Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
24 March 2007

The Bible made them do it?

My take, published in Die Burger today, on the argument made by Dutch Reformed Church Dominees that the Bible tells them to discriminate against gay men and lesbians. I argue it is like Hansie Cronje saying the devil made him do it. Money quote:

DIT is moeilik om te verstaan waarom die Christelike godsdiens so behep met seks is. Self, moet ek sê, kan ek nie sien waarom daar so ’n bohaai oor seks gemaak word nie. Is dit dalk omdat seks nogal lekker kan wees en dus dat te veel seks ons vrees vir God sal laat taan?

Watter skade berokken seks tussen twee instemmende volwassenes enig­iemand? Dit sou wel die gesag van die kerk kon uitdaag, maar andersins is dit skynbaar net verkeerd omdat die kerk se interpretasie van die Bybel dit verkeerd ag.

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