Sunday Reader #3

February 1, 2010

Opps, I’ve missed a week already.  Bad internet and general busy-ness as I prepare to leave Honduras (this week!) are my excuses.  Next week I’ll be at a conference in Savannah so I will probably miss another one, but should be back more regularly once we are back in NZ.  In the meantime here are some of the issues I’ve been following and other random internet goodness for you to pick through.

Honduras:

The big news in Honduras this week was the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo as President.  The coup “de facto” government is gone!  I wanted to write a whole post on this but just don’t have the time.  Maybe once I get back to NZ I will, but for now here are some photos by Honduras e logo ali of the procession to the airport to farewell Zelaya.  The march was completely peaceful – maybe because the military left them well alone.

Not related to the inauguration, but directly connected to the coup is a feature in the NYT lens blog of Pablo Delano’s photographs.  In 1997 Delano, a professory of Fine Arts, started a project to document the varied ethnic groups in Honduras.  His work was unfortunately cut short when his collaborator and patron in the government Darío A. Euraque was ousted by the coup leaders. The photos are stunning and a testament to the beautiful diversity of Honduras.

Haiti:

The internet continues to buzz with posts about how to help Haiti.  And aid workers continue to try to draw attention to how not to help.  This story and this one remind us why despite the best of motives and intention, for most going to Haiti is just not the best way to help.  For those determined to go, Saundra has some tips on how to evaluate volunteer opportunities in Haiti.

While campaigns to cancel Haitis debt heat up across the web, Venezuela is amongst the first to actually do so.

Other random stuff:

Julie Clawson has an interesting post up on walking the justice walk.  Long before any crisis of faith, I had a crisis of confidence in the church. This is why.

PhD comics neatly sum up my feelings about my thesis work at the moment.

And finally this photo from Wellington Daily Photo reminds me of why it is time to go home. Summer in my city.

Pepe does not believe that he is doing anything special. He feels that everything consists of being on the side of the people, listening to them, learning, and not telling them what they should do. “The idea is not to make them become aware of the fact that they need to liberate themselves, but to listen and watch what they do; understand the people, not lead them. Listen up …”

Read the rest of this very interesting article here.

You might be a Fundy if…

November 16, 2008

via You might be a Fundy if… « de-conversion

Take that Hagee

August 29, 2008

H/T The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus. You just saved my sanity for the day.

HT Feministing

Please don’t ANYONE show this to my hard-working, dedicated and ultra amazing husband and stay-at-home dad. Challenging deadbeat Dads is one thing but this is just hideously misogynistic and completely not Christian bullshit.

Bye Grandad

August 4, 2008

I started this year with three living grandparents.  Now I have one.  Earlier in the year my Nana (maternal) passed away.  My paternal Grandad passed away last week.

I”m feeling a bit crushed by it all.  Although I wasn’t especially close to my Grandad I am feeling the loss more than I did with my Nana. Maybe it is because I’m feeling the loss of both.  A whole generation lost.  I know it is that time of life- Grandad was in his 90’s- but I wish I had been able to spend more time with them.  I wonder what they would have been able to teach me.

I guess not knowing Grandad well is part of my grief.  My memories of him are unfortunately mostly of a grumpy old man (quiet while I’m watching the cricket, who clogged the shower drain with all that hair… and at my wedding… it’s too cold, can we go).  I do remember him laughing and smiling, but it seemed to get rarer as time went on. I wish I’d taken the time to get to know the man he was.

The other reason for my sadness is that he wasn’t Christian.  Of course, this does not bother me as much as it would have in the past, in fact it doesn’t really bother me at all.  What makes me sad is how much I know it bothers my Dad and other Christian members of the family. What can you say to people who have such strong conservative views about where non-Christians end up.  Trying to deal with that belief, along with the grief of loss must be agonising.

So the funeral is on Thursday.  I’ll be flying to Christchurch on Wednesday.  I’m not really looking forward to it but know I need to be there for my family.  And I want to be there.  To say good-bye.  And hopefully to spend a little time with my only surviving grandparent.

A black sheep

June 25, 2008

This caught my attention today…

Of couse, that kind of thinking makes me into this…

Oh well, it’s how I usually feel these days anyway.

From AsboJesus, H/T Grace Expectations for the link.

Christian Volunteering

March 7, 2008

I’m published again…

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on page 23 (note- PDF file)

If you have an opinion on the issue I’d love it if you came back here to let me know what you think!

Over recent years I have been gradually moving from a strongly “pro-life”/anti-abortion stand (influenced of course by my good Christian upbringing) to what I feel is a more balanced, realistic view of this issue.

I have been thinking about posting on this for a while, but I’m not sure I have much to add to this article by George Monbiot.

A study published in the Lancet shows that between 1995 and 2003 the global rate of induced abortions fell from 35 per 1000 women each year to 29(7)… When you look at the broken-down figures, it becomes clear that… the incidence of abortion is highest in conservative and religious societies. In the largely secular nations of western Europe, the average rate is 12 abortions per 1000 women. In the more religious southern European countries, the average rate is 18. In the United States, where church attendance is still higher, there are 23 abortions for every 1000 women(9), the highest level in the rich world. In Central and South America, where the Catholic Church holds greatest sway, the rates are 25 and 33 respectively. In the very conservative societies of East Africa, it’s 39(10).

…But while his church causes plenty of suffering in the rich nations, this doesn’t compare to the misery inflicted on the poor. Chillingly, as the Lancet paper shows, there is no relationship between the legality and the incidence of abortion. Women who have no access to contraceptives will try to terminate unwanted pregnancies whatever the consequences might be. A report by the World Health Organisation shows that almost half the world’s abortions are unauthorised and unsafe(16). In eastern Africa and Latin America, where religious conservatives ensure that terminations remain illegal, they account for almost all abortions. Methods include drinking turpentine or bleach, shoving sticks or coat hangers into the uterus(17) and pummelling the abdomen, which often causes the uterus to burst, killing the patient(18). The WHO estimates that between 65 000 and 70 000 women die as a result of illegal abortions every year, while five million suffer severe complications. These effects, the organisation says, “are the visible consequences of restrictive legal codes.”

An abortion is certainly something no woman ever wants to have, and in an ideal world I am sure I would probably be “pro-life”.  But we do not live in an ideal world, we live in this one, and in this one women are hurt and die for a lack of access to contraceptives and safe abortions.    For that reason I support legalised abortion, paired with good sex education and the widespread provision of contraceptives. This is what will save lives.

I’m not going to go into it all, plenty of bloggers already have. I just want to post a couple of my favourite posters from Emerging Grace’s response to the original ‘motivational posters‘. Which should show which way I am leaning at the moment.

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converse.jpg

tolerance.jpg

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More here.