Subject for ezine:
Partners in the Good Fight
Father Dave's Partner's Ezine
in the Good Fight
one man dreams, it is just a dream, but when we all dream together, it
is the beginning of a new reality.
Dom Helder Camara
It's Federal Election time here in Oz, and I don't remember ever
feeling quite so disillusioned with the whole political process.
I know that it's generally considered highly inappropriate
for a priest to share his voting intentions publicly, but I'm a highly
inappropriate person, so you'll have to forgive me if I speak my mind.
The Labor Party
is in power, and I am technically still a Labor Party member
but, I've frankly been looking for the right time to burn my ticket
after the way the Government treated my deported friend, Sheikh Mansour.
Of course the problem is that the only real alternative on offer to the
current government is even worse, promising cuts to Public Health
services and an even harsher policy on refugees.
I saw the tail-end of a South
Park episode the other night where there was an election
battle going on and the two candidates were a giant douche and a turd sandwich. I
checked, and the episode came out in 2004, and I doubt if it was
produced with Australia in mind. Even so, it seemed strikingly apt.
perhaps the most depressing thing about all the electioneering I see
around me is that most of it seems to be aimed at exploiting people's
greed. It all seems to be about which political party is likely to put
more money in your hip pocket, which is nothing new, but I still find
What happened to idealism in this country? Why isn't anyone concerned
about bringing our boys home from Afghanistan? Why aren't either of the
major parties advocating a more compassionate response to refugees who
are fleeing here from countries that we've been bombing? And why isn't
the Christian community making its voice heard on issues of mercy and
justice, instead of obsessing over the threat that public schools may
as an alternative to Religious
Well, if you share in any of my disillusionment, I hope you'll find
some respite in this ezine, where I'm going to invite you to a great
movie-event, introduce you to some
fantastic people, reflect with you on some inspiring Scripture, and
hopefully equip you with more strategies and strength for the days
your diary: 'The Corner Store'
Sunday August 8th at 2pm, Holy
Trinity Dulwich Hill - you are invited to a Community
Benefit Screening of 'The
Store' is a documentary movie about a Palestinian man who
works in a corner store in San Fransisco where he waits for
his family to join him. The New
York Times calls it "a moving insight
into one man's struggle to reconcile the kinship he feels for his
adopted Bay Area home with his Middle Eastern roots."
Not only won't you
find this movie screening anywhere else in Australia, but our screening
will feature two special guests who have never appeared before in the
Father Labib Kobti -
pastor of St Thomas
More Catholic Church in San Fransisco - who will
the movie to us.
Katherine Bruens - the
Producer of the movie - who will dialogue with us after the screening
and answer questions.
Both special guests will join us via a Skype linkup live from San
Fransisco. Entry is by donation, with all proceeds contributing towards
the costs of completing the movie.
August 8 at 2pm. A light meal will be served in the Church
Hall before the screening from 1pm. Holy
Trinity Church, corner of Herbert and Seaview Streets, Dulwich
Click here (or the pic above) to
download an A4-sized movie poster
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From the list this week, I'd particularly recommend the revealing
video where Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu admits that he deceived the
US to destroy the Oslo accord. On a
similar subject I'd also highly recommend the scholarly work done by Fighting Father Peter Menkin
in hisreport on the recent recommendations
of the American Presbyterian Assembly on
the US-Israel relationship.
And you'll also find the latest site that Webmaster Jim and I are
working on - www.ChristiansandMuslims.com
- a site to fight prejudice and build friendships.
We'll be stoking up ChristiansandMuslims.com with lots
of videos and audio interviews over the coming weeks, and I hope to
also use it as a portal to the radio show that Sheikh Mansour and I are
trying to put together (but which we still don't have a launch date
Virtual Pulpit: Jesus and
the Starship Enterprise
arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain
man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in
any house, but in the tombs." (Luke 8:26-27)
To be quite honest, I'm not a Star Trek fan. Even so, I always loved
the mission statement that was a part of the title sequence of every
episode of the original Star Trek series: Space... the Final Frontier. These
are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to
explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations;
to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Where was it that
Jesus travelled that day? Nobody is quite sure
where 'The Gadarenes'
was. The Gospel writers aren't even sure it was the Gadarenes He
was visiting! The one thing we do know is that, wherever He was, He had
gone somwehere where no
man had gone before (no self-respecting Jewish man, at any
rate). And he found some strange things there - strange people and
animals with odd customs - worthy of a Star Trek episode.
Hit the play button
if you'd like to hear the rest of the adventure or get the written
this month I'd re-introduce to you my good friend, Father Labib
Kobti, wiho will be introducing our movie, "Corner
Labib is Parish Priest of St
Thomas More Church in San Fransisco - the church with the
largest Arabic-speaking congregation on the West Coast of the USA!
Labib also founded the first online Palestinian Human Rights site, Al-Bushra.org
This interview took place more than a year ago, when I spent a
week as Labib's guest while attending a conference nearby. Since then
Labib has undergone a kidney transplant, but he hasn't given
up the fight!
OK fighter, it's time for me to pour myself another drink and get on
with lamenting the state of the country!
In truth though, I do have one useful suggestion for all Australians
voting in this coming election. Write the words "Justice for Sheikh
Mansour" along the top of your ballot paper.
Whoever you vote for, include this plea on your ballot paper and let
your local politican know that you care about justice for all
I am told on good authority that writing on your ballot paper
definately will not
invalidate your vote unless:
You also identify yourself (eg. by signing your
name under the statement) or
You add something abusive.
If enough voters write this on their ballot papers, the scrutineers
will report it back to the candidates and we will be heard. Whether the
politicians will do anything about it is, of course, another matter,
but if we do nothing, we can be sure that they will do nothing.
In closing, let me remind you that we are still looking for a new
caretaker family to take the reigns at Binacrombi
Bush Camp. We've had two applicants thus far and plenty of
positive interest. Even so, the position is still open at this stage
and all you need to do is email me if you'd like to apply.
I'll hope to see you at the movie screening on
Sunday. May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you