Thursday, 27 September 2007

We are the world

What next? Yesterday's Religion Report reminded that nothing we do, eat, see or enjoy is without taint. (For traditional Christians this is nothing new!)
The focus...chocolate. British social activist, Steve Chalke reminded the listeners that in many places the production of chocolate is only made possible by  low cost labour  provided by children sold into slave-like conditions. This does not suprise us. 
Rather we choose to be ignorant, I guess. 
The same point has been made about coffee in times past, and it is now obvious and clear that we should look for the "fair trade" markings on almost anything.
Fair Trade is a new and necessary buzz word/concept. It applies to coffee, rice, clothing manufacture and anything else that we, the greedy West, demand that the poor make for us, to satisfy our insatiable greed.
Nothing we do, eat or use is morally neutral. Our response to that has usually (as I say) to just be plain dumb about it. 
If we are to be responsible we have to do a bit better than that.
It is popping up all around us though, isn't it?
The trafficking of people...worth more than the global illegal drugs industry.
The rebuilding of the devastated Iraq attracting the poorest of the Asian poor (here)
It is almost all we can do to worry about whether or not we can have drippers on our lawns.
We just simply have to do better!
Today, by the way, is the memoria of Vincent de Paul.  To whom we have generously given bags and bags of unwanted clothes in the last few weeks. The tribute to our own unending need to have stuff without end!

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