Global Christian Perspectives – November 20, 2015

Google + Event Page

YouTube:

The Paris attacks.

[Our data today comes from Chris Eyre, who will co-host today with guest host Michael Kennedy, Jr., author of Parent Driven Discipleship.]

My own instant response is at:-
http://eyrelines.energion.net/?p=884 (and will appear on the Energion Discussion Network on Thursday). (Note that there is also an extended response from Elgin Hushbeck, Jr. on the EDN post. Elgin will not be participating in GCP this week.)

Here’s a Guardian piece on the origins of ISIS:-
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/24/how-to-think-about-islamic-state

A source supporting the argument that occupations produce suicide attacks is at:-
https://foreignpolicy.com/2010/10/18/its-the-occupation-stupid/ ; For bombings, see https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=JLW1CgAAQBAJ&pg=PA130&lpg=PA130&dq=bombing+produces+terrorists&source=bl&ots=BW9OXl1nMx&sig=jLYrz6zafKwjUnoskfEBZysrXT8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBjgKahUKEwjWs4KqipfJAhVI7BQKHcgRDwM#v=onepage&q=bombing%20produces%20terrorists&f=false

Article on possible non-violent techniques:-
http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/8-ways-defend-terror-nonviolently/?utm_content=bufferdc823&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Questions arising include:-

Is it reasonable for us to fixate so much on attacks in Paris when an attack the day before in Beirut killing over 40 went more or less unreported until Paris occurred? There have been attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria this week, including Tuesday killing over 50 people, but we see nothing about that in the media, just a lot of coverage of a dead police dog that day…
____________________________________________

Given that the terrorist’s stated objectives are to make us overreact, both in reprisals abroad (which they state give them more recruits) and in persecution of Muslims at home (which they state help formulate a binary view of “us and them” in currently moderate Muslims and give them more recruits), should we play into their hands by doing what they want? Are they right about the mechanism? Should we damage our own freedoms more out of a desire for security tight enough to stop this happening where we live?
____________________________________________

(From Michael) One related item to the Paris attacks is the refugee crisis in Syria and how several countries and several states in the US are now refusing to receive refugees. Is this a proper response? Does the command to care for the widows, orphans, poor, strangers etc. apply to countries or only to individual believers? If it applies only to believers what should be the response of Christians to these events? What practical steps should churches take?

Here is one approach to the issue:
Here is another:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvjMUrPUfC4
—————————————————————————-

(I’m considering this as the final and longer discussion)…


I don’t know if any of you have read Karen Armstrong’s “The Battle for God”, but I consider that to give a fine analysis of some of the root causes of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism (and Christian and Jewish fundamentalisms as well). In general terms, this kind of fundamentalism can be contained by leaving them to their own devices in their countries of origin, but Elgin has a point when it comes to Islamic State, which considers itself a Caliphate, and yes, it’s objective is world Islam of it’s own nasty variety, which is a neoconservative harking back to the early days of Islam. They won’t stop unless they’re stopped. Do we (as in the USA, Britain and other parties to the “War against Terror”) have a moral obligation to find a solution, given that we were very instrumental in producing the circumstances which led to this?

If we are, how do we justify this from the teachings of Jesus, and what constraints are there on us in pursuing this objective?

Global Christian Perspectives – November 13, 2015

Global Christian Perspectives is a weekly Google Hangout on Air hosted by Energion Publications, with co-hosts Elgin Hushbeck, Jr.,  Chris Eyre, and Allan Bevere. Guests are Energion Publications authors and friends.

Google+ Event Page

YouTube:

Topics

Antibiotics

From Allan: Here’s a possible topic for this Friday. I am greatly concerned about the lack of antibiotic research. I am guessing you and I will agree on this fundamentally, but it may be worth discussion.

Why New Antibiotics Never Come to MarketThere has been a big to-do over student protests at the University of Missouri which has led the president to resign. I think there are many things coming into play here that would allow for some good discussion.Campus Protests

Missouri campus protests: ‘This is just a beginning’ – CNN.com

I am also concerned about reports of a young photographer being abused and to an extent threatened when trying to take pictures of demonstrators, on the basis that it infringed “safe space”.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/how-campus-activists-are-weaponizing-the-safe-space/415080/

Sex Education

From Chris: There has been a lot of criticism arising from this article:-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/public-school-ohio-sex-ed_5640ff3be4b0307f2cae7b7b

The idea that a faith-based group would be giving children false information really worries me. I am entirely happy to have people stress the most moral approach, but we are talking about young people here, and everything I know indicates to me that a lot of them are going to experiment before choosing a partner for life. Indeed, I recall seeing some statistics indicating that the teen pregnancy rate is higher in the more religious southern states where one might assume that abstinence is pushed very strongly – is this at the expense of sensible advice on, for instance, contraception?

In-Depth:

From Chris: As we’ve just had our remembrance day Sunday (and the actual day was Wednesday), I thought we might do something about this, particularly in the light of this article:-
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/11/07/veteran-harry-leslie-smith-red-poppy-politicised_n_8498786.html
I wrote a blog post on the topic two years ago, which you can find here:-
http://eyrelines.energion.net/?p=419

See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxkhBvO8_kM

The position of Leslie Smith is echoed in this post from the States:-
http://www.stonekettle.com/2015/11/veterans-day-2015.html

There is a significant social stigma to not wearing a red poppy in the lead-up to Remembrance Day here, and a lot of criticism has been aimed at some celebrities who have appeared on TV without one. I stopped watching our Festival of Remembrance some years ago, as it was looking rather too much like a military parade; I think Remembrance should be a mediation on the horrors of war and why we should not fight any more of them, if at all possible.

Questions which occur to me are:-
Do we support our soldiers enough after their service?
Do we lionise soldiers too much?
What is a proper Christian approach to war and those who fight it, given that there is a huge bias in the Gospels towards non-violence?

Global Christian Perspectives – November 6, 2015

Google+ Event Page

YouTube:

Topics

News Segment:  30  mins  – Times are flexible.

The Morality of Debt.

US Government debt jumped $339 Billion same day the debt limited repealed.   We know owe over $18 trillion.  Is it really moral to make our kids and grandkids pay for the things we were able to enjoy today?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/u.s.-national-debt-jumps-339-billion-after-ceiling-is-lifted/article/2575568

Loosing Religion

Recent poll showing Americans loosing religion.  I am not surprised, as there has been a concerted effort to against religion for decades.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/03/us-usa-religion-iduskcn0ss0am20151103

Polls? 

Two different stories are behind this one.  The first is that while some of the polls were correct in 2012,  since then they have been wrong, and often not even close.  In Kentucky this week the republican was supposed to lose by 3 or 4 points but ended up winning by 9. Nor is this just a US problem as the polls were off in Canada, Israel, and the UK.

Given that consider the following story that candidates are being dropped or moved to the second tier debate because of Poll results.  Are Trump and Carson really in the lead or is this just the result of more bad polling?

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/chris-christie-debates-2016-215554

In-depth Segment:  30  mins

 

A conservative view of economic history.

For the in-depth segment some from previous weeks.

A key issue here is that I think a major (but not only) reason we hold different beliefs is what we “know” is different.