Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Greens and the Australian Christian Lobby

more tension again this election between these two parties. Recently the ACL questioned all the political parties about certain issues. However, the Greens refused to answer the questions. why? well, they wrote a letter to the ACL and asked them to put it on their website to explain why the didn't answer their questions.

The letter by the Greens has some great explanations that helps me understand why I have a problem with the ACL despite being a Christian myself! And also why, I am sympathetic towards the Green's Party. Personally, however I a considering to publically and politically 'not vote' in this election - stay tuned for why.

the link as follows http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/2109

some quotes from the Greens letter to the ACL

"We are, of course, aware that many Christians vote Green because they recognise the Greens’ commitment to peace and non-violence, social justice and the environment and to participatory democracy are consistent with Christian values. The Greens have an ongoing dialogue with the established Christian churches with a long association with faith traditions and demonstrated commitment to social justice and to the Gospels.

"The Australian Christian Lobby has never spoken out on the values behind Federal Budgets that give tax cuts to the rich and which deny Indigenous communities the funding to maintain their languages or to provide even the most basic health and education services. At no stage in the last 4 years has the Australian Christian Lobby ever commented on the Howard government inaction on climate change or refusal to recognise environmental refugees. This, in spite of calls by the World Council of Churches to act on climate change to protect God's Earth and to support the millions of people in developing countries who will be first and most dramatically affected.

Muslims for Peace

and to think this still took me by suprise...that our faith and Islam are so simliar! Both working for a better world here on earth. Both striving for peace and justice. Both have extremist ends causing injustice and oppression in the name of faith. Both claiming our faith can make this place harmoniouis and peaceful! both struggling with people of faith who believe salvation is only about the after life and not about the now! how wonderful to find this essay. follow the link for the full version or maybe read the excerpt below...


Tawhid and Social Justice
Dr. Ali White

"Pardon me for speaking very bluntly at this point. Are we Muslims going to make the effort to obtain the knowledge we need to offer society the only alternative that can save it — Islam? Islam has a complete solution for social and generational harmony, but most of us neither know what it is, nor are inclined to find out. Most Muslims are too absorbed in this dünya, to become involved in struggling for a better world, for social justice. Yet, the Qur’an makes it abundantly clear that salvation in the hereafter is as much a matter of having faith as fulfilling the obligation of striving to good works. Several ayaat may be cited in this regard:

[3:142] Do you think you will go to Paradise while Allah has not yet seen who among you struggle and persevere?

[9:16] Do you think you will get away before Allah sees who among you would struggle…?

[29:69] We shall guide those who struggle in Our cause to the paths leading to Us…

[61:10-11] O believers! May I offer you a bargain which will save you from a painful punishment? Have faith in Allah and His messenger, and struggle in the way of Allah, with your wealth and souls. This is better for you if you can understand.

[49:15] They alone are believers who come to have faith in Allah and His messenger, then do not fall into doubt, and struggle with their wealth and their souls in the way of Allah. They are the truthful and sincere.

Striving in Allah’s path for a better world — and for the knowledge to do this properly — is mentioned so much in the Holy Qur’an that it must be vital to our salvation as individuals. We are told, in fact: ‘The one who strives, does so for his [her] own sake’ (29:6). Instead of letting ourselves become steadily absorbed by the decadent Allahless dominant culture, Allah (SWT) reminds us in three places that He:

is the one who has sent His messenger with the guidance and the true way of life, so that he make it prevail over all aspects of living... (9:33; 48:28; & 61:9).

Allah (SWT) adds:

We have surely sent our messengers with clear signs, and sent with them the Book and the Balance, so that people may stand by justice (57:25).

Elsewhere in the Qur’an we are told:

“O believers! Stand up for justice, as witnesses for Allah…” (4:135) and “O believers! Stand up for Allah, as witnesses for justice…” (5:8).

We are commanded to enjoin good and oppose evil. Let us all be very clear. Islam is under attack everywhere not because it is a source of terror, but because true Islam is the framework of genuine justice. Exploiters and evil-doers really do fear genuine Islam.

Islam grasps that humanity today is on the brink of a precipice, centrally because humanity is devoid of the vital values which are necessary for its survival. By proposing that the basis for world peace is Allah’s Oneness (Tawhid), Islam provides the basis for the emergence of peace with justice.

Our beautiful religion commits Muslims to oppose injustice and oppression. This is the only path to sustainable peace — that is, peace with justice. Instead of conflicts on the basis of nationality, ethnicity and factionalism, Islam counterposes a world in harmony, where we are able to live in equitable relations with each other, because each regards the other as equally one of Allah’s creatures.

Islam provides the basis for the emergence of peace with justice. It is time for all Muslims to unite together in this struggle for justice, and in the collective striving for the knowledge needed to obtain this.

Revised: 22 March 2007.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Response to 'Outraged' Onfire letter and more incoming 'outrages'

So in August I posted 'outraged', a copy of a letter to the editor in a salvo publication called 'onfire' by Darren Chandler that was fairly against our nonviolent direct action at the Military War Games. And I promised to post my response to Darren. We'll here it is. it was published a couple of editions ago in Onfire.

