Sunday, June 6, 2010

God's gonna cut you down

I've been reading about the British and American removal of natives from the Chagos islands in the 60's and 70's, and the Royal decree to overturn the British High court's decision that it was illegal and they should be able to return in the 2000s.

There is all sorts of unspoken evil that goes on in the world, much of it in our name. Stories that never get told, people forgotten and left to rot.
But the Lord knows.

We should start singing songs like this one in church again.
I know people don't like them because they often represent a puritan moralism against drinkers/gamblers etc. But perhaps we need to spend some time singing about judgment for the real social evils.


byron smith said...

Alcoholism and compulsive gambling are real social evils. But I know what you mean.

As for Chagos Islands, it is indeed a tragedy and yet another example of superpowers pushing aside the indigenous population "for the greater (so often military or economic) good". I've been learning about the Scottish Highland clearances, which have more than a few echoes. That said, as I understand it, discussions/negotiations for repatriation of the islanders are continuing, and the UK government did a wonderful thing in making a huge marine reserve around the Chagos Islands, indeed the world's largest, that singlehandedly doubled the total protected area globally. In making this decision, the UK Foreign Ministry cited the 221,000 responses co-ordinated by Avaaz supporting both the formation of the reserve and the rights of the indigenous population. The marine park actually helped to highlight their plight (certainly, that is how I learned about the situation) and helped to provide some synergy in the campaign. We'll see what comes of it.

I guess what I'm saying is that while governments are capable of (and historically culpable for) great evils, they can also sometimes imperfectly play their God-given role for good too.

byron smith said...

And I love that song, by the way. I notice the first figure to be mentioned whom God will cut down is the "long-tongued liar".