Monday Link Up

Had a few favourable responses to my "linkdump" last Monday, so I thought I would do it on a more regular basis, when I've accumulated a critical mass of worthwhile material that demands a little more time and thought than your typical fb post, but which I otherwise wouldn't comment on here at VM. Its probably slightly stunted due to me managing to ditch my blogroll last week... But there's enough here to keep you thinking for a while...
This piece from the BBC is a worthy place to start this time out, as it takes me (and perhaps you) out of my normal sphere of interest into the complex world of Muslim-Christian conflict in Africa, in this case, Nigeria. Think of our own little local difficulties, with the added issue of tribalism, and multiply by a factor of 100 to get a sense of the problem. On the one hand there seems to be the old problem of a leadership deficit, with community leaders negotiating one day and then bowing to mob rule the next... whilst the concept of "forgiveness" seems to be prominent in how the communities are seeking to deal with the repercussions of the conflict (tho' note that it is the Muslim family who are expressly forgiving the young Christian boy in this story). Forgiveness is key to resolving any conflict, be it in Nigeria or Northern Ireland, be it on a national, community or personal level, but only if that forgiveness opens a door to real reconciliation and a change in attitudes and relationships.

Another story from the developing world is this one about Comfort Kumeah a Ghanaian, fairtrade cocoa farmer. I read it somewhere else recently (can't remember where) but it is worth a second look even if you have. Thanks to Patrick Mitchel for flagging it up.

But of course this week's general election is still in our thoughts, and earlier last week over at Connexions, Kim Fabricius pointed us to some of the relevant points in the lectionary for yesterday. What did you or your pastor preach on? And did they tell Kim's joke? Or, did they use Dave Perry's photograph over on VisualTheology as a steeping stone to his reflection on all the talk about cuts, and the perennial tension between (God's) kingdom and empire... whosever empire that might be. All that, however, was before big Gordon was caught speaking his mind about pensioner Gillian Duffy while speeding off in a car... Will that be the death knell of his campaign? The most entertaining coverage of it came with Jon Stewart's round up for American viewers, but at the time of writing there seems to be a bit of a backlash against the media furore, as many people are aware that they have done something similar at one time or other, just not into a Sky News radio mic. Anyway, all of that is a preamble to Maggi Dawn's sideways look at this unhappy incident.

In the final run in to the election, Malcolm Duncan, former director of Faithworks UK, offers us what he thinks are key principles to consider, although I must confess to preferring WhyNotSmile's typically sidelong view of the whole thing...

Well, that's enough to be going on with. Be seeing you...



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