Archive for February, 2017

28
Feb
17

Refugee Situation: Exposing Human Nature

morningnujeenhope

These three books show how the current Syrian refugee crisis exposes some the worst aspects of human nature.

Firstly through the HUMAN cause of the crisis: widespread violence against large populations in Syrian cities and towns, inflicted by both governments and extremist groups.

Secondly through the exploitation of those trying to flee to safety. Profiteers charging large fees to “help” people escape to safer locations – but so often sending those trusting in them to their deaths.

Thirdly through vindictive, violent responses to refugees on the road or at sea.

Fourthly the response of people and their governments who close their doors to people in desperate need.

Each of these books give personal stories of the abuses and suffering that lead countless individuals and families to take that last resort of leaving behind everything they’ve known, everything they’ve worked for and often everyone they know (friends and family) in the hope that they’ll find a better life elsewhere.

Hoping that when safety has been reached, they can work to bring their families to join them along a safer road than their own journey.

Despite the horrors, and despite the underlying inhumanity assaulting those seeking safety – those seekers have to draw on those rare human virtues that sometimes arise out of adversity.

In The Morning They Came for Us, Janine Di Giovanni gives a brutal, confronting and uncompromising look at the nature of the Syrian conflict where torture, rape and murder are no less weapons of war than bombs and guns.

This is the background to the millions of refugees who try to escape to safety, the refugees who many in the west (including so-called Christians) are intent to demonise.

 

 

Part of the story of A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea by Melissa Fleming is perhaps better told by the author herself in this video.

 

And the story of Nujeen Mustafa:

 

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17
Feb
17

The Last Trump: (Friday 17th February) More from the Evangelical’s choice.

Presidential checklist:

mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

 

Trump’s remarkable press conference: world wrap with Matt Bevan

from here:
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/trumps-remarkable-press-conference-world-wrap-with-matt-bevan/8278830

time

Donald Trump’s anti-press conference would be funny – if it weren’t so scary.
article here:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/16/donald-trump-press-conference-media-criticism-not-funny
Donald Trump news conference: what was all that ‘ranting and raving’ about?
article here:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/16/trump-news-conference-recap-issues-breakdown
‘There is such hatred’: Trump swipes at everything in manic 77-minute blasting of media
article here:
https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/34436744/donald-trump-attacks-press-over-fake-news-in-77-minute-press-briefing/#page1
Fake news and real journalism

from:
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/fact-based-journalism/8275630

 

And watch this brief video. Take careful note of what is actually asked by the questioner, and then see whether the question and the tone in which it was asked has any relationship to the answer given and the attitude in which it was given.

 

 

Brief CNN Summary of the Press Conference.

 

 

 

 

 

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

 

______________

 

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

 

 

 

17
Feb
17

Christians, Refugees and Aleppo.

From Christianity Today (Dec 2016):
Survey Says Fewer Christians Pray for Refugees

As thousands continue to evacuate Aleppo—once Syria’s most populous city and home to one of the largest Christian communities in the Middle East—American support for refugees is dwindling.
American Christians are less responsive to the Syrian crisis than they were a year ago, according to a World Vision survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

Fewer “committed Christians” said they had taken action on behalf of refugees in the past two years. In 2016, 38 percent said they had been involved, down from 44 percent the year before. The number of committed Christians praying for Syrian refugees dropped by more than a third this year, down to 19 percent.

“It’s disappointing to see America’s heart closing to refugees. This is not the compassionate and generous nation I know we truly are,” said Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, which launched a Christmas solidarity campaign called #Candle4Syria. “And it’s shocking that Christians, who are held to a higher standard by our Lord, are praying even less for refugees.”

Full article here:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/december/survey-fewer-christians-pray-for-refugees-syria-aleppo-iraq.html

 

 

And from Open Doors
Aleppo Churches Open Doors to Displaced Muslim Families.

