How can we say 'Our Father' ?
by Cliff Baxter
How can we say Our Father ?
...when we allow other Children of God to be placed behind razor wire.
How can we say 'Who Art in Heaven'?
...when we allow asylum seekers to be placed in a living Hell.
How can we say 'Hallowed be Thy Name'?
...when we regard our land as too hallowed to admit the persecuted, the desperate, the tortured.
How can we say 'Thy kingdom come' ?
...when our 'kings' are selfishness, blindness, materialism and apathy to refugees.
Dare we say 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven'?
...when we defy the divine will by refusing mercy to those seeking asylum, thus driving them to the point of self-mutilation and even suicide.
Dare we say 'Give us this day our daily bread'?
...when we give our refugee brothers and sisters stones while we shut our eyes to our exploitation and warlike response to the poorer countries.
Can we say 'and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us'?
...when we detain all who cross our borders without papers as trespassers regardless of their tragic circumstances.
Who can say 'and lead us not into temptation'?
...when asylum-seekers we have imprisoned are cursed as 'queue-jumpers' or 'illegal immigrants' or 'security risks' or 'potential terrorists' and are tempted to sew their lips together or slash their wrists.
What temerity lets us say 'but deliver us from evil'?
...when we commit such evils against helpless people, driving some to madness?
Dare we say 'Amen' ?
...to a disgraceful policy of detention that makes its victims cry to the heavens for mercy and justice.
I think not.