Sol Campbell has claimed he would have captained England for over a decade if he was white.
The 39-year-old former Tottenham and Arsenal defender, who won 79 international caps, including three as captain, said the Football Association and football fans are averse to the idea of a black or mixed-race captain for the full national side.
"I believe if I was white, I would have been England captain for more than 10 years. It's as simple as that," said Campbell in his authorised biography, which is serialised in the Sunday Times.
"I think the FA wished I was white. I had the credibility, performance-wise, to be captain.
"I was consistently in the heart of the defence and I was club captain early on in my career.
"I don't think it will change because they don't want it to, and probably the majority of fans don't want it, either.
"It's all right to have black captains and mixed-race in the under-18s and under-21s but not for the full national side.
"There is a ceiling and although no one has ever said it, I believe it's made of glass."
Campbell also criticised the decision to select striker Michael Owen as captain ahead of him during his England career, which ran from 1996 to 2007 and saw him play in three World Cup and two European Championship finals.
"Michael Owen was made captain ahead of me. I thought, 'What is going on here?' I think the FA didn't want me to have a voice," continued Campbell.
"Owen was a fantastic forward but nowhere near being a captain. It was embarrassing.
"I've asked myself many times why I wasn't (named captain). I keep coming up with the same answer. It was the colour of my skin.
"What's the point of having a bridge you can't access? I say, burn it, and build a new one so you can cross over. If I'm wrong, then I'm listening."
Campbell's three games as captain came in three friendly matches - against Belgium and the Czech Republic in 1998 under manager Glenn Hoddle, and against the United States in 2005 under Sven-Goran Eriksson.
He retired from football in May 2012 after being released by Newcastle a year before.
Sunday, 2 March 2014
I was on the phone with a good friend the other day. After covering important topics, like disparaging each other's mothers and retelling semi-factual tales from our college days, our conversation turned to the mundane.
"So, how's work going?" he asked.
For those of you who don't know, I make money by teaching leadership skills and helping people learn to get along in corporate America. My wife says it's all a clever disguise so I can get up in front of large groups and tell stories.
I plead the fifth.
I answered my buddy's question with,
"Definitely feeling blessed. Last year was the best year yet for my business. And it looks like this year will be just as busy."
The words rolled off my tongue without a second thought. Like reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or placing my usual lunch order at McDonald's.
But it was a lie.
Now, before you start taking up a collection for the "Feed the Dannemillers" fund, allow me to explain. Based on last year's quest to go twelve months without buying anything, you may have the impression that our family is subsisting on Ramen noodles and free chips and salsa at the local Mexican restaurant. Not to worry, we are not in dire straits.
Last year was the best year yet for my business.
Things are looking busy in 2014.
But that is not a blessing.
I've noticed a trend among Christians, myself included, and it troubles me. Our rote response to material windfalls is to call ourselves blessed. Like the "amen" at the end of a prayer.
"This new car is such a blessing."
"Finally closed on the house. Feeling blessed."
"Just got back from a mission trip. Realizing how blessed we are here in this country."
On the surface, the phrase seems harmless. Faithful even. Why wouldn't I want to give God the glory for everything I have? Isn't that the right thing to do?
As I reflected on my "feeling blessed" comment, two thoughts came to mind. I realize I'm splitting hairs here, creating an argument over semantics. But bear with me, because I believe it is critically important. It's one of those things we can't see because it's so culturally engrained that it has become normal.
But it has to stop. And here's why.
First, when I say that my material fortune is the result of God's blessing, it reduces The Almighty to some sort of sky-bound, wish-granting fairy who spends his days randomly bestowing cars and cash upon his followers. I can't help but draw parallels to how I handed out M&M's to my own kids when they followed my directions and chose to poop in the toilet rather than in their pants. Sure, God wants us to continually seek His will, and it's for our own good. But positive reinforcement?
God is not a behavioral psychologist.
Second, and more importantly, calling myself blessed because of material good fortune is just plain wrong. For starters, it can be offensive to the hundreds of millions of Christians in the world who live on less than $10 per day. You read that right. Hundreds of millions who receive a single-digit dollar "blessing" per day.
