‘Good cheer’ in defeat be damned

Against my better judgement I read a long article by Greg Sheridan in The Australian on Saturday, “Did Trump destroy evangelical Christianity?” As usual much good stuff mixed with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). It’s sad really. Sheridan’s a good writer derailed by TDS and more lately by CDS (Covid Derangement Syndrome).

Be that as it may, Sheridan should not say Trump “lied relentlessly” without giving examples. My advice, try to find some whoppers, save them to a separate file, and then paste them into any future articles which mention Trump; which, perforce, will label him a liar.

Lying is a terrible thing. `It’s best not to lay the charge unless it’s justified beyond doubt. I once wrote that Julia Gillard lied about something. I needed to back that up and believe I did. Lies are not inadvertent falsities or fibs or inconsequential exaggerations or mistaken expectations or projections. They are deliberate and conscious false statements meant to deceive.

Speaking of the Devil, Jesus said “for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) To reiterate, best to be careful when we lay the charge of lying relentlessly. Sheridan should take particular note. He’s a Christian not an atheist-leftie whose views are of no account.

But this isn’t principally what I want to talk about. I want to talk about Sheridan’s take on how Christians should combat what he accurately describes as the cultural “madness” infecting our society. He notes three wrong tactics. Go to total war, surrender, or to retreat into ghettos which, by the way, is advocated by Rod Dreher in The Benedict Option. So, what does he advocate?

“The right path is… continued engagement with the culture, insistence on proclaiming the truth, but taking both victory and defeat with good cheer.”

Get a sense of why we are losing?

Also get a sense as to why Trump is so despised by pantywaist conservatives; unfailingly cheerful in defeat. Maybe they think the crocodile will eat them last or not eat them at all. Make no mistake, this nouveau-Marxist crocodile is not for turning – to mix and mangle the wisdom of two great British politicians of the past. Take both victory and defeat with good cheer? Really!

Exactly what victories has our side won in recent years, before or since Trump? At least Trump stemmed the tide; a little. Let’s see, in Victoria it is offence to discourage a teenage girl from permanently disfiguring her body if she mistakenly believes she has been born the wrong sex. Are double mastectomies on young girls defeats we have to treat with good cheer?

How about late-term ‘abortion’? How about instructing white schoolchildren to feel guilty about their racial identity and those of colour feel hopelessly oppressed? How about discrimination in favour of those with the “right” racial characteristics? How about cancelling and ruining the livelihoods of those (ungoodthinkers) whose views offend the prevailing politically-correct-atheist orthodoxy?

Should Israel Folau, a lay preacher at his church, take in good cheer being banned from playing his sport because he accurately paraphrased 1Corinthians (6:9-10). Should all we Christians take it in good cheer? Of course, its complete defeatism to do so. Might as well meekly hand over the keys to the kingdom.

Trump didn’t cower. He stood up for religious freedom. He ousted courses on Critical Race Theory from US government departments. But he was fighting alone, albeit with a few loyal disciples and his family. Those few in the media who might have been disposed to help mostly carped incessantly about his style, go hang his actions and polices. It is dispiriting. When we had a knight up for the fight, the cut of his jib didn’t suit.

What then is to be done? Wait around for someone with Trump’s strength of character, resilience and conviction but who is unfailingly diplomatic and polite. Another Ronnie Reagan maybe. Take it from me, Trump, Reagan and Thatcher and Churchill, to go back a bit further, were all one-offs.

We looked a gift horse in the mouth with Trump; or they did. Never mind, when the hangings start, we can be Cheerful Charlie Christians

Count me out. Let’s be as Trump-like as we are able and fight the good fight with all our might.

  • casesyd

    Before the 2016 election Sheridan said Trump wouldn’t win. Latham disagreed. Sheridan was then condescending towards him. It wss good. He showed what is really like.

  • mags of Queensland

    The current practice of shutting down any reasonable discussion concerning religion has caused great angst among the believers. Greg Sheridan, lovely man that he is, sometimes errs on the side trying to reconcile his own beliefs with those of the strident non believers who dominate social media and other forums. You can;t be a fence sitter.

