Thursday, November 09, 2006

Been a while since I posted...

... so there's a few things I wanted to mention.

Dave's blog (link below) has a rather good entry from yesterday about beating suspicious debating assumptions - something I should be reminded of frequently! Thanks Dave ;o)

A moving comment piece in today's guardian:,,1942826,00.html

I saw someone from the Israeli army yesterday on the news apologizing for the erroneous strike on Beit Hanoun that killed 18 members of the same family ( Perhaps it's not a particularly Christian view to take, but I found myself thinking that they'd sacrificed their right to be sorry when they purchased those weapons. I know that forgiveness is ultimately available to all who repent, but his words just seemed meaningless to me.

On a lighter note, I think this is a great idea:
Cyber tabloid will cover all the news that's virtually true,,1941903,00.html
maybe someone could set up a rival paper... mind you, there are probably already more by now. I wonder if it has radio stations yet. One of my colleagues is doing some work on the issue of online spirituality, and I bet there's huge scope for Christian involvement in online environments like Second Life.

It looks like they're not far off making the late pope a saint:
I think the concept of the sainthood of certain people can be helpful in identifying those who are inspirational role models, or who have something to teach us even today. However, I think there's a very real danger that we see these people as spiritual superhereos, utterly divine and devoid of humanity. It's very easy to forget that according to Paul, we are all saints (no, not the Appleton sisters) - that's what it means to be a member of Christ's church in the world (by which I mean in all denominations). The Saints identified by the Roman Catholic Church are important, but only if we remember their humanity. They show us what we're capable of in Christ - anything! Most of my favorite saints are still alive and kicking.

Thought-provoking article in the Times from yesterday:
Muslims in Glass Houses,,172-2442565,00.html
I don't know enough about the issues to agree wholeheartedly with the author, but he raises some interesting points. However, he does comment that 'The reason we hear so little about religious oppression in the Muslim world is straightforward: young Christians in the West don't become radicalized, and persecuted Christians tend not to respond with violence". That may currently be true, but Christianity must always be aware of its violent past in periods such as that of the Crusades. We don't have to keep apologizinging for things, but the good and the bad exist as part of our heritage and must be remembered.

This woman simply can't take a joke:
Linda Stein says:
"In humor or art theory, you could argue that his statement is so ridiculous that the very utterance of it proves the reverse, and therefore is an unmasking of his character's small mindedness. Some of Borat's most famous segments do just that, such as when the comic, who is Jewish, cajoles patrons in a country-western bar to sing 'Throw the Jew down the well' to expose covert anti-Semitism. But what exactly is he trying to unmask when he ridicules women?"
Perhaps covert misogyny? I cannot see how his jokes about Jews are any more or less offensive than those about women. Whether Sacha Baron Cohen had a moral agenda to expose bigotry, or whether that was a happy side-effect, the Borat movie is funny. It is inoffensive simply because it sets out to offend everyone and does so in such a ridiculous manner. I loved it.

That'll do for now, methinks.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Time for a wake-up call

Women's lives 'no better' in new Afghanistan

Deeply saddening. The headline doesn't do it justice.