During our year in Guatemala, Gabby and I witnessed first-hand the damage done by the theology of prosperity, where faithful people scraping by to feed their families were simply told they must not be faithful enough. If they were, God would pull them out of their nightmare. Just try harder, and God will show favor.
The problem? Nowhere in scripture are we promised worldly ease in return for our pledge of faith. In fact, the most devout saints from the Bible usually died penniless, receiving a one-way ticket to prison or death by torture.
I'll take door number three, please.
If we're looking for the definition of blessing, Jesus spells it out clearly (Matthew 5: 1-12).
1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him,
2 And He began to teach them, saying:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I have a sneaking suspicion verses 12a 12b and 12c were omitted from the text. That's where the disciples responded by saying:
12a Waitest thou for one second, Lord. What about "blessed art thou comfortable," or 12b "blessed art thou which havest good jobs, a modest house in the suburbs, and a yearly vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast?"
12c And Jesus said unto them, "Apologies, my brothers, but those did not maketh the cut."
So there it is. Written in red. Plain as day. Even still, we ignore it all when we hijack the word "blessed" to make it fit neatly into our modern American ideals, creating a cosmic lottery where every sincere prayer buys us another scratch-off ticket. In the process, we stand the risk of alienating those we are hoping to bring to the faith.
And we have to stop playing that game.
The truth is, I have no idea why I was born where I was or why I have the opportunity I have. It's beyond comprehension. But I certainly don't believe God has chosen me above others because of the veracity of my prayers or the depth of my faith. Still, if I take advantage of the opportunities set before me, a comfortable life may come my way. It's not guaranteed. But if it does happen, I don't believe Jesus will call me blessed.
He will call me "burdened."
He will ask,
"What will you do with it?"
"Will you use it for yourself?"
"Will you use it to help?"
"Will you hold it close for comfort?"
"Will you share it?"
So many hard choices. So few easy answers.
So my prayer today is that I understand my true blessing. It's not my house. Or my job. Or my standard of living.
My blessing is this. I know a God who gives hope to the hopeless. I know a God who loves the unlovable. I know a God who comforts the sorrowful. And I know a God who has planted this same power within me. Within all of us.
And for this blessing, may our response always be,
Since I had this conversation, my new response is simply, "I'm grateful." Would love to hear your thoughts.
Scott Dannemiller is a writer, blogger, worship leader and former missionary with the Presbyterian Church. He writes the blog The Accidental Missionary, where this post first appeared.
Vine Branch church Ibadan was today robbed by armed robbers during the Sunday service presided over by the founder of the international church, Rev. Sola Kolade.
Information so far gathered by IBPulse.com revealed that 7 armed robbers arrived at the popular church around 12:30 pm in the afternoon and killed 2 policemen stationed outside the church.
During the 15 minute-long operation, several items including money, phones and valuable items were carted away by the robbers.
Although Rev. Sola Kolade did not sustain any form of injury during the operation, several members of the church were injured and were subsequently taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.
The Sunday service came to an abrupt end at 12:50pm when worshipers were asked to go home to allow police investigation into the robbery incidence.
1. It makes some people religious = Oh my God, Yes Lord
2. It gives some people their first musical lessons = mmmm, aaaaah, ooooo, asssshhh
3. Makes some people natural observers = fast, fasterrrr!!!, yeah fastestttt
4. Makes some people anounce their own obituary = U are killing me, I'm dead, I'm finished, u will kil me ooo
5. Makes some ladies become terrorists = Destroy it!, don't have any mercy, Just tear it.
6. Others become respectful = I promise, okay, yes I will
7. Makes some people become loyal = Luv u endlessly,... u own my life,... am urs forever,... u are my world.
8. Makes some ladies turn beggers = yeah pls don't stop,... continue pls,... give it to me... Please do it again.
9. Some speak in tongues: hahalahalahalaaaa aaaashaaa haaahaaa
10. Some become ethnic: aiwa shumba endererai! Maita basa shumba!...shumba kani...Where do u belong?
An Evangelical Christian pollster finds that atheists commit less crimes, divorce less, and are better educated than their fellow Christians. “It is obvious that you do not have to believe in a higher power in order to live a moral and successful life. Quite the opposite,” the Knoxville News‘ Al Westerfield writes of the study, adding that “the groups with the highest crime rate, the poorest marriages and the lowest education continually strive to force their beliefs on the nonreligious. And the politicians pander to them. Why else would they pass laws to put religion in the schools and on courthouse facades? And then they wonder why the godless could possibly be upset.”
