Australian TR News contributor, Avi Yemini masterfully illustrated how toxic intersectionality is to mental health. If intersectionality can’t find oppression, it’ll apply cognitive distortions to “find” oppression where none existed or exists.

Yemini wrote on Twitter:

“I’m half white. Meaning half of me is responsible for the oppression of the other half. I finally grew the bollocks to confront myself. I demanded an apology from my oppressive half. He refused. Selfish prick.”

Jonathon Haidt explains in ‘The Coddling of the American Mind‘, that the concept of intersectionality follows directly on the heals of Herbert Marcuse’s 1965 essay, ‘Repressive Tolerance’.  Marcuse, ‘the father of the New Left’, was the main influence behind the traditional Left moving from standing up for worker’s rights to promoting social justice movements.

In applying the Marxist dichotomy of oppressed vs. oppressor to the ‘Left-Right dimension’, Marcuse painted the Right ‘as the party of “hate”, the Left as the party of “humanity.” His hard line polarising set one group against the other, without regard for common ground. The Right were a sinful party of hate vs. the Left a sinless party of humanity; the Right warlike, the Left peace loving.

For example:

‘Even though the Democrats controlled Washington at that time, Marcuse associated the right with the business community, the military, and other vested interests that he saw as wielding power, hoarding wealth, and working to block social change.The left referred to students, intellectuals, and minorities of all kinds. For Marcuse, there was no moral equivalence between the two sides.’ (Haidt, p.69)

The ‘end goal of Marcuse’s revolution is not equality but a reversal of power.’ From the platform of identity politics and critical theory, intersectonality entrenches the sinless side against the sinful other. According to Haidt this is exhibited by the ‘untruth of us vs. them’, and it’s powered by “…identity politics, which amplifies the human proclivity for us-versus-them thinking.’

Consequently, on many University campuses the Marcusian doctrine has ‘prepared students [and their teachers] for battle, not for learning.’ Through Marcusian’s vicious dichotomy the sinless party of humanity self-righteously justifies violence against the sinful party of hate, drawing the West into an inevitable civil war, potentially even a global one. It’s apt that Haidt references back to witch hunts, and the bloody suppression of those deemed unworthy of life during the Communist Cultural Revolution in China during the late 1960s to mid-1970s.

Hadit tracks the birth of intersectionality back to  Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, a one time law professor at UCLA, now professor at Columbia. Her 1989 essay on the subject is considered by Haidt to be ‘important insight’ into why ‘you can’t just look at a few big “main effects” of discrimination; you have to look at interactions, or “intersections.” Citing Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge, he defines intersectionality ‘as an analytic tool that examines the impact of power relations’ between people, groups, cultures, sub-cultures and institutions.

He agrees with the premise of interesectionality because power has a tendency to be abused and ‘cruelly used’. Thus creating ‘disadvantage in ways that are often blind to others.’ The problem is that ‘certain interpreations’ of intersectionality corrupt it through misapplication, and weaponization. As a result, ‘interpretations of intersectionality teach people to see bipolar dimensions of privilege and oppression’ everywhere.

This magnifies a ‘proton pseudos; imagining oppression where none exists. Then exaggerating, or ignoring oppression where it does exist. For instance, black on black crime in the United States is overlooked for the racist cops vs. the black community narrative.

The flaw in Haidt’s affection, as he inadvertently admits, is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Intersectionality is an unstable, volatile concept. It’s function may intend to protect and serve the vulnerable against abuses of power, but misused (as we’re seeing examples of exploding to life everywhere), intersectonality is the source of confusion, dysfunction and violence.

Intersectionality is simply a bad idea. It’s primary use is as a weapon, not a shield. By way of instilling in people self-hatred, through guilt, shame, blame and condemnation, intersectionality is the Marcusian weapon of choice in it’s destructive quest for a ‘reversal of power’.

Through Marcuse’s sinless vs. sinful – party of hate vs. party of humanity – divide and conquer dichotomy, intersectionality justifies senseless violence, believing (without question) all kinds of accusations. As long as those accusations come from those deemed oppressed by the privileged vs. oppressed intersectional rubric.

Intersectionality is no liberator, reconciler or redeemer. It does violence to society in large part because it empowers the abuse of language and by default manipulative propaganda. This allows people to ‘label their opponents’ words [or silence] as violence, whereby they give themselves permission to engage in ideologically motivated physical violence.’

Intersectionality is a thought prison that chains people to fear and suspicion. It serves self-righteousness and encourages people to replace evidence based reasoning with emotion; charitable interpretation with a list of cognitive distortions, such as  ‘catastraphising’, ‘mind reading’, ‘dichotomous thinking’, ‘negative filtering’, ‘blame’, and ‘positive discounting’.

This joyless yardstick thinking drives a wedge into communities, families, Churches and Western governments, which explains why warmongering Western Communists are among Marcuse’s greatest admirers.

Conclusively, intersectionality raises more questions than it can answer, and raises more problems than it claims to want to solve.

Hence the still powerful relevance of these words, ‘if a blind man follows another blind man, they both fall into a pit.’ – Jesus, Matthew 15:13, ESV


References:

Haidt, J. & Lukianoff, G. 2018. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure,  Penguin Random House

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Last week Ben Packham wrote in The Australian that ‘China scored a victory in its campaign to prioritize its national interests over human rights, securing support for a UN resolution that would make individual rights a matter for “mutually beneficial co-operation.” [i]

In other words, individual rights are solely contingent on an individual’s total subservience to and acquiescence with the Marxist/Maoist state. The individual must bow to the deified state in toto – mind, body, soul and strength.

This is the Chinese Communist Party’s theocratic claim of possession over individuals, which is, outside good governance genuinely lived out under God, something neither government nor ideology has the right to make.

Within this framework the state is God. Rights are not inherently God given, they’re a reward, which can be cancelled at any time should the state so decree.

China’s resolution win allows for less accountability in how it implements inhumane programs to carry out its Marxist theocratic claim.

Australia voted against the resolution, ‘arguing that it undermined “long established principles with regards to the promotion and protection of human rights.’

Packham cited Elaine Pearson from Human Rights Watch, who said that the resolution ‘limits engagement on a country’s human rights record, as it prioritizes sovereignty over accountability, treats fundamental human rights as being subject to negotiation and compromise, and foresees no meaningful role for civil society.’[ii]

An equally important side note is that the resolution appears to have been won by China leveraging its 138 nation, global financial imperial alliance, created through its Belt and Road initiative (BRI).

Nations who voted in favor of the resolution included ‘African, and a range of developing nations, including The Philippines, Indonesia and Venezuela.’ [iii] Most of whom, according to data from Green-Bri.org are part of China’s BRI.

If pressure was applied by the CCP in order to win the UN vote, than the BRI isn’t just a debt trap. It’s part of a greater diabolical maneuver to undermine sovereign states, and bolster Chinese Communist influence through the creation of debt slaves.

The latter are unsuspecting nations who’ve sold themselves into quasi-indentured servitude to the Chinese Communist Party, routinely called upon to do the CCP’s bidding.

The BRI gives the CCP power to use these debt slaves to secure key votes, thereby swaying important international agreements, not in favor of their nation or the Chinese people, but in favor of the Communist regime.

It should also be noted that China was, until January this year, a sitting member of the U.N. Human Rights council, and that there are BRI [indentured] nations currently members of U.N. Council. China also has a place on the U.N. panel that chooses U.N. human rights investigators.

Indonesia, a predominately Muslim country supporting the suppression of accountability and dissent isn’t a big surprise either. They may be looking for assistance in blindsiding the world on their own human rights abuses, namely Indonesia’s reported mistreatment of Indigenous West Papuans.

This resolution means that authorities can more easily dismiss accusations about human rights abuses connected to the CCP’s brutal national oppression of Christians, and of the Muslim Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, once declared independent, but subsumed into the Communist Chinese Maoist state in 1949.

It means that reports like the one released this week by independent, bipartisan research organization, The Jamestown Foundation, may never get to see the light of day where it matters.

The 32 page report, put together by German Anthropologist, Adrian Zenz provided ‘evidence of birth prevention & mass female sterilization.’ [iv]

He explained on Twitter that these ‘findings give the strongest proof yet that Xinjiang atrocity fulfills a U.N. Genocide Convention criterion: imposing measures intended to prevent births.’

Zenz, who is also a senior fellow in China studies at Victims of Communism, added: ‘Birth control has a long history in China, but evidence from government documents about birth prevention in Xinjiang indicates a ruthless, draconian suppression of population growth that is, frankly, unprecedented. Esp. worrying is evidence of a campaign of mass sterilization.’ [v]

Due to population growth among minority ethnic groups, ‘by 2019, Xinjiang [province] planned to subject >80% of women of childbearing age in the southern minority regions to intrusive birth prevention surgeries (IUDs or sterilizations). In 2018, 80% of new IUDs in China were fitted in XJ (region only makes up 1.8% of national population). [vi]

Zenz writes that the ‘likely goal of this campaign is to sterilize all women who have had 3 or more children, plus some. Funding in 2019/20 sufficient for potentially up to 200,000 sterilizations, but at least one region also received central gov’t funding for this.’ [vii]

The Marxist theocratic end goal is that

not one child to be born outside the will of the state. Technically, the government can now dial minority birth rates up and down at will, like opening or closing a faucet. Coupled with state-sponsored promotion of in-migration and of inter-ethnic marriages, this constitutes a tripartite campaign of ethno-racial domination’ [viii]

Zenz concludes, writing that ‘these findings provide strong evidence of the fulfilment of U.N. Genocide Convention, Section D of Article II: “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the [targeted] group.’

The Associated Press referred to the four year program as “demographic genocide.

The program is ‘backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply. Having too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps.’

The Communist Chinese Party joining in on bandwagon accusations about the alleged systemic oppression of minorities in Western countries; raising the socialist power fist in unison with its Marxist LGBT Black Lives Matter cousin is nothing more than hot air on par with those living in glass houses throwing stones.


References:

[i] Packham, B. Human Rights take a Hit at UN, The Australian Wednesday, 8th July, 2020

[ii] ibid

[iii] ibid

[iv] Zenz, A. Twitter, 30th June 2020

[v] ibid

[vi] ibid

[viii] ibid

First published on Caldron Pool, 6th July, 2020.

Photo by Sonny Ravesteijn on Unsplash 

© Rod Lampard, 2020.

 

The late Christopher Lee (Dracula, LOTR and Star Wars) once responded to media reports claiming he was heavily involved in the occult,

“I have maybe four of five books. I’ve met people who claimed to be Satanists; who claimed to be involved with black magic; who claimed that they not only knew a lot about it, but I certainly haven’t been involved in it – I warn all of you never, never, never. You will not only lose your mind, you’ll lose your soul. I don’t have a big library. No, No. Look the internet, and the media, if they can’t think of something to do they invent it.

Omission often conjures up an immediate emotional response. As with Lee’s testimony, certain facts are strategically omitted from a story in order to present that story in a certain light.

This connects with Jacques Ellul’s concept of ‘organized myth’ in the field of manipulative propaganda and its progenitor “fake news”.

When faced with any information that takes the form of propaganda, Ellul writes, we need to ask whether or not ‘organized myth is trying to take hold of us, in order to invade every area of our consciousness?’

If so we’re being bombarded with the kind of information that is designed to ‘stimulate a feeling of exclusiveness, that produces a biased attitude’ along with it. (Ellul, Propaganda, 1965:11)

Not all cases of omission are part of the ‘organized myth’ megaphone. Not everything left out is an indicator of “fake news.”

Leaving out certain facts or viewpoints is sometimes unavoidable. No one can know all the facts as a situation is unfolding. Nor is every media outlet powered by the same reach, with boots on the ground, and not all have equal access to primary source material.

There’s also limited space available to communicate a wide range of key information. That limitation worsens as attention spans wane in the West. Thanks in part to the “stuff the verse, I only care about the chorus” approach to life, which is bolstered by the structure and pace of social media within the technological society.

Ellul would agree that “fake news” sows the seeds of ‘organized myth.’

“Fake or fabricated news” excites readers and viewers. Omission can translate into increased influence and even bigger dollars because half-truths sell.

In an industry overflowing with competition, constant information, and an audience who generally reads headlines, not articles, truth telling suffers.

One potential example of this comes from early June, when at the height of enthusiasm for the Black Lives Matter movement, the ABC ran an article appearing to push an ‘organized myth’, by omitting key information from a “push” to remove a monument of Australia’s first Prime Minister, and founder of federation, Sir Edmund Barton.

An Indigenous Australian woman was petitioning for the statue to be ditched from Port Macquarie’s Town Green foreshore, on the claim that Barton ‘represents racism’ and that the statue was ‘located on an ancient aboriginal burial site.’

The ABC article omitted that most of Port Macquarie’s foreshore is reclaimed swamp land; that the statue is located on, or nearer to that reclaimed land, and is about 20 meters away from the alleged burial site.

The article also failed to mention that an historic hotel and council car park/town center were also close by, and that artworks in the Hastings region, recognizing Indigenous Australian history, outnumber those recognizing European Australian history.

Also omitted: the alleged 1000+ year old burial site itself is respectfully recognized, well looked after, and zoned off for preservation.

Given the political climate, the ABC seems to have been openly harbouring ethnic tension, and division. Omitting key bits of information can’t easily be dismissed, largely because the article came from the local Mid North Coast branch.

If the master of manipulative propaganda is political indoctrination, then the Australian Broadcasting Corporation needs to answer some hard questions.

They have over $1 billion in tax payer funding, there’s no excuse for sloppy, or limited source material reporting. So why is the ABC flirting with omission?

Why, when it comes to important national issues, and debates, do they appear to be perpetuating an ‘organized myth’ through a pattern of one-sided reporting?

Rita Panahi noted another example. The ABC left out the mentally handicapped part, when reporting on a man who recently threw a passing racial slur at legendary Indigenous Australian actor, Ernie Dingo. A ‘key detail’ that was lost in the ABC’s apparent sadistic celebration of the B.L.M movement, and Ernie Dingo’s assault on the man.

In recent years, Andrew Bolt and Jo Nova have both cited examples where the ABC has flirted with omission, noting the ABC’s unwillingness to allow dissent on Climate Change et.al.

 ‘…lies by omission, and selective, biased editing, is permitted by a network of government funded agencies. It starts with scientists being funded to find a crisis, who selectively don’t publish inconvenient papers. Then that bias is spread by a media outlet that won’t publish expert whistleblower complaints. Then that bias is protected by a media regulator…’ (Nova)

Of course, the ABC isn’t alone. As Nova pointed out with regards to the Sydney Morning Herald in 2014,

‘rather than talking about possibilities that scientists are discussing, it was more important to remind SMH readers that Prime Minister Abbott once said climate change was “absolute crap”.

The ABC’s pattern of omission hinders its credibility. That a pattern of omission exists indicates that the tax-payer funded organization is not serving in the interests of all Australians.

I still think the ABC is an important part of Australian society, however it’s a position I’m being forced to reconsider because of how imperative it’s become to separate the sacred from surreptitiously spurious.


First published on Caldron Pool, 29th June 2020.

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

 

City of Beverly Hills officials have issued an indefinite order banning gatherings of no more than 10 people in residential areas.

The ‘civil emergency order’ is a response to violent Black Lives Matter protesters disturbing the ‘peace and tranquility’ of the “home of the stars”.

The order cites, one ‘group called “Occupy” staging loud protests at night using bullhorns and loud music in residential areas’, with Vanity magazine adding that the ban also coincides with an earlier curfew put in place after ‘Beverly Hills was hit by violence, and property damage as looting began in the area, particularly around Rodeo Drive’ in May.

According to the LA Times, City officials were none too happy about Beverly Hills residents sleep being disturbed by protesters, and therefore ‘deemed it necessary to limit the use of residential neighborhoods at night to allow residents to sleep.’

Vanity’s Jordan Moreau noted, ‘silent gatherings, like candlelight vigils and private events, are still allowed, but people disobeying the order will be subject to arrest.’

The ban on gatherings came into effect on Saturday.

The decision met some resistance on social media with a number of Twitter users calling the decision hypocritical, given the large support from some of Hollywood’s elite for protesters carrying the Black Lives Matter movement’s Marxist banner.

Worse still, while George Floyd’s brother, Terrance, was calling for peace, those same Hollywood elites were chanting to the equivalent of “burn it all down.”

In May, Michael Moore encouraged rioters to burn down the police precinct, while simultaneously calling for no violence:

Ice Cube fueled the “kill whitey” flames by lending his support for violence, (which on another occasion included his use of an Anti-Semitic cartoon):

Legendary rapper and television star, Ice T, along with Miley Cyrus lent their unwavering support to the protests.

Ice T’s Twitter wall is drenched with anti-Trump rhetoric, conflating hatred for Donald Trump with the notion of “systemic racism”, celebrating peaceful Black Lives Matters protests, while giving an approving nod to any Anglo-American fans who genuflected to the BLM movement’s narrative, ridiculing those who questioned it.

Rosie O’Donnell, Bette Milder, reflected a similar sentiment, throwing up “police are racist” retweets; mixing that in with their hate Trump because love trumps hate dissonance, all in between their worship of Barrack Obama and “love is love”.

Rob Reiner also fueled the fires and fanaticism, encouraging division and ethnic tension by spamming his Twitter feed with rants accusing Donald Trump of ‘being a white supremacist’ labeling the Republican President a racist confederacy supporter.

The City of Beverly Hills ban is a “hell no, not here” to violent Black Lives Matter protests. There’s nothing wrong with officials maintaining law and order.

Hollywood supporters of BLM movement protests don’t get off so easy. It seems that protesters, protesting injustice against African Americans, disrupting and destroying the lives and livelihoods of those in predominately African American neighborhoods, is all still okay, just don’t do it to their neighbourhood, or on their front yard.

All of this suggests that there’s one rule for those who wish to rule us, another for those they wish to rule.


First published on Caldron Pool, 18th June 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Watch as both white and black police officers respectfully try to school (or perhaps its better to say unschool?) this leftist, white woman, after she accuses the white police officer of being a racist (and therefore evil) because of his shade of melanin.

One of the officers near the end nails it saying, “let me tell you something, America has a sin problem. The world has a sin problem. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” America and the world has a sin problem. That’s where racism, injustice, and hate, and anger, and violence, are coming from. It’s not about racism. Read the Bible!”

Associating evil with skin colour in the name of anti-racism, is racism. Worse, it’s demonising a complete ethnic group in much the same way the Nazis demonised the Jews, and in the same way Bolsheviks demonised the “kulaks”. The end result of this kind of thinking is bloodshed.

You can help end this before it gets to that point, by speaking truth into the falsehoods, and rejecting that trajectory as graciously as possible.

Big kudos to these lads from law enforcement.

“Blessed are the peacemakers…”


Video: Breitbart

 

Eric Abetz (LNP) is proving to be no mediocre politician. His speech from July last year remains relevant, making his message one of the best ever entered into the Australian senate’s Hansard.[i]

This year the Senator for Tasmania provided us with a sequel. Speaking about ‘Political Discourse’ Abetz went head to head with cancel culture and the Left’s double standards.

The speech highlighted Queensland University Law professor, James Allen’s piece for The Australian on the June, 16th.

He gave a long list of examples where people were being bullied into submission, and their livelihoods cancelled because of a small, boisterous percentage of people online, and within corporations, looking for oppression, prejudice, malice and racism in everything.

Under Cancel Culture, it no longer matters whether or not a perceived offense was intentional or unintentional (or accidental). These are often labeled micro-aggressions. All that matters is the perceived outcome.

This is what Jonathon Haidt called ‘outcome over intent’ [ii]. Haidt explains that micro-aggression theory is the life blood of cancel culture. If the outcome is perceived to be offensive, intention doesn’t matter.

Appearance and accusation, follows emotional reasoning. Feelings are then placed as lord and master over evidence based reasoning. If something feels offensive, than that something, or someone, is no longer deemed worthy of life or livelihood.

Not only is this culture unstable, it’s unsustainable, and as Abetz argues, ultimately destructive.

Make no mistake about it. Cancel culture is a “life unworthy of life” prescription that echoes the same kind of ideology which allowed Stalin’s Gulags, and purges, along with Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz, Dachau, Ravensbruck and Buchenwald (among others).

This should send a chill up and down the proverbial spine of Western society. The same callous boney fingers which gripped Europe in the 20th Century, is wrapping its hands round the necks of Western society.

It gives us a strong reason to step back, assess and rethink any agreement with, or participation in such a culture and its ideology.

For these reasons alone, I don’t think it a stretch to say here that, yet again, Abetz is spot on in both his warning, and rebuttal of Cancel Culture’s, “life unworthy of life” prescription for cultural suicide.

Full Transcript of Eric’s five minute speech:

“If an individual were to engage in self-loathing, relentlessly finding the fault with self, and ridiculing and denigrating all their past endeavors, we would rightly conclude the individual had issues. Counseling might be in order.

So to with a society; if a society is willing to engage and embrace those who relentlessly spread negativity, and wallow in fault-finding it will have an extremely bleak future. A mature reflection of self or of society recognizes the good, with the not so good.

We should learn from past mistakes, not to tear down and destroy, but to build an even better future. This is how our society has progressed, and why we are where we are today as a nation – the envy of the world.

Let’s be clear. One of the great freedoms we have in Australia is the liberty to leave if we don’t like it. I don’t see any of the professionally and perpetually outraged leaving Australia for North Korea, Cuba or China.

For its alleged and real faults, Australia is the favored destination of the peoples of the world seeking freedom and opportunity.

As professor [James] Allen so eloquently wrote, “you know you’re living in George Orwell’s world, when speech is considered violence, and violence is considered speech.”

And that is exactly what we are witnessing today. Ugly double standards courtesy of the Anarchist Left; when conservatives speak they are accused of violence if they take a view contrary to the “woke” Left, but if the same language is used by the Left, it as indication of empathy, and “wokeness” – always excused.

Bettina Arndt’s award earlier this year was vehemently attacked by Labor senate leadership team. That same team of two women remain as silent as a rock, over the more recent award to that purveyor of ugly, sexist violence to women and anti-Semitic tweets, Mike Carlton.

Reason? He’s from the tribe. He’s from the Left. Similarly the treatment of Cardinal George Pell, and Paul Bonjornio, both in a seminary with that horrific pedophile, Ridgedale.

Pell should have been fully alert and known all that went on. Bonjornio on the other hand, fully excused, “of course, he couldn’t have known.”

The difference of treatment? Pell is of a conservative disposition; Bonjornio from the Left. We see the “woke” Left attacking statues of former Coalition leaders and Captain Cook, possibly the world’s greatest ever navigator; for allegedly being racist.

But a Labor leader [Arthur Calwell] who supported the ‘White Australia Policy’, and famously (or infamously) said, “two wongs, don’t make a white” sits in the pantheon of Labor leaders. As does another Labor leader [Gough Whitlam] who referred to Vietnamese refugees “[expletive deleted], Vietnamese Balts.”

No their names are not to be vilified or desecrated. Instead they are hallowed. Why? Because they are from the Left, whereas the Coalition leader [Tony Abbott] who voluntarily dedicated a week per year assisting Indigenous communities without media fan fare, needs to be vilified for his alleged racism.

Go figure!

Refusal to acknowledge any good in others, and any possible failings in the tribe has become the mantra and justification to remove people from employment, films and books from the public; for sports people to kneel for a cause and close businesses.

So much for the celebration of diversity – everything is judged in terms of claimable victimhood, division and partisanship.

The tribe excuses each other and accuses everyone else – the recipe for disharmony, anarchy and societal collapse. Facts, evidence, objective truths are junked in favor of bullying, sloganeering, and emoting.

The time has come to stand firm, push back and advocate the cause of our wonderful heritage bequeathed to us by our forebears; an heritage of civility, a system of democratic government, the rule of law, personal freedoms, and the standard of living, all of which makes Australians the envy of the world.

I for one will continue to be thankful and defend and promote that heritage, because for all its faults I know no better country.

I know no better people.”

References:

[i] Abetz, E. Freedom of Speech, 2nd July 2019.

[ii] Haidt, J. & Lukianoff. G. 2018. The Coddling of the American Mind Penguin Books Ltd.

[iii] Allen, J. Cowardly Elites appease bullies of Cancel Culture The Australian, 16th June, 2020

First published on Caldron Pool, 25th June 2020.

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020

Are we truly listening to the voice of ALL African Americans?

Or are we only hearing from those who’ve been pre-approved to speak on behalf of our would-be Marxist overlords?

In the case of the latter, our African American brothers and sisters are seen as a possession, powerless and inferior; an instrument for Cultural Marxists to plough through Western Civilisation, further establishing the false promise of a Utopia, via hidden power brokers within the Western Marxist hegemony.

Are we truly listening?

Or is it, that the only black lives who matter, are those who can be used to further the paralyzing, oppressive, and divisive, Leftist ideological paradigm?

[Read more here: Woke Healthcare workers lose their Wokeness When asked Whether Black lives in the Womb Mattered]

Brandon Tatum:

“Leaving the Student For Trump Rally today the lone Trump protester couldn’t believe ME a Black man was a Trump supporter 🤣”

Grow the Heck Up:

Angela Stanton-King:

Voddie Baucham:

Anthony Brian Logan:

 

Anyone who still thinks the protests in the United States, and elsewhere are about black lives, and not about Marxism, are deluding themselves.

Case in point: Heg gave his life in the fight against slave-owners, yet the mob sees his monument as a valid target for “cancellation.” 🤔

‘On December 30, 1862, at the battle of Stones River, Heg’s regiment lost more than 100 men. His horse was shot out from under him and his general called him “the bravest of the brave.” In February 1863 Heg was put in command of the entire brigade and pursued retreating Confederate troops through Tennessee, briefly into Alabama, and across the state line to Chickamauga, Georgia.
At Chickamauga, Georgia, 10 miles south of Chattanooga, the Confederates made a stand. On September 19-20, 1863, Heg’s brigade was outnumbered and the 15th Infantry again lost more than 100 soldiers.
On the afternoon of September 19, 1863, Heg was charging forward at the front of his troops when he was shot in the abdomen. He managed to stay in the saddle for a short time, but loss of blood compelled him to leave the field and move to a hospital behind the lines where he died the next morning.’  (Source: Heg, Col. Hans Christian (1829-1863) 

As Klavan explains:

 

 

 

If the facts cannot be squeezed into a meme the level of attention those facts receive is reduced. Attention to detail is overlooked for what will best attract a view, a like, a follow or a share. Information is seen purely as a commodity.

The problem is that when information is seen purely as a commodity, truth is easily compromised.

We don’t need to look any further than the internet. It’s now common place to log on and find someone accusing someone else of being a Nazi or a racist. This may have reached the status of cliché, and as such is easily dismissed. Nevertheless real concern should be given to it. Especially, when we’re bombarded with celebrity endorsed outrage, and articles written by professionals, (often falsely) equating their opponents with the National Socialists of the 1930’s, without qualification.

For example: in August 2016, a lecturer from Sydney University,  compared fair-minded conservative opposition to same-sex marriage, with the Nazi treatment of homosexuals. In addition, a student was reported to have been disallowed from presenting a case, linking examples of how anti-Israel sentiment, is linked to anti-Semitism. [source]

Historical comparisons made between present and past, should be measured for accuracy. Responsible self-criticism leads us to ask ourselves whether or not our opponent has a point. However, measuring the accuracy of our opponents claim shouldn’t stop with us. For it to be completely fair, the enquiry must also include the consideration of whether or not our opponents, are themselves guilty of doing the very things they’re accusing others of doing.

