Pell media beat up

George Pell is a much hated man by progressives and the anti-religious brigade. This week he appeared on Q&A debating Richard Dawkins. A bit of a storm has arisen. Here is how the SMH describe what was said.

CARDINAL George Pell has moved to clarify demeaning remarks he made about Jews on TV, calling them intellectually lesser than the Egyptians, including Jesus Christ.

He said he was trying to ”make a point about the unique place of the Jewish people in human history as the first to receive the revelation of the one true God while I was being regularly interrupted and distracted by the chairman” (Tony Jones).
In a hole during the debate, Cardinal Pell kept digging, saying ”the poor, the little Jewish people, they were originally shepherds” stuck between the great powers of their time such as the Egyptians and Babylonians, and that this reflected their intellectual development.

Okay. Sounds bad. This is what the transcript reflects.

GEORGE PELL: … Normally you go to a busy person because you know they’ll do it and so for some extraordinary reason God chose the Jews. They weren’t intellectually the equal of either the Egyptians or the…

TONY JONES: Intellectually?

GEORGE PELL: Intellectually, morally…

TONY JONES: How can you know intellectually?

GEORGE PELL: Because you see the fruits of their civilisation. Egypt was the great power for thousands of years before Christianity. Persia was a great power, Caldia. The poor – the little Jewish people, they were originally shepherds. They were stuck. They’re still stuck between these great powers.

TONY JONES: But that’s not a reflection of your intellectual capacity, is it, whether or not you’re a shepherd?

GEORGE PELL: Well, no it’s not but it is a recognition it is a reflection of your intellectual development, be it like many, many people are very, very clever and not highly intellectual but my point is…

TONY JONES: I’m sorry, can I just interrupt? Are you including Jesus in that, who was obviously Jewish and was of that community?

GEORGE PELL: Exactly.

TONY JONES: So intellectually not up to it?

GEORGE PELL: Well, that’s a nice try, Tony. The people, in terms of sophistication, the psalms are remarkable in terms of their buildings and that sort of thing. They don’t compare with the great powers. But Jesus came not as a philosopher to the elite. He came to the poor and the battlers and for some reason he choose a very difficult but actually they are now an intellectually elite because over the centuries they have been pushed out of every other form of work. They’re a – I mean Jesus, I think, is the greatest the son of God but, leaving that aside, the greatest man that ever live so I’ve got a great admiration for the Jews but we don’t need to exaggerate their contribution in their early days.

If you’re looking to be offended there is much to be offended by – yet what Pell is saying is not that unusual if you know the story. The foundation of Judaism is the covenant at Sinai. This is how Paul Johnson describes it.

They were a servile people, who rose up against their Egyptian master, the most ancient and autocratic monarchy in the world. They fled into the desert, and received their laws in mass popular assembly, not in some long-established city but on the bare mountainside from a wild leader who did not even call himself king.

So not just shepherds – escaped slaves. Much is made of the slavery in the foundation story.

(From memory – the book is in my office) Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan asks the question who would or should a creator reveal themselves to in order to influence the world – a great power or a small people? He says the same sorts of things Pell was trying to say – before being interrupted by Tony Jones. Kaplan was a bit more articulate – but then he wasn’t on national television when he wrote his argument.

The other bit of controversy is this.

… he also suggested that ”no people in history were [as severely] punished as the Germans were”, apparently ignoring the Holocaust, for which the Germans were punished.

The Germans were punished for the Holocaust? Really? By whom? Well, maybe. Fifty years of communism is a huge punishment. But again read the transcript.

TONY JONES: But he chose to intervene at different times in history to save the Jews when they were going over the River Jordan. I mean there are many times when, apparently, God has intervened in biblical times. Why not now?

GEORGE PELL: Well, that’s I think revelation is complete. That’s a mighty question. He helped probably through secondary causes for the Jews to escape and continue. It is interesting through these secondary causes probably no people in history have been punished the way the Germans were. It is a terrible mystery.

TONY JONES: There would be a very strong argument saying that the Jews of Europe suffered worse than the Germans.

GEORGE PELL: Yes, that might be right. Certainly the suffering in both I mean the Jews there was no reason why they should suffer.

The ten plagues were visited on the Egyptians and communism on the Germans. I suspect that is the mystery Pell refers to.

Okay – so what is going on here? George Pell is an anomaly in a secular world and in an anti-religious world. The way to understand Pell is to recognise that he actually believes in God and consequently that the bible and religious teachings should be taken seriously. Now we may disagree on that point – but to dismiss him as being racist or narrow-minded or offensive would be a mistake.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

312 Responses to Pell media beat up

  1. Gab

    Peter

    Are you seriously saying you reject the link between the Roman empire and Roman Catholicism?

