Love those who are foreignersThe 2nd Session of the 52nd Synod of the Diocese of Tasmania met a week ago.  There was a motion in my name dealing with the issue of asylum seekers.  It went through formally without debate and so I thought I’d include my intended speech here.

Here’s the motion:

THAT this Synod,

recognising our welcome with God freely given in Christ; and

understanding the call to reflect this with justice and compassion welcome to those who are aliens and strangers (Deut 10:19); and

affirming that the membership of the Anglican Church in Tasmania includes those who have sought asylum in Australia, having fled persecution in other places,

notes with concern significantly inhumane outcomes of the Government’s asylum seeker policy and its manner of implementation; and

requests the Bishop to write to the Minister for Immigration and Border Security, urging in the strongest possible terms that the Minister:

1) follows more closely the responsibilities and commitments made by Australia under the UN Convention on Refugees; and

2) refrains from the current actions in which immigrants and asylum seekers, including children and mothers, are incarcerated indefinitely and without due process; and

3) reverses the policy decision to offer temporary second-class safety in the form of Temporary Protection Visas, rather than the true refuge of permanent resettlement; and

4) allows proper and fulsome scrutiny of the actions of the Government with regard to asylum seekers.

And here’s what I would have said:
President,
I am moving Motion #17 in my name on the Business Paper.In the middle of next month Ms. Misha Coleman, the Executive Officer for the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce will be visiting Tasmania and holding a forum at the Cathedral. In preparation for her arrival I perused the Taskforce website to get it’s perspective on the issue of asylum seekers.The Taskforce describes its purpose like this:Drawing on core Christian values and traditions, the Taskforce is committed to offering a strong Christian moral voice into what has become a heated and hostile public debate fuelled by divisive political rhetoric and constantly changing policies.

Christian values, offering a strong moral voice, in the midst of a volatile debate.

It is worthy mission and articulates something of the intention of this motion. Motions such as this are not history-changing events. But they do record our voice, and articulate our values, and particularly so when saying nothing is no longer an option.

This motion records our voice in the following ways:

The first section articulates why we give voice on this issue. This issue engages with our very identity as followers of Christ: we are all in need of rescue, we are all in need of the gracious welcome of God. We speak as ones who have freely received.

Our voice is motivated by a clear call from God to reflect that same generosity and gracious welcome. Deuteronomy 10:19 is a call to “love those who are foreigners, because you yourselves were foreigners.”

Our voice is also motivated by collegiality. We are not talking in the abstract here. Those who are affected by the debates on asylum seekers are not just fellow humans, they are not just fellow Christians, they are literally members of the Anglican Church of Tasmania, parishioners with whom we share the grace of God in fellowship and sacrament.

I, and a number of others in this room, have had the privilege of worshipping, praying, and sharing with those who have come to this land as refugees, many of them by boat. Some of them are the same age as I was when I first immigrated – six years old or younger. I see their innocence, and their parents coping as best they can in a cross-cultural context with very little assistance, and I feel for them. But then I hear threats of them being deported, or sent indefinitely to Manus Island or Nauru…   And I become aware that these are not idle threats – that indeed there are around 1000 children in indefinite detention:  children who are just like my brothers and sisters, and I am e-motivated. And with my voice I want to say “Do not harm my brother, my sister.”

This motion notes that current asylum seeker policy has inhumane outcomes. This is not an idle consideration.

Within the last year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has noted, with respect to Nauru that “the policies, conditions and operational approaches” of the Regional Processing Centre

a) constitute arbitrary and mandatory detention under international law;
b) do not provide a fair, efficient and expeditious system for assessing refugee claims;
c) do not provide safe and humane conditions of treatment in detention; and
d) do not provide for adequate and timely solutions for refugees.

A similar conclusion is made with respect to Manus Island, and forms the context in which there has been a failure to protect asylum seekers, including Reza Barati who was tragically killed in February of this year.

More recently, with reference to the Human Rights Commission’s inquiry into children in detention, the President of the Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, spoke of the more than 300 children in detention on Christmas Island:

“The overwhelming sense is of the enormous anxiety, depression, mental illness but particularly developmental retardation,” she said.
“The children are stopping talking. You can see a little girl comes up to you and she is just staring at you but won’t communicate.”

