Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

G8-Music's Great, But Pay Attention To Reality

I love popular music as much as the next person. U2, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Green Day, Will Smith, Bon Jovi ...I'm having fun listening to all these concerts.

But what bugs me is that popular entertainers and truth don't always go together. They are often standing up for what they think is true (remember our last campaign and everyone who sold out-I mean stood up for John Kerry). but not always much depth.

I came across an interesting article from World Magazine on the Live 8 Concert. It is critical of this massive concert and what the artists are saying needs to happen. Just forgiving the debt and "opening their checkbooks" (a phrase I keep hearing on MTV, yes I'm watching the concert) is not going to change things in Africa.

I will say that I have much more respect for U2 because they have done their homework and have partnered with several organizations to do a better job than what Bob Geldof is calling the G8 leaders to do. DATA stands for "Democracy, Accountability and Transparency in Africa". They have taken a lead understanding what is at stake and how to make a difference. While DATA is directly connected to the Live 8 concert (U2's Bono is the founder) I'm not sure that their message is getting out as strongly as it should.

From World's website: Debt relief is going to the governments, not the people. Troublesome when the governments are not held accountable. Troublesome when we have seen African nations with absolutely corrupt government. Yes I don't want to see 30,000 people die by the end of today, esp when most of them are under 5 years old, but are those children going to see a dime of that money? Are their governents going to use this money wisely?

"...Mr. Thornbury believes that the greatest problem with proposals before the G8 is their failure to acknowledge the success and prevalence of faith-based programs. And, he said, "without spiritual transformation, the cycle of poverty will only continue." Church leaders who endorse celebrity anti-poverty plans "have some naivete," he said, but actually undermine faith-based efforts." (World website)

It will take more than the opening of checkbooks. It will need to take a complete overhaul of governments, economics and thinking. It will take an insistance that those receiving the money follow strict guidelines or no go. It will not only take leaders of the G8 to rethink their unfair policies, but for the leaders of the African Nations to rethink their unfair treatment and use of the money.

If it were as simple as Mr Brad Pitt says it is there would be no poverty. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a complex and difficult problem. Can it be resolved? Sure, with the Lord, not with a Live 8 Concert.

Hat tip to Dom for the World Article


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