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Sunday, March 10, 2019

The life and death of John Chau

I thought this article was pretty even handed and compassionate - for the Guardian - though the title seems back to front (I'd have said The life and death of John Chau, the man who was killed by the people he was trying to convert).

I think I've commented here before on the naivety of the "noble savage" philosophy which insists on leaving "untouched" people in their respective paradises. And yet militating against excision (for example). Cultural imperialism is in the eye of the beholder, apparently. I don't know how many of the descendants of 'backward' peoples would really like to return to the cold, heat, illness, violence, terror-of-spirits bliss of their forbears.

Abuses in the name of faith there have surely been, but is that an excuse of doing nothing? Or for preventing those who do want to do something? I can't help feeling that it is even more of a dereliction of duty on the part of a government than on the part of a missionary individual.

Oh well, I guess he knows now whether God thought it was a good idea or not.

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