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May 31st 2017 print

Peter Smith

Abide with Me in an Age of Posturing

It seems all too possible that puerile leftist posturing will go on undermining enlightened Western civilisation. Waiting in the wings is its Dark Ages replacement. I have prayer. My prayer is that God-given reason eventually prevails, but there are many moments when it is very difficult to keep the faith

christ weeps IIAt my Anglican church on a recent Sunday the lady giving ‘the prayers of the people’, having delivered the accustomed collective environmental mea culpa, asked that we pray for Palestinians in Israeli jails who were apparently on hunger strike,  to thank God for our multicultural and diverse society, and to help us resist hate speech. She made no mention of Jews killed by Palestinian terrorists, or of Christians being persecuted in the Middle East, or of underage Muslim girls in Australia being wedded off or subjected to FGM.

She brought her political agenda before the congregation and God. I have political views but there is a time and place to express them. And the time and place is not Sunday morning in church. There are standard words that all we Christian churchgoers of different political views can sign up to. Here is an abridged example, which I plucked randomly from a particular Episcopalian church service:

Let us pray for the nations and peoples of the world [for] justice, peace, and prosperity [for] those who are sick, those who suffer, and those who struggle and who have died.

The dissonance exhibited at my church stems from believing that one’s political agenda has moral authority, even godly authority. It is an extraordinary conceit. It is delusional. This kind of delusion is rampant within Christian churches from top to bottom. It is even more rampant, sans the godly part, among modern-day leftists who dominate public services, the media, universities and schools, and who infest our well-to-do suburbs.

Go back some decades and I doubt that nearly as many people — common sense was more abundant — would have conflated their personal political beliefs with moral authority. As it is, leftists now put a moral badge on their cockamamie views and therefore regard those who don’t share them as fair game for abuse. Virtue signalling passes for thinking and spawns deplorable childlike behaviour.

We see conservative speakers being refused venues and shouted down. And those who would provide them a stage intimidated by violence and threats of violence. Absurdity flourishes.  Trade union bosses throw their members to the wolves by promoting pointless policies to curb CO2 emissions.

How did we get here? It is hard to say. The feminisation of schooling may have played a part. Tongue in cheek I have suggested alien body snatching. Let me go to something earthbound. I wonder whether the evolving structure of work has also played a part.

The industrial revolution has profoundly changed the structure of work since 1750 but only in more recent decades has it resulted in the wholesale switch out of manual work. In the US, for example, Greenwald and Kahn (Globalization) report that from 1970 to 2005 employment in managerial and professional roles grew by 153%, in service occupations by 123%, while employment in traditional manufacturing roles fell by 10 percent. It is a safe to assume that this trend has not abated.

Manual work is grounding. You see first-hand that materials, power and effort are required to make things. Now there are far fewer workers down the pit, or on the factory floor, or on the docks; and, correspondingly, large segments of the population have no contact with them at all. Think of the inner-city latte sets.

In this sanitised world goods just appear, as though out of thin air.  Let me speculate. The upshot is a cargo-cult mentality among the weak minded; and, more generally, an infantile disconnection from reality. Thus the wind and sun can replace coal, oil and gas and create millions of clean green jobs. Here is a mixed selection of more:

  • Ever more generous provisions of welfare, health and education are ‘rights’, the denial of which on the basis of affordability is unconscionable.
  • Taxing the rich is a bottomless wallet for making affordable the unaffordable.
  • Palestinians are willing to live in peace with Israel, even though their children are taught from infancy to hate, despise and kill Jews.
  • Islam is a peaceful religion no matter how much godless violence is preached and practised in its name; no matter how clear are the violent riding instructions in the Koran and Sunna.
  • Our Western past is shameful and we must be penitent in the ways of Obama.
  • All refugees must be welcomed across our open borders and everything will be fine.
  • Free speech is a right provided no-one outside of white men is offended; in which case it is hate speech.
  • Traditional marriage, and male and female demarcations, are dispensable affectations of less enlightened times when gender fluidity was not so de rigueur.

The list goes on.

