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Mormons will tell you that you can know that Mormonism is the true Christian Church by just praying to God and asking Him. At that time, they say, you will experience a burning sensation in the chest accompanied by feelings of peace which they call the Burning Bosom. This, say Mormons, is proof that the Mormon Church is the true Christian Church and the true church of God. Here is an LDS member saying so on the official LDS website.

This is despite the fact that Joseph Smith himself said he had made incorrect decisions based on such a Burning Bosom experience and the senior leader Boyd K. Packer in the 1983 LDS Ensign magazine in an article titled “Candle of the Lord” admitting that relying on the Burning Bosom can easily lead to following Satan or one’s own emotional impulse. Packer wrote as as follows:

Be ever on guard lest you be deceived by inspiration from an unworthy source. You can be given false spiritual messages. There are counterfeit spirits just as there are counterfeit angels. Be careful lest you be deceived, for the devil may come disguised as an angel of light.

The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that it is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.

Boyd K. Packer, “The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, January 1983. Mr. Packer in his address offered no way to discern between the emotional, Satanic and Godly witnesses.

To assist Mr. Packer, the best way to discern between the Godly, Satanic and emotional impulses is to evaluate your proposed course of action against The Bible. Because The Bible was produced by The Holy Spirit, any advice from the Holy Spirit will never contradict The Bible because The Holy Spirit will never contradict Himself.

In my opinion it is very easy to tell that the Mormon Church is not a Christian church. And that is because in the First Vision of Joseph Smith in which he received his first messages from the spirit world he was told to reject all the Christian Churches and all Christian belief.

Later accounts say that when the personages appeared, Smith asked them “O Lord, what church shall I join?”[10] or “Must I join the Methodist Church?”[27] In answer, he was told that “all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom.”[30] All churches and their professors were “corrupt”,[31] and “all their creeds were an abomination in [God’s] sight.”[15]

Here then is the basis of Mormonism: Reject all Christian Churches and all Christian belief. Would that message come from Jesus ?

Existing Christian belief would be replaced with a message which would later be given to Smith. This became The Book Of Mormon and associated other Mormon teachings.

The ninth president of the Mormon Church, David O. McKay, said that “the appearing of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith is the foundation of the Church.” (Gospel Ideals, p. 85).

Given the foundation of Mormonism, it is easy to see that the Mormon Church is not Christian, but Anti-Christian.

Mormonism was Satan’s attempt to replace American Christianity with a counterfeit. Joseph Smith lived in an area which was in the peak of a major Christian revival. Mormonism was Satan’s attempt to undermine that revival and distract Americans from following the true Jesus.

Add to this the Satanic nature of Mormon’s core message – which is that Humans can become Gods by following Mormonism – plus the consideration that its major spiritual practice, Baptism for the Dead, is a means of occult interaction with the deceased – and I think it is clear that Mormonism is exposed as a Satanic enterprise.

I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.it…. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:3-14)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospelwhich is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! (Galatians 1:6-9)

A few weeks ago I had a chat with a neighbour who is a Mormon who kindly gave me a bit of a run-down on the Mormon faith. I made some notes on our conversation

The reasons my neighbour gave to become a Mormon were that Traditional Christianity has splintered into a number of sects; only the Mormon church has a living prophet; your dead ancestors can get go to heaven and that the Bible has been changed and corrupted whereas the Book Of Mormon has not.

I’ll give a brief response to each reason to become a Mormon first, then a more detailed response below.

Brief Response

  1. Traditional Christianity Has Splintered Into Dozens Of Competing Sects

 

You mentioned that traditional Christianity has splintered into dozens of competing sects whereas the Mormon Church has remained one church. The continuity of Mormonism as a single church with a single doctrine proves that it is the true Christian Church.

Unfortunately Mormonism has also splintered into dozens of competing sects.

Wikipedia currently lists 86 Mormon sects. (Google Article List Of Denominations In The Latter-Day Saints Movement).

If traditional Christianity is discredited and unreliable because of the proliferation of sects then so is Mormonism and there is no reason to become a Mormon.

  1. Only The Mormon Church Has A Living Prophet

You said that one of the great benefits of being a Mormon is that the Mormon Church has a living prophet to provide leadership, revelation and guidance to the church. The current living Mormon prophet is apparently Thomas Monson who was born in 1927.

Unfortunately for Mormons and for Thomas Monson, the Church of Jesus Christ already has a living and eternal prophet and that person is not a Mormon. 

The living prophet of the Church Of Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly explains that Jesus is the High Priest of His church, and that He has this position forever because He has an indestructible life. Quite obviously, Jesus is alive. Since Jesus is alive there is no need for any successor to Him and indeed there can never be any successor to Jesus.

 

Since Christians already have an eternally living and perfect High Priest and Prophet, namely Jesus Christ Himself, there is no reason to accept any other High Priest or Prophet and therefore no reason to become Mormon. 

 

3. Dead Ancestors Can Get Saved

You indicated that a big benefit of becoming a Mormon is that my dead ancestors can get saved by actions I can perform on their behalf, such as being Baptised for The Dead.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to get Baptised for The Dead. The Bible is clear that people are judged for their own works and do not gain any benefit from the works of others and also that there is no hope for salvation after death if that person has refused salvation prior to death.

Given this, Baptism for the Dead does not provide any incentive to become a Mormon, and is in fact a disincentive to become a Mormon, as it violates the teaching of Jesus as found in The Bible.

In fact, the Bible’s clear overall teaching is to deter believers from having any interaction or interest in the dead at all and in fact to avoid any interactions with them at all. Baptism for the Dead violates the boundaries that God has set up for our protection from harmful interaction with the Spirit World.

4. The Bible Has Become Corrupted

You mentioned that there are many different Bibles and therefore no-one can be really sure which Bible is the real one whereas the Book Of Mormon has remained the same ever since it was written and will never change. The unchanging nature of the Book Of Mormon proves that Mormonism is the true Christian Church.

Unfortunately the Book Of Mormon has indeed changed over time. Even Mormon websites acknowledge this, simply noting that the changes are merely clarifications and do not affect Mormon doctrine. See For example Fair Mormon here

Since the Book Of Mormon exhibits minor changes in different editions, it is no different to The Bible which also exhibits minor changes in different editions. Hence The Book Of Mormon does not exhibit any special textual constancy and therefore does not provide any compelling reason to become a Mormon.

Detailed Response

  1. Traditional Christianity Has Splintered Into Dozens Of Competing Sects

You mentioned that traditional Christianity has splintered into dozens of competing sects whereas the Mormon Church has remained one church. The continuity of Mormonism as a single church with a single doctrine proves that it is the true Christian Church.

Unfortunately Mormonism has also splintered into dozens of competing sects.

Wikipedia currently lists 86 Mormon sects. (Google Article List Of Denominations In The Latter-Day Saints Movement).

If traditional Christianity is discredited and unreliable because of the proliferation of sects then so is Mormonism and there is no reason to become a Mormon.

  1. Only The Mormon Church Has A Living Prophet

You said that one of the great benefits of being a Mormon is that the Mormon Church has a living prophet to provide leadership, revelation and guidance to the church. The current living Mormon prophet is apparently Thomas Monson who was born in 1927.

Unfortunately for Mormons and for Thomas Monson, the Church of Jesus Christ already has a living and eternal prophet and that person is not a Mormon. 

