Archives For August 2019

American author and Pastor, Greg Laurie’s interview with Alive Cooper is an insightful look into Christian life outside a cloistered Christian culture. The interview was uploaded to YouTube on the 18th of August. Cooper calls himself a prodigal son and gives some background on his life, including his abuse of cocaine, alcoholism, his 43 year old marriage, the Church and his return to Christ.

Though unrelated, the interview presents a stark contrast between Alice Cooper and bestselling ‘Christian’ author, Joshua Harris.

I related to it because I came to Christ through the broken, dark alleys of life. I found home through darkened lyrics, written by broken people, who reflected my own dysfunctional context. Whether they intended it or not (I certainly didn’t see it at the time), they were being used to point me to the foot of the cross.

Though I acknowledge that having a firm connection with other Christians (fellowship) is important to Christian discipleship, I never found the way home to Christ by trying to fit in with the first-row, Sunday-only-Christians, who seemed to always look past me and my dysfunctional context with contempt and fear.

Thank God that He does not dwell in temples made by man, but reaches for us in the richness of relationship, made known to us through His revelation in Jesus Christ; an act that He Himself being free from religion, freely initiates in order to dwell amongst us, so that we may be freed from bondage to sin; free for Him and free for others.

I hear that Biblical theme brought to life in this interview.

It’s another reminder that God, in His Son, through the Holy Spirit, is still at work in the world. The reminder that when the mainstream Church misses the point or fails to reflect this solid theological truth, God, in His sovereignty breaks through the clumsiness, pride and stale idolatry of some Christians, reminding us that the Church is His, not ours. It also reminds us that the Church must mature beyond its four walls, rediscovering the fact that its sustenance and continuation doesn’t rest in bricks and mortar, or immaculate attendance records, but on the providence of God, and His fatherly Lordship shown towards us in Jesus Christ.

As Cooper worded it, “I don’t think we accept Christ, I think we accept the fact that He accepted us“. He mentions the importance of hearing about God’s mercy and judgement. Stating that he needed to hear about both God’s grace and the reality of hell, which “isn’t a place where we get high with Jim Morrison“, but a real consequence of sin.

For me, Laurie’s interview with Cooper reflects the truth that life with God, begins with, God with us. This is a truth I passionately teach my own kids by bringing the relevance of the Christ into contact with the culture. Not in fear of it, or in subservience to the culture, but in critique of it. The kind of critique that coincides with the joy of recognizing where God is at work in the world, and learning from this how we, as Christians, can boldly be in the world, but not of it.

Cooper exemplifies the notion that any division between the secular and the sacred is ultimately false. As Karl Barth noted when talking about John Calvin’s theology, ‘the rule that history is life’s teacher is the light of which Calvin could view secular history as sacred history…History must be for us a school in which we learn to regulate our lives in the knowledge that from the creation of the world God has at all times [in freedom & sovereignty] ruled in his church’ and the world. [i]

Alice Cooper, like Johnny Cash, embodies the reason for why we shouldn’t limit the reach of God’s grace. For, ’the wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 8:3).

The interview offers a correction of perception. One that involves grounded biblical theology which teaches us that trying to measure what constitutes the right to be called “Christian” is problematic. The criteria falls short, if it doesn’t first and foremost involve a commitment to Jesus Christ, which acknowledges both God’s fatherly Lordship, and triumph over sin. In sum, our response being secondary, it’s Christ’s performance that takes preeminence.

This is especially relevant when Joshua Harris’ public renouncing his faith, is contrasted with Alice Cooper’s public affirmation of his relationship with Christ. One can have a relationship with the Church, but not Jesus Christ. Going to Church, or parading Christian culture on our selves doesn’t make a person a Christian. Relationship with Christ does.

It’s amazing to witness encouragement for the Church coming from someone who’d not be welcome in some churches. The irony being where Harris would be welcomed, Cooper would be exiled. Yet, where Cooper still stands. Harris has walked away.

I’m not suggesting Alice Cooper’s example is the answer to the Joshua Harris’ of the Church, but Alice Cooper’s example should make some Churches rethink their commitment to valuing appearances over substance; reputation over character.

