Abbott’s religiosity is no basis for policy

11 Jul

A couple of days ago on July 10, Tony Abbott took part in a radio interview that the Australian headlined: Abbott slams boatpeople as unChristian

“Asked on ABC Perth radio why his attitude to asylum-seekers was unchristian, the Opposition Leader responded: “I don’t think it’s a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door…But I think the people we accept should be coming the right way and not the wrong way…If you pay a people-smuggler, if you jump the queue, if you take yourself and your family on a leaky boat, that’s doing the wrong thing, not the right thing, and we shouldn’t encourage it.”

Abbott doesn’t answer the question about his perceived lack of Christian charity towards those in need. Instead he attempts to blame Muslim asylum seekers for acting in a manner he believes is unChristian. Abbott does this as if people who are not Christian are at grievous fault for being not Christian. That failure taints every action they take in their lives, it seems, and they should be held accountable, mostly by being excluded.

Presumably Abbott is aware that the majority of boat arrivals are Muslim. Presumably Abbott is aware that the largest Islamic democracy in the world is our neighbour, Indonesia. Dog whistling? Following Scott Morrison’s anti Muslim strategy?

Morrison sees votes in anti-Muslim strategy. The opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate… Lenore Taylor, Sydney Morning Herald, February 17 2011.

Oh, yes, most boat arrivals aren’t Christian, unlike Scott Morrison who is a member of the Assemblies of God Pentecostal Church. Not all Christians cultivate an aura of entitlement, privilege and absolute rightness, but too many Christian politicians in Australia today seem to hold those beliefs about themselves. Not all Christians consider other faiths to be lesser faiths, but too many Christian politicians seem to hold those views.

Abbott might as well have accused the asylum seekers of being unAustralian. Either way, what is on display is Abbott’s inability to envisage cultures other than his own as legitimate and equal, and his inclination to judge those cultures in terms of his own limited experience. Abbott’s lack of sophistication coupled with his religiosity, are not qualities we look for in a leader.

However, they do in part explain why Abbott seems arrogantly convinced that he can bully the Indonesians into letting him send back the boats. The Indonesians had a nickname for former Liberal Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock They called him “the minister with no ears” because he harangued them but didn’t listen. Is it Abbott’s aim to inherit this title as he perpetuates the disrespect for a culture he doesn’t care to understand?

Abbott also believes he has the right to bully the navy into towing back boats, in spite of considerable advice as to the undesirable possibilities of taking that course, both in terms of life threatening risks to asylum seekers and navy personnel, as well as disruption to our relations with Indonesia.  “He will not be able to have a constructive relationship with Indonesia and tow boats back,” Philip Coorey quotes an official as remarking, in his recent National Times piece. How much of Abbott’s arrogance in this matter is fuelled by a sense of Catholic Christian superiority to a Muslim nation?

Describing asylum seekers as “unChristian” is an example of how Abbott frames Australian politics through the prism of that Catholic Christianity. Is he capable of making a separation between his religious beliefs and his job as a politician? Increasingly the answer seems to be no, he’s not.

Neither does Abbott speak for all Christians, many of whom are deeply involved in the refugee cause, and would likely distance themselves from his arbitrary judgments.

Whatever the problems are with boat arrivals (most of which are caused by Australia’s treatment of them) they will not be solved through invoking Tony Abbott’s Catholic Christianity and Scott Morrison’s fundamentalist terror of Muslims.  Indeed, neither have any place in the debate. We urgently need decent policy, not religious prejudice and personal superstition.

In his last solo Qanda appearance in April 2010, Tony Abbott was asked the question “When it comes to asylum seekers, what would Jesus do?”

TONY ABBOTT: Well, Jesus wouldn’t have put his hand up to lead the Liberal Party, I suspect. Or the Labor Party, for that matter.

TONY JONES: Okay. But someone who believes in principles that he espoused did do that, so it’s a legitimate question.

TONY ABBOTT: Yeah. Don’t forget Jesus drove the traders from the temple as well. Now, I mean, you know…

TONY JONES: What’s the point of that?

TONY ABBOTT: The point is…

TONY JONES: What’s the analogy?

TONY ABBOTT: …Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone. I mean Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it is not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.

TONY JONES: It’s quite an interesting analogy because, as you know, and a whip was used on that occasion to drive people out of the temple. You know, if that’s the analogy you’re choosing, should we take it at face value?