    No, Peter. I was having a dig at you for linking the Roman Empire to the Roman in Catholicism.

    Gab, I’m sorry, but if that is your level of knowledge, there is no way in hell I could ever muster the patience. I suggest you hit the books.

    Perhaps you’re a little confused. I’ll help you out. The Diocese of Rome is also known as the “Roman Church” (as well as “Holy See”) but not the “Roman Catholic Church”. That St Peter (no, not you) established the Church during the Roman Empire (RE) is just historical fact. It was not established by any Emperor of the RE, nor was any Vicar of Christ an Emperor.

    With me so far? Good.

    Peter, why do you always say “Roman Catholic” when you talk about the Church in general?

    Since you didn’t bother to answer, let me explain it to you.

    Roman Catholic” was a derogatory qualification first used around 1580, in England, by those nasty Protestants who believed they were the True Catholic religion, not those reprobates in Rome. And nothing to do with the RE.

    Now given that you say you are a font of historical knowledge on all things “Roman” Catholic and that you hate the Catholic Church…well it was no leap of the imagination to see that you continually use “Roman” Catholic as a less than favourable term.

  2. Gab

    Only if they are insane Peter. The title Pope should give them a clue.

    Gee, sdfc, you mean the Pope lives in Rome?! When did he move there?!!

  3. Samson Agonistes

    attempted to verbal the Cardinal so as to portray him as a Nazi-sympathising Jew hater.

    No, the left fully realises that the good Cardinal has a few traditional misunderstandings percolating around his meandering intellect but that …

    he neither sympathises with Nazis nor hates Jews. His problem is that he simply can’t open his mouth without sticking his foot in it.

  4. wreckage

    Samson, it is not “opening your mouth to stick your foot in it” when you are being lied about. Even less so when you are clearly being lied about as punishment for not losing when you were meant to.

  5. jupes

    God intervened by saving the Jews from the ‘Final Solution’

    FMD he was a bit late wasn’t he!?

  6. dover_beach

    His Eminence torpedoed the HMS Dawkins. Last report: listing badly off South Head. Life boats deployed. Last message received: I was jet-lagged.

  7. entropy

    To focus on the original issue, the verbaling of Pell by the luvvie press, I think at the end of the day they are confusing ‘intellectual’ with ‘intelligence’.

  8. mike

    “Cardinal Pell easily beat the Atheist Taliban’s best and brightest, Sheik Dick Dawkins, in a debate staged earlier this week.”

    The fact that C.L. keeps saying this over and over proves that even he doesn’t actually believe it.

  9. Sinimian

    CY wrote “You do know that Exodus is not an historical fact?”

    Wrong CY, archaeological evidence exists. See here.

  10. wreckage

    Yep. This error is so ingrained in academia that we light as well consider the two to be idiomatically identical, and that some people just can’t accept that intellect and pseudo-intellectual waffling are two different things.

  11. Sinimian

    I didn’t watch the debate as I find the smirking Tony Jones as bearable as the smirking Jonathon Holmes. What is it with the ABC?, all those smirkers.

    From reading the transcript here, I think Cardinal Pell made a couple of errors (at least).

    Firstly his reference to “the Jews” when he meant the Israelites, or the Hebrews. The term Jew has undergone changes over the years. It originally applied to the male line descendants of the Patriach Judah, the head of one of the 13 tribes of the Israelites.

    Later, following the split of united Israel into two kingdoms (the House of Israel and the House of Judah), the term Jew came to apply to those who lived in the ancient kingdom of Judea, as Judah was the largest Tribe in that grouping. Today the term applies to the descendants of those people, who are still mainly descendants of Judah, together with the Levites, half Benjamin, and a smattering of 10-Israel, most of whom who went into the Assyrian captivity (plus gentile converts to Judaism).

    Pell’s comment is frequently encountered though. Some even say that Abraham, the great grandfather of Judah, was a Jew, which is an impossibility.

    The second glaring mistake Cardinal Pell made was to say that the Israelites were just shepherds and of no regional significance. This is plainly nonsence. When David took the thrown (he was a Jew, i.e., a descendant of Judah) his army destroyed all his neighbours who went to war against him. He defeated the troubling southerners (Amelikites etc.) then proceeded to destroy the armies of Babylon (Chaldeans), Syria (Aram), then defeated the Assyrians. King David had the most powerful army in the mid-east, and with the Canaanites in present day Lebanon, went on to form the regions major naval force also (the Hebrew / Canaanite “Phoenician” alliance).

