Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Christianity vs Islam debate

At this point in time, I’m not really ready to have the BIG Christianity-Islam debate. You know the one: Do we worship the same God? That will need to be a 27-part thesis that I’m not yet able to compile. For today, though, there is a smaller and heated debate raging in Australia between Christians and Muslims. You know it’s pretty serious when — in this era of bending over backwards to promote interfaith dialogue — a Catholic bishop is … Continue reading

I can’t believe I’m blogging on this

There has been a topic in the news for the past couple of weeks that has had me shaking my head. And I mean physically shaking my head. On a regular basis. And here I am about to blog on the topic. It pains me so. But it’s Monday, and sometimes Monday calls for a little light entertainment. The topic that has been making me cringe is planking. I think it’s got to be one of the most stupid things … Continue reading

Buying ink by the barrel

There’s an old saying that you shouldn’t pick a fight — or possibly you shouldn’t upset — someone who buys ink by the barrel. In other words, don’t pick a battle with someone who runs a newspaper and can use that newspaper to tarnish your reputation. I suppose blogs, Facebook and Twitter have the same power today, so the saying is becoming a little obsolete. The ink I’m referring to in the headline of today’s post isn’t that sort of … Continue reading

A Kiwi’s life in Bethlehem

Back when I was working at NZ Catholic, I had some — though not much — interaction with a Kiwi De La Salle Brother by the name of Br Peter Bray. At the time, he was based in Wellington and was running the Wellington Catholic Education Centre. Seemingly out of the blue, though, he was invited to become vice-chancellor, i.e. the big boss, at Bethlehem University. Yes, THAT Bethlehem. It is an institution that’s had its fair share of ups … Continue reading

How about a little truth in journalism?!

To my journalistic friends out there, the headline is very much tongue in cheek. If you’ve stumbled across this blog somehow because of the cheeky kicker at the top, I spent a dozen years working on newspapers and I’m not totally having a dig. One of the tools I use when preparing posts for The Catholic Soapbox is Google News alerts. I have programmed in a search that is generated every evening that lets me know all the stories that … Continue reading

There be Pirates. Aaargh

I’ve previously confessed on The Soapbox about my lack of credentials as a movie buff or as a movie critic. I was recently chastised by a group of friends as they systematically rattled off the list of quintessential “bloke” movies and I responded to almost every film title with a “Nah, haven’t seen it.” They were about to revoke my man card before I escaped. I can’t quite recall if the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was on the list … Continue reading

WWJD? He’d be on Facebook

As I’ve written about before, Icon Media — under whose umbrella The Catholic Soapbox takes shelter — was established with the goal of helping spread the message of Christ using all forms of communication, working particularly closely with Catholic agencies, but also willing to help others with similar mindsets. Catholic organisations and dioceses have taken to new media and social media like Facebook and Twitter with varying degrees of interest, ranging from “What’s Twitter?” to Facebook pages with hundreds or … Continue reading

First the Rapture. Now this.

A friend of mine was having a bit of fun on Facebook over the weekend. In the light of the Harold Camping nonsense about the world coming to an end on Saturday evening, he thought it was another nutty story that people should have a giggle at. This from the Courier-Mail: A COUPLE who claim they are Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene have set up base in Queensland’s Bible Belt and are drawing in disciples from across the country. The … Continue reading

We’ve made it!!

Well, as far as I know, we’ve managed to survive the Rapture!! Starting at around 6pm this evening, the earth was supposed to start shaking with some ferocity as the start of the end — the end of the world, that is. This whole saga started — in its most recent guise — when an ageing pastor in the United States made a pronouncement that the world was going to come to an end. Here’s part of an article on … Continue reading

A God-shaped hole inside us

Not all bits of research related to religion that come out of the UK need to be depressing. Just because they don’t know the biblical origins of a few commons saying, that doesn’t mean Brits are going to hell in a handbasket. You see, some academics have come up with quite an interesting finding after dedicating hundreds and hundreds of hours to studying a fascinating topic. shares the finding of the survey: A three-year international research project, directed by … Continue reading