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Well, I’ll have to apologise for my absence from the blogosphere recently. My excuse is I’ve been facing conference papers, a writing funk and winter apathy. So this is a massive post because I’ve been saving articles for weeks. Here’s to springtime being just around the corner!

On refugees

I’ve never been so ashamed to be Australian. In 2006 I fell for Rudd’s ‘Faith in Politics’ essay (worth reading) – the PNG ‘solution’ makes me suspicious it was all just a ploy to get my vote. I hope it’s not too late to call on our PM to remember at least what he said he believed.

David Marr Captain Rudd steers Australia into new depths of shame

Tracee Hutchinson An unconventional take on the refugee convention

Tim Costello Election is a time for welcome

While I’m whinging about the political state of affairs, here’s a great website from the Bible Society comparing political parties on various issues. Election Guide 2013

On feminine theology

Matthew & Joy Steem Finding a feminine theology in C.S.Lewis’ Narnia

On monarchism

No royal babies here. David B. Hart Anarcho-Monarchism

On depression

This made me laugh. You must read the whole post. Hyperbole and a half: Depression, part 2

depression

On gender and publishing

Tara Moss The age of invisibility?

Below I present two fairly random examples of The Age newspaper online, snapped as screenshots. The first was taken by me on July 17 and the second today, July 25. At a glance, I count over 43 men, 1 baby boy, 2 illustrated boys  and 1 woman, partially visible behind a male. Oh, and a cockatoo of unknown gender…

Eigenfactor Gender composition of scholarly publications by date and discipline.

On disability

Heather King Are birth defects really part of God’s plan?

On Ramadan

The Atlantic Photos of Ramadan 2013. I love this photo of protesters in Turkey breaking their fast in a massive street banquet.

Turkey Ramadan 2013

On nice words and bad words

Maria Popova How we got ‘please’ and ‘thank you’

Charles Halton Sterilising the Bible

I remember the first time I heard the C-word used to translate the Bible. I almost fell out of my chair…

On religion

William Cavanaugh The root of evil; Does religion promote violence?

Westerners are fascinated by the nexus of “religion and violence.” War on behalf of nationalism and freedom and oil and other such mundane secular matters hardly counts as violence at all. At the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Qatar in 2007, nearly four years into the U.S. occupation of Iraq, David Satterfield, senior adviser and coordinator for Iraq in the office of the U.S. Secretary of State, gave a speech condemning those in Iraq “who try to achieve their goals through the use of violence.” As the journalist Rami Khouri sardonically commented, “As if the U.S. had not used weapons when invading Iraq!”

Nothing, of course, justifies the Boston bombings. My point is simply that we prefer to locate “religious” causes of violence and become quite incurious when “secular” causes like nationalism are in play. Why? Because we are accustomed to dividing life into separate religious and secular spheres. We have been habituated to think that devotion to one’s religion is fine within limits, while public patriotic devotion to one’s nation is generally a good thing. We are appalled at violence on behalf of religion, but we generally accept the necessity and even the virtue of killing for one’s country.

On technology

Martin Olmos God, the hacker: Technology and the cross

On history & the Bible

Peter Enns Archaeology and the exodus narrative as a mnemo-narrative

Maeir reasons that archaeology and the biblical narrative do not match up not so much because nothing happened, but because of the nature of the biblical narrative as a mnemo-narrative. The exodus story that we have is the result of a process of “remembering” the past through ongoing reception and appropriation over time. Those memories were–as are all memories–transformed and shaped by those very communities that embrace and transmit them.

On the ‘establishment’

Shelby Steele The decline of the civil-rights establishment

Finally, back to refugees…

(thanks First Dog)

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