Perhaps that old-style commie Mao had a point with his cultural re-education revolution. There might be nothing like working in the rice paddies or milking cows at 5.30am to refocus and ground the minds of the chattering classes. As that option is unavailable, it seems all too possible that puerile leftist posturing will go on undermining enlightened Western civilisation. Waiting in the wings is its Dark Ages replacement. I have prayer. My prayer is that God-given reason eventually prevails.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [46]

  1. Homer Sapien says:

    I’m afraid Peter, “God-given reason” will not prevail when people turn away from God. All we see is more churches being turned into mosques as we race to the bottom. Guter Rat teuer…

  2. teetwoh says:

    Peter – we are either in the same church or prayers in Anglican churches are now written while sipping lattes.

  3. Patrick McCauley says:

    Such a simple profundity as the clarity of thought provided by hard work … won’t interest the head people, Peter … but its hard to avoid the ‘truth’ in it. I was blessed with ten years of mixing cement and lifting very heavy cast cement sculptures and fountains … after a long life of teaching and learning in my head. Those who exist in their heads never consider the thoughts of their limbs. You cannot ‘imagine’ first hand information … and the ‘doing’ of things definitely produces an invisible knowledge of the world unattainable by the imagined simulated mind. I would suggest a year of ‘hard work’ ( National service) for every child – post VCE – before ‘University’ . A reinstatement of the apprenticeships and Technical Schools on a vast scale (especially for boys).

  4. en passant says:

    Peter,
    Excellent analysis, but with three strikes against you:
    1. ALL religions are delusional.
    2. The Anglican religion is exceptionally delusional as it was created simply to indulge a randy, despotic King; and
    3. The disconnect between reality and fantasy is now so blurred in Oz that the nation must collapse – to the applause of the inmates. Vietnam is building 3 x coal-fired power stations by 2021 to service its economy and people, while Oz deliberately impoverishes itself to ‘save the planet’. China builds more coal-fired power stations EVER SINGLE YEAR than we have in Oz (before we closed down several to ‘save the planet’.

    I downloaded and am reading a very old book called “Common Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”. Who knew it was a textbook to be slavishly followed by our treasonous political minions?

    • PT says:

      En Passant, like many, you forget that Henry VIII died. His son was raised as a full on Protestant, like Henry he promoted Protestants in the Church and society. But it wasn’t out of a need for divorce! Mary, however, restored Roman Catholicism, with Protestants rallying around her younger half sister!

      Henry VIII split with Rome, but that wasn’t because he was “randy” (he could do as he pleased anyway) but because he wanted a legitimate son to succeed him!

      There had been criticism of the Pope’s claims, for centuries, but in the West, it was ultimately Martin Luther who succeeded in making his case! The moral and intellectual case! That is why Martin Luther is such a pivotal figure, and why the split between the crown and Rome (caused by Queen Catherine’s nephew taking the Pope prisoner) are so important!

      As for the rest. Most poseurs who declare themselves “anti-conservative” also say they’re “agnostic” or “athiest” and claim these labels for their own ideology.

      I’ve three huge issues with these people.

      • PT says:

        The first is that they all (Christopher Hitchens apart), seem to only target Christian denominations, and excuse Islam in particular. It sounds like they “imagine” if they deny Christianity, they imagine Muslims will do the same for Islam, despite the physical threats these “heroes” won’t risk! Indeed, they won’t back those ex-Muslims who are willing!

        The second is this. It is a part of the deliberate degenerating of Western Culture, which promotes Islam by default and leaves us open to Sharia Law! Constitutional protections against religious law and “blasphemy” are circumvented by making Islam as a “race” and attacks on Islam and its claims as “racism”! Using “race law” to prohibit any discussion or criticism of Islam puts it above the law – effectively establishing it. There is also nothing to prevent Muslims campaigning to legalise Sharia! Pretending otherwise is stupid, and, indeed, racist, as it assumes Muslims are too stupid to utilise their voting power.

        Third, they reject liberal Protestant denominations, like the Anglicans, Presbyterians, and indeed Baptists, but back ultra controlling groups like Muslims! There will always be people searching for metaphysical meaning! I’d want them to like for it in the “liberal Protestant tradition” (which accepts science) rather than Islam, with its totalitarian political ideology!

  5. pgang says:

    Peter I have a great deal of respect for your faith, and agree with the frustrations you present here as I see them creeping into the last bastion of conservative Christianity in Australia – Lutheranism. Lutherans, of all people, should know better.

    But I’m afraid that I have to chastise you as being part of the problem with your individualistic, liberal approach to theology and your existential view of nature. The latter particularly grates on me, as your Christian essentialism cannot possibly coexist logically with an existentialist-evolutionary view of nature. Therein also lies the foundation of your postmodern liberalisation of theology. Atheists such as Richard Dawkins understand this conundrum only too well, and use evolution as their primary weapon to drive a wedge into God’s church.

    I have studied this conflict for decades, because it became very clear to me early in life that if the ‘enlightened’ secular view of natural history is true, then the Bible was not to be trusted in anything. Thankfully I have found that secular natural history is nothing more than a worldview blanket thrown over science to smother it, and that science and society would be vastly improved if this existential darkness could be lifted. Conversely, The Bible is the revelation of truth, and it can be trusted. That is clear to anyone who cares to look properly and wants to find answers.

    You are not doing your homework as a Christian, and are far too accepting of the popular secular/pagan fairytales about reality which are so old and widespread that Moses deliberately debunked them in his record of the creation. Beyond the mainstream (the people you read) there is a wealth of scientific and apologetic books, papers, magzines, and web sites written by hard working and dedicated Christian scientists, historians, and theologians who understand the conflict between the existential secular and the essential sacred. I wonder whether you have looked at a single one of them.

    You speak of a cargo-cult mentality, which is exactly the sort of mindset I see in Christians who dabble in secular ideals and politically correct opinions, as if this can in any way be reconciled with God’s authority as the creator of all reality. But the worst pursuit, because it is the cornerstone of all others, is this misdirected, existential view of the natural created world.

    You are right, our society would be a better place if more people were prepared to get their hands dirty and find out how hard it is to actually make something. The church also needs more of its people to get themselves dirty, to accept the mud slinging when they reject popular ideals, and to make the hard effort to drill down into the truth through the multi layered fictions of secular humanism that are shredding Christian faith.

    • Warty says:

      Now, I’m glad you respect Peter’s respect for his faith, though you follow through with a number of attacks, particularly his ‘individualistic, liberal approach to theology and his existential view of nature’. In order to give your argument, well it’s not really an argument, any weight you need to follow it up with the relevant ‘proofs’ to support what you say. Biblical scholars have debated various passages in the Bible ever since the Reformation. But what can be quite unpalatable, even counter-productive, is when individuals insist on their own interpretations, or their own ‘handle’ on the Truth.
      Yes, I do believe there is such a thing as Absolute Truth, but I also believe it requires study and reflection before it can be approached. And even then it ought not to be ‘claimed’ as Absolute Truth, because already, it has become something else.
      I had a long (on-line) discussion with a gentleman called John Mackay, who was of a Christian fundamentalist persuasion, the sort of persuasion that brings out the unGodly in me every time http://truthjournalism.com/2017/05/25/real-root-islamic-terrorism/
      Each to their own, even if I cling to my own bit of intolerance: I’m a work in progress.

      • pgang says:

        They are not attacks, but criticisms made out of genuine concern. Big difference. Peter has made his position on these matters quite clear in his posts (which I always enjoy), so I have no need to present ‘proofs’ here. He knows what I’m talking about.

        I agree that individuals should not insist on their own interpretations of the Bible. That is what Peter is doing. We have 2000 years of theological consensus on The Bible and absolute truth, which I have studied and reflected upon. A straightforward reading of Scripture, as Luther reminded us, is the only way to approach it. So if you are accusing me of having a personal interpretation you are incorrect. My interpretation is the one that has been held for hundreds of years, prior to modern liberalisation (which is nothing more than a heretical mish-mash of convenient personal interpretations).

        Peter believes that Jesus is his only means of justification (I presume), and I hope he accepts that Jesus is part of the Trinity (ie – God), and a real man who physically died a brutal and shameful death. Who was then permanently resurrected from physical death as the ‘firstfruit’ of our subsequent salvation. He took on himself out of love the responsibility and outcomes of our failure, but it is up to us as individuals to abrogate to him that responsibility on our own behalf – not an easy thing to do, as we all feel that we can somehow pay for our own folly.

        This is all that anybody needs to accept for their justification, and it is easy to believe because there were hundreds of witnesses to these events, and several extant written testimonies dating back almost to the year. There is no better historical evidence for any event in ancient history.

        As a fellow brother in Christ I look forward to having a beer with Peter in the next life after a rewarding day of getting our hands dirty. But we’ve a long way to go before then, and Peter is a public commentator regarding Christian matters, and with that comes a great deal of genuine responsibility. Just as we talk much about holding our politicians to account, I feel the same way about Peter in his public role.

        • Warty says:

          Talk of the Bible and absolute truth frighten me a little, having delved into the Qur’an and some of the implications arising out of it. If one goes back to some of the founding fathers, you’ll find people like Origen and Valentinus taking a different line to you, suggesting that some aspects of the New Testament are not to be taken literally, such as John’s version (which differs in detail to that of Mark and Matthew, for instance) of the parable of the money lenders. You claim that Lutherans insist of a ‘straight forward reading of Scripture’, which in itself is a variant approach. Origen, for instance suggests that the Holy Spirit had inspired John to offer a contradiction, in order to in turn force the reader to reflect on the inner or hidden meaning. I am not sure upon what basis you suggest there have been 2000 years of consensus on the Bible, when modern Biblical scholars suggest otherwise.
          You are not going to like this, but since the discovery of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts, with numerous hitherto forgotten (as opposed to unknown) ‘Jesus follower’ texts coming available; it has become clear that there was in fact considerable controversy surrounding the synoptic gospels vis a vis those of John and others outside the canon.Luther would turn in his grave to hear me say all of this. And you may or may not have delved into the history of the early church (and we are talking largely of the second century AD here) but you can hardly suggest there was considerable uniformity, when there are scholars that suggest that even John’s writings were influenced by neo Platonic thinking, particularly the opening verses of his Chapter One ‘In the beginning was the word (logos) and the word was with God . . .’
          May I suggest you look into exactly when the various gospels were written and then ask yourself whether or not they were written by the disciples themselves, two of whom were allegedly illiterate, or by the disciples of the disciples (particularly in relation to Matthew, Mark and Luke; John lived into his nineties). Add to this the very poor state of historiography in the both BC and AD until well into the Middle Ages then your statement about ‘there were hundreds of witnesses to these events, and several written testimonies dating back almost to the year (which year I’m not sure what you’re referring to, I’m not sure) then one needs to question Luther’s own understandings, if he reads gospels literally. Even Josephus, a Jewish historian living at the time of Christ cannot be regarded in the way we regard the historiography of modern historians, and none of the disciples of the disciples claimed to be historians.

          • padraic says:

            Warty, I take your point about reading the Gospels literally. Years ago I spoke with a Christian missionary working in a faraway land whose people’s language was very ancient. He had mastered the language and was very impressed at its subtlety and used this aspect to great effect in his sermons. One of his sermons dealt with coveting one’s neighbour’s wife in which he advised the mixed congregation of women, men and children that it was not a good idea to hoe in your neighbour’s garden and that it was better to stick to hoeing your own garden. The adults understood exactly what he meant but it went over the heads of children, who took it literally. This meant adults could have a conversation about all sorts of issues from which children were excluded. I thought about the sophistication of these old languages and applied the principle to the New Testament and the Bible and saw many of those fairy stories in a new light. For instance, if you look at the birth of Jesus story the idea of a “virgin birth” is ridiculous. However, if you consider the language used at the time Mary had probably conceived out of wedlock. The code for that at the time was probably “She has had the Angel Gabriel”, similar to some of the less edifying expressions used in the traditional Australian idiom for a similar situation. In her situation, at that time and with that strict Judaic religion, epitomised by the hypocritical Pharisees, she would have been a social outcast, and that’s why there was no room at the Inn and why she and Joseph had to seek a manger for her to give birth after which they had to move to a new town. As Jesus grew older he would have copped it for being illegitimate and seeing his mother disparaged and that I believe is what inspired him to embrace the concept of live and let live and that everyone was capable of getting back on track after “sinning” and should be accepted back into society as a decent, law-abiding citizen. A reading of the New Testament has many examples of this theme. That theme is well expressed in the Anglican hymn “Amazing Grace”, composed by an ex-slave dealer. Similarly, one sees this subtlety of language in the Old Testament, where Adam is given the Apple by Eve in the garden of Eden. You don’t have to be a literary genius to know what is being said there and the story also seems to indicate that celibacy is a higher state. This has led to interesting attitudes towards sex in all three of the Abrahamaic religions. Judaism and Christianity have come to terms with it better than Islam which has not advanced much beyond the Garden of Eden in their attitude towards women. I don’t consider the view above as derogatory, in fact, looking at the New Testament in that light has shown me what a remarkable document it is as an examination of and a possible guide to aspects of human behaviour.

          • pgang says:

            No, there is no controversy. They were agnostic texts which are dated after the Gospels. Paul knew about the problem of agnosticism in the early church, and if you had studied him you would know that. I have done exactly what you suggest over many years. Perhaps it’s time for you to do the same before espousing fake news about historicity.

      • padraic says:

        Warty, re your comments on “Amazing Grace”, I am of the opinion that Anglican hymns are better than Catholic ones in many ways and “Amazing Grace” is my favourite. The Catholic liturgical music such as the Gregorian Chant compensates to a point. The chap who composed “Amazing Grace” did turn the corner and was very active in helping others from a small chapel in London, as I understand it.

    • Peter says:

      pgang, As a working hypothesis, I accept evolution (not Dawkin’s Darwinian version) as the way God brought us about. I could be wrong about that of course, but I don’t think that my view is inconsistent with the biblical account of creation. As to my reading, I have read quite a lot in this area of God and science but whether this includes any of those you have in mind, of course, I don’t know.

      • pgang says:

        Any evolutionary scenario is inconsistent with the essentialist special creation of the material universe, and humankind in particular. All evolutionary scenarios are existential. Inserting the hand of God into evolution simply denies the revealed nature of God. As I stated, Moses could not have written a more anti-evolutionary account of creation. The entire narrative is in direct contradiction to any such theory. The fall and subsequent salvation from death cannot be reconciled in any way to any evolutionary scenario. Not unless we ditch one of the core tenets of Christianity, which is that God’s salvation is enacted in and for the material world, rather than the agnostic idea that the world is a failed entity and we will transition to a purely spiritual state. That is heresy of the first order. Look for an author called Jonathan Safarti and start there. Also look for John C. Sanford.

        • Warty says:

          I’m afraid you’ve lost your ‘reply’ button, so I’ve had to push pgang’s (excuse the pun, again I couldn’t help myself). But anyway, a fascinating account and explanation about hoeing one’s own garden, rather than the neighbour’s. Thoroughly delightful. I haven’t come across your interpretation of Mary’s immaculate pregnancy either. There is yet another interpretation stemming from Justin Martyr (c.140 AD) that Matthew’s interpretation of the ‘virgin’ birth was a mistranslation of Isaiah’s (7:14) original interpretation of the Hebrew word ‘almah’ meaning maid, but the young woman interpretation of ‘maid’ rather than an unmarried young woman (see Justin’s ‘Dialogue with Trypho 7). This also goes to show that pgang’s understanding, that there had been 2000 years of uniform interpretation of the Bible, is incorrect.
          I had always felt Amazing Grace was Catholic, not Anglican, and I knew nothing of it’s being composed by an ex-slave dealer. Hopefully such a composition would mitigate his sins in relation to slavery.

    • PT says:

      Pgang, you give Dawkins too much credit! He admitted he didn’t attack Islam as he didn’t want his head cut off! So he only attacks those who won’t (ie the CofE) and hopes that Muslims will “follow his example” but risk being beheaded, which he isn’t (what sort of “example” is he setting?)!!!!!!!

      He also promotes this “secular humanism” which backs mass immigration, including (or especially) from Islamic sources. This man is in truth an advocate for the Islamification of society! I despise him because he refuses to see it, despite his intelligence! Will he argue Muslims be denied the vote? Or that it be restricted to those of Brit ancestry? Of course not! So how else can his “ideas” lead to anything but Islamifying Britain!

  6. AlanIO says:

    Having wandered back 28,000 years in my genes (no not Gloria or Just), it seems the tribes were not very organised then. Now a 100 or so years after the great anarchy movements it seems there is a sustained(perhaps since 1960 anyway)wish to go back to tribal law.
    Why is it so?
    Surely Australia(1901-2017) is a good place to live?
    Why break it again? I liked 1960. AlanIO

  7. Jon R says:

    Pete, The church simply needs to go back to basics. The amount of junk mail both real, and electronic is dreadful. I went back to basics on Sunday, and we looked at the Lord’s prayer. My hand is still sore from the handshakes of congratulation. This week I am starting on the Creed! What do we believe? Why do we believe it? How do we live it? BTW that is copywriter free if you choose to use it.