TONY ABBOTT: No. No. I’m just saying that, look, Jesus was the best man who ever lived but that doesn’t mean that he said yes to everyone, that he was permissive to everything, and this idea that Jesus would say to every person who wanted to come to Australia, “Fine”, the door is open, I just don’t think is necessarily right.”

“Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone.” And Tony Abbott of course knows to whom Jesus would say yes in 2012. This is old-fashioned Sunday School rhetoric. This is drivel. Tony Abbott is a man showing all the signs of being out of his depth. Give him a slogan, put a funny hat on his head, get him making pies, yes he can do all that. But the serious business of leadership? Of policy? Of decent public discussion?

Jesus is reputed to have driven moneylenders from the temple, and he did it violently. The analogy Abbott makes between usurers and asylum seekers is both despicable and revealing. Jesus acted because he believed the moneylenders were defiling a sacred place where they had no right to be plying their sordid trade. The story is an example of Jesus’ righteous anger, and his desire to protect his beloved father’s house from the contamination of profane activities. Jesus wanted the temple kept pure and to this end, he drove the impure out.

How interesting, then, that a Christian should choose this particular analogy to explain why not everybody who wants to come to Australia may do so, in particular those of other faiths who arrive seeking asylum by boat. Dog whistling again? Capitalising on concerns about a presumed Muslim inability to integrate into a country Abbott wants to think of as unspoiled and Christian?

“Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone. I mean Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it is not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”

There is no place for religiosity in the asylum seeker debate or anywhere else in our politics. There’s especially no place for a future Prime Minister who believes he knows what Jesus would do, and makes policy accordingly. Jesus is irrelevant in the asylum seeker impasse, as are Tony Abbott’s projections of what Jesus might think.

Having said that I can’t help but feel if Jesus was around now, he might well stride into parliament with a stock whip and kick some arse.

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96 Responses to “Abbott’s religiosity is no basis for policy”

  1. 8 Degrees of Latitude July 11, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Without accepting the totality of your thesis regarding the suitability of Tony Abbott to be an Australian prime minister, his expressed view that it is unchristian to be a queue-jumping asylum-seeker demonstrates – as you say – an erroneously sectarian focus in his thinking.

    I’m not a Christian (except on my Indonesian resident permit, because you have to nominate a religion). But the present policies of both the Australian government and the opposition deeply offend me, on ethical and moral grounds. I think that’s true of rather more people than Tony Abbott or any other politician might imagine.

    Great last paragraph in your little polemic, by the way.

  2. Julia July 11, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    They weren’t profane activities…it was legit business… you went to the outer courtyard and bought a sheep or goat or whatever which you then took to the orthodox levite to sacrifice at the Altar.

    It was the bullshit way the traders n temple officials were doing their business that gave JC the shits n it was spilling over into the Inner courtyard.

    Funny bit to quote tho… gotta think about it…hmmm…
    did mR Abbit say JC was a man?

    Thought xtians are only xtians coz they believe JC was/is/always will be God?
    it’s Islam that considers JC is a great prophet … but like Mohommet still only mere man, not god.

    I reckon what Jesus would do is go sailing … where better for a ship’s carpenter who liked fishing with his mates … on the Sea of Galilee … in Peter’s leaky boat.

    JC would be out there …
    teaching the Sri Lankans how to walk on water.

    • Julia July 11, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      He sounds very jesuit to me …
      Jennifer, you would love the Angelique series by Sergeanne Golon,
      esp the latter books set in Arcadia

      • Jennifer Wilson July 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

        I’ll have a read. Thanks. You can have the prong short of a fork thing!

      • doug quixote July 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

        Jesuitical perhaps;

        deranged almost certainly;

        unfit for office- any office – without any shadow of doubt.

        • Hypocritophobe July 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

          Disagree DQ.
          I think TA would fit in nicely in Fred Nile’s ‘office’ as his PR man.

          • doug quixote July 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

            Fred! No I won’t hear of it! Fred’s a protestant nutter, not a cattlelick one!

            No, polishing George-the-next-Pope’s balls is about the limit of his competence. ( And shame on you all – didn’t you know George was a golfer?)

            Honi soit qui mal y pense.

    • Jennifer Wilson July 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      Profane in the sense that they shouldn’t have been conducted on holy ground, I think is what is meant. I remember that story because it’s my favourite. I like to think of Jesus whupping ass

  3. Goku July 11, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    As a Christian,
    I find it hard see how a person could follow Jesus(God on earth as Man, for Julia) and be a politician, well not one who would be leading either the Liberal or Labor party anyway. Not to say that it can’t be done and there are a few exemptions and some great examples of Christians leading a government well, but I believe more often than not Tony Abbott simply acts to get his party in power at any cost , ‘AKA’ a typical politician, I definitely will not be voting for the Liberals with him as leader.

