Archive for the 'politics' Category

10
Aug
17

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget God

…even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful…

AUGUST 6 1945

Hiroshima

AUGUST 9 1945

Nagasaki

AUGUST 2017

A word from the white evangelicals’ favourite.

 

 

 

HAVE WE FORGOTTEN?

A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honour. (pr 29:23)

An ungodly man digs up evil,
And it is on his lips like a burning fire.
A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
A violent man entices his neighbor,
And leads him in a way that is not good.
He winks his eye to devise perverse things;
He purses his lips and brings about evil. (pr 16)

19
Jul
17

Who is the White Evangelicals’ “Christ”?

Despite holding the presidency and having majorities in congress and the senate, the republicans (the white evangelicals’ party of choice) seem to have no ability to deliver anything workable on healthcare. Their only agreement seems to be on their desire to remove “Obamacare”.

During the Obama presidency, while far too many professing Christians were lapping up (and sharing) anti-Obama rhetoric no matter what its source and veracity; one of the complaints that I couldn’t understand was the passionate “Christian” hostility to the idea of affordable health care for all US citizens. Whether or not the so-called “Obamacare” could deliver that wasn’t even the issue. A lot of “Christian” opposition I saw was against the whole idea of making healthcare accessible to those unable to pay for it.

This morning I came across the following, making some interesting observations and claims:

…until recently, most [US] politicians [were] insisting that US healthcare was the best in the world. In reality, the World Health Organisation ranks it 38th, behind Colombia (22nd) and Saudi Arabia (26th) and just above Cuba. The No 1 cause of bankruptcy in the US? Medical debt. And with more than 250,000 deaths a year, medical errors are the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. Obamacare has made things somewhat better, but there are still 27 million people without health insurance because they can’t afford it, and millions more who can’t afford the co-payment on prescriptions.

 

Rightwing Christian fundamentalism has had a devastating effect on women’s health. There’s little care for poor women or children once they’ve been born ; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 other industrialised nations are better than the US at keeping babies alive. Americans who say they are pro-life merely mean they are pro-birth. Republicans want to slash Medicaid – government help for those who cannot afford to pay – which pays for nearly half the births in the US.

 

full article here:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/14/attack-healthcare-policy-with-comedy-jonathan-lynn-yes-minister 

 

Considering the attitudes I’ve seen expressed by many professing Christians over many years, I have to wonder what kind of “Christ” do they think they are following?

Their “Christ” seems to be very different to the person I read about in scripture; their “Christ” seems more associated with partisan politics and political slogans and labels than in reaching out to the most needy people within society.

05
Jul
17

Cherry Bounce/The American Elections: An Invitational Exhibit at the William King Museum

I love this artist’s work: an abstract and symbolic expression of her Christian faith in paint and collage.

This is the latest post from her blog about some of her recent paintings.

grace carol bomer

Last year, guest curator Eric Drummond Smith invited me to be part of the “historical” show Cherry Bounce/ The American Elections at the William King Museum in Abingdon, VA. It was historical in subject matter–its theme the history of the American elections from George Washington to Barack Obama, the 44th President. His well-chosen title Cherry Bounce, an Appalachian liquor, alluded to either hope or despair as we anticipated the yet undecided outcome of the November 2016 election. It was historical because Nixon. jpegI was assigned the Nixon/McGovern race of 1972 (the Nixon poster called for “a sense of history, not histrionics”), and historical also because my own Christian faith believes all of history is a story with a divine plot and the post-Fall battle for power.

I am a painter who is conscious of this “grand narrative” called history. My statement reads, “Bomer is concerned with the human condition surprised by…

View original post 853 more words

04
Jul
17

Have You Heard About?

 

Have you heard about…

Kabul truck-bomb toll rises to more than 150 killed.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-blast-idUSKBN18X0FU

How much did you hear about that as compared to the abundance of information flooding the media after terror attacks in the west?

Or how much did you hear about this?

Two weeks ago, the American military finally acknowledged what nongovernmental monitoring groups had claimed for months: The United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State since August 2014 has been killing Iraqi and Syrian civilians at astounding rates in the four months since President Trump assumed office. The result has been a “staggering loss of civilian life,” as the head of the United Nations’ independent Commission of Inquiry into the Syrian civil war said last week.

“At least 484 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes,” the United States Central Command, or Centcom, the military command responsible for the Middle East, said in a June 2 statement.

Estimates by independent monitors are much higher. Airwars, a watchdog group, says coalition airstrikes have killed nearly 4,000 civilians.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/opinion/isis-syria-iraq-civilian-casualties.html

(I’m sure that word “unintentionally” is a real comfort to the families of those killed).

 

See information below about terror attacks in western Europe over the past 47 years – and particularly note the attacks attributed to Islamist terrorism. How do the totals for the whole period compare to the recent numbers off civilian deaths in bombing raids in Syria?

http://www.datagraver.com/case/people-killed-by-terrorism-per-year-in-western-europe-1970-2015

And compare to the US details accessed through the same site, which unfortunately don’t specify which are Islamist terror related. The spike in 2001 is obvious. The one in 1995 reflects the white supremacist attack in Oklahoma :

Taking all of this into account – how rational is the fear of Muslims, particular Muslim refugees trying to escape the horrors of Syria and the bombing of their homes?