  8. PT says:

    I wouldn’t expect better from a “woman priest”! The old CofE is prey to the fads of the intellectual elite! It’s Achilles heel is the need for its ordinates to be university graduates!

    The Uniting Church is even worse, but with very significant pockets of resistance! I’m thinking particularly of Reverend Nile, but there are others! Nor are many RC Priests much better, despite the more obvious need to comply with Rome’s dictates. The current Pontif, whilst “humble” didn’t fight against a godless totalitarian regime, and need to state what he was fighting for (as our sadly lost John Paul II did), indeed it seems he colluded with Argentina’s military criminals! But this crime doesn’t count with “progressivists”, just as John Paul II’s very real resistance (which involved a real physical risk) against the Nazis and Communists didn’t count when he refused to support pseudo-Communists in Latin America.

    We have to support those, like Margaret Court, who refuse to be cowed by the zeitgeist, and stick to their conscience! BTW so called “lefties” should be outraged that Joyce has got this employee campaign of wearing a broken ring to support SSM amongst Qantas employees! Whilst supposedly “voluntary” there is clearly duress! An obvious misuse of the position of CEO to promote a personal political agenda. You don’t have to oppose SSM to oppose Joyce and his self serving actions on this issue.

    • Salome says:

      I don’t think it was a priestess–the description suggests it was a laywoman, because it’s so important that people with no theological training and no belonging to Holy Orders get to make up bits of the services these days. The sad thing about Peter’s description of the prayers is that I remember exactly the same prayers back in the late 1970s.

      • Peter says:

        You are right Salome. The “prayers for the people” are delivered by a member of the congregation who, in my experience, are given far too much latitude to spout their own pet political views.

    • Jon R says:

      PT, you have as to the UCA, hit the nail on the head. I Remember one January in my country Parish, where the UCA minister and the Anglican would take turns for holidays. It was UCA, Synod week. (now don’t ask why!) “If they vote the wrong way, we will be back next week.” Now, call them “gate keepers all you like, but mention the readings of Jesus as the gate keeper, and watch the panic from the progressives! As I get nearer to retirement, it its something of a hobby to keep me amused.

  9. Bill Martin says:

    Another excellent article by Peter Smith, brief, to the point, not requiring higher learning to understand the message. The all but complete abandonment of spirituality by western societies is alarming enough as the explanation for the muddled, confused thinking that prevails, yet what is far more regrettable is that religious leaders are at least as much affected as the laity. Some leadership.

    I hope Peter will forgive my audacity of offering this addition to his list of “culturally appropriate” thoughts:

    Freedom of speech allows any and all abuse of any religious or political system, but expressing thoughts disapproving of Islam is bigoted, islamophobic hate mongering.

    • Peter says:

      Thanks Bill, if it required higher learning I wouldn’t be able to understand it. Agree with your addition.

      • Bushranger71 says:

        Regarding the inclination to work fading; I have just spent 6 weeks in the US and there are ‘Now Hiring’ advertisements across the country. The Mexicans are willing workers, but the American masses have become too familiar with inducements not to work, as in Australia.

  10. StephenD says:

    Peter I’m not sure that reason alone can ever ‘prevail’ unaided in the kinds of controversies you have in mind. There is very little human action that is purely a result of reason. Christians historically have always operated with a set of biblical moral guidelines e.g. the Ten Commandments. The Christian ideal of marriage has been entrenched in our society for generations. But it is not valuable because it is rational, or because it is traditional. It is valuable (from the Christian perspective) because it is biblical.
    Everybody knows that unaided reason cannot provide the necessary authority for ethical systems. Since our society has rejected the authority of the Bible, and God, people have no authoritative reference point to guide their behaviour. This is the real source of the moral posturing and virtue signalling that is so prevalent today. Everybody thinks that their view on ethics is correct – or at least just as ‘valid’ as anybody else’s.
    Nevertheless the fact remains that it is the biblical worldview (variously interpreted, but certainly debatable in a rational forum) that is the glory of Christianity. It ought to inform the position of the churches on social issues, but sadly many churches and most professing Christians are now, by any standard, biblically illiterate.

