Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lessons from a moral storm

There are a lot of jokes already going around about the ill-fated Melbourne Storm Rugby League team. My favourite is this one: “What is the difference between a triangle and the Melbourne Storm?” Answer: "The triangle has three points more than the Storm". For those who might be living outside Sydney, or who have greater passions than rugby league, this past week the Melbourne Storm has paid a very, very high price for its rather too clever accounting procedures to get around the salary cap placed on all clubs. The idea of the salary cap is that no one rich club can literally buy victory by spending a greater amount on players' salaries. In reality, most of the clubs love the salary cap because it artificially pegs players salaries and thus makes it more possible for them to survive. But for years there have been all sorts of speculation about 'under the table' payments to special players. So now it has been revealed that all the other rugby league clubs are 'lily white' clean when it comes to this salary cap business and the wicked Melbourne Storm (and the wicked Bulldogs who were caught a few years back) must be punished almost to the point of oblivion, to allow the game to regain its just, fair and clean image. I don’t think so!

Warren Ryan, commentator and ex-player and coach, agrees that the other clubs will now be shaking in their boots. Who will be the next to have their books (both or all three sets) audited and found wanting. The defense “But everyone else was doing it!” seems a little lame, but time will tell that it is probably not far from the truth. We all like to live in the fantasyland that we are all basically honest and upright people, with just a few notable 'bad apples'. In reality, all the evidence points to the fact that corruptions seems a temptation that none are exempt from and most are enticed by.

We have a police force to deal with crime and corruption, but in NSW we realize that you need an independent commission against corruption to investigate police corruption. In the world of business, and especially the banking and investment banking sector, we are realizing that even the most admired names have endemic corruption, that in the eyes of some prosecutors is nothing short of fraud. But it goes even deeper and we find that even at the local soccer club, scout association, netball association and even church, corrupt financial and power decisions are only overshadowed by the even more devastating abuse of sexual power.

The problems of humanity are endemic and the real solutions need to go to the heart of the problem. We need to face up to our wrongdoings and guilt. We need to accept that before the ultimate investigator, God, all our victories are questionable and we deserve no moral competition points in our quest to make the spiritual and eternal second half of the season.

Our hope is not in our goodness but in God’s mercy and grace. God’s love has a greater power than enforcement to encourage us to fight corruption and choose to live His good ways.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7: 24-25

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