The Revd Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, was a guest on Andrew Marr's talk show this morning. The subject of the interview was Prime Minister Gordon Brown's boycott of the European-African Summit on account of the presence of Robert Mugabe at the meeting.
Sentamu, a Ugandan, has had plenty of personal experience with protesting against African dictators as he was previously a critic of Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin. Sentamu believes that Brown's boycott is justified.
The Archbishop accused Mugabe of taking the identity of Zimbabwean citizens and 'cutting their identity to pieces'. Sentamu then removed his clerical collar and cut it into pieces to demonstrate his point. He then stated that he would not wear his 'dog collar' again until Mugabe was out of office.
In my sermon this morning, I asked the question 'What makes you say Wow?' Well, Sentamu's action on live television made me say 'Wow!'
I think this action is one of classical biblical prophetic symbolism. I think I will do the same. People will probably point out that I'm not wearing my collar and then I'll be able to explain to them why.
It's also, of course, important to make sure that other, practical things are done and that we don't only confine our actions to the prophetic and symbolic. Sentamu urged us to pray, march and protest against the regime in the way that Britian did with Ian Smith's regime. He urged every Britian to give one pound so that the homes of people in Zimbabwe and Darfur can be rebuilt when the time comes.
I'd urge you not only to watch the short video link, but also Marr's entire conversation with Sentamu. Inspiring, prophetic stuff.