere. Jenkins says
Christianity is indeed losing force in the western world, drawing his
premises from the numbers in the 2000 World Christian Encyclopedia. Although
he sees Islam squaring off with western Christians in the future, the
primary fight will be with Christians in developing countries.
In a worst-case scenario, he pictures Christian and
Islamic countries of the southern hemisphere locked in religious conflicts
reminiscent of the Middle Ages. "Imagine the world of the 13th century
armed with nuclear warheads and anthrax," Jenkins writes.
Here’s the rest of the review in
The Baptist Standard.
Parent Prayers 101
Christianity Today’s 40 Ways to Pray for your Children.
Choice is All About
New Meaning to Film Noir
About 250 filmgoers at the
Cannes festival had to be treated by paramedics because they were so
sickened by a French entry.
Around 20 people, mostly women, were sick and some needed
oxygen while more than 200 of the 2,400 spectators walked out halfway
through the screening of Gaspar Noe's film. But most of those who stayed
gave it a five-minute standing ovation.
The film is in competition for
the Golden Palm Award. Two scenes were
particularly graphic. So
10% walk out and 90% give it a standing ovation! What is wrong with this
Here’s what the fire lieutenant said:
In 25 years
in my job I've never seen this at the Cannes Festival. The scenes in this
film are unbearable, even for us professionals.
Here is how
A magnificent film.
Me thinks, l’emperor ne porte pas de vetements.
Roman Polanski won the Palme D’or for “The Pianist”.
Suicide Bombing Game
Jewish groups in Britain are in an
uproar over an internet game where
the player is a suicide bomber.
Players move their suicide bomber along a busy street to
get as close as possible to the maximum number of innocent civilians.
At the opportune moment they click on their mouse and the
terrorist opens his coat to reveal grenades strapped to his body, then
explodes in a shower of bloody limbs. Scoring is broken down into tallies of
dead or injured men, women and children.
The game already has had thousands of downloads. The game
is being circulated while scores of Israeli citizens are dying in suicide
The Israeli Embassy in London has complained and Lord
Janner, the vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, said: "This is
grotesque, unacceptable and uncivilised. It normalises and glorifies terror
and deliberate murder, and it should be banned.
"This isn't just about Israel and the Jewish people. It
is about the whole war against terror." Fiona Macaulay, a spokesman for the
Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: "It is obscene. I am aghast that
there is such tacit acceptance of suicide bombers in Britain that this can
be widely circulated as entertainment.
The game was developed by a 23 year old in Texas who
plans to improve it. He is unrepentant.
On the website where the game originates, he has written
that he is planning a more sophisticated version: "You'll start in Israel
and work your way across Europe and end up in America. Each country will
have missions such as injure three women or kill two children without
injuring any adults."
Fabulous999 insists, however, that his intention is to
satirise suicide bombers, not glorify them. "I'm not Jewish, I'm not an
Arab, and I'm not a terrorist. I just think people who blow themselves up
are stupid. That's all this game is. If anything, this is going to be an
anti-Yasser Arafat game."
I tried to link to the site to express my concerns and got a directory. I’ll
have to google them. The creator of the site has refused to remove it,
saying they will continue to protect the right to make extreme games.
Until law enforcement steps in and takes action under hate laws, citizens on
both sides of the pond need to register their protest with this site and
state law officials in Texas. Link found via
China blocks Tribute Website
Jay Nordlinger has an interesting article
in The National Review Online about a courageous Chinese woman, Youqin Wang,
who has dedicated her life to memorializing the victims of Chairman Mao’s
Revolution. The Chinese government has blocked her
-posted 9:25am, by Bene Diction
Sunday 26th May, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
Gerard Serafin at a Catholic Blog for Lovers, looks at why the world’s press
the pope around.
has added a comments section. He’s not really cranky, and invites comments
by saying there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
Tim Bednar at
has an internet usage post done by the Pew Internet Project. Interesting.
Heal Your Church
has a worm print (Nimda) log post. Took a minute, but I saw it. Better yet,
he has advice on how to prevent it.
