Act Justly, Tony.

Like many Australians I’ve been increasingly dismayed at Tony Abbott’s leadership of this country, and the decisions being made in his name which are resulting in the heartless treatment of the vulnerable and at-risk in society. The United Nations this week found that Australia’s detention of refugees, including children, is ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ which is forbidden by international law (report here)

That’s a fairly big call, isn’t it? A supposedly advanced and civilised country treating people in way that actually breaks international law and sends asylum seekers back to countries where they have a ‘substantial risk of torture’. We are acting really badly not by some arbitrary yardstick created by the lefties of Australia but by international standards.

And I’ve been wondering how a christian man, a man who spent three years training to be a priest, can have moved so far away from the message of the gospels. How does this happen? How can someone who believes in god and believes that Jesus died because of what he stood for (although I have the feeling that Abbott is a Substitutionary Atonement kind of guy rather than a Moral Influence one) and I’m asssuming has understood and internalised what the New Testament is actually about make these decisions which completely fly in the face of what Jesus was here to talk about?

I was reading James 1:27 this weekend and I came across this;

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless in this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world

Now I suspect that most commentaries will see ‘pollution’ as being lust or immorality or something along those lines (because isn’t it always?), but what came to my mind is that ‘polluted by the world’ is actually referring to a person getting so caught up in the dominant paradigm of their world (in this case, the Liberal Party) that they lose sight of the deep values that should be an intrinsic part of their make up. Tony Abbot has lost the ability stand up for what is right, because he has forgotten what that actually is.

He has become ‘polluted by the world’ and the opinions of those around him have become more important than compassion. If questioned, I’m sure that he would talk about pragmatic and practical and economic concerns but that is just my point. When you forget what is at the heart of what we are here on this earth to do, then you have truly lost your way. He has lost the ability to act justly and to love mercy, which is a bit of a pity because he actually could do something about it if his vision cleared a little.

It’s such a waste of a Prime Minister, really.

 

12 thoughts on “Act Justly, Tony.

  1. Could not agree with you more! I think that he has openly stated that he will not let his private beliefs affect his public policy. What a waste!

    • And I’ve just heard how the state government cuts are going to impact on my boy’s school next year- so I’m doubly irritated with governments right now!

  2. I too agree. Sadly if you have erred it is on the side of being charitable. To add to that, the Immigration MInister Scott Morrison is also a christian (and also my local member though in reality he’s not “mine”). They both don’t seem to understand that no matter how strongly a government wants to achieve some outcome some methods are unacceptable. Torture is one of them yet that is effectively what we/they are doing. 😦 😦 😦

  3. “‘polluted by the world’ is actually referring to a person getting so caught up in the dominant paradigm of their world…that they lose sight of the deep values that should be an intrinsic part of their make up.”

    …I love this, and as I read it I thought of Jesus’ response to the scribe in Mark 12: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And of these and so many others who usurp the name of ‘Christian’ to advance their own agendas, it brings to mind the third commandment, “Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.” (HCSB translation) If unjust treatment bothers you (and it should), it probably bothers Him, too!

    • Ehm..
      I just took notice about what happened few hours ago at Lindt’s Cafeteria in “your” Sidney. Could this fact interfere with what you meant in this topic of yours? I mean I know the Lord Jesus preached Love above all else.. but now (and not only now) I am asking myself: are we supposed to get ready pronely to/at (sp?) our martyrdom?
      Yes, because I think no-one can dubt there is no way to relate in a civil manner with fanatical people like those.
      If you care, enlighten me about, plz.

      • I’m not sure what your referring to? I mean, I understand the situation as I’ve been watching it since 2 am this morning, but I’m not sure how it applies to this situation.

        • Well.. you are right: this is a topic about Australian domestic policy (and its Authorities’ behaviour).. and I went off topic, basically.
          It is that I feel quite troubled knowing about these kind of “events” (Sydney hostage crisis). Also considering I am trying to move through (sp?) a christian path. My target was to get some opinions of yours about that fact. And also suggestions about the way people should relate with that kind of events.
          I didn’t find a more appropriate topic (among others in this blog) than this to attach my “question”.
          – Not that this is an “appropriate” one, maybe a less inappropriate one, if you allow me.. –
          Feel free (of course) to erase my off topic and let me hope you want to accept my apologies.

          • Hi mauro- this comment went to moderation; I’m so sorry I’ve just seen it! I have no idea why, unless you were commenting from a new email address? Anyway, your question is totally valid, I just wasn’t sure what you were getting at in the first instance.
            I suppose that we act with love as much as we can, but we are also human and our emotions get in the way. It looks like an enormous stuff up of the legal system at is stage- he shouldn’t have been out on bail.
            This morning we have heard of eight children in cairns stabbed to death by their mother. The only response that I can muster is enormous sorrow and pity for her, no anger at all. The full story has yet to come out, of course.

  4. Pingback: Children, asylum seekers, detention and torture | the Way?

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