Cruelty to children and the gospel

Putting the World Cup to one side (if only for a moment) the big story of the week has been the Trump administration's treatment of children at their Mexico border.

Many have called it disgraceful that cruelty to children would be used as a deterrent for asylum seekers. My FB and twitter feed have lit up with anger about this policy and happiness (of varying kinds) at the reversal of the policy.

Australians have reacted to this with the same horror and relief that many Americans have, but there's a problem: We have a plank in our own eye. Children have for years been locked up in our off shore detention centres without trial. This is a denial of the Rule of Law.

As I was considering all this, a quote from one of my favourite books, Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf, popped into my head. It's a prophetic word for those who would fear the outsider enough to jail them, but also for those of us who wag our fingers at US border policies:

Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners. But no one can be in the presence of the God of the crucified Messiah for long without overcoming this double exclusion — without transposing the enemy from the
sphere of the monstrous… into the sphere of shared humanity and herself from the sphere of proud innocence into the sphere of common sinfulness.
grace and peace,