28 April 2011
A story which defies belief. I must admit, I initially doubted the story's authenticity; surely no academic could possibly be this stupid. But yes, do a search for the journal and you'll find it in the submission guidelines. Incredible!
27 April 2011
According to the Guardian newspaper, PM David Cameron at PMQs today sparked Labour fury when he told opposition front bench spokeswoman Angela Eagle to "Calm down, dear". It seems it was the second of those 'd' words which caused considerable offence on the Opposition front benches. Actually, there seems to be some confusion as to who Cameron was taunting, whether Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, his wife (also a frontbencher), or Angela Eagle, but all that is beside the point. So is the fact that hardened senior Labour politicians - including Ms Eagle - seem to have got so hot under the collar over that most frightfully offensive, demeaning and hate-filled of words, the 'd' word. I quite concede Dave's use of the 'd' word is frightfully spiteful, utterly filthy and breathtakingly denigrating, but perhaps it demonstrates how such delicate flowers as Ms Eagle should avoid the brutal, rough and tumble world of Westminster politics. For his part, the PM maintains this was merely a reference to those well-known (if rather annoying) Michael Winner adverts where he keeps saying, "Calm down, dear, it's only a commercial". Whatever the truth may be, I guess those involved will simply have to put up with what British Christians so very often now hear all the time, namely, that we should get used to it, grow a thicker skin and stop getting offended so easily (though actually, I rather think it takes more than the use of the word "dear" to get us frothing at the mouth... after all, in recent years we've had to put up with somewhat more distasteful language and anti-Christian vituperation than this).
21 April 2011
Looks like the UK government may have to, after all, release figures detailing the numbers of late abortions (i.e. carried out after 24 weeks) which, theoretically, are only permitted in cases of extreme physical abnormality or danger to the woman. These figures have been kept secret since 2003. Pro-abortion campaigners and the Department of Health strongly oppose the information being released, arguing it may lead to the women and doctors involved being identified and harassed by pro-life campaigners. Yet it is not immediately clear how releasing statistics identifies anyone. What seems rather clearer, however, is how releasing these figures will demonstrate that the country's abortion laws are regularly flouted, resulting in unborn children in the latter stages of pregnancy being aborted for minor abnormalities.
19 April 2011
Well, maybe that's a tad ambitious, despite how some syndicated columns have run the story, but Ha'aretz' interview with a former journalist and leftist member of a Zionist organisation who is now a committed Muslim is certainly an interesting one, full of paradoxes and oxymorons. It certainly helps to demonstrate the complexities of life in the Holy Land, rather than the unsophisticated and deliberately polarised mischief-making we all too often hear from anti-Israel activists (whether Christian or secular) who have little understanding of life, faith and politics in the Holy Land. Whether or not you agree with his views, the interview with Kassem Zaid is well worth a read. Particularly interesting was the following comment he makes:
...there are a lot of advantages to living in Israel. On the personal level, Arab individuals can lead their lives in dignity, there is a senior citizens allowance, there is a guaranteed income allowance and no one suffers from abject hunger. My personal dignity is not trampled upon.
2 April 2011
Imagine, purely hypothetically, if Israel indiscriminately fired a missile at an Arab bus station, killing one person and wounding around 30 others. I don't mean an Israeli retaliatory attack, or a missile fired at a target hidden within the bus station, or an act carried out during war. I just mean imagine if the Israeli military, completely out of the blue and for no reason whatsoever, decided to blow up a bus station in the Arab West Bank or Gaza. There would - rightly - be complete uproar and utter global condemnation. At the vanguard of such protest would be the many Christians who are deeply critical of Israel and despise Christian Zionism. After all, they have a track record of criticising Israel's actions whenever the opportunity arises. Well, it has been a little over a week since a terrorist bomb - completely unhypothetically - was denotated at Jerusalem's main bus station with the express intention of causing as many civilian casualties as possible. Yet we've barely heard a squeak from the Christian anti-Israel brigade. Indeed, so far I've only come across one Chrisian organisation critical of Israel which released a statement condemning unequivocally the Jerusalem bombing (earning my respect, despite disagreements I may have with them, as an organisation to be taken more seriously).