Shroud of Turin Debunked (Again) (Not)

The Times reports that experts claim a first century shroud discovered in a tomb near Jerusalem proves the Turin Shroud could not have been used to cover Jesus’ body. The Hebew University in Jerusalem said “Based on the assumption that this is representative of a typical burial shroud widely used at the time of Jesus, …

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Smug and Nasty

St Matthew’s Anglican church in Auckland is the epitome of everything a religious group should not be – self-righteous, inconsiderate of the feelings of others, happy to belittle the beliefs of people it considers inferior. Like Christians. Outside the church is a billboard featuring a bedroom scene. An unsatisfied Mary looks up to the heavens while Joseph lies beside …

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Will Rudd Do Anything For A Headline?

Apparently so. Like Tony Abbott, I don’t object to Mr Rudd going to Mass. I don’t even object to his interest in the canonisation of Blessed Mary Mackillop. I am interested in that too, and have blogged about it before. There is a sense in which Mary Mackillop belongs to all Australians. We can all …

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Violence Due To Rising Fundamentalism

The Daily Mail manages to write nearly 1,000 words on the problem of increasing violence caused by a growth in fundamentalism, without once mentioning what kind of fundamentalism this might be. Those pesky Baptists just won’t stop mutilating their daughters’ genitals. And they seem to have a predilection for killing them if they fall if love with the …

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The Date of Christmas

A common view about the date of Christmas goes something like this: “Well, it was a pagan festival, something to do with the sun, and the Christians pinched it to try to make their religion more popular.” This is one of those things people just ‘know’. But like many things everyone ‘just knew’ at one …

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Iran Warns Switzerland of Consequences …

Iran has warned Switzerland of “consequences” over a referendum banning the building of new mosque minarets, and urged the Swiss government not to enforce the ban. As I noted a couple of days ago, the Swiss decision is not about freedom of religion. Muslims in Switzerland are free to worship, to proselytise, and to build more mosques. …

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If I Only Had A Brain

The Parliament of the World’s Religions 2009 opened this week in Melbourne. “Major speakers” include Jimmy Carter, Joan Chittister and Michael Kirby. Miss Jean Brodie said it best: “For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like.” A visit to the Parliament’s website makes it clear that environmental …

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Diocese Of The Murray

I have a number of friends who are members of The Voice of the Laity, an organisation of lay people in the Anglican Diocese of The Murray. Their website was recently hijacked. They have started a new website at murraydiocese.org The contents are an older copy of the original website, so some updating needs to be done, …

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Maryam and Marzieh

Maryam and Marzieh are Christian women. They are from Islamic families. They live in Iran. So of course, they are in jail. They are denied medical care or contact with the outside world. One of the prison guards told them they should be executed for apostasy. They were arrested in March. Neither has yet been …

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Fruits Of Muhammed’s Life: Death, Destruction, Lust

Two interesting articles from FrontPage Magazine. The first is an interview with Coptic priest Fr Zakaria Botros. He has been denounced as Islam’s public enemy number one, and Al Qaeda has said they will pay $60 million for his head. From the FrontPage article: I am a Copt. In my early 20s, I became a priest. …

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Muslim Inventions

I forgot to mention, when talking about my islamic teacher friend, that she had also told her class about the many islamic inventions taken for granted and not acknowledged in the West. She talked about the number system, coffee, chess, arches (in architecture). Students were sceptical. And rightly. I am not sure whether she had …

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This Is Kind Of Fun

If you don’t know whether you are a Mennonite, a Muslim or a Mormon, this quiz will help you work out where you belong. I found a few of the questions had no right answer, so a couple of times I had to pick the least wrong answer. My results were: 1.  Eastern Orthodox (100%)  2.  Roman …

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Homophobia And Heterophobia

Some interesting observations here on healing, hope, and homosexuality. The article is not long, and is worth reading in its entirety. This is an excerpt: I saw a genuine love and acceptance of men and women who were struggling to move away from behaviors they themselves viewed as destructive and dangerous, possibly deadly. They were …

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Obama And Notre Dame

I am trying hard to imagine what the real Notre Dame, the Blessed Virgin Mary, would make of a Catholic university named in her honour, and I presume, relying on her patronage and intercession, inviting someone who publicy opposes Catholic teaching on the sancitity of human life to speak to students at commencement. Speaking at commencement is about …

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Anglican Priest Jailed For Molesting Boys

Canon Barry Greaves pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court last Thursday to seven counts of indecent treatment of boys under 17 and two of indecent treatment of boys under 12. I was sorry to read this. I know Barry a little, and had always liked and respected him. He seemed a straightforward, caring and …

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