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The Machining of Truth
Becomes Manacles of Culture
There is an end. Beginnings can loom for long, at first preparatory, then mere intimations, next expositions, moving to uninhibited compositions, then oppressions, impulsions, compulsions, next law.
Appalling realities are often long in the brewing stage. Take the horrendous case reported in the above paper.
It appears that an aboriginal family or person accepted payment at the time a daughter was very young indeed, for her marriage in due course. When she became 15 years of age, the 50 year or so man to whom she had been ‘sold’ as wife, claimed her, and despite her objection, insisted on the consummation of what, not being begun in the heart of the girl, it appears, seems violation rather than consummation. For how could you consummate what is not begun, or complete what is not there ?
Such appears the character of the report. You are shocked ? You contemplate with one letter writer in the same edition of the newspaper, that this matter of outrageous, a denial of elementary principles, if not an hypocrisy in this, that where other nations allow abuse of the young, this nation affects concern; but when this invasion of human liberty in an extraordinarily insensitive manner occurs, it is nothing. It is just the way we are. Is it this that is the case ? Is the cult concept of ‘other races, other ways’ to become a sort of mandate extraordinary, to dismiss and dispense with the most elementary of concerns for one’s neighbour!
It is to be hoped that this amazing court finding, to the effect that the girl should have known, and even this, that in the normal way the case should not even have come to court, will be overturned. Sexual violation against the will of the party concerned and outside marriage, is not readily distinguished from rape. It becomes worse for those under-age.
Perhaps this provocation to personality will be not stand; but if it does, sad indeed is the day for Australia. Is then the land to acknowledge the subjugation of life to dictation even for a minor, even where the case is most personal and when the thing called ‘love’ is of vast significance, both for the strength and wonder of the relationship between man and wife, and for the atmospheric incubator into which any children should be born. If it is not deemed alien to our laws, then to what are becoming more akin ! The very question is a grievous one; but it needs to be faced, should this proceed without recall or rebuttal.
The reader may recall in this land, the phenomenon of the One Australia theme of Pauline Hanson, who at one stage had quite a following. Various accretions and developments in her political party alienated many; but not a few considered the concept at its source, ONE AUSTRALIA, in the sense of one law impactive on all, to be attractive if not elementary for the welfare of the country and its people.
any such principle is violated to the uttermost, for the pronouncement of the
JUDGE when the matter went to court is in Iine with much teaching and preaching
of many, for a long time in this land. The aboriginal people, the theme
proceeds, are of their own kind, not to be dictated to by ‘white’ law, and
their tribal thrusts are to be honoured and respected. Has not enough damage
been done to
them ? the question is asked. Thus let them alone to deal as they see fit with one another. So goes the cultural concept seeking to roost in the rafters of Australian edifice.
It is indeed true that much evil was done to many aborigines, though not at all in the all the ways that it has become fashionable to allege. Thus many were murdered in some sort of ‘war’, or slain if you prefer, in Tasmania, presumably for safety first reasons. But safety for whom ? That was an apparent atrocity.
On the other side, many were taken from aboriginal lands and brought up and educated in a ‘white tradition’, to use the jargon, and these, with magnificent freedom from the requirements of logic, have been termed ‘the stolen generation’. One court case was brought to bear on this issue, and the Judge on that occasion ruled that the case for the child concerned been regarded as ‘stolen’ did not stand.
What is such ‘theft’ ? Presumably if it is in a generalized way deemed or conceived that the Australian culture, or land, or law, or traditions, must prevail against aboriginal conceptions, to the point that there must be an extradition if you like, from the one race to the other(s) in this land, then this is considered such an intrusion and such an evacuation of the child concerned, that it is ‘theft’. Perhaps, if this were the whole case, there would be such imputation possible to consider. If however there were investigations, and there were found to be abuses, such as the one noted above from The Australian, or murder, or threats of murder, or failure to give to the child through mere will, the opportunity of an education, or the spearing of those deemed guilty of this or that, so that death could ensue, and from this or any such situation children were delivered: if this were the case, then to call this ‘theft’ ignores one most pointed issue. Many ‘white’ children are taken from such situations in fairness to their hopes for the future, and in some cases, for their continuing to stay alive! At those levels, it is not specifically a matter of any particular race, but of the human race.
is being stolen ? Is the child
being ‘stolen’ by its parents or
race or tribe, in the way other races such as Germany’s were stolen, when
Jewish children were ‘taken’, by Hitler, for his particular
purposes ? or is it being ‘stolen’ when those who act are seeking to give it opportunity to learn and in due course opt for whatever is desired, like other Australians, not leaving it till too late to acquire opportunity ?