In the light of all this, the motion asks the Bishop to exhort the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to do the following:

Firstly, to follow Australia’s commitments under the UN Convention on Refugees. This should go without saying. It is significant that it has to be said.

Secondly, to refrain from the practice of indefinite detention of anyone, but particularly with respect to the weakest and vulnerable. The term “due process” refers not just to the process of being assessed as a refugee – which itself takes too long – but to the fundamental principle by which we rightly limit the power of the State to lock people up.

Human Rights Barrister Jessie Taylori spoke at the Opening of the Legal Year service at the Cathedral in January about mandatory indefinite detention.  She informed us that under this policy, someone who has never been charged, tried, or convicted of any crime can be imprisoned for anything up to the term of their natural life. She spoke of her abhorrence as a person and as a lawyer. This motion echoes her voice.

Thirdly, the exhortation is for the minister to forgo the policy of Temporary Protection Visas. Temporary and limited refuge is not true refuge. It does not “love the foreigner” in our midst. It relegates people to an uncertainty and a restriction that prevents their life from being rebuilt.

Fourthly, the exhortation is for transparency and accountability with respect to the operation of immigration policies and the treatment of asylum seekers within Australia and in Australian-sponsored immigration centres.  This exhortation is sadly needed.  We have the “militarisation” of on-water activities, the prevention of the Human Rights Commissioner from visiting Nauru and Manus Island, and the abrogation of responsibilities to third countries and private companies. In the treatment of other human beings, we need to be above reproach, and this only happens by appropriate scrutiny.

I commend the motion to the Synod.

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with: , , ,

Link shared on facebook on May 27, 2014
Pokies are like reverse ATM machines, allowing people (many of whom are vulnerable), to “donate” cash to companies and to government revenues

The amount of cash ($100’s of millions) being pulled out of constructive circulation in Tasmania is astonishing. And that’s before you consider the tragedy that is the direct human cost.

It’s responsible gambling week by the way…

Vimeo is the home for high-quality videos and the people who love them.

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with: ,

Launching Missional CommunitiesI’ve finally read this book.  Those who know me will wonder why.  After all for many years I was the leader or a church plant that had the hallmarks of the “Missional Community” brand.  But at that time I hadn’t heard of the movement, although it was there amidst that heady of mix of the 00’s which sparked up buzzwords like Fresh Expressions, Emergent, Emerging, Reformission, and had voices that sounded like Graham Cray, Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Brian McLaren, and a bunch of others who tapped the Gen X energy as it came of age: as we set our sights, gritted our teeth, and pushed on with our vocation, irrespective of whether the baton had been passed on or not.

And we learned some things.  My wife and I certainly did.  Although we never got to writing them down.  We were (are?) too busy recovering.

But someone else did write them down.  And they wrapped them up in a phrase called “Missional Communities” and blew away some of the chaff, and distilled the principles.  And this handy little practical book is an excellent summation of it all.

The authors (Mike Breen & Alex Absalom) are clearly trying to avoid our natural tendency to fad-ism.  This is the danger of “Missional Communities” – that it becomes a program that is a hit in a few places, helpful in others, and fades quickly away everywhere.  Normally the only way to avoid this is steer away from the “how” and stick to articulating the principles.  But this is a “field guide” – they have to do both without collapsing the organic heart into some form of methodology.  They do a good, but imperfect, job at this.

They do a very good job at articulating some of the principles of missional communities.  This is the stuff that stirs my heart.

  • The term “Missional Community” encapsulates “mid-sized communities, led by laity, [which] are ‘lightweight and low maintenance’, and most often gather formally and informally numerous times a month in the groups’ missional context.’ (p18, see also p 124).  More importantly, it is this form of organic community that is most readily effective at growing the kingdom, particularly in the Western World.  It is small enough care, large enough to dare.
  • MC’s are organic and seek to tap into a “welling up” of a mutual passion.  But they remain deliberate, and holistically led.  They do this within and through a culture of discipleship.  This is the muscles of church leadership that is often ignored in favour of the administrative “bones” – leaving heavy carcasses that cannot move.   The “huddle” model of discipleship (I hate the term, but like the concept) incorporates both horizontal (peer) and vertical forms of discipleship.  The culture of “low control, high accountability” is essential, particularly in church systems which have become dominated by the line-management corporate-space idols of the last century.  Even the corporate sector is moving away from this, and the church remains stuck.  The authors quote from a Harvard Business Review article:

‘We have found that contrary to what many CEOs assume, leadership is not really about delegating tasks and monitoring results; it is about imbuing the entire workforce with a sense of responsibility for the business.’ They [the HBR authors] call this mutualism, whereby staff are measured against qualitative values such as trust, responsibility, and innovation. (p 55)

  • MC’s both express and encourage a cultural shift from static programs to dynamic mission.  Programs, demographics, models, professionalism, and decision-making processes remain important.  But such things become self-referential and stultifying.  Enlivening happens, rather, in transitioning processes, discernment, on-the-ground context awareness, passion and discipleship (see p26).  Such enlivening is naturally holistic and therefore naturally breaks down the secular/sacred divide and other curses of the Western church.
  • MC’s do not replace the “wider” church but are a natural structure within it, and a deliberative structure that can be embraced.  It embraces a “space” (p 42ff)  that has, historically, been absent from the church – that of the size of an “extended family.”  The church has operated in the “public space,” and since the advent of small group ministry, the “personal space” – it thus expresses “corporate” and “inidividual.” But it has ignored the “social space” – what Breen and Absalom call the oikos (household – p33) space – the “community” space which naturally connotes a longing for “belonging” in the Western world.
  • The outward movement of MC’s relies on discernment and discipleship before it relies on strategy and management.  Absalom and Breen make reference to “Persons of Peace” (p 38) as the hub of their mission dynamic.  This relies on the Holy Spirit to bring about the natural connection points where the gospel will find traction.  MC leaders are discipled as they are encouraged to exercise this discernment.  It is naturally “organic” and:

the church grows best through natural organic relationships, rather than through institutional structures. The invigorating part of the Person of Peace strategy is that it stops mission being yet another thing to cram into our busy lives. (p 39)

There are many chunks of wisdom throughout the book.  Many of these articulate some of the things that have been unearthed in my own practical experience.  e.g. The “out” of mission builds community and grows the church – “There is nothing like shared battle stories (and battle scars!) to enhance a community’s sense of togetherness, so the very action of going out in mission strengthens the group’s life with one another” (p 32).  The practicalities articulated in the latter are the same – how to exercise a teaching ministry in such a context, the role of children at the missional front, venues for meeting, smaller groups within the larger group, the manner of exercising pastoral and practical care:  these are questions that we have had to wrestle with over the years and have arrived at similar conclusions.

While many of the points in the book were articulations that expressed something I already knew (even if I hadn’t articulated it yet), I was still extended.  The chapter on “spaces” (p42) has some good things to explore for teasing through what the role of the “Sunday” church is and how the organic messiness of MC’s can still be made coherent and coordinated.  Breen and Absalom talk about “minster” models and I particularly appreciate the recognition of the celebratory (worship) and commissioning/apostolic role of the centre.

There are parts of the book that don’t resonate with me.  I am not convinced by their launch strategy of pilot MC followed by “launch Sunday” and the implied wholesale of converting an entire church to participation in MC’s.  Perhaps the quote from Machiavelli (p 78) warned me off!  For me their launch strategy cuts across the “welling up” “organic” nature that is the life of the whole thing.  I think it would be better to start with discipleship – that is, begin by discipling the leaders of “MC” size groups that already exist, or of leaders that have a passion for an outward mission that has some legs, and encourage, train and release them.  This “infection” method of cultural change is in my experience much more effective, reduces unnecessary risk of disillusionment, and avoids the fad-ism.

Similarly, the “Growing your MC” section (p109) seems to speak more to the tools of the trade than to the heart of the matter.  The variation of the Engel’s scale that is employed leans more towards those on the fringe (and the People of Peace) being treated as targets in themselves, rather than objects of genuine love.  Like other tools (e.g. Bolt’s Mission-Minded) there is no natural space for worship and communal adoration and runs the risk of making the mission of the Missional Community overly-utilitarian in nature.

The whole thing still excites me though.  This vision of how the church can be still gets a “Yes and Amen” from my slightly less youthful lungs.  And the various forms of ecclesial inertia that frustrate this vision now sadden me more than frustrate me.  The long goodbye of the non-missional church is almost upon us.  We will grieve and bury our parents, and help to launch our children.  And Christ will be known in our season.

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with: , , ,

Sistine FingersAnonymous asks: Does God need us?

