Friday, March 13, 2015

On the run

While on the go, I was listening to CBC radio.   The host of Q has been replaced by a rapper named Shad, short for Shadrach.  Anna Maria Tremonti interviewed him, yesterday.  He seemed likable.  His parents were refugees in Africa most of their lives;  this is how he came to be born in Kenya.

The CBC comes under a lot of criticism, but I have to say that it has enriched my life greatly.  When I first came to Canada, I learned proper English speech from it, fluently and intelligently spoken on air.  I learned about politics, writers and musicians, all with the mandatory Canadian content.

I wish Shad well.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Women's Issues / Witches

I attended the World Day of Prayer for the Bahamas this week because our pastor's wife comes from the area and was invited to speak.  The issues for women discussed were sort of the usual and fairly safe to talk about, in that sense.  But there are many things we don't talk about.

On the radio, today, during the news, there was a discussion of the camps of "witches" in Ghana.  For some reason, in that country, some women are seen as witches and they need to flee and find safe haven.  This has been identified as a human rights issue, etc.  

They discussed the case of one particular woman.  She is blind.  But this is not her biggest problem.  Someone in the family died, and she was blamed for it based on supposed witchcraft activity. --The family refuses to take her back.

I was just lying on my living room carpet after praying, willing myself to go to bed for the inevitable spring forward time change, and thought about how many are not seriously interested in Christianity, or don't take it seriously, and how I myself can have my tired out days and moments.  And then I thought about that woman in Ghana, blind and outcast and called a witch.

The only cure for her is the good news of Jesus Christ.  Maybe something can be done about the blindness, maybe her family can learn to care for her and maybe she can forgive them, but the damage is done.  How would you feel.  The fact that she is beloved by the Father in heaven and redeemed through Christ's blood would be the only cure for her heart.  And then doubt can seep in again:  if he loves me how can my life be like this?

If God loves me how come my child died?
If God loves me how come... any number of things?

I don't know why.

I only know I will not throw away my faith.  So help me God.
What good will it do to throw away faith.  And a faith that is on such solid ground.
On the Lord Jesus who came, and taught, and cured, and died and rose for my sins.
And calls me his own.

Dear woman in Ghana, if they all disown you, God still loves you in Jesus Christ and forgives you all your sins.  In your heart, you can forgive your family's sins.  Maybe you can tell them some day.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Women's Issues / Honor Diaries

Last night, I finally viewed the "Honor Diaries" on Netflix.  It is only one hour in length and presents the views and voices of a variety of women, some Muslim, some Christian from the Middle East, and some Sikh.

The concept of "honor" is explored, especially in "patriarchal" societies.  The honor of a family seems to be deeply connected to the subjugation and conduct of women.  With Sharia law there are expectations for women's decent behavior but they are not clearly spelled out, leaving women exposed to the vagaries of  subjective judgments and unexpected harassment, dangers and punishments.

Girls are married off as child brides, or have no say in choosing a husband. They must stay in the house, they may be deprived of education, employment, normal freedoms and joys.  They suffer female circumcision, acid in the face, threats, intimidation, beatings and are murdered.  The cruelty is astounding and reprehensible.  How can you treat a child or a woman in such fashion?  How can you treat a wife like a slave?

In the name of "Honor".

We keep hearing that so many millions and billions of people are Muslims;  however, we see that many of them are enslaved, especially the women,  It obvious to say that females make up 50% of the population.

Honor Diaries challenges us to stand with these abused women.

This interesting article on BBC about early satiric cartoons in Islam also illustrates what women deal with:

On Netflix, a recent movie about a girl in Saudi Arabia who would like to ride a bicycle, filmed on location in Saudi Arabia, demonstrates the cruel restrictions placed on women's lives.
It is called "Wadjda".  Wadjda is the name of the 10 year old girl.  She is able to ride a bicycle at the end of the movie, which provides a moment of hope and vision for the future.

I really recommend the movie.  My husband laughed through it, enjoying the girls spirit. I found more to cry about than laugh about.

As a Christian woman, I always feel bewildered by the extremes which abound.  On one hand, we have those who want to radically redefine who and what people are, seemingly hell-bent on abolishing the traditional family, favoring every sexual perversion knowable to man and womankind, and needing to teach every soul about that from Kindergarden on...  On the other hand, we have those who want to repress women sexually, emotionally, vocationally.  They can hardly aspire to anything at all besides bearing male offspring.

There is really only one answer, and it is to promote Christian marriage in the freedom of the Gospel.  We are free to live decently, and honorably, with God's help.   It is for freedom Christ has set us free. Galations 5.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Finnish Broadcaster will read through the Koran beginning March 7

"The Koran will be read from cover to cover on Finnish public radio as part of a new series, it's been announced.
The country's public broadcaster, Yle, has divided the reading into 60 half-hour segments, including a discussion between two experts on the context and meaning of each part. Beginning on 7 March, the project is "intended to increase people's knowledge of the Koran and Muslim culture in Finland", Yle says on its website. A leader from Finland's Muslim community, Imam Anas Hajjar, will discuss each section with Professor Jaakko Hameen-Anttila, who translated the text into Finnish. "It is important that the Koran is read in its entirety, and not just select items that show that Islam is bad and violent or good and beautiful," says Mr Hameen-Anttila. "All of the text material is served up for the listener to assess."
Interpreting the 1,400-year-old text for the series wasn't always straightforward. "We haven't been at loggerheads, but Imam Anas Hajjar and I have often read the same passage and approached it from a very different point of view," the professor says. "Imam Hajjar reads practical, contemporary meanings into the text and I see it as an historic work that is tied to the time in which it was created." An estimated 60,000 Muslims live in Finland, out of a population of about 5.4 million people. Yle says the wider Finnish Muslim community was involved in making the programme and approves of the finished product."

As I said, I started reading the Koran, again, for educational purposes.  Though I have not got too far, at this point, I am hoping to read through it gradually.  It would be good to have CBC radio take up a project like the Finnish broadcaster, so everyone could understand and discuss the text.
Maybe next, they can take up the Bible, and reacquaint the culture with it.

It would be great if our public discourse could include intelligent discussion of holy books. 
I should send this suggestion on to the CBC radio.