Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Anglican call for action

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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Zealous missionary spirit

For ages, we white Australians have been going through a puzzled period of repentance concerning the terrible phenomenon of the so-called stolen generations of Aboriginal children who were removed from their families by government agencies for over a century, up until 1969. Missionaries of the most zealous (and dangerous) kind believe that their vision of the world is not only pure and perfect but unchallengeable, a dictate of faith. This is a nasty narrow-minded criterion, even in the best of circumstances. And stealing generations of indigenous children can hardly fit into the "best of circumstances" category. It was a national crime. A state-perpetrated crime. And national apologies to the Aboriginal people are long overdue.

In France, a fuckwit group of missionary zealots named Arche de Zoé, managed by Eric Bréteau and his mindless blonde bird named Emilie Lelouch, decided that any pretext was justifiable for extracting certain African children from their parental village environment and marketing them out to wealthy but naive French bourgeois do-gooders.

Late last night, an excellent TV documentary revealed the details of this affair. The proverbial truth of the matter, as I see it today, is that various zealots such as Bréteau and his accomplices were convinced that the current African environment in the vicinity of Darfur was essentially Bad, and that everything in metropolitan France was necessarily Good. So, the only way of easing the difficulties of African children was to airlift them into paradisiacal France. Now, not everybody (not me, in any case) would agree with this analysis. Most normal observers are convinced that African kids will be best brought up in their native Africa, even if they've lost parents and relatives through fighting.

Next week, the French judicial system will examine the case of these illuminated Arche de Zoé would-be life-savers of lives that were never crying out to be saved.