The short answer is, “No.”

The long answer is, “It depends what you mean by ‘need.'”

God does not need us ontologically, that is in order to be himself.  This is actually a key component of how we conceived of God as Trinity.  God, by definition, is perfect.  But it is impossible for a unitarian God to have relationship until that God creates something – the creature can then be seen to add/complete/perfect that God in some way.  But if God is Father who eternally and perfectly pours himself out in perfect love into a perfect and complementary reflection of himself you have the basis of the “God in three persons” which in some sense is to understand “God as relationship.”  A Trinitarian God does not need his creatures in order to perfectly incorporate relationship.  His creation of us is therefore an act of grace, a gift, not an act of necessity or self-exploration on his part.

God does not need us practically, that is in order to do what he wants to do.  This is pretty clear.  God, being God, can do whatever he likes.  He can create the heavens and the earth and doesn’t need our help.  He can reveal himself to patriarchs and prophets, and doesn’t need our help.  He can move mountains and quicken and harden hearts, and doesn’t need our help.  All these actions speak of a God who graciously choose to create, sustain, and even intervene in his creation.  This is a grace, a gift to us, and not an act of obligation on his part.

There’s a pattern here – it’s not about “need”, it’s about grace.

And one of the aspects of that grace is that God chooses to no only relate to us, but to lead us, guide us, and, yes, to work through us.  So much so that he binds himself to us which not only affirms his humility, but also affirms that we are indeed made in the image of God, through whom divine works can occur.  And so God achieves his project through a human.  He even achieves salvation through a human.  That perfect and creative outpouring of God the Father – i.e. God the Son – became, is and will ever more be a human being.  He is a human being through whom God has worked his most magnificent work, and through whom we are called to also be, like Jesus, obedient to God, empowered by his Spirit, and achieving the works of his kingdom.

Are we needed for that task?  In some sense, yes, but not out of necessity, only because God is both gracious and sovereign.

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with: , ,

Link shared on facebook on May 25, 2014
For the Stetzer quote:

“I am going to go out on a limb and say that one of the biggest causes of a lack of authenticity in churches today is when a church values excellence over honesty. OK–there–I said it. Excellence can be an authenticity killer. […] When our desire to appear excellent or polished outweighs our desire to be seen as broken, fallen sinners in desperate need of God’s redemptive gift of grace, there is a real problem. […] What will it take? One leader willing to be vulnerable can bring a sense of freedom to a congregation caged by fear.” (Lost and Found, 204).

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with: , ,

Link shared on facebook on May 15, 2014
It’s like a reverse Godwin’s Law or something….

alexschadenberg.blogspot.com
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, a blog about euthanasia, assisted suicide, elder abuse, end-of-life care, palliative care. Most recent articles and news from around the world.

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with: ,

Pedagogy of the OppressedIt’s a classic that I’ve not had the opportunity to read.  Others will be familiar with the Brazilian author, Paulo Freire, and will be able to do a better job than I in placing him in the social volatility and the fomenting revolutionary thought of South America in the late 20th Century.  You know, Che Guevara and all that.

My reasons for picking it up are different:  It was partly due to an interlocutor on the internet who “encouraged” me to read it (I think as a defence of his position, which is strange because I don’t think Freire would approve of either his manner or method); but it was mostly due to my ongoing search for understanding as to the warps and wefts of Western political philosophy, and particularly that of progressive politics.

The reading of this book has brought me to two conclusions:

  1. Western progressives do revolution really really badly.
  2. Church (in the right mode) has the potential to  do revolution (transformation?) really really well, as an expression of God’s project (= mission).

These are the matter of substance, and my ready point of application throughout the book.

Freire is an educator, and this is a pedagogy, a method or theory of teaching.  The focus in this book is the context of an oppressed class within an oppressive societal framework.  The implicit goal of the book is to so educate the oppressed that they are no longer that.

But this does not mean freeing the oppressed as just an exchange of places within the oppressive regime – the oppressed learns to “win” at the oppression game, so to speak – but towards a revolution that doesn’t just eliminate the oppressor, but the oppression itself.  If there were a broad brush-stroke critique of Western progressives from this book it is this – they are seeking to win the oppressing game, not transcend it; Western progressivism looks more like sectarianism – a reaction against “conservative” than anything that is likely to bring freedom and bring life.