  11. Keith Kennelly says:

    Tonight on the Drum someone called Roger Franklin an idiot.

    I’d sue.

    • Warty says:

      By far the greatest idiocy was the Quadrant board’ abject capitulation. The number of people pointing this out on catallaxyfiles.com is close to overwhelming, but too many Quadrant readers have remained ‘mum’, whilst the entire editorial board, in the greater wisdom, has seen fit to leave us entirely in the dark. I may be wrong, but Quadrant’s rejection of its ‘brand’ seems hideously similar to that of the Coalition.

      • innocuous says:

        I thought it was a bit gutless to withdraw the article and I didn’t agree with Mr Franklin’s vitriol at all! Freedom of speech except if we might get sued.

        • Iron says:

          Where IS Roger .. I’m missing him

          • Patrick McCauley says:

            I liked the Franklin satire in the same way that the Irish loved John Swift for his satire ‘A Modest Proposal’ describing how the English should be eating Irish babies. Satire is a legitimate tool of literature, and should not be apologised for. Quadrant should back its literary traditions, rather than current journalistic legalese to drive its liberal freedoms through the hearts of the rising leftist totalitarian juggarnaughts … like the ABC (who has never apologised to anyone for anything).

      • Bill Martin says:

        The apology by Keith Windschuttle to the ABC over Roger Franklin’s article was certainly very disappointing, compounded by the lack of communicating it to loyal Quadrant readers, who can be considered members of a conservative club, headed by the Quadrant​ board.

    • Jody says:

      Don’t worry; it was just one of their own projections.

  12. Trog says:

    A thoroughly enjoyable read, if somewhat depressing. Well said.

    • padraic says:

      Peter, I had a similar experience some a few years back when I attended a Mass for a school anniversary, despite my “lapsism” and better judgement. The notable celebrant got up at sermon time and blasted all those bad Australian people in the community who opposed illegal migration. I nearly got up and walked out. Needless to say, I did not put a razoo on the plate and now restrict my churchgoing to baptisms, weddings and funerals. The Christian church is trying to appease its enemies by becoming like them.

  13. pabloAU says:

    To the Author: Sir, you still have a chance to explore traditional Catholic teaching by traditionalists, places where Latin Mass is said and no political/social nonsense gets a mention.
    They grow in number around the world, including Australia.

    As to the doubters of God and reason, just before checking Q online I finished a short video on the miracle of St January. I am happy if a couple of correspondents above explain to me “rationally” what is happening with the blood of the Saint (16 centuries old).

  14. Bran Dee says:

    To a fellow Anglican Peter’s experience is mine also. Our learned rector and part-time university academic can not induce himself to ever speak of the confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. Those women-stoning, public-praying, dietary-obsessed Pharisees are so much like strict Mohammadans. St Paul who in his previous zealotry as Saul persecuted Christians and supervised the stoning of Stephen. St Paul we could say converted from the ‘Muslim’ ideology.

    For a psychological legal analysis of warlord Mohammad read “The People vs Muhammad” by J K Sheindlin. The analysis – ‘Psychopath, sex addict, schizophrenic, and more’.

  15. Jody says:

    Posturing and jumping to conclusions are the only physical exercise the Left gets these days; certainly not exercising their imaginations about success, business opportunities and prosperity. I like to stir things a little on “The Conversation”. One correspondent became increasingly belligerent, particularly over the term “latte sippers”. She wondered “if conservatives drink coffee; and, if they do, it would be behind doors and in total secrecy”. I couldn’t resist it: so I replied, “yes, I’m sure they would do this in secret because they have a morbid fear of dregs”!!!

    Served her right!!!

  16. Keith Kennelly says:

    Ian

    For the left to have validity, like everything, it has to be shown how it works and what it produces.

    Think Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel, Venezuela (Who was that?) East Germany in fact all of Europe pre and post Cold War. None worked except to produce mass murderers, mass deprivation, economic chaos and societal breakdown.

    That would invalidate left wing theory and practise in the minds of rational people.

    See climate change has got the heave ho in the Good Ol’ USA this morning.

    Trump opened with the words

    ‘I was elected by the voters of Pennsylvania not of Paris ….”

    Now watch the death of your catastrafarian religion.
    Btw Wed was the coldest autumn day in Australia for 18 years.

    Was that caused by warming?