Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Wet Weekend

I am sorry to have been off the radar for a couple of weeks. A case of system overload I am afraid. But I have missed blogging so will try to get back into a regular routine!

The news over here has, of course, been dominated by the earthquake in Sichuan. The authorities reacted extremely quickly and efficiently to what was by any standards a horrific disaster and it still goes on.

In the newspapers today are the comments made by the actress Sharon Stone to a Hong Kong TV Channel during a visit to the Cannes film festival:

'And then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma - when you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?'

She also said that she was 'unhappy' with the way China was dealing with Tibet.

Two thoughts come to my mind. Firstly, when Christians have made this sort of link in the past they have been heavily criticised in the press. Rightly. 68,000 have died in this disaster so far and millions have been made homeless. Ms Stone should perhaps stick to mouthing the words of others in the scripts she is given.

Secondly, why do the trendy types care so much about Tibet's independence? This selective compassion has always puzzled me. The most appalling cruelty, slaughter, and inhumanity in Africa goes without comment from celebrities, and yet they love to talk about Tibet without, it has to be said, knowing very much about it.

As Christians, we should be prepared to bring a theological perspective to world events. Ms Stone's thoughtless comments, however, serve as a warning that any comment we make needs to be thoughtful, informed, and, above all else, compassionate.

Tonight promises to be a first for me. I am having dinner with not one, but two Archbishops! Not on my own, of course, but with other clergy. Our Archbishop is hosting a dinner for Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, the Archbishop of Capetown. We have an amber rainstorm warning in place at the moment and it is very wet with more rain promised over the next few days. The biggest challenge tonight is going to be getting to the dinner without getting soaked!

It's good to be back!

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