John Lilburne's journal about the 6th day and Father Brian Gore's speech on Background Briefing.
 

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1151 K Tue 2 Oct 2001

Back to class last night with the Church in Asia.

At home I watched a DVD "The 6th Day" with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The title refers to Genesis 1:24-31 ... "God said "Let us make man in our own image"." It deals with interesting issues of biotechnology and cloning. There are also interesting metaphysical issues of identity, with people dying and being remade. It is set in the future, so also interesting uses of technology.

One is identification systems -- thumb prints are scanned. The last page in today's Australian quotes Larry Ellison: "We need a national ID card with our photograph and thumbprint digitised and embedded in the ID card ...". The editorial talks about the same issue.

Terror threat requires some compromises

... Stronger identification procedures are another potential weapon. We hated the Australia Card concept when it was floated in the 1980s. But public attitudes towards privacy have changed since September 11.

A few days ago I looked up Background Briefing for 9 September. It had a speech by Father Brian Gore about the problem of debt in the Third World. I have been thinking about it for a few days, worrying about it. Here is the conclusion of his speech:

I think that's our job, to make the ordinary person so outraged that this becomes not only a voting issue, but it becomes an issue for which we are willing to sort of maybe put our life on the line, somehow. So let's call for (they mightn't heed it, but we can at least say it anyway) let's call for a new class of crimes against humanity, let's keep pressuring them and saying, 'Hey, what you are doing is worse than Slobodan Milosovech, it's worse than what happened in the Holocaust, because you're killing these people as surely as you're taking a gun and pushing it to the head. In fact using a gun might be more humane. Quicker and humane, to put people out of their suffering.' I'm not advocating that of course, but this idea that it's not violence, the violence of inaction, the violence of saying 'Oh, we can't do anything about it'. That is violence, and therefore we have to make that language very, very clear. So let's stand together and let's make our fellow Australians and ourselves uncomfortable and say, 'Yes, we must do something about it. There is an urgency because death and suffering is there around us.' Thank you very much.

I agree debt is a problem. I accept what the Catechism says: "Those whose usurious and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is imputable to them." (CCC 2269).

But I do not agree "it's worse than what happened in the Holocaust". I do not agree with the approach of simply making people outraged.

Last year I heard Cardinal George (from Chicago) give a speech. He was given an emotional situation of a poor village having to choose between a well and a school. I was impressed with his response, which I recall as: "In a just world they would not have to choose between a well and a school. But we do not live in a just world. The questions is what are you going to do about it."

I think what some people decided to do about it was hijack aeroplanes and fly them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. In Osama bin Ladin's 1998 interview he said:

... Also, by testimony of relief workers in Iraq, the American led sanctions resulted in the death of over 1 million Iraqi children.
     All of this was done in the name of American interests. We believe that the biggest thieves in the world and the terrorists are the Americans. The only way for us to fend off these assaults is to use similar means. ...

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 2 October 2001.

 

 

Links to other sites:

Background Briefing - Drop the Debt of 9 Sep 2001