Ties that bind us in Gillard-gloating-blue to smoke-on-the-water purple

Tony Abbott wore a blue tie everyday of his Prime Ministership, bar one.

And was criticised for being partisan, or was that Parisian, or worse still, that he wore only gloating-at-Gillard blue.

Clearly he could have worn more inclusive tie colours (as the leader of a nation that by and large avoids ties like the plague).

An occasional Rudd-red for the Labor constituents, glamping green for the, well, Green citizens. Some mottled-dinosaur prints would have calmed down the Clive Palmer voters and perhaps no tie at all for the sex-party supporters.

But on the day of his Prime Ministerial demise it was noted he wore deep purple.

The traditional colour of faith and mourning; perhaps of Herod’s robe.

And certainly of smoke on the water.

Turnbull and Shorten, we are watching your ties, don’t let us down.

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Anglican Tim not quite ready to pop the question

Tim Mathieson was married to a woman who was a Liberal Party candidate, lost his licence for 16 months after driving with a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit and once owned a Gold Coast hair salon that is now owned by Tony Abbott (no, not that Tony Abbott!). Now he is better known as Australia’s First Bloke – the partner of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

He is also a self-confessed, God-believing Anglican who claims he has not even discussed his faith with Australia’s most famous atheist.

Mathieson, recently announced as a patron of the Men’s Shed movement, appears tonight in a much-publicised interview on 60 minutes where he explains he will propose to Julia one day, but not any day soon.

“One wedding I think is enough this year,” Mathieson said, referring to the couple’s attendance at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. And in previous interviews, Mathieson said when they do marry it would not be in the church, due to Ms Gillard’s beliefs.

Apart from his best known occupation – hairdresser – the one through which he met Julia Gillard, Mathieson has also been an importer of Levi Jeans,  supplier of marble interiors,  a sales representative for a hair products company and is current job is as a property agent with Ubertas Group, selling apartments in a St Kilda Road 50-storey complex.

Mathieson has two adult children from his marriage to Dianne Stark and another daughter fathered in his teens, Staci Childs, who is well-known hair stylist known for her tattoos, parties and celebrity clients such as Lady Gaga.

There are other, what might be regarded, dark moments in his history – broken relationships, failed businesses, car-crashes. In the long run he is typical of many people seeking to make their way through the maze of life who found himself in love with a woman who became Australia’s leader.

And he has endeavoured to make the most of his newly-found prominence and apart from his Men’s Shed patronship, he is also a Men’s Health Ambassador and works hard to promote men’s health issues around Australia. Ironically, the idea of taking up volunteer work was first suggested to him Therese Rein, wife of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd…

The Australian Men’s Shed Association is a movement granting a special place for men who lack social outlets, to tinker and share stories over a barbecue.

Let’s pray that as Tim chats with men in sheds, interviewers in the media and his partner in the privacy of their home, that his faith moves to the foreground to inform his words, his choices and his into the future.

Politics aside, it was two blokes surfing

The coverage of Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s surfing lesson with former refugee Riz Wakil focuses heavily on the ‘political dialogue’, with most media outlets using exactly that term courtesy of AAP’s report.

And while there was indeed a sharp political edge to the event, due to the Federal Government’s current bungling efforts to come up with their own ‘non-Pacific-solution-Pacific-solution’, I am more interested to learn if there was any ‘personal dialogue’ between the two men.

It is amazing what can happen when we get to know someone from another stream of life. Our tightly held prejudices, misunderstandings, ignorances and apathies often fall away.

Many differences in society could be resolved if opposing sides actually got to know one another as real people rather than stereotypical objects.

This was an opportunity for such an interaction to occur, but at this stage, the only reports show two men shoring up their so-called political agendas.

‘Mr Abbott can teach me a thing or two about surfing, and I’ll teach him about what refugees go through to build a new life in Australia,’ Mr Wakil was reported as saying before the event.

Likewise, Mr Abbott was widely reported as looking forward to the surfing lesson largely because of the political mileage he would gain amidst the Government’s woes.

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Jesus brought into climate change debate

Tony Abbott is in trouble for telling Adelaide school students on Friday that the climate was warmer ‘at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth’ than now. Scientists have retaliated by saying there is no evidence to suggest it was hotter 2000 years ago.

The president of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Kurt Lambeck, said true scepticism was fine, but required looking at published data with an open mind.

‘To make these glib statements to school students, I think, is wrong. It’s not encouraging them to be sceptical, it’s encouraging them to accept unsubstantiated information.’

What is substantiated is the existence of Jesus. In fact, of the two historical figures mentioned by the Opposition leader, there is far more ancient documentary evidence for Jesus than Julius.

One ancient manuscript that helps attest to the accuracy of the New Testament and reality of Jesus - the Magdalen Papyrus (P64) now dated at sometime between 30 and 70 AD.

Typically, some of those commenting on this report (SMH) are doing exactly as Tony did when they ‘glibly’ dismiss the historicity of Jesus without considering the evidence.

Jesus is referred to in numerous ancient texts aside from the Bible.

Also, the New Testament itself is supported by more ancient manuscripts than most other texts from that era which we are happy to accept as being accurate. Check it out for yourself:

Jesus, archeology, theology and the Bible
Ancient New Testament Manuscripts
Historical references to Jesus aside from the Bible  PH

What would Jesus do about asylum seekers?

A question to Tony Abbot on ‘what would Jesus do’ about asylum seekers has sparked a flurry of Jesus references in Australian media.

On the ABC’s Q & A program last night, Brenton Anthony from Canberra sent this question to Abbott: ‘When it comes to asylum seekers, what would Jesus do?’

Melissa Heris also asked: ‘How do you reconcile your strong faith with your harsh position on refugees, given that many asylum seekers are escaping religious persecution in their home country?

His answers included, ‘Don’t forget, Jesus drove the traders from the temple as well.’

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