The living prophet of the Church Of Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly explains that Jesus is the High Priest of His church, and that He has this position forever because He has an indestructible life. Quite obviously, Jesus is alive. Since Jesus is alive there is no need for any successor to Him and indeed there can never be any successor to Jesus.

The Bible is also clear that the Church of Jesus Christ has no need for any revelatory prophets following Jesus because Jesus is the perfect revelator of scripture and of God, being the unique Son Of God and God Himself

Furthermore, Jesus is obviously a far better prophet and priest than Thomas Monson because Jesus is God and Thomas Monson isn’t.

Who makes the better prophet and priest  ? God or someone who is not God ?

If you had a choice between having God as your Priest and Prophet or someone else, who would you choose ? I choose Jesus. You can too. Why don’t you ? Why not do it now ?

Since Christians already have an eternally living and perfect High Priest and Prophet, namely Jesus Christ Himself who is God, there is no reason to accept any other High Priest or Prophet and therefore no reason to become Mormon. 

Why should Mormons wish to strip Jesus of his titles as High Priest or His church and final revelatory prophet and award them to someone else ? This is straight-forward blasphemy.

I now invite Mormon readers to renounce the false Mormon prophet and priest and accept the true Prophet and Priest of the Church of Jesus Christ, who is Jesus Christ, in his unique, sole, proper and full authority and Lordship.

The Mormon so-called living prophet cannot meet the needs of the church. I have a continuous daily need for revelation and guidance. This cannot be provided by a human being like Thomas Monson. The Christian Church currently numbers approximately Two Billion people. If Mr. Monson gave each of us a one minute face to face meeting it would take him approximateky 3,805 years to meet each one. If there was an additional 15 second turnover time between each person, then the process would take approximately 4,756 years to complete. I would be long dead before my one minute interview came to pass. Monson cannot give me, or anyone else the continuous guidance, revelation and comfort that we need.

This is why we need Jesus Christ to be our Prophet and High Priest. Since Jesus is God, Jesus is omni-present and can and does dwell personally live with His people. Jesus lives in me and in every believer. Therefore I have access to continuous guidance, revelation, wisdom and comfort from my living Prophet and High Priest, Jesus Christ. Mormons do not get anything remotely like this from Thomas Monson.

Dear Mormon, can you see how you are being ripped off and deprived of spiritual blessings by awarding your devotion to a human being ?

In this linked article, a Mormon explains that the church needs a living prophet because the communion of mankind with God was lost when Adam and Eve sinned. While it is true that the fall of mankind did indeed sever the continuous personal communion of mankind with God, that communion is restored by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

That is the meaning of atonement – to make peace between feuding parties. Jesus Himself is the peace of mankind. He has reconciled God and humanity together. He is our Priest, our Prophet, our sacrifice, the gift, the Altar and our Atonement. He is our all-in-all. He is our peace with God. Mormonism has deprived you of your spiritual blessings in Jesus by giving you a fake Jesus and a deficient view of the Atonement, to state merely the beginning of the travesty of Mormon belief.

The church of Jesus Christ does indeed need a living prophet. It has one: Jesus.

I invite you now to make the true Jesus Lord of your life and renounce the fake and imposter prophets Jospeph Smith and Thomas Monson along with the false faith of Mormonism.

3. Dead Relatives Can Get Saved and Go To Heaven

You indicated that a big benefit of becoming a Mormon is that my dead ancestors can get saved by actions I can perform on their behalf, such as being Baptised for The Dead.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to get Baptised for The Dead. The Bible is clear that people are judged for their own works and do not gain any benefit from the works of others and also that there is no hope for salvation after death if that person has refused salvation prior to death.

Given this, Baptism for the Dead does not provide any incentive to become a Mormon, and is in fact a disincentive to become a Mormom, as it violates Bible teaching, which is the teaching of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul does indeed reference the pagan practice of people Baptising for the dead, but does not endorse it as a Christian practice. He did the same in Acts 17 when explaining to the pagan Athenians that the Unknown God was actually Jesus.   Paul didn’t worship the Unknown God himself thus endorsing the pagan practice. Rather he used their pagan practice as a bridge to explaining the truth about Jesus who is God who has revealed Himself and made Himself known. Similarly, the pagan practice of Baptism for the Dead is not endorsed, but is used as a bridge this time to under-informed Christians to explain that the Resurrection of Jesus was both real and a bodily resurrection. In a like manner to the Athenian example,  Paul would not himself Baptise for the Dead or endorse this practice.

In fact, the Bible’s clear overall teaching is to deter believers from having any interaction or interest in the dead at all and in fact to avoid any interactions with them at all. Baptism for the Dead violates the boundaries that God has set up for our protection from harmful interaction with the Spirit World.

Mormons frequently interact with the dead during their ceremonies for Baptism for The Dead and it is incredibly disturbing that Mormons encourage their children to expect and welcome visitations from the dead. What more evidence does one need to see that the Mormon church is rife with occult and spiritually defiling practices ? It is obvious that this practice marks Mormonism as a false church established by a false prophet.

4. The Bible Has Become Corrupted

You mentioned that there are many different Bibles and therefore no-one can be really sure which Bible is the real one whereas the Book Of Mormon has remained the same ever since it was written and will never change. The unchanging nature of the Book Of Mormon proves that Mormonism is the true Christian Church.

Unfortunately the Book Of Mormon has indeed changed over time. Even Mormon websites acknowledge this, simply noting that the changes are merely clarifications and do not affect Mormon doctrine. See For example Fair Mormon here

Since the Book Of Mormon exhibits minor changes in different editions, it is no different to The Bible which also exhibits minor changes in different editions. Hence The Book Of Mormon does not exhibit any special textual purity and therefore does not provide any compelling reason to become a Mormon.

The Pearl Of Great Price is another book of Mormon Scripture which has undergone changes, significant changes occurring in 1878, 1900 and 1976. These changes are freely admitted by LDS leaders and members (Google the BYU Masters Thesis An Analysis Of Textual Changes In The Pearl Of Great Price). While fully accepted as a divine work by the major LDS denomination, large parts of Pearl are rejected by various LDS branches, especially the Book Of Abraham.

On the Book Of Abraham, Smith (i.e. Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism) supposedly translated this from Egyptian papyrus texts in his possession. Professional Egyptologists have inspected Smith’s papyri and find them to be standard Egyptian Funerary texts thus rejecting Smith’s supposed translations  as a blatant fraud. Please compare this to The Bible in which all of its translations from Greek and Hebrew are regarded by impartial professionals as academically honest.

A third Mormon Book Of Scripture Doctrine and Covenants has undergone extensive and continuous revision. Mormon Elder Boyd K. Packer, President of The Quorum Of the so-called Twelve Apostles of the LDS (i.e. Latter-Day Saints, the official term for the Mormon church) from 2008-2015 discussed the changes to  Doctrine And Covenants in a general conference:

Of course there have been changes and corrections. Anyone who has done even limited research knows that. (See the article at Fair Mormon ‘Doctrine and Covenants’).

Mormons accept The King James Version of The Bible as Scripture whilst simultaneously considering it to be corrupted and unreliable. I suspect Mormonism stands as unique in canonising works as Holy and Sacred whilst simultaneously considering them corrupted and unreliable.

