This is what M emailed me from uni today .. what do you think?
I can't get over what we are told about Aboriginal communities and their problems, mainly from alcoholism. It is just heartbreaking. I don't want to think about it, but I can't think of anything else. It's like the image is in my head and it will not go away.And they have rights to live like this. That is the real problem. They have a right to alcohol, if they have rights as citizens at all. And it would be inhumane of us not to grant to them such basic human rights. They have been so mistreated and abused, by our actions and our policies, and we can't now come in and deny them things that we have rights to, if we claim that all is well, all is forgotten, and there are no more problems. They are equal to us and they have the same rights.They have the right to live in the community without discrimination. They have the right to have education. They have the right to have health services. They have the right to housing. They have the right to make their own choices.They have the right to destroy themselves.What can we do? We cannot forbid them to drink. That would invoke cries of paternalism and dominance. The policy now is that of self-determination.They choose for themselves how they will live. And some communities have themselves banned alcohol. Others have not.
It gives me the smallest, smallest picture of what it is like for God. He knows what is bad for us. But He will not remove it. It is our choice, our right. We have self-determination, we have free will. And surely it breaks His heart to see how we abuse it.