I’m with lay preacher, A.W. Tozer, who brilliantly said:

‘I cannot speak for you, but I want to be among those who worship. I do not want just to be part of some great ecclesiastical machine where the Pastor turns the crank and the machine runs […] Can true worship be engineered and manipulated? […]  Engineers do many a great things in their fields, but no mere human force or direction can work the mysteries of God among men. If there is no wonder, no experience of mystery, our efforts to worship will be futile. There will be no worship without the Spirit’ [ii]

As Skillet’s John Cooper (no relation) told CBN recently: ‘we need to value truth over feeling’.

Joshua Harris, much the same as Rob Bell, are wake up calls for the Church. Falseness is too easy. False doctrine is too attractive. I think it’s fair enough to suggest that Harris became of product of his popularity, driven by worldly chuchian culture, not the koinonia; ecclesia; or haustafeln. I say churchian (for lack of a better word), because I don’t think the problem isn’t easily pinned on just one denomination. The problem is shared across denominations. It’s a mindset cemented in an apathy (if not ignorance) that has rejected the five solas of the Reformers, and put in their place the cheap grace of moral therapeutic deism.

I don’t think I’m alone in saying this, but I’d rather sit in a Skillet concert filled with long haired friends of Jesus all dressed in black, and ruminate on some of the theological depth coming out of the lyrics over coffee afterwards, than sit before a hipster, watching them mindlessly repeating the equivalent of bumper sticker theology, like some Instagram-perfect churches do. Don’t get me wrong. That platform has its place, but the Insta-perfect culture shouldn’t be the quintessential standard for what it means to be a Christian in the world, but not of it; someone who is led by the Spirit, not the culture.

As Keith Green and Corrie Ten Boom said in their own way, being connected with a genuine Christian community is important, but it’s just as equally important to remember that a perfect church attendance record doesn’t save us; “going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than parking your car into a garage makes you a car; just as much as going to McDonalds doesn’t make you a hamburger.”

Alice Cooper, like others such as Brian ‘Head’ Welch of Korn, are an example for the Church. We mustn’t retreat back behind a closed, cushy cloister. The Church doesn’t need to. It just needs to drop the pretence of it’s own holiness, and let God’s holiness shine through the Churches honest presentation of the Gospel, and through the care for the community entrusted to it.

The Church, in the face of a culture determined to set the agenda, should aim to mature beyond the four walls and steeple it’s become known as being. For the Church, it cannot be a business, or business as usual. The Church is we-the-people, with Christ at the head. If only for the fact that we never know who’s listening.  The Church must end its navel gazing, and make a keener effort to rediscover the origins of Christian community, which begins, is maintained, and ends with Jesus Christ.

There’s a lot more to this Laurie-Cooper interview than meets the eye.

He who has hears let Him hear.

 


References:

[i] Barth, K. 1922. The Theology of John Calvin Eerdmans Press, (pp.2, 3 & 17)

[ii] Tozer, A.W 2009, Whatever Happened to Worship? Authentic Media (pp.11, 60-61)

Image credit: Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

Also published on Caldron Pool, 29th August, 2019

©Rod Lampard, 2019

 

In a speech on Tuesday night, One Nation MP, Mark Latham, joined a growing chorus of opposition voicing their concerns over the poor process applied to the recent NSW abortion bill. Latham joins Liberal MP Natasha Maclaren-Jones, the National Party’s, Barnaby Joyce and Dr. David Gillespie, in criticising the rushed bill, deceptively called ‘The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill’.

The abortion bill passed the lower house (legislative assembly) by 59 to 31 on August 9. The MP responsible for introducing the bill was “Independent” member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, whose candidacy (for context) was backed by Leftist golden girl, and Lord Mayor of Sydney City, Clover Moore.

Criticism of the nature of the abortion bill has been growing since its surprise introduction to the NSW Parliament.  Coinciding with this is criticism of how the bill was introduced, handled and pushed through the assembly, with very little time given for debate, and consultation with the public.

In an apparent response to growing opposition against the bill, including large passionate pro-life, non-violent protests, Andrew Clennell from the Australian said on Wednesday that NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, ‘had backed down on pushing the abortion bill through the states upper house this week.’

