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Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Urban Seed got 'Bolted'

Well, Andrew Bolt has done it again.
That commentator of reactionary right-winged vitriol has spoken out on what he sees as the scourge of left-winged tree huggers.

In his sites, the stop G20 group and Urban Seed (part of Collins St Baptist Church).
In response to their 'Bolting' Marcus Curnow, of Urban Seed has written a letter to Mr Bolt outlining why he as a Christian is involved in the process of the 'stop G20' campaign.

Bolt's article can be found here, but it is basic Bolt drivel. He believes the stop G20 campaign is being run by young lefties who support North Korea and are so simple minded and idealistic that they believe if everyone worked in a communal vegie garden everything would be ok. It is great to see his attempt at discrediting any opposing ideas to his own, he really is a master in that field.

Marcus' article can be found here and is a must read for any Christian considering why you should or shouldn't be involved in social activism.

I will just highlight a couple of the points that he makes:
Our inspiration, Jesus of Nazareth, copped guilt by association for those with whom he ate and was ultimately crucified under the false charge that he would destroy the temple (read: economic system) of his day. It was a false charge because, I believe, Jesus knew that in the end the “temple” would destroy itself (and I would suggest any system of economics that becomes an “–ism” always does!) All he did was predict it. Of great concern to him were the victims it would take with it. He was also concerned with how people could begin to imagine and practice an economics of “enough” for all.

Of course, creative protest and civil disobedience are also tools of nonviolence and essential to healthy democracy. From a Christian perspective, blockades formed part of the strategy of Jesus. Indeed, he wasn’t above a little symbolic property damage and blockading in order to make the point that our “light giving” structures are never divinely permanent. He taught that the real light that is produced by an economic system can’t be measured by satellites in the sky. For the “Son of Man”, the real temples of worship are our bodies. The ultimate source of light is found in people, especially the poor.

Urban Seed has been supportive of those seeking to place debt relief, fair trade, and more and better aid higher on the agenda of the finance ministers at the G20. Yet, while pursuing the Millenium Development Goals will produce many important outcomes for the poor, they will not “Make Poverty History”, especially if tacked uncritically upon the back of this system. Unfortunately the need to keep a broad based, celebrity driven, anti poverty campaign “feel good” and positive for the media means that hard truth’s can be inadvertently glossed over. That we in the global North must also “make the poverty of affluence history” is a much harder message to “sell”.

Far from escapist, I would contend that the witness of this Spirit in action through small, often misunderstood groups of people, from Jesus, to the early church and throughout history, is that love can and will, time and time again, make capitalism impossible and communism unnecessary.

God’s light is spread, but not through organisational establishments or structural systems. It is spread like a disease – through bodies, through touch, through breath. It is spread by people infected with love. At Credo Café, capitalists learn how to do dishes and socialists learn how to fund things and we all learn how to love our enemies. Come and join us sometime as we break bread, confess our arrogance and remind ourselves of Christ’s body broken in the world. We know this as the Economy of God and its lighting up the entire world!
Jesus shared his last meal with a capitalist, a terrorist, and some self-employed representatives of the fishing industry who were obviously dissatisfied enough to down tools (at least for a time). Taking bread, he broke it as a symbol of solidarity with bodies broken by our systems, and of the ultimate power of self sacrificing love. (Talk about anti-competitive behavior!)

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