    These weren’t just shepherds sitting in the sun counting sheep, they were a major military power with a record of long distance naval expeditions.

    I don’t want to sound too critical of Cardinal Pell though. He is one of the few Australian churchmen who will stand up and speak straight about Islam, so power to his arm I say.

  12. Sinimian

    *** throne, not thrown

  13. Peter Patton

    CC

    Yes, all that is true. Sorry, I did not mean that Herodotus’ treatment is definitive. I just think given how he integrates logos within his marvelous ethnography, he introduces us to the relationship between subjective knowledge/truth and universal knowledge/truth. The New Testament use of logos captures a lot of that. Unfortunately, the English translation to just ‘word’ misses a lot of that.

  14. Peter Patton

    db

    Last report: listing badly off South Head. Life boats deployed. Last message received: I was jet-lagged.

    I take it you haven’t been hobnobbing/networking/celebrating at the Atheist’s Rave? Are you sure you’re not missing out on a wonderful opportunity? Apparently DOCTOR Leslie Cannold will give some reading or other. You do know she is an ETHICIST, don’t you? Oh, and it is important to address her as DOCTOR Cannold. ;)

  15. Samson Agonistes

    The Jewish press started complaining about Pell long before Fairfax picked it up,

  16. Graham

    The ABC invents a new country “Caldia”. Chaldea I think is what you wanted.
    Bruce 13 Apr 12 at 11:05 am

    oops – fixed. thanks.
    Sinclair Davidson 13 Apr 12 at 11:13 am

    Way to go, SD.

  17. wreckage

    The Jewish press started complaining about Pell long before Fairfax picked it up

    Hurrah! That’s relevant!

  18. Fisky

    Samson, as a supporter of a genocidal organisation, Hamas, you are not allowed to pretend to care about Jews, OK?

  19. pargo

    GEORGE PELL: … Normally you go to a busy person because you know they’ll do it and so for some extraordinary reason God chose the Jews. They weren’t intellectually the equal of either the Egyptians or the…

    TONY JONES: Intellectually?

    GEORGE PELL: Intellectually, morally…
    Except that:

    Nehemiah was governor of Judah, highly esteemed, well paid, influential position

    Solomon a king, full of wisdom and great power and wealth

    David a king, musician, and poet

    Joseph was in charge of all of Egypt and saw Egypt prosper in times of famine

    Abraham a wealthy trader with an extraordinary relationship with God.

    Daniel selected by a king to teach the language of Babylonians. Chosen because Daniel was well informed, showed aptitude for every kind of learning, qualified to work in the king’s palace.

    The list goes on…

    [These individuals all feature much later in the story. Sinc]

  20. dover_beach

    I take it you haven’t been hobnobbing/networking/celebrating at the Atheist’s Rave? Are you sure you’re not missing out on a wonderful opportunity?

    PP, why go to it when it comes to you?

  21. Sinclair Davidson

    Graham – I wish I could fix the ABC. I did fix the spelling of sheperds to shepherds. The ABC spelling is their problem.

  22. Viva

    I didn’t watch the debate as I find the smirking Tony Jones as bearable as the smirking Jonathon Holmes

    Even worse is Jones’ tone of voice – in equal parts insinuating, smarmy and slyly menacing.

    As for Pell, I sense he wasn’t taking the thing at all that seriously. He had an air of amused detachment most of the time. Why bother taking people like Dawkins and Jones and their claques seriously by engaging in erudite pyrotechnics? Sing ‘em muck dressed up as debate as much as decency and duty demands and head for the door ASAP.

  23. sdfc

    MArkL

    So the unbroken presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria for 3,500 years has nothing to do with Israel. Interesting. So the unbroken presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria for 3,500 years has nothing to do with Israel. Interesting.

    What are you talking about you nutter. The comment that the Jews were most likely Canaanites means they had most likely lived there since antiquity. Therefore the Jewish claim to Israel has nothing to do with the Exodus. Pretty simple really.

    The Exodus is not supported by archaeological evidence. It’s a story.

    The comment that I am supporting the most recent conquerors suggests you are once again putting forward the notion that the super breeders from the Arabian Peninsula somehow replaced the indigenous population. That’s a farcical proposition.

  24. JC

    SDFC

    The Exodus is not supported by archaeological evidence. It’s a story.

    You’re an expert in ancient history now?