One good practice, when being likened to the Nazis, is reading material from those who’ve studied the historical context; the history of and the history associated with Nazism. Read those who’ve engaged with the primary sources, and who understand not just what the Nazis did, but how, and why, they did it.

It’s here that Thomas Doherty’s insightful and well researched 2013 book, ‘Hollywood & Hitler‘ shines:

Page 9, citing a PCA[i] report on the prohibition of the movie ‘All Quiet on The Western Front‘, Dec, 18, 1930:
“There is no doubt that this wave of intense national prejudice, which is for now going on, will continue and that any pictures, particularly foreign pictures, which offend the sensibilities of the National Socialists will be a signal for riots and demonstrations.’ [i]
Page 21: ‘Even before Goebbels laid down the law, the Nazi rhetoric on race was being implemented by pumped-up S.A. thugs and zealous party bureaucrats. From Berlin radiating outward, the iron grip tightened over all aspects of film-related culture – artists and technicians, film content and style, trade periodicals and reviewer bylines, theatre ownership and ticket buyers.’ [ii]
Page 97: ‘The Nazis, said Prince Hubertus Lowenstein [an early critic of Nazism], had annihilated all that was good in German culture.”Everything that had made for the glory of Germany has been destroyed in the past three years. The best actors and artists have been expelled.
Approximately 1100 scholars and scientists have had to leave, only because they believed in freedom of art, of thought, and of religion.” Jews were forbidden to buy milk for their children, and Catholics were jailed for keeping the faith.
The jackboot crushing Jews and Catholics, he predicted, was but a preview of oppressions to come. All those speaking that night urged a united front against Hitler. “We must organise to fight the Nazi invasion before Americans lose their constitutional liberties”‘[iii]

Doherty helps to shine a light on where, and if, Nazism or fascists are active today. When matched against current events descriptions such as, “intense prejudice, the iron grip, that which offends the sensibilities is a signal for riots and demonstrations; rhetoric on race by pumped-up thugs and zealous party bureaucrats”, all show that those pointing their finger and crying wolf about Nazism and fascism, reflect it the most.

The radical Left is already becomes suspect when its adherents use its political platforms to denounce all opposition as Nazism, without any real qualification. It’s already suspect when those same adherents ignore questions, make false claims and turn all fair criticism into “hate speech”. It’s already suspect when this very same ideology backs policies that undermine the humanity of the unborn, democratic debate, diversity of thought, reasoned opinion, expression and faith.

It’s already suspect when some of its most fervent adherents remain silent about the current events in Turkey, or Islamism in general, and yet continue to promote the BDS academic boycott movement against Israel. [source] The radical Left is more than worthy of our suspicions when we only hear the sound of crickets chirping to the tune of double standards, hypocrisy, selective outrage, suppression of faith and reason, political evasion, and propaganda.

As Theodore Kupfer asked, ‘Where are the Academic Boycotts of Turkey?’ It’s tragically ironic that anti-Israel protesters are loud and proud, yet they remain silent about Turkey:

“The response of Western academia has thus far been limited to expressions of grave concern for the fate of individual academics who have been subject to the purge [in Turkey].
No organised boycott effort has surfaced on any level. Mere proclamations of solidarity are supposed to suffice in the case of Turkey, while the same organisations agitate for nothing short of a blanket institutional boycott in the case of Israel.
Mind you, academic conditions in Israel are far superior to those in Turkey. Even attempts to portray Israel as hostile to academic freedom are evidence for this.” [iv]

The irony feeds suspicion of the radical Left. All that’s missing from the trajectory of this ideological radicalism is a figure-head with the power to influence enough people to fanatically fall in line behind them. With what’s happened in opposition to Donald Trump’s election in the United States, such suspicions should be weighed carefully.

Whether we like it or not, we’re being forced into categories by those who want to define us, determine what we think, and turn our freedoms into a carrot on a stick. The agenda isn’t about equality, it’s about dominance. The agenda isn’t about rights, it’s about power. The agenda isn’t about progress, it’s about pride.

It’s ironic that a people’s court stands ready to condemn those who don’t align, agree or pledge allegiance to the Left. The oppressor presents themselves as the oppressed, and no one is allowed to have an opposing view. It’s at this point that we’re not far from Gene Edward Veith, in his underrated 1993, book ‘Modern Fascism’, rightly suggested that there is a link between Heidegger’s revisionist/deconstructionism and fascism.

For example:

“What is the deconstructive basis for condemning Nazism? Would it not be in keeping with the in keeping with the logic of deconstruction, the deconstructive basis for condemning Nazism, reverses a claim like “the Nazis oppressed the Jews,” showing instead that the Jew cooked in a Nazi oven was really the Nazis’ oppressor.
The real-world endpoint of Heideggerian (and now Derridean and de Manian) deconstructionism [and its elimination of] the logocentric (Judeo-Christian) tradition is Auschwitz […]” [v]

This is why theology is important. As Timothy Gorringe states, ‘[Judeo-Christian] theology stands as a critique of ideology,’ [vi] but if it’s to remain authentic theology, it will have to navigate society’s obsession with the Left/Right metaphor. This is partly why I’m not big on the Right/Left metaphor in regards to describing factions within the State or the Church. Throughout history, the meaning has shifted. The metaphor is inadequate. We cannot rely on it entirely.

Another reason for why theology is important is because faith seeks understanding. To confess that Jesus Christ is Lord necessarily means to admit that Jesus Christ is no human pawn. Whether they be, deconstructionists, modernists, futuristic, archaic, primitive, progressive, communist, fascist, conservative, material or spiritual; Any Christian theology worthy of its name-sake, is and always will stand as a critique of all human centered strongholds that claim godlikeness; a challenge to all towers of Bable.

Genuine Christianity is, as Karl Barth duly noted, ‘the protest against all the high places which human beings build for themselves’ (Karl Barth C.D IV/II p.524).

To say that history is being repeated is not overstating the current zeitgeist. History is not, however, being repeated in the same way that the Left often sells it. Based on what is presented by Doherty, Kupfer, Vieth and Hirsch above, it’s those who recklessly cry wolf about Fascists, and subsequently point to the Right, who have more in common with the Nazis, than they do the victims of Nazism.

May we continue to be free, and well informed enough to differentiate between the real and the wrongly labelled.


References:

[i]  Doherty,T. 2013 Hollywood & Hitler: 1933-1939 Columbia University Press

[ii] ibid, 2013

[iii] ibid, 2013

[iv] Kupfer, T. 2016 Where Are the Academic Boycotts of Turkey? sourced 24th August 2016 from nationalreview.com

[v] Hirsch, D. 1991. The Deconstruction of Literature: Criticism after Auschwitz (p.87) Cited by Gene E. Veith, Modern Fascism, 1993. Concordia Publishing House.

[vi] Gorringe, T.J 1999 Karl Barth: Against Hegemony Christian theology in context Oxford University Press New York

[Updated and edited from an article posted in August, 2016, called, The Usurping of Things To Come?’ Also published at The Caldron Pool, 13th November, 2018 under the heading, ‘Who are the real fascists?’]

Photo credit:  Taton Moïse on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2018.

An African American man questioning healthcare workers about abortion is making its way around the internet. The group had lined up outside either a healthcare clinic or Hospital, brandishing placards in a show of “woke” solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

As one of the healthcare workers moves forward to kneel, the man in the video asks the group whether “all black lives matter or just some black lives?” The crowd responded, “All black lives matter.

The unknown individual then asks “the black lives killed by black men matter right?” Again the healthcare workers respond, “Yes! Oh, hell yes!”

He then asks, “black babies killed in abortion clinics matter, right?”

Unwilling, unable or unsure of how to respond, the healthcare workers go silent. The man replies, “thought so.”

He continues with, “that black officer killed in Minnesota matters to right?” To which the group also gives their loud, resounding “yes!”

The yet to be identified man in the video then rhetorically asks, “but the black babies that are killed in the abortion clinics don’t matter do they, medical people?”

Healthcare workers once again go silent.

The man in the brief video then closes with this thunderous punch line,

 “Do their lives matter? Does the future of our black babies matter? What’s up? Huh? Awful quiet now aren’t they? Ah. Huh! It’s okay if we kill them in the womb, right? But you don’t seem to really have a problem when we [black people] kill them on the streets. Yes, well we know that they’re the same issue. If we don’t respect the lives of our unborn children, enough to save them and fight for them, our lives mean nothing once we’re born.”

American Civil Rights group The Radiance Foundation posted the video to Facebook & Twitter yesterday, with a caption saying:

“These (pandering) healthcare professionals become awfully silent when their “wokeness” is called out. So “woke”. So “blind”.

The questions within the video are consistent with the Radiance Foundation’s rejection of “race”, and its own self-titled “factivist” criticisms of Leftist activism, including the Black Lives Matter movement, racism, abortion, and LGBT ideology.

On June 5th, founder, Ryan Bomberger penned an outstanding ten point article listing reasons for why he’ll never support B.L.M. stating,

‘Yes, black lives matter. But truth matters. As a Christian, the Church should be leading on these issues instead of sheepishly following a movement hostile to the Gospel.’

As part of this rejection he cites the B.L.M’s Marxist manifest, its focus on ‘black power, the promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism. It ignores the fatherlessness epidemic of our age, includes the demand for reparations, abolishing of law enforcement, and is pro-abortion.’

They aren’t the only African Americans speaking out against the shackles put on them by the Left’s reigning, toxic leftist hegemony.

Brandon Tatum hit his Youtube channel hard with a range of dialogue about it, including “White Privilege is MADE UP by leftists”, “Enough with the anti-White narrative” and the (must watch) panel discussing B.L.M  featuring Derrick Gradenigo, Chi Brown, and Anthony Logan.

The latter also came down hard on the subject. Logan’s been prolific in his criticism of people genuflecting to leftism, B.L.M., people capitulating to cancel culture, and Antifa; including one post called ‘PLEASE STOP WHITE GUILT’ (caps are his).

There’s more.

Darrell B. Harrison and Virgil Walker, the voices behind the Just Thinking Podcast, put up a ‘free style episode’ called ‘George Floyd & the Gospel’ addressing the ‘tiresome’ leftist narrative of white vs. black perpetuated by mainstream media.

Harrison & Walker also discussed the serious theological error of equating sin with the shade of a person’s melanin; and how the importance of the Imago Dei confronts us with God’s “no” to the concept of “race”, and the sin of racism.

The episode has hit over 100k shares, making it their biggest podcast to date.

The theme all these voices have in common is that the genuflecting has to end. The bad theology supporting the Black Lives Matter movement (as opposed to the sentiment of the statement) has to end. The tip toeing, kneeling, feet kissing, constant apologizing, agreeing to cancel anything deemed racist by a mob leaping before it looks, has to end.

If the African American voices I’m hearing are correct, none of this is helpful to the black community. Instead of being an expression of love for neighbour, it becomes a self-serving, harmful deification of neighbour.

Worse, it fuses the false concept of race to the Gospel; measures evil by the shade of someone’s melanin, and deifies ethnicity. It raises one group up as superior over against the other. This is a theology of glory preaching the fascist concepts of the superman (ubermensch), blood and soil (blut und boden) and life unworthy of life (Lebensunwertes Leben). It’s not the Gospel. It’s not the theology of the cross.

As Virgil Walker wrote on Instagram today,

“When you follow the BLM/Social Justice Gospel, the lengthy list of “works” required to atone for the sins of others NEVER ends. Furthermore, it changes every day as someone more WOKE (woker than thou) provides you with a new list.”

In order words, you’ll never be woke enough.

Since the death of George Floyd we’ve all been asked to pause and listen, but are we genuinely hearing the voice of ALL African Americans?

Or are we only hearing from those who’ve been pre-approved to speak on behalf of our would-be Marxist overlords?

It should be well noted that in the case of the latter, all appearances suggest that our African American brothers and sisters are seen as a possession, powerless and inferior; an instrument for Cultural Marxists to plough through Western Civilization, further establishing the false promise of a Utopia, via hidden power brokers within the Western Marxist hegemony.

Are we truly listening?

Or is it that the only black lives that matter are those who can be used to keep the paralyzing, oppressive, and divisive, leftist hegemony on life-support, and it’s soon to be defeated, toxic ideological paradigm alive?

[VIDEO]


First published on Caldron Pool, 20th June 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Carl F.H. Henry’s ‘Twilight of a Great Civilization: The Drift Toward Neo-Paganism’ (1988) is chillingly accurate.

He admonishes complacency, retreat and inaction without slipping into an apocalyptic moralistic rant about a wayward world. The value here, at least for me anyway, is found in its prescience, and Henry’s focus on truth vs. falsehood, as opposed to Right vs. Left; sinner vs. sinless.

Henry pivots his entire discourse on a Socratic question, asking readers to note, reflect, and deflect neo-paganism’s self-evident cultural contamination of the West through Secular Humanism. Centre-stage is the salvific importance of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.

This is because as long as God’s freely spoken Word remains free to be spoken; it will always restrain the ‘isms, and false gods we create in our own image. This restraint comes in the form of confrontation and correction. It isn’t for the betterment or advance of an ideology. Nor is it to candy coat a totalitarian overreach of religion. It’s for our betterment and advance, because of God’s love for us.

When the Word of God no longer is free, the boxing in of the Creator reaps the inevitable backwards movement of the creature. Man and woman position themselves as lord over the Word. They operate as lawless, under the false idea that they are lordless. This happens when the free Word of God is distorted, made abstract and alien; re-imagined through the lens of human ideas, imagination, superstition, and false myth.

For Henry, the subjugation of the free, objectively spoken Word of God is an abandonment of reason, faith and ultimately true humanity.

‘History loosed from God can be a pattern of meaningless cycles, each turning inward, or an arena in which the superman imagines himself to be its divine Lord’ (1988, p.35).

He correctly warns,

‘when contemporary theologians call for works, and not words – beware!’ Adding, ‘we must not be timid and isolate ourselves…we must not be held at bay by the powers of this world or defanged by the spirit of the age.’ (Henry, 1988. pp.54-55)

Melanie Phillips provides an apt example of this in her discussion on the downgrading of the Anglican Church. Its accommodation of moral and cultural relativism, surrender to victim culture (Cultural Marxism), and inclusivity can be linked to abusive New Age cults rising within the church.

The Anglican Church in Britain let the ‘welfare state displace Christianity.’ The church surrendered its convictions, and ‘retreated from the public square’, knocking the everyday relevance of Christianity from its rightful place in British society.

Hence Melanie’s conclusion,

‘While ‘the decline of the church has contributed in great measure to the decline of Britain, it is also arguable that the decline of Britain has contributed in large measure to the decline of the church.’ (‘World Turned Upside Down’, 2010)

The primary theme addressed by Henry is that institutional Christianity ‘dropped the barricade against paganism, has been too busy powdering it’s nose to preserve an attractive image; and too busy pandering to revolutionaries and reactionaries who need to be remade in Christ’s image’ instead the Church allowing them to remake Christ in theirs. (p.17)

This protest is about getting our own house in order before looking to bring order to an ever increasingly disordered world.

Henry notes:

‘It makes a critical difference whether or not one thinks and acts christianly.
• If one believes that God is the supreme Sovereign, one will not be deluded by myths about Hitler or Stalin or Mao or by emperors like the Roman Caesars or the German Kaiser Wilhelm, who proclaimed “Deutschland uber Alles!” (Germany above all)
• If one believes that God is creator of the planets and stars, one will pity sun-worshippers and horoscope addicts and all who think that human life is merely a cosmic accident.
• If one believes that God created humanity in the divine image, one will not consider women inferior to men, or give credence to apartheid and myths about racial superiority.
• If one believes that God instituted monogamous marriage – so that father, mother, and offspring conceived in wedlock form the ideal home – one will think differently about the single woman who wants a child outside of marriage, and about artificial insemination of a woman with the sperm of an unknown father.
• If one believes that God fixes the boundaries of the nations, one will know that it is not military might alone that ultimately will decide the fortunes of the United States or Soviet Russia or Mainland China and Hong Kong.
• If one believes that God is omniscient, one will not think one can hide the way one does one’s business, or that what one does in the privacy of one’s home can be hidden [forever].
• If one believes that God made human beings to think His thoughts after Him, one will not stock one’s soul with salacious literature or steep his spirit in pornographic publications.
• If one believes that God intends the human body to be a temple of the Holy Spirit, one will not debilitate it with alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.
• If one believes that God works out for good whatever touches the life of His children, one will not respond as pagans do to the loss of a job, to terminal illness, or to the unexpected death of a loved one.
• If one believes that God commands us to love our neighbours as ourselves, one will not leave a neighbour in need or trouble to fend for himself or herself, but will treat the neighbour as extended family.’ (pp.119-120)

This marks the prescience of Henry’s work (that of Melanie Phillips, and even Jordan Peterson, who has talked about the consequences of removing the Logos from Western Civilization).

All three point to the dehumanizing consequences of removing the free, objectively spoken Word of God (the Logos) from the centre of society, politics and religion.

The right response to compromise is acknowledging where, why and how it exists. This includes the uncritical Christian accommodation for neo-paganism under the banner of tolerance and inclusion, and often conveniently forgotten red flags by which historical precedence blasts warnings into the present.

Henry’s work here isn’t a procedural self-help, 12 step cure-all treatise. Neither is it a diatribe about Right vs. Left, black vs. white, Evangelical vs. liberal, and so on.

Henry’s sole concern is about truth vs. falsehood, replacing lies with the truth; the role of Christ, and therefore the role of the true Christian Church as it looks to lead, by being led by the Holy Spirit, without falling into step with the spirit of the age.


First published on Caldron Pool, 16th June, 2020.

Photo by Pawel Janiak on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Whether you’re soaked in the dye of the Left or the Right; politically branded and proud to wear it, or disinclined to bow before either.

No one is outside the sharp insight found within these words:

‘’…He told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt.’’ (Lk.18:9)

Prior to this Jesus had just finished speaking of a widow, who persistently came before a judge, pleading her case.

The judge is described as one ‘who neither feared God nor respected man.’ (Lk.18:2). We know little of the widow’s situation other than that, given her persistence, it must have been desperate.  As the parable goes, the judge, more out of irritation than compassion, grants the widow justice.

Jesus doesn’t finish there. Luke records that what followed was an imperative “…hear what the unrighteous judge says.” (Lk.18:6)

Jesus then makes it clear that God “will give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night … He will give justice to them speedily.” (Lk.18:7-8)

In a seemingly unrelated conclusion, Jesus poses a question about the future. Leaning on the distinction between the widow’s relentless faith despite her suffering, and what could be described as the judge’s militant atheism, Jesus asks: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

It’s from here that Luke cements one of the most significant parables taught by Jesus: the Pharisee and the Tax collector.

We’re told that.

‘’two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.”

The Pharisee prays,

“God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; and give tithes of all that I get.” (Lk.18:11-12)

We’re to understand that the Pharisee considers himself more righteous than the tax collector. He is ‘asserting his own righteousness’[i]

To see the relevance of this, we need to go back to Jesus’ question about the future at the end of the last parable:

“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

It’s a question that begs another: Do we have more faith in ourselves, than we do in God?

In 21st century terms, the Pharisee would be living out of an attitude that leads to a prayer like this:

“God, I thank you that I am not like that racist, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, or intolerant person over there; I’m socially “responsible” and unlike all those haters, and “deplorables.”

There is a keenness to point out what others are, readiness to shift the focus of sin, a readiness to parade a fashionable, Machiavellian, public display of righteousness.

There is no recognition or confession of the fact that ‘’all have sinned, all have fallen short of the glory of God’’ (Rom.3:23). The sinner is whoever and whatever the 21st Century Pharisee claims not to be. You are whatever they say you are. You will do, speak and think what they tell you to or else.

Accordingly, the righteous are those who adhere to the human rules and guidelines set by the modern Pharisee. In modern society this is imposed by the predominantly political and academic elite.

On the surface the 21st century Pharisee gives lip service to God, but underneath has become as God.

As identified by John Machen, in his 1923 book ‘Christianity Vs. Liberalism’, the majority of the Left, similar to that of the far-right, follow a faux religion. It’s a revisionism that fits the Bible and Christianity into a political box. The extremes of modern liberalism are upheld by tea-straining theology through the lens of social justice; of feel-good activism and ideologically mandated politics, which is quick to damn anyone they’ve collectively deemed as having fallen short of the faux word of god.

These are built on the imperatives of the progressive, “social Gospel”, that has slowly replaced Jesus Christ as the Gospel, with loyalty to a political ideology, a faux Christ, faux gospel and therefore a faux god.

Evidence for this can be found in the uncontrolled emotional outbursts and reactions to the recent election in the United States.

The Right (extremes excluded), through its own issues with pride and fear, is dragged into this downgrade of the Gospel, (and along with it the downgrade of democracy.) Reacting against the temerity of modern liberalism, the Right builds its own ideological fortifications. Justified by the faux gospel taught by liberalism, the Right stands in a state of constant battle, brought about by constant bombardment from the Left.

In its final form, though, this monster, this faux god, emerges, having control over both spheres. Still distinct in identity, both Left and Right worship, and conduct themselves under one faux religion. The difference is that one side, through compromise, jettisoned God, for the power it thought it would gain for having done so; whereas the other side, provoked into pushing back, finds itself slowly becoming that which it once fought against.

‘The warfare of the world has entered even into the house of God, and sad indeed is the heart of the man who has come seeking peace.’ (Machen, 1923*)

In contrast to the Pharisee, we’re confronted by the awkward timidity of the tax collector. He stands far off. He doesn’t even raise his eyes to heaven (Lk.18:13). He knows the job he has to do each day and wears the cost of it. His job isn’t easy and it’s not going to get easy anytime soon.

His only hope is in God. It isn’t in what he does, his nation gives or what others say he is.

Instead of seeking to out-do the Pharisee in self-praise, the tax collector “beats his chest [a sign of humility & shame][ii], saying, God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

Jesus finishes the parable, saying,

“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.”

The bible tells us that ‘none is righteous and the fool jettisons God.’ (Rom.3:10/Psalm 14/Psalm 53)

We are encouraged to be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing, of false teachers; masked “believers”.

We’re warned that at the coming of the Son of Man, sheep will be separated from goats (Matthew 25). That the political games of deny, evade and blame that give power, will no longer serve to do so.

Both sheep and goats are strong metaphors. For justifiable reasons, whether right or left, liberal or conservative, Christians are summoned to trust and follow the Good Shepherd, not bleat expletives, or eat everything that comes our way.

As for the elect, mentioned in the first parable, we can say that they are, the broken and contrite. They are ‘those who call upon the name of the LORD…’(Rom.10:13 et.al)[iii]  They are, in the words of Karl Barth,

‘Jesus Christ and those He represents’ (CD. 2/2).

In closing, Jesus speaks:

 ‘For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.’ (Lk.18:14)

Whether police officer, anarchist rioter, tax collector, Pharisee, liberal, or conservative, no one lives outside the parameters of these words.[iv]

The praise of God outdoes and outlasts the praise of self. May we follow the heartfelt and humble zeal of the tax collector, over-against, the self-righteous fanaticism[v] of the Pharisee.


Notes:

[i] Green, J.B. 1997 NICNT: Luke Wm.B Eerdmans Publishing, [Green also notes, ‘Luke’s purpose is not to condemn a particular group but to warn against a particular way of comporting oneself in light of the present and impending reign of God.’ (NICNT: Luke, p.646)]

[ii]  (Green, p.649)

[iii]  Romans 10:13, ‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ See also: Joel 2:32/Acts 2:21/Psalm 145:18 & my personal favourite Psalm 51:17.

[iv] As Green writes: ‘disciples always are in danger of Pharisaic behaviour’ (NICNT: Luke p.646)

[v] Keenness to issue blame, and bestow on themselves credit.

*Machen, J.G. 1923 Christianity & Liberalism: closing remarks

Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

The tragic death of George Floyd was primarily about law enforcement’s abuse of deadly force. All the evidence suggests racism was not a motivator. Yet, many in the Leftist mainstream media, along with their celebrity sycophants, and some well-meaning community leaders jumped straight to the “it’s racist” button, using George’s death as an excuse to once again impose their vacuous ideological paradigm on the rest of us, as they parade their own self-righteous virtue all over social media.

The majority of images, and comments, from “kill whitey”, to those laden with white guilt, and self-hatred, weren’t altruistic. They weren’t about seeking justice for George. They were shared to either perpetuate, or avoid the “you’re white, therefore you’re racist” fallacy. It’s all a self-righteous show that puts appearances before substance; emotion before evidence; bandwagon activism before just causes.

Images posted of George to social media, claiming that George’s death was the result of “systemic racism” within the “white” community perpetuates the racist myth that our melanin or ethnicity defines our character, when it doesn’t. On a deeper level, this kind of fallacious belief extracts sin from racism. Since sin permeates all ethnicities, it removes the sin of racism from select communities. In turn those select communities are deemed sinless; exempt, immune from the virus.

But sin makes no distinction between gender and ethnicity. Sin knows no race other than the human race. Perpetuating the racist myth from Leftists that “all white people are racist” doesn’t give George justice. Perpetuating this stigma against white people emboldens a false narrative and its cycle of manipulative rhetoric, resentment and hate. It perpetuates racism.  Perpetuating this stigma against white people, is as unjust as stigmatizing all black people with the brand “criminal”.

This genetic fallacy takes attention away from the injustices carried out by a minority of law enforcement officers, who abuse the power and trust handed to them. It exaggerates the sin of racism where racism doesn’t exist, and dilutes action against racism where it does exist.

Even though there is an obvious disproportionate dysfunctional relationship between law enforcement and members of the African American community, the overall inherent breakdown between law enforcement, and the public, affects all members of the community.

Justice for George begins here. It begins by separating fact from fiction. Justice, free from the political agendas of predominantly loud, Leftist activists. Activists who would love nothing more than to ignite a race war in order to take down people that they themselves deem unworthy of life – people with a different view, who offer reasoned criticism or don’t follow along blindly.

It should be no surprise that the same people screaming “evidence of systemic racism” now, without evidence to back that claim up, hate Trump with a vengeance. Where were they when Democrat presidential candidate, Joe Biden made racist remarks? Biden inferred to black America that they were owned by the Democrat Party because they owed the Democrat Party – words USA Today was right to describe as ‘voter intimidation.

Note well the hypocrisy of leaders who remain silent about abortion, but publicly beat their chests, and tear open their garments in protest over George’s death, remain silent about the industrial abortion industry. The latter, is surely as important as the former, when applying Martin Luther King’s ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere’.

As tragic, as unnecessary, as senseless, and as vile as the murder of George Floyd is, that doesn’t change the fact that under the definition of racism, it is racist to assume racism was the chief motivator solely because the police officer was white!

The emotionally charged jump past the evidence, towards racist conclusions, has turned just protests into unjust rioting. Personal property is destroyed, communities suffer and cities burn. The political charged narrative has trumped justice, mercy and love.

We need to preserve the truth, not perpetuate Leftist myths which preach a false narrative that stirs up fear, division, as its progenitors steer an unquestioning public towards an outcome that serves their own political ends.

