Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Refugees


Whenever debate heats up regarding asylum seekers and the jumps on board to create a stir I'm always drawn back to the second verse of Australia's national anthem.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands,
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands.
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share

With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair

I'm not sure how many Australian's know the second verse or have spent time thinking about the values that it reflects. I wonder if when they do think about those lines in the middle "For those who've come across the seas, we've boundless plains to share..." they automatically make rules and exceptions. For those who've come across the seas... on cruise ships or planes and who are white or English speaking. We've boundless plains to share... if you are a skilled worker and can answer a trivia quiz... People seem to be quick to judge asylum seekers and even quicker to forget our own history- Australia's beginnings come from people travelling across the seas, many for reasons that are a lot less honourable then those of asylum seekers.

It is not illegal for people to seek asylum. "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution." (Article 14.1 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948) While they may not be granted refugee status in the end they should be able to seek protection.

For more thoughts on refugees and asylum seekers check out this blog post by Scott Vawser, More Boat People. It reflects much of my thinking.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A challenge for the church


This morning for the first time in my memory the topic of justice was spoken about from the pulpit. There were things spoken about that may have made people uncomfortable or that not everyone would agree with but the core message could not be ignored.

A couple of key points that were raised:

* Justice and righteousness can not be separated. You can not be right with God and ignore justice.
*Righteousness leads to action. As Christians we need to be active in the fight against injustice.

Many practical examples were given of the ways in which we could be practical in fighting for justice. I was cheering Blake (the pastor) along the whole way. It is exciting to be a part of a church were justice has been added as a core value. I am optimistic that it can be more then just rhetoric.

To listen to the message, download it from here: York St message downloads



Image: Eritrean refugees in Sudan by daveblume

Friday, October 23, 2009

I might be brainwashing him...


My Dearest has a heart for those who are hurting and vulnerable, but even he rolls his eyes at me sometimes when I'm on my soapbox. Today though he sent me a link to this blog post:



The MasterCard Commercial I’d Like To See
by Jim Moss :: Filed Under Special Topics :: December 6th, 2008 @ 12:26 am EST



Amount spent each year in Europe and the United States on pet food: $17 billion
Cost per year to achieve basic health and nutrition for the entire world: $13 billion

Amount spent on perfumes each year: $12 billion
Clean water for all the world: $9 billion

Amount spent on cosmetics in the US: $8 billion
Basic education for the world’s children: $6 billion

Total amount the US spends on Christmas each year: $450 billion (or 16 years worth of food, water, and education for the world)

Initial cost of the US Government bailout of failing financial institutions: $700 billion (or 25 years worth of food, water, and education for the world)

Coming to grips with the alarming disconnects of our consumerist society: Priceless


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Venting


Dear Friends,

I don’t mean to stir up trouble and my intention is not to make you feel uncomfortable but I just have a couple of questions on my mind. You see I’m a little puzzled and confused for your actions seem to contradict your words.

Why is it that you declare your passion for fighting poverty and injustice but avoid taking any action?

How can you sing “break my heart for what breaks yours” in worship, yet ignore the need on your doorstep?

Why is that you can’t afford to contribute money or resources to people in need but you can afford a new tv, car or phone?

What does it mean when you say that you want to be like Jesus but avoid stepping out of your comfort zone to reach out to those who are vulnerable?

When you say that you don’t have time or that your priorities such as family and work stop you from really getting involved the way you’d like, do those things also stop you from playing sport, seeing friends or spending hours on facebook?

So I guess I’m just wondering how serious you are when you say these things.

I got my hopes up when I thought that I had found others who cared about the big issues as much as I do, but once again I’m standing here on my own feeling like I’m the odd one out for caring too much.


Em


So I'm a bit frustrated at the moment and thought I would get some of it of my chest. This open letter is not directed at any one person, just a collection of thoughts.

A neglected blog is a bad blog...

and I'm afraid I don't have any excuses beyond the normal ones. I've missed a whole bunch of significant days on the social justice calendar and I can't believe how I possibly posted so much this time last year.

On a good note...

My year 12's have finished...
I'm on my intra semester break for uni...
I'm feeling much better after being sick for the last few weeks....

I think I'm back on board.