Australia

Bron Sibree 5-18-2012
Jarrod McKenna, courtesy Jarrod McKenna

Jarrod McKenna, courtesy Jarrod McKenna

He’s been arrested more times than he cares to mention, but that’s life when you typify the new generation of Christian leaders who are seeking to not just preach Christ’s gospel, but live it. Young pastor Jarrod McKenna describes it as “rolling up our sleeves and just getting on with the practical work of loving our neighbors.” 

A regular at anti-war protests, Jarrod is no stranger to the handcuffs of authority. But he’s also highly sought-after at home and abroad as a social change facilitator and speaker.

“There’s been a real cultural shift in Australia, with many Gen Y-ers wanting to engage issues differently,” says the 31-year-old. “I get to mentor a lot of people from all around Australia who are coming from across the board – from the Hillsong type mega-churches to Sydney Anglican conservatism, from Charismatics to Baptists and Pentecostals. All of them are saying, ‘We don’t want to walk away from faith, we want to share in a faith that’s more authentic than we’ve been offered before’.”

Jarrod McKenna 1-12-2012
The author visits with children in India, 2010. Image via Facebook.

The author visits with children in India, 2010. Image via Facebook.

The legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the reality of climate change are both victims of western culture’s remarkable capacity to accommodate and neutralize that which is most critical of it.

Early in the civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin said to King, “I have a feeling that the Lord had laid his hand upon you. And that is a dangerous, dangerous thing.” Similarly, the FBI once described Martin King as the “most dangerous man in America” – and yet, as Martin Luther King Jr day rolls around again in the United States, we are often presented with a figure that seems more like a cheerleader for the status quo rather than a prophetic challenge to it. Somehow, it seems we have made this dangerous figure very safe.

For instance, in a speech at the Pentagon commemorating King’s legacy, the Defense Department’s general counsel Jeh C. Johnson remarked, “I believe that if Dr King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation’s military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack.”

But to claim that Dr King would be pro-war today is as likely as him being pro-segregation. After all, this is the Dr King who said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defence than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” And this is the same Dr King who said in his speech on 4 April 1967 (a speech that turned three quarters of American public opinion against him), “To me the relationship of the ministry [of Jesus Christ] to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I’m speaking against the war.” And this is the same Dr King who said, the night before he was murdered on 4 April 1968, “It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.”

Eric Stoner 7-22-2011

1100722-murdochboycottWith the scandal around Rupert Murdoch growing by the day, a full-fledged boycott of News Corp. has been launched on the internet, according to the Washington Post.

The website Boycott Murdoch also has Facebook and Twitter pages. While the boycott has received coverage on many mainstream news outlets, it has yet to gain much traction. The Facebook page has less than 700 fans and the Twitter page is approaching only 1,000 followers. To make even a small dent in Murdoch's bottom line, the boycott will need to metastasize, and quickly.

Christine Sine 7-12-2011

According to an article at GreenBiz.com, the company Unilever's push toward sustainability encountered a major obstacle in changing people's habits: the amount of time folks took to take a shower. Many of us not only shower too frequently (there is evidence that suggests that daily showers are not always good for us), but many of us also spend far too long in the shower.

Christine Sine 6-15-2011
Change happens in our lives whether we like it or not so we must learn how to mold our lives so that we bend, rather than break, in the midst of change.
Jarrod McKenna 4-04-2011

"I had no idea Martin Luther King was a radical!" These shocked words were spoken to me this weekend after an activist training I'd been running in Sydney. I had the privilege to be part of the Make Poverty History "action lab" -- a "teach-in" for 15 young anti-poverty activists chosen from each state of Australia.

John Cook 3-31-2011
The reasons for raising doubts about the human causes of global warming, explains Skeptical Science's John Cook, are often political rather than scientific.
Eric Stoner 2-23-2011
For the tenth day in a row, protesters in Libya took to the streets today, despite the use of far more violence from the state than what happened during Egypt's recent uprising.

Jeannie Choi 1-14-2011
Dutch Winter. Chinese Mothers. Martin Luther King Jr. Here's a little round up of links from around the web you may have missed this week:

Jarrod McKenna 12-21-2010
Many of us are asking how we can "un-co-opt Christmas" from consumer culture. Asking questions like:

Gary M. Burge 12-10-2010
One of the most precious artifacts I have in my office isn't an ancient coin or oil lamp. It is a business card. From northern Iraq.

Jarrod McKenna 10-29-2010
What do Cornel West, Rita Nakashima Brock, Carol Rose, and Onleilove Alston have in common?
Jarrod McKenna 10-06-2010
I'm impressed by several things. One being people who love well and whose presence disarms in such a way that others can be received as they are.
Simon Moyle 7-30-2010
The last month has seen six Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, bringing Australia's total to 17.
Jarrod McKenna 7-13-2010
This video from "Just Salvos Live" is a great initiative from the Salvation Army in Australia that intros young peeps to some of the issues that surround how climate change affects the poorest of p
Jarrod McKenna 7-09-2010
God gets at us in the funniest of ways. Just this week the Spirit stirred in me while reading an interview with one of my heroes, Vandana Shiva. The reporter from YES!
Jarrod McKenna 6-23-2010
Sad news for so many of us in the peace and human rights movement this morning to hear our friend Waratah Rose Gillespie has passed away.
Jarrod McKenna 5-21-2010
British Evangelist Steve Chalke upset a lot of evangelicals of a reformed bent with two little paragraphs in (his book that has so much worth reading in it beyond what has got all the attention)
Jarrod McKenna 5-07-2010

"My father was born by a river bed and left to die. My mother grew up in extreme poverty. They made it. I am their story, they inspire me!" These are the words of my new friend Rudo, an amazing young woman from Zimbabwe who has come through so much and has now been chosen to be one of a thousand ambassadors of the Make Poverty History Road Trip who next week are acting to make history.

Jarrod McKenna 4-21-2010

This video clip by The Work of The People is going to upset a lot of people.

100421-calvary-or-gallipoli-video

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