Of course, Joseph Smith also produced his own version of The Bible called The Joseph Smith Translation. This is accepted by some, but not all,  LDS branches. The major LDS denomination accepts only some parts of the JST and incorporates those into The Pearl Of Great Price. A somewhat ambiguous view of the JST appears to exist within the main LDS denomination with  Bruce R. McConkie  of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles 1972-1985  saying, “The Joseph Smith Translation, or Inspired Version, is a thousand times over the best Bible now existing on earth”,  yet remaining doctrinally-bound by his church to accept only parts of the JST whilst fully affirming the inferior and more-or-less corrupted King James Version as sacred scripture.(Google Wikipedia article on The Joseph Smith Translation)

In summary, all the LDS Holy Books exhibit changes in their various editions. These changes are freely admitted and endorsed by LDS leadership.. Logically then there is no  reason to become a Mormon based on the supposed unchanging nature of their sacred texts. Because LDS allows its leadership to create, revoke or change scripture at any time the LDS have no requirement for constancy in their sacred scripture, so there is none.

Furthermore, independent experts in Egyptology have cross-checked Smith’s translation of Mormon scriptural sources and consider them to be blatantly fraudulent. Surely no other faith has had to endure such direct embarrassment to their prophetic and scriptural basis.

Because of Smith’s obvious fraud it can be seen that Mormonism is not a true church, it is in fact a false church with a false prophet and is a cult.

Overall, it is plain that the Mormon scriptural basis is hopelessly degraded and provides no incentive for anyone to become a Mormon.

I have just read David Marr’s essay The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race (Quarterly Essay #65) on Pauline Hanson and her party, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. The confluence in name between Pauline Hanson and her party is exact and intentional. As Hanson said on national TV The Party is me [1]. And she is correct. The One Nation phenonemon is entirely a product of Hanson’s passion, personality, raw determination and resilience. Without Hanson One Nation cannot exist.

I will use this post to comment on Marr’s excellent essay, which Marr conceived in order to put a floor of fact under Hanson’s people and her political people [2]. Like all observers of Australian politics, Marr wants to understand the One Nation phenonemon, how it is that a race-based political party can thrive and become so influential within Australia. For those who abhor the phenonemon of race-based politics this understanding is a foundational, crucial first step towards neutralising One Nation or at least preventing it advancing further from its present toxifying influence into a genuinely Fascistic unadulterated race-hate movement.

Can I just say that the title of Marr’s essay The White Queen is marvellous ? It captures Hanson and the relationship of Hanson’s supporters to her perfectly.

Typical

A portion of Marr’s essay is strict quantitative research in which a profile of the typical One Nation voter is resolved from longitudinal survey-based research. This section while relatively dry reading is absolutely essential to understanding Hanson’s people.

Marr finds that the typical One Nation voter is Australian-born, male (56% v 44% female), identifies as working class , secular (not religious), lives on urban fringes of cities and large towns (but also in small rural communities), likely to have a trades education (i.e. is less educated than the general public), are pessimistic about their own economic prospects and those of Australia generally, heavily distrust government and politicians, are inclined to a law and order viewpoint in solving societal issues, thinks there is too much welfare, detests immigration and multiculturalism but does not personally live among or even know recent migrants migrants (though they may live in neighbouring areas to migrants)  or know those on welfare and, strikingly, perceives a nexus between immigrants and crime.

Marr summarises the Hansonites as being from National Party heartland

Infantile

This post will develop over the next few weeks as I add to it, but I just want to start with one comment for now. Hanson’s people are, at an emotional level, infantile. 

Marr, summarizing Rebecca Huntley, who has conducted voter focus groups for many years says Hanson’s people yearn for the past [3]. Many Australians aged 40 or older may express an opinion that the Australia of their youth was a better place, but if pressed, most voters will say, no, they do not want to return to the Australia of the 1950’s with its monoculture, remoteness from the world and limited work opportunities for women. But Hanson voters do really want to return Australia to the 1950’s. Hanson’s voters want to return Australia to the young adulthood of their fathers, when they were children, when everything was certain, secure, predictable and they felt physically and emotionally safe.

Consequently, even though Marr does not say this, I do: Hanson’s people are infantile.

Engaging One Nation

This is an important finding for engaging with One Nation. It means that you are dealing with children. How do you win an argument with 55 year old children ? You can’t. You just need to give them a few lollies and their favourite blanket and hopefully that will quiet them down before they trash the joint.

John Howard knew this. When engaging with One Nation he didn’t try and argue with them. He tried to mollify them. Specifically, he addressed their insecurities. Howard said, speaking of his GST reforms, that he would  give them something better than what they had i.e. economic security and in this way draw them back to the mainstream.

Keating terrified Hanson’s people. Open borders, open tariffs, familiar industries closing down, unfamiliar new industries to be encouraged, the welcome of Asia. Every Hansonite in the country, beginning with Hanson herself, filled their nappies in horror.

The Hansonite infantilism drives their insecurity. Hence their attraction to law and order solutions such as Capital Punishment and to gun ownership, by which they hope to protect themselves and their property from both ravishing migrant hordes and theiving, dishonest government.

Hansonites are impervious to argument. They need calming down.

So the first thing you need to do for Hansonites, like Howard, is say ‘Yes, yes I hear you’. And then listen. I mean really listen. But, as for children, don’t necessarily do as they demand. Reassure them. Offer them a rosy picture of the future. Let them know they are important. I would even give them a few lollies like, I dunno, rural subsidy for road-building or construction of humungous Anzac Day memorials if it was thought this would help social cohesion and defuse their anger to some degree.

Social cohesion is worth paying for. And it is necessary for governments to argue the case for social change. Hansonism is partially at least a result of governments taking the conservative under-educated for granted.

But ultimately if the giant 55 year old toddler baby Hansonites refuse to stop tantruming, they should be ignored. Their core constituency is low in number. You can’t let the country be governed by children.

And this is the problem that Marr identifies throughout his essay. The major parties are willingly accommodating to Hansonites. John Howard was in fact a Hansonite himself. So is Dutton and the rest of the conservative, reactionary, white male rump of the Liberal National Coalition. Both Liberal and Labor have adopted Hanson’s policies in regard to Asylum-Seekers.

The country needs a government that will treat Hansonites as children. But not dismissively as Keating did, but inclusively, without succumbing to the attraction of populism or the fear of educated reactionaries who should know better.

Hanson Is Not Racist

Hanson denies she is racist. She defines racism as a belief that one’s own race is superior to other races and says that she doesn’t think that whites are superior to Aboriginals or Asians or anyone else.

I believe Hanson. Marr does not.

Marr says that what betrays Hanson as a racist is her conspiratorial mindset, the belief shared by aggressive, ideological racists that they (the hated and feared other race) have a secret agenda to take over. This is certainly Hansonite territory.

Hanson once believed that Asians were soon to swamp Australia and now believes that Muslims intend to impose Sharia Law on us all. So-called University-educated Elites were also imposing Political Correctness on mainstream, normal Australians like Pauline Hanson, so taking over Australia with some kind of leftist Sharia. Malcolm Roberts, her climate denialist compatriot and co-Senator thinks that Climate Change is a hoax invented by Jews acting in concert with the IMF and United Nations to take over the world and enforce One World Government. Why would Jews want to do that ? Because they are evil, presumably.

