My response to:
Competitive Scapegoating? The Case of Two Nations, and Two Condemned Men
I come to the ABC Religion and Ethics page expecting to be appalled by the garbled delusions of believers. For a moment I thought this article would be an exception. After all, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 3, and the commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" are an excellent example of secular and religious values coinciding. All Australian governments, federal and state, have abolished the death penalty. I feel good about that. It should NOT be a surprise that politicians, the general public and the media are showing solidarity on this issue. The media interest is what you'd expect, given the history of the Bali 9, and the precedent set by Van Nguyen and Barlow and Chambers. It's exactly what you'd expect.
And speaking of Van Nguyen, we are again seeing that the victims of capital punishment are from Asian backgrounds, but that does not stop us from thinking of them as Australian, as our own. They are like the kids we went to school with, the kids we lived next door to. Anglos/skips/white Australians (whatever my ethnic group is called) have had boyfriends, girlfriends, sons and daughters in-law just like them for decades now.
The "moment" I mentioned earlier has passed. It seems to me that Scott Cowdell is desperately looking for some sort of sin for Jesus to save us from. We don't need this sort of old-fashioned fire-and-brimstone condemnation from his pulpit. Isn't there enough real racism out there for him to condemn without resorting to inventing some phantom so he can promote his theology?