If the case resembled that of Hitler, and the intention was death, despoiling (as in rape, official or not), then to deliver would be stealing from destruction in crucial ways! Is that then theft ? If on the other hand, these were not the sorts of considerations involved, in particular cases, by due care and with accurate investigation, and if no deprivation were in view, but merely some sort of racial judgment, unfounded in fact, ungrounded in understanding, then the case might indeed be considered for ‘stealing’.
Where however the abuse of the child has been in view, on the basis of merely social intervention to extort or distort its gifts for the sating of desire, then it is entirely contrary. Then, not theft but deliverance becomes a key issue, and a forced marriage could conceivably be considered in this very light! Indeed, this recent occurrence in Northern Australia gives a new stimulus to realism, in considering what may well have been the case with many of the children in the last century, where young aborigines were being given an education, and finding it where they could.
Whether it be the one or the other, or some blend in certain cases, the principles are the same: protection has its place, and so does sensibility. It is not a generic, this or that; but it depends on what in fact happened. From the above case, we are reminded from even the present with its laws and rules, oversight and concerns, of the fact that problems in the past were far from illusory, for they have not commenced with this century! and due cause for action may well have been not uncommon, however many other cases may have arisen, from insensitive or even overbearing actions.
Custom, theirs or ours, or their sub-divisions or our own, are not moral per se; and the human race being of one mould, though varying in some things, the question is not whether to obey any custom, however contrived, artificial, overweening, arrogant or pretentious, but the criterion of custom and the ground of morals.
The CULTURAL MACHINING AND THE MACHINATIONS OF LAW
Where then is ‘morality’ and how are these things to be determined ?
As has been shown previously, morality is not a specialised form of custom, masquerading as righteousness, nor is ‘goodness’ in fact mere preference. If it were, it would be impossible to convince non-maniacs that it held a category at all; for preference, whether for forced sex on a minor, or forced follies in universities, where philosophical preferences are forced on the immature, with marks available for conformity (albeit pleasing conformity), does not constitute something else. If a person should repeatedly assault the body or mind or spirit of a minor, with mere intimidatory tactics, or what has these as an eminent component, does this confer on the victim the concept that it is not only socially obligatory (if the heart lacks courage), but what is actually good and proper, right and fitting ? Does he/she say this: It is customary and hence good, and I applaud it ?
Does might indeed create right ? Is it right as
well as convenient if a French aristocrat, as in Dickens’
A Tale of Two Cities, forces a ‘peasant’ girl into the privileged position of having sexual intercourse with him as if her body were nothing but a protoplasmic offering for lust ? If he chose to ‘marry’ her, in some rather less horrendous case, would this remove the vile violence ?
Did the French Revolution, evil as it was, indicate that a sense of righteousness was the mere appendage of custom, or was there not rather a passion against injustice, against hollow words and Romanist religious oppression joined with State oppression, which lifted the roof off the stadium of the land, and allowed the roars of the spectators of all these things to attest that for them at least, custom was not righteousness, practice did not perfect, and that there were morals of another kind, which they sought indeed to articulate, society or no society, custom or no custom (equality, fraternity, liberty were the catch phrases of the day, in or out of the Revolution, rather than the observable realities in the land).
Any concept that custom makes a thing to achieve rightness, is at variance with history in the case of mankind. What is deemed right is emphatically NOT custom, and this is the case even when the ‘custom’ has sought to intimidate at the religious level as well! Uprisings are all but endless on another basis, with a concept of right and wrong which is not culturally convenient, but derived from another ideal.
Ø is what is to be expected in beings who can think, consider, compare, and have that roving, evaluative capacity which seeks and finds principles, now from here, now from there, which it then proceeds, having resolved on what is right, to implement. To be sure, there are many who, having immersed themselves cynically in a fallen world, decide to fall freely with it, and grab what they can as they go. There are similarly those who, having tasted whatever attraction they find in alcoholic stuffs, commit their longsuffering bodies and minds to that drug. Such cases do nothing to remove the principle, for avoidance is not function, and evasion does nothing to disturb the issue itself.