When I asked on social media about whether there was proof of racism in this case, I was shutdown. I asked about whether or not George’s death was racially motivated or simply an example of arrogant law enforcement applying an unnecessary, excessive use of force? I asked for people to back up their virtue signalling with evidence to support their claims.

In the case of Kevin Max, an ex-DC Talk member, who now describes himself as a leftist, my respectful, reasoned comments were deleted. Then my account blocked.

The message was clear: “don’t challenge the narrative”, “don’t question the party line.”

The lingering questions attached are about political agenda.  As suggested on Twitter by Jesse Lee Peterson, and at least one other Twitter user:

With reports of ANTIFA (and it would be fair to assume, white nationalist fringe dwellers) on the ground fuelling the riots, Leftists appear to want a race war. Accompanied by their sense of entitlement to black Americans this suggests that the Left is confident of winning the 2020 election in the United States on a zero sum basis of pitching black against white.

The Left’s chosen battle field for the election may very well be a community divided by hatred. Their weapon of choice, a reigniting of old wounds, in order to take a throne that they consider to be rightfully theirs.

What these lingering questions imply is that the outrage isn’t about justice for George. The outrage is a pretence for a last ditch attempt to reinstate a corrupt, totalitarian power structure, threatened by Donald Trump’s presidency because his election signaled a broad rejection of Leftist utopianism.

Justice for George is about achieving justice for all victims of law enforcement who’ve abused the power and trust handed to them. Racism may have played a role, but that’s not what the evidence points to. Amy Swearer’s well written piece in the Daily Signal backs this conclusion.

According to The Week’s, Kathryn Krawczyk, the officer who pinned George down, had a history of conduct complaints laid against him, with zero action taken by then prosecutor, and now potential Vice-Presidential candidate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (Democrat-Minn.).

A radicalized media, aligned comfortably with the far-Left, counts their profits, as they warm their hands by fires they helped to ignite. They play the heart strings of Americans like a fiddle, and in the process stop all thinking Americans from questioning their agenda. That they appear to be succeeding is beyond tragic.

I’m not alone. Candace Owens, among many others, including Brandon Tatum, Alveda King, and Terrance Williams, took to social media to call for calm, and for a push back against the narrative. On Instagram yesterday, Owen’s passionately wrote:

This is Minnesota where black people are now looting and rioting to avenge the death of George Floyd.
EXACTLY AS I PREDICTED AND WHY I TOLD YOU MORONS NOT TO TAKE THE MEDIA BAIT.
No one—not a single solitary person defended or excused the death of George Floyd, so why is this rioting happen? Because that is what the media wanted. Because it’s what they have trained us to do since the mid 60’s, when they married us to the Democrat Party….white liberal politicians will stump on our issues, pretending to be our shoulders to cry on. They will tell us it’s because of system oppression and we will believe it and repeat the same bullshit again, EVERY FOUR YEARS.
We allow our black youth to be programmed by a satanic media that tells them that they will never be anything, and life will never be fair so they MIGHT AS WELL lead a life of anger and crime.
Our inability to THINK through emotional tragedies is our biggest curse, and the Democrat Party’s biggest blessing.’ (Abridged)

The process of justice for George has only just begun. Yet America burns because the meta-narrative being preached by leftists is winning out over the process of justice, and evidence based reasoning.

One of the few things this proves is that Westerners are slipping further and further away from objective morality, fact based evidence, and intellectual inquiry.

Instead of lament and remedy, our poets applaud as fires burn, and our leaders submit to an acquiescent quid pro quo, while freedom, truth and honesty, lay mortally wounded on the altar of the cult of modern liberalism.


First published on Caldron Pool, 30th May 2020.

Photo by Jack Finnigan on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020.

Bolstered by the apparent reluctance of the Morrison federal government to answer growing concerns over the Victorian government’s secretive ‘belt and road’ deal with the Chinese Communist Party, China’s Communist propaganda machine went full Hanoi Hannah, in an attempt to stir up fear of a potential American withdrawal from its long standing partnership with Australia.

In response to what America thought about the deal, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, a frequent whipping boy of China’s Global Times, told Sky News that he didn’t know the ‘nature of the projects’, but asserted that the United States will do everything it can to protect its communications infrastructure, including ‘simply disconnecting’ if trust in this area was broken.

Pompeo, who is pro-Australia, mentioned that America aims to ‘preserve trust in networks for important information’, and said he hopes that their ‘five eyes (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Britain, U.S.) intelligence partners would do the same.’ He added that the U.S. had absolute confidence in the Australian government’s ability to protect the security of its telecommunications networks and those of its Five Eyes partners.’

The Global Times and some within the Australian MSM took ‘simply disconnect’ and ran with it. The Guardian wrote a melodramatic hit piece, accusing Pompeo of causing ‘damage’, shooting off a brief, pompous rant about Rupert Murdoch, and Sky News’ program, ‘Outsiders’ along with it. The Guardian noted that Pompeo’s comments caused a major stir, while simultaneously downplayed the reach and impact of the Sky News program as a minor player. The ABC ran with the sound bite, but steered clear of the biased analysis vomited by The Guardian.

The equally biased, Australian hating, anti-American Global Times said,

‘Be well prepared to be abandoned at any time. Obviously, what is on the mind of Pompeo and his likes is only US self-interests, and Washington is not going to foot the bill for the lost Australian jobs, Australia is already in a passive position in the face of wavering US policy. Canberra is forced to pick a side between Beijing and the Washington even when it is loath to jeopardise its relationship with China.’

The statement from China’s state owned media further reveals the arrogance which underpins the Chinese Communist Party’s view of themselves and their trade partners. It’s also apparent that Chinese Communist officials either don’t understand, or underestimate Australia’s relationship with the United States. I suspect the former.

Chinese communist chest beating has progressed beyond verbal intimidation tactics. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, China’s first strike against Australia is an attempt to trigger a tariff war. By targeting the Australian economy, the CCP believe that they will bring the Australian people into submission. The CCP believe they have power over Australia, and their smug presumption is encouraged further by the Victorian Labor Party’s deal with the oppressive totalitarian regime.

Regardless of comments from the Victorian Premier saying “he doesn’t agree with the Chinese Communist Party on everything”, don’t miss the blatant contradiction. Daniel Andrews, an avid social justice warrior, who ‘believes all victims’, and marches for the concerns of the oppressed, signed a deal with an oppressive regime.

As noted by outspoken Hong Kong business man, Lai Chee-Ying (Jimmy Lai) on Twitter:

China’s intimidation tactics and its tariff war should have been enough for Daniel Andrews to rip up the ‘belt and road’ initiative deal. It wasn’t. In declining to defend Australia’s national interest, against an oppressor, Daniel Andrews proved that his deal was not about people or jobs. It was about profit; power and political capital for the Victorian Australian Labor Party.

Australia is at the crossroads. Scott Morrison needs to act on Daniel Andrews’ pro-CCP deal. Andrews dodging critical questions about his smug government’s relationship with China is a red flag. As one Twitter user said, in refuting a broad attack on Rupert Murdoch, the LNP and Newscorp, for criticism of the secretive Andrews/CCP deal:

As much as the leftist mainstream media here in Australia, and their inadvertent support for Chinese propagandists, may twist it, Pompeo isn’t the one threatening Australians.

Unlike the Chinese Communist Party, the United States isn’t holding us to ransom when they don’t get what they want, or somebody says something they don’t like.

Victoria’s alignment with China, via Labor’s Daniel Andrews, isn’t just unAustralian, it’s anti-Australian. His state government’s deal with the devil for political and financial gain just made getting Australia out of its contract with Chinese Communist totalitarian oppressors, a hell of a lot harder.

Appeasement of the Chinese Communist party is treason.


First published on Caldron Pool, 27th May 2020.

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

In July, 2017, Australian, Justine Damond (nee Ruszczyk) was gunned down by Minnesotan police officer, Mohamed Noor. Damond was fatally shot in the stomach after calling 911 in response to a woman screaming in an alley near her home. After a second call to 911, police responded. As Justine approached the vehicle, Noor shot her, later claiming he was defending against what he had determined was an ambush.

Noor was found guilty and sentenced in 2019. Over the course of that year instead of the media lamenting the murder of Justine, or calling for the reform of Minnesotan law enforcement culture, practices and training, the mainstream media saturated its reporting with a pseudo-defense of Noor, claiming racism played a crucial role in his conviction.

The New York Times headlined with A Black police officer, a White Woman, a Rare Murder Conviction. Is it hypocrisy, or justice?’. The ACLU called it ‘What Officer Noor’s Conviction Says About Racism in America’. Even the Canberra Times chimed in saying ‘Damond shooting points to U.S. police racism’. The Washington Post was less belligerent, more diplomatic, but couldn’t hide its own sway towards the “it’s because of racism” bent being applied to the officer convicted of Justine’s murder.

This phenomenon wasn’t unique to 2019. Days after Justine’s murder, VOX contributor, German Lopez wrapped the cold boney fingers of racism all over the Damond case. Lopez’s “exposé” set its sights squarely on what he alleged was a disparity of protest between the death of a white woman, and the deaths of black men in the hands of police.

The article took this “observation” and proceeded to use selective quotes from “right-wing” media as proof of bias, and white systemic racism. Lopez equated “blonde, white Justine” with innocence, and “Noor’s blackness” with crime in an attempt to paint the right-wing media as racist. By doing so he furthered the stigma a crime with African American ethnicity, something those deemed to be right-wing media never did.

Lopez constructed a racist narrative in the name of fighting racism. By publishing it VOX plugged themselves into a direct attempt to profit from a tragedy. This wasn’t “brave”. It was reckless because it embeds racism within the American community through a false narrative by allegedly uncovering hidden ‘systemic bias’’ against African Americans within right-wing media. The majority of racist narratives they will find are the ones planted there by Leftists.

To paraphrase a Booker T. Washington quote shared by David Webb in his address to Oxford Union in 2015,

‘There’s a class of people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of African Americans, before the public. Some of these people do not want African Americans to lose his grievances because they do not want to lose their jobs. There’s a certain class of race problems solvers, who don’t won’t the patient to get well.’

Lopez’s apparent obsession with racism illustrates how the leftist media wallows in its own systemic bias. Then psychologically projects that onto their opponents. To borrow Melanie Phillip’s assessment of Al Gore’s apocalyptic climate change propaganda film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’: there’s a tendency to ‘state a threat where none exists, or exaggerate threats where they may exist.’ [i]

The media coverage about Justine’s death infers that mainstream media willfully look for confirmation of their narrative. Call it confirmation bias, call it manipulative propaganda. Regardless of the name given to the process, it seems that if the largely leftist controlled mainstream media can’t find that confirmation, they’ll construe words, and events, even hijack the emotion of a tragedy and milk it for political leverage. In Lopez’s case, a well intentioned fight against racism becomes racism, by giving tragic events a racial twist.

Those on the Right aren’t exempt from promoting half-truths that confirm a certain narrative either. However, the difference between both political isles is that the Right are often more tactful about it, and they don’t get away with it was much as those on the Left. Most, at the very least, refrain from using the suffering of others as a means to promote their own virtue or piety. For the Right it’s generally about addressing the argument, not attacking the people.

For evidence of this chase down any number of examples where Conservative voices have been blocked, banned or suspended on Social Media sites for even the smallest “infringements” of their EULAs.

One quintessential example of this is the treatment of Tommy Robinson, and Free Hong Kong supporter, Avi Yemini, in contrast with the free ride given to foul mouthed feminist, Clementine Ford by the Leftist mainstream media, and Social Media platforms.

For both sides, what tends to get lost in the noise is clarity.

In Justine’s case the urgency for law enforcement reform is drowned out by a narrative of racism that is superimposed over the top. As her family recently stated, ‘the fact that another person has died at the hands of the Minneapolis police using excessive force shows that they have not made adequate changes to their practices and training as we had been told they would after Justine’s murder.’

There is no real justice for Justine or George, if their murders are used as a springboard to further entrench the false narrative of white systemic racism. Yes, racism exists. It’s an undeniable reality, which among others, proves the accuracy of the biblical indictment about the condition of the HUMAN heart, the biblical injunction against sin, that all have sinned, and God’s decisive gift of liberation from it in Jesus Christ.

Instead of focusing on the issue, which was the abuse of power by law enforcement; instead of pushing for reform of the culture, practice, and training, the Leftist mainstream media chose to tilt at windmills, chasing the “white supremacy crisis” narrative they’ve been pushing since Hilary Clinton lost the 2016 election.

That narrative is now costing lives. I think it’s fair to say that if Justine’s death hadn’t been hijacked to confirm the bias of those on the Left, who now sadly, are so thoroughly dominated by the inflexible and intolerant Leftist ideology, George Floyd may still be alive today.

As we say George Floyd’s name, may we say Justine Damond’s also.

References:

[i] Phillips, M. 2010. The World Turned Upside Down, Encounter Books

First published on Caldron Pool, 4th June, 2020.

Photo by Marc Schulte on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

 

Sitting state Labor members defending the Communist Chinese Party, while simultaneously attacking their federal government colleagues is not a good look for Australian Labor. The attacks against Andrew Hastie, George Christensen, and Scott Morrison, reveal a party divided by arrogant far-left factions advancing Australia further into a social, cultural, moral, political and economic abyss.

The reason why Labor governments in both Western Australia and Victoria warm to any “kiss and make up” approach between the Australian and Communist Chinese governments, is because Labor has political capital invested in the relationship.

Tapping into China’s flawed totalitarian powerhouse, gives them the illusion of gaining power, and the hope of maintaining it. As long as it furthers their self-interest, their ideology, and assuages the egos of Communist Chinese sycophants on their payroll, to hell with the constitution and our national interest.

Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, when questioned on whether Victorian Labor will use the newly signed ‘belt and road initiative’ deal with the Chinese Communist party to fund white elephant projects sinking deeper into the red, danced around it.

Despite Chinese officials denying that new 80% tariffs on barley exports were related to Australia’s push for a COVID-19 inquiry, Victorian treasurer, Tim Pallas gaslighted the Morrison government, saying the China’s new tariff war ‘was a consequence of the way that the federal government had conducted themselves.’ Sky news also reported that Pallas accused the LNP of ‘vilifying’ China.

Labor’s Western Australian “Asian Engagement Minister”, M.P, Peter Tinley hit out at Andrew Hastie in a long-winded rebuke of one of the few Australian politicians taking a principled stand in the ‘defense of Australian sovereignty, prosperity and security.’

Calling criticism of China “harmful”, Tinley aligned with the Victorian government, former LNP foreign minister, Julie Bishop, and former W.A. LNP premier Colin Barnett, advocating for ‘quiet diplomacy’. Which means surrender because it seeks to subdue, subvert and silence open criticism of the Chinese Communist regime within Australia.

The good news for Labor is that not all within the party share the same views on China. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Victorian Labor Premier, Daniel Andrews isn’t getting absolute support from his federal Labor colleagues.

“Some Labor MPs said the Victorian Labor Treasurer’s intervention was another concerning example of the Andrews government interfering in Australian foreign policy, after Victoria refused to cancel its Belt and Road agreements with the Chinese government.”

Contrary to Andrews, Premier Mark McGowan said “he had not spoken to the China’s consul-general in WA over the trade war, arguing he did not want to be accused of meddling in foreign affairs, which is a responsibility of the Commonwealth.”

Even somewhat Labor statesmen, Graham Richardson refrained from shooting blame in direction of the Prime Minister. Richardson hit the pause button talking about China’s guilt, and stated that ‘the biggest bully on the block can’t run, and can’t hide.’ So China should just own up to mistakes made in relation to COVID-19.

Richardson aligned with the sentiment in LNP’s trade minister, Simon Birmingham’s push-back against China’s ‘cheap politicking’, calling the Chinese ambassador’s glib remark about Australia ‘being a joke’, ‘a silly, childish pique’. [i]

The bad news for Labor is that this indicates a party in disarray, fundamentally fractured by divided loyalties. The Labor party appears divided between those loyal to Australia and those loyal to the Chinese Communist party; a division emboldened by a thirst for totalitarianism inherent in the utopian leftist ideological paradigm they serve.

Serving and protecting their own political, and ideological self-interests, appear more important than serving, and protecting Australia’s national interest.

This was made apparent when states went against federal advice, and buoyed by the teacher’s union, ran COVID-19 fear campaigns in order to keep schools shut.

While this may reflect the life-force of our vibrant, robust federalism, it wouldn’t be unfair to ask, if this is a sign that our federation is stuffed. How long will it be until Daniel Andrews declares Victoria’s succession, and rebirth as a province of the Communist Chinese regime?

The states turning against the Federal government isn’t new. States turning against the Australian constitution is. Daniel Andrews’ foray into foreign affairs gives him a newfound power, and he will yield it. With China’s ‘belt and road initiative’ Daniel Andrews doesn’t just have Chinese Communist party backing; he has the backing of its military. And vice versa, the Chinese Communist Party has the Andrews government’s backing, and now a beachhead on Australian shores.

Zero transparency equals zero accountability.

This smoke and mirrors deal, rightly condemned by commentators as an unconstitutional overreach into foreign affairs by Victorian Labor, binds Victorians to the Communist Chinese Party.

Furthermore, Victorian Labor has undermined Australia’s relationship reset with the Chinese Communist Party.  If Daniel Andrews won’t respect the Australian constitution, there’s no way he’ll be able to hold the Chinese Communist Party back from bypassing or even overthrowing the Australian constitution. Contempt for it is already sown. The proverbial cat is out of the bag. Good luck trying to put it back in.

The rise of the Victorian “Vichy” government under marshal Daniel Andrews, and their Communist Chinese puppet masters, has tightened the noose already being quietly wrapped around the neck of all Australians.

Though some may cheer, “all hail the Victorian “Vichy” Government and her Chinese Communist puppet masters.”

Let the rest of us say, “We will not go quietly into that cold night. We will never surrender. We will rage, rage against the dying of the light.” [ii]

May God have mercy on us all.


References:

[i] Richardson, G. Biggest Bully on the block can’t run and can’t hide, The Australian, paper edition, sourced 20th May 2020.

[ii] Dylan Thomas paraphrased

First published on Caldron Pool, 24th May 2020.

©Rod Lampard, 2020

When China rolled three warships with sailors decked out in full combat gear into Sydney harbour unannounced, the response was “there’s nothing to see here.”

This, along with the rhetoric blaming the Federal government for China’s first strike against Australia by way of a ridiculous 80% tariff on barley imports, and the verbal attacks against Andrew Hastie, George Christensen, and other outspoken Australian parliamentarians in recent days, conjures up images of Labor politicians with their heads stuck in the sand.

Worse, their first response to China’s first strike, would suggest that China could take half of Australia by military force, and some of our politicians would be out here telling us, “It’s not an invasion. Keep quiet, we don’t want to escalate tensions.”

Right on cue, the mainstream media would be telling us “not to criticize our benevolent Chinese Communist overlords, because they’re here to liberate us, not enslave us. You’re just racists and bigots”.

Not unlike the Nazi extension of Austria. Our elite would follow along with the rhythm of the media’s cadence.

They’d picket China’s critics. Chant virtue signalling slogans, and wave corflute signs from make shift welcome wagons. While their minions denounce, lynch, and prey on dissenters, as their goose-stepping, Christless Communist overlords, stomp in jackboot unison to cheers drowning out the purging.

Embers and ash from burning Australian flags, would be remembered by historians as metaphors for a nation wounded by backstabbing corrupted leaders, cashed up, and sheltered, who, despite red flags flying, preached “there’s nothing to see here”, whilst Australia lay dying.

If this kind of blame shifting isn’t treason, then the appeasement behind it is! It’s is a limp-wristed evasion tactic. It tells the Chinese communist party we’re a country of push-overs willing to let them slap us around whenever they so choose.

Appeasement precipitates an abdication of responsibility. It is one step away from total surrender.

Appeasement adopts the timidity injected into our subjective relativist addicted society by Leftists, who see phobias everywhere, and at work in everyone. Whose schizophrenic obsession with phobias causes us to doubt, question and reject everything about ourselves, while binding us to an inevitable defeat in the face of those who would capitalize on this Leftist induced paralysis, by turning us into an enemy.

Appeasement isn’t the ANZAC way.

Walking on egg shells around abuse enables the abuser.

Recall the words of French ex-Communist, Albert Camus, who, writing in support of the anti-Communist revolt in Hungary, 1957, said:

The Left is schizophrenic and needs doctoring through pitiless self-criticism, exercise of the heart, close reasoning, and a little modesty. Until such an effort at re-examination is well under way, any rallying will be useless even harmful. None of the evils that totalitarianism (defined by the single party and the suppression of all opposition) claims to remedy is worse than totalitarianism itself.

He added,

‘To be sure, the Right is not brilliant. But the Left is in complete decadence, a prisoner of words, caught in its own vocabulary, capable merely of stereo-typed replies, constantly at a loss when faced with the truth, from which it nevertheless claimed to derive its laws.’ [i]

Chinese Communists have soured the relationship with Australia by pouring their abuse all over it. This cannot be wished away, discounted, or swept under the carpet in an act of compliant dismissal. We answer their belligerence with appeasement at our peril.

Healthy boundaries save lives.

Therefore, we add our voices to the growing chorus of those in the wilderness, advocating a correction of this blatant imbalance of power. We call for the redefinition of this relationship, in order to stop Australians from being pushed into the same mass graves, Chinese Communists dug for the Chinese victims of their Marxist infused, Maoist totalitarian regime.

As Camus said,

‘None of the evils that totalitarianism claims to remedy is worse than totalitarianism itself.’ [ii]


References:

[i] Camus, A. 1961 Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays; ‘Hungary: Socialism of the Gallows’, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1960 First Vintage International Edition

[ii] Totalitarianism: defined by the single party and the suppression of all opposition.

First published on Caldron Pool, 21st May 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Firebrand Australian Tasmanian senator, Jacqui Lambie joins the Liberal National Party’s George Christensen, and Andrew Hastie, along with One Nation’s Pauline Hanson, and Mark Latham, in being among the few Australian parliamentarians to publicly challenge Chinese Communist interference in Australian society, education and politics.

Arguing for a “Make Australia Make Again” campaign, the senator channeled her fiery speech from December warning about government inaction with regards to the Chinese regime. Lambie took direct aim, and shot straight in the heart of the path of least resistance chosen by The Greens, Labor, and the LNP.

It was a clean shot across the bow of pro-Chinese Communist politicians like Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Former W.A. Liberal Premier, Colin Barnett, and former Foreign minister, Julie Bishop. The speech was also a repudiation of poorly considered decisions from both sides of politics, such as Northern Territory Labor signing over the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company for 99 years, and corruption brought about by Chinese interference in state and federal politics, evidenced by disgraced NSW Labor senator, Sam Dastyari.

To recap: Andrews bypassed Federal government concerns about national sovereignty and signed up for the CCP’s expansionist “Silk Road” initiative. Barnett said that if he was Scott Morrison, he’d have told Peter Dutton to ‘be quiet’, after the Home Affairs minister, said that ‘Chinese Communist party’s values are inconsistent with Australian values’.

Julie Bishop just this week publicly remarked that what Australia needed in the face of Chinese belligerency was “more quiet diplomacy”. Bishop advocated for an approach that would appeal to the Chinese regime’s propaganda and its blame shifting, stating that the LNP government needs to include an investigation into the U.S and Europe, in order to get the CCP on board with any COVID-19 enquiry.

Without a doubt the official line when dealing with the belligerent Chinese Communist leviathan, from most of our politicians, is “keep quiet”.

This passivity communicates to the electorate that the majority of Australia’s elected representatives are more interested in giving Australians the run around, creating political bull, instead of cutting through it.

Their policy of silence furthers the idea that these politicians are in the back pocket of the Chinese Communist regime. Every time these politicians appear to be protecting Communist Chinese interests in Australia, over against Australia’s national interest, they lose legitimacy as elected representatives.

There is a tendency to play it safe. Up to and including playing the fiddle handed to them by the Chinese regime, where CCP’s belligerence is re-imaged as misunderstood benevolence. Public criticism is deflected – labelled racist and xenophobic. It’s no wonder that the Australian electorate finds themselves frustrated by the silence of politicians who, through a policy of appeasement, appear to put their own political self-interest, first and the interest of the nation last.

“Keeping quiet” isn’t a proactive solution. It’s a policy of surrender. Instead of our elected gate keepers defending the Australian constitution, and protecting Australian sovereignty, we hear crickets emanating from Canberra for fear of upsetting China or failing to be inclusive and “multicultural”.

If Charles Sturt Professor of Public Ethics, Clive Hamilton, is right, and the evidence backs him on this, Australians aren’t just facing a ‘Silent Invasion’[i]; they’re face to face with an elected political class who’ve signed Australia’s death warrant through a policy of quiet surrender.

This is why Christensen’s upcoming enquiry, Hastie’s resolute defiance, Hanson, and Latham’s persistence, and now Lambie’s impassioned speech to the Senate, are on par with the ringing of the Liberty Bell.

In defiance of this silence and its policy of quiet surrender, Australians are being rallied together. Not because of hatred for, or fear of the Chinese, but because of an inherent cultural disdain for totalitarianism; because of a deep respect for the many healthy aspects of our heritage, our laws, our faith, and our people; in defense of our constitution, in order to protect our national sovereignty. To do what our elected representatives have chosen not to do.

As Lambie warned back in December 2019,

“It is clear that China is actively trying to reshape our democracy, and no-one seems to be talking about that seriously enough…It’s about time the people in this place woke up to China’s attempts to infiltrate our economy and our democracy… Both sides of politics need to take a good hard look at themselves and make sure they’re acting in our national interest, which quite obviously, over China, they are not.”


References (not otherwise linked):

[i] Clive Hamilton, 2018. Silent Invasion, Hardie Books

First published on Caldron Pool, 16th May, 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020

There’s a big difference between politicians doing something, and politicians making it look like they’re doing something. What looks good for us, isn’t always what’s good for us. The image we are sold is can often be dissimilar to the product we end up with.

For instance, social distancing laws have created an image of police protecting politicians, instead of the police protecting the people. Look at how famously the police have broken their own social distancing rules while enforcing the will of the political class.

Another example is the sleight of hand when it comes to taxation, the important social welfare safety net and healthcare. Governments like to tell you that they’re providing for the people, when for the most part, all they’ve done is take from the people to provide for themselves.

The government takes money from one pocket, puts it in the other, and we all applaud them for it. This is after they’ve taken their cut for giving us the privilege of rights, freedoms, and access to services. If, and it’s sometimes a big “if”, they consider us eligible.

If I’m coming across as an extreme sceptic in the benevolence of government programs, it’s because I am, and for good reason.

I grew up in a government owned house, on a government housing estate. I come from an abusive, highly dysfunctional home, where my family never broke out beyond its dependency on government programs. My parents were decent enough people. My mother did the best she could with what she had. My father didn’t do a whole lot, but our house was always clean, and food was always on the table. While they seriously missed the boat when it comes to parenting skills, they were neither drug addicted nor negligent of their responsibilities as citizens. My parents were stuck in the welfare cycle, couldn’t get out of it, and in the end, gave in to the idea that they never would.

In 2015, not long after my father’s death, I learned he had a criminal record. The news wasn’t all that surprising. He was a proud man. Reason enough for why he never spoke of word it to anyone for over 40 years. He didn’t fear work or fear having to work. He’d convinced himself that his multiple run-ins with the law as a teenager in the 1960s, made him unemployable. The only job I remember him having was a four year stint in the army reserve during the mid-late 1980s.

My father may not have gone to prison, but the social system, and the broken family he came from put him in a psychological one. While partly of his own making, this psychological prison was enabled by politicians who benefited from keeping him locked down in the “benevolence” of the welfare state.

Though both my mother and father had worked off and on, neither of them ever held down a full time job. My mother worked once in the 1970’s, but as she tells it, my father held her back from continuing, because he was concerned about how much what she earned would impact his social security payment.

The system enabled, and funded my father’s dysfunctional way of life. (In some ways he was probably a victim of the unintended side-effects of Whitlam’s Welfare reforms.)

He was a die-hard Labor voter, and he opposed communism, even though he lived on welfare for the majority of his life. When, in later years I questioned Labor initiatives, and their policy platform, he always vehemently defended the hands that had led, housed, healed and fed him for decades.

It was murky subject matter. Still it taught me that Marxist justifications for the welfare state rarely, if ever raise people up. These justifications come undone, when welfare dependent citizens like my father, are paid in similar ways to an aristocrat. They enslave, rather than liberate. One person is chained to the state for their livelihood, while others are condemned to a life of servitude in order to provide for it.

Like an aristocrat, in order to provide for a particular standard of living, the wages of workers are garnished. The only social contractual obligation is loyalty to the political party who pays the most, and asks the least amount of questions.

Thus the government takes on the role of patron. The worker takes on the role of serf. The welfare recipient takes on the role of aristocrat. This benefits bureaucrats, politicians and political parties because through government dependency they can create voters dependent on them for everything. Through the generational welfare dependency cycle, government takes over the role of extended families, and church charity. By default the government becomes a god.

I’m not advocating against social welfare safety nets. I believe in hand-ups, not hand-outs. Work for the dole, TAFE, tax offsets like the family tax benefit, pensions, or a basic Medicare system all have reasonable justifications for their existence.

Any program proven to be helpful, as opposed to harmful, should be given an attentive eye, complete with the checks and balances of review, and reform, for the sake of empowering successful initiatives.

No true conservative fits the uncaring, heartless straw man created by greedy Marxists, whose own sense of entitlement rivals that of those they seek to tear down.

Compassion and good government demand a manageable, life affirming answer to the perilous, unsustainable bubble of the welfare state. It should remove itself from enabling the cycle of welfare dependency, with the aim of liberating the people they’ve made dependent on it. This is Magna Charta, where economics and civil liberties go hand in hand.

The popularity of Donald Trump is largely because he looks to empower people, not his political party. This is proven by the way in which his own party seems to always be playing catch-up, unsure of what to do with him. He challenges the status quo, and has been able to keep himself beyond the bipartisan, stagnated swamp of cozy “business-as-usual”, governmental control.

Trump understands that there are times when the government needs to get out of the way.

In contrast, Australian politicians seem clueless. Labor leader, Anthony Albanese wants to extend Scott Morrison’s Job keeper and Job Seeker COVID-19 lockdown compensation, way beyond the initial six months allocated for it.

This isn’t a policy that helps Australians. It’s a policy that benefits the federal Labor Party. What Albanese really means is that Labor plan to politicize any COVID exit, shifting the language, and purpose of Job Seeker/Keeper from “covid countermeasures compensation”, to a pay rise for people on welfare benefits, who don’t have a legitimate exemption.

In his first major public appearance in months, Anthony Albanese should have been insisting on the return of civil liberties. He should have been calling for a way out of the police state, instead of advocating the kind of welfare dependency that benefits the welfare state.

Scott Morrison doesn’t get off easy either. Add China’s chest beating to Leftist calls for COVID-19 countermeasures to be permanent, and the Prime Minister is facing a damaging political storm. If Scott Morrison thought that he could avoid having to make Trump-like decisions, he was wrong. How he answers China’s belligerence, protects Australian sovereignty, and how he restores civil liberties post COVID-19, will be the defining of his Prime Ministership. If he fails here, and Labor continue to remain tone deaf to the Australian public, Morrison may not see a second term as P.M.


First published on Caldron Pool, 13th May, 2020.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister will meet with Australia’s Covid Cabinet in a bid to discuss, and secure a plan, allowing restricted travel to and from New Zealand into Australia, and vice versa. They’re calling the plan a “trans-Tasman bubble”.

The idea is designed to help reestablish contact with other nations, and give New Zealand’s COVID-19 counter-measure shattered, tourism dependent economy a reboot.

Nine reports that the heavily policed measure should be operational in time for New Zealand’s September ski season. According to the report, ‘almost 40 per cent of international arrivals to New Zealand are from Australia, heavily contributing to the country’s greatest industry – tourism.’

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison will also be trying to sell his “breakthrough” COVIDsafe app idea – and is ‘expected to suggest that Jacinda Ardern develop a similar app for New Zealanders.’

The Guardian, true to its usual gaga for both socialists, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews and Jacinda Ardern, expanded on this, implying there was no need for Morrison to bother “mansplaining”, because the ‘politics of kindness princess’ had ‘already been in contact with officials in Singapore, the originators of the contact-tracing app that Australia has largely replicated.’

In the same article, The Guardian also managed to raise Labor up by tearing down the Liberal National Party. Squeezed into the article was a defense of Victorian Labor Premier, Daniel Andrews and his refusal to open schools. Despite a lowering of the curve, and Federal government advice that states and territories were clear now to do so. The Guardian used one example of teacher being reported to have Coronavirus, and a clash between Andrews and the Federal Education minister, as evidence of the soft on China, tough on Australians, Premier’s insightful and “benevolent” leadership.

The obvious politicking ingrained in the response of Governments to the Coronavirus should speak volumes about the Covid-19 crisis. I’m not suggesting that the COVID-19 crisis was created to serve politicians, but I think it’s fair to say that the crisis is being used, perhaps even exaggerated, in order to serve the interests of the political class. Sadly, many, especially those adopting the COVIDsafe app without question, are oblivious to it.

The Coronavirus crisis is a unique opportunity for politicians. They get to seize absolute power, and we applaud them for doing so. Only the naïve would think that government is benevolent enough; that the behemoth bureaucratic caste is holy enough, to willingly hand back power, once it’s been placed into their hands.

The warning signs should have been obvious enough already. Bar Mark Latham, and Pauline Hanson, not one Australian politician has reassured Australians of how civil liberties are being protected under the totalitarian COVID-19 counter-measures.

Simone Weil knew this, and it formed the backbone of her critique in Oppression & Liberty (1958),

‘the bureaucratic machine, though composed of flesh, and well fed flesh at that is none the less as irresponsible and as soulless as are the machines made of iron and steel. Instead of a clash of contrary opinions, we end up with an “official opinion” from which no one would be able to deviate. The result is a State religion that stifles all individual values, that is to say all values’ (pp.13, 15 & 16).

As you watch Jacinda Ardern soak up the hagiographic adoration, and take her bows, alongside Scott Morrison, Daniel Andrews and co. take note of how our politicians removed our freedoms, without debate and consultation with the legislative body.

Also note how fear is being used as a stick, and the promise of giving back those freedoms as a carrot in order to keep you on side with the narrative. Notice how those politicians are being lauded over as heroes, for returning some semblance of freedom, under their one party government – Covid cabinet – rule.

Then notice how that freedom is conditional. The first condition being that we denounce any neighbour we suspect of being not on board with the fiats, all sign on to a government program, and obey the strict rules ordered by that one-party government, without question.

Take note of how much this benefits them, and only them. Then ask yourself, are the COVID-19 crisis counter-measures more about saving, boosting and empowering the political lives of the political class, than they are about saving the lives of the people they’re paid to represent?

There’s two sides to the Coronavirus, folks. The actual crisis, and the one manufactured by bureaucrats for the cameras.

#bewaretheauctioneers


Related reading:

It’s Not a Sin to Be Cautious of the COVIDSafe App

Answering Cancel Culture with Unconquerable Joy

The Tyranny of the State Is a Denial of the Right to Life and a Livelihood

Despite Fear and Powerlessness Good Friday Remains Good News

Nigel Farage’s Coronavirus-Era Warning: “Say No To House Arrest”

New Zealanders begin to devour each other while Jacinda Ardern smiles and waves at the nation she’s put under house arrest

Are oppressive totalitarian measures necessary in order to fight against coronavirus?

War-time Crises Require War-time Speeches: How Scott Morrison Can Win the Battle for National Morale

First published on Caldron Pool, 6th May 2020.

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

In a 2016 Global Times hit piece on Australian swimmer Horton Mack, China’s ruling Communist Party echoed anti-Western sentiments straight out of the Tokyo Rose, and Hanoi Hannah, playbook, stating,

1. “We think Australia should feel embarrassed with Horton’s remarks. Otherwise, we would be surprised by some Australians’ sense of collective self-esteem.”
2. “It’s not a big deal to us. In many serious essays written by Westerners, Australia is mentioned as a country at the fringes of civilization. In some cases, they refer to the country’s early history as Britain’s offshore prison. This suggests that no one should be surprised at uncivilized acts emanating from the country. We should think the same way.”

The 2016 verbal attack was triggered by Horton’s criticism of the Chinese swimmer, Sun Yang during the Rio Olympics. Horton accused Yang to his face of being a drug cheat, and the accusation wasn’t without justification. [i]. Yang isn’t a stranger to bans for using questionable substances or hindering drug tests. [ii]

The reactionary outburst from China’s propaganda wing was to be expected. As The Guardian’s Stuart Leavenworth observed, Sun Yang’s wins are propaganda wins for the Communist Chinese Party. It stands to reason that they’d do everything they can to maintain the appearance of superiority over “evil Western capitalists.”

Criticism of Yang was received as criticism of China. It serves the interests of the regime to conflate criticism with racism, and conflate ideology with ethnicity; the Chinese Communist party with being Chinese. There’s political capital in discounting, and filtering all criticism of the Communist Chinese party down to the Chinese people as hate speech, and xenophobia.

This manoeuvring doesn’t just create political capital within China. It’s a magnet for the money, mouths and mandatory hatred afflicting many in the West, who’ve been taught, through the lens of cancel culture -Marxist critical theory – to hate, and doubt themselves, Western civilization, capitalism, Biblical Christianity – their own culture and history.

Take away the ‘Rocky IV’ melodramatic parallels, and what’s left is evidential proof of institutional disdain for Australia from within the Communist Chinese government. Sure it’s just rhetoric, but it’s also an insight into an obvious contempt, and racist-by-contemporary-standards, view of all Australians. Luke 6:45: ‘out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.’ When emotions are high, true intentions and inclinations are often laid bare.

Add this to China’s bullying and intimidation of the Australian government in regards to Australia’s just criticism of the C.C.P about COVID-19. Along with espionage, and its infiltration of Australian universities, the by-passing the Federal government through side deals with territory and state premiers (N.T and Victoria), and we don’t just have reason for concern, we have a problem with China, with an established negative pattern of behavior from the Communist regime as evidence of it.

China’s apparent breach of Australia’s national sovereignty, hostile posturing, and tactical maneuvering, is a clarion call, screaming out for an urgent redefinition of Australia’s relationship with the Communist regime.

LNP Senator Jim Molan stated yesterday, while this won’t involve

‘turning ourselves into “Fortress Australia”, isolating ourselves from the rest of the world and seeking self-sufficiency in every conceivable area: becoming the North Korea of the southern hemisphere.’ It would mean an ‘urgent and overdue correction of the excesses of globalisation from recent decades. COVID-19 has been a big wake-up call. We need to heed its lessons, to ensure that Australia is prepared in the years to come.’

To borrow the words of M.P. Andrew Hastie, we need action on protecting Australia’s sovereignty. We don’t need more politicians, ‘muddled and asleep at the wheel when it comes to Beijing.’

The Chinese communist party’s belligerent behavior speaks against the ‘cosy’ assertions of some in Australia’s Labor party, such as dubious Daniel Andrews, and his insistence that China is benevolent, not belligerent; a friend, not just a customer. Its belligerent behavior mocks the soft politics of Labor’s Madeleine King who acknowledged the need for a debate, but castigated Hastie, and discounted China’s tactics.

The cosy assertions from within Labor don’t gel well with Communist China’s bullying and intimidation of Horton Mack. The hate for Horton intensified last year when he reignited the ‘feud’ with Yang by refusing to share the podium with the Chinese swimmer.

Horton not only won overwhelming support, but a reprimand from authorities. It also earned him a great deal of harassment from who are presumed to be Communist Chinese operatives within Australia.

For brevity, here’s The Wentworth Report’s David Evans list of attacks designed to bully and intimidate Horton:

  • “The family home in suburban Melbourne was broken into amid threats against their youngest son, Chad, who was preparing for his Year 12 exams.
  • At the Rio Games, Brazilian commandos shadowed Mack [and his parents] Andrew­ and Cheryl.
  • The computer system at Horton’s firm was hacked.
  • The family was targeted with death threats and vile abuse online.
  • For nearly four years the family has lived in a virtual state of siege. Supporters of Sun, most believed to be on student visas, regularly bang pots and pans late at night in the alley behind the back fence and abuse the family from the driveway.
  • Plants have been poisoned, dog shit hurled over the fence.
  • A man speaking broken English calls Andrew Horton regularly to threaten his daughter (he has no daughter).
  • Last year, after South Korea, Cheryl was cleaning the family pool when she discovered “a bucket load” of broken glass at the bottom.”

Craig Lord, editor-in-chief of Swimming World Magazine also joined The Australian’s Luke Slattery, in raising awareness about the C.C.P’s alleged attacks on Horton.

According to Slattery,

“While most of Horton’s attackers are believed to be on student visas…The family’s ordeal is believed to be well-organised and part of a systematic pattern of harassment and intimidation directed at perceived critics of China. “This is not an amateur operation,” says a nationa­l security analyst who decline­d to be named. “The Hortons’ story is very disturbing … It says something about the reach of foreign powers within Australia.”

With China’s poor track record on athletes and drug cheats from 1994, 1998 and 2000, Sun’s temporary ban, and suspicion over a Chinese government cover-up, the swimming community is right to be on its guard. With governing bodies in the swimming world seemingly too afraid to stand up and serve the interests of those within the swimming community, Horton’s protest stands as justified.

As far as the bullying and intimidation of Horton and his family goes. This next level breach of Australia’s national sovereignty, by what looks like Chinese apparatchiks, is a clarion call for an urgent redefinition of Australia’s relationship with the Communist regime.

Horton’s experience is red flag for the Australian government. It proves Andrew Hastie right. It shows Australians the reach of the Chinese Communist Party, and the treacherous influence they have on Australian politics. The regime isn’t beyond, or afraid of bullying and intimidating Australian citizens in much the same way that they bully and intimidate their own subjects.

This is a convert, pay a tax or die religion, acting out its ideology of “you will do, say, speak and think what we tell you too, or else!”

As György Lukács, one of the fathers of Western Marxism wrote, “You cannot just sample Marxism […] you must be converted to it.” [iii]

Westerner’s should heed this as a warning.

‘When new gods were chosen, then war was in the gates.’ – (Judges 5:8).


References:

[i] The ABC’s China correspondent, Bill Birtles, wrote “Horton has long been critical of swimming authorities for allowing the Chinese star (Sun Yang) to compete after serving a three-month suspension in 2014 for testing positive to a banned stimulant.’ According to Birtle, Sun claimed that he didn’t know trimetazidine, which makes better use of oxygen and energy in the heart cells, was on WADA’s blacklist (W.A.D.A: World Anti-Doping Association) In an attempt to clarify this, The ABC’s Tracey Holmes, wrote a sympathetic article in favor of Sun Yang. Holmes implied that Horton had an ulterior motive. Holding fire on accusing Horton of racism, Holmes’ infers that Horton is the one up to no good, not Yang, and certainly not the Communist Chinese Party.

Holmes defended Yang’s alleged innocence by stating that trimetazidine ‘has since been downgraded on the WADA banned list because it was found not to be performance-enhancing.’ The ABC contributor than calls out Horton for not being consistent, snidely remarking that although ‘Horton maintains his criticism of Sun is justified. His stance has left questions over why Horton took exception to Sun while overlooking others on the Australian team, who’ve also been caught up in doping controversies.’

In other words, for Holmes, Sun Yang has been unfairly singled out, because ‘Horton hasn’t vocally condemned these [other] swimmers’. Therefore, Horton’s issue is probably xenophobia or racism against Chinese people.

[ii] Sun was handed an ‘eight year ban for his second doping offence – in which he smashed blood vials with a hammer before they could be tested in September, 2018.’ (Holmes claims that only thing smashed was the case that held the vials). (Alisha Rouse, The Daily Mail).

[iii] Record of a Life

First published on Caldron Pool, 3rd May, 2020.

Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020.

 

I took some serious heat recently, after raising questions about the usefulness, function, role and consequences of using the Australian Government’s recent COVDISAFE app. I outlined two areas of concern, then was forced to address a third. My primary point was about precedent. The second concerned emotional manipulation; peer pressure, and the third, data security.

Objections to this included asinine responses such as “it’s un-Christian not too”, that I wasn’t’ “loving my neighbor” and that “people will die if I don’t” sign up for the app. The more astute arguments included “Romans 13 and how it commands us to submit to the government as an institution put in place by God.” [i]

The less astute included an outright dismissal, saying my argument was “crap.”Another ridiculed my point about the app being almost on par with taking an ersatz Hitler Oath. (Not an irrational concern, given the social pressure and hostile responses.)

Most of the reactions only served to solidify the precedent and emotional manipulation points. Once we accept as the norm, governments labeling people, places or things arbitrarily as being “hazardous to public health”, how long will it be until this new normal is applied by less benevolent forces to the Israel Folau’s of the world? Or even those, like me, who share Margaret Court’s view of marriage as being the biologically compatible, God ordained union between a man and a woman.

An app that encourages people to potentially stigmatise, be suspicious of, and distance themselves from their neighbour, on the basis of that person having or (are being suspected of having?) an illness, isn’t all that conducive to Christian love, pastoral care or freedom.

Likewise, using emotional manipulation, regardless of how unintentional, to get people to sign up for the COVIDSAFE app by unfairly accusing them of not being a Christian, loving or Christ-like.

We’ve heard this same asinine, emotional manipulative non-sequitur before during the same-sex marriage debate, discussions about Islamic terrorism #illridewithyou, abortion, transgenderism, Apocalyptic Climate Change…really, any Leftist cause.

Speaking out against the potential abuse of power, manipulation, and manipulative political processes, in standing up for civil liberties, is living out a love for neighbour.

Since when did a no questions asked loyalty to politicians, or allegiance to an ideology such as Leftism, become a yardstick for being a Christian?

Starry-eyed supporters of the COVIDSAFE app seem more in tune with those condemning Jesus for liberating people designated by authorities as unclean, than it is supporting Jesus’ care for the wounded, vulnerable, downcast or outcast.

I doubt my detractors would align themselves so quickly with any statement like, “Yo, Jesus, did ya get that app about lepers, mate? No. Why the bloody hell not? Do you want people to die!?”

If this is justifiable on a social distancing level, than why not develop an app to also report the threat of STD’s, AIDS, Hepatitis or HIV? The fact we don’t, and won’t, indicate that COVIDSAFE, and the general response to COVID-19 is more about politics, than science or authentic Christian living. [ii]

If this is justifiable, and in the interest of public health and safety, why not fund an app for non-smokers to ping off the phones of people who choose to smoke? If you wouldn’t support this, and yet are starry-eyed about the COVID-19 app, why wouldn’t you support it?

Let me be clear. I agree with responsible social distancing. I agree with temperature testing. I agree to a slow reopening. I agree with defeating this virus. I agree with better hygiene management, because this, to me, is showing genuine care for others, based on a basic common sense justified by objective morality.

Perhaps one of the silver linings of the Coronavirus is a return to more concern for our neighbour. Especially when it comes to manners, and personal hygiene – practising a level of care, long forgotten; one discarded by the inconsiderate, self-destructive abandonment of healthy Western traditions. I’d welcome this because it has to do more with collective and individual responsibility – people free before God, for God, and accountable to God, not enslaved to government-as-god ruling madly without accountability.

Contrary to the sentiment coming from most of those applauding the app, COVIDSAFE does not make people using it magically immune to COVID-19.

It does however make you susceptible to potentially being denied service and employment if you don’t have the app. The government admits this latter point in its 78 page COVIDSAFE information manual, and doesn’t appear to be discouraging any third party application from denying employment or service to anyone who doesn’t have the app.

“3.19.4 The Australian Government has also given clear indications that it will not be mandatory for any person to install or to use the App. However, there may be a potential risk of circumstances in which a particular individual does feel pressured to download the App (e.g. a supermarket insisting on customers showing that they are using the App before being permitted to enter the store; or an employer insisting that their employees demonstrate that they are using the App before being permitted to start or continue work).”

It’s worth noting a report published during October last year, where The World Heath Organisation concluded that “active contact tracing is not recommended in general because there is no obvious rationale for it in most Member States.”

We don’t need a nanny state to wipe our noses.

How long will it be until sneezing in a public space automatically triggers a COVID-19 alert? Or worse, individuals quickly come under suspicion for blowing their nose into a tissue, or simply coughing in public.

If this sounds ridiculous, look back at panic buying. Look at the irrational, ludicrous interpretations and enforcement of social distancing laws, based on hysteria, hear say, or presumption. See the mounting examples of neighbour spying on neighbour, and neighbor denouncing neighbour for suspected breaches of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Look again at the reaction against anyone opting out of getting the COVIDSAFE app. Look also at how Cory Bernardi was treated for refusing to sign up for the app. Bernardi, the only person on the Skynews panel giving a defence of civil liberties, was told by host Prue MacSween to “give himself an upper cut”, and drown his concerns about government overreach in alcohol.

On the same panel, Melbourne City Councilor, Nicholas Reece accused Bernardi of not living in the real world, of making lofty “high school arguments about liberty and privacy.” It doesn’t appear that Reece fully understood the implications of his rebuttal. By placing Bernardi’s concerns over liberty and privacy, in the realm of school boy fantasy, Reece confirmed Bernardi’s point.

On the subject of data security, signing up to the COVID-19 app is not the same as signing up for an in-store card, or in-store credit. Those involve companies that operate under strict laws concerning privacy and use of personal information. They are accountable to the government, whereas the government is accountable to no one, but their party, their political supporters, and last of all, you the people – in a very, very limited sense.

For those who think that our fuehrers always know best, and will thus follow them blindly:

As Bill Muehlenberg and Matthew Littlefield have pointed out:

1. “ACT Policing has admitted it unlawfully accessed citizens’ metadata a total of 3,365 times, not 116 as previously disclosed in an explosive commonwealth ombudsman’s report on Monday. The new disclosures include a total of 240 cases that resulted in information valuable to criminal investigations and one that “may have been used in a prosecution”.
2. “When Canberra introduced metadata laws a few years ago, we were told they would only be used to find terrorists. But greedy councils were soon demanding access so they could catch litterbugs. Facial recognition tool Clearview AI was allegedly misused by members of Australian police departments.”
3. “Governments routinely go wrong as power grabs become the norm, and technologies are regularly used for evil purposes. Indeed, one clear lesson of history is what is merely ‘voluntary’ today far too often becomes ‘mandatory’ tomorrow – all for the common good of course.”

I get the point of the COVIDSAFE app. It’s to inform people of areas that have been recently exposed to COVID-19, and tell people to get checked if they’ve been exposed. What I question is its usefulness, function, role and the consequences of handing bureaucrats more power.

It’s one thing to look out for others; it’s another to encourage a precedent where innocent, domestic citizens/places are deemed by the government to be “unsafe” based on a virus they are unsure about.

Romans 13 may carry weight in why we respect the need for good government, but it doesn’t hold us back from questioning government initiatives like the COVIDSAFE app. Nor does Romans 13 discourage us from pointing out how our politicians, on both sides, have spectacularly failed, and still are failing, to give any reassurances about civil liberties; including how they will be respected, and reinstated, after the coronavirus counter-measures can no longer be justified under the current crisis.

My point is ultimately about the precedence of citizens signing onto a Government program without question, emotive, even manipulative peer pressure to do so, and the danger it poses.

My point is about concern for people signing on to government program, run by politicians who haven’t bothered to reassure the people they represent that they are protecting civil liberties. Not one politician has done this, before or since the implementation of totalitarian COVID-19 countermeasures.

Break through the jargon, and the COVIDSAFE app is essentially an app that has the potential to monitor citizens. It allows third-parties to deny employment or service to anyone not carrying it on their phone. Throw in the reaction against those questioning it, and the fine print gives cause for real and rational concern.

We, the people are not the virus.

As I’ve said in the past, the warning of the 20th century to government’s and their people today is this: any justifiable counter moves against an enemy become unjustified if they make the government as tyrannical as the enemy it fights.


References:

[i] As far as Romans 13 goes, while I concede that it’s a fair point, let me say again, that there comes a time when it’s necessary to remind the government that they only have, because God gives.

[ii] See the brilliant briefing on COVID-19 by Dr. Erickson for more on this (Link). Unfortunately, YouTube has removed, and continues to remove all links to the Erickson briefing; more information here.

Image cropped and filtered from a photo by Fredrik Bedsvaag on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020

Under the already oppressive cloud of the Coronavirus crisis, graduates at St. Olaf College, in Minnesota, are currently being denied an official graduating ceremony, unless they’re part of the graduating student body who ‘self-identifies as a person of colour’, International or LGBTQAI+. Though the College’s website states that ‘due to COVID-19, 2020 Commencement festivities are postponed until late May/June 2021’, the College’s Centre for Equity and Inclusion, has sent out an email invite, saying that it will be hosting virtual graduation ceremonies for minority students.

Minnesotan based Alphanews, published a copy of the invitation, written by Dr. Maria C. Pabon Gautier (Director of the Taylor Centre for Equity and Inclusion). Delivered by email, Gautier fails to mention any consolation for non-minority graduates, but firmly outlines that there would be ‘three virtual graduations’ in May for three special groups, beginning with: ‘Multicultural Graduation (Domestic Students of Colour), International Graduation (International Students) and Lavender Graduation (LGBTQIA+ students).’

Kyle Hooten, (who also penned the more evidence based Alphanews article cited above), first raised the news on April 22nd via Campus Reform. He noted that Campus Reform checked in with ‘multiple graduating seniors at St. Olaf, [and] none said [that] they’d been informed of any online ceremony for the general student body.’

While St. Olaf’s Director for Equity and Inclusion has seemingly failed to include the majority, or even reassure them that they have not been forgotten, overlooked, or worse, segregated, some consolation did come from ‘Associate Director of Communications Kari VanDerVeen’, who ‘told Campus Reform that the school is “exploring a number of ways to celebrate the Class of 2020,” but that plans were not yet “finalized.” (Hooten)

To be fair, reasons for having, what look a lot like segregated graduation ceremonies, probably include logistical limitations, technological capability, and the ease with which smaller student numbers can be catered for in a virtual graduation environment.

This said, it doesn’t provide a total explanation for the apparent contradiction between the St. Olaf’s Centre for Equity  & Inclusivity, and the claim that official ‘Schedule of Events’ which clearly states that ‘2020 Commencement festivities have been postponed until 2021.’ Neither do these reasons explain the absence of any public information reassuring the general student body about whether their graduation will be accommodated in a similar fashion to that of these minority.

While the Lutheran college’s mission statement states a specific goal towards achieving ‘inclusivity’, its Centre for Equity and Inclusivity appears to be intentionally excluding non-minority students.

Gautier may be too distracted to care, or worse, is being derelict in her duties as director. The evidence suggests either an innocent oversight in trying times, asinine good intentions, or something more malicious. All three are likely. There’s a dissonance created by Gautier. Inequality in the name of equality exposes what Jean Bethke Elshtain called ‘phony equality.’[i]

The academic world is bogged down in a quagmire of sameness. This is the direct result of political correctness; tolerance introducing ‘equality where equality is fatal’ (C.S. Lewis) [ii]. With its perversion of Christianity – reducing its primary tenants to an ethic of niceness; the academy’s obsession with identity politics, safe spaces, and inane virtue signaling, education is replaced with indoctrination.

Special privilege is rubbed in the faces of those who are excluded for their assumed privilege; excluded because of their skin colour, heterosexuality, presumed “evil” right-wing political sympathies, and “sinful” passion for living out a no compromise, honest biblical theology.

It’s a package deal. Year by year, the academy not only continues to manifest Orwell’s, ‘all are equal, but some are more equal than others’, it normalizes the special treatment of the few, with disdain and disregard for the many – the destructive anarchist vacuum of pagan tribalism.

The general student body should expect more from the director of equity and inclusivity, who like some Republicans and most Democrats, currently appear to be willingly absent at the helm. Surely Gautier and those in her team understand that ALL of their graduates are under a lot of unexpected uncertainty and anxiety.

Those graduates face the dismal prospect of trying to fit into a job market severed to pieces by multi-level government agencies enforcing questionable Coronavirus lockdowns, its consequential suffocation of the economy, and the massive rise in unemployment. Students being told in not so many words that they don’t meet the criteria for care by their own Centre for Equity and Inclusivity, is far from helpful, it’s a downright harmful abdication of responsibility.


References (not otherwise hyperlinked):

[i] Elshtain, J.B. 1995 Democracy on Trial Basic Books, Perseus Books Group p.83

[ii] Lewis, C. 1944, Democratic Education In Walmsley, L. (Ed.) 2000 C.S Lewis Essay Collection Harper Collins p.190

First published on Caldron Pool, 27th April, 2020.

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

For anyone who missed it, here’s the YouTube link for the LIVE Caldron Pool panel hosted by Dave Pellowe last night. I sat down with fellow CP contributors Girl rising above the noise, writer & Pastor Mark, & the always impressive to hear, James Macpherson for a chat about current events. Comment below or head over to Pellowe Talk on YouTube or FB to add your voice to the conversation.

In a brief five minute video posted to Desiring God’s YouTube channel, John Piper rips apart the cultural control of ‘cancel culture’. The small segment was taken from a talk given in January called ‘Serious Joy, Cultural Conflict, & Christian Humility: Thoughts on Christian Education.’

Piper’s argument is one of the best I’ve heard so far from Christian leaders – Voddie Baucham’s lengthy, but poignant takedown of ‘Cultural Marxism being the only exception (as has been discussed by Caldron Pool’s Editor Ben Davis, here).

Like Baucham, Piper turns the light on where few seem willing to do so. Leaning on work from Jonathon Haidt and Greg Lukianoff in their outstanding book, ‘The Coddling of the American Mind’ (2018), Piper briefly addresses the non-sequitur, and vacuous subjective nature of the movement. In sum, Haidt and Lukianoff identify ‘cancel culture’ as part of a broader new paradigm which measures good and evil by the yardstick of ‘safe versus dangerous, instead of true versus false.’

Under the authoritarian, whimsical hegemony of ‘cancel culture’, ‘if you take your stand and speak your truth, you may be subject to call-out, outrage, or being cancelled, because you have not sufficiently coddled’ the feelings of others, or sufficiently met any number of asinine politically correct requirements. As Haidt and Lukianoff quip, the response then is one where ‘you must call out [the offence giver]! Assemble a coalition of the righteous, and shame the evil ones until they change their ways.”

As part of their introduction, Haidt writes that ‘cancel culture’ ‘unwittingly employs the very cognitive distortions that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy tries to correct. For example: catastrophizing (jumping the worst possible conclusions), and negative filtering (negative self-talk; such as saying to yourself, “I’ll never amount to anything”). Haidt then notes, ‘stated simply: Many university students are learning to think in distorted ways, and this increases their likelihood of becoming fragile, anxious, and easily hurt.’

Equating ‘cancel culture’ with the persecution of Christians in Acts 5:27-41, Piper supports this appraisal. Just as the ‘Sanhedrin tried to silence the voice of Christian leaders’, so sways the motion and violent conclusions of ‘cancel culture.’ Being easily offended, or a person having their feelings hurt, isn’t enough just-cause to rage at people, call people out, or “cancel” them.

According to Piper, the response to ‘cancel culture’ is ‘serious joy.’ The Apostle Peter, beaten by enraged, and blood-thirsty authorities, ‘rejoiced’ that he and others ‘were counted worthy to suffer dishonour’ for speaking in Jesus Christ’s name; that name having been banned – cancelled – deemed offensive by the authorities.

Piper’s conclusion:

“If you take a stand the culture hates, and speak a word the culture condemns, and they shame you, and persecute you, and plunder you, but your serious joy remains, they’ve lost their power to control where you stand and what you say.
If your joy comes from the world — its benefits, its comforts, its kudos — you’re like a leaf in the wind. Yours is not a serious joy. It’s a secondhand joy. You are not free. Serious joy sets people free. And makes them the most secure and subversive people when it comes to cultural control.
This has always been true, for two thousand years. Serious joy in Christ through pain has always been radically liberating from cultural control. In getting their joy from heaven, Christians become free on earth.”

Piper is right. ‘Cancel culture’ cannot beat ‘serious joy.’ There’s no excuse for our response to be joyless. Humility wins. We speak truth in love, bearing the name of Jesus Christ. Not falling into step with the spirit of the age, but keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, knowing that though, would-be and actual authoritarians may try to cancel us, our work – or even our entire livelihoods – the unconquerable joy gifted to us in Jesus Christ, and the gracious provision God brings with, through, and because of it, cannot, and will not be cancelled.

Extending out from Piper’s final word is this: ‘stand firm in serious joy’ – for the fact that man ‘is not God. We are sinners. We are finite’ (Piper); and though men and women may arrogantly try to control it, for the very fact that ‘man has no control over God’s grace.’ (Karl Barth, CD. 3:4:105).


References:

Full video & transcript: https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/serious-joy-cultural-conflict-and-christian-humility

First published on Caldron Pool, 20th April, 2020

Image cropped & adjusted from a Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

One of Dietrich Bonheoffer’s key advocates in England throughout the 1930s-40s was Anglican Bishop George Bell. He famously clashed with Churchill over saturation bombing, challenged the ‘kill ‘em all’ ethos of Vansittart, and stood firm against the fallacies behind Vansittartism, which painted all Germans as Nazis without distinction.

Bell’s close relationship with the Confessing Church in Germany led to his 1940 book ‘Christianity and World Order’. Bell was well aware of the German Church’s struggle against a diluted Christianity, which had been pressed into the service of an overbearing and totalitarian state [i]. The book was a brave attempt at igniting the light of post-war peace in the hearts of those fighting against a present darkness.

Through his friends in Germany, Bell had the privilege of seeing firsthand the anti-Nazi actions being undertaken by the Church. He also witnessed the suffering inflicted on the Confessing Church for standing, where many others chose to remain silent or had given up; where once-were-Christians, replaced their faith in Christ, with faith in the Utopian promise of National Socialism.

Churchill’s government downplayed the potency of the German resistance. The resistance was rejected as impotent, and discounted as inconsequential. Bell was eventually shut out by Churchill for his insistence on Allied support for it, and for his public criticism of “saturation bombing” over areas known to be populated by civilians. Churchill’s move ignored the opposition on the ground. Formed by people like Hans Von Dohnanyi, and Karl Bonhoeffer; key conspirators, who knew that a negotiated peace was only an option if the Nazis were replaced.

The conspirators knew that peace would not be a reality unless the German resistance could stage a type of 1776 revolution, akin to that of the United States. Something Bell himself concedes was difficult, but not impossible; acknowledging that the ideological vice-grip was too firmly wrapped around the hearts and minds of Germans [ii].

Still, Bell remained defiant. Churchill’s justifiable counter moves against Hitler were not justified, if Churchill became as tyrannical as Hitler. The dismissal of the existence of any German resistance, and the “saturation bombing” policy were red flags.

An Allied victory and the post-war peace which followed would see a repeat of history if Christianity was ejected from the centre of the proceedings. For Bell, any positive post-war reconstruction necessitates placing the peace handed to us by Jesus Christ into the marrow of present war aims.

His justification for this was that Christianity is a threat to all man-made systems of salvation and condemnation [iii]. Subsequently, under the Lordship of Christ, Christianity stands opposed to the Lordlessness of the totalitarian state.

Therefore, Bell concludes,

‘the extension of Christianity all over the world is vital to the future of humanity. The new movements which are pseudo-religions, such as Communism, Fascism, and Secularism in its various forms, threaten the highest spiritual values in human life with destruction.’ [iv]

Inherent within these anti-Christ movements is the denial of life. Man and woman are solely material beings; a cog in a machine.

‘These movements reject God. They reject the supreme value of humanity. They are destroyers of civilisation.’ [v]

Bell’s big warning to us in our current climate is this: the expanding State develops totalitarian tendencies.

It ‘lays claim to man, and woman, in the totality of his and her being. It seeks to impose on all its citizens a particular philosophy of life (ideology)’ – any such ‘State which advances such claims on humanity has declared itself to be not only a State, but also a religious organisation.’ [vi]

Here the State exalted to godlike status moves from servant to master. There are no free citizens, only tortured subjects and power-hungry sycophants.

Staunchly opposed to this denial of a right to life and livelihood, is Christian faith and its ‘hope which can [and does] rise above all horrors’ (Romans 8:28).

Bell states, ‘Christianity is not a fugitive and cloistered religion. It is alive, fiery, exercised and fully breathed.’ [vii] As such, Christian existence ‘protests against this terrible despotism, this overwhelming domination of human life, with all the energy at its command’ [viii].

In other words, Christian living commands defiance of the deification of personality, party or political ideology. Likewise, we must identify and critique a diluted Christianity, which is pressed into the service of an overbearing and totalitarian state.

This is why Bell asserts that ‘the Church everywhere should be a confessional Church. It should be the church of the brave Word, [bravely] spoken.’ [ix] For ‘it is Christianity alone that shows man and woman their true destiny, and enables both to enjoy fullness of life.’ [x]

These words were written down eighty years ago. They contain within them a stern warning to our governments today: any justifiable counter moves against an enemy are not justified, if they make the government as tyrannical as the enemy it fights.

Question the new normal.


References:

Bell, G. Rev. 1940, Christianity and World Order, Penguin

[i] ‘The church struggle between the German Confessing Church & German Christians was about a refusal to yield to National Socialist ideology & the pressure of the State.’ (p.71)

[ii] Bell advocates revolution against the National Socialist regime. (p.92) Although the dismissal from Churchill’s government wasn’t completely unjustified, it can be argued that the lack of serious interest gave longevity to the war.

[iii] For Bell, ‘Christianity means primarily Jesus Christ, His life, death resurrection, the new age He birthed, and the community of which He is the head.’ (p.140)

[iv] ibid, p.137

[v] ibid, p.137

[vi] Bell citing J.H.Oldham, p.69

[vii] ibid, p.145

[viii] ibid, p.70

[ix] ibid, p.146

[x] ibid, p.137

First published on Caldron Pool, 16th March 2020

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Like you, I’m wrestling with the COVID-19 changes imposed upon us. We’re adapting, steady, and we’re focused. We’re still homeschooling. We’re still reading the news in one hand, and reading the Bible with the other. We’re engaged, determined not to let the bad news sneak past us, or our prayers. We’re also determined not to let the barrage of repetitive, useless speculative analysis paralyze us.

In 1939, Karl Barth, who had long since been exiled by the Nazis for refusing to sign the Hitler Oath, and for opposing the deification of the State, wrote,

‘the Church prefers to suffer persecution at the hands of the State, which has become a “beast out of the pit of the abyss,” rather than take part in the deification of Caesar.’[i]

It’s in the vein of this context that we’re determined to not give in to fear and its consistent demand for absolute fealty. We’re steadfast in our commitment to the current treatment plan, but defiant in our “no” to this silent freedom killer. The virus, its source, and the exercise of political power – through a centralisation of government ruling by fiat, without the limitation of existing checks and balances – require a line in the sand drawn between us, and the totalitarianism attached to it.

Despite fear and powerlessness Good Friday remains Good News.

Its events do not show the clash of two kingdoms, and two kings, they show the affirmation of one King and His kingdom. Pilate asks, “are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replies, “You have said so.” (Mark 15:2) And yet, Jesus ‘confirms Pilate’s claim to “power” over Him, as power given from above.’ (Barth) Pilate does not release Jesus. He crucifies Him. The confirmation of Christ as King is affirmed by Pilate’s mockery and Jesus Christ’s death sentence: here hangs, pierced, beaten, spat on, speared and abused, ‘Jesus, the King of the Jews.’ (Matthew 27:37).

The place where God makes His stand before all humanity is on a cross for all humanity. There is no greater line in the sand between humanity and sin – the corruption of absolute power, and the rejection of true freedom, than God’s revelation in Jesus Christ – Christ crucified and resurrected. Whether that absolute be a seemingly unbeatable microscopic parasite or seemingly unbreakable bloated bureaucracy.

Barth writes that Jesus and Pilate (Caesar’s proxy in Judea) confronted one another. What we see is the ‘homelessness of the Church in this age’, and ‘in its demonic form, the State’s authority as the “power of the present age.”

In yielding the Gospel the Church brings to the State a theological critique against all superstition, ideas, imaginations and ideologies, and therefore judgement on any manifestation of an imbalance of power. It can do this because ‘judgement begins with God’s household’ (1 Peter 4:17).

The Church is as a watchman, ‘knowing that it is responsible for the State and for Caesar, and it finally manifests this responsibility, through “the prophetic service of the Church as Watchman,” in its highest form by praying for the State and for its officials in all circumstances.’ (Barth) Both the Church and the State are under the Lordship of Christ.

There was no false dichotomy between secular and sacred. Civic duty for Christians is, as it has always been, holding themselves as individuals, and the Government to its role, function and purpose, accountable, under the Divine Lordship of Christ.

Right through the Gospel of Mark, Jesus’ Kingship is at work. Healing and exorcism, announce His kingdom drawn near, His kingdom to come; his actions calling us to rethink and repent – for ‘the Kingdom of God is near.’

As Ethan the Ezrahite wrote, ‘God rules over the surging seas; waves rise, He stills them.’ (Psalm 89:9). The shock-waves of Christ’s kingship confirmed by the events of Good Friday, dark Saturday and Resurrection Sunday, spread His authority like a slow tsunami over the Pax Romana, past Rome’s powerful legions, liberating the hearts of the wounded, lame, repentant and humble. Christ’s just rule breaks like a wave over Church and State permeating both. The just who was judged becomes our just judge.

As things currently stand, we’ve had no reassurance from prominent politicians about how civil liberties will be safeguarded during the Coronavirus counter measures. We, the people, seem to be on a Shakespearean rodeo, living as Romeo, liberty as Juliet. There seem to be powerful forces at work to keep both separated, perhaps even on a permanent basis. But Shakespeare’s work isn’t just a tale of woe about oppressive forces that seek to keep man from woman, and woman from man, it’s a warning telling us not to give up hope.

Regardless of how dead liberty might appear to be, or how pathetically silent our leaders choose to remain. Regardless of how intimidated we are by the state flexing its muscles, prancing its ferocious might in our faces. Regardless of how we may suffer under the hands of those who make themselves the enemy of civil liberties, it’s because of Good Friday, we, who are raised in Christ, can say Good Friday, is still Good News.

Liberty may have been crucified, but liberty was liberated and lives yet still!

Though the state may flap and dance about, howl, breathe fire and brandish the sword, in a political thrust and parry against liberty, they cannot win. For although ‘it’s true that Jesus told His disciples to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. It [shouldn’t be forgotten that it] is God who declares what belongs to Caesar.’ [iii]

May God’s wisdom guide us, may His strength empower us, and with defiant humility, may we gratefully embrace the Light from which all true freedom breaks. For the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5).

Happy Easter, folks!

Jesus is Victor!


References:

[i] Barth, K. Community, State, and Church, Wipf & Stock Publishers.

[ii] Barth, K. The Theology of John Calvin, Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[iii] Bell, G, 1940. Christianity & World Order, Penguin Classics.

First published on Caldron Pool, 10th April, 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Ahmed Shaheed, lecturer and volunteer adviser to the U.N., is advocating that religions conform to an eventual universal, “progressive” law. In his latest report for the U.N, the religious freedom advocate provides an argument for a blueprint, which will outlaw any theological critique or practice, unless it has first been approved, or established by LGBTQAAI+ activists, radical feminists & academics who advocate from a Leftist worldview.

Steve Warren from CBN news rightly noted that recent ‘Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief (available as a Word Document here), makes no distinction between who and what religion Shaheed’s volunteered prescriptions pertains to. Instead Shaheed appears to have subsumed all religions into one category of hate, bigotry and discrimination.

Shaheed accuses all governments of failing to stop discrimination against women, and those who identify as LGBTQAAI+, stating:

‘Governments in all regions of the world have also failed to uphold their obligation to protect people from gender-based violence and discrimination perpetrated against them by private individuals or entities claiming a religious justification for their actions and to sanction the perpetrators of such acts. Gender-based violence and discrimination is being perpetuated both in the public sphere and by and within religious communities and entities.’

The report’s findings and prescriptions were based on ‘information gathered directly from survivors of human rights violations from over 42 countries.’ Participants ‘also included members of several United Nations agencies including UN AIDS, UNFPA, UNWOMEN, and the WHO.’

The key findings of Shaheed’s report specifically addressed,

‘Female Genital Mutilation, marital rape, early and forced marriage and polygamy; [and] noted the increasing use of religion or belief to deny reproductive health and sexual rights; criminalize protected conduct and deny the equal personhood of LGBT+ persons; or to undermine the right to freedom of religion or belief to women, girls and LGBT+ persons.’

Examples acknowledged progress, but specifically included countries such as Saudi Arabia where women ‘continue to face systematic discrimination in law and in practice in several areas and are inadequately protected against gender-based violence.’

Shaheed also stated that in Israel, ‘Denominational family law, to which there is no civil alternative, permits divorce only with the consent of the husband, which reportedly can coerce women to forfeit property or custody of children.’

In addition, the report cited Tunisia, first saying that

‘although it stands out in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for many of its  protections for the human rights of women and girls, the Personal Status Code of 1956, rooted in an interpretation of Islam, requires further amendment to guarantee gender equality in inheritance rights.’

Other nations and regions mentioned were South and South-East Asia, citing Sir Lanka’s Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act ‘which, unlike national legal provisions for non-Muslim women, does not identify a minimum age requirement or require a woman to consent to marriage; leaving Muslim women and girls unprotected by national provisions.’

This is in addition to some ‘counter-extremism’ measures from South and South-East Asia where some states have ‘targeted women from Muslim minority communities with rape, forced sterilization, and forced abortion.’

Iran got its own paragraph. Shaheed’s volunteered advice raised concerns about ‘laws inspired by religious beliefs’ such as the Iranian regime’s ‘compulsory veil legislation and the reported arrest, enforced disappearance, and arbitrary detention of women’s human rights defenders who protested against it.’

In the same way, the report described concerns about limitations put on Muslim women (no region or country was referenced) regarding wearing ‘headscarves, or full-face veils – in their efforts to combat gender-based discrimination, but without sufficient attention to the self-understanding and agency of women.’

As is to be expected, pro-life advocates were high on Shaheed’s hit list. Following the general abuse of language regarding abortion, Shaheed, rebelled this section: ‘State restrictions on access to sexual and reproductive rights.’ He then cited partial and total bans on abortion in some Latin American countries, claiming that ‘discriminatory religious edicts inform laws and policies that restrict sexual and reproductive rights’. His justification for this claim is that some ‘women and girls can be prosecuted for miscarrying their pregnancies, and limited access to abortion has in some cases, caused serious suffering.’

As for LGBTQAAI+ discrimination, Shaheed pointed again at South and South-East Asia, and Sub-Saharian African regions, stating that many have ‘justified’ the maintenance of the country’s legal prohibition of homosexuality on the grounds that it upholds the tenets of Islam or Christianity.‘ He argued that civil laws in these regions are ‘contributing to violence and discrimination against LGBT+ persons’.

Shaheed then addressed adultery laws, noting that in

‘countries where Islamic law governs personal laws, adultery is severely punished and may even result in a sentence of death by stoning. The sanctions are generally imposed on the women rather than the men. Additionally, sexual assault and rape often go unreported because women fear they will be charged with adultery; and there may be impunity for marital rape.’

Poland copped it too, with Shaheed labeling opposition to identity politics, gender wars, and LGBTQAAI+ ideology as ‘pseudoscience’; saying that protecting ‘heterosexual norms’ was discriminatory and doing violence to ‘LGBTQAAI+ persons’. He claims that ‘well coordinated groups are misusing freedom of religion or belief across continents and in the media – to counter human rights in the name of religion or belief.’ Calling anyone who ‘espoused that a gender ideology is harmful to children, families, tradition and religion’ an active participant in perpetuating “injustice”.

The report did distinguish between beliefs and interpretations of those beliefs. Shaheed gave special praise to (Leftist) activists in religious communities, for showing that ‘not necessarily all members of a religious community held to [“oppressive beliefs” based on interpretations of religion].’ He inferred that this was the correct way to use freedom of religion, and it’s for these people alone, that religion of freedom should be protected.

In sum, citing specific examples and allegations from within the Middle East, African, Poland, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Latin America, Tunisia, South and South-East Asia, Shaheed is claiming that all religions are doing violence to women, girls and people who identify as LGBTQAAI+. As such, he seems to be advocating a “need” for religion to be brought into line with the “glorious benevolence” of what could be rightly termed the religion of Leftism. Shaheed’s suggestions present a strange irony, given that he is a well-known, advocate for freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and of belief.

Given that Islamism makes up the majority of areas where Shaheed’s concerns rest, by subsuming all religions into one melting pot of discrimination and violence, out of what seems to be a fear of discriminating against Muslims, Shaheed is doing unfair violence to Christians and Jews. He, among all people should know that playing the ‘they’re all just as bad as each other’ card is dismissively childish and in some parts lazy. It buttresses ignorance of, and encourages an increasingly prejudice against Christianity, and all traditionally free societies built on Biblical Christian foundations.

Shaheed (and potentially the U.N as a whole) is saying that those who choose to provide a loving “no” to transgenderism, or refuse to embrace the LGBT flag, and its ideology; alongside Christian pro-life advocates in Western nations are to be equated with Islamists beheading infidels, murdering their wives in honour killings, taking child brides, and throwing homosexuals from rooftops.

Thus the lack of definition and distinction regarding specific religious, judicial and theological contexts raises red flags. It’s ludicrous to brand Christians as extremists simply for holding to the view that marriage is between a man and a woman, or that there are only two genders.

Where we can agree with Shaheed is that ‘traditional, historical, religious or cultural attitudes must not be used to justify violation of human rights’. I’m all for this. But again, let’s define our terms of reasoning, and examine the context before making broad recommendations that could give rise to the U.N equivalent of the Gestapo, and Soviet gulags.

The Christian theological understanding of the world, agrees at this point with Shaheed. The Biblical witness testifies that sin pervades human existence, kills relationships, hinders God’s providential fatherly Lordship at work in the world, and affects male and female genders, nations, and ethnicities equally.

Abuses and abuse does occur, not just in the name of religion, but name of ideological paradigms – all man-made systems of salvation and condemnation, both civil and ecclesial. Borrowing Karl Barth’s terminology, these ‘towers of Babel’ should be challenged, because God challenges them. The most obvious example of this is in His remedy for sin, via a reckoning and forgiveness of sin, through Jesus Christ.

Where we should depart from Shaheed is his politically motivated generalizations. This is evident in his broad use of religion, and his push to protect freedom of religion or belief, only for those who fit neatly within a universally approved ideological paradigm (Leftism).

His only issue with Christianity appears to be pro-life advocates, and Christians who uphold both binary gender, and the equality of the physiological, biological union, which sees man free woman, and woman free for man.

In sum, Shaheed’s recommendations resemble a receipt for re-education camps. His definition of ‘human rights defenders’ might be better translated ‘social justice warriors’ or Leftists; and his call to protect them, seems to be advocating freedom from religion, not freedom of religion.

Worth noting: it’s strange Shaheed has overlooked Communist countries. The report doesn’t mention Communist Chinese persecution of the Muslim minority Uyghurs and Christians. It makes no mention of Christians suffering in droves at the hands Islamists in Nigeria, Asia, The Middle East, or the African Continent; and he makes no mention of oppression in Vietnam, North Korea, or even Russia.

As for people characterizing others as “immoral actors”, Shaheed may want to look in his own “progressive” backyard first, and observe the caricatures of Christians made en masse by radical feminist and LGBTQAAI+ activists, his so-called ‘human rights defenders’. To quote Warren, ‘mainstream Christianity doesn’t call for violence or discrimination against anyone, even though some opponents of orthodox Christian belief have tried to characterize it that way.’


References:

First published on Caldron Pool, 21st March, 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Back in early February my family and I came across one of the Australian War Memorial’s W.W.2 travelling art exhibits.  Random find, but we’re always keeping an eye out for opportunities to learn. We’d been out doing our somewhat  PD.H.PE routine (hence the rough around my edges look in the pic). Then wound up viewing some of Australia’s most significant art, created by some of Australia’s biggest painters.

One definite highlight were the Russell Drysdale artworks. I’d come to learn about Drysdale in senior high school. The reason for my initial attraction to his work was how surrealism influenced his style.

Once I realised that what we were looking at were Drysdale originals, I was awestruck. It may sound shrill, but goosebumps and a chill accompanied the importance of what hung on the wall before us. The weight of significance was inescapable. The moment caught me. It wouldn’t be all that wrong to say it was a breathtaking moment. I paused in the presence of history.

‘Soldier’ has many different angles. It communicates a paradox: a cold urgency, and the calm, maddening boredom of war. Drysdale’s use of colour gives off a sense of anticipation, and mystery. Is the soldier returning from the front? Is he about to depart? His choice of background colours wrap around the soldier, as much as they splash light around his relaxed posture. Hands in his pocket, face forward, the impression is that he’s warm, but calm, but contemplative.

Noticeably, there’s an absence of any cigarettes, food or water. This adds to the idea that he is waiting. There’s an innocence, an order in the midst of chaos, almost a sense of relief mixed with anticipation. Like Drysdale is either saying this is the calm before the storm, or the war is over.

Drysdale’s genius (another reason for my appreciation of his work) is how each painting, including the Crucifixion, has a Christian like reverence for life, even in the midst of suffering; a complex, well thought out theological grasp of the world around us. The context for Crucifixion was the Holocaust and Hiroshima. Events relevant to the era he lived in (1912-1981).

