Bentleigh Politics and activism Toxic Custard newsletter

Bentleigh Uniting Church takes a stand

Many around Australia would know of the Gosford Anglican Church, thanks to Father Rod Bower and his famous signs.

A couple of weeks ago this sign appeared at the Bentleigh Uniting Church. It now seems to have disappeared in favour their more usual list of events.

It pleases me to see messages like this.

Immigration, and the mandatory detention of refugees, is a difficult issue. I’m not going to pretend that I know of a simple answer that both treats people humanely and deters and prevents drownings at sea, but the current position of taking desperate people, locking them up off-shore at arms length from Australian law and responsibility, often ignoring concerns, and particularly the secrecy involved, is something that troubles me greatly.

Right now we as a nation are trying to put past crimes, such as church sexual abuse, in the spotlight. I wonder if in decades to come we’ll be regretting and investigating our current treatment of asylum seekers in a similar way.

I hope the sign got a few people thinking more about this issue, and possible solutions.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

4 replies on “Bentleigh Uniting Church takes a stand”

As a disclaimer, I am 100% against off-shore detention. And neither do I pretend to have a solution.

However, with respect Daniel, this post is somewhat out of the ordinary, and it may detract somewhat from your clout on public transport to have published an opinion on such a controversial issue.

A rare move, I agree with Darren. But good on you Daniel.
“Have you ever wondered what hurts the most; saying something and wishing you had not, or saying nothing, and wish you had?”

I think your comments are quite balanced and appropriate for a blog.
Yes, what deterrent can the government put in place to stop people risking their lives by boat and yet still treat these desperate souls humanely? The people currently in detention came here while the Labor government was in office. I’ve no idea what the solution is.

To stop the drownings, the ALP or some Crowdfunded group should give out free life jackets.

Close offshore detention centres and cut 457 visas by 90%.

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