AW W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Volume What is New
TAKING A TEAM TO THE TASK
LEAVES THE QUESTION: WHICH TEAM AND FOR WHAT ?
See also: Department of Bible and Spiritual Affairs
Vol. 6 Ch. 2,
Vol. 8, Chs. 4 and 5,
Vol. 9, Ch. 3 as marked, 9, 7, 9, 8,
Now the Highway ... Ch. 8.
Reference is included to Al Bawaba News October 30,2014
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has cornered the concept, Team Australia, to refer to core, or basic or major overall, national Australian values and those disposed to cleave to them.
It is interesting how this came about. In fact, Australia has a menace situation in which certain Islamic modules set themselves up to deal death on a large scale, often in a particularly hideous fashion, or in a suddenly vicious sweeping manner, into a city or a people. They also seek to enlist illicitly through appeal to brutal instincts and unformed, immature opinion, the young, even to brutalise children with their vastly murderous instincts, passions or impure purposes.
This being a challenge, Abbott sought to have a readily accessible base for the demarcation of such vicious insurgencies, where a few can wreak havoc for the many, in beheadings, in bomb assaults, merciless shreddings, as if bombs were handshakes. Such have been well practised in Israel, and towards many peoples they are used in audacious demands for recognition and accommodation in a nation, invading by passport and propaganda. Abbott does not find this attractive, and it is indeed heinous.
Indeed, in his response, he has even devised a red card system, whereby such a sport-famous card can be presented to what he calls hate-preachers coming to this country to stir up emotional support, fear and enlistment, though divisive thrusts to set Australians against Australians in the motions of an invasive force, small in number, dangerous in potency because of credulity and insidious propaganda. This was well illustrated in a recent edition of Lateline, in the TV area, where Abbott rightly congratulated an interviewer for the program on her treatment of an interviewee, one noted for pushing the propaganda and position of such policies concerning insurgencies.
The lady concerned, noting that the program was to permit questions and answers, asked a question. This could have revealed some sort of position on FACT, on the part of the zealot. However, he refused to answer it, so she asked again; and again. He told her that her actions were intrusive, that he wanted to present his view, but she persisted that she wanted an answer to questions.
When he was unimpressed and seemed to want simply an opportunity to use Australian TV to present a line of free thought as he wished, she then asked, in case this question would be faced and not sidestepped, another one. This too he found unacceptable. Politicians may front up to questions or hide. This man hid. If however such well known items on the part of certain wanton, militant groups claiming Islam, elements which awaited explanation or defence or at least positioning in the scheme of alien thought, were to be circumvented, how could the purposes of allowing defence and presentation in those areas be fulfilled! Either the things were in principle wrong, or they were not; but where angels might weep, and men look aghast, silence and refusal is no answer. It seems that after some 11 minutes, the time was up.
The interviewer pointed out that it was not as if there was no limit on the time given for this purpose. Questions need answers. These made, you can give grounds and principles and positions and viewpoints; but if you cannot and will not answer questions when this is the purpose, where is truth ? And where truth is absent, whether in any Australia error or that of any other nation, danger is present!
This points was not entirely lost on Abbott during the election.
In proceeding on these lines, at the outset some little time ago, Abbott surrendered entirely to something equally dangerous. In an election promise, he had made it emphatically clear that he was in favour of free speech, not pullulating subordination to invasive controls, and he was going to remove one of the worst cases in the famed Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, in a liberalising fashion, given opportunity to the populace, without menace, to present robust case in what they held.
When then the announcement of Team Australia came, he indicated that this freedom contract was broken; and shortly, he went further. Now it was not even any longer on the table for coming reform by new legislation. No! not at all would he redeem his promise. The thing was gone, finished, no more. Instead, to combat terror there was to be certain dimension of loss of freedom of speech; a transition was made, a promise broken, and as has been pointed out through a political writer*1 of some note, the Liberal philosophy in the process was harrowingly compromised.
Be that as it may, and the point appears soundly based, freedom was traded in, a promised freedom of very precise specifications at the election stage, was put out of mind, and the scene simply moved to this team Australia approach which would deal with terrorism. But how does dealing with terrorism from abroad and in its infiltration into Australia, find justification in a form of terrorism already present within, in using law to suppress thought, feelings to dominate truth and leaving sound thought and people free to be persecuted by LAW! and this in defiance of an election promise, to aggravate the position intensely!
