Friday, 18 May 2012

Newsletter Reflection for Sunday 20th May 2012: Doing the Time Warp

Good morning,
ABC News Photo of stand-off between police and protesters.

As some of you may know, I’ve been quite unwell this week.  That probably explains what’s been going on.  Maybe I’ve been hallucinating, or at least I hope I’ve been hallucinating.

You see, part-way through the week, I was convinced I’d fallen through some sort of time warp back to the early 1980s.  There were police out in force breaking up an Aboriginal protest in Musgrave Park.  There was a listener calling in to ABC radio to say he believed in “terra nullius,” that Aboriginal people never owned any part of Australia. There was an Aboriginal activist complaining about the government allowing an expansion of uranium mining on indigenous lands.  There was the chant from the 80s “always was, always will be Aboriginal land”.  Of course, this is the 21st century, and we’ve all learned the lessons of the past. We’ve had sorry days, and a Prime Ministerial apology to the stolen generation. We all understand each other better. None of this could really be happening now. Equally, I must have imagined that our newly-elected premier, in his maiden speech to parliament, would have paid tribute to a previous premier who presided over one of the most intolerant, and corrupt, periods of our state’s history.
ABC News Photo.

Queensland has a very sad history when it comes to loving our neighbour.  It seems that much of the intolerance and resentment has not gone away, just simmered under the surface of society.  It is exactly this kind of intolerance and resentment that Jesus addresses when he tells us not only to love our neighbour but also to love our enemy.

I hope and pray that Queenslanders really do understand love and acceptance, and that this unfortunate week is just an aberration.

Grace and peace

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