Flying from Melbourne to Gold Coast recently I was handed a copy of the Weekend Australian 12-13 September and as I read the paper, three articles caught my attention.
Greg Sheridan's piece on the Syrian crisis was detailed and constructive. Since then much else has happened besides, some European nations have greatly tightened up their borders and places such as Germany, although not closing their gates, have introduced a thorough German administration system to register every refugee claimant with typical ruthless efficiency.
The real alarm has been what appears to be the mass of economic refugees from other parts of the middle east and the sub-continent. Saying yes to these people defeats the purpose of providing aid and urgent help to those from the war zones in Syria.
He concludes his article by discussing the 12,000 Syrian refugees being allowed into Australia. He concludes that there is now pressure that Christian refugees have no where to return to, and should this be the criteria, certainly the Syrian Christians should be given a green light.
As a Baptist minister I am one who supports such a secular policy. There are more people in Baptist churches each weekend and register as Baptists in the annual census than say, Muslims in Australia. Our voice too should be heard and given weight in the market place to support such a realistic political decision.
The second article was by Janet Albrechtsen whose article challenges the status quo of the sister hood. Janet claims the sister hood has done great damage to itself and gives chapter and verse which infuriates the hard line leftie feminist brigade.
One example Janet Albrechtsen gave was a man who offered a compliment to a woman – and examines the drama that when a women offering the exact same compliment would have been quite okay.
Janet Albrechtsen writes that Alexander Carter-Silk was accused of offensive behavoiur - engaged in unacceptable and misogynistic language - social policing, gender control and a hidden form of social violence.
Janet poses these questions - did he lift her skirt? Groped her breast? Winked at her across the bar? .... no he made the fatal mistake of paying her a compliment. ....
Janet concludes: "it's a reminder of how hard it is for our sons to navigate a non-sexual worlds where old-fashioned common sense is being trumped by post modern feminists who wail over a compliment."
I too have documented such situations where in a recent article I highlighted that the feminist waving women of the 80's and 90's now have sons of their own and are finding how damaging their cries were back then - for their own sons twenty years down the track.
Chip le Grand
The third article that caught my attention was by Chip le Grand on 'sports stress' and how many leading sports stars are in the midst of anxiety, post traumatic stress, cracking under social pressure and the toll its taking on young lives. He focused on AFL players in this article but did not restrict it to that sport sporting code.
I could wax lyrical on this subject as I have written over many years similar dramas associated with top sport serving as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years and in elite athlete respite since 1992.
This doesn't come in only one form. I was reading recently where Jarryd Hayne now with the San Francisco 49ers was very uncomfortable fitting into the expected affluent life style of an American Football personality.
His social financial back ground was to earn enough money as an NRL player so he could buy his mum a house. Now there is an expectation of a multi-thousand dollar monthly costed apartment or house and the rest of it whereas he is far more comfortable with a room.
This area of an athlete's life is so far removed from a 9 to 5 job and the expectations play such an introspective part of an athlete's heart, mind and soul that there is a lot more to be written and noted in this wide sphere – it's effects are physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. A holistic approach is a way forward.
There we are – three articles of interest. All have Christian impact and we as followers of Christ likewise have a voice in the market place of ideas.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html