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Churchill and Orwell

I am currently reading Churchill and Orwell by Thomas Ricks, a book that explores the substantial contributions these two made to the defence of freedom and individual liberty in the twentieth century.

I had not seen Churchill and Orwell placed in a similiar category before. However, Ricks details curious resonances between them, not least their willingness to step outside the party line (right and left wing) in pursuit of truth.

Both suffered for their courage and recklessness.


2,000 years ago, someone wrote the following:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Who can you be?

I have recently re-read a compelling book on interfaith relations, ‘Without Buddha I could not be a Christian.’ It’s a fascinating and provocative read, not least because it offers valuable insights into our own faith tradition.

In one chapter, the author Paul Knitter reflects on the way Siddhartha achieved enlightenment (thus becoming the Buddha.) In summary, he suggests that Siddhartha did so by asking questions.

He contrasts this path with the orthodox view of Jesus, which asserts that Jesus arrived on earth with all the answers.

Spread hummus not hate

Last night, I met Lina Jebeile at an Iftar meal co-hosted by the Uniting Church and the Affinity Intercultural Foundation.

Lina is a Lebanese Australian, born and raised here. Growing up, she was often told by strangers to ‘go back to where you came from.’ (She wears a hijab.)

After she finished school, and feeling alienated from her Australian identity, she did just that; she went back to where she came from, at least, where her parents came from, Lebanon.

But there, she was told that she was a ‘foreigner.’


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