Bi­ble has home truths about help­ing those in need

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

THE say­ing “char­ity be­gins at home” was used re­cently in a let­ter from Mar­garet Bell which re­ceived texts from peo­ple who agreed our gov­ern­ment should cut for­eign aid and con­cen­trate on help­ing peo­ple at “home”.

This in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the old say­ing im­plies it is not pos­si­ble to pro­vide as­sis­tance to those in need both in Aus­tralia and over­seas, and that a choice needs to be made.

An­other in­ter­pre­ta­tion is that char- ity, like other val­ues is one first learned in the home.

A dic­tionary def­i­ni­tion for “char­ity” is: “kindly gen­eros­ity and help­ful­ness, es­pe­cially aid given to those in need”, with the word be­ing de­rived from the Latin “car­i­tas” or Chris­tian love.

It is sad that as a na­tion with so much to share we are pre­pared to close our hearts and bor­ders to brave peo­ple seek­ing asy­lum.

Our gov­ern­ment chose to de­tain peo­ple on Manus Is­land and Nauru, and if they suf­fered harm while there it is only right that they be com­pen­sated.

Rather than turn­ing peo­ple back to harm and deny­ing them their le­gal right to seek asy­lum, we must cre­ate a process that al­lows each per­son’s case to be fairly ex­am­ined.

We must in­sist our gov­ern­ment treat peo­ple who seek asy­lum in our coun­try the way we our­selves would want to be treated if we ever found our- selves forced to leave our homes to seek safety in an­other coun­try.

Mar­garet sug­gests our politi­cians go home and love their own fam­ily as a way of chang­ing the world. Per­haps they, to­gether with Mar­garet and those who sup­port her views, could also make time to read the para­ble of the Good Sa­mar­i­tan, the story told by Je­sus in Luke 10, 25- 37. JENNY BROWN, Dou­glas.

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