Monday, November 27, 2006

Lifting the burdens of injustice

Most people are good at compassion, responding with money and time when they realise the plight of the unfortunate. Cash giving after the tsunami last year was enormous. At the 2005 G8 summit in Edinburgh religious groups in particular - Christians, Moslems and Jews - were noted for having been a critical factor in leading to the decisions to forgive third world debt.

It is easier to spot poverty in a distant country and a strange culture. But what about poverty nearby? Obvious poverty can be seen following random misfortune such as a tsunami, harvest failure or epidemic, but poverty close to home is often so familiar that it escapes our notice or we dismiss it as inevitable.

The Jewish, Christian and Moslem faiths hold Moses in great esteem for his Law. The phrase that Jesus said summed up the Law of Moses was 'Love your neighbour as yourself' and he said that it was to be an essential guide for his followers. Despite being a 'Christian' country the way the UK economy is run pays little respect to basic Mosaic Law, and incidentally ignores similar crucial insights of the Classical Economists. The result is that millions will never escape from the poverty trap that our current laws keep them in. Something is drastically wrong and charity and welfare cannot give permanent solutions. Read The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom to understand poverty at home, wherever you live in the world, and see how this injustice could be lifted.

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