“According to a Barna Research Group report, fundamentalist Christians have the highest divorce rate, followed by Jews and Baptists,” Westerfield writes:
The godless are tied with Catholics and Lutherans for the lowest divorce rate. It seems that some groups that claim to follow the Bible most strictly are not putting their money where their mouths are. The godless who are thought to be without morals seem to take their vows more seriously.
According to a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Survey, the least-educated Americans are Jehovah’s Witnesses, followed by black Protestants and fundamentalist Christians. The most highly educated are reformed Jews, followed by Unitarian Universalists and the godless.
Some groups seem to like their flocks ignorant so that pastors’ interpretations of God’s edicts are not questioned. Other groups prize scholarship and achieve more in their lives here on Earth.
In fact, a review of worldwide studies found that criminality and religion go hand in hand. The countries with the most religious people have the highest crime rates, highest sexually transmitted diseases and the highest teen pregnancy rates.
This is also true in the United States. The more religious a state’s population, the higher the crime, STD and teen pregnancy rates. The report does say that the religious are happier than the secular but posits that the ostracism of the latter may be a major cause.
Wissam Akiki is now a Catholic priest.
What sets him apart is that he was already a married man.
Akiki, 41, is the first married man in the Maronite Catholic Church to be ordained into the priesthood in the United States with the blessing of the pope.
The pews were packed Thursday for the ordination ceremony held at St. Raymond’s Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis, a large, oval church just south of downtown.
Inside the church, prominent images include the former Lebanese monk and priest St. Charbel, as well as those that any Catholic would recognize: pastel portraits of the evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John on the building’s beams; a large painting of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus facing the pews, as well as a picture of her husband, St. Joseph.
Bishop Elias Zaidan, bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles, which is based in St. Louis, led the ceremony.
Mayor Francis Slay was on hand and presented Akiki with a key to the city, noting that wherever his ministry took him, he would always be welcomed back to St. Louis.
Richard Cullins, 27, a parishioner at the church, called the ordination “revolutionary.”
“I think the problems of the Catholic Church could very well be coming to an end tonight,” Cullins said. “It’s going to open the doors for so many people and bring people closer to God.”
Manal Kassab, who has been married to Akiki for about a decade, and their daughter, Perla, 8, were also present.
The couple are enrolled at the Aquinas Institute of Theology. Akiki previously attended Holy Spirit University in Lebanon and Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington.
Akiki had been a deacon at St. Raymond’s since 2009 and worked as the assistant to the bishop.
The Maronite Catholic Church, with roots in Lebanon and the Middle East, is part of a larger group of 22 Catholic churches belonging to the Eastern rite. Unlike the Orthodox Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic churches recognize the authority of the pope and are in communion with Rome.
In Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere, many Eastern Catholic priests are married, but since the 1920s the practice has generally been banned in the United States. Eastern Catholic churches that have sought to ordain a married man for priestly ministry in the U.S. have typically petitioned Rome for permission, though until recently, the Vatican response has usually been a resounding “no.”
Some wonder whether opening up priestly ordination to married men in the Eastern rite will swing the doors open for Roman Catholic men.
Adam Deville, a professor at the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind., who focuses on the Christian East, says the Maronite Church has traditionally taken a conservative stance on the issue of married priests in the U.S. and sees Akiki’s ordination as momentous.
It’s like conservative Republican politician Rick Santorum’s coming out in favor of gay marriage, Deville said.
The Maronite Church is “the most conservative and the least willing to rock the boat on this question,” said Deville. “If they can do it, anyone can do it.”
