February 17th 2007

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: The Qantas buyout - how to avoid tax

SCHOOLS: Education or political indoctrination?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Eight months for Howard to claw his way back

WATER: PM puts water on the agenda, but ...

BUSHFIRES: Fuel-reduction burn-offs needed - ACT Coroner

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Double double, toil and trouble / Choosing a new battlefield / Immigration mess / A fire sale for DFAT?

INTELLIGENCE CORNER: The next socialist Shangri-La / Downplaying the Islamist threat / Beware the Bear

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Pakistan feels jilted by US-India nuclear deal

SPECIAL FEATURE: The legacy of B.A. Santamaria

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: Rights and wrongs in relationship recognition

PREGNANCY COUNSELLING: Health Minister Abbott's initiative attacked

OPINION: My unhappy memories of Julia

SCIENCE: WA bid to host $2 billion radio telescope

Milton Friedman let off far too lightly (letter)

Free-market capitalism and Christianity (letter)

The enemy in our midst (letter)

Nativity film defended (letter)

CINEMA: Heroism amidst inhumanity - Blood Diamond

CINEMA: Enchanting story for all ages - Miss Potter

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Those with superior intelligence need to learn to be wise

BOOKS: TREASON IN TUDOR ENGLAND: Politics and Paranoia, by Lacey Baldwin Smith

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Free-market capitalism and Christianity (letter)

by John Kennedy

News Weekly, February 17, 2007

Your Canberra Observed article, "Rudd — a more formidable Opposition leader?" (News Weekly, January 20, 2007), states that Mr Kevin Rudd "has unashamedly championed his Christian credentials".

Politicians such as Rudd, Costello, Abbott and Howard act as if their policies, based on free-market capitalism (now called neo-liberalism), are in accordance with Christian philosophy. They are quite contrary to Christianity, and yet Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders are reluctant to say so in the public arena.

Neo-liberalism involves reducing government interference in the market to a minimum to allow businesses to maximise profits rather than maximising the welfare of the whole community. It encourages monopolies and monopolistic practices and minimises welfare expenditure. It requires governments to restrict the rights of workers to strike, and to restrict the free operation of trade unions. It is a moral issue but one with serious political consequences.

Instead, Catholic spokesmen speak of the workplace relations laws lowering the human dignity of workers, but carefully avoid using the words "un-Christian" or "immoral". They feel that this meets their obligation and keeps politicians and the government happy.

It does not meet their obligation. Until the bishops state clearly in public whether neo-liberalism is moral or not, politicians will quite rightly take their silence as an endorsement of neo-liberalism and their policies by the Catholic Church.

John Kennedy,
Frenchs Forest, NSW

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