For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 3 Nov 2013.
Bishop Philip Huggins, Chair of the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee, has urged federal Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to moderate his language on asylum seekers.
Bishop Huggins says it is better to avoid language with harsh associations to criminality. “When there is a choice,” he says, “is it not better to think the best of, rather than the worst of, another’s motivations; to be generous-spirited rather than mean-spirited?”
He questions the fairness of requiring Public Servants to change from neutral and respectful language to negative language about asylum seekers, irrespective of their own conscience and their experience of the plight of asylum seekers.
Bishop Huggins also says that calling innocent children, and those of minority groups targeted by religious extremists, as “illegals,” as Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has requested, fails any test of decency. It is time for Mr Morrison to align his moral compass with the Bible he says he values.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.