And it seems that there's some incoming mail for the October 26th Onfire in opposition to my letter that you'll find posted here. we'll have to wait and see for tomorrow's onfire publication.

To Darren Chandler

Thank you Darren for your courage and passionate views regarding ‘Talisman Sabre’. However, can I propose some matters for your further consideration.

You suggested that Christian’s should not break the law. I would ask the question, what do we do when a law encourages the killing of people? Jesus himself broke many laws of his day and stated “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill?” (Mk 3:4). When considering my actions I too asked all these questions. What is a greater act? To obey a law or save the life of neighbour? If your next-door neighbour was trapped in their burning house, I’m sure you wouldn’t hesitate to illegally break down the door to save them?

I also commend your dislike of war, but disagree in the need to have a military defense force. Why do even us Christians believe violence should only be used as a last resort? When we resort to violence what we are really doing is idolatry. Here our belief in the god of violence is stronger than our faith in the God of peace.

In war, whether we use violence or nonviolence, people most likely are going to die. Is Jesus not to be followed even during a times of war? When we follow Christ who died for us, we should be prepared to die for others, not kill them. It seems to me that Jesus offered the solution for which humanity is desperately searching. “Love your enemies”. Gandhi and many others have showed us this alternative can be lived out. As can all of Jesus teachings, though they are challenging.

To answer your question “where would we stand if invaded by a foreign nation?” I’d be on the frontlines, hopefully with all the other salvo’s…ready to meet the enemy! We’ll have the brass band playing, some hot tea or coffee, some biscuits and a place for them to stay if they need. I believe in Jesus’ commandments. I think He was serious and not a joke. I will never harm a brother or sister. I will not stand by while others do. I’d take a bullet and follow him with my cross. But, maybe I’m just young and naïve.

Simon Reeves

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wedding Details and Maps

the countdown continues (literally...on Kaylene's facebook she has a clock that countsdown to the wedding!)...I'm posting the wedding details again for all who may have 'misplaced' the invite.

Also for others who'd like to come along who want to check it out you'd be more than welcome...

You are invited to attend the wedding of,

Kaylene Michelle
Simon Paul

On Friday 9th November

The Ceremony will be held at
Lysterfield Lake
Horswood Road Lysterfield
At 2:45pm

Then a Reception following at
Myuna Farm
182 Kidds Road Doveton
At 6pm

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Racism and vilification in the mainstream media

From a good mate of mine at Noble Park...

G'day Justice Wingers,

The last month has been a particulalry trying time where my wife and I live. In the space of one week there were two murders, one of which made national news. Many within our Corps community are related to this young man who was left unconscious after being brutally beaten.

To add insult to injury Kevin Andrews made revealed that no more migrants from Africa would be allowed to resettle until at leats July next year. The Minister for immigration made many claims about problems with the settlement and integration of African migrants which is certainly true - there have been some problems. BUT, for every story of woe I could tell ten stories of indidividuals, families and communities who are working overtime to make the most of their new life in Australia and who devote hours of their own time to help others do the same. I'm sure you can imagine how hurtful it has been for some within our corps to be labelled as being in gangs, that they are ill-educated and that they are not integrating into Australia's laws and lifestyle.

Histeria in the mainstream media recahed fever pitch last week whilst we were on holidays last week but through a few phone calls from Kaylene who serves in our Cafe we were able to get the media department to make a statement to the Herald-Sun expressing concern at the type of generalisations that were being made.

Check out media watch's website below - watch the video and be stunned at the incredibly poor standard of journalism. This is holy cyncism.

That's it from me, but read this email I got from Miriam Gluyas who is the CO at Auburn Corps in Sydney who shares similar concerns to me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

1 month remaining...

Last tuesday night, Kaylene and I went out with our Bridal Party to dinner at an excellant resturant in Dandenong called 'taste of africa'.

We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed both the company and the food. It is now one month to our wedding and we are getting just a little bit excited. although there is much to do! We are still hoping we are successful for a house to rent - this is a nervous wait. time is running out. But we know that we are always looked after by this world in many ways so we are comfortable in this wait.

Thankyou so far to everyone who has wished us the best and all those who are helping us put together this special day. and thanks to everyone who reminds me the ball and chain is in the mail! Just jokes - i think! Kaylene don't read this.

Anyway. definately check out his resturant we went to - Amir the owner/chef is the most friendlyy and welcoming bloke you'll ever meet. And the food is very well priced. Plus, he has drinks from Eygpt! Including strawberry juice!
Through his resturant, Amir hopes to bring his two cultures together to meet and understand one another - he flies the sudanese and australian flags proudly. Despite what the media is reporting, the Sudanese are integrating extremly well and this should be celebrated! This is a great way to get to know one of the many gifts the Sudanese population are bringing to Australia! Eat. enjoy.