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Monday, November 28, 2005

A letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister John Howard,

On Friday, 2nd December, Nguyen Tuong Van is due to be executed in Singapore. Nguyen made a terrible mistake, attempting to take drugs back to Australia, was caught and is now on death row.

On Friday, you are planning to play cricket for the Prime Minister's XI. Do you really think this is appropriate? Australia does not support the death penalty. Australians have come out to say Nguyen should not pay for his mistake by losing his life and you too have supported this view.

It is simply a callous act for you to be gallivanting down the pitch, and wearing the baggy green, as Nguyen walks his death walk. Nguyen's mother and Nguyen himself were 'blown away' that you took the time out to meet her. How do you think she is going to feel now? You say you "think the Australian people will understand". Do you think his mother will understand? It is simply a respectful act, Mr Howard to leave the cricket aside on Friday as a protest against the barbarism of the death penalty - which in terms of justice is a lie.

Sincerely,
Gwyn


If you too are interested in emailing John Howard, follow this link..
http://www.pm.gov.au/email.cfm

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Striking at the Heart of Melbourne



Melbourne was today the scene of a huge workers’ protest. Helicopter estimates were at about the 175000 level. Thousands of people had obviously decided, like me, that the new Industrial Relations Laws are bad enough news to be docked a days pay and were on strike. Above is the scene as it looked from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.

In the photo taken from a helicopter, you can see the church which we were standing in front of.

Monday, November 14, 2005

What is Politics?

According to the Collins English Dictionary, 3rd Edition, politics is the practice or study of the art and science of forming, directing, and administrating states and other political units; the art and science of government; political science; any activity concerned with the acquisition of power, gaining one's own ends. (My emphasis).

Politics may refer to leadership or to the business of controlling or governing. It can be about self-fulfilment and selfishness; in other words my rights over another persons’ rights. What is the difference between good leadership and despotism? The human political sphere, important as it is, is rarely, if ever, all-embracing. It is distorted by self-fulfilling politics, it discriminates, marginalises and disfigures. The Church has been associated with this disfigurement and discrimination frequently.

Jűrgen Moltmann has argued that ‘"monotheistic monarchianism" …has provided a theological justification for structures of domination and subordination in the familial, political, and ecclesial realms of human existence.’ God understood as primarily King has distorted human understanding of how government is to be formed. God understood in this way is above us, the monarch, laying down the law. Too often this is still the case today. Do you agree with Moltmann? How do you think the church can get away from this monotheistic monarchianism? Or can it?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Resurrection


I've just finished my essay on Greek words for 'Resurrection' in the original biblical text. I've also just had an exam on Koine Greek, which was tough to say the least. Here is a copy of the mindmap I made up to help me with the essay...
As you can see, there are a lot of words which English often just translates as resurrection! One of the most interesting, I think, is Zohpoiew, which translates as 'to make life'. God, as demonstrated by the resurrection, which by the way is something I have 'faith' in - I agree that it can't be historically proven... hmm could talk more about that at a later stage... is a God who 'makes life' definitively and therefore opposes death and violence...