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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week. 

Argentina go forward thanks to the Lord?  

Business Mirror reports on Argentina’s lucky progression into the next round of the FIFA World Cup thanks to a late winner by defender Marcos Rojo against Nigeria. Argentina superstar Lionel Messi claims the team’s progression in the last 16 was thanks to God.

“I knew that God was with us,” claimed Messi. “He wouldn’t let us get eliminated.” Messi scored Argentina’s other goal in the match but has not had the greatest of tournaments with a missed penalty against Iceland and a lack of goals against group leaders Croatia.

Still, Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has nothing but praise for Messi: “He’s above everybody else. The most important thing for Leo is his human side. He cries. He suffers. He’s happy when Argentina wins.”

Exploring the light in the King of darkness

Christianity Today reviews a latest book about Stephen King entitled America’s Dark Theologian which explores religious themes in the famous novelist’s extensive oeuvre. While religion does not always feature positively in King’s work the Christian faith is sometimes used as a motivation for bravery or as a reservoir of strength according to the review.

King was raised Methodist and has gone on the record as saying he believes in God but throughout his work what lies beyond or the “unseen” is frequently explored. According to the review, “Much of the horror of King’s stories derives from the notion that the unseen order is far more fraught and sinister than conventional religion would lead you to believe.”

Diversity push snares the Senate’s prayers?  

The Guardian covers news of the Greens’ push to ditch the Lord’s prayer from the start of Senate sittings in favour of a more inclusive statement that covers people who are both religious and non-religious.

Greens senator Lee Rhiannon stated, “Senators, let us in silence pray or reflect upon our responsibilities to all people of Australia and to future generations.”

Currently Senate sittings commence with the Lord’s prayer but Rhiannon thinks an opener should be “inclusive of people of all beliefs and faiths.”

“The Greens are suggesting the proposed new opening statement be referred to the Senate’s procedure committee for a public inquiry that better reflects the secular nature of our country and our parliament.”

Little remorse as Duterte gets coarse

Asia One has news of controversial Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and his statements last Friday in which he appeared to label God as stupid and questioned the wisdom of God’s work as laid out in Genesis.

“Who is this stupid God?” said Duterte. “You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would destroy the quality of your work. How can you rationalise that God? How can you believe him?”

His comments have not gone down well with some in the predominantly Catholic nation, with Christian evangelist Eddie Villanueva urging the president to publicly apologise. A spokesperson for the president responded to Villanueva’s request for an apology by stating, “The God that I know will not demand a public apology.”


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