2 thoughts on “Rev Dr Giles Fraser, St Mary’s Newington

  1. Giles is not the first commentator to point out that a refugee crisis is not about faceless migrant thousands but about every single individual in distress and need – but anyone listening this morning would have thought he was. In typical Giles fashion his listeners were upbraided for not realising what he clearly knew; and for not caring as much as he cared.

    Applying the golden section to Giles’ piece, the pinnacle or climax was the point where we were told of the refugee who came to his church (where he receives many refugees) asking for communion and a Bible in his own language. This was the core point he was working up to.

    No doubt many churches, synagogues and mosques across the country, and those countries on migrant routes, are doing all they can to help refugees; and this of course is commendable. But churches, synagogues and mosques won’t solve the problem, indeed the religions they represent are at the heart of the problem. Most of those fleeing various Middle Eastern countries and regimes are of the ‘wrong’ religion, or the wrong sect within those religions. Sunni or Shia; Catholic or Protestant or Coptic; Orthodox or Reform; in all the principal faiths these insurmountable divisions have caused, and continue to cause huge disruption and conflict, to which there appears to be no end.

    Giles offered no solution to the crisis – which surely must lie in international diplomacy, perhaps even UN involvement. Nor did Giles address the (admittedly thorny) question of why so many refugees end up crossing the Channel in flimsy craft at great peril. He did acknowledge that the crisis effects many receptor countries; but not why British shores are a goal so many aim for.

    According to Giles’ his BBOMS is all about refugees – but apparently doesn’t (unless he’s overlooked something) offer any solution except to suggest that other people’s problems are, essentially, ‘ours’ too.


  2. All too true; and of course the BBoMS is not all about refugees, except on a highly selective reading. Even the bits about the exile in Egypt (made up) and that in Babylon (historical; but not involving anything like the entire Israelite nation) were written in part to justify the Israelites’ claim over a part of the ancient world that was particularly prone to being occupied or fought over.

    And not only does Giles not offer any solution to the crisis, he doesn’t acknowledge that there must be a limit to immigration, even of completely deserving or particularly persecuted people. The alternative is to open our doors unconditionally to anyone who wants to come here. I have seen that position asserted, but without serious consideration of what the social and economic impact would be. I wonder where Giles really stands.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s