In the News

Commentaries about news stories, usually in mainstream media.

Christians Dishonour McJesus

McJesus at the Haifa Museum of Art
Read time: 4 minutes

This has been a dark week for Christians.

A controversial art exhibition at the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel has caused quite a stir. One piece on exhibit is a statue of Jesus on a cross painted in such a way that it looks like Ronald McDonald.

The reactions of Christians have been shameful and lamentable. Read more about Christians Dishonour McJesus

Categories: 

Tags: 

L'Abri in South Africa

The L'Abri Logo
Read time: 5 minutes

L'Abri is in the process of establishing a presence in South Africa. To celebrate this, a few events were held over the weekend around Cape Town, and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a couple; both small workshops. L'Abri South Africa will be based in Johannesburg. Read more about L'Abri in South Africa

Categories: 

Tags: 

Common Sense

Water drops cause ripples in a bucket of water
Read time: 6 minutes

Imagine living in a small, rural village. You are a subsistence farmer, growing vegetables, and have a couple of nice fruit trees. You also have a handful of livestock. In the middle of the village is a large piece of open land with juicy grass growing on it. Nobody is allowed to build there, because the leader of the village has decreed that this is common land. The intention is that everyone in the village graze their livestock on their own land, but because the properties are small, livestock can also graze on the common land to get enough food to be healthy. Read more about Common Sense

Categories: 

Tags: 

A Year of Blood

The Eiffel Tower lit up in the colours of the French flag following the attacks of 13 November 2015.
Read time: 9 minutes

The year 2015 has been particularly bloody. In this article I reflect on what all this violence and turmoil should mean to us. I do this by considering two particular attacks. Read more about A Year of Blood

Categories: 

Tags: 

Not a Fear

United States of America flag at half mast
Read time: 4 minutes

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Yoda, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Earlier this month, another tragic collage campus shooting occurred in Oregon in the USA. At the time it was widely reported that the shooter singled out Christians to kill, although some have urged caution about interpreting the story.

After the shooting, there were cries of and questions over "Christianophobia" on social media.

This needs to stop. If anyone is murdered in a cold and calculated way, whether because they are Christian, Muslim or homosexual, is not the result of a phobia. Read more about Not a Fear

Categories: 

Tags: 

When Fairy Tales Offend

The White House lit up in rainbow colours
Read time: 8 minutes

2015 has been a difficult year for the University of Cape Town (UCT). It has been at the centre of multiple controversies. First, there was a protest movement to have an iconic statue of Cecil John Rhodes removed. The campaign brought out bitter enmities between those in favour of and against the removal. The controversy deepened when it suspended the instigator of the movement over harassment charges on the staff. Then it saw a public fallout over a comment which its student representative council (SRC) vice-president, Zizipho Pae, made on her Facebook account wherein she responded to the US Supreme Court's decision to legalise homosexual marriage across the USA, saying "We are institutionalising and normalising sin". Read more about When Fairy Tales Offend

Categories: 

Tags: 

Dignity in Dying

Clinicians in Intensive Care Unit
Read time: 10 minutes

The South African High Court recently passed a landmark ruling that would legally allow a doctor to help a terminally ill man to end his life. A high level summary of the case can be found here. This ruling is not new legislation and euthanasia remains illegal in South Africa. However this ruling opens the door for future cases which will be decided individually (until, perhaps, legislation is proposed, which would undoubted reference this ruling). In this article I would like to share my thoughts on this case. Read more about Dignity in Dying

Categories: 

Tags: 

Being Ineffective with the Xenophobic Attacks

Africa without South Africa
Read time: 12 minutes

Like a man suffering from post traumatic stress disorder startled by a loud noise, South Africa was jolted last week. A combination of controlled power cuts and xenophobic attacks reminded the country of 2008—a dark time in our post 1994 history. Again people fell on their keyboards, denouncing the violence of the xenophobic attacks, shaming the perpetrators and pleading for a more humanistic attitude and solution. Again I add my voice to theirs, because I worry about how the bourgeoisie perceive the problem. Read more about Being Ineffective with the Xenophobic Attacks

Categories: 

Tags: 

On Respecting Disrespectful Charlie

Je ne suis pas Charlie
Read time: 8 minutes

Following the events this past week in Paris, where 17 people died as a result of Muslim extremists attacking the leftist satirical newspaper Chalie Hebdo, I have been thinking quite a bit about how to react to it. I have watched people in the West react with shock and unbelief, I have seen the defiant reaction of cartoonists and journalists worldwide (although apparently not universally), the far right has gained momentum, radical Muslims have praised the actions of the attackers, I have seen moderate Muslims claim they denounce the attack, but lament that they themselves are in fact the real victims, and I have seen stories relating to bombings and massacres in Africa and the Middle East be largely ignored. While most of the West rushed to social media to pledge their support with #JeSuisCharlie ("I am Charlie"; including past and present Archbishops of Canterbury), I have been deeply uncomfortable with this. Read more about On Respecting Disrespectful Charlie

Categories: 

Tags: 

Rampaging through the Tokyo of Free Speech

Read time: 5 minutes

On Thursday the 3rd of April, the newly appointed CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, Brandon Eich resigned—an event which got many people to sit up and take a worried notice. Eich resigned because of internal pressure from his employees because of his personal beliefs. Read more about Rampaging through the Tokyo of Free Speech

Categories: 

Tags: 

Spoiling Children

Read time: 12 minutes

A local Cape Town church, Joshua Generation has recently come into the spotlight over some of its teaching. A complaint had been lodged with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) that the church instructs and sanctions corporal punishment. The complaint concerns the church's literal interpretation over certain verses in the book of Proverbs and there are, presumably, fears that this could lead to child abuse. The resulting controversy has led to a rare discussion about freedom of religion in South Africa, which is a culturally diverse, tolerant, yet often religious, society. In this article I want to describe the issue thus far and give a couple of personal opinions on the matter. Read more about Spoiling Children

Categories: 

Tags: 

Is Nelson Mandela Still a Person?

Nelson Mandela
Read time: 10 minutes

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a great man. He stood up against the injustices of Apartheid. He reached the zenith of human endeavours: achieving his life's goals, becoming a worldwide respected icon and hero, and the leader of a country which once sought to destroy him. But I believe that, to him, his greatest achievement was not his presidency—rather, it was seeing the realisation of his dreams of a free and fair South Africa liberated from hate and prejudice (regardless under whose stewardship) that was his greatest achievement. Not only was he man of greatness, but he was humble and compassionate as well, including towards his enemies. In this struggle he was of course not alone: many people stood beside him, fought with him, and fell around him in the decades-long struggle. But he could not be put down: even being sent to a prison colony could not quash his dreams. Read more about Is Nelson Mandela Still a Person?

Categories: 

Tags: 

Argument from Silence: Jesus didn't Say Anything about Homosexuality

Rainbow coloured WWJD armband.
Read time: 9 minutes

It seems like debates regarding homosexuality has flared up again recently. Fueled by news regarding (proposed) same-sexed marriage legislation in the USA, UK and France, as well as bans on "homosexual propaganda" in Russia, everyone is weighing in their two cents. And one of the arguments which I am seeing for Christians to "get with it", is that Jesus never said anything (about/against) homosexuality. Read more about Argument from Silence: Jesus didn't Say Anything about Homosexuality

Categories: 

Tags: 

Pages