While the fear of being swamped or displaced by another race or culture is indeed a feature of racist thinking I don’t believe that Hanson is racist. I consider, instead, that Hanson is Xenophobic, i.e. has a fear of outsiders from other races. Specifically Hanson fears the extinction of her own culture: which is conservative, white, secular nominally-but-not-actually-semi-Christian Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Fish and Chips 1950’s Anglo-Australian middle-class parochialism. Once upon a time everybody Hanson knew, met, or ever even saw, was like that. Hanson thinks that this particular thing that she is, is the only kind of Australian that is authentically Australian.

John Howard is this kind of Australian too. John Howard once said that he was quintessentially Australian. This gave John Howard the self-assumed right and authority, therefore, to state what was Australian and what was UnAustralian. What was Mainstream and what wasn’t. Who could have rights and who couldn’t. Hanson assumes the same nativist, infallible perfection of insight. She is Australia and can therefore speak infallibly for Australia.

Hanson fears the loss of her own culture in her own country. She fears and experiences disempowerment. Her views were derided are passe, unacceptable and crass. She feels a displacement from the cultural centre, in other words a loss of privilege which she perceives as an attack on her and her culture; she perceives targeted assistance for Aboriginals as unfair to white Australians. She calls herself  a proud Australian. I don’t want to see my culture gone. She wants everyone to behave the same way as her when in her town, state and country. She refuses to accept that her views may be out-dated or vulgar and finds such an idea impossible. She does not believe that it is acceptable or possible for a culture to change, that there is more than one way to be Australian, that the idea of being Australian can evolve.

Hanson is definitely conservative and Xenophobic. These things do not mean that she considers her own culture superior to other cultures, but she does want to make sure her own culture remains dominant in her own town, state and country. I doubt she shares the anti-Semitic views of her co-Senator Malcolm Roberts.

[1] Marr, QE #65, p.72 from Sunday Mail 10 January 2015.

[2] QE #65, p.96

[3] QE #65, p.59

[4] QE #65, p.71

A recent school news item done by my primary-age daughter:

Swishy

This is a description of my families cat: Swishy. She had green eyes, brown and white fur, cute, little, white paws and an innocent face expression.

One day when I was 18 months old, my sister was 2 years old and my brother was 5 years old, our family were playing a game of UNO. In the middle of my sister’s turn my dad heard a meowing sound and saw……….

A CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once everyone had seen the big suprize we started to think what to name this mysterious cat. We ended up calling her………… SWISHY!!!!!!

A few years later the Council instructed some builders to build a unit-block RIGHT NEXT TO OUR UNIT!!!!!!! Since the Council said for all this to happen mice and rats came, and since mice and rats came. For my family and our next door neighbours it was like rats were taking over the WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The same year but later when we were still on holidays ………………………………………………………………………………..

Swishy DISAPPERD

My family and I were really sad.

THE END

Somewhat of the same genre:

This Is A Complaint About Bed Time

Five Things To Know About Me

I Feel Like Having You As A Pet

My Literary Genius Six-Year Old Retells Goldilocks And The Three Bears

i like to know a story about you – your feeling your mouth your heart your way of looking at it

The Intolerable Ubiquity Of Pencil Sharpenings

My primary-aged daughter wrote my wife and I this letter which she left on our pillow to be discovered and read. All punctuation and spelling is as per the original.

To Mum and Dad:

this is a complaint about bed time. Me and Milly can’t go to bed in your room because it’s got dirty underwear and smelly clothse on it. pluse Me and Milly are sisters and we hate seaperating from each other. My second complaint is that you and you talk to each other and also READ in bed befor bed time and evern AT bed time. So now I have a complaint for each of you    Mum; you’re first: me and Milly see EVERY thing and we KNOW that you go on the computer when “ALMOST” everyone is asleep

BUSTERED !

and dad; STOP BEING SO SERIOUS ABOUT IT !

from Sue and Milly.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

Five Things To Know About Me

I Feel Like Having You As A Pet

My Literary Genius Six-Year Old Retells Goldilocks And The Three Bears

i like to know a story about you – your feeling your mouth your heart your way of looking at it

Keep It Light

A controversy recently erupted over Coopers Brewery cancelling a limited edition release of their Coopers Premium Light Beer. Coopers had planned to release 10,000 cases of beer cans emblazoned with different Bible verses to commemorate the 200th birthday of The Bible Society. In conjunction with the release, The Bible Society produced a video of Liberal Party MPs politely discussing the issue of Same-Sex Marriage, taking different sides without hostility. The video exhorts Australians to ‘Keep It Light’.

Coopers cancelled the release following a boycott by pubs with a LGBT clientele. Coopers also promised it would join Marriage Equality Australia, issued an apology by video and press release, affirmed Coopers support for its valued Coopers drinkers and extended family, as well as saying that Coopers encouraged individualism and diversity.

Bully Is Spelt ‘L-G-B-T’

Many Christians then expressed shock, outrage and disgust over Cooper’s decision to cancel the release of Bible Society cans saying that the Gay Lobby had bullied Coopers into their decision by use of a boycott, that this was typical of the bullying tactics of the Gay Lobby, that Christianity itself was under attack, and that free speech in Australia was dead. Examples are here, here and here.

Especially galling to Marriage Conservatives is Coopers decision to join the Marriage Equality Association. Marriage Conservatives see this as proof that the Gay Lobby uses force and intimidation to compel compliance to their agenda.

In my view Coopers got what they deserved by way of the product boycott.  Coopers are not neutral on the Marriage Equality question. They were just pretending to be. The LGBT community saw through the charade instantly and called Coopers out for being anti-Same Sex marriage, which they are.

I think Coopers got what they deserved.

Imagine This

The following is a fictional scenario designed to illustrate how Christian groups have over-reacted to the Coopers decision:

Officeworks decide to assist The Australian Federation Of Islamic Councils celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of the first English language Qu’ran.

So Officeworks release a special edition of Copy Paper emblazoned with quotes from the Qu’ran on them such as

‘And behold! Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah’?” He will say: “Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say).”

AFIC release a video with Liberal and Conservative Christians debating whether or not Jesus is God, while referring to special edition Officeworks Qu’ranic Copy Paper.

The video participants all agree that a discussion about whether or not Jesus Is God is of vital importance to Australia.

Subsequently it emerges that Officeworks are long-time donors to Islamic Charities and to AFIC and most of the Officeworks board are Muslims.

1. Are Officeworks neutral on the Jesus issue ?
2. What are Officeworks trying to achieve by releasing Qu’ranic copy paper ?
3. Some churches boycott Officeworks. Are they justified in doing so ?
4. Are these churches enemies of free speech ?
5. Have the churches bullied Officeworks ?
6. Can we now say that free speech is dead as a result of the church boycott ?

Language Markers

Initially Coopers defended The Bible Society video, saying that the video debate was light-hearted, balanced and mature and that ‘its a debate we need to have’.  This essentially endorsed The Bible Society’s line that the “national conversation” on Same-Sex marriage had become “fraught with shallowness and contempt for those who have a differing opinion”.

These different phrasings of the same sentiment are exactly how anti-Same Sex Marriage organisations voice their opinion that the Gay Lobby uses bullying and intimidation to achieve its goals. When anti-Same Sex organisations speak to each other or to their members they typically characterise  LGBT advocates as intolerant, shouty bullies, as the three articles here, here and here demonstrate.

