Tag Archives: Larknews

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The crux of it

How is it that some people can so comprehensively miss the point? Sometimes you discover things that you can only hope are some elaborate hoax, satire or cheap parody. LarkNews is one of my favourite websites – it harmlessly pokes fun at church culture with articles like this one, or this one. So when I clicked on a banner ad on their main page taking me through to this site – I expected to be met with more merciless parody. Unfortunately this seems genuine. How is it that these “Christians” can completely and utterly miss the point of the cross.

This is prosperity doctrine gone mad. For those who haven’t clicked the link:

“The Nazareth Cross Project aims to build the world’s largest and most impressive cross, standing at 60 meters tall, housing a magnificent church in its center. The cross will be decorated by some 7.2 million brilliant mosaic tiles of varying sizes, each one with a personal engraving. These tiles will be made of stone from Nazareth, or platinum, silver or gold.”

But that’s not all – you too can be part of this monumental project.

“7.2 million tiles will cover this majestic structure, each one engraved with a name. The purchaser will be able to choose both the material and location of the tile on the cross. By acquiring a tile with your inscription, you are connecting to the Holy Land in a most unique and profound manner. In the very heart of Nazareth, where the Virgin Mary heard that she had found favor with God, you will declare your belief in God’s mercy towards you or a loved one for generations to come.”

But wait, there’s more.


“The breathtaking Church with its panoramic view will be located at the intersection of the arms of the cross, 15 stories high, and will contain over 4500 square feet of floor space.In the 2.5 square miles (5 km2) surrounding this monumental cross, a visitor center will be built to offer a unique inspirational experience as well as a world-class educational and leisure center.”


“The central location of the church together with a circular monorail transportation system will provide pilgrims easy access to and from the historic Christian churches, the Fountain of Mary and the city’s central bazaars.”

Once you’ve paid up for your platinum tile it’d be a shame not to visit this spectacular eyesore, and they’ve thought it out so that those unable to travel can enjoy the decadence and “inspiration” on offer…

“This church will provide a stunning 360° panorama and an inspirational worship setting… This Church will serve Christian groups, both pilgrims and locals, with a setting for special services, such as Baptism, Dedications, and Matrimony. The services within the Church can be arranged to be broadcast over the Internet so that family and friends who are unable to attend can share in the experience of Nazareth.”

Sounds just as humble and austere as Jesus wanted people to be when he told us to “take up the cross and follow him.”

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An Inconvenient Truth

K-Rudd has been caught with his proverbial pants down on Burkegate. This is an event clearly worthy of “gate” status. More details about MPs from both sides of the fence meeting with the shady former WA premier (and convicted felon) turned lobbyist will probably come to light this week and I’m tipping more casualties following the resignation of Ian Campbell. John Howard wants to make distinctions between ministers and MPs, and leaders and followers – which is fair enough to an extent, but there’s really no need to be meeting with someone like Burke. Lobbying is an interesting kettle of fish. It’s where politicians get their lurks and perks. Doctors get their fancy meals from pharmaceutical companies eager to secure future business – politicians get theirs from representatives of industries, interest groups and professional power brokers who are likewise eager to secure something for nothing (or for a meal – politicians are expected to sing for their supper). Benny reckons lobbying is an essential part of the democratic process –

“I love lobbying. i think its how things should work. lobbying and interest
groups should demonstrate the facts, views and opinions. the members of
parliament should act as mediators and decision makers. the MPs should take in
all the information to make rational and logical decisions. lobbying is part of
this process.”

I agree to an extent but I think professional lobbying probably circumvents the political process and ties up access to politicians from the run of the mill members of their electorate – the fact that my employers work as a lobby group backed by the collective might of our members from the North Queensland business community doesn’t bother me – but when you’ve got a disproportionate amount of funding (lobbying) poured into the exercise by an unpopular lobby group (say advocates for nuclear power) might have a disproportionate impact on the political process.

The political machinations behind Burkegate are fascinating – Ian Campbell’s decision to resign – or the decision for him to resign – was a masterful manoeuvre from Howard. Finding the moral high ground in the murky realm of politics will be an important step in the upcoming elections. If it’s going to be a “morals” debate the Coalition need to have their position on issues like AWB, the Iraq conflict and Hicks firmly entrenched on the “right” side (as opposed to wrong, rather than left) – Rudd probably has the advantage in terms of positioning because it’s much easier to criticise government than to govern. This scandal could go a long way towards undermining his integrity – but it could also burn the government if it comes out that more coalition MPs have met with Burke in the past.

It’s an interesting time in politics with the battle of who cares raging in New South Wales and Debnam resorting to physical comparisons with James Bond. The US race for preselection (it’s not even the real thing yet) is heating up with candidates from both major parties vying to outdo their own colleagues (with the amount of muck they spend throwing around within the parties it’s a wonder that any new stuff comes up in the actual campaign) – my early favourite Barack Obama is polling well and catching up to the “impossible to like even though she stood by her husband in America’s largest sex scandal” Hillary Clinton. The Democrats have the opportunity to make history with their leading candidates a female and an African American male – Joe says the Republicans should kill two birds with one stone by endorsing Condoleezza Rice.

In other news – I tried the spectacular “cat poo” coffee last week, I’m not sure I’d pay $50 a cup, but it’s an amazing brew, so smooth and sweet – without the standard bitter bite of a regular cuppa.

LarkNews – a good source for “Christian News” has been updated – my favourite story for this edition is the debate on whether the word “sucks” is appropriate for church – for those of you who have trouble differentiating between fact and fiction, please note that this is parody.