As much as I'm totally bored by Christianity in general, and Anglicanism in particular, I must admit that I still have a soft spot for the personalities of my childhood faith. For example, I recently sent a word of congratulations to our family friend Peter Catt, formerly attached to Christ Church Cathedral in my native Grafton, now the newly-designated Dean of Brisbane.
In the tradition of the South African Anglican prelate Desmond Tutu, gentlemen of this kin can achieve political results. Today, the obvious target of African intellectuals and militants, including ecclesiastics, is the notorious 84-year-old Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
Ugandan-born John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, is a lovely man, maybe a little too peacock-like colorful for my tastes. He has just affirmed bravely in The Observer: "Mugabe and his henchmen must now take their rightful place in The Hague and answer for their actions. [...] The time has come for Mugabe to answer for his crimes against humanity, against his countrymen and women and for justice to be done. [...] The time to remove them from power has come. [...] The winds of change that once brought hope to Zimbabwe and its neighbours have become a hurricane of destruction with the outbreak of cholera, destitution, starvation and systemic abuse of power by the state. [...] In Uganda, we were beaten, tortured, abused and hundreds were murdered, but never did we starve to death or see the level of suffering which is to be found in today's Zimbabwe. [...] The people of Zimbabwe look to the international community, especially the SADC (regional southern African bloc), to heed the cries of their suffering and the voices of our own conscience. [...] The time for any negotiated settlement which leaves Mugabe and his regime in power is over."
Amen, my dear archbishop. And what does Australia's Kevin Rudd have to say about this Zimbabwe affair? When I was a youth, the people of Rhodesia were considered as our Commonwealth cousins. Were we thinking of the blacks or the whites? The latter, exclusively, I suspect.