Clennell also outlined Mark Latham’s ‘stunning attack on the Premier’.

The One Nation MP, ‘accused Berejiklian of betraying the parliament and the people of NSW, labeling her dictatorial, and claimed she had allowed MPs from all parties to work together on the legislation in an erosion of the two party system’.

Latham called the alleged clandestine group, ‘a cross party cabal of left-wing MPs, who had been meeting in secret for months, plotting to hijack the parliament and ram’ the bill through both lower and upper houses.’

Talking with Paul Murray and Rita Panahi, Latham unpacked reasons for his attack on the Premier’s betrayal and lack of leadership, stating,

‘I’m heavily critical of the process because it’s all wrong and I’m a great believer in good lawmaking that relies on good process…The tragedy of this is that the upper house is wiped of its proper functions as a house of review. We could have had a six-week committee; instead we got one for five minutes. Proponents of the bill, (who met in secret, didn’t invite comment from the public, and didn’t involve the full range of experts) have denied themselves two very important qualities on a sensitive and divisive issue like this, and that’s credibility and legitimacy. These people look sneaky, these people look dictatorial. They just want to ram it through because they have none of the argument, but some of the numbers; the Premier has facilitated this bad process.’

Latham then (rightly) said his protest of the process, is legitimized by how advocates of the bill were now stumbling over whether or not they should support a gender-selection amendment.

Liberal Party MP, Tanya Davies, member for Mulgoa, sparked concern about the contents of the abortion bill when she ‘sought to include an amendment stating that terminations not “be used for gender selection”. Although, Davies’ amendment ‘was rejected because it was [deemed] unnecessary and unworkable,’ the Premier and opposition leader have signaled support for a gender-selection ban.

However, as Michael McGowan of The Guardian said, overall, ‘backers of the bill are unlikely to support one’. (The Guardian)

One of the reasons for this is that the gender-selection amendment is viewed as a right-wing ploy to derail the legitimacy of the bill. This is despite the serious lack of consultation with the public and the inadequate handling of procedure, which has already destabilized the bill, via the secretive, unprofessional and frantic way it’s being pushed through parliament.

Other notable outspoken critics of both the bill and its contents included Federal Member for Lyne, Dr. David Gillespie.

Gillespie went against his state LNP colleague Leslie Williams (a co-sponsor of the abortion bill), saying, ‘the legislation is unnecessary because abortion was “decriminalized in 1971 and it is not a crime if you have a lawful abortion (the rare case when a pregnancy is deemed life threatening) in NSW”.

As reported by the Wauchope Gazette, ‘Dr Gillespie, who previously worked as the director of physician training at Port Macquarie Base Hospital’, stated,

“You are dealing with abortion of a human being that has got a separate circulation and nervous system; all those things make up a human being. A child in the womb is another human being and deserves protection. A child doesn’t miraculously become a human being once it pops out at delivery.”

Gillespie also criticized the rushed nature of the bill, saying ‘if the Government wanted to take the community with them they should have at least more than five days to debate it…” Given that ‘a hastily formed enquiry into the bill after community backlash received 13,000 submissions in one day, causing the state parliaments web portal to temporarily crash.’

None of these criticisms are easily dismissed. Gladys Berejiklian’s premiership is slowly reflecting that of William Golding’s character, Ralph in Lord of the Flies. Jack has taken over and the whim of the bureaucratic caste has now become law.

Of course, Gladys Berejiklian, as Premier has the prerogative. Her next move, after delaying the deceptively named, ‘Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill’, should be to stand up and ditch the bill, instead of applauding those all too eager to ditch babies.


First published on Caldron Pool, 27th August 2019.

Photo credit: Creative commons.

©Rod Lampard, 2019

Here’s 30 minutes well spent. Researcher for the Australian Christian Lobby, Dr. Elisabeth Taylor, dazzles in her presentation on two vacuous ideologies seeking, not just to influence Western society, but rip up its biblical Christian foundations, and impose new cultural laws on it. Such as the eradication of what theorists within the LGBT religion label “heteronormativity”. The assumption being that heteronormativity is oppressive to the LGBT community. Ergo, all out war, short of physical violence, must be made against it.

