Abolitionist Sunday

This past Sunday was ‘Abolitionist Sunday’. If that name is totally foreign to you, you might do well to start here: Abolitionist Sunday (World Vision Australia).

Basically, it’s all about challenging the Church to take seriously the issues involved with modern-day slavery and, very importantly, to do something about it. Now, although these issues are becoming more well-known, many people are surprised to find out that slavery still exists in the world today – genuine, bona fide, proper slavery.

Unfortunately, it’s true.

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Let the Light Shine In: The Royal Commission

Much has been said already in the week since Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her intention to ask the Governor General to establish a Royal Commission into institutional responses to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia.

I want to offer here just a few thoughts about what I think is important to remember throughout this process.

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Humanising Politics

Bouncing out of my last post on creative nonviolence, I’ve been thinking some more about the importance of treating one’s “enemy” as fully human.

This may sound a little bit silly because, unless we’re into wrestling grizzly bears (which I don’t recommend, by the way), of course we realise that we are usually locked in battles (especially of the political variety) with other human beings.

However, though we may know this at one level, it seems to me that so many situations escalate into violence of some kind simply because of a basic failure to fully appreciate the humanity of the other, and therefore a failure to acknowledge the dignity and respect that should necessarily be foundational to any interaction.

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