There’s a realism to Drysdale’s work – call it gritty humanity, call it an awareness of human frailty  and the infinite qualitative distinction, ‘God is God and we are not’ – a kind of warts and all hope, covered in dry, red dust, with a cautious optimistic attached that looks towards the promise of rain in the storm clouds breaching the horizon.

Drysdale’s art captures Australian identity. Instead of creating a disfigured caricature, his use of surrealism captures Australia’s character, and its free, barren, surreal landscape. Drysdale puts a mirror up to the face of every Australian. Revealing every spot and blemish, and unlocking its beauty. Drysdale tamed surrealism. The pioneer, battler, convict, outcast, wounded, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. He doesn’t create an Australian identity, he awakens Australians to it!

This helps explain his importance as a painter. Drysdale doesn’t just see and communicate what others have missed. He observes and points to who Australians are, based on what Australians do. It’s because of this that his art, his voice, is a national treasure. It’s why, standing before ‘Soldier’, I was awestruck. Brought to a standstill by the realisation that what was before me wasn’t just a painting, it was a poignant reminder that Australian identity isn’t determined by activists who would rather divide us, than unite us.

As a theologian, I see within the fabric of his work a rich prophetic hope. The equivalent of Johnny Cash’s separation of the sacred from the silly, an honest, raw, restorative, non-violent iconoclasm. The real Jesus confronting the faux Jesus we create in our own image. John 14:6 and Romans 6:4 come alive. The unequivocal: Without Christ, nothing. With Christ, everything.

Drysdale captured the emotion of this dry continent, its land and the resilience of its people like no one did before him, or has done since. His work isn’t drenched in politics or activism; it simply communicates the story of Australia and Australians, going to a depth that words seem unable to go. He ‘didn’t incorporate literary subjects and characters from external sources into the Australian scene but sought to represent people in their places.’ (Australian National Dictionary)

To be in the actual presence of his work is like standing on the same ground he stood on, hearing the same things he heard; being invited to grasp the same appreciation and love he had for Australia and its people. Though the message is sometimes confronting, there is nothing joyless about his work. In my opinion, Drysdale was/is Australia’s best painter, Sydney Nolan comes in at a close 2nd.

Below is some of the follow up work I did with my homeschoolers yesterday.

 


©Rod Lampard, 2020.

There’s a thin line between governments waging a war against a crisis, and governments waging a war against people caught up in that crisis.

It’s the crossing of this line; the potential, and perhaps eventual, overreaction through disproportionate measures, that have sparked an increasing number of centrist and conservative thinkers to question these heavy-handed measures, along with anything, and everything, labelled “the new normal”.

The more we learn about the coronavirus, the more important it is to question whether the heavy-handed measures being taken against the coronavirus are proportionate to the fight against it.

Peter Hitchens was the first to defiantly sink his feet into the ground. Hitchens agreed with the general reasoning behind an increased focus on hygiene, protecting the vulnerable, and social distancing, but drew the line at the surrender of civil liberties, telling talkRADIO that he ‘can’t see any logical connection between crashing the economy and restricting civil liberties in trying to prevent the spread of the disease.’ Adding that ‘crashing the economy is not necessary, you could easily rely on the civility and good sense of people to keep the necessary distance while continuing the run a functioning economy.’

There is a distinction between taking action because of fears about the coronavirus, and taking action because of the coronavirus. The former is reactionary, motivated by hysteria. The latter involves a carefully measured, compassionate, and rational response, drenched in hope. It’s the stark contrast between Samuel Barber’s melancholic despondency in Adagio for Strings, and Harry Gregson-Williams’ cautious, but defiant, ‘To Aslan’s Camp!

As of the 27th March, Australia had 3,166 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 13 tragic deaths attributed to it. While we do have information about the local source and epicentre of outbreaks, we still don’t appear to be getting all the specific facts. For example, there is no easily accessible data which separates people hospitalised because of the virus, and people with the virus who’ve been quarantined at home.

In the same interview for talkRADIO, Hitchens further illustrated this by pointing to the lack of any clear information that distinguishes between those who’ve died because of the virus, and those who had the virus, but died of other causes. Without everyone on the planet being tested, it’s even harder to pin down exact numbers.

As Mark Levin has pointed out, the facts we’re being sold about the coronavirus are all over the place. There’s confusion and uncertainty about the severity of it around every corner. Most mainstream media news reports are often repetitive, dubious and sensationalised. Some social media hasn’t helped either. Just as some Australian Universities, who actively undermined Scott Morrison’s January travel ban on China, some in the media, and on social media, are putting profit before people by capitalising on the crisis to sell a concocted tale of apocalyptic horror.

For instance, Michael Bay warned people to not take everything in the media or on social media as fact. The executive producer of the post-apocalyptic TV series, The Last Ship, and director of Transformers (among others), said in a brief Instagram video that he’d been receiving a ton of footage showing the movement of tanks, and armaments, but it’s all an act, made up by foreign powers who hate the U.S. Don’t believe it. His video caption read: “All the fake ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE that people are posting saying from a friend of a friend to instill fear. Stop sending out. It’s BS.”

Attacking the hype head-on, Levin cited a New York Times article from David Katz, president of True Health Initiative and the founding of the Yale-Griffin research Center, who credited South Korea with being the most reliable, when it comes to information about the coronavirus, because their widespread testing.  The New York Times article joins a co-written piece in the Wall Street Journal by Eran Bendavid and  Jay Bhattacharya, who claimed ‘there’s little evidence to confirm that [oppressive totalitarian measures] are justified.’

According to Katz, the ‘data indicates that at least 99% of active cases in the general population are mild, and do not require specific medical treatment. The small percentage of cases that do require such services are highly concentrated among those aged 60 and older – and further so the older people are.’

This leads to a justification of sorts for questioning whether oppressive totalitarian measures are necessary in order to fight the coronavirus. If we’re to use the problematic, “this is war” rhetoric, it’s fair to say that Governments waging “total war” against the virus, are making important strategic decisions based on sketchy intel. Their actions are initially based on the smoke and mirror diplomacy coming from the secretive Communist Chinese regime, who’s loose with the truth at the best of times, and it’s based on limited intel our governments have been able to gather on the ground or learn from other countries.

On one side we can agree that most Western Governments are wounding in order to heal. On the other hand, because the consequential impact of their actions is being felt around the world, and may do so for many years to come, we need to ask, as we would of any surgeon: how will this preserve freedom, and how will our healers be doing their very best to safeguard it?

Augusto Zimmermann, Professor of Law at Sheridan College in Western Australia, also addressed these concerns. In one of two fiery responses, (the first being an open letter to the Prime Minister), Zimmermann acknowledged the difficult circumstance facing world leaders, but argued for an alternative to the heavy-handed measures being copied by governments around the world. Zimmerman citing Dr John Lonnidis, (a professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University in California), noted that

“reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4 per cent rate from the World Health Organisation (“WHO”), cause horror and are meaningless. The real rate, adjusted from wide age range, could be as low as 0.05 per cent and as high as one per cent. The 3.4 per cent mortality rate reported by the WHO only tells us about how many who died had been confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.”

Zimmerman advocated a surgical response which doesn’t involve throwing the baby out with the bath water. In his second response, Zimmerman echoed Hitchens, who is questioning the fall in, line up, salute, or else, approach, rightly stating:

“While emergency powers are sometimes needed, we are seeing examples of draconian measures that dramatically increase the arbitrary power of the state, thus allowing government to exercise mass surveillance powers over citizens and alarming restriction of civil liberties.”

Adding his voice to the growing number concerned about the direction Western governments are leading us, Cory Bernadi, in his recently rebooted ‘Weekly Dose of Common Sense’, condemned the heavy-handed measures, writing,

‘At this time, the alarmism and catastrophic predictions aren’t aligning with the facts but then again they rarely do. Yes, there are many people infected with the virus and people are dying but the headline figures don’t paint the full picture…To paraphrase US President Donald Trump, the supposed cure could be worse than the disease…This is the real contagion attached to this virus…I have said before, no government gets re-elected for avoiding a crisis. They only benefit from over-stating the danger, responding to it and claiming credit for the better than expected solution. So when you hear that 200k people or more could die from this virus in Australia, you can be pretty confident that the actual number will be a fraction of that. Then, the government can claim to have saved so many lives through their draconian response.’ (‘This is Killing Us!’ 25th March, 2020)

My own point about Morrison losing the home-front battle for national morale stands as a real and present danger for the P.M. He needs new speech writers. Either that or the current ones need a new approach.

Case in point, one of latest press conferences basically translates: “Thank you for being good little boys and girls this week, Australia. We know it’s hard, but mum and dad are real proud of you.” Plus there was zero mention or reassurance – yet again – about how freedoms are being safeguarded (or even if they are).

Instead we’re told that the military will be backing up civil authorities “with boots on the ground” to “enforce compliance” of inbound traveller quarantine.

To the Prime Ministers’ credit, Morrison did warn against wishing for a total lock-down, saying he hopes to avoid it because Australian life would change dramatically, and may never be the same again. Given the tone of Donald Trump’s daily briefings, and his desire to “re-open America”, it’d be right to say the U.S. President feels the same.

However, Hitchens, Levin, Augusto and Bernadi are right. We, the people, are not the virus. Question the new normal. There’s a very thin line between governments waging a war against the Wuhan COVID-19 coronavirus, and governments waging a war against their own people. Be vigilant about fighting the virus, but remain cautiously defiant.

In the words of the imperfect, formidable British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher:

‘Winston Churchill’s warning is just as true now as when he said it many, many years ago. “Once you take a position of not being able in any circumstances to defend your rights against aggression, there is no end to the demands that will be made nor to the humiliations that must be accepted.’ He knew, and we must heed his warning.” [i]

References (not otherwise linked):

[i] Thatcher, M. 1984. Speech to Conservatives (The day after the IRA’s assassination attempt in the Brighton Bombing).

* Heavy-handed measures include business closures, school closures, some military on the streets, as is being put into motion by Australia and Israel.

First published on Caldron Pool, 28th March, 2020

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

The LNP’s battle against the Coronavirus is also a battle for the hearts and minds of Australians. If the Prime Minister fails in winning the latter, his ability to fight and win the former will be significantly compromised. It’s evident to most that Scott Morrison is doing everything a good leader can to win this war, but as goes the law of unintended consequences, Morrison is on the cusp of losing the battle for Australia’s hearts and minds, because of the absence of reassuring battle cries.

There’s no doubt that Sunday’s late press conference revealed a Prime Minister working hard on our behalf. He worked on a Sunday, negotiated with some hard-line Labor premiers, took questions from journalists and fronted the nation. The obvious wear and tear of his schedule was more than enough reason to reject myopic claims that Morrison “bullied” the ABC’s Andrew Probyn, when Probyn attempted to dominate (and therefore bully other reporters of) the press galley. By forcing Probyn to social distance himself, so that other reporters could have a chance to do jobs. Morrison answered a bully, he wasn’t being one. It was late. Morrison was short. Probyn copped a time out, it’s time to move on.

War-time crises require war-time speeches, as much as it requires determined, and resolute, war time leaders. If the Prime Minister wants Australians to unite behind him in this war, he’ll have to do a whole lot better in communicating to Australians about why they should fight, why they need to fight, and how his plan is more than up to the fight, than he has.

Scott Morrison has the logistics right and an effective battle plan, but he needs to improve his monologues. Standard public relations speeches, based on information and procedural text-types won’t work; neither will polished, over written approval ratings twaddle. We can get all that from Government websites. What we need is more of ‘fight on the beaches’, and less of ‘stop going to the beaches’. If Morrison doesn’t do this, as was witnessed late Sunday night, he’ll come across as fighting against, rather than for Australians, and as a result he will lose the proverbial war at home.

Scott Morrison’s big mistake on Sunday, was failing to mention how the war cabinet would be going about to protect freedom. If we are indeed fighting a war, imported from Communist China, the Prime Minister’s approach in this latest news conference won’t inspire people to unite and fight against it with him. I get that the Prime Minister was probably tired. Anyone who’s been in board room meetings can sympathize, they can be mentally, morally and emotionally taxing. This is just for the meetings that succeed. Multiply this by 10 for meetings that don’t.

For all the Prime Minister has been doing, and doing very well, last night saw an unintentional emptying of more air from the already deflating national morale. The absence of any reassurance to Australians that the government will be doing everything it can, in order to protect freedoms under threat by the necessities he has already outlined, and those he said may yet need to be implemented, wasn’t a shot in the arm to the Australian public. For many, it was a right hook to the head.

To be fair, Morrison’s job isn’t easy. As has been made evident by the actions of Victorian Labor Premier, Daniel Andrews, who appears to have pulled a Benedict Arnold, agreeing to keep schools open, only today, to contradict himself and close them, in a direct rejection of the Prime Minister’s plan, including rejecting the advice from Australia’s Chief Medical officer, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy who has said that ‘the consensus view of all of the chief health officers is schools should stay open because the risk to schoolchildren from the virus was very low.’

Making the Prime Minister’s battle for Australia’s hearts and minds more difficult, are all the social media show ponies lecturing us and the Government on why keeping schools open is wrong. Some rants, I know for a fact, come from folks who don’t really care about the issues, or the kids. This is another quick opportunity to attack the P.M.

Let’s be honest, if a Labor Prime Minister had done the same as Morrison in regard to schools, the wolves howling at Morrison, would all singing his or her praises. Few on the left blinked an eyelid when Kevin07 splashed cash from tax-payers coffers on empty halls and fancy balls. It seems that as long as the situation provides an opportunity to drool for, and spill LNP blood, who cares about national unity in a time of crisis?

For the rest of us, the Prime Minister’s school plan was solid. First, it’s an optional extra for parents. Kids need stability in a time of crisis. Routine helps. Keeping the schools open – as an optional extra – when the current health advice (around the world) says it’s reasonable to do so, provides this necessary framework. Closing schools will mean that a child’s routine is disrupted, resulting in an instability in the child’s life that will need to be countered-balanced.

Arguing otherwise, without sufficient reasons to do so, only fosters more fear, more anxiety, more hysteria and harms, rather than helps Australians. Show dissent. Question the new normal, but don’t be obnoxious in doing so.

I say this as an advocate for homeschooling. Something I think Australians can do, and do well. Even without government support. Even with direct hostility from political activist groups on the left, and with having to always look down the barrel of public misconceptions about socialization. Although I support the idea of homeschooling where you can, when you can, if you can, the fact is not all parents are able to homeschool and provide the necessary stability to do so.

The idea scares the hell out of some parents. Many of whom have succumbed to arguments from anti-homeschooling teachers, who regard parents as being intellectually incapable of educating their kids at home. Never mind the fact that many of those allegedly “intellectually incapable” parents were, or may have been, schooled by those very same teachers.

The Prime Minister has a mandate from the Australian people to fight on their behalf. This includes bringing Premier’s, who may be a little too friendly with the Communist Chinese Regime, into line with the Constitution. Not letting this crisis become a means for slimy political manoeuvring.

While the war against the Coronavirus is of the highest importance, Scott Morrison must also recognize that the fight for national morale, for the hearts and minds of the Australian people, is as equally important.

Now that the Prime Minister needs Australians to step up, he must adjust his approach. He can’t just tell hundreds of thousands of Australians that they’re going to be out of work for six months, but here’s some compensation.

War-time crises require war-time speeches.

Morrison needs to rally Australians to the cause, recalling some of the adages that inspired the Anzacs to push back against the dark shroud of totalitarianism that embraced the 20th Century.

I am confident in the Prime Minister’s ability. I am confident in Australia’s ability to unite, and fight; overcome and adapt. We’ve kept calm and carried on before, we can do so again.


First published on Caldron Pool, 24th March, 2020.

Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

So I penned some quick thoughts today for an old friend concerned about the state of things in Australia. I’ll post it here as I have on social media, because it might help put some things into perspective for you the same way it has for us.

Remember Italy has the highest older population in Europe. It also didn’t close down it’s borders until late in the game. Whereas Australia, followed the U.S and banned travel pretty much right of the bat – smart decision.

Australia is also an island continent, meaning the cases we have here, shouldn’t increase much more than they have – despite predictions; it can be contained better, and those who are infected can receive better treatment.

I think the bigger concern for us, is trade, the economic impact – purely because we are an island continent and import a lot of goods. This could be a good thing, though for local producers, though, as demand for their product increases, simply because it cannot be sourced anywhere else.

I’m not saying the COVID-19 issue is going away anytime soon, or that it’s not serious, it is. I’m saying our ability, say as compared to Italy and Spain to contain, treat, and slow infection rates, is far greater. Due largely to decisive, unpopular action early on from Morrison, and his continued vigilance, through working with Labor, and state governments in a “war cabinet” in order to better serve the needs of Australians.

He’s clearly putting party divisions and politics behind him in this regard, which is good leadership.

So a) we are already, as a nation, socially distanced because of our geography b) we have a war chest, so we’re better positioned economically, thanks to good management of the economy c) we have a leader who has taken the reigns and pushed beyond petty political manoeuvring (such as the Greens are doing) in order to see us through.

Strategically speaking we’re doing well so far. Let’s hope and pray it stays that way.

I’m not sold on the “things will never be the same again”. Neither should you be. This was said after 9/11, and sure things did change regarding security etc. But we’re smarter and understand a lot more about our world because of the event – call it beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3).

I believe the same Biblical example applies here.

We can either learn from this and improve ourselves, both as a society and as individuals, or fail to recognise what generations before us have. That even ‘in suffering we should aim to affirm life’ (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

We should recall that deliverance is the point of Easter. God cares for humanity, and has made Himself known through his covenant with Israel and in Jesus Christ. God redeems the irredeemable. We are not abandoned, though we may find Him silent from time to time. He isn’t beyond liberating in the present, having already proven Himself to be Our past and future liberator.


Bonhoeffer, D.2012.  God is On The Cross: Reflections on Lent & Easter, Westminster John Knox Press (p.52)

Photo by Ahna Ziegler on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Alongside the nonsensical Australian frenzy over toilet paper, and its bizarre connection to the Coronavirus, sits news about French farmers, living on the Atlantic coast, who are utilising donkey’s to keep their sheep safe from wolves.

The Times reported that the breed of donkey being used is the Poitou; ‘one of the largest types of donkey, long prized by farmers for its ability to fight off wolves by biting and striking out with its powerful front hoofs.’

In its report, The Australian cited Benoit Biteau, a donkey breeder in the Poitau-Charentes region, who said that

“donkey has a very protective instinct, and unlike a dog, isn’t likely to die in combat with the wolves. It is extremely aggressive towards canines and can protect sheep and goats from attack. The village had installed sheep to graze marshland but the flock was regularly attacked by stray and domestic dogs. The mayor called me to supply a donkey – and there was not a single attack after that.”

As strange as it may sound, using donkeys to keep sheep safe from wolves isn’t uncommon. Queensland’s Department of Agriculture & Fisheries (DAF) officially recognises donkeys as a ‘guardian’, stating that ‘under certain conditions, guardian donkeys can be a suitable option to guard sheep and cattle. Donkeys are aggressive towards predators and may provide indirect protection for domestic animals.’

Could these French farmers, who’ve been swearing for donkey’s years about a breed of donkey’s ability to protect sheep, and kick ass, teach Australians something about panic-buying goods for no real justifiable reason, other than an asinine, “everybody else is doing it, [so] I’m doing it too?

The answer is a voluminous “yes!”

Instead of panic-buying toilet paper, Aussies exhibiting naïve, sheep-like tendencies would do better protecting their backsides, and those of their neighbour, by adopting some of the characteristics of these asses being used in France to protect sheep. Simply by challenging what they’re sold by wolves on both mainstream and social media, who appear to be capitalising on people’s fears over the Coronavirus.

One doesn’t have to be rocket scientist to know that marketeers adapt quickly. They know how easy it is to manipulate a crisis and make money from it. Easily duping people into willingly handing over their wallets, without asking about what they’re jumping into, why and who for.

What’s concerning is that this panic-buying has revealed there are voter aged citizens out there, who are gullible, and therefore politically pliable. They are making decisions based on everything they see on T.V. or read on social media, without giving much thought to the what, the why, the how and the who. These reactions are either an indictment on Australia’s education system, a warning to discerning citizens, or both.

Look at how easy it was for media personalities to incite a poorly informed mob into raising pitch-folks and torches in a uniformed march against “no” voters during the SSM survey, Donald Trump, Israel Folau, Brett Kavanaugh, Coopers Beer, Margaret Court, and Scott Morrison.

If “influencers” and media manipulators can control what you think, they can control what you believe, what you can say, and in turn, control how you behave. Thus turning the free citizen, who has rights and responsibilities, into a slave with none.

Beware the auctioneers. Don’t be a dumb-ass. Look before you leap, and graciously encourage your neighbour to do the same.


First published on Caldron Pool, 5th March, 2020.

Photo by Claire Mueller on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.” – The Rolling Stones

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Ben Shapiro cops it from the Leftist outrage brigade, simply for speaking sense into a subject, which involves a very small minority wanting the power to determine what you think and how you speak. This was four years ago, but take note of the hate and hostility coming from those claiming Ben is being hateful.

Unfortunately, not much has changed. We’re still being told that “P” can equal “q”, and anyone who opposes this is faced with the threat of violence. Justified under the auspices of Marxism – critical theory, its perpetual revolution and the idea of Utopian reconstruction.

This is despite the fact that in the English speaking world, the letter “p” can never be the letter ”q”. A true ”q” can never be a true “p”. Displacing ”q” from its true value, will always be a false claim. In Shaprio’s terms: “fictionalised thinking”. This is because the identity and value of “q” is found in it’s relation to the truth value of “p”.

Anything outside this means we are no longer talking about ”p” or ”q”, but a distortion of relationship; a falsification that impacts, not just the value of ”q”, but also ”p”.

To confuse “p” with “q” is to undermine the meaning of both. Creating a false value; a construct that in the end, tyrannically imposes falsehood over the correct functions of both ‘p” and ”q”. This reassignment of value, doesn’t just surrender truth to an untruth, it creates confusion in communication by way of relational dysfunction and normalises the emotional disfiguration of it’s victims.

Biology is not a social construct. Demanding that the world eradicate and blur distinctions, in the name of so-called equality, diminishes the value of the biological union between a man and woman, and the commitment that marriage seals. This is an attempt at reconstruction, involving the creation of a social construct built up and imposed on society, by the very people who claim to fight against one.

What we appear to have here is a bunch of Leftists trying to dishonestly put a Jew on the same level as a Nazi. The message couldn’t be any clearer: line up, fall in, and salute, or else


© Rod Lampard, 2020.

Astute assessments about the West’s dangerous over-dependency on China have been present in news feeds for weeks. As many financial sections of mainstream media will attest to, concerns over products and services, have alerted people, and corporations to an addiction that few, outside China’s industrial matrix, could see before the tragedy of Wuhan.

Setting aside any questionable theories about the ruling Communist regime, and their possible entrapment, the dependency is alarming. Many Western companies have either willingly, or through unbalanced quid-pro-quo deals, positioned themselves so heavily in China, that if China falls, so will they. Many appear to have fallen victim to the folly of placing every egg in one industrial basket. With the Wuhan tragedy and the outbreak of the Coronavirus, gold-fever in China has come to a spine jarring halt, replaced with a fever of a more deadly kind.

Western companies aren’t the only ones waking up to what looks a lot like a co-dependent relationship, with the Chinese political elite holding the balance of power. Australian Unis are losing money because of a high dependency on Chinese student enrolments. So they’re side-stepping Scott Morrison’s travel ban by using a loop-hole, providing grants of up to $7,500 for Chinese students to use a third-party country to enter Australia. However, according to a report in The Australian, some of those students are ignoring quarantine guidelines & are cashing in on an exotic holiday instead.

While it’s not up to us to tell someone how to spend money they’ve been gifted, it is up to us to question how Australian Universities can justify inviting potential economic disaster, in the hopes of avoiding what they see as a potential economic disaster.

As with many co-dependent relationships, when the person with the power breaks away, threatens to, or is removed, anxiety, irrational behavior, insecurity, sometimes violence and panic manifest itself in the person who had little to no power in that relationship.

Australian universities side-stepping Morrison’s travel ban, looks more like irrational self-sabotage or self-harm; raising questions about whether this behavior confirms that a toxic co-dependency between China and the academy in Australia exists. Has the impact of the travel ban, or to be more precise, the Coronavirus, thrown Australian Universities so far off, that they’re now operating like the powerless person in a co-dependent relationship?

If not, then the only possible explanation for such recklessness is greed, and desperation because of an addiction to China that threatens the lifeblood of these institutions, perhaps even more than the virus itself. Side-stepping the travel ban is a band-aid, quick-fix, which risks creating a greater financial disaster should that virus shutdown the academy and the cities those institutions are located in.

In sum,

1. It could be said, that Australian universities side-stepping travel ban are potentially paying to import the coronavirus.

2. Australian universities who give Chinese Uni Students, up to $7,500 in grants, in order to side step the travel ban, are being mocked by students, who are using those funds for an exotic holiday, ignoring quarantine guidelines.

3. Those Universities could wind up financially worse off, if the Coronavirus Spreads around campuses, creating a financial disaster in an attempt to avoid a financial disaster.

4. Australian Unis who are far too dependent on Chinese student enrollments. Thus raising questions about the relationship between China – as hinted at by ASIO last week – and the Academy in Australia.

Far be it for me to condemn the chancellors running our higher institutions of learning. After all, they have my respect. I’ve graced their ancient hallways, and benefited from their tertiary wisdom. I love the academy, but find myself drawing closer and closer towards Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s conclusion, as the institution was being overrun by totalitarianism, ‘I can no longer believe in the University. In fact I never really believed in it.’[i]

It’s true that Universities are businesses, and they need to be free to balance services, and product with profit. However, for our places of higher learning to recklessly undermine a travel ban, and the protections it offers to their institutions and customers (including those Chinese students who were already here) is negligence. They are abdicating responsibility for the health and welfare of current students in order to feed a financial addiction that is in need of an intervention, not a band-aid that props up their bottom line.

Regardless of whether the motivator is greed, pride, wokeness or desperation, such recklessness from the academy poses a greater threat to the academy than the travel ban does.

Don’t let the claims that this side-stepping is a fight against racism, and xenophobia. Even if it was, it’d still look like they’re trying to keep their stats high on China’s oppressive C.C.P social credit score, than fighting the imagined oppression of Morrison’s responsible travel ban. Make no mistake, universities who are side-stepping the Coronavirus ban aren’t putting people before profit, they’re putting profit before people.


References (not otherwise linked):

[i] Bonhoeffer, D. London, 1933-1935, DBWE 13, p.217

First published on Caldron Pool, 4th March, 2020

Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

©Rod lampard, 2020

McArthur’s words sum up the boundary at the core of my Christian life – John 14:6; asking God to show me what He sees, so as to guide, guard and direct my path.

Scary prayer to pray. It means allowing grace to ignite and illuminate darkness. To see myself as the sinner I am, in the light of His Gospel and Law. To see where others too have sinned and fallen short of His glory.

As such it’s been the uncomfortable centre of my approach to the cycle of abuse, lies, welfare addicted, abusive, & highly dysfunctional home I grew up in – It’s essential to the Christian life, and not an easy boundary to live out. You’ll lose friends, family, maybe even a church or social club, and they’ll hate, manipulate and undermine you in ways you never thought were possible, wearing the veneer of victim-hood, maturity and innocence.