The presentation clarifies, and provides information about transgenderism. Taylor digs deep, discussing the theory’s origins and why it’s necessary to push back against it. In doing so, understanding the how and what of connecting factors, such as post-structuralism – (the denial of objective reality), are of paramount importance. When talking to people who have rejected objective morality, it pays to understand their concept of reality, whether they say they have one or not. Hence the value found in the content of her presentation.


 

With all the noise surrounding Donald Trump’s alleged request to purchase Greenland, you’d be right to think that this tale was another political manoeuvre from Trump’s enemies to discredit his Presidency and/or sanity.

Confirmation this weekend that the Trump administration had explored the idea of buying Greenland from Denmark, set social media and the M.S.M ablaze.

Time, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, CNN and The Guardian, all jumped on the reaction from Denmark’s Prime Minister, parading the word “absurd” around as though Trump’s idea was his own.

Even Sky News got in on the action, headlining a piece with the word ‘push’ to describe the Trump administration’s enquiry.

Weaving its own malicious tale of Trump’s “madness”, Vice trumped them all by highlighting remarks from Soren Espersen, foreign affairs spokesman for the populist Danish People’s Party, who said, “If he [Trump] is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof that he has gone mad…”[i]

Twitter users were also indicative of the widespread ignorance of history:

To their credit CNN and The Guardian came out as the most balanced. Paul LeBlanc of CNN and Martin Pengelly of The Guardian were the only journalists careful enough to take to time to acknowledge the fact that the idea of buying Greenland, was first posited by Democrat President, Harry S. Truman in 1946, who offered to pay Denmark $100 million (in gold) in exchange for Greenland because of its strategic value. Truman ended up securing a military base, nothing more. [ii]

Truman, not Trump was the first to come up with the idea. Trump may not be letting go of Truman’s proposal to buy Greenland because of its strategic value to the United States, but any suggestion that this new proposal from an American administration, is an unveiling of Trump as a colonial imperialist, fascist, is, in the light of the fact that the idea originated with Truman, off-the-wall crazy.

In order to justify such accusations, accusers would have to link Trump to Truman, and build a narrative of conspiracy only believed by the gullible.

As equally “batty”, any suggestion that buying Greenland is yet more “evidence” of the alleged imbalance in Trump’s psychological disposition is pure fiction.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Trump being starry-eyed by the prospect of buying Greenland, is the real estate professional in him, not some latent Hitlerian tendencies, as is alleged by every anti-Trump personality looking to justify their proton-pseudos complex.


References:

[i] Marcin, T. 2019. Denmark to Trump: Seriously, Greenland Isn’t for Sale,  Vice News

[ii] Koning Beals, R. 2019. It’s not the first time U.S. has tried to buy Greenland  MarketWatch

©Rod Lampard, 2019

 

Covington student, Nicholas Sandermann’s $250 million defamation case against The Washington Post was dismissed late last month, after a federal judge ruled that the Washington Post hadn’t slandered Sandermann in its reporting of the infamous, so-called “standoff” between himself and Native American, Nathan Phillips on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Saurabh Sharma of the Dailycaller said, the ‘judge threw out the case’ saying that The Washtington Post didn’t defame the Covington students, but were irresponsible with their use of ‘’loose, figurative,’’ and ‘’rhetorcial hyperbole”. [i]

This is despite The Washington Post, along with some Twitter users and others within the mainstream media, using short viral video clips of the event, to portray the MAGA hat wearing school kids as racists.

Rollingstone, while acknowledging that the incident seemed to have been provoked by members of the Black Israelite movement, were also quick to draw the racist narrative around the Covington School students, stating, ‘the video is a disturbing and eerie echo of angry white mobs yelling at Black Americans for protesting Jim Crow-era discrimination.’ [ii]

While Buzzfeed managed to steer around defaming the students, it’s obvious that Buzzfeed reporters shared similar conclusions. By using viral video clips from the event, they upheld the presumption of guilt, by inferring that racist claims made against the Catholic students we legitimate.