And how much ignorance and/or hypocrisy is involved when western “Christians” join in the fear-mongering?

17
Jun
17

Not Quite The Last Trump

The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has been recorded mimicking Donald Trump and joking about his poll numbers, his attacks on fake news and his alleged links to Russia.

Leaked video and audio of Turnbull’s off-the-record speech – which was also self-deprecating about his own poor opinion poll ratings – shows him impersonating the US president’s unique oratorical style.

In his speech to the Canberra press gallery’s Midwinter Ball, the Australian equivalent of the White House correspondents’ dinner, Turnbull says: “The Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls. We are winning so much, we are winning, we are winning like we have never won before. We are winning in the polls. We are, we are. Not the fake polls. Not the fake polls. They’re the ones we’re not winning in.

“We’re winning in the real polls.

“You know, the online polls. They are so easy to win. I know that. Did you know that? I kind of know that. They are so easy to win. I have this Russian guy.

“Believe me it’s true, it’s true.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/15/malcolm-turnbull-mimicks-donald-trump-in-humorous-speech-to-press-ball

15
Jun
17

A Flawed Historical Viewpoint.

The state of the western political world today:

 

  1. USA and Donald Trump (does any more need to be said?)
  2. Britain: Brexit, Theresa May and a hung Parliament.
  3. In Australia, partisan politics continues to cripple a government that often seems to have more policy disagreements within its own ranks than it has with the official opposition party.
  4. France: power to be in the hands of a new, untested, quickly cobbled together party based on the charisma of a young leader. Can such a party provide longstanding stable government?
  5. German elections in September… what surprises could that bring?

 

Some religious commentators are attributing the increasing instabilities in the “Western World” to a departure from our historical Judeo-Christian foundations; but I find their view of history is seriously flawed.

What kind of “Judeo-Christian” foundation was “Western democracy” ever built upon? Has there ever (REALLY) been an all-encompassing embracing of Jesus or His gospel?

 

Over over centuries there was a lot of religious superstition, theological rhetoric, and political USE of the Church as a tool of government.

And while there may have been individual pockets of society that at times have shown authentic devotion to God, has there ever been a GENUINE widespread, long-lasting commitment to Jesus and His Kingdom that could result in a claimed blessing of “the West” over past centuries – blessings that are now allegedly being forfeited?

 

If anything, it seems to me that during the period AFTER the claimed abandonment of Judeo-Christian ideals, the west experienced its most peaceful and prosperous period: that is post WWII.

Of course there were ongoing problems, but arguably, things had never previously been better for the average person in the west as the world got back to its feet after the death and destruction of the Second World War.

It’s mostly in the last decade or two (significantly post 9/11) that perceived threats have led to growing fear that blessings (our comforts, safety and wealth) will be forfeited due to a casting aside of Judeo-Christian” ideals. (Proffered evidence of this casting aside can date back a century or two. One case I’ve seen points way back to the French Revolution* as an example!).

Those fears of loss at the heart of the argument seem mostly founded on a fear of others – those “not of the west” . A fear that others coming into our nations will disrupt and compromise our “western values” – values that to a great part are not necessarily Kingdom values anyway.

 

Apart from the current issue of promoting a fear-based ideology, the fictionalising of history projects the cause of perceived problems onto society at large, putting the blame on “THEM” and THEIR (society’s) relationship to God; shifting the focus away from the personal and our own relationships with God and the unbelieving society we live among.

 

 

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example here

 

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08
Jun
17

Trump, Qatar, Russia and Possible Saudi Subterfuge.

I found the combination of the two articles below raises interesting questions.

In particular the suggestion in the first article that Russian hackers may have been paid by Saudi Arabia or the UAE to ignite the Qatar situation. (Saudi Arabia, birth place of Islam and source, financer and major propagator of Wahhabism,  the extreme form of Sunni Islam that led to ISIS, Al Qaeda and similar groups*).

And then Trump takes credit for the situation…

 

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Russian hackers to blame for sparking Qatar crisis, FBI inquiry finds.

An investigation by the FBI has concluded that Russian hackers were responsible for sending out fake messages from the Qatari government, sparking the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in decades.

It is believed that the Russian government was not involved in the hacks; instead, freelance hackers were paid to undertake the work on behalf of some other state or individual. Some observers have claimed privately that Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates may have commissioned the hackers.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/07/russian-hackers-qatar-crisis-fbi-inquiry-saudi-arabia-uae

Trump Takes Credit for Saudi Move Against Qatar, a U.S. Military Partner.

President Trump thrust himself into a bitter Persian Gulf dispute on Tuesday, taking credit for Saudi Arabia’s move to isolate its smaller neighbor, Qatar,

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/world/middleeast/trump-qatar-saudi-arabia.html?_r=0

 

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*

(Wahhabi mission, or Dawah Wahhabiyya, is to spread purified Islam through the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Tens of billions of dollars have been spent by the Saudi government and charities on mosques, schools, education materials, scholarships, throughout the world to promote Islam and the Wahhabi interpretation of it.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism )

 

(Wahhabism to ISIS: how Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism.

Although IS is certainly an Islamic movement, it is neither typical nor mired in the distant past, because its roots are in Wahhabism, a form of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia that developed only in the 18th century. http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2014/11/wahhabism-isis-how-saudi-arabia-exported-main-source-global-terrorism )




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