  4. silkworm July 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Jesus was the best man who never lived.

    • @blamer July 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      >>Is he capable of making a separation between his religious beliefs and his job as a politician?

      Exactly. Aussies need pollies who can stay focused on the civil interests of the living.

      Christendom can and does defend itself.

      We don’t want our liberal democracy retarded with biblical ideas of punishing the unChristian.

    • ann odyne July 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

      yes SilkWorm “Jesus was the best man who (n)ever lived” is such an Abbott thing to say, and why some of us cannot have any respect for him. There are some more powerful than TA, who think that L. Ron Hubbard is the ‘best’ man who ever lived, FFS.
      IF decrepit boats were washing up on our shores laden with Catholic refugees, TA might be singing a different song though. I like to think that the seafaring Muslims are desperate to get away from what their religion has recently turned into. ie the bits that repulse you and me as well.
      I wish I could help them all, so brave to risk drowning for a chance at freedom.

      • Jennifer Wilson July 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

        Of course this is nothing new. The Jews encountered similar hostility in the second WW

    • Marilyn July 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

      Precisely. All this talk of mythical beings as an excuse to behave well or badly is a delusional focus.

      How about the analogy of being neighbourly – where I grew up if people were not neighbourly when people were in trouble they were considered to be rather heathenish.

      And the Iranians and Iraqis arriving these days are the persecuted st John the Baptist followers called Sabean Mandaeans kicked out of Iraq and Iran in another purge of sectarian violence and Assyrian christians driven out by the sectarian violcence we unleashed by invading Iraq – the Tamils of course are mostly not muslims,

  5. paul walter July 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    No, no, no.
    Please people, for gods sake understand what it is you see in front of you.
    Also it is derived of the same tendency that is the death of Labor.
    It is a very sick thing- dangerous.
    Would you allow your children to play with snakes?

  6. hudsongodfrey July 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    I think the real problem with Abbott’s ideology is that it is hostage to his ambition, but on a principled level the idea that an accident of birth determines privilege in the world is abhorrent in a way that I don’t think is reconcilable with what most Christians are really taught.

    Casting our mind back a few years to the time of my childhood as remembered through the eyes of the venerable Bob Hudson, “The Labour party [couldn't] decide between doing exactly what the Pope says on the one hand, or using a few ideas that they picked up from Jack Mundy down at the Trades Hall Pub.” So to me the very real suspicion is that this way is more political than it is ideological.

    When others attack ideology a common tactic involves throwing up accusations that the Christians perpetrated the Crusades, but the Atheistic Communists created brutal authoritarian states. Whereas clearly neither good Christians nor good Marxists believe in that level of brutality that is rightly slated home to megalomaniacal tyrants of the worst order. In the words of the t-shirt shit doesn’t just happen…

    In my view or that of most people who don’t believe in god/s there is a clear sense that in the Christian narrative people aspired to an idealised version of themselves. They imbued him with the wisdom of the golden rule “do unto others…” which speaks to the principle of reciprocity. And they invoked the parable of the good Samaritan to exemplify the virtues of charity in the world. Those two things alone recommend a kind of egalitarianism and compassion towards refuges that is nothing like what we’re seeing from the leaders of either major party.

    There’s a few things not to like about Christianity and more to decry about organised religion, but charity is one thing to like and it is for all their other faults often motivated and carried out with a sense of commendable altruism. The kind I’d commend to Mr Abbott.

    When I hear Christian apologists for bigotry then I find the apologetics familiar and the content as thoroughly poisonous as any of their other righteous misconceptions. But if I’m honest I find all of those things deeply unchristian in the one important sense of that idea that I think still matters. There is an ideal which as believers in any number of religions or indeed as atheists we would like to think we’d basically apply as good people striving to be better ones. And knowingly abandoning others to their fate doesn’t fit with that ideal because we know that it is wrong.

  7. samjandwich July 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    He’s certainly no John Howard is he? It took us skippos (as I understand we Aussies are known as in the outside world) 13 years to figure out what sort of a man Johnny was and boot him out. Hopefully it will take less time to do the same of this Abbot fella,

    In fact, Mr Turnbull, isn’t there still a year to go until the next election? And don’t you stand to win an enormous majority regardless of who’s leading your party? Well all I can say is your patience is greater than mine!