  25. sdfc

    No I take my lead from people who are like Israel Finkelstein. How about you?

  26. Peter Patton

    sdfc

    Now, that’s one Fink I like. I’ve got one of his book here.

  27. JC

    What? Who is Israel Finkelstein, SDFC?

    How about you?

    I don’t give much of toss either way. I have a hard time believing such momentous stories develop out of thin air and also have a hard time believing that anyone who tries to disprove such stories isn’t really just practicing voodoo history.

  28. Mk50 of Brisbane

    SDFC:

    super breeders from the Arabian Peninsula somehow replaced the indigenous population

    WTF are you on about???

  29. sdfc

    JC

    Finkelstein is professor of Achaeology at Tel Aviv uni.

  30. JC

    The Exodus is not supported by archaeological evidence. It’s a story.

    Oh ffs, this is really getting silly now. It’s almost a form of junk science.

    There can be no reasonable of such a story that could possibly be validated through archaeological digs.

  31. JC

    Finkelstein is professor of Achaeology at Tel Aviv uni.

    So he goes around, digs up a tiny part of a desert and its environs that have been traversed since the dawn of human time and declares the story is untrue.

    And you consider this to be definitive.

    Hey SDFC, Global temps are going to rise 20 degs over the next century, but you already believe that to be the case.

  32. JC

    oops..

    …there can be way for…

  33. sdfc

    It would be identifiable if the bible story was true. No records, no archaeological evidence yet you beleive it. Why?

  34. Samson Agonistes

    The Jewish media made it a story because the community were offended, so the story is not some sort of ABC/Fairfax media beat up, as suggested here.

  35. sdfc

    I beleive that AGW is likely true because of what science tells us about how the earth heats.

  36. JC

    You really have difficulty with comprehension SDFC. I said I couldn’t give a shit if were true or not.

    However I think it would be almost impossible to determine if the story was unverifiable through digging up tiny pieces of a desert.

    What I do think is stories like that do sometimes a kernel of truth to them.. maybe. But we can never really prove it though a dig.

  37. sdfc

    Instead, you seem to support the most recent but one waves of foreign conquerors

    Don’t waste my time Mark. If you are going to comment at least stick to what you say.

  38. JC

    Bobster, you’re an avid supporter of Hamas, so you really have no reason to be involved in this discussion. Go away. Shoo.

  39. sdfc

    Sorry, should have been italics on the first sentence.

  40. sdfc

    SO your contribution JC is “I don’t know”. Why bother commenting then?

  41. sdfc

    The major evidence of Semetic peoples in Egypt is as counquerors not as slaves.

  42. JC

    Stop playing these games, SFDC as they don’t work.

    You started off with this crap.

    The Exodus is not supported by archaeological evidence. It’s a story.

    Then this nonsense.

    It would be identifiable if the bible story was true. No records, no archaeological evidence yet you beleive it. Why?

    When I then nicely explain to you that digs would not able to prove of disprove such a story I get this:

    SO your contribution JC is “I don’t know”. Why bother commenting then?

    Lets say I’m intolerant to bullshit.

    There’s a great deal of politics being played out in Israel between Jews themselves over the issue of their historical roots. Books such as this for instance give anti-Israelis the air to breathe such as people like you and Hamas supporting/loving Bobster. I might add there are more than a few of these in Israel too.

  43. JC

    The major evidence of Semetic peoples in Egypt is as counquerors not as slaves.

    So a few thousand goat herders took over mighty Egypt, which was the super power of the time?

    lol

  44. sdfc

    How can you post such a long comment and say absolutely nothing?

    Let me be clear, a leading researcher in the field says there is no evidence. Come back with something substantial or STFU time waster.

    Your last comment makes you look like an idiot.

  45. Samson Agonistes

    He looks like an idiot because he is one.

  46. JC

    How can you post such a long comment and say absolutely nothing?

    Let me be clear, a leading researcher in the field says there is no evidence. Come back with something substantial or STFU time waster.

    Your last comment makes you look like an idiot.

    Really? Two seconds of googling produced this.

    If Finkelstein is ready to concede the existence of David and Solomon, albeit as kinks of a small, marginal entity, when it comes to the exodus from Egypt he is absolute in his opinion. “There is no evidence that the Israelites were in Egypt, not the slightest, not the least bit of evidence. There are no clues, either archaeological or historical, to prove that the Israelites built monuments in Egypt, even though the biblical description of the famine in the Land of Israel may be accurate. We know from archaeology that there was a migration of Canaanites to Egypt in the first half of the second millennium BCE, that these migrants built communities in the area of the Nile Delta, and that the Egyptians afterward expelled them from there. Perhaps that is the ancient memory, I don’t know.

    http://prophetess.lstc.edu/~rklein/Documents/grounds.htm

    He says he doesn’t know, you idiot. This sort of stuff can never be definitive and you’re taking it as virtual Gospel thereby giving anti-Semites and Hamas lover like Bob here more oxygen.

