Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1: 27
Kudos to Prime Minister Harper and the federal conservative government. No, it's okay, you are reading David Mundy's Lion Lamb blog. I realize that I have taken a few shots at Mr. Harper's feds along the way, but I believe in credit where credit is due.
Our Canadian government is hosting an international conference on maternal and child health care and we should see this as a big deal; "Prime Minister Stephen Harper opened a three-day conference today dedicated to preventing newborns in developing nations and their mothers from needlessly dying, expressing hope that the project could "make a tremendous difference to human life around the world. By doing these things at very little cost, we are able to make a tremendous difference to the very building blocks of human life around the world in a way that will be truly transformative towards a much better planet." CBC NEWS
We are putting our money where our sentiment is, with a $2.85 billion commitment nearing completion and an additional $3.5 billion pledged. This must be our largest international aid initiative and a worthy one in my view.
Now there have been criticisms of this initiative. Some feel that there isn't a sufficient level of accountability in all projects, the persistent problem of international aid. And others are frustrated that Harper and the government continues to shie away from funding abortion as an aspect of this work, claiming that this would be controversial and detrimental in some of the recipient nations and amongst Canadians. The critics are suspicious that the real reason is concern that it will alienate MPs and Conservative supporters here in Canada who are opposed to abortion. This may be true. The government doesn't seem to mind being divisive on other issues.
Still, as Christians who are called to respond to the needs of the vulnerable and marginalized we should applaud a worthy use of our tax dollars. God knows those opportunities for praise can seem few and far between at any level of government.