Ines Angeli Murzaku, a professor of church history in the Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, agrees that the ordination is significant but adds that she doesn’t think the move is “breathtaking and would mean an immediate lift of the ban.”
“It seems to me that the pope is responding ... on a case-by-case basis,” she said.
But Anthony Dragani, associate professor of religious studies at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pa., says many Eastern churches would rather sidestep the debate revolving around married Roman Catholic priests.
“We’d rather just stay out of it,” Dragani said. “The Roman Catholics can do their thing, and we want to be able to just maintain our own traditions.”
“I know Pope Francis wants to do everything he can to respect the traditions of the Eastern churches, and this would be a part of that.”
In St. Louis, in addition to St. Raymond’s Maronite Cathedral, there are several other Eastern Catholic churches, such as St. Mary’s Assumption Ukrainian Catholic Church and St. Louis Byzantine Catholic Mission.
In the early centuries of Christianity, it was common for priests to be married, though churches in both the East and West have always valued celibacy.
Over time it became the norm for priests in the West to remain unmarried, though that tradition never took hold in the Eastern churches. Catholic bishops, whether part of the Eastern or Latin rite, however, have always been expected to remain celibate, as are unmarried men who already serve as priests.
Some argue that the Roman Catholic Church has been reluctant to ordain married men for the priesthood not solely for theological reasons — such as the argument that an unwed priest is more like Jesus Christ himself — but for practical reasons as well.
Dragani of Mount Aloysius College, for example, points out that flexibility is demanded of priests in the Roman Catholic Church, where they are often moved around like chess pieces so they can care for different parishes. Supporting married Catholic priests is also more expensive.
There is, however, a little-known pastoral provision, created by Pope John Paul II in 1980, which has allowed married Episcopal priests to enter ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. Still, married Roman Catholic priests are the exception rather than the rule.
Akiki, for his part, said that without his family his ordination would not have been possible.
“I want to give myself completely to our Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.
The sheer weight of indignation and revulsion of most of Nigerian humanity at the recent Boko Harma atrocity in Yobe is most likely to have overwhelmed a tiny footnote to that outrage, small indeed, but of an inversely proportionate significance. This was the name of the hospital to which the survivors of the massacre were taken. That minute detail calls into question, in a gruesome but chastening way, the entire ethical landscape into which this nation has been forced by insensate leadership. It is an uncanny coincidence, one that I hope the new culture of ‘religious tourism’, spearheaded by none other than the nation’s president in his own person, may even come to recognize as a message from unseen forces.
For the name of that hospital, it is reported, is none other than that of General Sani Abacha, a vicious usurper under whose authority the lives of an elected president and his wife were snuffed out. Assassinations – including through bombs cynically ascribed to the opposition – became routine. Under that ruler, torture and other forms of barbarism were enthroned as the norm of governance.
To round up, nine Nigerian citizens, including the writer and environmentalist Ken Saro-wiwa, were hanged after a trial that was stomach churning even by the most primitive standards of judicial trial, and in defiance of the intervention of world leadership. We are speaking here of a man who placed this nation under siege during an unrelenting reign of terror that is barely different from the current rampage of Boko Haram. It is this very psychopath that was recently canonized by the government of Goodluck Jonathan in commemoration of one hundred years of Nigerian trauma.
It has been long a-coming. One of the broadest avenues in the nation’s capital, Abuja, bears the name of General Sani Abacha. Successive governments have lacked the political courage to change this signpost – among several others – of national self degradation and wipe out the memory of the nation’s tormentor from daily encounter. Not even Ministers for the Federal Capital territory within whose portfolios rest such responsibilities, could muster the temerity to initiate the process and leave the rest to public approbation or repudiation. I urged the need of this purge on one such minister, and at least one Head of State. That minister promised, but that boast went the way of Nigerian electoral boast. The Head of State murmured something about the fear of offending ‘sensibilities’. All evasions amounted to moral cowardice and a doubling of victim trauma. When you proudly display certificates of a nation’s admission to the club of global pariahs, it is only a matter of time before you move to beatify them as saints and other paragons of human perfection. What the government of Goodluck Jonathan has done is to scoop up a century’s accumulated degeneracy in one preeminent symbol, then place it on a podium for the nation to admire, emulate and even – worship.
