‘Doing a Tony Abbott’…
I wonder if a phrase of this ilk is going to enter our Christian parlance?
This week Abbott spoke at the annual Margaret Thatcher lecture and announced that the Bible and the ‘golden rule’ was good and all that, but not to be taken too seriously – certainly not to be adhered to if you are likely to put yourself or your country in danger. It makes good sense except when it doesn’t work to your advantage…
His exact words were:
“Implicitly or explicitly, the imperative to ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself’ is at the heart of every western polity. It expresses itself in laws protecting workers, in strong social security safety nets, and in the readiness to take in refugees. It’s what makes us decent and humane countries, as well as prosperous ones.
“But right now, this wholesome instinct is leading much of Europe into catastrophic error,”
“Our moral obligation is to receive people fleeing for their lives. It’s not to provide permanent residency to anyone and everyone who would rather live in a prosperous western country than their own.
“It will require some force, it will require massive logistics and expense, [and] it will gnaw at our consciences. Yet it is the only way to prevent a tide of humanity surging through Europe, and quite possible changing it forever,”
There’s no doubting his simple take on this is, ‘The Bible says X – X is good – really good even – and it has ‘worked’ – but if X means your life is affected negatively then X is bad’
I’m no Abbott fan and I disagree with him on this policy, but I think we need to exercise a bit of care with our critique because as Christians we’ve done exactly this for years. When we get to a place where we can finish the equation above with ‘but if X means your life is affected negatively then X is still good’ then we will have got the log out.
But while we read the Bible and consciously, knowingly say ‘what the hell – I’ll do what I like anyway’ then we can’t be taken seriously.
If we’re honest we are pretty good at ‘pulling a Tony Abbott’ … but then that honesty doesn’t always come easily…
Just a thought…
It is not a new policy: