Scott Morrison – Scott Morrison’s Christianity is missing when it comes to Priya, Nades, Tharunicaa and Kopika
Scott Morrison’s Christianity has regularly been on full display from the moment he entered politics.
It’s in the photo opportunities organised by his media minders inside the megachurch he attends in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, showing him eyes closed and arms raised in the air in enthusiastic worship.
You see his devotion in videos and images of appearances at heaving conferences hosted by Hillsong and its founder, his close friend Brian Houston, with several thousand people hanging on his every word.
That was especially the case at one where Mr Morrison declared he was doing “God’s work” as PM.
It’s evident in his semi-regular references to God, prayer, miracles and faith in his public remarks.
He praises a man who preached love, kindness, compassion and empathy for those suffering society’s worst ills.
The sick. The needy. The downtrodden. The persecuted. The poor.
Displays of faith are quite nice, especially when promoting such worthy ideals of charity and loving thy neighbour.
But, Mr Morrison, where the bloody hell is your Christianity now?
Since being PM, he has ignored the increasingly desperate and shameful plight of a family of four locked in immigration detention and forced to live in horrifying limbo.
Since August 2019, the family has been held in immigration detention on Christmas Island.
The latest indignity and injustice inflicted on Priya and Nades Murugappan and their daughters Tharunicaa and Kopika was exposed yesterday, leaving many Australians rightfully appalled.
An image emerged showing a hysterical Tharunicaa, just three years old, terrified on a stretcher, moments before being evacuated to Perth for treatment for a serious blood infection, being kissed goodbye by her five-year-old sister.
When asked about the horrific case yesterday, Mr Morrison simply said: “As you know, this is a matter going through the court‘s process that they’ve initiated and there are some present medical issues involving the family. And they will continue to receive every medical care and that care and where they are treated will continue to be determined by doctors, by the medical professionals who advise us on these matters.”
Since August 2019, the family has been held in immigration detention on Christmas Island. They were in detention in Melbourne for 18 months before that.
The couple arrived by boat as Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka nearly a decade ago before settling in Queensland and starting a family.
For almost four years, Mr Morrison has repeatedly swatted away pleas for compassion with disinterest, saying he wouldn’t intervene in the case for the sake of strong borders.
He has said he would not step in to save a Tamil family from deportation because he believes it would expose Australia to a new wave of boat people.
The sense of Christian duty has been repeatedly absent, like when the Tamil family were ripped from their home in Biloela in central Queensland, where they had settled and become an important and enthusiastic part of their new community.
In shrugging off the case each time he’s pressured, his government relying on the findings of an assessment of their status as refugees, Mr Morrison showed no care for their actual circumstances.
In reality, the family was assessed under a “fast track” process by immigration authorities that has been widely criticised as deeply flawed, problematic and unfair.
But this Christian ideal of fairness was missing there too, as was the one of compassion and understanding about the threat they face in their homeland should they return.
The pleas of the Biloela community, who want the family brought home, were ignored, as were the concerns of advocates about the physical and mental health implications of the indefinite detention.
Instead, Mr Morrison and his government consider it worthwhile to lock four people in a staffed immigration detention facility on Christmas Island at a cost thus far of $50 million.
That $50 million could’ve been better spent on helping some of the 3.2 million Australians who live below the poverty line.
It could’ve helped to feed some of the one-in-five children who regularly go hungry.
Perhaps it could house some of the 116,000 people who are homeless across the country.
It could go some way to alleviate the pressures felt by two million Australians who can’t afford medical care.
You know, very Christian acts of charity and compassion and care.
It seems the PM is picking and choosing which of the Bible’s teachings he’s willing to subscribe to and those he can conveniently ignore.
Shannon Molloy is the news editor at news.com.au