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Daily Archives: August 1, 2005

Sea of Faith in Australia

There are a whole lot of links to explore here, a few, I am happy to say, in familiar territory.

Sea of Faith in Australia (SoFiA) is a network of Australians who are seeking a radical reappraisal of past religious traditions in order to meet today’s spiritual challenges. The network affirms the continuing importance of religious thought and practice, but sees religion as a field of creative human endeavour which must be ever-changing to remain relevant.

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Posted by on August 1, 2005 in Australia and Australian, Christianity, culture wars, faith and philosophy, interfaith, Multicultural, peace

 

The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought

Good to see this, and it is Australian.

Our Mission Statement sets out the goals to which we as a community aspire. They are to:

  • Reach out to those for whom organised religion has proved ineffectual, irrelevant, or repressive.
  • Build a network of support for like-minded people who seek to discover and live by a progressive faith, sharing ideas and pursuing questions and answers.
  • Create an open and welcoming community that does not assume the absolute superiority of Christianity, encouraging dialogue with people of other faiths.
  • Promote progressive religious thought as an agent of change and renewal in the church and society.
  • Link with other groups and centres of progressive religious thought.

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Posted by on August 1, 2005 in Australia and Australian, Christianity, faith and philosophy, interfaith, Multicultural, peace

 

Harpers Magazine August 2005: "The Christian Paradox: How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong"

Link.

You only get an extract here, but it it still worth looking.

Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2005 in America, Bible, Christianity, culture wars, faith and philosophy, fundamentalism and extremism, magazines, South Sydney Uniting Church

 

Foreign Policy: Think Again: Iran

This one is available if you sign up for free registration. I urge you to do so. In summary, the article argues these points:

1. “If Iran Gets a Nuclear Bomb, Iran Will Use It” — Very unlikely.

2. “Iran Has No Use for Nuclear Power” — False.

3. “The Iranian People Support Their Leaders’ Nuclear Program” — Not really.

4. “Only the Threat of Force Can Dissuade Iran from Advancing with Its Nuclear Plans” — Doubtful. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2005 in America, current affairs, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, terrorism

 

Foreign Policy: The Bad Boys of Global Politics

Will John Bolton, the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Robert Mugabe, the long–standing tyrant of Zimbabwe, do for global governance what Enron’s Ken Lay and WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers did for corporate governance? It took high–profile scandals at Enron and WorldCom to shock public opinion and politicians out of their complacency with the abusive practices of corporate chieftains. New laws and a heightened public awareness have created a corporate environment where the abuses and the impunity common in the past are less tolerated. Lay and Ebbers are now symbols of greed, and their conduct sparked major reforms in the way private corporations are governed. Will Bolton’s and Mugabe’s roles in the United Nations mobilize the needed political energy to change the way it and other international organizations function?…

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Posted by on August 1, 2005 in Africa, America, current affairs, globalisation/corporations, human rights, magazines

 

Iraq really does have something to do with it…

Link.

The five men suspected of trying to explode bombs in London on July 21 were motivated by anger over the Iraq war, not by religion, one of the men has reportedly told Italian judges following his arrest in Rome on Friday.

Osman Hussain, 27, is also reported to have denied the group was linked to the July 7 bombers but said it saw those atrocities as a “signal” to stage its own attacks. Italian reports said Hussain was an Ethiopian-born Briton who had changed his name from Hamdi Isaac. They said the group devised the plan in a basement gym in Notting Hill, near where two of the men were arrested on Friday.

“Rather than praying, we had discussions about work, politics, the war in Iraq,” he said in comments leaked to La Repubblica and an Italian news agency.

The men, all immigrants to Britain from East African states, watched films – “especially those in which you saw women and children killed and exterminated by the English and American soldiers, or widows, mothers and daughters who were crying”.

Hussain, who appeared before Italian magistrates on Saturday for an initial extradition hearing, denied the failed bombers wanted to kill anyone but themselves “as a show” and “to spread terror”. He also denied any connection to al-Qaeda, although “we knew that they existed. We had access to their platforms through the internet but nothing direct.”…

Hardly surprising that post-Iraq War attacks just may involve at least some degree of response to the Iraq War, is it? Despite assertions to the contrary emanating from Canberra, London or Washington.

And from Indonesia:
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Posted by on August 1, 2005 in Australia and Australian, current affairs, Europe, fundamentalism and extremism, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, South-East Asia, terrorism