    Thanks for the article Jennifer :-)

  8. gerard oosterman July 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Abbott; There is just such a cold man, heartless and uncivil. His answers on refugees,especially on boat people shows him to be so empty and devoid of empathy. He follows so many other people of the cloth when interviewed. Pell jumps out as well. A kind of ‘you are for us, or, if not, you are our enemy. The eyes are always looking out over the person.
    I gave up on cathoilicking once I was told that masturbating was a sin so bad you would burn in hell forever. I would bravely and fervently hold out for a week and half…or so… and then…. copiously.

    • doug quixote July 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      Agreed. I doubt he has ever shed a tear; few psychopaths ever have.

  9. Ann ODyne July 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do”. – Anne Lamott

  10. Marilyn July 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    And Abbott is a boat person so presumably he snuck in the back door in the same unchristian manner.

  11. Denise Murphy July 11, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    “all the signs of being out of his depth” – you’ve hit the nail on his head. He rushes from any real interrogation, or jokes off or refuses to answer serious questions.
    Living in WA, the reality of the the most populous Islamic nation being our nearest neighbour has its own clarity here. I do wish Abbott and his bogan band of wannabes would STFU.

  12. doug quixote July 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    I came across this :

    “But the carbon tax is not all fantasy novels and wordplay. It has real-life consequences for real-life Australians.

    Take the case of Terrigal’s Jean-Marie Hofspeck, who came home from work last Tuesday to find her prize-winning Pomeranians had been slaughtered and her eldest son was now a rabbi. The shock was enough to cause her to immediately build an in-ground swimming pool in her backyard. Perhaps the Australian Labor “Party” sees fit to wash its hands of responsibility for this, but we battlers know better. Do we not? Or is it?”

    Ben Pobjie at his best; not often enough lately, but see :

    http://benpobjie.blogspot.com.au/

    • Hypocritophobe July 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Drop back over DQ and see a new invention. ;-)

      • doug quixote July 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

        All very well hypo, but the sheep will produce so much CO2 that you will be taxed out of existence.

        • Hypocritophobe July 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

          Sorry my baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad
          I’ll tweak the concept.

          Surely the use of their blood and bone (and urea) would cancel out the C02 if it were used to fertilize trees to offset the carbon?
          I could cut down on methane by adding an after burner via the printed circuit or add a piezo setup, to flame it off.
          And anyway,couldn’t one bribe the tax office with chops and racks of lamb ?(mutton dressed as lamb,in this case)
          And isn’t it only the top 12 paying carbon tax?

  13. helvityni July 12, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Why do so many so-called Christians have such hard faces, Pell, Abbott…their faces are black and white and unsympathetic like their black and white views.
    My mum was a Christian, but her face soft and gentle, and her views flexible, not written in stone, her face and her views were ‘grey’….

    • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) July 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

      Presumably in multiple shades thereof.

      • helvityni July 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

        Her real face was pale freckled, the complexion that goes with reddish brown hair, a Finn of Irish colouring.

      • Mindy July 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

        Maybe because your Mum just got on with actually being a chritian rather than trying to police how everyone else did it, Helvi?

        @FG are you thinking of a number between 49 and 51?

    • hudsongodfrey July 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      You have to watch what lurks in the shades of grey though. I once had to deal with a man who argued that black and white did not exist because all was just shades a grey, and therefore of course that black was white. It did not end well.

      • Julia July 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

        he was run over by a car on the nearest zebra crossing?

        • hudsongodfrey July 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

          I’d have liked that ending better though :)

  14. Jason July 12, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Abbott is a typical bible basher. Twists elements of the bible to suit their agenda and dismisses the elements that don’t. Either way, his religion should not be used as justifcation for his disgusting policies on asylum seekers. This man is a psychopath.

    • Hypocritophobe July 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      Careful,you may lower the standards of psychopaths.

  15. Laura July 12, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Where in the bible does it say it’s ok to lie about the success of past policies (turning boats around) for political gain? Abbott is entirely consumed by his own elevation to the top job. That’s the only thing he cares about.

  16. silkworm July 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Language is important. When the reporter used the term “Christian,” he or she was using it in the commonly understood sense of “charitable” or “compassionate.” It’s the attitude that is supposedly behind both Labor’s and the Liberals’ “turn back the boats” campaign. We are turning back the boats because we don’t want these people to drown.

    Turnbull has been the most up front with the logic behind this campaign. We have to be cruel to be kind, he keeps telling us.