  • Harry Lee

    Sheridan, Paul Kelly, Chris Kenny and others in that stable are typical pathetic products of the line-of-work they are in. To maintain connections with the main political players of all ilks, they must hedge and dodge and be very cautious about when, what and how to say things that would offend key players. Plus they must wall themselves off from both derision and corrective feedback from civilian observers. Plus, just like many people in all walks of life, they never develop their fundamental conceptual/belief framework beyond the one they formed in the first decade of their careers. This is true among scientists and the various other denizens of universities, judges and lawyers, social workers, and certainly scribblers of all kinds, and politicians too. And add to it all, to survive, they must develop a system of ego defence that is uncrackable, and which therefore makes it very unlikely they can get wisdom. The end they come to is one of self-sealed self-righteousness and/or they engage in random acts/verbal blurts of utter naive silliness and fake/false compassion as they unconsciously attempt to assuage their guilt, shame and self-enforced ignorance. All this happens to civilians too of course. It’s part of the human condition.

  • Alistair

    “… and then they came for me.”
    I’m reading Boethius (The Consolation of Philosophy 524AD)

    ‘Let men compose themselves and live at peace,
    Set haughty fate beneath their feet,
    And look unmoved on fortune good or bad,
    And keep unchanging countenance :

    If first you rid yourself of hope and fear
    You have disarmed the tyrant’s wrath :
    … ’

    And look what happened to him – and his civilization!

  • ianl

    While you’re at it, sorting out past battles – why was Rowan Dean from Outsiders cancelled ?

    While I did not watch that programme every week, the times I did I was amused at his thumping about of various posturing vanities. From my viewpoint this last Sunday morning (when Dean was gone), the now-incumbents are not game enough to combat real Aus issues and liars. Rather, they chose to become indignant about external characters and situations they had no hope of affecting. In short, I thought they reeked of cowardice. This of itself probably offers the best guess at the reasons behind Dean’s disappearance.

  • Harry Lee

    Peter Smith asks: “What then is to be done?”
    Answer: Start with “what is”.
    The enemy we face seeks power, control over others’ lives, and the money that goes with that package, while presenting themselves as lovingly virtuous and merely animated by compassion for the underprivileged. This enemy consists of forces that dominate how material resources are distributed (the public services), and the systems for disseminating information and determining what this information means (the education systems, news/opinion media, legal systems). The ALP and the Greens are obviously components of this enemy formation.
    Best we start there, and have a bit of a think.

  • Guido Negraszus

    My understanding is that Rowan Dean had a week off. Who said that he was canceled?

  • Peter OBrien

    Well said, Peter

  • Michael

    The left attacks on moral grounds, seeking to claim moral superiority for itself and to delegitimise its foes – the once dominant economic and social order. Every time we’ve made a concession, we’ve failed to understand that we’ve lost not just a tactical skirmish, but have given away moral legitimacy. The counter attack must be on moral grounds, that our ideas, values, and institutions are demonstrably better, both in theory and in practice. Make no mistake, we are faced now with a monstrous tyranny and must fight with all our strength and with a single aim: victory!

  • ChrisPer

    Or not. Whats on Netflix?

  • Helmond

    We have no idea of what Jesus said about anything. If he did in fact exist, who was taking notes? Inspired word of God? You seem too smart to buy that crap.
    Trump? BAD HAIRCUT! There’s something wrong about a President snapping off whatever flits into his mind on Twitter. I’m astonished that Conservatives could approve of a guy who operated that way. Tonnes of rat cunning, but unlikely to join the list of the great Presidents.

  • Robert REYNOLDS

    Hello Pete, I note that you reproach Greg Sheridan for not giving any examples of Donald Trump’s relentless lying. Perhaps Greg did not know quite where to begin as the instances of Trump’s falsifications and lies were so numerous. For instance, The Washington Post suggests that Trump has made false or misleading claims over a 4-year period. I guess that Greg, like many of us, knows that the list of Trump’s lies is manifold.


    Of course I expect that those associated with this site will immediately repudiate anything that The Washington Post reports.

    I was also interested to learn that as an atheist (I am not sure about my credentials as a ‘leftist’ these days) my views are of “no account”. Oh dear, I had better become a right-wing Christian so that I can be taken seriously. Thanks for putting me straight on that one Pete. I shall be forever grateful!

