Responding to a question commonly asked of me over here in Australia – who are the Mennonites?

For a brief general overview about the origins as well as the contemporary nature of Anabaptist Mennonites (though admittedly with a mostly North American focus in this  video) go here.

So how about Australia – are there Mennonite churches in this country?  Well, the short answer is no, Mennonites like me, living in Australia, are far and few between. But people who have adopted an Anabaptist theology and vision for life for themselves in this region of the world are most likely to be involved as members in all sorts of other denominations or religious groups – but, hey, we do have a vibrant network of communication and support!  Check it out here

Gate A-4

Wonderful…just wonderful.

Live & Learn

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Gate A-4 By Naomi Shihab Nye:

Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement: “If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately.” Well— one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.

An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing. “Help,” said the flight agent. “Talk to her . What is her problem? We told her the flight was going to be late and she did this.”

I stooped to put my arm around the woman and spoke haltingly. “Shu-dow-a, shu-bid-uck, habibti? Stani schway, min fadlick, shu-bit-se-wee?” The minute she heard any words she knew, however poorly used, she stopped crying. She thought the flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be…

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The Very Definition of Irony!

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On Doing War Crimes With Depleted Uranium

War Crimes Are US!

In The Absence of Heroes in America Now

He was a child of enormous privilege, the son of a filthy-rich war-profiteer industrialist. During the early part of his career, he helped ruin innocent people while seated at the right hand of Joe McCarthy and played the game of thrones next to his brother in the Oval Office with millions of people’s lives.

And then he suffered a great loss, and became a different man, a better man, and wrapped his new perspective around his enormous power and influence. He stared true poverty in the face, realized how evil the war he helped to start was, and set out to make change with the same hard-nosed zeal for which he had become famous.

And then someone shot him dead in a kitchen.

You can lay a finger on dozens of moments in this country’s history when fate turned on its axis in a way that changed everything… and tall in the running for Most important, to me, is the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. He was one of them, then born again as one of us. His murder is a moment we are still recovering from as a nation, and we will still be short of that recovery for a long, long time.

Where Robert Kennedy was inspired by Martin Luther King’s opposition to the Vietnam War to take the same stance, today our leaders pay homage to Dr. King while planning air strikes against Syria. We need heroes today more than ever, but in the absence of Bobby and MLK, we must find those heroes within ourselves. You and I, all of us, are the ones we have been waiting for, and we have been here all along.

– William Rivers Pitt, columnist and editor of TruthOut.org

How America Wiped Out Christianity in Japan in 9 Seconds!

In light of the anniversaries of the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki going on this week, please, at least scan the top two articles  here.  (You are likely to read some stuff you never knew before!)

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Certain secure email services in America are willing to simply close down in order to protect their users!

Has it really come down to this? Email security gurus are pulling the plug on their secure email businesses.  Silent Server carried out a pre-emptive measure inspired by Lavabit’s tough self-shuttering decision, which of course is a worrying sign for the US-hosted secure communications industry.

Everyone realizes now that data or messages sent over lines or received by equipment which is physically connected to American shores (even if it starts in another country) are NOT truly secure anymore!

So, what are you going to use?  Or are you just not going to worry about it — not going to think about how others are reading your mail (watching your habits – analyzing your “metadata”) and just let the courts eventually decide — for there surely are constitutional issues involved!