Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Palestine is not Apartheid...

Said Moshe Machover, the Israeli academic and dissident, founder of the Israeli Socialist organisation Matzpen in a lecture as part of the Coventry Peace Month last night.

"No," he continued "it is something far worse than that."

According to Professor Machover's analysis, the blacks and coloured people of South Africa had a great advantage over the Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza. In South Africa, the white elite literally built their state on the back of the indigenous people. They required the great resources of labour in order to do all the back-breaking, dangerous, dirty and low paid work that the far less numerous whites could or would not do.

In Israel/Palestine, the Israeli Hebrew settlers simply want the indigenous Palestinian Arabs out of the way. Israel is in no way dependent on Palestinians for anything - and has recently been bringing in cheap labour from around the world to do various dirty jobs in the country. In contrast, the Palestinian economy is almost totally dependent on Israeli money.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I found this lurking on my computer

Monday, October 08, 2007

the bibleless church

I wonder what a community would be like which only read the gospels, with the other books in the bible relegated to 'interesting but flawed' misunderstandings about the nature of God.

I wonder if we would actually take Jesus' words seriously instead of sanctimoniously papering over the flaws in our lives they expose with other nonsense theology - which actually amounts to doing the opposite of what he taught.

I wonder what church would be like. I was sitting in church yesterday, and I was wondering how many of the songs we were singing actually match up to the words he said. I can't think of many which talk about loving enemies, spending yourself on behalf of the poor or carrying your cross and quite a number of the 'Jesus is my boyfriend', 'I really really really just want to praise you', 'Oooo isn't it great knowing Jesus?' mold. I think I am going to take a note of every song we sing for a while and try comparing them with the Jesus we see in the gospels and his priorities.

Would we have an institution called church? Jesus seemed to be encouraging people to pray alone (oh how many times have I had to listen to people praying to other people rather than God?) and to avoid having special leaders. That is not to say that clergy are unimportant or do not fulfill an important role, but church is not supposed to be like that. People are not supposed to be wearing special clothing and demanding special positions.

I am not looking to join a 'New Testament' church - as it seems to me that the New Testament Church was in a royal mess and had very little worth imitating. But I am saying that we are meant to be imitating Christ - and church really isn't doing that.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Is grace redundant?

Does the term actually mean anything at all?