Thursday, September 03, 2015

So many and for so long

The image of a little child dead on a beach is sickening but so is the image of crucified children or beheaded children, or homeless starving refugee children, maybe it is that we can bear to look at this little child and imagine his story and the tragedy that lies behind it, whereas more gory images, like dismembered foetus', all but the slightly sick avoid or hurry past. There are tens of thousands of children like this poor child, and the pictures have been around for a long time.

I am concerned that this particular image has unleashed 'compassion' almost as fashion accessory, first from journalists, then newsdesks and the media and now even from politicians, at least opposition politicians and backbenchers. This little child makes the statistics of Mr Cameron's 'swarms' into an individual tragedy, Stalin had said, 'a million deaths is a statistic, one death is a tragedy'. I am concerned, but I am glad that at last the media can focus on the death of children rather than the destruction of a temple ruined in Palmyra.

The feeling of 'compassion' is one thing, it is likely to disappear as soon as it flares up, it is actually doing something that matters, and that has to be a deeper interior change rather than a signature on an e-petition or drawing out a handful of loose change. A world that ignores the plight of so many over so many years is essentially hard hearted, if it is manipulated by a single image that 'goes viral', rather than human need is essentially massaging its own 'feel good' self indulgence, tomorrow it will be back to kittens or donkeys.

It might be possible for an atheist but for a Christian, not caring for the poor, not welcoming the stranger is not possible if we hope for heaven.


Independent said...

It would be excellent if compassion spread to the co-religionists of the dead child, in particular

to the very wealthy oil-rich states such as Saudi Arabia.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

There are plenty of Muslim countries that could take in these refugees. It is not the duty of Europe to do so.

In fact it could be argued it is the duty of Europe to send every man jack of them back to the countries they fled and to tell those countries to straighten-up and fly right or Europe will invade them and sit-up a government these people will not have to flee from.

One can not remain a nation if it allows others to simply overrun it and demand services.

This slow-motion movie of "Camp of the Saints" will require some strong men to resist its production and Europe could take a clue from Australia which does not permit boatloads of folks to land in Australia.

Fr Ray Blake said...

You might take Australia as your model, Christian will take Christ!

viterbo said...

Strange days. Some particular lion got 'put down' a few weeks ago, and the fashion-accessory-afficionados of the planet went twitter-mad.

I guess even at the Crucifixion, most folks were still headed in the opposite direction with their livestock. Some things never change.

gemoftheocean said...

Well said, Father. It's as if there is a total disconnect, in political minds, of the cause and effects of ISIS. It's the 1930s all over again.

Liam Ronan said...

I attach here (below) a brief reflection on the late Cardinal Biffi's take on immigration into Europe with his insights on Muslim immigration in particular.

Until Bergolio's Lampadusa moment, Biffi's insights prevailed even with (as I understand) Pope Benedict.

Independent said...

In the 1930s and 40s General Franco admitted more Jews to Spain than were admitted to the USA by

the Roosevelt Government. Canada had an even more shameful record. However the refugees unlike

now did receive substantial support from their co-religionists.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Pat Buchanan points out that Germany is about the size of Montana and in two years - last year and this year - it will accept nearly 3/4's of a million illegal aliens which will, in a short time, completely change everything about Germany.

At what point is a Christian allowed to say, no more?

Isn;t a nation supposed to operate in favor of the native born?

Fr Ray Blake said...

At what point is a Christian allowed to say, no more?

Are you a Christian or just pretending? The answer is clear, he cannot, we are called to share the Cross of Jesus Christ, to embrace it, nothing else is acceptable.

As for Germany because of contraception and abortion the German birthrate has fallen drastically, without foreign immigrants, refugees or foreign workers the German workforce will be seriously depleted, and Germany will loose its economic security. Germany needs foreign workers. It also has a certain history ...

Liam Ronan said...

@Father Ray Blake,

I respectfully disagree.The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear that the duty of the state is to protect its citizens and foster the common good among its citizens. The operation words being 'its citizens'. The principle of subsidiarity must be considered too.

This is effectively becoming what is called a 'hiraj', a jihad invasion by emigration, an an effective invasion whether benign or not.

A Christian has a duty to say 'no' this inevitable Trojan Horse at some point.
Neither Benedict or Pope St. John Paul II had any illusions about this sort of thing and had warned of the outcomes for Christian civilization were it to occur.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Liam, Beware of hiding behind your interpretation of the Catechism to avoid Christ and the Cross.It is all too easy to replace 'the common good' with the national or political or personal 'good' which is often just plain evil.

Believe in the social reign of Christ comforming the world to Him, rather than conforming Him to some political ideology of your own. We are supposed to convert the world to Him, not follow some Kasperite agenda of comforming Christ to the world.

Liam Ronan said...

@Father Blake,

Thank you for your further thoughts. I do believe in the Kingship and Social Reign of Christ, however I do not subscribe to fatalism ala Chamberlain.

Please God, my political ideology is not apart of what my God-given wits and intellect are applying to the developing circumstances vis-a-vis this veritable and largely non-Christian invasion by peoples who, eschewing settlement facilities of various nations, would tell us in which country (not their own)where they would and would not be settled.

Where would civilization be had Jan Sobieski opened the gates to the Ottoman for fellowship's sake? If Lepanto had never been fought? If Catholic Spain had not be taken back from the Muslim invaders?

Personally I thought it was ironic for you to have referred earlier to Germany's 'certain history'. That's true of course, but so does Britain have a track record, both past and present, if I may say so. Abortions, gay marriage, plumping now for assisted suicide, creating chimera half cow/half human embryos in research labs, the fire bombing of Germany, etc.

I think (to extend the WWII comparison) Britain may soon see another Dunkirk headed her way and these sea craft, great and small, will be crammed with the folk now trekking across the continent.

God bless.

Fr Ray Blake said...

That is just racist!

Mark said...

We cannot fail to be moved by the Refugee exodus as Christians. They flow from worn-torn areas where "Christian" countries intervened militarily on manufactured intelligence to further their own ends. We now have a responsibility to pick up the pieces as a result of the chaos we have caused.

A structured programme of Western help needs to be shared fairly across Europe & North America. John Kerry is very aware of our moral obligations, as is Angela Merkel. We need to ensure our own leaders find their moral compass, as Cameron appears to have done belatedly due to public pressure! The Gospels tell us we have no alternative.

viterbo said...

Racist!? There is something appealing about all prostitutes...else they'd never make a living.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I've had enough of these comments, especially the ones not printed. COMMENTS ARE CLOSED

The displacement of populations is a weapon of war meant to destabilise. In the case of ISIS I am sure the initial intention is to destabilise Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and other Middle Eastern states who have taken huge numbers in comparison to their own populations. Amongst the 'valid' refugees are bound to be 'migrants' of one kind or another, including returning Jihadis. The vicissitudes of migration are going to harden and radicalise many of those who are displaced, yet taking a few tens of thousands takes removes a little pressure from Middle States.

It is also a duty on Christians to welcome the stranger - the Holy Family were refugees