  • DougD

    “There’s something wrong about a President snapping off whatever flits into his mind on Twitter.” What is that? – you recall how pretty well all the media relentlessly vilified him. I think he used Twitter in a masterly way to get his messages across to US workers and others. Purists can sniff at his very frequent Twittering. But do you suggest restraint and politeness would have resulted in the massed media giving Trump anything like a reasonable go?

  • Doubting Thomas

    Helmond, Trump may never join the list of great Presidents, but he’s clearly already high on the list of better than average, and achieved that despite the criminal behaviour of the Democrats , the FBI, and Obama holdovers throughout the administration. Then there were the blatant lies filling the mainstream media every day from the beginning of his candidature to this very day. How else could he get his unedited views published?

    No other President in living memory, not even Nixon, was hounded so unfairly by his political enemies. Yet, in terms of the illegal immigration problems, the economy, African American unemployment, and his efforts in calming the Middle East and calling North Korea’s and China’s Sabre rattling, Trump was an outstanding President among the post-World War II presidents. His manner may offend some, but he’s effective.

  • Harry Lee

    Main question now about Trump is if he is now building a new set of forces that can defeat the Dems at the 2022 House, Senate, State and Local mid-term elections-
    -against the Left’s vote-manufacturing, against the utter lies and anti-Westernist propaganda channeled by 90% of the media, and against the anti-Westernist groups in the US public/civil services, starting with the DoJ and extending far, wide and deep.
    In this, Trump needs help from the smartest, toughest pro-Western people in the USA -in terms of technical and political talent, and in terms of funding.
    And beyond that, there might even be a couple pro-Western people who can see how best to use Trump in this pro-Western crusade and can actually use Trump to best effect.

  • ianl


    Part of Trump’s political appeal to a large mass of people was (is ?) his method of dealing with the MSM. Using Twitter directly to an enormous audience, so avoiding the sour spin of large numbers of hostile journos, excited a lot of people while equally causing enormous bonfires to the vanities of the slighted MSM.

    This loss of power is a huge undercurrent to continuing TDS. The MSM is terrified that this model may be re-adapted by someone equally canny, again humiliating them. Facebook, Twitter, Google all spend enormous amounts of money and employee energy trying to control this perceived threat.

    Apart from that, I see this thread as just another reprise of the last, lost war. Morrison is double-crossing his voter base in slow motion and this base is terrified of the ALP doing it more quickly.

  • STD

    I’m with you DT.
    However there is a quite omission, unlike President Obama ,at least President Trump didn’t advocate killing Unborn Children.
    Question, which one of these Men would you have babysit your children ;the one who advocates for abortion( violence against unborn babies) or the one who withdrew funding and support in order for that not to occur.
    Funny, how the left wing dingbats ran Trump down as being immoral.
    Killing young ,innocent, helpless ,unborn babies, and even advocating that kind of barbarity post birth- the left and anyone else in favour of this type of behaviour is an animal, and does not suit the definition of human being- being civilised is the only thing that separates us from “the kingdom of the animal-#(beast)
    He may have been unorthodox Helmond, but at least he tried to implement what he said he would do. Or put another way he was a Man of His Word.
    Helmond ,I know some of what he said via the medium of Twitter seemed way out of left field, but on reflection that was the only source communication channel at his disposal and whether what was said by President Trump was socially acceptable or not, what is a stake here Helmond is the very existence of freedom of speech. To quote Evelyn Beatrix Hall (1919), paraphrasing Voltaire,”I wholly disapprove of what you say , but will defend to the death your right to say it”.

  • Peter Marriott

    Well said Peter and I agree. On President Trump my view is that we all need either him back in the White House, or at least someone like him with his views and way of handling the left, and the Media, and especially his way of handling the anti-west and anti-Christian groups and States in general. He’s a man for the times …. and I feel we need him back ASAP.

  • ianl

    Tangentially, the result of the recent Swiss referendum on increased green taxes amongst other things, is both heartening and entertaining.

    Right in the middle of the pompous, pontificating, posturing G7 meeting pushing “climate change” taxes, the little people tell the Swiss Govt where to shove the proposed tax increases on both petrol and air tickets. A wonderful answer to the arrogant assertion that the little people may *not* presume to drive cars and fly. Those activities are reserved.

    Big Swiss Gov is humiliated in front of the G7. Joyous …

    Most of the democratic world envies the Swiss their direct democracy model. Here is a very good example of why.