Now to deal with the terrorism which the nation faces, certainly a red card system of designating offenders has something to commend it. When physical violence is used, imported, touted, and restraint - in appealing to mechanisms of violent government overthrow and the like - is thrown away, while outrageous foreign passions are imported as if they were some countries' fruit, valued and ordered in by our populace, then this vigilance has merit. It is part of stable government. To throw away a much favoured liberty of speech purpose, however, earlier presented in a defined manner, that has no merit.
It not only breaks an express political promise but is in danger, in the setting of the law concerned, of making the feeling of being lord over truth, and your particular response in inward reaction, to become the practical dictator over sincere, non-physical delineations of man or God or what you will. You may rule as if mindless over these, if only you can get them into the category of ethnicity or race. In those categories, that is all it takes to enable some people to attack others by law, and for truth to be cut off by such means, unless courage meets the case, and condemnation and legal assault are to be weathered.
True there has been an atrocity that mounts recently reaching plague proportions in France, so that many Jews, for example, are afraid to go out into the streets. Racism itself can run riot, is horrendous, unjust and a vapid over-generalisation. That is its own domain. Such passions may be temporary, but this French example shows that that evil mischief is powerful and is found reported for example on HAARETZ.
So of Hitler, declares but one of the brazen slogans: that dictator was right about the Jews! This is a slogan! This is found amid the rampaging against Jews! That is already an evil annunciation and scorching denunciation. Such racism is appalling, grotesque and abominable; and it is justly condemned in the strongest terms, as has been done in France by appropriate authority, though this did not readily clear the hatred and the violence; for numbers of synagogues have suffered when attacked, and not synagogues only. One famous exponent of a different view concerning Jews than this ghetto-esque abuse was found by an ideological murderer, and he was noted for being vigorous on the topic of Jewish use of their land. Loathing instead of love passed into death instead of life, a symbolic switch.
It is reported that this figure at a meeting of those so moved, was repeatedly shot in the very midst of a meeting of those of like mind, by a seemingly casual entrant who apparently felt like murder, in Israel! Murder, whether of persons or truth is the work of confusion, where reason fails and force substitutes. Both are to be avoided, it is true, but seeking to prevent the one does NOT entail surrendering the other. The two are brothers, truth itself and truth about racism. They are far from being opponents, as if indulging the one excludes the other. Abbott's point in leaving one and adopting the other merely opens the door, or secures it open, to another outrage and violence, that to the truth. Small is that nation which cannot endure the truth.
Thus there is genuine need to protect against the hideous eccentricities and passions of racism, and indeed, against those generalisations which inaccurately insist on making ALL of a class of persons who are born into a race, or have a skin colour, to be condemned, just because in the outrageous conduct of some of them, condemnation is justly discerned.
A dictator of course may manipulate by breaking promises of his election, and removing free speech in news or home or public places, while insisting on certain values and doctrines which he may embrace. Many may be aligned in the thrusts of forcible impact, to collapse into silence and conformity to the ruthless religious rule thus imposed, or even to sell the soul for continued living! It is on the other hand necessary to be careful in referring to races, or groups of people confined to a particular place, as if they all are as bad as some. Where it is not the case that one is free to choose, condemnation can be mere persecution. The force of national change may operate on them in a way that leads them where they would never have chosen, they being deceived, conceived or placed in some land or group by birth.
It is when what a person CAN change is in view, and yet no change is made, that a clearer culpability arises: not where the basis is one of category by skin colour or race or incorrect generalisation of some kind or other.
Thus it is what a person does or does not have, this by no personal choice, that is not a subject of any religious or State assault, the one or the other, and the distinction must always be made between the principle involved and those to whom it may or may not apply. Of course, as noted, if choice can be made to leave an evil category, then culpability may be said to arise when instead the person continues; but that is a challenging question in a given case: were they free to leave! But where there is no choice, then condemnation for that, has no place.
Let us face the Australian moral meteorology, and its black looming cloud of erratic law which was to have been removed. It is when feeling is put above truth, in dealing with any comment, reasoning, presentation about any topic*2, and protest is set above actuality, and purpose of the speaker concerning any matter is made null while response of the hearer becomes the criterion, that we are moving into a sacred territory with all the discretion of a tank. Even a democracy may so insist.
