There is a lot of political rhetoric flying around Australia at the moment about stopping the flood of boats carrying asylum seekers from reaching Australian waters. Both sides of politics are playing the blame game, promising the impossible and in it all seem to be completely missing the point!
Politics, parochialism and prejudice only serve to distort and devalue the very real issue of desperate human beings seeking refuge from poverty and persecution. These boats are filled with some of the most vulnerable people on earth, leaving unthinkable circumstances for an uncertain future. Stopping the boats may win votes but does nothing to address why people are on the boats in the first place!!
Stopping the boats redirects the problem to someone else!
Stopping the boats exposes the passengers to even greater risk!
Stopping the boats denies our responsibility as global citizens!
I recently discussed the biblical mandate for how to treat foreigners in my post Kingdom Citizenship, but add to those thoughts a plea to all Australians, as we approach the upcoming election, not to allow emotive and deceptive campaign slogans to corrupt the essense of what makes us human. Instead, let us resolve as a nation to stop any form of injustice that creates the demand for the boats. Let us redefine the political agenda so that stopping the boats has no political advantage. And let us refuse to turn our backs on those who are seeking what we celebrate as a nation to be a fundamental right for all human beings.