Sunday, June 22, 2014

Three last things-Part the 2nd -The politcal sermon

Readings are Genesis 21:8-21, Psalm 86, Romans 6:1-11. Matthew 10:24-39
The story of Hagar’s mal-treatment at the hands of Sarah should serve to remind us of how easily we victimise the weak and the frail.
It would be remiss of me to leave this parish
and not to remind us
of the cruelty that we so readily accept 
as being acceptable in our society.
Sarah is deeply jealous of Hagar (her servant/slave) so she tells Abraham to get rid of her.
To send her out into the desert.....
it is a death sentence.
Are we do anything better in the way we allow our political leaders to treat those who seek asylum.
This week the High Court struck down our government’s pretence to be just. The so-called limitation of permanent protection visas
It said, in effect that we cannot just say we will limit our obligation to care.
In a family, for example, 
we would say under this sort of decision 
I will look after 4 of my 6 children.
Well the High Court said...this is not on...and I think we would probably agree. I know I do.

So now, we go back to the even more unjust system.
We will only give “temporary protection”. This means 
We will never guarantee permanent resettlement
We will never allow families to be reunited.
And in fact we may decide that the rules are different in August
than they are today.
One of the things we do know is that this so-called “temporary protection visa”
is regarded by highly regraded psychiatrists and psychologists, and other health professionals
involved in traumatic stress counselling
 and  psychological illness amongst refugees
 as the most serious source of 
in the hearts of the already stressed broken

We are saying to Hagar
Go over there and sit by the well
and hope that something turns up!

The psychiatrists tells us that this is recipe for madness!

WE have solved the Boat Problem
The cost has been the lives
stability, and mental health 
of those we have chosen to torture 
by our inhumanity.

If we go away from this place today feeling everything is OK
Then I hope we might also remember 
that Hagar  or Achmal is sitting over there
and for them
it is not OK.

What looks like  permanent or even a temporary solution is often 
ease for us

Out of sight out of mind.   
It may mean ease for us.....but death and suffering for others.

Is this the sort of world community that we believe God calls us to live in

I don’t want to pretend that any of this is easy.
But I also don’t think that we should pretend
that the political jiggery pokery
is satisfactory
there is a real sense in which 
we are being told 
Should we adopt the worst solution
or the next worst solution.

I hope that we, as Christians 
might rather be able to say.
“Well actually...let’s not do the worst but the BEST
and if not that then the next BEST.
Treat people with dignity, respect and unto others...etc.etc.

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