Can truth be so demeaned ?
Can reason be so ruptured ?
Is feeling of insult to become a portmanteau for lodging persecution BY LAW ?
Is one man's feeling - not his JUSTIFICATION FOR IT, to become another man's condemnation by law ? It is apparent that when such things occur, that a persecutory group is in danger of being formed. What is its kind ? it is one made up of litigants on a very easy wicket; it is like a game of bowls in which only one of the contestants has bias in the ball: I feel insulted, you pay. But what if the motivation is envy or pride or revenge or money ? or what if the offence is a mere psychic fragment ? Either it is there or not, and if there, there is scope for legal action. Certainly it applies to some categories, but these can be made very broad. In the end, it is like having thought police; but this brave new world is in fact ANYTHING but brave! It is an open door to cowardly persecution and inflammatory assault.
It is utterly unfair, grossly subject to invasion by fraud and ludicrous in concept. It makes for the ninnyfication of a nation. True, many will resist, many will pay, lawyers may be able to add a tennis court to their properties, money may change hands freely - one freedom left - but reality is subjected not to reason but to response, feeling of insult or of offence. The extremity of such a position made it perfectly clear that Abbott's promise and premise of making sure of free speech to air matters, to express them and put the case for them freely, was a just concern and a good step. He spoke of its wisdom before election, but not in this failure. Before election, we were to make sure of something better than insipidity and super-sensitive reactions, which as well occur as justifiable responses. He spoke well on the point. He did not keep it. Terrorism does not require rough-housing of the truth, lest your method of fighting loses what you are fighting for!
Where the reactions that some people might have to things said were justified because of untruth or mere pejorative assumption on the part of the speaker, it was easy enough to preserve peace in parading such attitudes. But justification is not the same as reactions of antagonism, or upset. Reason remains. But in existing law it may be dismissed even from consideration.
Thus, in sum, in having the concept of Team Australia REPLACE the undertaking for the freedom in view, and this as a work against terrorism of threat and violence and incitation to it, there was a certain change of balance, not a mere addition of weapons against those who prefer the weaponry of physical war and threat. The New Balance was achieved, psychologically and politically by eliminating a promise quite sufficient to gain votes, but now bypassing that fact, and making a new approach that looked good in principle at least on the plus side, against evil, but involved needlessly a simple dump of the freedom provision. This New Balance has a saucy look, a pragmatic and indeed manipulative look.
Thus it must be realised that the Constitution of the land of Australia has a very Aussie part in which we are preserved from Canberra notions that may arise, of regulating our religious values, intruding into our religious testimony and regulating our religious orientation. The Speech of the Opposition Leader seems to contravene this most markedly, as seen in Ch. 9,7 above. Will the New Balance of the Prime Minister go in the same direction ? It is still too easy to say, but it would mean that 'ethnic' would have to be carefully differentiated from 'religious' in the super-sensitive domain, for what OFFENDS or INSULTS someone, in that person's range of feeling, includes ethnicity as the KIND of area where such sensitivity is protected against all.
As soon as anyone's values and approaches are made, even their feelings, a criterion in the field of religion, and the State permits this, and is ready to operate on such a basis, there is already an illicit, an unconstitutional, a VERY unAustralian modus operandi. People can dictate favoured views in their subjective outrages, and duly appointed Judges can endorse such approaches, the law calling to arms, and this becomes merely an indirect way of having the STATE, Australia federally, using cultural views and popularity, now of this idea, now of that, to endorse and to apply them. An overall philosophy concerning religious truth becomes, desired or not, a basis. What is FIRST is not truth, and it is overshadowed by something else.
And so is religion abased, while the dream of the State is surreptitiously implemented. If not all realise it, that does not alter its presence, and history is littered with such bypasses into deadly defiles. Official will, cultural swill, things widely held become law without limit, and culture, what people are thinking and doing now, as in Germany on the part of certain in power before World War II, this becomes the religion. Man at this moment becomes in himself the law, and makes it, and all that limits such self-worshipful passion is legally removed or emplaced, as the case may be.
Thus one way open is through the orientation of judges who may be appointed to cover these highly personal matters, in this setting able to apply what in government becomes a religious doctrine; and these may thus use the current cultural ideas with or without realisation, to protect from insult and offence, those who go to law. In the end, a set of values and violent interference by legal means becomes a new bride for the Australia of yore. An illegal marriage, for any reason, is one thing; but an unconstitutional one is something else.
