Dark days

By Penny Mulvey

These are dark days for our nation. No longer are we a place that welcomes strangers. No longer do we model hospitality and compassion. Instead our so-called leaders compete for the most punitive response to asylum seekers arriving by boat.

There are a number of articles and letters in this month’s Crosslight which talk of shame, of lack of vision and leadership, and alternative options to stopping the boats.

How do we make wise decisions on election day when both major parties trample over people’s basic human rights, a value intrinsic to our Christian faith? Our moderator, Dan Wootton, joined other Uniting Church members to protest at a refugee rally in Melbourne last month. Politicians need to know people care!

Associate Professor Monica Melanchthon, in her reflection on page 13, reminds us that as church, human need must set the agenda. She challenges us to consider our own passivity, complacency and indifference.

Did Crosslight’s front page image cause a visceral response as you first considered it? Young Christians have been known to wear a wrist band that says WWJD? – ‘What would Jesus do?’ This seems a very apt question in a society which demonises vulnerable, fearful men, women and children who have dared to attempt to find safety on our shores without completing the correct paperwork.
Our response is to punish, to condemn, to turn our backs.

Would we indeed turn our backs on Jesus? Would we have said ‘Stop the donkeys’, no refuge for those fleeing an evil paranoid King here? What can you do to bring light back to Australia?

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