Tim Costello on faith and political power

The Australian government’s treatment of asylum seekers in recent years has been appalling. What is also appalling is the government’s latest cut in foreign aid. The cut will mean that Australia will slip to the 19th position in aid in the 2016/2017 financial year, even though Australia is the fourth richest nation in the world (according to the article below).

The Baptist minister and CEO of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello, has written an article today (5th January 2015) regarding the current Coalition government, which has many Christians in the Cabinet.

Here are some excerpts from the article.

Despite ignorant populism that aid is wasted, the opposite is true; it is a runaway success. It saves lives through immunisation and clean water and gives girls an education, a chance for a better life. And it is not trade alone that has lifted people out of poverty. The halving of infant death rates over the past 20 years – from 30,000 kids under five years old dying a day to 17,000 today – has been as great in landlocked sub-Saharan Africa nations …

Christians believe the resurrection of Jesus brings not only forgiveness of sins but also liberation for the down-trodden and God’s promised justice for the poor and oppressed. Pope Francis has further attacked “savage capitalism” that allows inequality to grow; with profits flowing to the richest and the poor are abandoned.

History has recorded the inescapable transmogrifying of faith once it is married to political power. The typical solution of the devout politician is to privatise faith and truncate the Gospel so it only addresses the personal dimension of forgiveness of sins, with the social dimension contracted out to market technocrats. Worse, Christianity is diluted to some conservative moral principles that act as cultural glue to support the state sometimes in its worst nationalistic chauvinisms …

The article can be found by clicking here or here.

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