Violent ? If you are fined, or imprisoned, or have your name assaulted, or are deemed to be an assailant and so on, yes it is a violence that could ruin financially, compromise socially and terminate professionally. It is no use being blinded; things happen in this world, and some take easy options in dealing with events, especially in what might be deemed a culture-ridden generation, where what the people think now and then, here or there, becomes increasingly a domination more than a mere inclination, for others.
Robust speech such as lauded by the now PM before the election, deals with issues and principles and it is not concerned to pretend errors or eruptive differences when they are not there, instead using fact and care to establish what it wishes to say*3. If someone shows logically that it is wrong, to which objection is made, not merely in feeling but in something grounded in assured principle, then it stands corrected: provided there is amply opportunity for defence in terms of TRUTH, that objective arbiter and careful sieve. The Bible declares boldly:
"Buy the truth and do not sell it!"
Amen and amen, for without truth in place, lies abound, justice wilts and croneyism, prejudice and fraud can issue unrebuked (Proverbs 23:23).
Truth is truth and not a scimitar, legal or otherwise.
So what of violence masquerading as reason, but in fact based on terror, not truth ?
What of propaganda for putsch based on push and manipulation of emotions without ground ?
Whether it be in religion or anything else, indeed, that physical violence is urged or used, and unjust and unbased claims about others are made, that is already out of the question. If someone agrees with Mein Kampf, for example, or any issuing basis of physical violence or gross distortion of actuality, and incites to it, there are grounds for the use of restraint in the expressions gained. When people are menaced by other people in terms of what they do to them, want to do to them, urge others to do to them, applaud others for doing, so that their safety is threatened in terms of terror, as noted for the city of Paris recently, then it is indeed with horror that one may respond. It is hideously unjust, and in the case in question, bitterly discriminatory, surging in response to what appear distorted and psychic urges to assail some sections of the community on the part of ruthless seeming operatives wishing to crush with their unhindered dynamic, or at times even murderous or ruinous rage.
Such physical smashing, bashing is low crime.
Defence against this evil sort of thing is not, however, in method of care and governmental obedience to our so very Aussie Constitution, a major and justifiable part of the base of any Team Australia, to be obtained by the loss of what we are and have been, of our freedom-loving and very independent nation, famed for its non-terrorisation by swagger and over-done authority issues. Freedom of religion is not to be paraded out, in ANY terms (other than in the menace that force over the persons of other people brings, through threats or intimidatory and odious mischaracterisation, which may lead to the loss of freedom when used by some). It may be convenient; it is VERY unAustralian, as well of course as unconstitutional.
One reason for Australia being what it is, is that this is so. Truth is set above force, and justice above feeling, while religion, short of physical abuse or call to it, is free, unavailable for governmental prescription or suppression, not a topic of Canberra's power, but an exclusion zone for establishment of this or that in its place, impinging on its doctrine or practice, outside the outrages mentioned.
There is thus remaining room for the re-institution of the broken promise of Abbott, abolition of the removal of a significant premiss in his election, and of the too open door to using the nature of one conflict, to change the nation in another characteristic. Put differently, freedom of rational speech does not have to be traded in to avoid terrorism, since the main aspect of that in striking bodies and minds, is that it is NOT logical, or sound or sustainable as a mode; and in avoiding racial slurs you not only do not need to present truth as a criterion, but should never do such a debased thing as open it to invasion. Overcoming prejudice by prejudice, currently this or that as the scene changes over the decades, is like injecting with a polluted needle, some otherwise helpful antibiotic.
Did Putin START with control of the press, or of the tongue such as now more and more obtains ? That would not have been attractive. One principle can be used to subvert another. Follow me, one leader may say, and your greatness and peace, prosperity and advance will be clear for all. Such may be the word of a political leader. A little later, a more advanced word may come: abandon this tongue freedom, for it only creates instability not apt for my magnificent leadership. That is what most of the worst say, as they proceed to dictatorial status, whether using law or guns or both as instruments for the purpose. Then it can put on its May day parade with all pomp, and show myriads of marching men as the assurance that if it decides that something is right, right it is, so then watch your footwork and your neck!