    In this interview, Tony Abbott has tripped up on the meaning of the word “Christian.”

    You see, there are basically two types of Christians, usually dividing along the lines of what Christians know as “faith vs works.” The works-oriented Christians are the left-leaning, liberal, compassionate types, who get their inspiration from parables like the Good Samaritan. The faith-oriented Christians are the right-leaning, conservative, authoritarian types, who generally pay more attention to the teachings of the cruel and jealous god of the Old Testament.

    Tony Abbott couldn’t find it within himself to refer to the Good Samaritan story, because he isn’t really motivated by that. His go-to story was the story of the Cleansing of the Temple, which was not really appropriate in the context of the asylum debate. The lesson from that story had nothing to do with being cruel to be kind. If there is any lesson in that story, it’s that of the virtue of religious zeal, and fits in well with the faith-oriented authoritarian types.

    But more worrying is the type of Jesus that this story projects. Here we do not see the Jesus who is compassionate for the poor and sick, but the uncharacteristic militant Jesus.
    The story of the cleansing of the temple has no basis in recorded history – in fact the whole of the Jesus story has no historical basis – though it does seem to be a reworking of the story of Judas of Galilee, who tore down the Roman eagle in the temple, and who became the founder of the zealot movement.

    It’s also notewothry that this story was Hitler’s go-to story in Mein Kampf. Hitler was inspired by this zealous, aggressive Jesus, and he used him as the role model for his new militant religion of “positive Christianity.” Now I’m not exactly saying that Tony Abbott is a Nazi, but he seems to share the same archetypal pathology as Hitler, and Abbott’s followers display all the ugly traits of the brownshirts.

    • Hypocritophobe July 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

      Or to put it another way,the coalition front bench and decision makers,spin doctors etc seem heavily dominated by a Roman Catholic element.And/or those subservient to their current cause.
      At times I think this also applies at the public broadcaster.Especially in the positions which count,or have heavy influence on the content,therefore the outcome.
      I would be interested to see the affiliations either examined or declared in both cases, just to alleviate my obvious paranoia.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) July 13, 2012 at 9:56 am #

        Has Hypocritophobe just revealed an elephant in the room with his post of July 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm?

        Elephants in rooms being a subject of discussion elsewhere on ‘Sheep’ at the present time: http://noplaceforsheep.com/2012/07/10/is-there-an-elephant-in-your-room/

        With respect to his raising of the issue of “those subservient to [Roman Catholicism's] current cause” in that post, I would point out that subservience of the type to which Hypocritophobe refers is what may, by inference, be thought to be the position with respect to MTR (she of the hanging defo threat to JW and ‘Sheep’), in the light of the evident long-term (12-year) acceptibility of her service as a staffer to former Senator Brian Harradine. MTR’s denominational affiliations (such as there may be any) were clarified, if that is the word, in a piece written by Miranda Devine at the time the ‘#MTRsues’ tweetstorm was raging. For a link to Miranda’s piece, see this post: http://noplaceforsheep.com/2012/01/26/belconnen-baptists-and-the-lawyers-letter/#comment-11298

        One might expect, on the purely statistical basis of the proportion of the Australian population claiming the denominational status of Roman Catholic amongst the age cohorts from which the membership of a Parliament is drawn, that somewhere around 25% of a Parliament’s membership could be expected to claim such status.

        One might further, perhaps, expect that parliamentary claimants of the status of any particular denominational affiliation would display a similar distribution as to position on a continuum extending from ‘utmost nominality of adherence’ to ‘extreme committment’ as would the general population. Unless, that is, other non-statistical influences operate to perhaps skew such distribution with respect to parliamentary membership amongst those of any particular denominational affiliation.

        With respect to Roman Catholicism in particular, any believable association of a member claiming RC status with an organisation of the like of Opus Dei would be indicative of a member’s position on the distribution being toward the ‘extreme committment’ end.

        I hope this may provide some framework for the resolution of any paranoia Hypocritophobe may fear is being displayed. Is Dio Narap paranoid, si? And is there a word for shared paranoia?

        Speaking of elephants, the avoidance of elephants in rooms, German Army belt buckles, and questions as to the possession of mittens, as we have been on this thread, can anyone identify the WW1 German general in this photograph: http://twitter.com/#!/guardian/status/134937163010801665 and surf the link therein to the photo of the elephant.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) July 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

        Here is a post that is in the spam bin: http://t.co/3RMgIkGE

    • Anonymous July 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      I would agree that TB is being completely uncompassionate in his view on asylum seekers and should really step down as leader of the liberal party, though on faith and works, most Christians are aware that faith produces works, and that works alone do not save you,
      ‘Galatians 2:16 (NIV)
      that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.

