Refugees

PETER HITCHENS: BLESSED ARE THE QUEUE-JUMPING KNIFEMEN……?

Hitchens once again cuts through the sanctimonious dross of the Left and nails it.

He (Jesus) was himself a genuine refugee, hiding in Egypt from the real, murderous wrath of Herod. But when the danger was past, his family didn’t settle in Egypt but returned home.

PETER HITCHENS: Did Jesus really say ‘blessed are the queue-jumping knifemen?’

Show of faith: The Songs of Praise presenter Sally Magnusson filming outside the migrants' makeshift church in the Calais camp 

Show of faith: The Songs of Praise presenter Sally Magnusson filming outside the migrants’ makeshift church in the Calais camp

I’m always a bit suspicious of the sort of person who argues by saying ‘What would Jesus have said?’ They usually mean that they are quite sure Jesus would have agreed with them.

My favourite example of this was always the Blair creature, reproved by Cardinal Basil Hume for taking Catholic communion when he wasn’t a Catholic. The then Labour leader peevishly responded: ‘I wonder what Jesus would have made of it.’

My guess is that Jesus would have told Mr Blair (who converted to Rome once he’d left Downing Street) to decide whether his faith or his political career came first. But it’s only a guess, based on Our Lord’s known retorts to one or two other uppity lawyers. And, of course, it’s what I think.

Now we’re being asked, by the Dean of Durham, what Jesus would do about the migrant camp at Calais. This is because of the BBC’s plan to broadcast in today’s Songs Of Praise sections filmed at a makeshift church in that camp.

This is not by any means the only such lecture from that direction I’ve heard recently.

I’m not bothered much by the broadcast. BBC bias is a fact of life and that’s that. And I can’t say that screening film from such a place on Songs Of Praise is a bad idea in itself. Christians ought to be thinking about such things.

But thinking is what these prelates and preachers are not doing. Is it as simple as they claim? I am far from sure. The founder of the Christian church was not actually a guerrilla fighter or a Russell Brand-type demagogue. He had nothing against people obeying laws or fulfilling their obligations. I’d say, rather the opposite.

He was himself a genuine refugee, hiding in Egypt from the real, murderous wrath of Herod. But when the danger was past, his family didn’t settle in Egypt but returned home.

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