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Monday, April 03, 2006

Owning up and going from there

Boyd over at Non-violent Jesus has a great post on what we - and particularly those of the we who are Christians - should be doing. His post is out of the USA and relates to that nation's involvement in the war on Iraq. Miss Eagle has long advocated similar principles in Australia in relation to this nation's handling of reconciliation with the people of the First Nations and in the matter of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigration policies.

" 'Fess up!", Miss Eagle says. Come to grips with the truth about ourselves, our actions, our motivations. Then - and only then - can we move forward into new and creative policies and solutions. Christians, if we are worth our salt - or, as the good news says, if we are the salt which has not lost its taste and flavour - should stop shilly-shallying and being mealy-mouthed and lead the way in this direction. The principles espoused can be used on a number of fronts.

  1. Honesty, self-criticism, confession.
  2. Contrition, repentance, making amends, setting things right.
  3. Reformation in our actions and ways of doing things. New actions. New attitudes.

These are principles that can be taken onto a number of fronts. Not only in the matter of war and peace. Not only in the matter of asylum seekers and hospitality. But also in the matter of the new workplace legislation. Miss Eagle has said harsh words, particularly about the Howard Government, in all this. But if Miss Eagle is to be honest, the most satisfactory result for all with justice for all - employers, employees, business and community - will involve reconciliation. And Miss Eagle has to say that the state jurisdictions - at least the one in which she worked in Queensland - have strong conciliaton processes, and the word 'conciliation' is in the title of the governing industrial relations tribunal.

But - most Christians sitting in pews do not seem to have a clue about industrial relations or the issues involved. In most parishes or congregations of most denominations, industrial relations is barely a blip on the agenda. In fact, some denominations have poor track records themselves in industrial relations. Yet the current state of industrial relations in this nation has the capacity to rend asunder community values and traditions with no significant benefit or enrichment to either. So, in the name of Christ, Christians, what are you doing?