But when anti-Same Sex Marriage organisations or persons wish to talk with the general community they emphasise the need for balance, mutual respect and good manners as Coopers initially did, mirroring the language of Dr. Peter Jensen of the Anglican Church when he appeared on Q&A (See and Ye Shall Submit, 10 Sep, 2012) to discuss Gender and Marriage issues a couple of years ago.

PETER JENSEN: You’re speaking to me as though you respect me and I respect you, well I hope you do. Let’s have a respectful discussion on these matters not (AUDIENCE MEMBER SHOWN SNEERING). OK, I’m sorry.

The audience member sneered at Jensen because Jensen’s appeal to respect was transparently insincere and reeked of condescension as a perusal of the video will show, the segment quoted above occurring about 90% of the way into the episode.

Condescension

The Gay community see the repeated calls for mature, balanced debate on Same-Sex Marriage as arrogant, unbelievable condescension. Why is it that Marriage Conservatives think they need to instruct others on what constitutes morality, ethics and human rights when such matters are well understood by everybody ? Do Marriage Conservatives that it is only straight people that have a moral conscience or manners ?

Jensen’s comments, while superficially conveying a commitment to respectful discussion actually mean this:

You and the Gay Lobby generally are fraught with shallowness and contempt for those who have a differing opinion. You are a bunch of shouty, intolerant bullies who systematically intimidate and victimise those with opinions different to yours. You force Marriage and Gender Conservatives to adopt Politically Correct positions by way of such intimidation. The behaviour of your lobby is reprehensible. Let me now demonstrate the manner in which mature, balanced, mutually respectful civil discourse on this topic should occur as I now explain it in the condescending manner of a parent instructing a child.

In short, the LGBT community recognised the language markers of their opponents in The Bible Society video and in Coopers defence of it. They saw through the charade and reacted to it. The entire campaign of Coopers was a pretence at impartiality by an organisation that was already committed to an anti-Same Sex Marriage position.

History

The long history of Coopers with The Bible Society, their long history of donating to Christian charities and to the Liberal Party is the behaviour which confirms the correct instincts of the LGBT community to the true attitude of Coopers to Same-Sex Marriage which is to reject it.

Which of course Coopers are entitled to do.

But Coopers should not be pretending that they are impartial on the issue.

And Christians should re-evaluate their over-reaction to Coopers decision.

Show Me The Bullying

The boycott by LGBT-friendly pubs is not a bullying of Coopers, though anti-Same Sex Marriage advocates portray it that way. Quite simply, people are permitted to boycott products for ideological reasons if they choose to. Why not ? How the companies react to the boycott is up to them. Boycott is not of itself bullying.

The pubs were not forcing Coopers to support any agenda. Rather, the pubs chose not to support a company they felt held a stance in opposition to their own values. Isn’t that a basic right in a democracy ?

The Newtown Hotel, which decided to discontinue stocking Coopers products,  said

“Dr Tim Cooper and the Coopers Brewery are entitled to spend their money however they wish — as are we”

In my counter-example above churches are permitted to boycott anti-Christian products if they so chose. Isn’t that self-evident ? Should churches really be expected to support anti-Christian organisations by buying their products regardless of what ideologies that company supports ?

But Coopers Support Marriage Equality !

Some defenders of Coopers see the decision of Coopers to join Marriage Equality Australia as proof that Coopers are honest brokers in the debate, promoting civil debate even while supporting the ideals of Same-Sex Marriage.

In my view, this view is mistaken. Coopers are anti-Same Sex Marriage.

Coopers have, for decades, been donors to The Bible Society, Christian Charities and the Liberal Party. These organisations are Marriage Conservatives. Then one day, faced with a damaging boycott to their $240 million dollar a year Beer business, Coopers decides to join Marriage Equality Australia.

Coopers is one of the biggest sellers in the inner-west of Sydney, amongst the many boutique pubs there and enjoys a 5% share of the national beer market. The boycott was taking effect in its retail heartland.

I think this plainly shows that Coopers decision to join Marriage Equality Australia is predicated on the profit motive. In my view Coopers’ pattern of behaviour established over decades for conventional Christian beliefs is much more of an indication of their true ideology than a sudden decision taken in the face of threats to profitability.

In my opinion, Coopers decision to join Marriage Equality Australia is simply PR and does not indicate any heart belief except a desire to protect market share.

But Coopers Didn’t Even Support The Video !

Coopers tried to distance themselves from The Bible Society video, which precipitated the boycott, saying

We want you to know that Coopers did not give permission for our Premium Light beer to feature in, or ‘sponsor’ the Bible Society’s ‘Keeping it Light’ video featuring Andrew Hastie and Tim Wilson.

In my view, this distancing is disingenuous and while probably correct on the bare facts, does not account for the approval of the video expressed by Coopers in its first press release on the controversy, nor does any public comment by Coopers over the boycott reflect its own  mission statement given in its annual report last year, which Coopers says includes fostering family and community support based on Christian values. If those values do not include support for Marriage Conservatism then I will be highly surprised.

Finally, the distancing of Coopers from The Bible Society video does not square with its long-term support for The Bible Society. The press conference announcing the release of the commemorative cans featuring Bible verses and celebrating the work of The Bible Society was jointly hosted by Tim Cooper, the managing director of Coopers,and Greg Clarke, the chief executive of the Bible Society Australia. The Guardian noted that joint press conference was  laden with bonhomie.

The distance between Coopers Brewery and The Bible Society was not reflected in any language prior to the boycott and in fact is contradicted by the long-term support for The Bible Society by Coopers over decades. Press releases by The Bible Society reflect this sense of common purpose.

Bible Society Australia has teamed up with Coopers Brewery for the launch of a commemorative Coopers Premium Light beer.

Andrew Hastie, the Marriage Conservative Liberal MP in the video told the ABC  it was “a bit disingenuous [for Coopers] to suddenly distance themselves” from the video.

I fully agree.

Grandma, Ranji And The Politically Correct Bullies

My Grandma was a flat-out racist. Everyone in her generation was. Racism was normal in her generation. Nowadays its not.

One day my Grandma told my sisters You can marry anyone you like providing he is Australian, English, American or a New Zealander. What is the common factor amongst these nationalities ?

When The Olympics were on Grandma would cheer exclusively for the white athletes. She felt the muscular superiority of black athletes gave them an unfair advantage, particularly the black female athletes. Look at the size of them ! She would say, implying there was something not quite normal, not quite natural with black people.

Grandma grew up at a time when India was still a colony of England. She enjoyed cricket. England’s premier batsman for a period from 1896 was an Indian Prince named Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, popularly known as K.S. Ranjitsinhji or Ranji.

 As Wikipedia says  Ranji has widely been regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. The famous cricket writer Neville Cardus described him as “the Midsummer night’s dream of cricket”. Unorthodox in technique and with fast reactions, Ranjiitsinhji brought a new style to batting and revolutionised the game, amongst other things inventing the Leg Glance.

When Grandma saw something that was very black she would say ‘That’s as black as Ranji’s bum’. One day I pointed out to Grandma that it was vulgar to draw attention to a person’s skin colour. She nodded and said sadly ‘Yes, it is nowadays’.

Grandma’s voice carried a  defiance that indicated that modern social norms regarding racial equality had unfairly constrained her right to free comment on Ranji’s bum and its blackness. She was put out by my demand for manners in regard to dark-skinned people and if the term had existed at the time of our conversation she would have no doubt considered me Politically Correct. 