Such does not mitigate the distaste which others find in such practices, with their shoutings and tempers, their killings and maimings, their car paralysis cases via ‘accidents’ and so on. Nor does it remove the considerations of dangerous aggression, and the basis for these things. Though man is not and naturally not, since he is rational, satisfied that custom is right, or that statistics are mentors, to what does he look in his researches, his surges and resurgencies, his passions and his oversights ?
THE IMMEASURABLE CONFUSION OF MISPLACED MEASUREMENTS
Far is one from proclaiming
the humanist conception of man as measure, and the resulting confusion when the
question, as it must be, is asked:
Ø Then of what source is the measurement of man himself ?
After all, if man is to measure, what is his own calibration ? WHAT is the validity, the efficiency, the source and the value of his own use AS the measure ? If you use a ruler, you have knowledge of its claim as representative of a system of measurement, understood by all, applied with common knowledge that its calibrations are clear and meaningful, useful and unambiguous.
If, however, man is to be the measure, then of what standard and meaning is his being the measure ? and is it his heart, or his emotions and concerns, or his mind, bent to this or that purpose or philosophy, or is it his custom, the result of centuries in this or that land ? and if it be the last custom, then which set of customs is to rule, when many of them are the subject of political controversy, in any case ? Custom is by itself, and in itself, in the humanist conception, an entirely meaningless position, and without value or systematic applicability.
What would you expect of something born without its consent, apt to die without its permission, to be sick with cancer at its own dissolution, to besubject to temper or passion, and not less for righteous indignation ? What do you expect in such a case, if you wish to elevate man to being his own master ?
And even if you did, WHO is the master ? the 50 year old man subjugating a new human being to decisions and trading done by her parents before she could so much as think about any of the concerns involved ? or the tribal society which (perhaps) says, Yes, good! This is right and should be done ? or humanist conceptions which (in this case with some ground, but inadequate systematically at that) declare, No, wrong, she should decide assuredly her own husband, and not be treated like small cattle, subject to contract. Or is it government which in this case, via a Supreme Court Judge, has apparently indicated, this: Yes, in principle it is right, for she should know that this is the tribal way, and have adapted herself to such an outcome (though the under-age sex and the firing of a gun in order to dissuade her from leaving him, along with her friends, led to a short sentence). SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ?
WHAT should she have known ? Is CUSTOM king, then ? Is the law of our land irrelevant to some of its people ? Now one must be clear. LAW IS NOT GOD, either. Law can be good or bad. It is only ONE of the contestants for RIGHT, which exists. There is conscience, there is reason, there is culture, there is custom (and LAW may be set for or against any of these), there is philosophy, there is logic which however, must be consistent and move to ALL relevant conclusions, not just to a superficial minimum, there is psychological ‘welfare’, and personal sensitivity.
WHICH of these things which are being PRACTISED in their different spheres, is it to which she should have grown accustomed ? Why to one rather than to another ? What is the determining criterion, and which is the master principle, concept or constraint which allows anyone to say this, IN THIS SOCIETY, or SUB-CULTURE, or PEOPLE, or CASE indeed, this is what happens, so therefore, it is what OUGHT TO HAPPEN!
How can you, with even a faint regard for logic, declare that
WHAT OUGHT TO BE!
How does description make
prescription ? and even if a happening became holy by the mere fact that it happens
(so that suicide and murder, recently reported to being happenings per minute,
rather than per hour, in this land would become ‘holy’ too, or more so by the year as it seems!),
what is the principle which dictates this ? or even if there were one, which of
the customs is to be the criterion ? Some commit suicide, and this in our
But THEIR culture is sacred ? Is it ? Then was the US enslaving of Africans sacred, for there was assuredly enough of that incredibly callous and often bombastic evolutionary folly, as if some races were not entirely human, or to be despised, or as if power were right, and incapacity to resist were the moral rule, so that negroes OUGHT to be enslaved, and OUGHT to continue to receive such privileges from their captors ? Culture is neither practically nor theoretically possessed of even the slightest moral power. It is too variable*1, to superficial, too mutually contradictory, too irresponsible and too irrational.
