Monday, 21 August 2017

Charlottesville, Anti-Semitism, Israel, the BDS Movement, and the Jewish Voice for Peace

The video below comes from the Facebook site of Jewish Voice for Peace. 

Judith Butler takes on Richard Spencer and white supremacist support for Israel while unraveling the dangerous mislabeling of BDS activism as antisemitic
"If the sign of antisemitism, the proof of antisemitism is a willingness to be critical of the State of Israel, then the historical and contemporary meaning of antisemitism has become highly reduced in the service of defending the State of Israel."
Judith Butler (UC Berkeley professor and JVP advisor)

(also known as BDS and the BDS Movement)

Saturday, 19 August 2017


PHAAA - Planetary Healing Artists Association of Australia inc. 
is a not for profit organization that creates a forum for artists including visual artists, performers, writers, healers, 
and other creatives in the community to share ideas for a sustainable future in a creative way. 
The main purpose is supporting an environmentally sustainable planet

1st Thursday bi-monthly upstairs at St Kilda RSL, 
88 Acland Street, St Kilda

We are forwarding this email to invite Faith/Spiritual artists to exhibit to our upcoming art exhibition, One World.

There are 2 weeks to go now for submission forms to be in by 5th September 2017.
'One World', art exhibition is dedicated to world peace and will celebrate spirituality, faith and belief. It will explore the common connections between people with diverse beliefs, and promote the idea that by uniting for a common vision of a better world for all, that together we can make a difference. It is our hope that the exhibition will promote greater understanding and compassion in the broader community.

The exhibition will open on UN International Peace Day, 21st September 2017 and will run until 29th September at 4Dverse Gallery in St Kilda (1/118A Carlisle St - opposite the Town Hall).

We are calling for artworks along these themes in a variety of visual art mediums, representing a diverse range of beliefs and faiths. Submissions are due on 5th September (see attached for a flyer and submission form) and will be selected by a Panel curating the exhibition. 

Please share this email with your networks and let us know if you would like to exhibit your artwork.

for the Planetary Healing Artists Team

Volunteers always win...  the more you get to act, the more opportunities you create. Raise your hand. Step forward. Step up. You'll be glad you did.  Jeff Haden

Friday, 18 August 2017

André Rieu - I Will Follow Him

From the musical Jesus Christ Superstar

Official Lyrics:
I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go
There isn't an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep me away

I must follow him
Ever since he touched my hand I knew
That near him I always must be
And nothing can keep him from me
He is my destiny

I love him, I love him, I love him
And where he goes I'll follow, forever, and ever
And side by side together, I'll be with my true love
And share a thousand sunsets together beside him

I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go
There isn't an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep, keep me away
Away from my love

I love him, I love him, I love him
And where he goes I'll follow, forever, and ever
And side by side together, I'll be with my true love
And share a thousand sunsets together beside him

I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go
There isn't an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep, keep me away
Away from my love

Michael Leunig .......... Cardboard box

Leunig and The Victorian Welsh Male Choir at St Peter's Eastern Hill, Melbourne

This has dropped on to The Editor's Facebook this morning:

Pleased to announce that Leunig is speaking at a special Evensong 
at St Peter's Eastern Hill, 15 Gisborne Street, East Melbourne
on Sunday 24th September, at 6pm. 
The Victorian Welsh Male Choir will be singing too. 
Please spread the word.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Youth PoWR 2017 'Light in Dark Times'

From Nivy at United Religions Initiative (URI), Melbourne

Nivy Balachandran

Dear friends,

Please see invitation below for the upcoming Youth Parliament of the World's Religions event taking place this Sunday in SYDNEY!

I am hoping to be there myself - and I do know Anne Lanyon of our CC, Faith Ecology Network will be in attendance, as will a long time youth interfaith friend of mine Parviz Deamer who works for the Office of External Affairs for the Australian Baha'i Community.

If you can make it along it will well be worth your time!
Kind wishes

Nivy Balachandran
Regional Coordinator, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands 
Part time - Office days are Wednesday and Friday.
Phone: +61 433 238 406 | Skype: nivy.bala |

From: Deamer, Parviz <>
Date: Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 3:48 PM
Subject: Youth PoWR 2017 "Light in Dark Times"
To: "," <>

Dear Nivy, 

I wanted to let you know more formally about the Youth PoWR 2017 'Light in Dark Times' event, which is an interfaith gathering for youth all over Sydney and NSW to engage in dialogue about their contribution to building a better society.  This is by far the biggest interfaith youth gathering in Sydney, open to youth aged 18-35 yrs.  Over 400 youth across all major faith traditions attended last years gathering. 