Grandma, like all racists, thought it perfectly acceptable to be mildly insulting to black people. Unfortunately for her, social norms had moved on. It was no longer OK to be a racist. She felt bullied by those who told her that racism was vulgar. She felt attacked and a bit vulnerable.

Loss Of Privilege

Grandma’s sense of vulnerability was a result of her losing her privilege of assumed racial superiority. Her loss of privilege to vulgarity made her feel like she was being judged and found wanting by the transient social fad of racial equality.

Advocates of an anti-Same Sex Marriage position are feeling that same sense of bullying, judgement, vulnerability and attack that Grandma did. Social Conservatives have lost the privilege of the assumed right to be able to state who should and should not be able to get married. Modern social norms consider the assumed privilege to reject Same-Sex Marriage to be Homophobic and Social Conservatives therefore to be ignorant of what constitutes basic human respect and decency.

Seen from the perspective of Same-Sex Marriage proponents, Marriage Conservatives thus find themselves in possession of a Homophobic ethic as vulgar and as self-evidently disgusting as Racism. Explaining his decision to discontinue stocking Coopers products,

Union Hotel general manager Luke Hiscox said he found the video condescending and could not continue to support the brand, especially as many of his staff identified as LGBTI. “The idea that we need to have a discussion about basic human rights is probably why people are so upset,” he said.

When told that their views on Same-Sex Marriage are vulgar and passe, Marriage Conservatives feel shouted at and bullied, same as my Grandma did when being corrected for her casual and unconscious Racism. Just as my Grandma was shocked to be called a Racist, Marriage Conservatives are shocked to be called Homophobic and reject that labelling.

Marriage Conservatives are feeling what its like, for a change, to be the ones considered to be holding degenerate views, to be told to reform their degenerate thinking and learn what is basic human decency.

The claim to be suffering bullying and persecution is the pained and confused cry of those having privilege stripped from hem.

After a considerable number of centuries where Marriage Conservatives have held privileged and uncriticised views, the shoe is now on the other foot.

So, personally I don’t think Marriage Conservatives are being bullied by the so-called Gay Lobby. Marriage Conservatives are merely suffering a loss of privilege. Naturally, we don’t like it.

I should know. I’m a Marriage Conservative.

Some Final Words On Ranji

Ranji had to crash through barriers of Racism in order to take his warranted place in the English cricket team. The ingrained Racism of authority figures in the England of the 1890’s gives a great background to my Grandma’s epithet ‘As Black As Ranji’s bum’.

Though popular amongst many in England, both in the upper-class and in the general cricket watching public, many resented that a dark-skinned man could be better than an Englishman at cricket.

Surely that bipolar attitude toward Ranjitsinhji must have been mirrored in Australia: admiration for his ability and disdain for his colour. Like my Grandma said ‘No-one could get him out’

Again from Wikipedia,  in 1896, although his form merited selection, Ranji was not chosen by the MCC committee which chose the team.

Lord Harris was primarily responsible for the decision, possibly under influence from the British Government; Simon Wilde believed they may have feared establishing a precedent that made races interchangeable or wished to curtail the involvement of Indians in British political life.[78]

Bateman’s assessment is less sympathetic to Harris: “the high-minded imperialist Lord Harris, who had just returned from a spell of colonial duty in India, opposed his qualification for England on the grounds of race.”[79]

Ranjitsinhji made his Test debut on 16 July 1896. After a cautious 62 in his first innings, his final score in the second innings was 154 not out,[84] and the next highest score for England on the last day was 19.

He was given an enthusiastic reception by the crowd and the report in Wisden stated: “[The] famous young Indian fairly rose to the occasion, playing an innings that could, without exaggeration, be fairly described as marvellous. He … punished the Australian bowlers in a style that, up to that period of the season, no other English batsman had approached. He repeatedly brought off his wonderful strokes on the leg side, and for a while had the Australian bowlers quite at his mercy.”[85]

Although Australia won the match, the players were astonished by the way Ranjitsinhji batted.[86]

Not everyone was pleased at his success. Home Gordon, a journalist, praised Ranjitsinhji in a conversation with an MCC member; the man angrily threatened to have Gordon expelled from the MCC for “having the disgusting degeneracy to praise a dirty black.” Gordon also heard other MCC members complaining about “a nigger showing us how to play the game of cricket”.[87]

More on Liberal Party preferencing strategy towards One Nation here.

The Liberal Party has decided to preference One Nation in the upcoming Western Australian State Election. This decision has endorsement from the national executive of the Liberal Party including the Prime Minister and is also endorsed by former Prime Minister John Howard whose regard within the Liberal Party is hagiographic, kind of like living royalty, a saint, the effulgence of an idealised Philosopher/Statesman.

John Howard, campaigning for the WA Liberals, wholeheartedly approved of the One Nation preference deal calling it very sensible and pragmatic.  Since John Howard is formally campaigning, and he is in his very person a living extension of the Liberal Party secretariat, his comments tell you that the Liberal Party at the highest levels endorse and approve preferencing One Nation in the WA Election. This is despite Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressing the formal autonomy of the State-level Liberals and distancing himself from any opinion or input into the decision.

WA Liberal Premier, Colin Barnett, has made no secrets about the rationale for the One Nation Preference deal – its a simple matter of maximizing his chances for re-election. There is no consideration of ethics or policy. His decision is completely unprincipled and designed simply on tactical considerations of how to retain power.

As Barnett said:

 (It’s) just a mathematical equation, the Liberals best chance of winning. (We) can’t sit back and let it all happen.”

As straight-forwardly stated by WA Today, The WA Liberals want to avoid a repeat of the 2001 election when Richard Court lost power after putting One Nation last.

Barnett, trying to avoid being tarnished by association with One Nation viewpoints, has claimed he doesn’t even know what their policies are. This is absurd and Barnett can not expect anyone to believe what he says. In fact, just like Labor and the Greens, One Nation is opposed to one of the Liberals’ signature economic policies. That is the privatisation of Western Power, mainly in order to reduce the state’s extremely high and worsening debt levels.

So Barnett’s central Budgetary policy will be likely scuppered by the outcome of the preference deal he has made with One Nation as a  probable result of that deal is that One Nation will hold Balance of Power in the Upper House.

Apart from this, of course, all of Australia, including Colin Barnett, knows what One Nation stand for. Barnett is trying to avoid guilt-by-association while forming a partnership with persons he knows both reject his major Budgetary policies and hold a range of reactionary, xenophobic, irrational and homophobic viewpoints and in fact are an entirely erratic, idiosyncratic collection of individuals loosely bound by broad agreement on certain themes.  Consigning Balance of Power to such a group is unbelievably irresponsible on the part of Barnett, Howard, Turnbull and the entirety of the Liberal Party executive and leadership.

Sophisticated And Nuanced

The Liberal Party have attempted to justify their preference deal with One Nation by claiming that One Nation is no longer reactionary, xenophobic or racist and that Pauline Hanson and One Nation themselves have become more nuanced and sophisticated.

This is simply untrue. One Nation is the same entity as it ever was. As the Western Australian newspaper WA Today reported, WA One Nation candidate Richard Eldridge once advocated killing Indonesian journalists and attacked “poofters”, Muslims and black people on his then-deactivated Twitter account.

Mr Eldridge, a real estate agent contesting an upper house seat in the South Metropolitan region of Perth, called Muslims “little sheet heads”, derided gay relationships as “poo games” and advocated taking up arms against “extreme Muslims”.