What then has it ? and what is even reason to say on such a case as this duality of law, for the indigenous and the later arrivals, implied in the case of the assailed girl, stricken with the tokens of what many find may relate aptly to love, but with no known evidence in this instance, of any relish for her personality and her sensibilities ? Indeed, many women consider the priority of personal love to be aptly so, so that they and their beloveds may relate physically with a prior meaning which this simply expresses, but does not in itself by any means constitute! The physical, they find, is the expression of the personal, not the butt of the power of some maestro who dictates.
What must be said is simple. There is no law without the conferment in this realm from outside man, no law which is MORAL. What OUGHT to be can only exist, even in PRINCIPLE, if there is something other than happenings, events, to determine it. Happening is not holy. That is the point. This or that CUSTOM or CULTURE is in the same position. It needs evaluation; and one of the reasons for this is actually of a delicious simplicity: it will be evaluated whether this is “done” or not. The very concern that this CULTURE must be followed shows a DECISION and a GROUND of determination: culture is the thing, or this culture, or this custom. But WHY is this one or that one adopted as if it had more than custom to commend, or exhibit its depravity ?
What makes this or that which has occurred, what OUGHT to occur ? Is it ten years of doing it ? or a century ? or three centuries ? Is it to be so if 10% of the young people disagree, or 50% of them ? is it to be even ‘righter’ if these are intimidated by force and threat, and social duress, so that they dare not express a contrary opinion ? In what way then is statistics even relevant to right! Is it to be on a basis that no culture can be wrong if it lasts a while ?
Is time God then ? On what basis ? If Hitler lasted for less than a decade in his role, and Communism for more like 70 years in its initial homeland, is this ‘righter’ than Hitler ? On what ground ? Is tyranny the less because it is the longer ? Does happening become holy when there is enough of it, or because ruling cliques find it acceptable ? On what ground, on what basis, and in what terms of history, with its endless revolutions, revulsions and outcries ?
There is then NOTHING which can make a thing right, such as the necessary outcome for our great race, or the manifest destiny of the American people (President T. Roosevelt is so reported re taking over the land), or the commercial needs of a flourishing society, or the agreeableness of some event to most people (as occurs in various tyrannies in terms of those who rule).
Statistics is not morality, and when one considers the revulsion afterwards often felt for what, at a time, was accepted and imposed custom, such as the Spanish horrors in invading parts of what is now the USA, pillaging and enslaving with mission stations and proceeding to exploit cheap labour under such circumstances, without due regard for their being human, then one must ask: WHAT has tradition to do with it ? It is merely a continuity of what is good or bad, or in measure, both.
What MAKES it good or bad ? this is the question. It is assuredly not politics or society. Doing is not evaluating. It is what is done which is the data base for evaluation. Who is to do it ? the rich or the poor, the democrat or the vulgarian, the tyrant or the tyranny of convention ?
EVALUATION, DEVALUATION AND ASCRIPTION
There is no answer in these terms for the very good reason that there is an endeavour to mount up one step from doing to being, from performing to evaluating; and yet without a proper measure, you simply cannot do more than exhibit your explicit or implicit principles, founded on NOTHING.
In The Other News 19, we considered such matters as these in broad principle, and regarded
1) agnostic morals
2) synthetic morals and
3) dogmatic morals.
and their bases and validities or lack of this. In the last category, where authority and knowledge, as distinct from preference, may enter in, we looked at
I) carnally dogmatic
II) celestially dogmatic.
The latter is again of 2 types:
a) celestially synthetic and
b) celestially authentic.
This with all its preliminaries and grounds, may be read, but for our present purpose, let us consider the last case. Unless our Maker has measurements, principles which show what is good and right, man CANNOT find more than preference, nor is there either indication that he is in any danger, in general, of accepting preference of dictator or regime, philosophy or cant, as RIGHT; for he is to be found arguing and fighting continually on many fronts, as if this MEANT good or right. Guns and jaws fight it out, and go round about, with mighty clout, but reason does not consent on humanist grounds. It is empty.
Data can never be determinant here, when man is the unmeasured measure. Paul put it crisply, from the mouth of God, in II Corinthians 10:12-13:
v “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We however will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us – a sphere which especially includes you.”