Even in his initial broad terms, contemporary Western progressivism falls afoul of Freire’s fundamental pedagogical project – the promotion of dialogical interaction, and the eschewing of objectifying didacticism.  That is, there is no seeking to engage, there is a “telling what to do” in which a supposed “alignment with the oppressed” is grounds for pontification by a growing elite.

…a sectarian of whatever persuasion, blinded by his irrationality, does not (or cannot) perceive the dynamic of reality – or else he misinterprets it. (Page 17)

This is the error of both Left and Right.  It’s just that the Right are blind to others, and the Left are blind to themselves.  Freire wants, rather, the “radical”:

The radical, committed to human liberation, does not become the prisoner of a ‘circle of certainty’ within which he also imprisons reality.  On the contrary, the more radical he is, the more fully he enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he can transform it.  He is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled.  He is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into dialogue with them.  He does not consider himself the proprietor of history or of men, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he does commit himself, within history, to fight at their side. (Pages 18-19)

This radicalism is at the heart of Freire’s pedagogy (and therefore his revolution).  Like all good revolutionary theories, it is applicable at the small scale (in families, communities, church growth theories!) to the large scale (cultural revolution).  It achieves this by being thoroughly humanistic, in the good sense of the word – engaged in the “humanisation” (we might say “flourishing”) that liberates both oppressed and oppressor, through transformation of both lives and the historical contextual surroundings of those lives.

As I progressed through Pedagogy I realised that some of the concepts were familiar; in my world they are picked up in movements such as that of Missional Communities that are inherently dialogical in their mechanism and transformative (revolutionary?) in their intention. Moreover, there is a necessarily similar attitude with regard to their method.  We might say “discipleship” –  Freire talks about a pedagogy that must be “forged with, not for, the oppressed” (Page 25).  His is a method in which the oppressed find themselves, and therefore find that the surrounding system is reliant upon them, dependent on them, indeed, found “within” them – and is therefore graspable, changeable, and transformable.

There are even some common words to describe this means of transformation – action-reflection.  For the church leader, this is the fundamental building block of discipleship.  For Freire, it is the fundamentals of effective political action.  I don’t think the too are mutually exclusive.

Attempting to liberate the oppressed without their reflective participation in the act of liberation is to treat them as objects which must be saved from a burning building; it is to lead them into the populist pitfall and transform them into masses which can be manipulated.  At all stages in their liberation, the oppressed must see themselves as men engaged in the ontological and historical vocation of becoming more fully human…

The insistence that the oppressed engage in reflection on their concrete situation is not a call to armchair revolution.  On the contrary, reflection – true reflection – leads to action.  On the other hand, when the situation calls for action, that action will constitute an authentic praxis only if its consequences become the object of critical reflection. (Page 41)

In the face of progressive (and other) politics that slip into sloganeering (imposing and asserting a predetermined culture, rather than walking with the people – oppressed and asleep alike – to allow them to discover, and act upon, the truth) here is an incentive for gospel-hearted people and the church.  It is a thoroughly biblical framework of acting in the world, and reflecting it.  The “reflection” aspect that is the natural locus of the church at work brings orthodoxy to practice and so foments and encourages and validates orthopraxy – right, revolutionary, world-changing actions.  This is the stuff of discipleship.

The rest of Freire’s book flows from this basis.  In particular, his further work applies to the “teacher” or “leader” in the revolutionary context.  This is invaluable for those engaged in church and the Western World.  Freire’s force is to move leaders/teachers away from imposition and “bank deposit” teaching to dialogical teaching based on problem-solving – not mere academic problems, but problems in reality – in which reality itself mediates the disjointed approaches and different perspectives that are brought.

Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information…  Indeed, problem-posing education, breaking the vertical patterns characteristic of banking education, can fulfill its function of being the practice of freedom only if it can overcome the [teacher-student] contradiction.  Through dialogue, the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist and a new term emerges: teacher-student with students-teachers… The become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow…  Here, no one teaches another, nor is anyone self-taught (Page 53)

This is an image that is antagonistic to much Western progressivism, which has become expert at “talking down.”  But it is a wonderfully pastoral image that should be (but often isn’t of course) naturally embraced by church leadership.  In fact, Freire remarks on the qualities of such a leadership – “love” (page 62), “humility” (page 63), “faith” albeit of a humanistic sort (page 63), “trust” (page 64), “hope” (page 64), and “critical thinking” (page 64).  These are not the hallmarks of Western progressivism, or the manner of rhetoric deployed in progressive politics in recent times.  They should heed Freire:

Manipulation, sloganizing, ‘depositing’, regimentation, and prescription cannot be components of revolutionary praxis, precisely because they are the components of of the praxis of domination.” (Page 97)

Consider the emotive manipulation in the euthanasia debate, the sloganeering in every debate reduced to the cry of “bigot”, the regimentation needed to keep people “on message” and away from dialoguing about reality, and the tools of anti-discrimination law and other litigiousness to win the day.  This is progressive politics at the moment.  And it is oppressive.

When Freire talks about the anti-dialogical methods of “conquest” (page 109), “divide and rule” (page 111), “manipulation” (page 116), and “cultural invasion (page 116) – I think not only of the domination of the currently entrenched conservatives, but on the equal readiness for domination on the left.  In the last few years of the political arc, people ran to what they thought was freedom, got imposition and “cultural invasion” and have run back.  We live in an endless cycle of back and forth between two ends of the same oppression.

Towards the end Freire puts forward dialogical motivators – “cooperation” (page 135), “unity for liberation” (not for it’s own sake, note) (page 140), “organisation” (page 143), and, of most interest to me, “cultural synthesis” (page 146).

Here is the DNA of Christian mission – being in the world but not of it, not imposing, nor ignoring, nor objectifying, but incarnatingparticipating, engaging

In cultural synthesis, the actors who come from ‘another world’ to the world of the people do so not as invaders.  They do not come to teach or to transmit or to give anything, but rather to learn, with the people, about the people’s world…  the actors become integrated with the people, who are co-authors of the action that both perform upon the world… there are no spectators; the object of the actors’ action is the reality to be transformed for the liberation of men.

Cultural synthesis is thus a mode of action for confronting culture itself, as the preserver of the very structures  by which it was formed.  Cultural action, as historical action, is an instrument for superseding the dominant alienated and alienating culture.  In this sense, every authentic revolution is a cultural revolution. (page 147)

I don’t see any of that in progressive (or conservative) politics.  I just see more and more self-made people, imposing their world-view.

It isn’t surprising, because in the end I don’t think Freire’s project is possible without divine intervention.  It relies on rehumanising, rebirthing, regenerating, reengaging.  And these are, without doubt, gospel applications and divine imperatives.

God help us.

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with: , , ,

Link shared on facebook on May 11, 2014
I had the opportunity to talk to one of the Amnesty Int. Australia officeholders who was here for the AGM.

She waved off the controversy on prostitution as comparable to an earlier AI debate on capital punishment.

The difference is, of course, that both sides of the capital punishment debate could arguably be made to work with the core purposes of AI – it was just a matter of scope.

But on this issue… if I wanted to advance the cause of advancing freedoms and combatting wrongful imprisonment, why on earth would I lend my support to a group that would be happy to see prostituted women legally bound to oppressing men?

It is an utterly discordant and indicative of a tendency in the West for the baby-boomer virtuous organisations to be taken over by cynicism in their old age.

melindatankardreist.com
Statements from NORMAC and Abolish Prostitution Now following Amnesty state AGMs on weekend NORDIC MODEL AUSTRALIA COALITION (NORMAC) Media

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with: , , , ,

Here is the best transcript I can find of the open letter written by the PNG Governor Powes Parkop to the PNG Foreign Minister and to the Australian High Commissioner in PNG.

He says it as it is.

“This is an Australian practice which we should guard ourself against. We are a compassionate nation and people known for our hospitality and compassion reaching out to people in hardship, distress or seeking comfort. We are also a nation and people who proclaim to be christian.

It is therefore repugnant to our traditional and contemporary culture and to our christian values to keep such people in near prison like environment.”

www.twitlonger.com
TwitLonger is the easy way to post more than 140 characters to Twitter

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with: , ,

 

CloudsSometimes there is a darkness
In the wind that blows each day.
Small diseases of imperfections
Buzzing mozzies of brokenness
Limits, barriers, bumps in the road.
Drives you crazy.

But also, annoyingly, peace
And promise
And “get up and go”
And “push on regardless”
When faith is a casting of life to the wind.

 

image_pdfimage_print
Tagged with:
image_pdfimage_print