National Debt and why we must all pull together

debt bomb
UK National Debt, excluding bank bailouts, based on official data

During the second world war we all had to suffer deprivations so that we could maintain our freedom as a country. Basically we all pulled together. Bombs were no respecter of persons. We had the political will and leadership needed so that every one had to bear the burden and pay the price for our freedom.

Now we face an economic situation which potentially could be even more serious. But where is the political will to unite the country?

We have blamed the benefit “scroungers”, the immigrants, the bankers, the Conservatives, the Lib-Dems, the Labour party: everyone but ourselves. This is a call for unity. To stop being divisive and for everyone, rich, poor or somewhere in the middle, to accept their share of responsibility, and for us ALL to work together to get us out of the mess we are in. Continue reading “National Debt and why we must all pull together”

Social Justice (Worldwide)

Above the Old Bailey courts in London. A sword in one hand to execute justice and scales in the other to ensure fairness.
Above the Old Bailey courts in London. A sword in one hand to execute justice and scales in the other to ensure fairness.

When it comes to human relationships, love, compassion and justice must go hand in hand. In talking about social justice I am not talking about justice as retribution or punishment but as justice in the way we treat our fellow-man. When people are wronged, they may cry out for justice to be done, and often won’t be satisfied unless the wrongdoer is punished for their crimes against them. Social Justice demands that we correct the unfairness of society but does not demand retribution or punishment.

  • 20,000 innocent children who die every day of preventable diseases cry out for justice.
  • 1 billion people living in extreme poverty cry out for a fairer world system.
  • Poor workers who satisfy western demand for things like coffee, chocolate, vegetables etc. cry out for a reasonable percentage of the final price.
  • Millions, working as virtual slaves in industry cry out for freedom from exploitation.
  • A million plus woman trapped in the sex industry cry out for respect and liberty.
  • An estimated 127 million children working in conditions which are harmful to their health and welfare cry out for a decent start in life.
  • Over 100 million children between 5 and 11, who receive no education at al,l cry out for at least a primary education so that they are not condemned to produce another desperately poor generation.
  • 400 million children between 12 and 17 who do not attend secondary school cry out for the opportunities that education would bring.

    Continue reading “Social Justice (Worldwide)”

Social Justice (UK)

Justice
But let Justice roll on like a river,
Righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Social Justice is vital if a country claims to be morally as well as economically developed.  The measure of a country is how the government and the people of that country treat the disadvantaged members of society. The Bible criticises those who exploit their workers, ignore the poor or do not look after the immigrant or the homeless. Sharing our resources is fundamental to the ideal of social justice.

In this article I am writing from a United Kingdom perspective, but the principles are true for all countries whether developed or developing. People are materially poor because of one or more of the following factors:

  • Physical or mental disability which effects the possibility of employment
  • Marriage breakdown causing a split into two households.
  • Single parents struggling to balance a job and child care.
  • Insufficient jobs with a meaningful salary.
  • A major employer or industry closing down causing a disruption in the local economy.
  • Choosing not to work and deliberately living off benefits. (I am NOT suggesting that more than a tiny minority could be classified as “scroungers” or “benefit cheats”  but obviously there are a few who fit into this category.)
  • Addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling etc,
  • Debt.
  • Crime.
  • Prejudice based on racism or class.
  • Inadequate education, or failing educational achievement. Continue reading “Social Justice (UK)”

Changing the world one person at a time

Beach village in Sri Lanka devastated by the Tsunami
Beach village in Sri Lanka devastated by the Tsunami

I want to change the world! I have a vision of a world without extreme poverty; a world where everyone has the same opportunities that I have had. But I realise that I cannot do that on my own, and in any case, as an aim, changing the world is a bit vague. The world consists of people: we can only change the world, one person at a time.

So, this article is about one young lady whose life has been radically changed through a family in England who cared enough to sponsor her through Karuna Action, and a partner organisation in Sri Lanka. Buddika was brought up in a small hut built on the beach in Sri Lanka. Why build a house on the sand? Homes are built on the beach because poor people cannot afford to build anywhere else!

Without help, Buddika’s life would have been very different. Continue reading “Changing the world one person at a time”

Love and Justice

Justice“LOVE WITHOUT JUSTICE IS SENTIMENTALITY
JUSTICE WITHOUT LOVE IS LEGALISM.”

God’s love in Action…

For many years the strap line for Kingscare (the former name of  Karuna Action) was, “God’s love in action”. Love is voluntary, and is an excellent motive for giving.

  • We need to be sure that our love is not condescending.
  • It needs to be more than just sympathy.
  • It must not be out of a sense of superiority.
  • We can stand alongside the needy in the world, and stand up for them. That is where justice comes in.

Continue reading “Love and Justice”

Aid Dependency: Good or Bad

Beggars in India
Beggars in India

Dependency has become a bad word in the charity business. Fighting poverty is good, but meeting the needs of people in poverty can produce dependency, which is not regarded as a good thing.

But before we “throw the baby out with the bathwater”, consider our children. A newborn baby is completely helpless and completely dependent on its parents. We do not say to the parents,” Do not feed your child: you may produce dependency”. In this case, dependency is good and it’s natural.

At the other end of the scale, if a poverty relief programme simply gives out to needy families, Continue reading “Aid Dependency: Good or Bad”

Blessed are the Meek

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth

Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth“. The word ‘meek’ has become devalued over time and this statement sounds as though Jesus was saying “Blessed are the weak …”. So, who are the ‘meek’, and how will they inherit the earth?

The meaning of meekness

  • Meekness in not weakness.
  • It means having strength but under control.
  • It involves speaking out against injustice when it involves our fellow-man more than when our own rights are affected. Continue reading “Blessed are the Meek”

Extreme Wealth and Extreme Poverty

goldThe net income of the top 100 billionaires in the world is enough to end extreme poverty four times over! This is according to a report by the charity Oxfam entitled “The Cost Of Inequality: How Wealth And Income Extremes Hurt Us All,”. The report states that efforts to address the issue of global poverty were being hindered by what it terms an “explosion in extreme wealth.”

  • The total income of the world’s richest had a income of $240 billion (£150 billion) or a average of $2.4 billion each
  • Around a billion people live in extreme poverty which is defined as an income of $1.25 per day, or $450 (£300) a year. This represents 0.000002% of the top ‘earners’ income. Continue reading “Extreme Wealth and Extreme Poverty”
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