Either the Maker tells man, or man does not know. That is his simplicity, which when he returns to his Maker, becomes a touch of sublimity, the very hand of God. If man tries to make an amalgam of religions, this is merely of historical interest. It has no force or validity. If man USES his imagined measuring power, to make this or that right among the religions, then this is merely an indirect case of being void of measurement and using the void. If you import elements into your void, you are as void of power to exercise your void as you were. It is merely being cluttered up with irrelevant rubbish.
No synthesis has moral force. Religious statistics are no more impressive or less than any other; and for that matter, some religions, whether as in Islam (cf. More Marvels … Ch. 4) with their ‘scriptures’ giving no small support to invasive violence, or in the Romanist Inquisition (cf. SMR pp. 912ff., 1032ff.), they are and have been exponents in word and deed of just that antipathy to the spoken word of Christ, that His kingdom is not of this world, and that otherwise His servants would fight. Some religions do in fact do evil with both hands, if ‘evil’ is to include the abuse of mankind by mankind so that those who have power use it to evade reality, logic and truth, bypassing in thought, but not in hand, gobbling up riches and thieving them on a grand scale!
As to Christ, at HIS requirement, His servants, after an initial and rebuked flurry, did not fight, and He was duly sacrificed as He planned.
Others, as in various forms of Humanism, often refuse such support for violence, though the bureaucracy can be so leaden-spirited and personally insensitive (cf. Defeat of an Ideal, by Shirley Hazzard), that it becomes a tyranny of psychology, social mores and intrusive patronage, like some kind of aristocratic office.
There have been more
reasonable things, in measure, among the nations, at times.
Thus reason is not only released by it, but sated through it. The impasse of morality is here solved, but NOT by adding more culture to it, call them traditions if you will, or removing words from it, with the liberals, or seducing its commands, as when many pray in tongues together without interpreter (cf. A Question of Gifts); nor it is made an excuse for the status quo, just because patience is required. The rulers need more than patience, they need JUSTICE (cf. Isaiah 1-2, 5, 58!).
Neither action nor thought of man in man, for man, can constitute what is right; though reason can and does point indefectibly to the revelation which the Bible constitutes. In this, justice is a major criterion, and it is divinely defined, for all of us are His property.
Does it not say this in Isaiah 1:
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
“Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
“ ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’
Says the Lord,
‘Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.’ ”
and justice are the foundation of His throne, we read in Psalm 89, and mercy
goes before His face. The whole idea of some of his creations oppressing others
of them is wholly repugnant to Him who made all; and although liberty, that
grand invention (cf. Little Things Ch.
It Bubbles… Ch. 9 and Index), DOES leave scope for this, it does not remove scope for divine judgment, whether on empires (cf. SMR pp. 712ff.) or individuals, whether on nations now, or in the time of their “visitation”. How often does the oppressor, individual or national, racial or religious, political or personally peremptory, imagine that the status quo is sure, his/her way is clear, and that nothing can stop it. Not hard to be seen is the movement of history as it turns like a pig turned on a roast, and the other side appears, charred.
The prescriptive is found in the validated, verified and exhaustively attested Bible, and the Messiah who confirming it, was confirmed by it, caused addition to it through His own words, which in turn does this all over again (SMR). Its words will not cease to act till all fulfilled, and His will continue though heaven and earth pass away. Again, what would you expect ? that the God who made time would alter because of it! As to the Bible, its words are NOT the culture, the tyranny or the predilection of the race to which it was sent. Far from it! Indeed, if ever there was judgment, it is in the Jewish race, or rather more accurately, the nation of Israel.
This has been considered many times (cf. SMR Ch. 9). Isaiah 30 shows the extent of the divorce, while the prophets have been so often and so vehemently opposed, even in times of desolation (as in the amazing resistance to Jeremiah even when his words were vindicated and the need of the people was enormous, in Jeremiah Chs. 34, 42-44). God is JUST, and HIS morals do not allow for favourites to disport themselves in folly, as if it were some divine right, when in fact, such things are divinely defined as WRONG! (cf. Isaiah 5:8-14).
