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7 Sunday of Easter

The Great Wall of China. Hadrian’s Wall. The Berlin Wall. The Iron Curtain. The Korean Demarcation Line. The Israel-Gaza barrier. These are just a few examples of physical barriers people have put up to separate themselves effectively from others. I believe there’s another one planned along the Mexican-American border. When such a massive construction effort is undertaken, it’s usually driven by - and justified by - one big idea or an ideology. Such projects are almost invariably divisive, not merely in a literal sense, but more notably both culturally and mentally. They create a sense of superiority on one side and inferiority on the other, consequently fostering attitudes like derision, mockery, disregard, contempt and so on. In the extreme, those excluded can effectively be dehumanised, as we saw in the Jewish ghettos established by the Nazis. Instinctively we feel that putting up barriers is wrong but, on the other hand, fencing of this kind offers a sense of safety, even if it is…

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