-posted 2:45pm, by Bene Diction
Martin Roth posts:
Congratulations to author, university
lecturer and former Baptist pastor Mike Riddell for winning ForeWord
Book of the Year award in the Spirituality section, for
Sacred Journey, sub-titled “Spiritual Wisdom for Times of
Mike, like me, is from New Zealand (he
still lives there - I’m now an Aussie). I met him a few years ago when he
came to Melbourne – describing himself as an “unemployed theologian” - to
conduct a two-week seminar on the role of the church in a post-modern age.
It’s a subject on which he is a genuine expert. He has lectured and written
extensively about it, and has considerable experience in organising
alternative worship services, in several countries.
I wrote a little about the seminar in
Chapter 9 of my book
Living Water to Light the Journey (that chapter is one of several
now online). I also related in my book the following story (reproduced below
While minister of Ponsonby
Baptist…Mike was involved in a confrontation with Auckland City Council over
the proposed sale of Council housing in the Freemans Bay Area. After a long
and frustrating campaign to change Council's policy, Mike startled
councilors by interrupting their meeting and stripping to his underpants. He
informed the councilors that this was what they were doing to the poor of
their city: stripping them of their dignity and leaving them naked. The
mayor called for a cup of tea.
Mike is a wonderful writer. Right now,
coincidentally, I have out from the library his book Threshold of the
Future, which challenges the church to return to its radical roots and
its essential character as a missionary body. And on my over-crowded
bookshelves I have a couple of his earlier books.
I haven’t read Sacred Journey, but
I’ll bet it’s good.
Look out for it.
Footnote: The ForeWord
magazine awards are intended to honour small, independent publishers.
Third-prize winner in the Spirituality section is
Tariki, published by Kodansha International. Does the magazine know
Kodansha is one of the world’s largest publishing houses?
-posted 1:55pm, by Martin
Bene Diction posts:
Suicide Nancy Crick
has revealed that Nancy Crick did not have cancer. Was she
by euthanasia advocates to end her life? Link found via
He has the full chronology of this tragic story. Words fail me.
One Year and
Monday will mark the one-year anniversary of the kidnapping of New Tribe
missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham by the Abu Sayyah terrorists in the
has full coverage in its web log and will have more on Tuesday. They have a
It is Memorial Day weekend in the United States.
Victor David Hanson
writes a moving article about his Uncle Victor and about finding out how he
died at Okinawa. This is also a story about the men who survived the battle
and who responded to Hanson’s information requests with dignity, elegance
There Is No Happy Ending. Read It.
Link found via Canuck blogger
Martin’s post about the Soka Gakkai sect. It has eerily similar traits with
the “health-wealth gospel” preached in the western world. Scroll down to
the ‘testimony’ that starts with: “I started chanting about a car that in
fact I had……..”
Anton Hein of Holland has marvelous resources on his site
at Gospelcom.net about the Health-Wealth, Word-Faith, and Positive
Confession Movement. Look up Health & Wealth Gospel in Index- H) This
movements teaching is
(Index- W. Word-Faith Apologetics Index)
There are more articles by England’s Trish Tillin,
Many people have seen the hyper-spirituality of this
movement, where God is treated like a Santa Claus. Adherents engage in
magical thinking and religious ideation. People desperately seeking and
needing a living and Holy God work themselves into a hypnotic group state,
and misuse scripture in attempts to acquire power, prestige, place and
things. What is so frightening is that, sometimes, this deceit works. Yes,
acquisition could be the result of statistical probability and hype. But it
is still unsettling.
A lot of mainstream newspapers, magazine and web site journalists have
written about the phenomenon of blogging.
writes about the two extremes of thought regarding web logs, and basically
winds up somewhere in the middle. Makes sense. He is a mainstream journalist
and a blogger.
I like this comment:
Indeed, it was a conservative, St. Augustine, who essentially invented the
idea that history is the story of technological innovation. But, Augustine
noted that while the doohickeys keep changing, human nature and the laws of
government remain constant.
Hmmm. Doesn’t it say something to that effect in the bible?
The Washington Post has a contest every year where readers are asked to
submit alternate meanings for various words. Here are a couple of these
(n) - a person who is coughed upon.
flabbergasted (adj) - appalled over how much weight you have gained.
abdicate (v) - to give up any hope of ever having a flat stomach.
(v) - to walk with a lisp.
gargoyle (n) - an onion flavoured mouthwash.
balderdash (n) - a rapidly receding hairline
flatulence (n) - the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run
over by a steamroller
-posted 9:30am, by Bene Diction