In fact, He MORALLY announced His spiritual decisions in advance, partly in order that the people might KNOW, and be able to TEST (cf. Isaiah 48) the legitimacy of the prophetic warnings and HEED them when these things occurred. His ways were
v POWER in the Exodus,
v ENLIGHTENMENT as in bringing the people with His law to their land,
v REPUDIATION for their refusal to be led into it (Numbers 14ff.), one of the wryest dealings in history on the part of a people, but the class is large even at this level. Moreover, His ways are
v CONTINUATION as in bringing according to promise, the CHILDREN of the refusniks to the land,
v HONOUR as in bringing the Jews back to Israel according to a promise made millennia in advance (cf. It Bubbles … Ch.10) and PERSPECTIVE, as in His intimation of the structure of things, their pattern as well as their particulars, as the time for Christ’s return to rule, having duly suffered on MORAL grounds, for others who would receive Him, as vicarious sacrifice (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
HIS MORALS involve a WILLINGNESS to help, PURITY of continuance (Romans 6, not to gain place but in attestation of it), KNOWLEDGE of all things and SACRIFICIAL LOVE, to bring people where they belong, both in their created freedom and their disciplined dealings, not as autonomous autocrats, but as members of the Kingdom of the Maker, God Himself, expressed to perfection in His living and eternal word, Jesus Christ. Those who object to such things, object to themselves, for this is their institution, constitution and the words express the situation; they appeal against love, which is willing to bring them back to their place; they drive away liberty, since there is none in opposition to your nature, justice and truth, which last, without God, does not have the facility to exist (cf. SMR Ch. 3, 7, TMR Ch. 5, 7).
Do they want to rule the world ? impossible since it is not their own.
Do they want to order man to become their own vassals ? merely a lie, since they do not even understand him, and cannot do so without truth, itself a function of the most elemental, of God before whom all is known, and all not Himself, is His exhaustive creation, even to that liberty which abused, becomes the sin which appeals, wantonly or listlessly, for judgment. .
Is it to deliver tirades against truth, that they desire the liberties of autonomy or the freedoms of faithlessness ? useless, since it will not change. Is it to oppress others, in injustice and self-glorying, self-centredness ? Ludicrous, since they are not in fact the centre.
MORALS, QUARRELS and JUDGMENT
Morals are devastatingly apparent, non-existent without God, and though they involve self-control, standards and principles, promises and inter-personal communion between man and God, and a knowledge of the divine will, SUCH a divinity is not found merely in the mind or fact, anywhere. It is not to be sought as part of the creation at all, but obviously in the sphere of the Creator, whose power has made, whose intelligence has contrived, whose informed and effectual concern has given the meaning to ‘love’ not in part, but in whole, and whose provisions are deeply embedded in His own nature, even to the point of the Cross of Christ, and the rupture of the heart, as He died, becoming sin for us who so receive Him (II Cor.5:17-21), as an antibiotic becomes health to those who receive it, but has nothing to do to aid those who ignore it, and trust in their ignorance, or imaginary powers.
But to the case of the aboriginal girl, grossly affronted ? Is it the case that one family can use the reproductive result of a liaison, marital or other, as their PROPERTY ? On what ground ? Did they create the world ? You might, also, on the same ground, ask whether the Australian government has any power to act autonomously as if God were not there, and statistics represented authority ? To be sure, this is so, but in a given country, laws do exist, and even where they are disastrous, the Christian – except in the case where they would force him/her to disobey God – is to obey these (Romans 13).
This does not validate them, or remove the divine judgments which may come on the legislators or nation in due course, as in the case of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia, both of whom committed ‘legal’ atrocities of the highest order, in multitudinous cases. When however a given country has a given way, then subject to divine intervention, sooner or later, and judgment, it may indeed pursue its course. Many on moral grounds may have to leave it, or disobey anti-Christian laws, for example. The time may be drawing near when in order to obey God, it could even once more become necessary, as in Britain in the days of Bloody Mary and Charles II, not to mention James II, to disobey man in order to obey God (cf. Acts 4:19-22, 5:29).
What is to be the course of Australia ? Is it to become so blind that its Christian basics in law and in many principles and practices in this land, founded by an ostensibly Christian nation, Great Britain, that it ignores the blessedness which has resulted ? It is doing just that in tremendous steps, so that unless it repents and recaptures some of the realism and resource of former years, it may soon or before too long become a vassal to some obscenely indifferent power, unaware of morals except to grab and to dominate.
