Some weekend reading: The “radicalisation” of youth, transgender Christians + more

Saturday 10 October 2015

There’s been a lot of talk about the “radicalisation” of young people lately. Here, Michael Jensen warns us: “Words like ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ are relative terms, and we ought to beware using them disconnected from what we are actually trying to name. If we are talking about radical Islam, then we ought to say so. Otherwise, people who are on the whole just opposed to religion in general will use ‘extremism’ to mean ‘any form of religious behaviour that is more enthusiastic than I would like’.” Do you agree?

Last week, anti-abortion campaigner Troy Newman had his visa cancelled, but proceeded to come to Australia and launched a High Court Appeal to have the decision overturned. He was, ultimately, unsuccessful. The Australian interviewed him about what the decision: “Mr Newman said there had been a last-minute attempt to keep him out of Australia started by a letter that Queensland MP Ms Butler sent to the Immigration Department on September 28, claiming Mr Newman advocated execution of abortion doctors. Yesterday, Mr Newman said his words were taken out of ­context. ‘This was part of a semi-theological discussion on Old Testament view of punishment, which I do not support. In fact, I am against the death penalty.'” Read the whole interview, here.

The news of another school shooting in the U.S has rocked many of us, not least because of reports circulating that the shooter targeted Christians. Here, Ed Stetzer reminds us that, “For the families involved, this is more than ‘another mass shooting.’ Pray for them.” Read more.

A conference claiming to be the “first ever” evangelical conference on the subject of something they’re calling “transgender confusion” was held at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. on Monday. In an article on Slate, this writer suggests, “There are transgender Christians out there, though, and they reconcile their faith with their gender identity in a variety of ways. Some are living as the sex assigned to them at birth, according to the requirements of their faith, others are members of liberal churches that accept and affirm transgender congregants, and still others fall somewhere in between. One thing all the transgender Christians I spoke with shared, however, was a feeling of trepidation at the prospect of traditional religious circles paying increasing attention to trans issues.” Read more, here.

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