CSG and protesting

Gavin Greenoak writes: Re. “On NSW protest laws” (Thursday). Last Wednesday a raft of legislation was passed in NSW protecting mining companies from “Protectors” of our land. Thou shalt not protest. The price for the money squeezed from the old technology of CSG is long term depredation of the earth we share. Crikey published a letter on Thursday by Jock Webb, expressing restrained dismay at the general silence of the media concerning the blow struck by these laws against freedoms fundamental to any meaning of democracy to remain viable. A couple of mewing comments over the weekend notwithstanding, the silence has remained.

The rule of law is accepted in good faith that it protects the weak from the greed of the strong. When the (only financially) strong are patently protected from a weaker majority of well informed and caring people who put themselves at risk for the earth we share, the blow is also struck at the legitimacy of the rule of law.

Not to notice this, is extraordinary, and in no way relieves us of a real anarchic effect which is the replacement of the willing obedience to law “with respect”, by the resented obedience to law “in fear”. And the raising of civil disobedience to a moral imperative.

On Mother Teresa, part 2

Jock Webb writes: Re. “Mother Teresa was a foul ideologue undeserving of sainthood” (Thursday). While Helen Razer may have been a bit sharp with Mother Teresa, I have read plenty to suggest she was a long way from a ministering angel. I find the Catholic churches penchant for recent canonisations somewhat alarming. The sainthood of John Paul II is to my mind nothing but a corruption of everything to do with Christ. I am also unconvinced that the worship of saints is nothing more than popery and idolatry. One of my ancestors was the Pilgrim Pastor who sent part of his flock on the Mayflower, so I may have inherited a touch of Calvinistic austerity in this matter.

John Knight writes: Helen Razer made a good point, however she didn’t go far enough in my view. The justification for the sainthood being “her dedication to her work” is surely no more than one would expect from anybody that chooses to “marry” the church. The church preaches does it not, that all Catholics are beholden to God, through the Pope surely this is more so when one “marries” Christ.

Given the patriarchal attitude and structure of the church, Mother Teresa was obligated to serve in the manner she did. Perhaps she carried out her duties in a more media friendly manner, or was fortunate to have her works observed by folk who were able to promote her cause within the church and bring her to the notice of men in positions of power. Without doubt there have been countless men and women through the history of the Catholic church who have been equally deserving (or more so) than this fine old lady. Changes in communications have allowed many things to change, and I would posit that this sainthood has more to do with that than any real difference between Mother Teresa and those who went before her. The real elephant in the room is why does the church need more saints?

Colin Scott writes: Re. “Leave Mother Teresa alone” (Friday). Grant Haswell wishes Crikey to lay off condemnation of Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. While I can sympathise that attacks on one’s heroes can be distressing I note that he makes no attempt to make a counter-argument in her defence. It may suit the Catholic church to proclaim her a saint but the truth of her life hews much more to Helen Razer’s position than that of the church. Nothing requires you to have a negative opinion of the Ghoul of Calcutta but please spare us the childish insistence that no other position than yours may be presented, particularly if you are bringing nothing but self-righteous indignation to make that claim.

Get it together!

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Shorten’s sweet, Mal’s a mess as parties change roles” (Friday).The polls still giving a chance to a government in disarray defies all logic. However, if the government just lose the election rather than Labor earning it in their own right by displaying courage and vision, Labor would not deserve to win it either. While we, the electorate are ultimately responsible for the mess we are in — even if Murdoch and his gutter press/shock jocks brigade helped by managing to brain wash us with a generous dose of lies, malice and personal abuse — we are now looking forward to a prime minister who has earned our respect and his government to not only repair the damage done over the past few years but also tackle the whole bagful of problems of a kind humankind has never had to face before.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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