Ø It is good to notice that the Attorney-General in our Northern
Territory, where this moral violation occurred concerning the aboriginal girl,
“while ruling out any influence on the Northern Territory Director of Public
Prosecutions to appeal the sentence”, made a statement to the effect that
“there were people in customary law who did not consent to the customary law and
that the law of the land was there to protect them.”
Ø This is, as far as it goes, rather a noble statement. We are not going to say, it appears, simply that if there is another race in the land, say Italian or Japanese, or aboriginal, that its customs simply become law. There is another standard than custom. It is “to protect”. It is to protect, we learn in this case, from undesired customs. Murder could be one of these in a culture of violence. Rape could be another, Childhood could be another!
WHY protect ? Because it is assumed that it is moral to do so. WHY ? In our case, probably because of an amalgam of Christianity and its negative offshoot, humanism, UN provisions and cultural past; but also because individuals also sometimes have strong conscience and DETESTATION of power replacing humanity as the basis. If it did, where would humanity be ? Merely an enslaved possessor of liberty, in monumental affront to its Maker, a problem child in the hands of atrocious ‘parents’ who sacrificed it as far as possible, to their own wishes, lusts and philosophy.
It is not for this, that man was made; and woe to those who act as if gods, when they are but men! (Isaiah 2:17,21,22, Ezekiel 28:9, Psalm 82:6-8). There is no other ultimate ground than God, or rational ground for any God but the Lord God who sent Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son to be a sacrifice for sin, instead of having the race sacrifice itself, and various of its members throughout history, to sin.
An Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, of Macquarie University, Sydney, has some words on this score, to the point in view. Says Kenneth Murdoch, “Both the hopeful husband-to-be and the girl’s parents must have known when entering into their contract in 1986, that the system was breaking down because of the rebelliousness of the rising generation. They should also have known that even in earlier times promises were not always kept, that a girl might be promised to more than one man meaning that some promises had to be broken and that girls would sometimes resist being handed over to men, especially men a lot older than themselves.”
The Court, he continued, heard expert evidence, and would have been told by the anthropologist advising, of such data as are exhibited in the work of a bevy of anthropologists such as Lester Hiatt, Jeremy Beckett, T.G.H. Strehlow, David McKnight and David Tonkinson, attesting “well-established facts about change in Aboriginal societies”.
He proceeds to note that in NSW, “younger people were wresting control of marriage from their elders during the first half of the 20th century…” Proceeding with various illustrations and interpretations, he makes the point that there is indeed a need for common law to rescue people from practices, however common, which should be surveyed rather from compassion and humanity, than from mere conformity to the changeable customs of societies.
In this paper, we have shown WHY that is so, and on what GROUND alone it may rationally be protested. The Professor’s contribution however is valuable, for it cuts through the cultic rationale of permitting anything that goes, on the ground that it has gone. What has gone may be anything from horrific to an hiatus in thought, the rule of the rich, the powerful, the dominant, the domineering, convenience or fogged thought. It has exactly no sanctity.
The only sanctity, as distinct from cause for sensitive concern, is found in the Maker, whose word is the only law that does not change, cannot change and will not change. This has reached its quintessential development, its flower of Spring, its consummation in the performance of Christ, after the tenacity of the law was made clear: that He would bear the loss sustained by human ineptitude, decrepitude of morals, folly, on one basis… JUSTICE would be done, but on Him; and TRUTH would be sustained, by Him (Romans 3:23ff., 5:1ff).
Love sustained Him (Titus 2:14, 3:4, Hebrews 12:2, John 13:1) and His Father’s power preserved Him (Luke 4:30, Matthew 26:52ff.), as at His own cost He wrought the basis for the deliverance of man from the prominence of false autonomy (Matthew 16:25ff.), the dominance of false philosophy (Colossians 2:8, John 8:34-36), together with the captivity of sinful distortion (John 43-44) and the guilt of transgression (Matthew 20:28, Luke 22:36-38), all this laid bare in His corpse, duly buried: yet itself, with assured hope for those who receive Him, resurrected from death before the maw of rottenness could maul it, in a life subject not even to death, eternal in the end, as at the beginning (John 17:1ff., 1:1ff., Philippians 2:1-12). This is where vitality and sensitivity lies, in the truth.