legistlating morality

Every law that has ever been written “legislates morality”, because every issue is a moral issue.

Shame on the American, Bible-belt, Republicanist, sub-Christian sub-culture which taught me as a new Christian that vote for GW Bush was a vote for the ‘moral’ candidate. Yes – marriage and abortion are HUGE moral issues (of which I would expect the state to have more direct role in governing the latter, as it is – at its best – the protection of life itself), but are not the environment, foreign policy, the economy, education, etc. also moral issues!?

india: different

So I should probably post about my recent trip to India.

I could give a ‘what we got up to’ report of the work our team did (some still over – some still yet to go) on the new Freeset T-shirts building.  But we didn’t only go as labourers – we went to observe as well.  Kerry took us on a couple of ‘walks’ to see the areas around Freeset, and also we saw other bits of Kolkata as well.  I suppose I’m more inclined to reflect on what I observed and the thoughts it brought to mind – many of which will still tick over in my head for some time to come. Continue reading “india: different”

activist theologian

I picked up a copy of Gustavo Gutierrez‘s ‘A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation‘ for a) my growing interest in the biblical theme of ‘Freedom’/’Liberation’, and b) the ‘Themes in a Missional Spirituality’ block-course I’ll be taking this semester at Carey Baptist College – with guest lecturer – and author and theologian – Charles Ringma (very exciting!).

He ends the Conclusion with this:

We must be careful not to fall into intellectual self-satisfaction, into a kind of triumphalism of erudite and advanced ‘new’ visions of Christianity.  The only thing that is really new is to accept day by day the gift of the Spirit, who makes us love – in our concrete options to build a true human fellowship, in our historical initiatives to subvert an order of injustice – with the fullness with which Christ loved us.  To paraphrase a well-known text of Pascal, we can say that all the political theologies, the theologies of hope, of revolution, and of liberation, are not worth one act of genuine solidarity with exploited social classes.  They are not worth one act of faith, love, and hope, committed – in one way or another – in active participation to liberate humankind from everything that dehumanizes it and prevents it from living according to the will of the Father. (p.174)

freedom

I’m really appreciating how significant the theme of freedom is in the Bible.

Freedom is opposed to compulsion, captivity or slavery.

Utterly free of compulsion, God freely acts to create and sustain a free creation, particularly free and dangerous human beings, which constantly, continually and consistently become enslaved, manipulated, captive or otherwise enslaved to and by various kinds of anti-freedom things (aptly summarised as sin and evil).   Continue reading “freedom”

peace on earth

Watched Joyeux Noël again with my wife – a truly great film, based on true events of one of the WWI Christmas Truces.

Apparently, the Germans first decorated their trenches with Christmas trees, and belting out Christmas carols – the first/main one is thought to have been ‘Stille Nacht’ (Silent Night).  This prompted some (English) carol singing from the British side.  This led to more singing, coming out of their trenches and meeting and conversing with one another, exchanging of gifts (whiskey, cigars, chocolate, etc.), sharing a Communion Service together (!), helping one another bury their dead, football (‘soccer’) games, and various other acts of kindness.

It’s a tremendous story, and it’s worth your time reading some of the letters from the troops describing the events.

May peace rule our hearts!