    • Julia July 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      And Abbott and his closet cabinet have all the makings of something very dangerous indeed.

  17. ann odyne July 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

    ― Anne Lamott tags: christianity, fundamentalism, god, humor, idolatry, spirituality, truth

    (I found that at GoodReads.com)

    • doug quixote July 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

      Very apposite, Anne.

      The most dangerous words in the world are “God is on my side”.

      • annodyne July 12, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

        the Tsarist anthem had “God on our side as we go to war” … or was that ‘Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war. With the cross of Jesus, going on before’ whatevs, it’s all bad to me

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) July 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

        Or “Gott Mitt Uns”, as many WW1 diggers would have known as they buckled down to their task in that time.

        • helvityni July 13, 2012 at 8:36 am #

          ‘Gott sei Dank, ich lebe noch…’,wrote the soldier to his girlfriend….it’s a pity he could not tweet in them days :)

      • hudsongodfrey July 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

        That and God gave us this land. Whatever you believe, his real estate licence in the Middle East should’ve been revoked centuries ago!

  18. paul walter July 13, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    You have to re-read the thing to realise what a travesty of the meaning of the Money Changers Abbott makes. It makes Hobbes, DeMaistre, Stendahl, Dostoyevski etc appear naifs by comparison, its so black. “Cynical” can’t begin to cover it.
    Annodyne, what’s this about not liking “Onward Christian Soldiers”?
    You can’t be much of a proddy, let alone creme de la creme staunch salt of the earth Methodist, on the basis of above remark, which means you must have came from the other lot.
    Now we know how you spend your Saturdays.

    • ann odyne July 13, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      sorry PW. am poisoned fruit of 1948 catholic+High Orange Presb mixed marriage scandal. during RI classes in high school I sat in the hall while the rest were indoctrinated. Sent own dtr to very churchy primary school with chapel every day at 9am, so she wouldn’t ‘get God’ later in life. Know thine enemy, and bless Christopher Hitchens.

      • paul walter July 13, 2012 at 11:57 am #

        God bless you, annodyne.
        That’s a good point, a bit of religion early, like a vaccination. Looking back on it, a bit of r.i. and sunday school didn’t hurt, you met other kids and there was a bit of culture and history mixed up with religion; it was the only intro to metaphysic I was ever going to get.
        It’s as much people as religion and its always convenient to have an imaginary friend you can beat up on, when you want to cover up your own stuff ups. Yet everyone wants to know god when they are in ds because the wheels have fallen of on the latest scheme- as you say there is something to be learned from Christopher Hitchens some where in all of this..

  19. doug quixote July 13, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    A question to the readership : does anyone know how to load a video, perhaps on this site, of Tony Abbott’s 72 seconds of standing silent shuddering and shaking after being asked a question by a certain reporter?

    Channel 7 reported later that the apparent 24 seconds of silence which went to air was actually edited down from the original 72 seconds of the same. Perhaps some C7 person might have the original?

    The public has a right to know. This person wants to be prime minister.

    • hudsongodfrey July 13, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      Upload it to YouTube first then link to the YouTube video would be the easiest way.
      You’ll need to create a YouTube account with a password in order to unload the video that way, but unless you’re keen to put advertising on your channel then you don’t necessarily even have to give YT any identifying personal information.

      • doug quixote July 14, 2012 at 7:22 am #

        I want some Channel 7 person to access the original.

    • annodyne July 13, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      Since I saw her with her head in her hands, behind TA at the podium during the last Fed Election, I have been watching his Chief Of Staff Peta*Credlin. She used to work at the VRC and has recently got an Abbott daughter a position there for Spring racing publicity. 6ft tall gorgeous, smart and friendly, Peta is a fabulous force to be reckoned with and anyone watching TA should watch her as well.

    • Hypocritophobe July 13, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      72 seconds?
      Perhaps he was defragmenting his hard drive?

      • hudsongodfrey July 13, 2012 at 11:55 am #

        Is that code for what I think it is?

        • Hypocritophobe July 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

          ;-)

    • paul walter July 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      Burnin and a quiverin, and sure enough U tube has tonnes of Cold Comfort Farm for those who must burn and quiver for their manifest sinfulness..