The fighting is heaviest in Muslim areas and many Syrians from Aleppo have fled to the Christian areas to seek refuge. For many Muslims, it is the first time they have mixed with Christians.

“Many Muslims were genuinely surprised when they met Christian women in our churches willing to serve them. Their image was that all Christian women spend most of their days dancing in nightclubs and drinking alcohol! Meeting each other was a shock…

…Muslim women were surprised to see that churches offered support and programs for all Syrians, not just for Christians. “Their mosques don’t do that,” … “Many are re-thinking the faith they grew up in and have dropped their hostility towards Christians.”

Full article:

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/pray/aleppo-churches-open-doors-to-displaced-muslim-families/

16
Feb
17

Father of Alternative Facts (who is YOUR Father?)

A new term has entered the lexicon—’alternative facts’.

It was used by Donald Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway to defend those claims by the administration that the crowds at Trump’s inauguration last month were bigger than Barack Obama’s in 2008.

Media organisations have loudly and regularly called out US President Donald Trump for falsehoods over the last 18 months.

from here:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/does-fact-checking-work-in-an-era-of-alternative-facts/8271272

And from the audio at that site:

[Trump’s] supporters don’t care what he says, they don’t care whether he’s telling the truth or not… whatever he says it doesn’t matter. Whether he’s caught as a misogynist, whether he’s caught lying about a whole bunch of issues, they don’t care because they can see him as their saviour, so the facts aren’t really an issue…

And from here: https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/15/rep_ted_lieu_to_introduce_bill

From congressman Ted Lieu:

… when you have a president that lies pathologically, that believes in alternative facts, it suggests to me there is a problem. I don’t know the extent of that problem.


To the “evangelicals” who voted for and continue to support Trump. Do YOU care about your favoured president’s attitude to truth?

Or do you also push aside the clear message of the following and what it says about the source of lies?

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

 

Who is YOUR Father?

 

________________________

Also see:

“Don’t call it post-truth. There’s a simpler word: lies”

We’ve been calling this “post-truth politics” but I now worry that the phrase is far too gentle, suggesting society has simply reached some new phase in its development. It lets off the guilty too lightly. What Trump is doing is not “engaging in post-truth politics”. He’s lying.
Worse still, Trump and those like him not only lie: they imply that the truth doesn’t matter…

from:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/16/not-post-truth-simpler-words-lies-aleppo-trump-mainstream

And:
“Truth is evaporating before our eyes”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/19/truth-is-evaporating-before-our-eyes

13
Feb
17

You’re Right Donald, There ARE Unreported Terror Plots.

See the Signs of Terror: Journalists Call on Trump to Condemn White Supremacist-Led Attacks & Plots

 

https://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2017/2/10/see_the_signs_of_terror_journalists

 

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/10/see_the_signs_of_terror_journalists

13
Feb
17

Planet America

An excellent half hour of commentary, interviews, statistics and exposure of “Fake News”, related to America and the Trump administration.

Planet America
10 February 2017

http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/planet-america/NU1735H004S00

 

pa

(illustration only – click link above to access website with video)

13
Feb
17

Golgotha Reworked

A major local exhibition is approaching, but I’ve done very little painting over the last year or two.  I missed the same event in 2016, but want to participate this year.

My hope of completing one or two new works has been undermined by the weather. It’s been too hot to work in my garage studio. This month we’ve only had one day below 30 degrees C, and throughout January it was the same. Most days we’ve been in the high 30s, with a few over 40 degrees C. Not the best conditions for painting in an uncooled garage.

As a compromise I’ve looked back at some of my earlier paintings and have decided to rework one of the larger canvases. What started out as this:

golgotha

 

Now looks more like this:

 

 

golgotha

The difference in the crucifixion image is an illusion caused by different lighting conditions when the two photos were taken.

No change was made to that part of the painting.

More work needs to be done, but at this stage I’m considering two or three different ideas. Entries for the exhibition need to be in by 3rd March, so I have a little over two weeks to finish my changes.

 




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