The initial Buzzfeed article made specific mention of the student’s ethnicity, pointing out that ‘nearly all were white and wearing pro-Trump gear, chanting at and mocking Native American, Nation Phillips on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.’[iii]

Buzzfeed also appear to have supported interpretations drawn from one of the videos of the students, which claimed that Sandermann was ‘smirking’ in a “racist way” at Phillips, who was branded a peacemaker during the incident. Like many in the mainstream media, this was apparently enough proof for Buzzfeed to spread the newspeak narrative of white privilege, hate, oppression and racism: the Covington students were white, Christian, and Trump supporters, ergo they must also be racists.

Buzzfeed updated their original piece with a link to a video which shows ‘more context’, admitting that the incident ‘was more confusing than the viral clips made it seem’. Buzzfeed also reported that ‘teen’s family will be appealing the decision to dismiss the case, with one of the family’s lawyers saying, “the law must protect innocent minors targeted by journalists publishing click bait sensationalized news.”

The Washington Post, like many of the Left’s leaders on Twitter, did the equivalent of whipping the crowd up into a frenzy, handing them a lynch rope, then when the facts came to light, quietly slipped out the back door. Later to be dismissed from having to take any responsibility because of an appeal to freedom of speech, and literary license.

The case dismissal is good news for The Washington Post. The outcome could also be viewed as good news for the future of freedom of speech.

However, it’s doubtful that the reasons for this “win”, based on an appeal to first amendments rights and literary license, will be allowed as a defense for Pastors and Christian writers when producing literature that criticizes sin from a Biblically Christian perspective.

Especially when their publications involve proclaiming The Gospel in its unique redemptive critique of human sin such as greed, adultery, homosexuality, pride, envy, slander, idolatry – a critique now largely rejected and found “hateful” and “harmful” by the Left, because of its no questions asked embrace of the LGBT religion, Islamism and related regressive, progressive ideologies.


References:

[i] Sharma, S. 2019.  The Washington Post Won Its Case Against The Covington Catholic Kids, But A Federal Judge Had Some Choice Words For The Outlet, Daily Caller, 12th August, 2019

[ii] Wade, P. 2019. Judge Dismisses Covington Student’s Lawsuit Against ‘Washington Post’ RollingStone, 27th July, 2019

[iii] Reinstein, J. & Baer, S.K. 2019.  The MAGA Hat–Wearing Teens Who Taunted A Native American Elder Could Be Expelled Buzzfeed, 19th January, 2019.

Photo by Irina Vinichenko on Unsplash

First published on Caldron Pool, 16th August 2019

©Rod Lampard, 2019

In her 1981 magnus opus, ‘Public Man, Private Woman’, American political scientist and Lutheran, Jean Bethke Elshtain presented a painstaking analysis of feminism.

Her work as a political theorist is one of the best all rounded academic introductions to the origins and branches of feminism, which comes from within the feminist movement.

Elshtain is best described as a classical feminist. Although she accepts certain criticisms made by feminists, Elshtain is honest about the fact that feminism can, and does go too far. Her chief aim was to present the ideological nuances and obvious contrasts of each branch of feminism.

What makes ‘Public Man, Private Woman’ unique is how her experiences within the feminist movement, particularly radical feminism, allow her a high degree of objectivity.

In the late 1960s, Elshtain and a friend were confronted by the exclusionist ideology of feminist supremacism.

They both linked up with a feminist group, only to find themselves silenced because they raised genuine questions about the prevalent anti-familial force within feminism. According to Elshtain, they attended the group, looking for a community who could help them embrace both the healthier side of early feminist critique and motherhood. However, they soon found out that for some within the feminist movement, there was no reconciling of the two. In the middle of her friend’s turn to speak, the group’s facilitator ‘abruptly and publicly’ cut off their discussion declaring, “We will have not diaper talk here. We’re here to talk about women’s liberation”.

Elshtain recalled, ‘my friend and I left, for we could not treat our children as abstractions, as nuisances to be overcome, or as evidence of our “sad capitulation” to the terms of patriarchy.’