He recently revived his Twitter account, saying his 2014 comments did not represent his views today.

A second WA One Nation candidate, Michelle Myers, nominated for the newly-created seat of Bateman, said that the gay community uses Nazi-style mind control techniques in order to brainwash ordinary citizens into supporting policies of the alternative sexuality movement. WA Today quoted Myers as follows:

Are you wondering why even some Christians are being swayed by the gender industry’s pitch and push 4 same sex ‘marriage’ and acceptance of fake families?”, the One Nation candidate asked. It’s not by accident; it’s by a carefully contrived but disingenuous mind control program, melded together by two Norwegian homosexuals who graduated from Harvard – one of whom has since prematurely passed away.

Whatever one thinks of the statements of Myers and Eldridge, it is obvious that One Nation has not changed one iota. They remain the same beast they were in 1998, utterly unnuanced and unsophisticated, as  when John Howard instructed the electorate to put One Nation last in every seat.

As the Australian Financial Review puts it

The suggestion Hanson has changed in some fundamental way is actually an indication of how much the rest of politics has changed

Consistently Unprincipled

The decision by The Liberal Party to preference One Nation continues its historical policy of dealing with One Nation purely on the basis of Unprincipled Self-Interest. This is the way that The Liberals have always dealt with One Nation and what they are doing now in the WA Election.

Here are the major milestones of the consistently unprincipled Liberal Party / One Nation preference deal journey:

March 1997 – One Nation Formed.

One Nation immediately commandeers 9% of the national vote, measured by polls, most of which came from the Liberal/National coalition. George Megalogenis states that the LNP vote fell from 49% in March 1997 when One Nation was formed, to 40% one month later ‘and all of it went over to the One Nation column’.

Howard could not afford to antagonize One Nation as their support base was comprised mainly of disaffected Coalition voters. Howard needed to ensure that One Nation voters would preference him, so he played softly-softly with them.

Howard is not fundamentally opposed to the One Nation agenda and tells his party room that he would prefer to work with them rather than the Australian Democrats. Peter Costello and Amanda Vanstone disagree. Both of these made public comments that the Liberal Party should put One Nation last in the preference order on ethical grounds i.e. that One Nation were racist. Both received long and emphatic phone calls from John Howard they should retract their opinions, Vanstone commenting that Howard was so loud she was forced to hold the receiver away from her ear (‘The Howard Years’, Episode 1, ABC Television, broadcast 17 Nov. 2008)

Howard decides to preference One Nation above Labor. This, Howard hoped, would send a message to One Nation voters that he was not displeased with the One Nation message, particularly in the climate of general social condemnation of One Nation, and maximize the One Nation preference flow to the Coalition.

June 1998 – Queensland State Election

One Nation won an astonishing 23% of the primary vote and, aided by Coalition preferences won 11 seats, while the Coalition itself lost 5 seats in Brisbane as inner-city voters expressed their disgust at Howard’s preferencing of One Nation above Labor.

If these results were to be repeated at the upcoming Federal Election, Howard and the Coalition would be soundly defeated.

Immediately after Queensland election Howard flies to Queensland to meet with One Nation supporters and try to convince them that the Coalition understood their issues and would help them. In the meantime he commissions Tony Abbott to find a way to destroy One Nation. Abbott creates a slush fund to fund legal action against Hanson and One Nation. Abbott and Howard lie about their knowledge of and existence of the Fund. Abbott and Howard eventually get Hanson thrown in jail.

The strategy of the National and Liberal parties to preference One Nation paid off outside Brisbane, where it won five seats from Labor and failed only narrowly to secure the re-election of the Borbidge Government (Ward and Rae 2000, 114), in Brisbane the strategy badly back-fired: urban voters ‘punished’ the Liberals for directing preferences to One Nation (Reynolds 2001, 156).

So the overall effect of Coalition preferences was to assist One Nation to win seats, to win some seats for the LNP in rural and outer-metro areas, but to experience significant punishment in urban seats as relatively educated and progressive voters express disgust against associating with One Nation

1998 – Federal Election

Howard decides to put One Nation last to protect urban seats  (of which there are many) from backlash against inner-city voters, foregoes assistance in rural seats (of which there are few) and avoid loss of outer-metro seats to One Nation.

2001 – WA State Election

LNP again put One Nation last. LNP lose power to ALP.

2002-2015 One Nation Ceases To Exist as a significant political force

2017 – WA State Election

Barnett, Turnbull and Howard fine-tune the preference strategy, swapping One Nation preferences in Lower House for Lib preferences in the Upper House. The deal is limited to selected seats. The Libs are trying to sandbag Lower House seats and so retain government whilst conceding Balance of Power in the Upper House. They are also avoiding assisting One Nation to win seats in the Lower House.

Like Howard did, Barnett and other Liberals are trying to mollify One Nation voters by saying they are good people, sophisticated and nuanced, and that their concerns are seriously addressed by the Libs.

Also, noting a reactionary shift in the political landscape toward populism, nationalism and anti-Immigration, the Libs judge that urban voters are less likely to punish them by association with One Nation

The Libs, including Malcolm Turnbull, are also trying to distance themselves from One Nation even while cuddling up to them, hence Barnett feigning ignorance of their policies. This is to mollify urban voters intended to reduce backlash.

I go into more detail about the early LNP / One Nation history here, drawing heavily on research by Margo Kingston.

 

My son sat a Scholarship Test today. Afterwards I wrote the following letter to the Principal of the school that provided the test.

Dear Dr. Principal,

Thanks to yourself and International Academy for providing the scholarship test today, 25 Feb.

I thoroughly  enjoyed the presentations by yourself and your staff and came away convinced that IA provides a world-class Secondary Education.

My son sat today’s test. I would describe him as a mid-range student with relative strengths in Humanities and Creative Writing. Mathematics he finds sometimes inscrutable.

We sat him for the test not because we think he has a high chance of achieving a scholarship, but to give him the opportunity to challenge himself at a high-level task and also because his very best friend will be attending IA next year. So we wanted to give him a chance to qualify and, who knows, pull off a stunner.

After listening to your remarks about the severity of the examination I was quite concerned that we had inadvertently put our son into something really beyond his capacity. I thought he might come out of the exam deeply frustrated, enraged or maybe catatonic.

Imagine my surprise when he bounded out of the exam at Midday with the good cheer and vigour of a Border Collie pup.

‘That was a cinch’, he said ‘Easier than NAPLAN ! Can we have McDonalds ?’

I found his assessment simultaneously both highly improbable and immensely encouraging 🙂

Off we scooted to McDonald’s where he devoured a Triple Cheeseburger, a Large Fries and six Chicken Nuggets in the manner of an Anaconda swallowing a Wildebeest, or maybe vice-versa.

Who knows what he would have eaten after a NAPLAN ?

Thanks again for your excellent talks and hospitality today.

May I wish you and IA all the very best into the future.

Best Regards,

Jesus Has A God, Therefore He Cannot Be God

My material for this post is largely drawn from John Gill’s exposition of John 20:17

In order to prove that Jesus cannot be God, Muslims draw attention to John 20:17 in which Jesus clearly says He has a God.  How, they ask, can God have a God ? Here is John 20:17

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

The answer to how Jesus can have a God lies in recognising that Jesus is God in Human form. Jesus was truly human. Being human, Jesus can have a God.

