The minefield of good intentions

As ex-missionaries we often ask (and asked) the hard questions about whether western ‘help’ for non-western countries was just a form of patronising power play which made us westerners feel better but was not necessarily the best way of respecting others. This article (called ‘Elevation’) by George Monbiot is very critical of Bono and the ONE campaign. I don’t doubt Bono’s good intentions but that doesn’t guarantee wisdom. It reminds me of a big international Christian conference I attended where we heard regularly that Christians from developing nations needed to be listened to rather than westerners imposing their Gospel. But most of the leaders on the conference stage were white and most spoke with one accent. Worse: there were two hotels used for the conference, one for those who could afford 4 or 5 stars, another for 2 stars. WWJD? I wound up down the road with 2 stars and the mostly black crowd. Sad but true. (No! Not sad that I ended up with the mostly black crowd; that was a joy.)

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