Tony Abbott says that boat people are "un-Christian" for coming to Australia the way they do.
Specifically, he said:
"I don't think it's a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door. ... I think the people we accept should be coming the right way and not the wrong way. ... If you pay a people-smuggler, if you jump the queue, if you take yourself and your family on a leaky boat, that's doing the wrong thing, not the right thing, and we shouldn't encourage it."
It is not surprising that Mr Abbott has a view about the moral dimension of refugee issues. It is entirely appropriate that he should consider the matter from the perspective of Christian teaching, given that he trained for the priesthood. I would go so far as to say that more politicians should pay attention to the moral implications of the policies they have to determine.
What is striking is that Mr Abbott could get the matter so spectacularly wrong, both as to the facts and as to the moral equation.
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