The Cathedral of St Mary of the Assumption, San Francisco. Photo: Elenie Poulos The first paper out of my ongoing PhD research on the politics of religious freedom has just been published by the Australian Journal of Human Rights, 2018, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp 117-133. Here is the abstract: Lacking a national comprehensive human … Continue reading Protecting Freedom/ Protecting Privilege
South Sydney Uniting Church #wecandobetter A service of hope and lament for people seeking asylum Uniting Church members and friends gathered on 27 November at Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney for a Service of Lament and Hope for people seeking asylum. The texts for the service were Psalm 137 and Matthew 25:31-46. The service was … Continue reading In the midst of grief, agents of hope
This is the speech I delivered at the Let Them Stay Rally organised by GetUp! at Sydney Town Hall on Monday 8 February. There were about 4000 people there all calling on the Government to change our harsh, punitive and abusive treatment of people seeking asylum.
The parable of the Good Samaritan from the Bible (Luke, chapter 10) has become common place and almost clichéd in Christian conversations about the current Australian Government’s increasingly cold-hearted and abusive responses to asylum seekers.
The 2014 Budget from the Abbott Government confirms my impressions of this Government as one committed to punishing people for making the ‘wrong’ decisions.
On the 23rd November, on a storm-drenched afternoon, during a moment of sunshine, a few hundred people from Uniting Church congregations gathered at Circular Quay in Sydney to unveil a giant quilt in an act of public liturgy.
Every person who arrives by boat seeking asylum has a story. Over 90% of asylum seekers who have arrived by boat over the last 15 years or so have been granted protection, so you can be sure that these stories include tales of hardship, violence and persecution.
If there’s one thing that Bob Carr’s recent comments on asylum seekers demonstrated it was that our politicians think they can say anything they want about ‘boat people’ and not be held to account for the truth.
It is hard to comprehend how outrageous it is that a shameful political standoff on the offshore processing of asylum seekers has forced the Australian Government into a position where it has no choice other than to dump a harsh and punitive policy in favour of its own more just and humane policy.
‘Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice. All the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ (Deuteronomy 27:19)