This evening I was thinking further about the anti-Green scare campaign being targeted at Christian voters, particularly the claim that a vote for the Greens is a vote for abortion on demand. I find myself asking, don't we already effectively have that now under the Labour government, and didn't we effectively have that under the Liberal government as well?
So, here's the big question: if Christians think a vote for Liberals is a vote against abortion, tell me, what practical difference did a decade of the Liberal government achieve?
If you're an American reading this, take it that I'm asking the same question about the Republican government under Bush. What practical difference did he make?
I ask this because even the Christian party comparison sheets acknowledge that Liberal and Labour both effectively pro-choise as far as legislation goes.
"A truly remarkable story of Father Lazarus El Anthony, university lecturer, Marxist who abandoned his life in Australia and went in search of God and freedom. His pilgrimage eventually brought him to a life of a Christian Coptic monk and live in solitude on the Al-Qalzam Mountain (Egypt) in the pursuit of what the Desert Fathers called apatheia, holy stillness."
For more examples see Raptor Jesus Art. I suspect the meme evolved from a similar meme involving Jesus and dinosaurs.
As you'd expect, or maybe not, a mock-mythology has arisen around this, about the long-prophesied Second Coming of Raptor Jesus and of his adversary Satanasaurus Rex. The prophets of Raptor Jesus cry, "Repent, sinners and slow-moving herbivores, for the Velocirapture is upon you."
Of course, the velocirapture should not be confused with Catnarok, which is more of a lolcat thing.
Firstly, the many pro-Socialist comments by my mate, Ian Shanahan, who I think could have given Stalin a run for his money. His comments prompt me to ask is socialism more Christlike than capitalism? Is democracy more Christlike than dictarorship? To what extent are they reconcilable?
Secondly, the many anti-Marxist accusations launched against Jim Wallis and Rick Warren by critics such as Glenn Beck. Is there any truth to any of these accusations, of Marxist underpinnings to their social justice theology?
Thirdly, the Marxist leanings of liberation theologians. Is liberation theology something evangelicals can embrace uncritically? How balanced is liberation theology?
Personally, I find the Atheist philosophy of Marx a little difficult to reconcile with Christianity. I see some resonances with God's concern for the poor. But given the choise between economic egaliatarianism and political totalitarianism on the left, and political egalitarianism and economic totalitarianism on the right, I have to ask, are there different options?
Just as we need to deconstruct texts, we also need to deconstruct images.
This image features Emperor Alexius I Comnenus before Christ. Jesus is seated on the throne (indicating his lordship over the Empiror) with his right hand in a benediction gesture (indicating his blessing on the Empiror). The Empiror himself is illuminated by a halo, indicating holiness.
The question that arises for me is, what is the impact this would have had on the audience for which it was originally intended? What is it saying theologically and politically?
In the last two weeks I've head a lot of viral propoganda about the Greens being anti-Christan, with this political video being one of the more strident examples.
Personally, while I agree some of these issues are of concern, I blanched at the comment that "many parties now have sound environmental policies". ROFL, Oh please! That's not true of Labour Party, let alone the Liberal Party. What utter rot! Oh, and not one mention of the refugees controversy or the Millenium Development Goals. Some balance please!
Yes, some Green policies are difficult to reconcile with Christian values. But the same could be said of Liberal and Labour. Every choise involves some compromises. So I'd like to hear what candidates have to say for themselves. Fortunately, Hope 103.2 FM has done precisely that, asking Christian canditates from each of the parties to speak on how their faith meshes with their party’s policies. First up was Lin Hatfield Dodds, the Greens Senate Candidate for the ACT. I don't agree with everything she has to say, but I think it's important we hear what she has to say for herself.
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Mark 10:21)
I'm having a hard think about my lifestyle this week. You know, it's so easy to downplay verses like this. To say, hey, Jesus said different things to different people in different circumstances, so what he said to this guy isn't necessarily what he has to say to me. This is true. But what if, even so, this is a message for me? What if God is saying, you shouldn't rush past these words so easily? I think I need to sit with this. Some further downshifting may be called for.
Well, this Tony Abbott versus Raptor Jesus video has got to be the most bizzare political commentary I've seen so far in the Australian election. I can just see Hemant Mehta going ape over this with his baby eating fixations, being a canabalistic Atheist and all. You're all familair with the Raptor Jesus meme?
Just wondering how many of you are familiar with progressive muscle relaxation? Progressive muscles relaxation is something I learned backin my New Age days but continue to practice today from a more Christian perspective. I find it helpful for relieving stress, anxiety, depression and for clearing the mind in preparation for meditative prayer (1 Peter 4:7). See what you think of this video.