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Saturday, October 02, 2004
 
Questioning our commitment ::

U2's Bono did a speech to the British labour party conference, if the BBC report is accurate it was a rousing performance. The subject - the poverty of Africa - is dear to me, so here are some paragraphs:
Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.
Because there's no way we can look at Africa - a continent bursting into flames - and if we're honest conclude that it would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else.
Anywhere else. Certainly not here. In Europe. Or America. Or Australia, or Canada.
There's just no chance....
You see, deep down, if we really accepted that Africans were equal to us, we would all do more to put the fire out.
That's telling it like it is. Amen. The grinding inescapable poverty of most of black Africa (is South Africa the only exception?) where more die daily from the inability to afford medical care, than in the Iraqi bombing and firefights, is a silent scandal. The heartrending sadness of the Dark Continent only touches Westerners when one of the many civil wars produces striking and televisable tragedy or cruelty. The quotidian oppression of poverty doesn't make it to our screens.
It seems to me, the lethargy and indifference that we apply to Africa, does indeed question the commitment of Western Christians to the God of the Bible!


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