I am just amazed at the reaction to the so-called 'refuge' ship that arrived yesterday with numerous Sri Lankan asylum seekers on board. Every news source that we see keeps asking the question "what is the right thing to do?" It is pretty simple I think - treat them with compassion and care, and do whatever we can to make their situation better. That is what we should always do.
Of course many people in the government and out, love to use a situation like this to demonstrate how 'tough' they are and how they 'hold the line' on people who are out to take advantage of us. But this generally doesn't concern me. I don't believe we should you people as political pawns in a partisan process with which they have nothing to do. Furthermore, I think our ethics on such matters should be clear.
You know, nothing is more distasteful than people like Stephen Harper who consistently claim to live by 'Christian' principle but who wouldn't recognize the 'Prince of Peace' if he dropped on them out of the sky. As I understand the Christian ethic it means you must treat people with love and compassion regardless of who they are or what they do. And I have never seen a proviso in the Gospels that instructs Christians to treat people well unless you suspect that they might do something bad in the future, in which case treat them badly first.
There is something unseemly, and certainly unchristian, about the atmosphere of suspicion that this situation is being treated with. Of course, there is important work to be done concerning identity and possible human trafficking, but that should be done against a backdrop of compassion and care. There are, no doubt, good people out there doing good work and treating the people in appropriately compassionate ways. But this is being overshadowed by the poisonous air of suspicion, doubt, and the occasional disregard for the human aspect of what is happening.
I think the political atmosphere has itself become poison in this country and our government has entirely abandoned the principles of honor, Christian ethics, and respect.This would be considerable less jarring to the mind if they didn't harp on their Christian background and principles.