Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

US$11 million for a Christmas Tree

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Jewellery decorates an $11m Christmas tree at the Emirates Palace hotel in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on December. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Interesting.  Not the Christmas Tree, the comments.  This story is published in the same Australian paper, the HeraldSun, that just two days ago was carrying terrible comments from readers about asylum seekers.

Now readers of the same paper are saying this $11 million should be being used to feed the starving in some of those very same countries asylum seekers are coming from.  While I agree that $11 million for a Christmas Tree could definitely be better spent, I find it hard to accept that one day we, the Australian people, can be jumping up and down and saying we don’t want asylum seekers, then we do a complete about face and say other people should do this and that for essentially the very same people.  Either people need help, or they don’t.

I understand there is a passage in the Bible, Matthew 7:5 to be precise, that says: Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (English Revised Version).  Yes, I’m an atheist; even so, it is appropriate to quote a passage from the Bible at Christmas, given whether I believe or not, that is what Christmas is about.

Are these the same readers that commented in relation to the asylum seekers?  I’m not about to start delving that far into the analysis.  Over 88% of the readers who took the poll were against the asylum seekers (although I did note it was a badly worded poll question), so it stands to reason at least some of those readers made comment on both articles. 

I made the comment then about greedy people.  Seems here we are saying someone else should take care of the problem, just keep it away from our doorstep.  How charitable of us.

Let me predict a typical response would be: “Oh, but the people coming to Australia on boats are not the same people we are referring to, and we are only talking about the boat people.”  Are you?  Can you be sure they are not the same people?  Do you know beyond reasonable doubt that is the case?

Hypocrisy is an ugly thing.

When some of those people get to Australia, we incarcerate them on Christmas Island, among other places.  When they become distressed due to the treatment by our hands, we kindly pump them full of drugs to keep them quiet.  We make the women ask for sanitary supplies in the most embarrassing circumstances.  Yet we have the cheek to criticise others.

Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

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Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 18, 2010 at 9:34 am

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