As soon, as in the last Chapter, you get into the religious business of SUBORDINATION of the grounds of truth and evidence, of reality and logic, to a mere DESIRE or reaction, as if to make people gods, then you are not only far from any constitutionally defined Aussie bunch, but a wayout misleader, destroying what you fight for, as a method of winning. What is left, as so often happens, is then NOT what was fought for by many and often in the past, and the battle won on the field is then lost by intemperance and failure to be critical of power grabs, freedom losses and audacious redefinitions of that for which a nation stands.
Thus there is not only a peril in one side of politics in the current moveable Australian mood, but in both. The dominating tread is perilously close, whatever the direction of your political orientation.
HERE is a performance test. Who will stand firm in the face of all these tests, temptations and vast vulnerabilities to the misuse of power! What is needed here is not a cat fight amid political parties, but a governing eye, a steadfast understanding, a non-manipulative and non directive approach to religion, by all means exalting what you will as an ELECTION OPTION (they all have their own elevations of this and that, in system or out of it), but not insisting on any mode of speaking or acting which makes hypocrisy the residue of freedom of religion, and the State the virtual if not the legally active criterion and arbiter of all ultimate values, till having anaesthetised its people, it invests them with its OWN kind of religiously oriented invasion, and neatly breaches the Constitution, in effect consigning ONE of the things which has made our nation what it is and so attractive to others, to the dust.
The New Balance being currently set forward is best replaced with the Old Fidelity, where what is offered in these fields, is what is gained, lest the broken election promise become a means, unendorsed by the people, of achieving a private desire, in which the very character of the nation and its famed Constitution with its so excellent results in many ways, is changed in a corruption of need by a wrongful confusion of aspects, and a surrender of what in the end, buttresses by openness for argument, the desire for realism, truth and justice.
For this, see this volume, Ch. 3, Endnote2.
See Home Page as marked. Note this passage in its context.
We can never consent in conscience to the use of psychic, emotional, political, social or other means of repressing Christianity, or to government becoming its secular Lord. We do not concur in the de facto confusing of the issue that our Constitution in Australia FORBIDS the Commonwealth both from establishing a religion, imposing religious observance and from prohibiting the free exercise of any religion. Hence convenience, pleasure and preference in the field of religion cannot annul its proper liberty, not of course to remove all scope for other religions or kill, but to exercise its principles of morality beyond prejudice, prohibition or mere invasive social desire. Thus, for example, to make personal feelings, without due review of purpose and principles, truth and case, such as exhibited in a sense of insult and offence, to be a criterion of morals, right and wrong, of some taking contrary legal action or not, constitutes competitive religion, violates principled morality and displaces truth, leaving justice a psychic remnant. Hypocrisy does not help unconstitutionality, and a cover of words does not remove in this case, a relegation of truth, justice and religion to things inessential, manipulable, and supervened by emotions. Unconstitutional because invasive laws in this field are not merely a violation of the Commonwealth's limitations, but an assault on the very integrity and sustainability of religion, an action from a State becoming at war with Church, a rupture reminiscent of the liberty of religion which giants of deception have granted in the past, while persecuting to the uttermost.
Section 116 of the Constitution declares that "the commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth."
Whatever, however, the persecution may be, and it is foretold in some detail as to come (cf. John 16:2, Revelation 13,17), the categories and way of the Christian following Jesus Christ do not alter. Their quality is immutable, as is God (Psalm 102).
See also, Now the Highway, Now the Heights Ch. 8.
The trifling with truth, toying with it, manipulative use of it, social remoulding of it, psychic substitute for it, as likewise with justice becomes an easy way to the entrance to the bottomless pit of unreality, trashing of reality, fiction making man servile, dehumanisation; and those who indulge in such pseudo-divine aspirations, merely lower as far as is in their power, the nature of our race, using what is not God, but man to seek to make his nature manipulable for convenience, while truth stands aghast, but not powerless. It wins in the end. Reality does not alter; mercy may intervene, but this first RECOGNISES the truth, and repentance first acknowledges its breach.
Freedom to speak the truth is not by any means to be confused with freedom to pry, let alone find out intelligence secrets. Keith Windschuttle in The Australian, October 31, makes the point of the need of common sense regarding secret operations of defence against an enemy. In fact, it is often little short of amazing how much is revealed to how many concerning Australian strategies in war impending or possible, and the means to implement them with noted weaponry!