“The Big Issue”


Not the publication hawked in train stations in the city, but the big question in my mind…

For a number of years now, I have been frequenting these sites:

The Sydney Institute

www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au

Quadrant Online

www.quadrant.org.au

Phillip Jensen

www.phillipjensen.com

Andrew Bolt (Blog)

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/

Christianity Today

www.christianitytoday.com

Centre for public Christianity (“CPX”)

www.publicchristianity.org

Does this make me a Christian conservative who cannot be objective?

When I found myself being taken aback – shocked even – but otherwise generally not angered or raged, when Alan Jones said what he said (that the PM Julia Gillard’s father died of shame of her lies), was it because I have been immersing myself in such an environment?

I am 47 years old, a Christian, a lawyer who works primarily on financial services matters, comes into work every day in a business environment and have to this day, been spared of a need to resort to government help in the form of welfare or any other means.

I believe in an order of society, where rule of law is based on a legal system which is an outcome of public debate between competing values. I believe these values ought to reflect what the community wants.

The community at large, that is. Not just narrow de facto carve outs like journalists, politicians or special interest groups.

I also believe the community needs to be given the freedom to decide for itself, without the undue influence of academics, journalists and other groups who purport to be liberated know-better types.

That is a risky thing to said however because of my next statement, which is this: The community needs nevertheless, to turn to a God who loves them and wants to the very best for them, but on His terms.

That would appear to allow an exception to my earlier statement and I am suggesting Christians are somehow a liberated know-better group who is more acceptable than the academics, journalists and other groups who purport to also be liberated and know better – which is why the debate between Christians and atheists becomes important.

What Alan Jones and others of his ilk says which resonates with me, traces its roots to that thread. Christianity teaches an order to things where authority is key.

Yet what this group often fails to address is the real needs of large sections of the community, for care and support. There are single mothers, disabled men, homeless youth, and unemployed parents, who did not choose to be where they are and did not have a choice to be in a different state to that which they find themselves. They have not acted irresponsibly and do not want to remain where they are. They want opportunities to pick themselves up, find work, discharge their responsibilities and be contributors not recipients of help.

Unfortunately a debate of ideas and values are often undergirded by a competition for limited resources. Financial and labour capital resources are finite and competition for them depends on who can best make use of them, to produce the maximum outputs. Presumably this is of greater priority. How this balances with the need to look after labour capital is I’m sure an area many have spent their lives looking into.

Somehow – whatever the intricacies of the theories, arguments and empirical historical data – the intuition for me is you fix the system in terms of financial capital and apply the principles of the Scriptures in terms of labour capital. On this credo is my inclination toward the conservative and away from the liberals (lower cap “l”) based. Fixing the system for labour capital will simply lead to financial capital flowing elsewhere.

It is a vexed area, full of complexities and minefields. I am simply trying to work out why I am not worked up over a patently stupid and heartless comment, and wonder if I need to be reading more from sources other than those sites and works associated with them.

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