Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

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to unsettle the petal and his metal

March 26, 2018
pillowy gun art Natalie Baxter Jungle Boogie (2015)

Natalie Baxter, ‘Jungle boogie’ (2015)

Who would you like us to shoot at today
With our weapons all loaded and legal?
You know that we can - its our right to bear arms
And take life like we're royal and regal. 

Are there children in playgrounds we cannot abide?
Or students for whom we don't care?
Or the girls in caf who declined all our dates?
Or worshippers gathered for prayer?

What better way 
to make our point clear 
And show ourself 
true, patriotic,
If we are white 
they'll just wring worried hands
And declare us 
a little psychotic 

we'll grieve and we'll pray for the children you've killed
pile up flowers and light many candles
but we will not dare look at OUR culture and laws
our religion and values all scandals

Although there'll be cheers for the feisty young speakers 
whose passion and eloquence glisten
our pride and our praise for our system of schools 
sabotages our will just to listen. 

So we yet define men 
by possessing a gun 
reducing his worth to black metal -
diminishing character, 
courage and care 
as if he's a poor fragile petal

Where are the men who will lay down their guns
and roll up their sleeves to the task 
of addressing injustice and working it out
or is that just too much strength to ask? 

Where are the men who will look in the eye
The Manus and Nauru imprisonned
Face up to our guilt, our violence and greed 
And take up the tough, right decision.

Look! there are the men who lift up their heads
and see strength shown in many an arm -
in holding and healing and reaching and giving -
but not in the fake flex of harm. 
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The Census and what really counts.

August 4, 2016

Census

What’s with christian campaigns like this one to try and convince people who ‘hold christian values’ to tick the christian box on the Census instead of ‘no religion’? I know they are a counter to the campaign that is promoting ‘tick no religion’ – but there we go again, with the christian reaction to threat to power, rather than confidence in a whole other kingdom.

Surely the call of this campaign to boost affiliation is something that christians should abhor? Aren’t we asked to carefully consider the cost of following Jesus, to reject coercion, and refrain from surface affiliation “holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power”. Don’t we reject the diminishing interpretation of christianity as simply moral therapeutic deism?

The ‘why is it important?’ spiel on the OliveTree Media campaign blatantly advocates boosting census data on the rationale that this will ensure there are federal $$$ for ‘christian’ interests. Where is the moral credibility in that?
I’m frankly pretty embarrassed by this.

I’m a life-long follower of Jesus, I believe, like Bill Hybels, that the local church (the vulnerable, cruciform, servant body of Christ) is the hope of the world. I don’t think that protected public funding and political power and cultural majorities are the hope of the world.
Government $$$ are not what we need.
Stacking the numbers to appear more christian isn’t what we need.

Doesn’t this cause confusion about what the gospel actually is and says and calls us to?

Truth-telling. Integrity. Humility. Giving up our power.
Is this not the way of Jesus? Or am I in the wrong religion?