Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Jihad - the real causes

Every man and his braying ass has an opinion about Islam, based on the gut-wrenchingly evil acts of terrorism perpetrated by ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and kindred extremist groups. Is the underlying problem Islam itself and its holy book the Quran?

British-born Iranian New Zealander Donna Miles-Mojab, writing in the New Zealand Heraldoffers some insight into the underlying issues.

The Military-Evangelical Complex

Douglas Becker has reblogged a provocative piece by Paul Rosenberg. While Rosenberg's politics may be somewhat suspect (a self-described "lifestyle capitalist"), he nonetheless makes a good deal of sense, speaking of "inverting the most fundamental elements of the Judeo-Christian tradition" in American society.

Friday, 8 April 2016

We the True Church

HT to Dr Val Webb.

Did Jesus Really Exist?

Like it or not, the "Jesus myth" is slowly entering mainstream discourse. This article from Canada's McLean's magazine is a case in point.

Sociology of an American sect

Good news, you no longer need to remortgage the house in order to acquire a copy of David Barrett's study Fragmentation of a Sect: Schism in the Worldwide Church of God. Oxford University press is releasing a paperback edition (with a few very minor revisions) later this year.

Read the rest on Ambassador Watch.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

The tea towel has been hung out to dry

And the winner is...
There'll be a few Aussies in mourning tonight. Our cousins across the Tasman, at least those among them with a sense of independent nationhood, were hoping New Zealand would adopt a new flag and thereby kick-start a similar debate in the Lucky Country.

In fact, we tossed out the uppity tea towel and kept the old design.

It's not that we don't need a new flag, a flag that dumps the anachronistic Union Jack. Times have changed. The Brits haven't qualified as "the old country" for many decades. But the Kyle Lockwood-designed pretender just wasn't up to the job.

And our brilliant Prime Minister didn't help things along. His partisanship for change helped form a stronger anti-vote. Every time he opened his cake-hole the tea towel lost support.

Nor did it help that know-it-all radio, television and newspaper non-journalist Mike Hosking tried to tell the country to vote for change. If Hosking is in favour then the rule of thumb is that anyone with active brain cells should oppose.

And oppose we did.

The Lockwood pretender
New Zealanders have never been particularly flag-conscious, unlike our American brethren. We don't salute the thing or have our kids recite pledges of allegiance. But the flag debate has stirred up a bit of the primal, and flags have been flying in front yards up and down the country in a way that's unprecedented. The received flag much, much more than the Lockwood tea towel.

We'll need to take another crack at it when we become a republic in the hopefully not too distant future. Once Elizabeth passes from the scene it'll be hard to transfer loyalty to Good King Chuckie. But then, with a bit of luck, we'll have a flag that Kiwis can genuinely embrace.

And I daresay we'll still beat the Ockers to the punch.