  47. sdfc

    If Finkelstein is ready to concede the existence of David and Solomon

    David and Solomon aren’t in the Exodus story. You’re getting dumber. If that’s possible.

  48. sdfc

    He can’t be definitive because you can’t prove a negative. Fuck me.

  49. Peter Patton

    If you’re feeling really cruel, bring up the historical Jesus. Captain Catholic and Gilligan will love it.

  50. sdfc

    I actually think Jesus did live Peter.

  51. Peter Patton

    sdfc

    You’re probably like most of us, and have never really looked at the evidence objectively. Whether he existed is not the same thing as the historical Jesus.

  52. JC

    He can’t be definitive because you can’t prove a negative. Fuck me.

    Shouldn’t you be reciting that in the fucking mirror to yourself then, SDFC.

    Lets go back to the tape.

    The Exodus is not supported by archaeological evidence. It’s a story.

    True

    My argument all along is that it is impossible to disprove as it’s a story and archeological digs aren’t enough to prove or disprove it.

    This has nothing to do with proving a negative, you dill. Proving a negative would mean like I was asking you to prove the existence of Santa Claus.

  53. JC

    SDFC, bubble head,

    You’re getting all confused in a form of inductive reasoning.

    It’s like saying, we have no evidence of Bigfoot as there’s no definitive evidence of Bigfoot’s existence. That doesn’t in itself prove it either way.

    You’re basically offering the same inductive reasoning with this. Because the professor said he has not found evidence to prove story to be accurate then it must be inaccurate. If fact it doesn’t prove anything much.

    Try a little harder next time and you may avoid the pitfalls of entering a vortex of stupidity while giving oxygen of old bigots like Bobster.

    Additionally it would give you a chance to escape the stupidity of Keynesian economics and MMT crap like cash flow.

  54. C.L.

    For latecomers:

    Cardinal Pell easily beat the Atheist Taliban’s best and brightest, Sheik Dick Dawkins, in a debate staged earlier this week. Deliciously, it aired on the ABC.

    In a very lame attempt to save a semblance of face, the bruised left has attempted to verbal the Cardinal so as to portray him as a Nazi-sympathising Jew hater.

    But we have unrecoverably destroyed this hilarious essay in bumbling mendacity. The cause wasn’t helped by mature age plonker, Peter, who likes to tell us he’s presently writing a “paper.”

    As the week ends, then, chalk it up as another disaster for the left; a mini version, if you will, of John Paul II humiliating the USSR.

  55. Peter Patton

    Wow, with Ricky’s Girl it’s always just dicks or bums, isn’t it? Is Captain Catholic two-timing on Ricky with Sheik Dawkins now? So many unsheathed ‘dicks’, so little time, eh Captain?

  56. Peter Patton

    I’d love to hang with you, do a couple of Haily Marys, polish the rosary, and such. But I’m off for a night of partying – finished the paper, you see Captain. Sweet dreams of Ricky.

  57. Samson Agonistes

    In a very lame attempt to save a semblance of face, the bruised left has attempted to verbal the Cardinal so as to portray him as a Nazi-sympathising Jew hater.

    The Jewish community were offended and the issue got taken up in the Jewish press and from there to the mainstream press.

    If George Pell can’t open his mouth without offending the Jewish community then maybe he has a problem, so take some responsibility for your side’s actions.

  58. JC

    Bob:

    Where is the evidence he’s offended the Jewish Community?

    Where is the evidence say that he would offend equally in the same way you have by supporting Hamas?

  59. Because it’s nearly sunday morning, and I’ve finally, finally read the whole thread, there’s not a lot for me to say right now, but I’m with CL.

    Enjoy – the words are there for you to read along. :D

  60. wreckage

    The Jewish community were offended

    And accepted his apology. Now, perhaps you could get your white nose out of minding their business?

  61. Sinimian

    SDLC said –

    “The Exodus is not supported by archaeological evidence. It’s a story.”

    Wrong SDLC, see my response to Cy this morning at 11:41, reposted HERE.

    I have nothing but great admiration for the Jews, imagine putting up with this crap for thousands of years. It would make my head explode.

Comments are closed.