Why I Support Halal Certification

+-*For some time I have heard assertions that fees paid for halal certification on food are being used to fund terrorism. The ABC recently ran a fact check that exposed this as untrue. Muslim diets require that certain foods be prepared in certain ways. Halal certification identifies food products that meet these requirements. This benefits… Continue Reading

Are we the world’s stingiest nation?

+-*Never before has an Australian government made cuts to the international aid program like those made by the Abbott government. The argument goes that we can’t afford to borrow money in order to give it away. We first need to deal with our debt crisis, and then we can afford to give more. A friend… Continue Reading

Easter and the pulling on of socks

+-*Until my Parkinson’s progressed I never realised what a fine art it is pulling on a pair of socks. I always thought the challenge would be things such as tying up my shoelaces, but it appears that pulling on socks requires fine motor skills that are more sophisticated than those of tying shoelaces. The Easter… Continue Reading

The kingdom of Christ or the kingdom of Rome?

+-*Jesus came to Israel proclaiming a kingdom founded on faith, grace and love and was executed by a kingdom founded on idolatry (the Roman emperor was worshipped as a god), violence (Roman armies had conquered the world and rebellion was ruthlessly crushed) and state-interest (Rome stripped conquered countries of their wealth). Roman crucifixions were intentionally… Continue Reading

A Coal Festival? Really?

+-*In 2012 Rolling Stone magazine published an article by Bill McKibben that’s become famous. McKibben showed that when we burn through all known fossil fuel reserves in the world we will emit 2795 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The problem is, to have a one in five chance of keeping global warming below… Continue Reading

This will break your heart

+-*The Guardian has published interviews with refugees who set out for Australia by boat only to find there was no welcome for them here. Rather, under a policy introduced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, they were packed off to Nauru, where  their claim for refugee status was found to be valid and they have been… Continue Reading

On Shutting Down Remote Indigenous Communities

+-*A furore has erupted this week over the Prime Minister’s description of aboriginals living in remote communities as being there as a result of their “lifestyle choices”.  Aboriginal leaders,  even those who have been supportive of the Prime Minister, have expressed disappointment in what seems to them to be a failure to understand the complexities… Continue Reading

How to Obey God But Not Do God’s Will

+-*When I was a boy one of the popular hymns in my church was “Trust and Obey”. “Trust and obey” it declared, “for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Good advice, except when it is blind trust and blind obedience. The bible, it seems to me, calls… Continue Reading

Jesus Not So Meek and Mild.

+-*One of the most famous episodes in the life of Jesus was his “cleansing of the temple.” And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold… Continue Reading