For me the issue of children in detention is a very simple one. It goes to the most basic moral principle one could extract from the teaching of Jesus – what we often call the Golden Rule…
The Golden Rule holds that I should treat others the way I would like to be treated myself. How then would I want my children to be treated if they had to escape war or persecution and throw themselves onto the mercy of another country? Would I want them to be treated the way Australia currently treats refugees?
If I wouldn’t want indefinite imprisonment, cruelty and lasting psychological damage for my own children, why on earth would I want it for anybody else’s children? That is the principle which should guide every one of us – including the politicians we elect to represent us. Not to bring that fundamental principle to our policies and humanitarian responses is to fail at the most fundamental level. For me it is that simple.