Then there’ll be the sycophants, who, to avoid conflict, or to maintain a position of acceptance with those people, enable that hate, accusing you of betrayal, being unchristian, discounting your own trauma, who don’t care to know the truth, will ostracise you to the outer circle, and talk behind your back. All for living out this boundary. But it’s worth living out, not for the sake of truth, but for the love of the vulnerable victims who fell prey to those people, and the hope that Christ, through letting His truth work through us, redeems and sets free, via this boundary, as it redefines those relationships, and liberates us from tyranny and the tyrannical.

I inherited nothing but ashes and brokenness. Yet, by Christ, in Christ, through Christ and with Christ, I am told by the Creator of the Universe that I don’t have to live there, stay there or wallow in that mess. The same goes for you. In Jesus Christ, we are embraced by grace – to quote Karl Barth: God the Creator reaches for His creature  – we should, and ought, therefore, to reach for the One, who reaches out to us through His Word, in Spirit and in Truth.

Indeed, ‘unity is never to be sought at the expense of truth.’ We must question the “new normal” and resist its culture of silence, by following the Holy Spirit’s lead, not falling into step with the spirit of the age.


© Rod Lampard, 2020.

If I’m reading a book, I’m usually stopping to look at the books the authors have read. The bibliography, (or more to my own liking) references in the footnotes, are a powerful add-on provided by the author. This isn’t just to add weight to their argument from an authority other than themselves, but also to help take the reader deeper. I’ve chased a number of these references down over the years, and on occasion found myself buying the book referenced. From it I learn more by reading the reference highlighted in the initial text, because reading the text alongside and through its references, expands interaction with the subject.

I’m often keen to go further, understand better, and walk the road the author has taken, by engaging with material that relates directly to the era, or the subject in question. The most recent example for me is the 1048 page biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, written by his student, and nephew-in-law, Eberhard Bethge. I followed up three books mentioned by Bethge, and have one more bookmarked for another day.

There’s risk and reward in doing this. One of the traps to avoid in research are tangents. Following a rabbit down a hole is an easy snare to fall into. What looks relevant may be a wide, time consuming distraction. That’s going to mean time lost reading material that was already covered by the original text. This is a lot like Twitter, when someone throws a red herring into a comment thread unrelated to the original tweet. If the red herring isn’t recognised, the whole thread devolves into an endless – usually abusive – and time consuming round of back and forth, up and down.

It’s true that sometimes chasing the rabbit down the hole is a “necessary evil”. As is said, ‘you need to dig in order to find the gold.’ In this case it’s important to be mindful of the overall purpose of the research, taking note of anything along the way that relates directly to the subject matter discussed by the original text. If I stumble on something that I find interesting that isn’t related, I’ll note it as a resource. Then return to the source to study it a bit further, once I’m free of current subject.

An efficient way to follow-up without falling into the costly rabbit hole is to check a Kindle sample via Amazon, Google books or the better option, Archive.org. While Archive.org has a limited range of books it’s the best place to start, followed by Amazon – as long as it has the Kindle preview option, & Google books, as long as it has the search text option. Searching a keyword, page number, contents or bibliography keeps things simple. Books can be expensive and libraries don’t stock everything, this is why I consider these three options to be the best place to start.

Reading a text alongside its references provides better context. This in turn creates a higher degree of transparency and confidence. I can see where the author was going, and improve my understanding of what they meant. Taking the greater context into consideration permits a practical level of confidence in paraphrasing quotes from the original text. The paraphrase is more likely to maintain the integrity of the author’s original meaning because context has been thoroughly considered.

Reading the text alongside and through its references expands interaction with the subject. I’m big on this process. It can be costly, though. If you’re not using or are unable to access places like Archive.org, Amazon Kindle or Google Books. The benefits of doing this mean a greater understanding of the author’s subject matter, and consequently, the ability to simplify a large body of information.

I think this does justice to the painstaking effort the author has put into indexing, citing, and referencing their work. In a sense the process is about ensuring intellectual integrity, utilising a rigorous scientific method to analyse and respond to the subject or premises discussed by the original text. It also upholds the integrity of the author’s intentions, or perceived intentions, perhaps helping them achieve what they hoped their work would achieve. This is why referencing is important.

With Bethge, it’s been a journey that took me three summers to complete. Reading secondary material referenced by Bethge means being able to not only stand on his shoulders in order to see what he saw, but to better hear what he heard. Instead of being a spectator, we become participants.


©Rod Lampard, 2020 

It’s not difficult to locate video footage, or testimonials from victims who’ve come face to face with mobs in masks, wielding weapons, intimidating, threatening and harassing people in the name of their ideology. They’re a global movement, have their own flag, wear a uniform, carefully manage their image via mass media, are well organized, sizably funded, and having been openly supported, on occasion, by politician and celebrity alike, have political clout.

Their tendency towards violence is well established. As is their willingness to incite violence, or the threat of violence to silence an opponent; this is often against a person deemed by their leaders, as being unworthy of having an opinion – usually because their target’s viewpoint doesn’t support the goals of their leaders, and the ideological hegemony this masked-mob is not only trying defend, but to further establish.

If you thought that this described some ridiculous fringe-dwelling “Right-wing extremist” groups looking for validation, you’d be wrong. This is Antifa. Antifa is a mainstream Left-wing (paramilitary) unit, who tag themselves as anti-fascists. Unlike their eco-“anti-fascist” cousins, Extinction Rebellion, Antifa are better organized, and funded, often recruiting online or via University campuses.

Antifa is joined by an academic collective who pride themselves on being outspoken Nazi haters. Yet, by the way in which this “anti-fascist” organization appears to be structured – the way in which they choose to deal with people, rather than exchange ideas in civil conversation – it’s becoming more and  more obvious that their DNA  matches the DNA of those they claim to be fighting against.

Appearing to consider themselves endowed with special knowledge, or powers, it’s not hard to categorize Antifa as a dangerous esoteric group. Antifa parades itself as though its soldiers have been given a special revelation from God – a special insight – that enables them to spot a Nazi, or “right-wing extremist”, where the rest of us “plebs” are unable to do so. This presumptuous self-importance powers Antifa’s contempt for the majority of Westerners. You are a suspected Nazi, or “right-wing extremist” unless you prove you’re not, or up until Antifa chooses to clear you of all suspicion.

Left-wing groups need “right-wing extremism” and Nazism, in order to stay politically relevant. Therefore these organizations need to manufacture both in order stay solvent. For example: if there are not enough Nazis to go around, hype, funds and support fall away. Consequently, they have to manufacture some, or more profitably, expand the criteria, whereby Left-wing groups can push something like the “white supremacist crisis” narrative, and then conveniently present themselves as political messiahs, selling themselves as the only ones with the special knowledge and special power to fight this new enemy. Antifa needs fascists to stay relevant. Since “right-wing extremists” are fringe groups, and there are not enough of them to fight, the quiet quest is now on to expand the criteria for what, and who can be labeled a “right-wing extremist”.

Follow the logic, and this potentially means that anyone who supports the national anthem, national flag, biological union of man and woman, binary gender, or traditional marriage, are squeezed into the “right-wing extremist” category. Under this expanded criteria “right-wing extremist” would potentially even include Grannies who serve tea at the local CWA hall on a Tuesday, who’d find themselves face to face with Antifa  bullies, dispatched (via social media) to put-down these new “right wing extremists”, deemed so by Antifa’s Left-wing overlords and apparatchik sycophants.

By default Antifa and Left-wing groups can then try to put their own organization on par with the significance of those who stormed onto Juno, Utah, Omaha, Gold, and Sword, into what Eisenhower called a ‘Crusade’ against the National Socialist abyss that was consuming Europe during the 1940s.

Left-wing groups like Antifa don’t seem to care that the West is already deeply aware of the evil and dangers of Nazism. This is because our social awareness, knowledge of history, and its inherent anti-Nazism, is an inconvenience to their political narrative. It hinders their ability to justify their claims and existence as an organization.

Through our annual remembrance of those who went head to toe with real Nazis and defeated them; by the blood and sacrifice of our forebears; every time we commemorate events like VE day, or Anzac Day, we remind these Left-wing groups of our inherent anti-Nazism.

This isn’t just something we give lip service to; it’s written into the DNA of our consciousness – the evil and danger of Nazism is written in blood on many a family tree, but this great cost is cheapened by Left-wing groups like Antifa, who call, or suspect anyone and everyone, who isn’t a card carrying member of the Left, a Nazi. They insult the memory of our forebears when they ignore the fact that anti-Nazism is carved into the imagination and social consciousness of Westerners.

National Socialism (Nazism) isn’t the only demon out there. The social consciousness of the West is yet to include the dangers and evils present within other man-made systems of salvation and condemnation, such as Islamism and Communism. These groups remain successful in hiding from Westerners the same satanic darkness, and devouring Nothingness, that embodies them.

The ability of Left-wing groups, such as Communists to control how we view the world, through the largely inadequate, left/right metaphor, has given them the ability to distance Communism from the same criticisms applied to Nazism. As long as the concerns and imagination of the world is captivated by fear of “right-wing extremism”, and a necessary focus on the evil that is Nazism, Communists can deflect attention away from their own sins; their own atrocities.

This carefully manufactured gap in Western education and its social consciousness has created a myth of the socialist as savior. By keeping Nazis in the rubric Far-Right, or right-wing extremism, Communists have been able to paint themselves into the social consciousness of the West as a hero fighting the great Satan on the opposite side of the political metaphor. Thus, Communists have been able to shift public opinion in its favor. Anything on the Right is easily stigmatized as Nazism. Whether it is so or not doesn’t matter, as long as the image of benevolence is maintained in order to conceal the true nature of the beast. The sins of socialism are not only quickly forgiven; they’re just as quickly forgotten.

Communists can then say that only Communists can spot a real Nazi. Subsequently, only a Communist can be trusted to fight Nazis because only Communists are true anti-fascists. The Berlin Wall is one such example of Communists hijacking the term anti-fascist, in order to advance their own ideology. It was constructed by Communists and called an Anti-fascist Protection Rampart. Such is the malevolence that hides behind the veneer of what the radical Left sells as “Anti-fascism”.

Everyone who questions this falls under the suspicion of being a Nazi or a “right-wing extremist”, simply because it questioned our self-appointed political messiahs. This is why Antifa can damage property, harm people and shut down businesses, all without any real accountability. Then parade as an angel of light and garnish support, simply by appearing so.

To question anti-fascism is to be exposed as, or bring oneself under the suspicion of being a Nazi or “right-wing extremist.” There can be no questioning of this new lord-of-lords. Not without punishment, or being made to grovel in a public display of penance for doubting the benevolence of the socialist system of salvation.

Though socialism is the common ancestor of Communism and Nazism, Communism has side-stepped the same global ramifications for its criminal actions that have rightly been imposed on the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazis). Take for instance, the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (1939), at which very few, if any raised an eyebrow at. This Soviet pact with the Nazis allowed the Soviets to invade Finland for its resources, and justified their invasion of Poland on one side, with the Nazis invading on the other.

Other examples of immunity for the crimes committed under Communism include the hushing up of the little known and rarely taught, Holodomor (1932-1933), Gulags, brutal suppression of the Hungarian Revolution (1956), Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968), Katyn massacre, invasion & occupation of Afghanistan (1979-1989). These aren’t anomalies.

So wrote Eric Voeglin,

‘modern ideological mass movements and the dominant “philosophical” schools are in some sense continuations of the various anti-Christian, Gnostic sects, which were discredited as heretical in antiquity—there is both an historical continuity and an experiential equivalence between the ancient movements and such modern phenomena as positivism, Marxism, Freudianism, existentialism, progressivism, utopianism, revolutionary activism, fascism, communism, national socialism, and the rest of the “isms.” [i]

More pointedly stated by Roger Scruton, ‘Marxism shares the category of totality not only with traditional religion, but also with its own arch-enemy and blood brother, fascism.’[ii]

Suffice to say, Nazism and Communism are two wings on the same vicious bird.

Leftism is a crime against humanity.

As Jacques Ellul stated, ‘situating everything in Marxism is intellectual terrorism.’ [iii]


References:

[i] Voeglin, E. 1968. Science, Politics & Gnosticism: Two Essays, Regnery Publishing

[ii] Scruton, R. 2015. Fools, Frauds & Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left, Bloomsbury

[iii] Ellul, J. 1988. Jesus & Marx, (pp.22-26)’

* Augusto Zimmerman’s 2018 article ‘Adolf Hitler’s Debt to Karl Marx‘ on Quadrant discusses in a lot more detail the subject I’ve raised about the largely false dichotomy between Communism & Nazism; and how it shows that the Left/Right metaphor is problematic.

First published on Caldron Pool, 1st March, 2020. Also featured on The Spectator Australia, 2nd March, 2020

Pic. New York Times

©Rod Lampard, 2020

 

 

 

[Communism & Nazism] are both manifestations of the devil disguising himself as a political messiah, both drive out the demon of unemployment with the demon of war, & call it “just”

– (George Bell, Christianity & World Power, 1940. paraphrased)

Australia’s ASIO security chief, Mike Burgess presented the Director-General’s Annual Threat Assessment on Monday. The assessment laid out ASIO’s ‘principle concerns’ about national security, and the issues it views as threats to Australians both internally and externally.

Burgess didn’t mess around, stating from the start that he wanted ‘to move beyond the bureaucratic language of annual reports and help everyone understand the significant threats we see directed at Australia and Australians.’

The director spoke pointedly about the increasing challenges technology posed to the organizations ability to do what it does successfully. Adding that ASIO seeks to find a balance between the ‘need for new powers and privacy’, and how new laws have allowed ASIO to effectively keep up with these challenges, giving ASIO a sharper edge and ability to respond to these challenges with ‘energy and purpose.’

Burgess reminded Australians that ASIO’s ‘number one mission is to protect Australians from threats to their lives’, saying that the ‘terrorist threat remains PROBABLE [sic.]; and that it will remain unacceptably high for the foreseeable future.’ The ASIO Director made it clear terrorist elements are still ‘plotting to harm Australians; some occurring in small cells.’

Burgess noted that equally concerning is ‘the ease with which terrorists continue to use the internet to spread hateful messages, radicalize people to their cause and provide how-to-advice on committing atrocities against Australians.’ He followed this up by stating that he finds the ‘streams of hate spread across the internet by extremists of every ideology’ particularly troubling, where ‘extremists are trying to recruit children as young as 13 or 14.’ He then added that ‘violent Islamic extremism, e.g.: the type embodied by Islamic State and al’Qaida’  et.al. ‘remain ASIOs principle concern.’

Burgess’ assessment wasn’t sugar-coated, he pointed out that ‘there are now more Islamic extremists from more countries active in more places than ever before.’ He then spoke on what he called ‘other operators entering the ‘terrorism arena’, stating that the Christchurch shooting ‘had brought right-wing extremism into sharp focus.’ He labeled this ‘extreme right-wing threat real’, saying that it was on the rise in suburbs where small cells meet to salute Nazi flags inspect weapons, train in combat and share hateful ideology.’

While acknowledging the ‘low capability’ of any extreme right-wing terrorist attack, Burgess didn’t rule out the possibility of more ‘sophisticated attacks.’ Building on this he discussed the issue of ‘state-sponsored terrorism’, espionage, foreign interference, and the threat posed by extremists who are being released from prison. According to Burgess, ‘foreign espionage and interference activities are higher now, than it was at the height of the cold war.’

In his address, the ASIO director mentioned that the organization has ‘uncovered cases where foreign spies have travelled to Australia with the intention of setting up sophisticated hacking infrastructure targeting computers containing sensitive and classified information.’ Burgess also stated that ‘we’ve seen visiting scientists and academics ingratiating themselves into university life with the aim of conducting clandestine intelligence collection’ – adding that ‘this strikes at the very heart of our notions of free and fair academic exchange.’

Media responses to the threat assessment have been varied.

The Australian highlighted chief points made by the ASIO security director. Its headline read: ‘Spy Boss Comes out of the Shadows.’ The article summed up ‘Mr. Burgess’ threat stock-take, and acknowledged how the ASIO director didn’t flinch in calling out Islamic extremism, as being the No.1 concern; that the threat of espionage was far and away the most serious issue going forward.’ The article drew from The Australian’s Greg Sheridan who ‘argued on Tuesday that ASIO’s assessment showed “those folks who say that Chinese government is being demonized in Australian security discussions are simply refusing to face reality.’

The ABC went an entirely different route. Taking the opportunity to deflect the heat away from Muslims and the Chinese, The ABC  appeared to launch an opportunistic and subtle attack on anything and everything right-wing, the 1 billion dollar tax-payer funded organization choosing to run with the headline: ‘Neo-Nazis among Australia’s most challenging security threats, ASIO Boss Mike Burgess warns.

While The ABC was generous enough to note Burgess’ comments about ASIO’s ‘principle concerns’, adding a brief mention of Islamic Terrorism, and tacking a note on at the end, acknowledging China as the ‘main culprit’, the tax-payer funded behemoth chose instead to focus its attention on the small fish. This is despite the ASIO Director having very clearly stated that ASIO’s ‘principle concerns’ are related to Islamic Terrorism, and foreign interference, not just externally, but within Australia, particularly Australian Universities.

Greens senator, Mehreen Faruqi appeared to do the same. Faruqi selectively responded on Twitter to comments from Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, who answered a reporter’s question about neo-Nazism, saying,

“If somebody is going to cause harm to Australians, I just don’t care whether they’re on the far right, far left, somewhere in between, they will be dealt with…and if the proliferation of information into the hands of rightwing lunatics or leftwing lunatics is leading to a threat in our country, then my responsibility is to make sure our agencies are dealing with it and they are.”

The Greens senator seemed to deliberately misconstrue Dutton’s comments, in what could rightly be viewed as an attempt to tar and feather the Minister as a right-wing extremist.

By 9:28 pm on the same day the Greens Senator had deleted her comments, and posted this apology:

Burgess’ delivery of the Director-General’s Annual Threat Assessment was straight to the point. The Home Affairs Ministers, and ASIO security chief didn’t play with semantics, seek to placate dishonest critics, or use the assessment as a political football. They called a spade a spade. It was impossible to misunderstand him, or Peter Dutton. In not passing on that information to the Australian public correctly, and in its proper context, The ABC and Greens Senator Faruqi have placed their own self-righteous, ideological, political posturing over against the safety of the Australian public they are funded by tax-payers to serve.


References:

FULL transcript of Mike Burgess’ Annual National Security Assessment.

First published on Caldron Pool, 27th February, 2020.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash  cropped and edited by me.

© Rod Lampard, 2020.

George Soros sent in a brief letter to the Financial Times, calling for the removal of Facebook’s CEO and COO, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. Soros claims that Zuckerberg, who hasn’t followed Twitter in banning all political advertising, is helping Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign in a ‘kind of mutual assistance arrangement with D.T.’ Soros goes on to demand Facebook take action stating, ‘Mark Zuckerberg should be removed from control of Facebook.’

The F.T. posted a copy and paste transcript of Soros’ proposition yesterday. Notably absent from the article was the lack of an introduction, and commentary from FT staff. The transcript was also published without any screenshot, or scanned image of the actual letter, which is strange for publishers who desire to maintain a rigorous level of journalism. Not validating the source of the original letter, casts doubt on its authenticity. However, if urban legend about the power of George Soros is to be believed, it’s possible this is how he intended it, and is exactly how he wanted the letter to be presented.

This isn’t the first time Soros has gone public with his desire to see the current leadership of Facebook face the business world equivalent of a firing squad.

He penned an article for the New York Times, published on the 31st January, arguing that Zuckerberg is engaged in a quid pro quo deal with Trump. As Soros sees it: the deal involves Trump protecting Facebook from government control, and in return Zuckerberg helps get Trump re-elected in 2020.

As evidence (and it’s flimsy), Soros went back to 2016, saying that ‘Facebook provided the Trump campaign with embedded staff who helped to optimize its advertising program. (Doing what Hilary Clinton’s election team declined to do).’ According to Soros, ‘Facebook gave Trump an edge, marking the beginning of a special relationship.’ He then stated that a recent meeting between Trump and Zuckerberg, ‘raised serious questions’.

The billionaire also accused Zuckerberg of only wanting to make a profit. Claiming that under Zuckerberg’s leadership Facebook was only about ‘making money’, not caring about ‘inflammatory and false content, and failing to adequately punish those who spread false information – nor does the company warn those who are exposed to lies.’

Note that Soros never mentions Facebook’s existing fact checking mechanisms when he claims Facebook isn’t doing them. Neither does Soros provide adequate examples or definitions of the terms he’s using. Perhaps what Soros means is that Facebook isn’t fact checking and blocking content that challenges his ideology, or content that he might arbitrarily consider to be false, hateful, phobic, bigoted etc.

The whole thing reeks of desperation. It’s an anti-Trump political manoeuvre. It has little to do with Facebook, and more to do with Soros’ unresolved issues over Hilary Clinton losing what was considered to be an unlosable election. If anything raises serious questions, it’s his inquisition of Trump and Zuckerberg. When a billionaire such as Soros cries victim wisdom should prompt us to ask why. There’s no doubt Soros lost money, and a special level of power because of Clinton’s election loss.

Trump isn’t protecting Facebook, Zuckerberg is. The CEO is doing what he’s paid to do. He is acting in the best interests of his customers, and company, not power-hungry would-be overlords, who think the world owes total allegiance to them, and their ideology.

Soros’ bizarre fiat shows that Zuckerberg is on the right track. This is probably why Soros wants his head. Zuckerberg is no longer buying what Soros is selling. Take for instance, Zuckerberg’s recent defence of free speech and the reforms he’s attempted to implement. They protect Facebook from the Left’s creeping arbitrary control of free speech, by labelling all opposing viewpoints as “hate speech”. Add to this the Left’s creeping arbitrary control over who is good and who is evil.

Zuckerberg appears to be diverging from the pre-approved narrative of leftism, and their zero-sum practice of achieving political goals, which only serve the interests of those who advocate political correctness, abortion, euthanasia, open borders, the imposition of new cultural laws via the LGBT religion, policing speech, thought and undermining the Biblical Christian foundation of Western Civilisation et.al.

As a result of Zuckerberg’s pro-free speech reform, Soros has called for a mutiny at Facebook. Instead of entering into a dialogue with Zuckerberg, Soros has gone behind his back in an attempt to remove him by proxy. One should ask, how this is not another coup attempt, in line with the now proven, Russian Collision hoax, and lies surrounding the attempt to impeach Trump. Soros, it would appear, is on the war path, and is seeking to take command of what he deems to be his enemy’s central communications hub.

Soros’ arrogance in presuming to control what happens at Facebook, must be blinding him to how much his reasoning and persistent demands here, confirm what many have suspected. That a) He’s too close to the Clinton’s b) He has far too much power and reach c) He funds Leftist divisive politics. Soros deliberately trying to undermine the CEO of an independent company, potentially putting that company and its employees at risk, would be enough evidence to support this.

Ironically, regardless of whether Facebook removes its CEO and COO under Soros-fiat, what he has achieved here is the opposite of what he intended. Soros has negated his questionable accusations against Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg by exposing himself as the real villain; a divisive manipulator, stamping up and down in frustration because he and others like him didn’t get their own way in October 2016. An event that, despite the lies, false accusations and hostile, undemocratic interference, coming from Soros’ own side of politics, looks set to, thankfully, repeat itself again in October, 2020.


References:

See hyperlinks embedded within the article.

First published on Caldron Pool, 19th February, 2020.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020.

The closing remark from The Australian’s Janet Albrechtsen, in writing on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s (ASIC) quest for more judicial power through ‘new fairness laws’, made a pointed case about the danger of being ruled by fiat and whim of the bureaucratic caste.

Citing NSW Chief Justice Tom Bathurst, Albrechtsen argued that vague edicts – based on ‘ill-defined and poorly understood laws that we imagine reflect “the moral conscience of society” – mean ‘we will be ruled by lawyers not the rule of law.’ In other words, the danger before us is a society enslaved to an interpreter’s ability to interpret vague or ambiguous laws; meaning in a nutshell that subjective moralism, not objective morality, as handed down to English common law through Biblical Christianity, rules the day.

Albrechtsen labelled ASIC’s push for ‘new [fairness] laws’ a case of ‘bureaucrats expanding their unelected empires.’ Adding to this, Albrechtsen stated, Bathurst ‘warned that lawyers who favoured these kinds of laws could lose sight of whether the laws actually worked.’ This is because fairness isn’t easily defined and ‘people need clear, precise laws so they can identify, in advance, whether a particular act or arrangement will be [in] breach of [those] laws.’

In sum, Albrechtsen called for these new “fairness” laws to be rejected. For the reason, that implementing laws based on subjective whims, and uncertain notions about the current moral consciousness of society, leads to government overreach, and oppression or the ability to oppress. This is achieved through reckless, reactionary and unclear laws. The kinds of laws, that Albrechtsen accurately states, only serves the unelected bureaucratic caste and their socio-political interests. Simply put: ‘laws based on an ambiguous idea of fairness is bad for democracy.’ Ergo, these should be rejected.

To understand how Albrechtsen’s closing remark applies to this broader context, it pays to look at how her broadside against ASIC’s apparent quest for more power, hits on an issue that not only applies to ASIC’s request for “new fairness laws”, but to the broader context of hostile activism, and the quest to appear virtuous under the banner of social justice warrior.

We the people, as a society of free men and women, bearing the duties and responsibilities that such freedom requires, will indeed rue the day where we, out of ignorance and complacency, find ourselves under the thumb of a bloated, virtue signalling bureaucracy, issuing gaol terms or death sentences for perceived crimes committed under ambiguous terms such as “love is love”, “hate speech”, “white-privilege” and “micro-aggressions”.

To lean on Jean Bethke Elshtain and her paraphrasing of Vaclav Havel [i], “when human beings play God, the wreckage grows. In this mode, the human being finds himself in the “rut of totalitarian thought, where he is not his own and where he surrenders his own reason and conscience for the sake of another uninhabitable fiction! As long as that goal is served, it is not important whether we call that fiction ‘human well-being’, ‘socialism’ or ‘peace’. He or she lives within a lie as the self is given over to the “social auto-totality” [i.e.: he or she becomes both victim of the system and its instrument]; identity is surrendered and responsibility falters. A totalitarian society counts on this, requires it.”

To expand upon Albrechtsen’s closing remarks, woe to us if we’re ever governed by this subjective man-made system of salvation and condemnation, where we are governed by the fiats and whims of lawyers, and hostile leftist activism, instead of the rule of law.


References:

[i] Vaclav Havel was a survivor. He participated in the resistance movement during the Soviet led, Warsaw Pact, and invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. He was an anti-communist dissident and former president.

Albrechtsen, J. 2020, ‘Fairness’ The New Frontier For a Failing Regulator, The Australian, Wednesday 12th February.

Elshtain, J.B. 1995, Democracy On Trial, Basic Books

Havel, V. 1987, Living In Truth, Faber and Faber

First published on Caldron Pool, 15th February 2020.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

The Australian Associated Press reported yesterday that Western Australia’s Labor government is proposing no-go, exclusion zones, around abortion “clinics.” This would be on top of existing conditions and limitations which require public gatherings of groups to acquire a physical permit from Police, who vet the application and approve it under the ‘Public Order in Streets Act 1984.’

