Integrity: it needs to go further than the cricket pitch

This week in Australia the media has been flooded with  disappointment in the Australian Cricket team, and especially its leaders. Tampering with the ball, along with some questionable sportsmanship earlier in the series from various players - where is their integrity, we want to know? Where is their respect for the spirit of the game?

This weekend the media has been remarkably absent from the raising of voices that happened in Palm Sunday rallies across the country. The Australian people calling for greater integrity from our nation's leaders on the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

This week, I am left wondering. Why is it that we (and by we, I mean the media, the ones who tell our story) are quick to express our disappointment in our sports people, yet seem unwilling to call the politicians to account? Do we expect more of our sports stars, our cricketers especially with its hallowed 'spirit of the game', than we do of our political leaders? Have we come to expect nothing less of our Prime Minister than to act without human integrity?

I wonder how the politicians are feeling? Do they want to be remembered for cowardice and cruelty? Surely one would want to be remembered for courage and conviction, for saving lives and protecting the vulnerable?

I wonder how the media folk feel? Do they want to be remembered for peddling fear, or for telling stories that move their audience to greater compassion? Surely one would want to be remembered for gathering the community together to work for justice on a larger scale than on the cricket pitch?

I wonder how we feel? Do we not expect more of ourselves? Are we really content to feed ourselves on the media's diet of building heroes and pulling them down, of fuelling fear ...

In a week in which we (we, the Christian community) remember the courage and conviction of Jesus, who would not give in to fear, who would not turn his back on God's way of love and peace, we must hear in this story a call and a challenge to do more, to be more, to expect more. We must expect as much integrity from our Prime Minister as we do from our cricket captain. We must expect more integrity from those who tell our stories. We must expect more from ourselves.

I am so grateful for the many from our Christian community who joined with those in the wider community who have lifted their voices to give expression to these expectations in those rallies across the country. Thank you.


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