  • Stephen Due

    Rod Dreher (author of ‘The Benedict Option’) should be taken seriously. In his videos he stresses the similarities, noted by survivors of totalitarian regimes, between today’s societies in the West and the early signs of totalitarianism as they experienced it. Dreher’s hypothesis, supported by evidence such as this, is that Christians must prepare for persecution as the West descends into what is called ‘soft totalitarianism’. Such preparation should included the creation of separate communities of those committed to liberty, especially Christians, who historically paved the way for the liberal democracies of the modern era. Vaclav Havel, who led Czechoslovakia to freedom, stressed the need to create ‘parallel structures’ within society in order to counter totalitarianism. Such structures protect the individual from isolation. If they can be multiplied progressively they an effective strategy against repression. The Benedict option maximises the possibility of preserving Christianity and supporting Christians through persecution. It has excellent historical credentials. It is being used in effect (though not in name) by house churches in China today. Rod Dreher’s presentations are readily accessible on YouTube.

  • Alistair

    Stephen Due,
    I understand that Rod Dreher has a new book out – “Live Not By Lies” which is if I am correct much more strident than his “Benedict Option” and tries to encourage a little spirt of resistance in the likes of the waverers (pantywaists!) like Greg Sheridan.

  • Stoneboat

    Ok, third time lucky.
    This is the third attempt to comment, my two previous posts to this thread are sitting in limbo from yesterday with the message “ Your review is awaiting approval”.
    I’ve phoned the Quadrant office, who confirm my subscription is valid and Quadrant tells me to post again, see what happens, call us again tomorrow if you still have a problem.
    I hope I don’t have a problem, but the two previous iterations may post. Sorry for that irritation. Here goes…..

    Fight the Good Fight, yes that’s what is needed.
    With every statist screw turn Christians get a day closer to realising that we have to stand up for the Kingdom of God and the faith once delivered to the Saints.
    The resistance has to start with someone – anyone, maybe a Quadrant reader, or Mr Trump, but I think we will see Black Robed hedge preachers, blood in the streets and a Church that finds it’s courage again before we see any gains against “the cultural “madness” infecting our society.”

    With truth and righteousness thundering from Christian pulpits, we might start singing some forgotten standards too:

    Fight the Good Fight with all Thy Might 872
    Z https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/

    Come, Thou Almighty King 3
    Z https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/

    Will your anchor hold in the storms of life 331
    Z https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/

    Am I a soldier of The Cross 468
    Z https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/

  • DG

    A friend shared with me his letter to the NSW Premier. I quote it with permission, as it seems to strike where the flaccid church of today buckles: it too, afeared of that which its own proclamation should equip it to face valiantly. But today, it buckles to everything and dutifuly follows cultural trends as thought the masses are wiser than its scriptures.

    And what is the case fatality rate?

    What is it by age band, morbidity and location?

    What’s happened to the ‘flatten the curve’ notion?

    A reporter asked you ‘why is the lockdown’ coming so late.

    He, like all reporters plays to the headline, the sound bite, the media grab. Not to public interest.

    My question is ‘why the lockdown at all?’

    Notwithstanding the offensiveness of using a term applied to rioting prisoners (or are we really prisoners? Maybe you could call them ‘precautionary restrictions’)

    We cannot avoid disease by destroying people’s livelihoods, lives, children’s peace of mind and educational progress, and the general mental and somatic health of the community.

    This is a ‘get used to it’ situation.

    The government’s only role is to advise of precautions that people can take voluntarily, but back them by regulation. E.g. ‘work at home’, keep people out (nursing homes), impose conditions of entry (numbers, and registration). Then let people make up their own minds, noting that people will get sick, go to hospital, some into ICU, but some might well do well with simple treatments prescribed by their medical advisor.

    The government’s intrusiveness here, and its joining the conga line of its enemies (the anti-Trumpers who’ve persuaded against the easy and known to work treatments) makes a mockery of Liberal principles and of politicians’ ability to be politicians. You’ve allowed your party to be outplayed at every point.

    Meanwhile, alcohol consumption rises ( and so will its morbidity), child distress rises, family tensions, DV, mental illness increases, businesses fail, people loose their savings…you must balance factors, and the epidemiological over-reaction is not balance.

    Get used to it: people get sick, some die. That’s life! You won’t stop it.

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.