Alarmed by her confrontation with female supremacist exclusivism, Elshtain not only saw the dangers it presented to those outside the feminist movement, but how female supremacist ideology threatens legitimate feminist criticisms about what defines a woman, and how women define themselves in the traditionally male dominant public space.

Other than a general analysis of the state of feminism in 1980-81, Elshtain was also preoccupied with a personal quest, seeking to answer the nagging question about whether feminism could be reconciled with motherhood. And if so, what kind of worldview would this look like?

Her conclusion rejects Marxist feminism, Liberal Feminism and Radical feminism, and instead embraces a politics of compassion which works towards reconstructing a woman’s place in public and private, by ‘truth-seeking’, not ‘truth-construction’.

Elshtain describes a ‘politics of compassion’ as a ‘robust opposition to despair and cynicism’, noting it as being a ‘recognition [on the part of feminists] that no good can come from the widespread dehumanization and destruction of others.’ This would help protect legitimate parts of feminist criticisms, because a politics of compassion recognizes that feminism is undermined by a radical feminist supremacism which feeds on ‘the enchanting lures of resentment and the poisonous destruction of rage.’

Abortion isn’t a key concern for Elshtain. However, her conclusions and personal experience are relevant to the abortion debate.

Elshtain agrees that reproduction doesn’t define women. However, feminism shouldn’t reject the stability of the familial unit. It should be mature and flexible enough to embrace the unique-to-woman, gift of reproduction and maternalism. Motherhood shouldn’t be so easily thrown out by the feminist critique. This is because motherhood is the quintessential definition of an empowered, liberated woman. Strength and servant leadership are a core elements of being a mother. The woman capable of choosing to look, not just to their own needs, but also to the needs of others is not only liberated, but engages in the act of liberating others.

What Elshtain offers is clarity. Her criticism of the feminist crowd, which was ironically awakened by the feminist crowd’s rejection of her (as a patriarchal cliché, because she was married and had children) gives us a vantage point from which we can join with her and say,

‘the presumption that some universally true, ubiquitous, and pervasive misogynistic urge explains everything is simplistic and wrong.’ (p.xv)

When it comes to abortion and the feminist death grip on it, there will be disagreement, but that disagreement doesn’t have to be destructive. There is another way around the ‘radical and destructive social surgery’ pushed by those who demand uniformity in an ideological alignment with abortion and its accompanying progressive platform.

Elshtain’s inherent “no” to this kind of forced allegiance, especially to supremacist ideology is something to applaud. Her “no” is spoken from under the shadow of remembrance, as she recalls the blood that followed the ‘Nazis and Stalinists, the most destructive instances so far of this sort.’

Noting,

‘if everything every basis of human existence, every rule and prohibition not excluding  the incest taboo, is “up for grabs,” those who unscrupulously grab will inherit the earth and we will no longer have  the earth as out inheritance…Each successive generation must respect some moral necessities, must have some “taken for granted,” rules without which even the minimal aspects of a human existence that propelled our prehistoric ancestors to place flowers on the graves of their beloved, will be jeopardized.’

This supremacist ideology is seen in abortion advocates adoption of Simone de Beauvoir’s incongruent use of the term ‘parasite’ in reference to both women and the fetus (The Second Sex).

Supremacist ideology is prevalent in the inherent historical parallels between the Nazi doctrine of “life unworthy of life” and deceptive new term for abortion, “reproductive healthcare”. Abortion is an outworking of radical feminist supremacism. The “choice” argument underpins this because it advocates the totalitarian supremacy of a mother over against the life of her unborn child and the choice of his or her father.

How is a woman living out her liberation, if she’s coerced to kill her unborn child because of pressure from a pro-abortion society, state and peers, in the name of what they deceptively call freedom?

How is a woman living our her liberation if all the information necessary to make the best “choice” possible is hidden from her by her pro-abortion society, state, and peers– “for her own good”?

It would seem that the liberated woman, under the shadow of pro-abortion and the supremacist ideology of Marxist, liberal and radical feminism, is not so liberated after all.

We cannot miss this point. We cannot afford to overlook the fact that pro-abortion, and even pro-euthanasia laws, remove protections for the citizen against a tyrannical state. They remove protections for citizens from supremacist ideology.

Anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia laws are restraints that don’t just apply to one individual having absolute power over another; they hold back the overreach of despotic, crony corporations and these laws restrain the creation of authoritarian governments. These are necessary limitations which protect freedom, rather than being a denial of it.

So it is that we should, and can legitimately stand with Jean Bethke Elshtain and those like her, such as the brilliant Dr. Mildred Jefferson, and say:

“Today it is the unborn child; tomorrow it is likely to be the elderly or those who are incurably ill. Who knows but that a little later it may be anyone who has political or moral views that do not fit into the distorted new order?[i]…I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned, have the right to live [ii]…I say “no” and I am not willing to give up the role of doctor as healer to become the new social executioner…If the destruction of life is permissible for social and economic reasons, why not for political reasons? [iii]


References (not otherwise linked):

Elshtain, J. 1981, ‘Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social & Political Thought’ Princeton University Press

Photo by Cassidy Rowell on Unsplash

First published on Caldron Pool, 13th August, 2019

©Rod Lampard, 2019

Award winning Australian journalist, turned writer, Jana Wendt took a pounding on Twitter this week after the world was reminded of an interview Wendt hosted with the late African-American literary giant, Toni Morrison, in 1998.

Desperate to keep the “we have a white supremacist crisis” narrative alive, following the Eco-Fascist mass shooting in El Paso, and the slogan’s quick demise after the mass shooting in Dayton by a Leftist Antifa supporter, many on the Left appear to using to interview to keep their narrative alive.

Their weapon of choice in an attempt to regain control of the discourse: the false accusation that Wendt’s alleged “skeleton in the closet” is proof that “all white people are racist”, ergo there’s a “white supremacist crisis” and it’s an epidemic.

Toni Morrison’s passing seems to have given Leftists an opportunity to steer attention away from the Dayton killer back towards the ‘we have a white supremacist crisis’ party-line. The attempt to revive such newspeak and refuel the outrage machine is a direct rejection of the bipartisan condemnation of the El Paso shooter’s ideological allegiances.

Like sharks circling when they smell blood in the water, the reactions from some anonymous Twitter users has been unsurprising. Comments went from focusing on applauding Toni Morrison for her achievements, to accusing Jana Wendt of racism, with one Twitter user saying, ‘Jana Wendt illustrating that Australian media is also deeply racist.’

Another Twitter user noting: ‘This is Jana Wendt. Interesting that she may best be remembered, as the racist interviewer in the Toni Morrison interview.’

What shouldn’t be missed in all of the whip statements against Jana Wendt, is the actual racism implied in the action of those taking advantage of an African-American writer’s passing in order to a) regain some socio-political credibility post Dayton and b) as a diversion away from discussions about the dangers of Left-wing extremism.

Wendt’s interview with Morrison is quiet and conversational. There’s no sign of animosity. Wendt was the perfect hostess, conducting the interview with her usual professionalism, style and respect. It’s a case of dishonest criticism to suggest otherwise.

Such as Huffington Post author Kimberly Yam’s exuberance at a black woman supposedly correcting a white woman, saying this particular part of the interview was Morrsion “teaching Wendt a powerful lesson”.

What Yam and many who choose to jump on the Wendt-is-racist bandwagon forget, is that interrogative reasoning is how journalism works. Without this base and the freedom to ask questions that may offend, the free press is lost to the noise of a press enslaved to totalitarian masters, newspeak, and the news they invent.

Jana Wendt isn’t a racist. The soft spoken, well articulated Morrsion seeks clarification from Wendt, who then provides it. Wendt moves the discussion forward qualifying her question, so as to avoid misrepresentation and confusion. Both Morrison and Wendt move the viewers towards a better understanding of the subject matter.

Using literary giant, Toni Morrison’s death as an excuse to evade responsibility by rehashing the “we have a white supremacist crisis” narrative, after it was smashed to pieces by the Antifa aligned Dayton mass shooting, is a reprehensible act of desperation.


First published on Caldron Pool, 8th August, 2019.

©Rod Lampard, 2019