Permits and protections under this act include up to $2000 fines for any deliberate breach of conditions which apply to the permit. Such as: ‘a) serious public disorder, or damage to public or private property; b) creating  a public nuisance c) obstructing traffic or streets d) placing the safety of any person in jeopardy.’ [i]

According to Western Australian Police, existing conditions and limitations apply to ‘individuals, community groups, religious groups, trade unions, RSL sub-branches ect for the purpose of public meetings where three or more persons communicate, express or procure a view where members of the public has [sic.] access or are invited.’

Labor’s proposed legislation will place further limits on law-abiding pro-life organizations. This would be a further erosion of civil liberties, punishing those who already strictly adhere to current parameters of the law; and negatively impacting the care for unborn children, and their pregnant mothers these ministries serve.

With this adherence to the current conditions and limitations under the 1984 act, the proposal makes no sense. In a leaflet produced by FamilyVoice Australia, Steve Klomp, President of Right to Life Association of W.A. stated that ‘since the pro-life vigil came to W.A. fifteen years ago there have been no arrests, let alone convictions of wrong doing, of any attendee.’

As reported by the AAP and carried, verbatim, by most of mainstream Australian media, Labor’s Western Australian Health Minister, Roger Cook stated,

“we will be moving as steadily as possible to legislate this important law, to make sure we protect the privacy and the dignity of people who are coming to abortion clinics and the staff.”

I imagine German villagers upon seeing furnace chimney’s, with black smoke drifting up into the sky, used a similar dismissal in defense of their own willful ignorance and allegiance to the prevailing ideology of the day.

In defending the alleged need for, what amounts to more government oversight, Cook argued that “Abortion is a legal process, it’s a very private process and it’s one that people should be able to undertake without the fear of being harassed.”

However, according to FamilyVoice, the health minister, and the W.A Labor government ‘never provided verifiable examples’ of where harassment has occurred, or where “protesters have been hurling around abuse” near abortion clinics.

This all appears to be a straw man argument concocted by the Labor government, in order to manipulate an outcome in their favor. To put it bluntly: it looks a whole lot like more of the same-old leftist, Trojan horse, packed with its reactionary, witches brew legislation, and its usual ignorant anti-Christian virtue signaling veneer.

For example, FamilyVoice noted that the ‘discussion paper only cites two abortion clinic directors, who allege “anxiety” and “distress” and it proposes extending exclusion zones to hospitals.’ In addition, FamilyVoice’s W.A State Director, Daryl Budge, pointed out that the government has declined to release any of the submissions to the public inquiry, stating “the government wants to deliberately silence the arguments against this censorship zone.”

He rightly called the bill a ‘proposal to restrict free speech’; and was correct in arguing that the proposed legislation was ‘unnecessary, because police already have the power to regulate public gatherings in the public interest and they can intervene if unlawful harassment occurs.’

The proposed legislation is government overreach. Designed to protect an ideology and the feelings of the servants it has enslaved, which means that they’ll steamroll anyone who opposes them, and do so with the full force of government, against whomever, wherever and whenever they can.

Protecting women under the guise of “abortion is healthcare” hides bloody slaughter of its victims. All of whom are silenced by legislation like this. If the average Australian thinks that these creeping, blood-lust, laws which empower the state to justify killing, will not, one day, affect them, then there has never been a more urgent need to revisit the history of mid-20th Century Germany, and Russia, from 1917 up until the Gorbachev reforms, and the collapse of the Soviet Empire in 1989.

Believing that the violent disruption of a woman’s pregnancy and the brutal end to a child’s life inside the womb is a “medical procedure” or “healthcare” is entertaining the abuse of language. By doing so participants are borrowing from the same playbook as Nazi propagandists, who called the group in charge of the actual killing in the gas chambers: the General Welfare Foundation for Institutional Care.

As Right to Life’s Klomp said via FamilyVoice: “you are free [from] such legislation if you pray to end farming, or if you protect trees or puppies, sharks or chickens, but not if you want to defend a child.”

The proposed exclusion zone bill is a farce. It should be rejected.

(For more information contact FamilyVoice Australia, or Right to Life WA).


References:

[i] Public order in Streets Act 1984, W.A {hyperlinked}

First published on Caldron Pool, 12th February, 2020

Photo by Mark de Jong on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020

I’m not one of the beautiful people
(Front row seats are for people without broken feet);
The charmers, greasy grinners, snake-oil cliques.

I know my place, it’s in the shadows
The darkened corners of polished sanctuaries
I’m the too-hard-basket-case;
Reluctantly delegated space.

Thus, my light-less sanatorium,
My assigned placed in the Saint’s auditorium.
Distanced like a plague survivor
Because the horror of my past existence
Pierces these pews;
Turns up the noses of the middle-class,
As though I’m as putrid as a witch’s brew.

Exiled to an asylum,
High society’s life sentence for uninvited suffering.
I’m the brother of Quasimodo, and Monte Cristo,
Of priest and ashes, both betrayed and abandoned.
But as long as we stay in the dark,
We’re sure to be quietly welcomed.

My story too deep!
It’s to be quickly dismissed,
Even though I know what it feels like to
Be held by grace over the abyss.

I understand this too.

I’m not one of the beautiful people.
Sometimes the past still bleeds:
Pebbles of blood, drop from inwardly formed,
Grotesque scars which sometimes unexpectedly seep,
These old wounds make others uncomfortable,
Emotional vomit from them unavoidable.

And so the steeple chimes,
As the mechanism claps in time
The production begins,
The show. The politics. The pretence and cheers.

But in this dark corner there are no celebrities,
The broken, are not broken in.
The bruised, broke, and bent
All kneel, instead with cries of lament
All seem to be more aware of their own sin.
Cohen’s hymn of cracked glass, and ‘how the light gets in.’

Just like Lazarus we’re all carefully seated,
Assigned to rows without names,
Easily overlooked, seldom greeted.
We who don this imposed darkened gown,
Are met with suspicion, and sometimes with frowns.

I’m not one of the beautiful people.
but my name is written down by Christ through His blood.
Where I’ve been healed beyond measure,
By God’s undying Fatherly love.
Though meant to distance them from us,
My darkened corner
Appears to have saved us from them.
Which is why I’m not all that surprised when I hear people say,
“I’m thankful that Jesus is bigger than Sunday.”


Photo by Adam Bixby on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020

NASA’s social media news feeds were flooded with images of astronaut, Christina Koch, today, as NASA celebrated her return to earth. The American astronaut landed safely via the Soyuz MS-13 capsule in Kazakhstan. Koch, 41, spent a record 328 days in space, marking the longest ever spaceflight achieved by a woman.

U.S. Navy Captain and former Astronaut Scott Kelly broke the men’s record in 2015, spending a total number of 340 days on the International Space Station.

On her official Twitter page yesterday, before leaving the I.S.S, Christina said that the thing she’ll miss ‘the exquisite beauty of the planet Earth and this marvel its people created.’ This was followed by post today saying ‘this journey has been everyone’s journey. Thank you to all involved in the success of our mission, and for giving me the opportunity to carry everyone’s dreams into space. I’m filled with gratitude to be back on the planet!’

ABC Australia noted the gender specific achievement, stating that Koch ‘achieved a gender milestone in a relatively routine spacewalk with fellow astronaut, Jessica Meir last October, that marked the first time two women had stepped out of the space station at the same time.’ This was followed by two more space walks in January.

However, not everyone was in a celebratory mood. Christian Davenport of the Washington Post griped about Russia having to be paid $80 million dollars a seat in order to send American astronauts into space, and reminded readers that the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was right next to the ‘site of an infamous Soviet-era Gulag labor camp.’ Equating the Soyuz spacecraft with a ‘surreal relic of some science fiction flick’, he didn’t stop there.

Ignoring Koch’s acknowledgement of the support and opportunity afforded to her (and also Jessica Meir), Davenport inserted a few paragraphs complaining about gender equality, asserting that ‘women remain an overwhelming minority at NASA, and in the aerospace industry as a whole.’

All despite his acknowledgement of astronauts Koch, Meir, Peggy Whitson, former NASA scientist Ellen Stofan, and that NASA ‘no longer officially uses the terms “manned” or “unmanned” and has updated its style guide to say that “all references to the space program should be non-gender specific (e.g. human, piloted, unpiloted, robotic as opposed to manned or unmanned).”

Revealing the perpetually angry, joyless, ravenous nature of “woke” ideology, it seems that the “woke” Washington Post couldn’t help themselves. Instead of just celebrating the opportunity, support and subsequent achievement, WaPo chose to use Koch and her achievement as an excuse to push more radical feminist manipulative propaganda, complete with its “not good enough” tantrums, and whip statements. By doing so, WaPo joined the ABC in affirming binary gender.

Not everyone on social media was as celebratory either. While most honoured the achievement celebrating what women can do, some criticised the cost, and others used the gender specific “womankind” (instead of the more “woke”, “peoplekind” or “humankind”). Then there were others who were a little more in line with the LGTB religion’s “wokeness” on gender fluidity.

Commenting on NASA’s Instragam post celebrating Koch’s return to earth, one user exclaimed: “What the absolute HELL does being a woman or man have to do with this at all?!”

To which, probably unaware that they were committing a crime against “wokeness”; or like Israel Folau, and Margaret Court, apparently putting young LGBT lives at risk by affirming binary gender (male and female biology), and not the LGBT religion’s 62+ genders, NASA replied,

“Great question! With plans to embark on long-duration spaceflights to the Moon and Mars, we need to understand how the human body adjusts to things like weightlessness, radiation, bone density loss and more. Thanks to former astronaut Scott Kelly’s year in space. Experiment, we’ve been able to observe these changes on a biological male. Now, thanks to Christina’s mission, we are able to observe these changes on a biological female.”

 

NASA hasn’t been quickly slammed for this brilliant, and brave, response in the same way the Christian hospitality industry, “no” to SSM voters, Israel Folau and Margret Court have been for asserting biological scientifically verified fact.

The political climate, however, forces us to ask, how long? How long will it be until even NASA is paralysed by political correctness, and forced to abandon or distort its work with science in the name of “wokeness”, in allegiance to Leftist ideology?

The LGBT religion’s rejection of biology, and physiology; its rejection of the man for woman, woman for man relationship, and its denying a child the right to be raised and loved by both a father and mother, or protecting the child from “gender whisperers”, contradicts gender equality. It’s here that Davenport’s criticisms of NASA’s lack of inclusion better fits criticism of the LGBT religion’s exclusion of others based on gender, or views; its “stick to your own kind, never the two shall meet”, malicious and “alien” false doctrines.

Jean Bethke Elshtain once said, ‘we either embrace caritas – the love from, of and for God, and the love of neighbour, or we are enslaved by cupiditas – a drive for more pleasure, more money, more power…’ [i]

Progress that ejects reason, and rejects a faith which seeks understanding, leads to something akin to the “woke” mob rule of Plato’s cave. It blinds, kills, devours, maims, and keeps to a selfish, established status quo, trapped by flawed human ideas, and pinned down to the floor, by chains made from the fabric of feelings over facts.  Here there is no advancement of humanity together as man for woman, woman for man – only the desperate, unrepentant and tyrannical desolation painted by P.D. James in ‘The Children of Men’.

It doesn’t liberate, but instead rejects genuine liberation. This is illustrated by Roger Scruton in ‘Confessions of Heretic’: ‘The tragedy of King Lear begins when the real people are driven out by the fakes.’ (2016, p.2).

As I wrote a few days ago, pre-Christian paganism masquerades itself as post-Christian freedom.

By embracing caritas here, we can reject the chains of cupiditas, and the mostly self-inflicted tragedy of Old King Lear. We can celebrate this achievement and the science involved, not as woman under man, or man under woman, but man for woman, woman for man. All else is warmongering.

This means keeping science and faith free of toxic ideologies, allowing us to be free to celebrate actual achievements in an honest way, without fear of dishonest critics doing their best place themselves as lords over the rest.

Well done, Christiana Koch! Well done, NASA!


References:

[i] Elshtain, J.B. 2008. Sovereignty: God, State and Self, Basic Books (p.9)

First published on Caldron Pool, 8th February, 2020.

Photo by Adam Miller on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020

The only good things to be said about the burlesque ambush of the NFL Superbowl LIV’s halftime show, is that Shakira’s and Jennifer Lopez’s vocal talent hasn’t waned, the stage effects were well coordinated and the choreography never missed a beat.

Beyond this, the scant clothing, right down to the provocative dance moves, presented another “sex sells” exhibit, displaying how far the overt sexualisation of Western culture has taken society back to a pre-Christian paganism, with its excesses and its abuses.

The principal message being sent to women by the 15 minute segment is twofold. First, if you haven’t got the sex appeal to sell talent, talent is useless. Second, provocative dance and stripping before cameras is where the money’s at.

On the outside, the principal message being conveyed to men is that the objectification of women is okay, just as long you’re willing to pay handsomely for it.

Franklin Graham was among the first to raise concerns about the overt nature of the event and its consequences:

Pastor Bob Beeman, founder of the heavy metal ministry, Sanctuary International, usually cautious in his agreement with the criticism of culture by some American Evangelicals, boldly declared:

“The Super Bowl half time show was very disturbing. With so many families watching all over the world, where is the outcry? Have we really become that desensitized? We used to call that pornographic. You can’t “unsee” that. Catering to the lust of male Super Bowl fans, and continuing the degradation of women everywhere!
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16″

Likewise, Ryan Bomberger, Co-founder of The Radiance Foundation, stated:

“Unfortunately the halftime show ‘proved that cultural identification is apparently more important than character formation. Latino culture was not celebrated last night; it was exploited. Flashing and grabbing your crotch isn’t empowerment, no matter the “culture”. As a father of two girls and two boys, I want them to understand that their God-given equality, dignity and worth should be used to evoke love not elicit lust. (I understand this is my Christian worldview, and I can’t expect the world to share it; but fellow Christians *should*.) Funny how in this #MeToo era, entertainers seem to vie to be as naked and as sexual as possible–not on a director’s couch–but in front of over a hundred million sets of eyes. J-Lo, Shakira and the #NFL let down a generation of girls and boys who deserve so much better than the fake feminism on full display last night.’”

I’m not prescribing a return to a repressive, idea of Puritanism. Even though the idea of the Puritans being prudish, instead of prudent, is based on a misrepresentation, brought about by the post-modern disregard for history, which makes history too easily forgotten.

I’m simply stating that what people like to call post-Christian, is more a regression back towards the pre-Christian. Its deification of self and its subjugation of humanity to the idols of the old pagan world: money, sex and power.

Celebrity endorsement as a means to service an economic, social or political end is not a new phenomenon. Thomas Doherty calls this

‘the politics of celebrity’, writing that the ‘body of the Hollywood star had first been drafted into national service during World War One…In Leninist doctrine, the artist stood among the vanguard elite, a cadre whose shining example would lead the benighted proletariat into the dawn of revolutionary enlightenment…The Hollywood star, trading on stardom, is a valuable commodity that can drive heartfelt solicitation.’ [i]

Western society’s return to the inhumanity of paganism was brilliantly articulated in season five (2012) of the (modern day Robin Hood) TV series Leverage. In episode two, the crew have to thwart an owner of an Ice Hockey team, who’s turned a massive profit by turning the game into a blood sport – The CEO’s justification was backed up by his profits leading to him declaring: “People don’t pay to see a game; they pay to see my enforcers fight!” (slightly paraphrased).

The pattern established by participating stakeholders in recent years means viewers should know what to expect from the NFL half-time segment. So, vote with the remote. Let the TV fall silent for half-time, let the sound of silence be heard loudly by the industries represented, that they may bring back some class and self-respect to sport and entertainment.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira have vocal talent. They shouldn’t need to sell their bodies, or have others sell a sexualized image of themselves, in order to showcase that talent. No woman should. The challenge for the rest of is to not buy into the voyeurism, lustful fantasy, and the greedy smiles, lies and hi-fives attached to the sex sells paradigm.

Lilly Allen’s apt sarcasm appears to have fallen on deaf ears:

‘Life’s about film stars and less about mothers. It’s all about fast cars and cussing each other; I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless ‘Cause everyone knows that’s how you get famous.’ [ii]

Lying underneath all this is the question: Does this capitulation to pre-Christian paganism, and did the manifestation of it in this burlesque ambush just inadvertently declare the #metoo movement dead?


References:

[i] Doherty, T. 2013. Hollywood & Hitler:1933-1939, Columbia University Press (pp.111-115)

[ii] Allen, L.R. & Kurstin, G. 2009. The Fear, from the album, It’s not me, It’s You.  Sony Music

First published on Caldron Pool, 5th February, 2020

Cropped from a photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020

In a speech for the National Press Club on Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, delivered the equivalent of a State of the Union address. From its content to his delivery, it was obvious that the Prime Minister was addressing the nation, not just the top end town.

His address didn’t present a government in damage control, but a government that is in control. Morrison was right to not use the opportunity to give ground to noisy dishonest critics on social media. Many of whom come across as detached from everyday Australia, and seem to exist only as a deliberate distraction anyway.

Morrison kept his cool during the peak of that crisis. Neither being dismayed nor swayed by the selfish, loud-mouthed distractions which have sent many a leader running to the hills in fear of social media disapproval.

By not following the crazed rabbit down its self-absorbed rabbit hole, Morrison communicated that he is unlike his haters, who seem to be feverously ranting on social media 18 hours a day. Unlike his dishonest critics, Morrison talked to, not at the Australian people. What a nation of hard workers heard was that like them, Morrison has his sleeves rolled up. He is hard at work with and for them, actively looking to implement practical solutions to genuine national concerns. Not chase speculation, or stroke over-inflated Twitterarti egos and emotion, by constantly apologising to them, or making decisions based on a false need to appease their abuse.

Former Sky News political commentator, David Speers partly shares this view, calling the speech a ‘double-down, rather than a ‘reset’, showing a leader ‘who knows his own weaknesses – is on the defensive, unwilling to cede ground to his critics’.

Morrison isn’t a saint, and he knows it. This ability to use what Speers calls “knowledge of his own weaknesses” is a strength. Rather than weakening his leadership, Morrison inadvertently triggers those who’ve deemed him to be the enemy, simply by being a Prime Minister in the truest send of the word – first servant; a servant leader. What’s left exposed isn’t a death wound to the Morrison government, but the existence of a bigoted minority; flapping their hands in a furious attempt to keep control of their false narratives, quickly trying to shred the evidence that reveals their true nature, manipulative strategies, and dubious ideological agendas.

The strategy of resolve and resilience is working for the LNP. This is proven by the steady hand of the Prime Minister’s leadership, which includes his response to targeted and co-ordinated attacks during the Bushfire crisis. Look at how these full frontal assaults appeared to have the direct involvement of Twitter. When tweets from Leftist commentators, motivated by opportunism, all saturated with hate, showed up in the newsfeeds of unrelated accounts, it looked suspiciously like a Twitter backed Leftist attack on the Prime Minister.

Morrison’s first major speech of the year reasserted the strength’s of his government, dot pointing the LNP’s achievements since the May, 2019 election. Packaged into the address was an outline of goals and initiatives.

Summarising one of the Prime Minister’s major points, Speers rightfully identified how the speech sought to indict the states in culpability for the Bushfire crisis. Instead of leaving responsibility at the feet of the states, the Prime Minister proposes to ensure that the Federal Government has more of an ability to remedy, rescue from and respond to natural disasters, navigating constitutional concerns, and cutting through bureaucratic red tape.

As Morrison stated:

‘To date, the role of the Commonwealth has been limited in responding to natural disasters has been limited to responding to requests for assistance from state governments. They judge the time and form of support needed in making that request.
But I must say, the scale of the bushfires this season – not least their simultaneous reach across many borders – has demonstrated to me the limits of these arrangements…
…As I’ve said before, I have been very conscious of testing the limits of constitutionally defined roles and responsibilities during this bushfire season.
But I believe there is now a clear community expectation that the Commonwealth should have the ability to respond in times of national emergency and disasters, particularly through deployment of our defence forces in circumstances where the life and property of Australians has been assessed to be under threat at that scale.’

Ex-Tony Abbott staffer, Peta Credlin gave the Prime Minister ‘full marks’, calling this is one of two things Scott Morrison ‘did very well’ during the speech. First, ‘He wrapped up the government’s response to the Bushfire crisis declaring that the national government was no longer going to take the back seat in national disasters.’ Second, the Prime Minister outlined clear, decisive, pre-emptive actions that they hope will protect Australia (and subsequently the Government) from the Coronavirus crisis currently impacting China. The Sky news host acknowledged how problematic these initiatives might be, and voiced support for the idea of a referendum, which would seek to give the federal government constitutional powers to act during a national crisis.

The ideas and initiatives laid out by the Prime Minister are pragmatic. Morrison’s address to the nation is a win for the LNP and it should resonate well with the Australian people. Especially those who are fed up with being shouted at by anti-Morrison fanatics on social media platforms.

I still am tempted to view Scott Morrison as a compromise between what Australians need, and what some loud mouthed Leftist Australians want. For all of his resilience and resolve, Morrison is still silent on abortion. The religious freedom bill aside, he appears elusive and unsupportive of Christians unjustly targeted by LGBT activists, and he still seems to be unsure about how to respond to the largely Marxist, apocalyptic climate change cults.

Still, along with the current LNP line-up, Scott Morrison has shown his government to be a political force to be reckoned with. If Morrison can continue to follow this path, and not kneel in fear before the vanity metrics of social media, and the hateful hashtag trends on Twitter, the LNP will be more than well on their way to being the government Australians voted for. May it be so.


References:

FULL Transcript of Scott Morrison’s speech, sourced 30th January, 2020

First published on Caldron Pool, 31st January, 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020.

The late, great, Roger Scruton once articulated that one of the most successful lies of the 20th century is the idea that the ‘far left’ is nothing like the ‘far right.’

Scruton noted that

‘the success of Communist propaganda could be found in how it has persuaded so many people that fascism and communism are polar opposites and that there is a single scale of political ideology stretching from ‘far left’ to ‘far right’. Thus while communism is on the ‘far left’, it is one stage along the road one must go in order not to be contaminated by fascism.’

However,

‘Communism, like fascism, involved the attempt to create a mass popular movement and a state bound together under the rule of a single party, in which there will be total cohesion around a common goal. It involved the elimination of opposition, but whatever means, and the replacement of ordered dispute between parties by covert ‘discussion’ within the single ruling elite.’ [i]

In other words, the ‘far left’ conceals its true nature behind an anti-fascist facade. It wraps itself in transcendent rhetoric devoid of God, and is instead filled with inflated feel-good slogans where man is elevated to the position of God. Scruton categorises this as the ‘neo-Marxist rhetoric of totality, concealing the empty place at the heart of the system, where God should be.’ (ibid)

Step back to 1940, anti-Nazi Anglican Bishop, George Bell, who agreed that Communism and Nazism share the same DNA, wrote:

‘Humanity has a relationship to the eternal world, which vitally affects human activity in the temporal world. It is this relationship [via Covenant & Christ] with the eternal that gives humanity real significance, and justifies the affirmation of absolute standards – absolute justice, absolute love, absolute truth. If man or woman exists only on the temporal level absolute standards are irrelevant.

Noting the facade, and the danger of its propensity to deify the self, Bell continues:

If he or she is only a value as “the expression of positive forces of history”, he or she is a mere atom, with no purpose. The “positive forces” of the day may be anything that dictators or democracies choose them to be. If the interests of efficiency so decide, he may be the [next] victim, at any time, of the most ruthless “purge”. And unless you have an Absolute Standard, a law of God [Biblical Christian ethics], it is hard to justify one’s instinctive revulsion to such a purge.’

Through such an anti-fascist façade and its deification of self, Leftists could argue, as they do with abortion and euthanasia, that killing is beneficial, not just to the individual, but to the health of the state. Abortion and euthanasia become a patriotic duty guided by totalitarian ideology.

Enter the creation of the police state where thought which is unapproved by the state, is criminalised. This new police force is then used to effectively subdue, and imprison people who hold an opposing viewpoint, without the state ideology (the-state-as-God) being challenged by any effective opposition.

Sound too far-fetched for the 21st Century? According to three sources, led by The Washington Times, and carried by Law Enforcement Today, and Police One, this is appears to be exactly what Democrats in Connecticut are currently proposing.

The proposal advocates creating a new police department to combat ‘right-wing extremism’, which according to Amanda Blanco from The Hartford Courant was ‘included in what senate Democrats called, ‘A just Connecticut’ agenda’. The proposal was put together in response to community concerns about “hate crimes”. The proposal also ‘includes legislation that will fund enhanced security features at religious facilities across the state.’

Jessica Chasmar of the W.T. further outlined the idea and the Republican response to it, writing that while bipartisan support existed ‘against any type of terrorism, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, a Republican, took issue with the proposal only mentioning right-wing extremism.’

Fasaono was right to call the bias out. Law Enforcement Today’s, Pat Droney, a retired police officer with 31 years of experience in the field, commented:

‘No mention is made of “violent left-wing extremism” such as Antifa perpetrated riots. You’ve got to love the hypocrisy. Once again, why only focus on one side of the extreme wave? This is such a blatant disregard to acknowledge that extremism exists on both sides.’

‘Far-left’ extremism is concealed behind an anti-fascist façade. Exemplified by potential Democrat Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders calling “abortion healthcare” just days out from Holocaust Remembrance Day (27th January).

“Feel the Bern”, Bernie seems oblivious to the fact that his timing couldn’t have been more perfect for his critics. Calling abortion healthcare is an abuse of language. Dig deep enough and you’ll find that this kind of abuse has direct connections to how the National Socialist’s manipulative propaganda apparatchik, mobilised their vile ideology. For example: ‘the group in charge of the actual killing in the gas chambers was called the General Welfare Foundation for Institutional Care.’ [ii]

Cancelling the unborn in the womb is the epitome of “cancel culture”. On the whole it’s rife with self-justification, self-deification, and creates an excuse for selective memory loss. Being loose with the truth, as was practiced under Communist rule, and by its ‘blood brother’ [iii], Nazism, this revisionist abuse of language gives wheels to tyranny. Unless stopped its slow march, becomes a blitzkrieg.

Protecting the people of the state from “hate speech” and “hate crimes” may have a veneer of benevolence, but under it and under the shadow of the hate-fuelled precedents set by Leftists since 2016, it’s fair to ask, who will protect the people from the state, when these invasive laws are misused and abused?

From the FBI conducting a clandestine investigation of Trump under Obama, in 2016, to the violent disruption of communities carried out by Leftists because of Trump’s election. The closed, one-party impeachment process, the current line-up of Democrats and their abuse of language to justify the barbarous cancellation of the lives of unborn children in the womb, including their celebration of youth mutilating themselves in surrender to the LGBT religion – there’s more than enough cause for concern and a need for scrutiny of any Democrat seeking more power.

In this instance, the insights that Scruton and Bell offer us above, are as much prophetic as their words are instructive.


References:

[i] Scruton, R. 2015. Fools, Frauds & Firebrands, Bloomsbury Publishing. (p.200)

[ii] Dean Stroud, 2013 ‘Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow: Sermons of Resistance’ Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing pp.132 & 136

[iii] “Marxism is [both] the arch-enemy & blood brother of Fascism’, Roger Scruton, 2015. Fools, Frauds & Firebrands (p.87)

First published on Caldron Pool, 29th January, 2020.

Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020.