Can God come to Earth if He wants to ? Of course He can.

If God came to Earth could he have flesh and bones and choose to eat and sleep ? Of course He could. Therefore God can come to Earth in human form.

But God would not stop being divine just because He came to Earth in human form. He would still be God. But He would also be a Human who can eat and sleep and do all the things that Humans do.

So if God came to Earth as a human he would retain his divine nature but also have a human nature. He would have two natures during the time He was on Earth: A Divine nature and a Human nature.

Can God Limit Himself ?

God can control Himself in much the same way that I control myself, for example, when I play with my children I choose to limit my strength so that I do not hurt them when I play with them. In a similar way, when Jesus came to Earth he decided to temporarily limit Himself in certain ways. Jesus still had divine attributes but he chose not to use some of them during His time on Earth while He walked with us as a truly human being.

The self-limitation of Jesus does not diminish God because all the Divine Attributes remain fully active in The Father and The Holy Spirit, the other two Divine Persons who share the single Divine Life.

Identification and Dependence

During the period of His earthly life Jesus chose to make Himself dependent on The Father just as all of humanity is dependent on Father God. In this way, Jesus identified with humanity. He became one of us and shared our limitations and dependence on God while yet retaining His divine nature. For this reason of dependence it is possible for Jesus to say that He has a God. Jesus made Himself dependent on The Father, and so like all with a human nature Jesus was dependent on The Father.

Jesus had two natures: a divine nature and a human nature. He retained possession of His divine nature, but chose not to use most of his divine attributes. He lived His life on Earth constrained by the limits of human nature which he took on Himself when he entered His earthly existence.

This does not mean that Jesus never exercised His Divine Attributes or power while on Earth. For example, Jesus healed people and did other miracles by His own power. (See John 5:19, Matthew 8:26-27, Matthew 14:25-32).

The passage in question, John 20:17, thus contains a second reason why it is possible for Jesus to talk about ‘My God and Your God’ and this reason relates to the truth of Jesus’ identification with humanity.

The reality of identification works two ways. Because Jesus shared our humanity, He identifies with us, but humanity also identifies with Jesus. This means that however The Father chooses to treat Jesus in relation to His humanity then you and I obtain the privilege of being treated by The Father in the same way that The Father treats Jesus.

This identification means that since the Father has declared Jesus Not Guilty of sin, then we also can be declared Not Guilty of sin if we identify with Jesus, i.e. choose in faith to accept Jesus as our representative before The Father. Furthermore, because Jesus was resurrected from the grave and from death by The Father, then we also can be, and will be, resurrected from death and the grave (Barzakh) if we choose to identify with Jesus. Again furthermore because Jesus ascends to The Father, those who identify with Jesus and become part of the Umma of Jesus will also obtain the privilege of ascending to heaven with Jesus to be in the presence of The Father.

This truth of humanity’s identification with Jesus, how The Father rewards the Umma of Jesus with the same privileges as Jesus is reported in a truncated form In The Qu’ran Surah Al-Imran:3:55.

“O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection.

It was this third aspect of identification, that of Ascension, that  Jesus was specifically referring to in this passage of scripture including John 20:17. Jesus had been declared Not Guilty by The Father after His ordeal on The Cross, consequently had been resurrected from death and the grave and was just about to ascend to The Father.

The woman wanted Jesus to stay behind on earth with them and clung on to Him but Jesus told them something greater was in store for humanity, namely His ascension, which all believers in Him, all His Umma would have the privilege of doing also. But He, Jesus, had to ascend first to make the way for them.

The statement of Jesus ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” teaches His Umma that His ascension makes our ascension possible because of His identification with humanity and our identification with Him.

Amen! Thanks to be to God an Our Lord Jesus Christ !

So, Jesus statement I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God is indeed, as Muslims state, a clear indication of Jesus’ humanity. This humanity came about because Jesus voluntarily chose to make Himself dependent on The Father (see Phillipians 2:5-8).

The statement my Father and your Father…my God and your God is also a powerful statement of truth regarding Jesus’ identification with humanity, by which humanity can be declared Not Guilty before God and obtain resurrection and ascension, which is entry to Paradise.

The Nature Of God

God exists as three persons who share a single divine life or essence. Since God exists as three persons, one (Jesus) may choose to come to Earth while the others remain in heaven. Additionally, the One who comes to Earth can choose to make Himself dependent on the One(s) who remains in Heaven. In this way, Jesus can truly call The Father His God whilst yet retaining His own divine nature.

The self-limitation of Jesus does not diminish God because all the Divine Attributes remain fully active in The Father and The Holy Spirit, the other two Divine Persons who share the single Divine Life.

Because there is only one Divine Life, God is One.

Today I picked up a book sitting on my friend’s kitchen table. It was a biography of Mohammed entitled ‘The Life Of Mohammed’ by Abdul Ahmed Siddique. You can read the publisher’s note on the book here

Flicking through the pages I chanced upon a bold-face heading on the section devoted to Mohammed’s triumphal military entrance into Mecca. The heading read:

Magnanimity Unparalleled In The Annals Of Mankind

A few lines below was the sub-heading:

Only Four People Were Executed

The people of Mecca must have been glad that they were invaded on a day when Mohammed felt especially and uniquely magnanimous and hence only executed four of them.

Of course, Mohammed’s behaviour in executing ‘only’ four people was not magnanimous but barbarous: especially when one considers that one of those executed was a servant girl named Fartana, executed merely for name-calling and singing satirical songs  directed against Mohammed (see Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Alfred Guillaume (translator), The life of Muhammad: a translation of Isḥāq’s Sīrat rasūl Allāh, p. 550)

In executing a mere slave-girl for mere name-calling Mohammed displays not magnanimity, as characterised by the severely deluded Mr. Siddique but psychopathic narcissism.

A Better Example Of Magnanimity

As an example of a person who did indeed display magnanimity at severe personal cost, please consider the example of  Maria Nice  who forgave Alisson Lima dos Santos who murdered her son Rafael da Silva. You can watch the video here

Maria Nice is a Christian who, like uncounted millions of Christians before her, has followed the example of Jesus who forgave those who persecuted, tormented, tortured and killed Him. This is what Maria Nice said to the young man who killed her son.

“You are forgiven in Jesus’ name. I am a Christian, and I am forgiving you, and I will keep praying, Alisson. […] And you are going to discover that God that I serve. […] I don’t have a drop of hate for you, Alisson.

Not Quite So Magnanimous

Once Mohammed’s daughters Fatima and Umm Kulthum were riding on a camel. An enemy of Mohammed named Al-Huwayrith intentionally goaded the camel, causing Mohammed’s daughters to be dangerously thrown to the ground. Mohammed had him killed. (see Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Alfred Guillaume (translator), The life of Muhammad: a translation of Isḥāq’s Sīrat rasūl Allāh, p. 551)

You can read here about the young  Saudi Arabian woman, Fatima Al-Mutairi, killed by her Muslim family for simply being a Christian. Like Jesus and Maria Nice, this young woman forgave her enemies in the face of personal suffering and did not execute any one at all.

Dozens more examples of  Christians forgiving enemies who have killed their family members can be found just by Googling Christian forgives murderer’

In this Christians emulate the example of Jesus, the unparalleled magnanimous and mericiful example to humanity who prayed  Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing, even as his enemies were torturing and killing Him on the cross, and who did not order any of them to be executed.