There is a deplorable message for coming generations in this governance aberration that the entire world has been summoned to witness and indeed, to celebrate. The insertion of an embodiment of ‘governance by terror’ into the company of committed democrats, professionals, humanists and human rights advocates in their own right, is a sordid effort to grant a certificate of health to a communicable disease that common sense demands should be isolated.
It is a confidence trick that speaks volumes of the perpetrators of such a fraud. We shall pass over – for instance – the slave mentality that concocts loose formulas for an Honours List that automatically elevate any violent bird of passage to the status of nation builders who may, or may not be demonstrably motivated by genuine love of nation. Accordingly generalized but false attributes to known killers and treasury robbers is a disservice to history and a desecration of memory. It also compromises the future. This failure to discriminate, to assess, and thereby make it possible to grudgingly concede that even out of a ‘doctrine of necessity’ – such as military dictatorship - some demonstrable governance virtue may emerge, reveals nothing but national self-glorification in a moral void, the breeding grounds of future cankerworm in the nation’s edifice.
Such abandonment of moral rigour comes full circle sooner or later. The survivors of a plague known as Boko Haram, students in a place of enlightenment and moral instruction, are taken to a place of healing dedicated to an individual contagion – a murderer and thief of no redeeming quality known as Sani Abacha, one whose plunder is still being pursued all over the world and recovered piecemeal by international consortiums – at the behest of this same government which sees fit to place him on the nation’s Roll of Honour! I can think of nothing more grotesque and derisive of the lifetime struggle of several on this list, and their selfless services to humanity. It all fits. In this nation of portent readers, the coincidence should not be too difficult to decipher.
I reject my share of this national insult.
Professor Wole Soyinka, conscience of the nation, and Nobel laureate, sent in this contribution from Lagos.
A Ukrainian model who has cast herself as a real-life Barbie doll says she eventually hopes to live without eating or drinking.
Valeria Lukyanova, whose doll-like features and ultra-thin waist have stirred controversy in the past, has apparently made it her goal to survive "on air and light alone."
"In recent weeks I have not been hungry at all," Lukyanova said, according to the International Business Times. "I'm hoping it's the final stage before I can subsist on air and light alone."
The website linked that dietary desire to a New Age practice known as Breatharianism, in which followers neither neither eat nor drink, believing they can exist solely on "cosmic micro-food."
Lukyanova, who believes in reincarnation and claims to have been in contact with transdimensional beings, has said she uses her appearance to promote her "spiritual ideas."
But Jezebel.com maintains that Lukyanova is merely starving herself in order to maintain her dollish proportions.
Last year, a 65-year-old Seattle woman who went 47 days living only on water and tea, cited Breatharian yogis as her inspiration. Naveena Shine's goal was to maintain the extreme fast for 100 days, but she called it off after receiving what she called "a message from the universe that it is time to stop."
Commenting on Shine's case, Dr. Ronald Hoffman, medical director of the Hoffman Center and host of a weekly health talk podcast, told the Guardian that it is "delusional to think that you can escape the laws of biology."
At least one person has starved to death trying to adhere to a Breatharian regimen.
A pastor from a church in Dandora Phase 2 has ordered all female members to go to the church free -without bras and panties for Christ to enter their lives!
Rev. Njohi of Lord’s Propeller Redemption Church has advised female worshippers from wearing any undergarments to the church terming them as ungodly. In a meeting chaired by him, a law was passed banning the wearing of inner wears. Njohi claims that when going to church, people need to be free in ‘body’ and ‘spirit’ to receive Christ.
He went ahead to warn members of dire consequences if they secretly put on their inner wears. A member of the church who sought anonymity said that in last Sunday’s service, ladies were ngothaless and braless just as the pastor ordered.
Mothers were advised to do the same and check their daughters when coming to church on Sundays so as to receive Christ too.
What is really happening to our pastors?
-The Kenyan DAILY POST