we went down to federation square this morning to watch the federal government’s apology to indigenous people on the big screen.
last time i was at fed square with a group this size was when we were protesting some of the policies of the last government. it was unbelievably good to be listening to a prime minister who was speaking about soul, not economics. It was a moving and beautiful moment – obviously even more so for the indigenous people in the crowd, and those who were part of the ceremony in Canberra.
it’s funny how in christian circles the concept of forgiveness is so dominant in much theology. the demand to forgive can become as oppressive as the original act that needed to be forgiven. we rarely, if ever, talk about apologising [which is very different to confessing]… and yet today seems proof [if we needed it] of how good it does one’s soul to apologise, and to do so without demanding forgiveness in response.
The photo below was taken during the Leader of the Opposition, Brendan Nelson’s, response. Most of the crowd at Federation Square turned their back on him during his speech. His speech, and the apology within it, felt to me like the kind of apology that a 10 year old gives his sister on the insistence of his mother.
One of the things that Kevin Rudd said in his speech accompanying the apology was that turning points aren’t born through sentimental moments, they’re born through action. and that’s the task ahead of us from here.