CONGRATULATIONS on the thought-provoking articles in last week’s edition which are both timely and relevant and which had a common thread throughout. All quotations used here are from CL 16/9/01.
‘Fighting racism is back on the global agenda’, and we can add terrorism from what has happened in New York. Freedom and democracy are very fragile and as Sir Gerard Brennan put it, ‘Liberty and equality are estimable values, but absolute liberty can be the enemy of equality and absolute equality would demand the curtailing of liberty’.
Well might global ideologists bear this in mind in the distribution of goods between the rich and poor which is at the root of the racism and terrorism in the world today. Globalisation and technological advances are threatening new forms of racism against the poor and the disadvantaged in all groups in every society throughout the world.
Extreme capitalism will have the same fate as communism and produce the same hardships and man’s inhumanity to man if there isn’t dialogue between the rich and poor. The Pope has pointed this out some time ago but Catholics must stand up in the political arena and be counted if they have Christian values.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Vatican representative at the recent World Conference Against Racism, called on participants, ‘to affirm the rights of all migrants, regardless of immigration status, and that this affirmation must include broad outlines on how governments should apply these rights. Today the migrant, especially one who comes from a different cultural background, can easily become the object of racial discrimination, of intolerance, of exploitation and of violence’.
Racism, violence, immigration, employment, etc are moral issues not poll-driven issues as politicians are wont to believe and abuse. Morality is not a matter of numbers; it is a question of values.
Australia has tried over the past 30 years to shed its assimilationist and White Australia Policy in favour of multiculturalism but it has a long way to go. Evangelisation, ecumenism and social justice are top priorities for every Christian living in the 21st century.
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