We'd like to extend an invitation to yourself and any members of the URI  network who may be able to attend, especially those that live in Sydney and the surrounding areas. We hope that you've be comfortable sharing this invitation with them. 

This event is taking place this Sunday, the 20th of August. Details are below: 

This link is a 40s video ad that sets the scene:

This is the facebook event link where one can find out all the details:

This is the event registration link:

There's also a free vegetarian (and vegan) dinner provided towards the end.  And, in addition to the interfaith group work and dialogue, there'll be a live band, martial arts demonstrations, and some inspiring speakers from youth across all faith traditions.

Please spread word of this event among the young men and women connected to URI, and all other young people who would be inspired by this event's essential message of religious/cultural unity and youth empowerment.

For more details, do not hesitate to contact James Wood on or 0424292344.  He is representing the Baha'i youth on the organizing committee for Youth PoWR this year. You are also more than welcome to contact me directly if you prefer. We would dearly like to see our some of our URI brothers and sisters join with others in force to make the voice of youth heard this Sunday.

Kind Regards, 

Parviz Deamer
Office of External Affairs
Australian Baha'i Community

War as a "trade fair" for arms sales

Quakers are one of a handful of historic Christian peace churches.  To read more about the Quaker Peace Testimony please go here.  From the blog, Ecumenics and Quakers, comes this interesting article about war as a marketing exercise for weaponry.


This week declassified secret documents reveal that at the time of the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq the British government saw its participation in the war against Saddam precisely as an “unparalleled opportunity” to increase its weapons sales:
“In a letter marked “secret”, written on 19 August 1990, days after Saddam Hussein’s forces had invaded Kuwait, Clark [Alan Clark, then defence procurement minister, to the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher] wrote a private memo to Thatcher in which he described the expected response from the US and its allies as “unparalleled opportunity” for the Defence Export Services Organisation (now known as the DSO).
“Clark explained: “Whatever deployment policies we adopt I must emphasise that this is an unparalleled opportunity for DESO; a vast demonstration range with live ammunition and ‘real’ trials.”…” The government’s efforts reaped dividends. The war provided a significant fillip for arms sales to the region and helped nurture a strong relationship that continues to this day.”…” Over 10 years, the report ranks Britain as the second biggest arms dealer in the world behind the US.” The Guardian.

...and please remember:
 while all these weapons are being purchased
there are still poor people who are homeless;
there are still aged people struggling on the pension;
there are still Australians out of work;
penalty rates are being ripped off workers;
slave labour is being employed; and
wealthy people and corporations are paying little or no tax
as they off-shore the wealth of Australia.

Taoism and Environmentalism - The Way and Nature

This article is by Denise Hruby from the journal, Sixth Tone - Fresh voices from to-day's China.

SHAANXI, Northwest China — 

On a chilly winter morning, rays of sunlight warmed the wrinkled face of Ren Farong, the former president of the Chinese Taoist Association. His long white beard bobbed up and down as he spoke.

“In the past, people were pure and honest, and they protected the environment,” Ren said from his wicker chair in the courtyard of Louguantai Temple. It was here in the fourth century that Lao-tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching, the text that serves as the foundation of Taoism.

Under the emerald roofs of Louguantai, monks with long hair tied into buns saunter past pine trees and firs, paying their respects to the sage and their gods in golden shrines, interrupted only by the occasional ringing of bells.

Just 70 kilometers from this tranquil enclave lies Shaanxi’s capital, Xi’an, a city of about 9 million people. There, luxury cars zip past high-end shopping malls, coal plants belch toxic fumes into the air, and factories dump waste into waterways.

and there are some beautiful pictures too.
This post is merely to help you to start
your own exploration of Taoism.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Australian Christians for Marriage Equality - Father Chris Bedding

Father Chris is the Anglican Rector at Darlington
in the Diocese of Perth, Western Australia

EIN BUSAN - a bilingual Waldorf School in Israel for Arabs and Jews


Ein Busan, a bilingual Waldorf school in Israel promotes co-education for Arabs and Jews. 

The founders of the special school share a vision of a society 
in which Arabs and Jews live together in peace, acceptance and understanding. 

For more information about this amazing school, 

If you care about peace, 
like Soul Mama! on Facebook