  20. Marilyn July 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Oh my name it is nothin’
    My age it means less
    The country I come from
    Is called the Midwest
    I’s taught and brought up there
    The laws to abide
    And the land that I live in
    Has God on its side.

    Oh the history books tell it
    They tell it so well
    The cavalries charged
    The Indians fell
    The cavalries charged
    The Indians died
    Oh the country was young
    With God on its side.

    The Spanish-American
    War had its day
    And the Civil War too
    Was soon laid away
    And the names of the heroes
    I’s made to memorize
    With guns on their hands
    And God on their side.

    The First World War, boys
    It came and it went
    The reason for fighting
    I never did get
    But I learned to accept it
    Accept it with pride
    For you don’t count the dead
    When God’s on your side.

    When the Second World War
    Came to an end
    We forgave the Germans
    And then we were friends
    Though they murdered six million
    [- From :http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/bob-dylan-lyrics/with-god-on-our-side-lyrics.html -]
    In the ovens they fried
    The Germans now too
    Have God on their side.

    I’ve learned to hate Russians
    All through my whole life
    If another war comes
    It’s them we must fight
    To hate them and fear them
    To run and to hide
    And accept it all bravely
    With God on my side.

    But now we got weapons
    Of the chemical dust
    If fire them we’re forced to
    Then fire them we must
    One push of the button
    And a shot the world wide
    And you never ask questions
    When God’s on your side.

    In a many dark hour
    I’ve been thinkin’ about this
    That Jesus Christ
    Was betrayed by a kiss
    But I can’t think for you
    You’ll have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot
    Had God on his side.

    So now as I’m leavin’
    I’m weary as Hell
    The confusion I’m feelin’
    Ain’t no tongue can tell
    The words fill my head
    And fall to the floor
    If God’s on our side
    He’ll stop the next war.

    Send “With God On Our Side” Ringtone to your Cell Watch With God On Our Side video
    Browse Other Bob Dylan LyricsRate this song 1 2 3

  21. ann odyne July 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    oh Marilyn I was thinking of St.Bob of Dylan when I made my comment. I’m sure he heard the Tsarist anthem before he knocked out his plaintive sermon. Now reduced to a ringtone – who could have guessed that was in his future.
    Julian Burnside at
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4123872.html
    makes our arguments re TA ie “Mr Abbott needs to watch The Sound of Music again: the von Trapp family were refugees; the nuns were people smugglers; they did what they could to help the von Trapps through the back door.” and is worth a read

  22. Hypocritophobe July 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    JW It looks like a couple more Gremlins have landed.

    One at the top of the comments and this one half way down
    (srabonkhan…?)
    Its link properties are:

    http://thisisagreatwebsite,excellent..amazing..xn--illbookmarkyourwebsiteandtakethefeedsalso-3l1z.reallywellsiteandlookinggood,thankyou,/

  23. doug quixote July 15, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    The last line of Jennifer’s article :

    “Having said that I can’t help but feel if Jesus was around now, he might well stride into parliament with a stock whip and kick some arse.”

    And I will give you one guess as to who will be the first out the door.

    • Hypocritophobe July 15, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      I think IF JC existed he would probably still be a hippy type.
      That means he’d probably rock up in a boat with the other refugees.
      He would end up rotting at the Northam detention centre (men only) in WA.
      Probably die there.So he would have to send a proxy to Canberra.
      Even if he made it to Canberra the shock jocks would arc up the red-necks with their anti ‘towel’ head (“they all look the same’) xenophobia and get a lynch mob to head him off at the pass.
      This society is not geared for Messiahs.We always end up assassinating or ignoring them.Westerners get Pariah and Messiah confused.A lot.

      • Marilyn July 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

        Quite true. Or the Egyptian who sold Mary and Joseph the donkey would be jailed as an evil people smuggler.

  24. Hypocritophobe July 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Why blame religion when you can just be a fully fledged anti-indigenous racist?
    Welcome to the shit hole which is the scum of the earth, a cess pit of vile enviro Nazi anti community policy.
    Newman is making his pitch for Canberra.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-15/lnp-pushes-to-scrap-abstudy-payments/4131890

    • zerograv1 July 23, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      This is a bit of a beat up, they simply propose moving them over to the same payment under normal austudy. Nothing to see here – move along please.

  25. Hypocritophobe July 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    And the sewer contents get thicker and infested with even more bile, bodily effluent and bacteria….

    Ms Bengtsson is also realistic about some of her beliefs and is aware that her stance against halal food products in supermarkets will be described as discriminatory.

    “Well I’m not racist but what we don’t like is another religious like Islamic people pushing their religion, their halal food, their culture, their sharia law,” she said.

    “They’re living in a Christian country and I represent 60 per cent, over 60 per cent of Christians in Australia.”

    Christian my shiny metal ass.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-16/church-leaders-upset-over-australian-christians-party-name/4134380

    Guess where the preferences will flow

    • Jennifer Wilson July 17, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      There’s the give away intro- “Well I’m not racist but….”

      • Hypocritophobe July 17, 2012 at 10:26 am #

        With regard to the Victorian charter of human rights, we would like to see the recommendations of the SARC (Scrutiny of Acts and Regulation Committee) implemented to protect freedom of conscience and belief for faith-based organisations.

        Regarding freedom of speech, we would like to see Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act repealed, as it stifles freedom of speech and honest debate.

        For freedom of conscience, we would like to see the abortion legislation reformed to allow doctors and nurses the freedom to not be involved in the abortion industry it if contravenes their conscience.

        A connection to the Drs who submitted to the senate on gay marriage perhaps?

        Is she Swedish or Australian?
        I wonder what she thinks of Assange?

        http://www.melbournetimesweekly.com.au/news/local/news/general/melbourne-byelection-qa-with-maria-bengtsson/2626127.aspx

        REPEAT

        “Regarding freedom of speech, we would like to see Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act repealed, as it stifles freedom of speech and honest debate.”

        We can’t have race and religion tolerance can we.
        This is another rampant anti Muslim, anti non white campaign.
        One Nation finds God.Between QLD and Victoria and add Abbott we are one f*cked up nation.

        Where is Pell crying for tolerance?

  26. Hypocritophobe July 17, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    A few comments here
    http://www.brucellama.com/

    And here they admit that their idea and mission is recycled American christian hate.(See video)

    http://australianchristians.com.au/latest-media/

    Main site

    http://australianchristians.com.au/

    Here’s our christian friends take on gay unions and their love for each other;

    “Same-sex couples should consider sacrificing fulfilling their own desires for the perfectly natural and healthy desire of a child to have a mum and a dad.”

    Here she is demonstrating raw hypocrisy(She gets a Gold Star)
    “Other candidates may want to please various lobby groups to get votes.”

    (Both quotes are verbatim from here,

    http://australianchristians.com.au/melbourne-candidate-maria-bengtsson-interview-with-abc-pm/

    One Nation finds God.

  27. Hypocritophobe July 18, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Wow,the Cathos really have a lot of nerve.
    The confessional is above the law?
    This position espoused by Brennan et al,almost negates a Royal Commission and trial by law, and it also allows all offenders to race off and confess to a priest,(or higher ranking) giving both a position of impunity.

    Well that is a quality which Abbott will use in his willingness as well,no doubt.

    AFAIK,given this insidious position as posited by Brennan and others (and he should immediately return his human rights lawyer status) if I should see a victim,or the family of a victim, taking the law into their own hands, and submitting any form of retribution to a paedophile,I feel it is my moral duty to turn away.
    This is a new development which yesterday i would not have entertained.But today,the church has sunken lower than any of the sinners they care to judge.
    Brennan has effectively claimed that no matter what the crime,he has a duty and right to cover it up.
    Would be serial killers and rapists take note.I wonder if we will now see aflood of new converts?

    What does this say about how the church feels about victims,both alive and now dead to the suicides which followed?Brennan is a disgrace as are any supporters of his position.

    • Hypocritophobe July 18, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      Here’s a taste of the Australian Broadcasting Catholicisms position.
      I say position because yet agin we have a story going to the heart of the matter and no author name to this article.
      It smacks of ‘dodgy’, and it is happening way too often lately.

      Where is Jonathan Holmes?
      Sabbatical?
      Tea with Rupert?

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-18/priests-may-be-forced-to-divulge-confessions/4137720

      Personally I actually agree with Brennan.
      If he chooses to sit on information to protect the sacrosanct nature of confessionals he should willingly do time.
      He is up for it,so let’s test it,now.

      As for his claim to being a human rights lawyer who places the perpetrator ABOVE the victim in law, and in God?

      What a monumental failure.
      He must surely be stripped of the title immediately.This is an outrage.

      I hope people are now getting a sense as to how ineffectual this enquiry will be.
      It is a scam.( and remember one where the NSW attorney had discussions with members of the main institution of the enquiry about the enquiries terms and conditions.
      Law? Justice? Hahahahaha.)

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