The Essential

STEPHANIE Bastiaan’s excellent piece at Quadrant last week raised some very important questions about the far left-wing Andrews government’s prohibition of other-than-private Christian observance in Victoria. “I can catch a train, visit a shopping centre or stroll through a packed hardware megastore, but I can’t visit an empty church and pray in the presence of God,” she noted. It is irrational, certainly; brown-shirted hubris to advertise sternly that Victorians will have no other gods but Danny Boy during This Difficult Time, yes.

Also behind the animosity in what its number plates could quite truthfully promote as the ‘Get Pell State’ is the Premier’s notorious hostility to the biggest assembly of ’em all – the Catholic Church. His government and his police did, after all, spend tens of millions of dollars to frame Cardinal George Pell and end his life. And why? Because he was a trenchant and formidable cultural enemy of the left – including the “Safe Schools” groomers memorably depicted as leather-clad perverts by the late great Bill Leak. If Premier Andrews could get away with it, I have no doubt special lockdown exceptions would already have been afforded mosques and perhaps the less Tractarian of the Anglican parishes and dioceses. But disempowering the Catholics is an ideologically satisfying opportunity that couldn’t be passed up.

To be fair to Andrews, however – which nobody should ever feel obliged to be – he’s far from alone in the West’s pandemic pantheon of gubernatorial martinets. Post World War II, we have never seen police chasing a hearse down a street and harassing the Jewish mourners gathered to farewell its beloved passenger, for example. It took the noxious, baleful combination of coronavirus and a New York version of Andrews – Democrat Bill de Blasio – to realise those memorable scenes. Mayor de Blasio had singled out Jews for special treatment prior to the blitzkrieg.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom’s ban on religious assembly came to a legal head in federal court following a police raid on a service at the Cross Culture Christian Center in Lodi. After dispersing the congregation, reports say officers posted a notice on the building declaring it’s “nonessential use” a “public nuisance.” A year ago, Newsom was on a “health care tour” when he blasted state legislatures that had passed laws restricting abortion. “How dare they,” he Greta-wailed. The Governor told supporters that night in San Diego – many of whom were dressed in pink to show their support for Planned Parenthood – that his upcoming budget would include $10 million for “abortion services.” This is an insight into what is considered essential in the mind of a modern leftist tyrant. Daniel Andrews – the only political leader in history known to have tricked a population into not hugging their mothers on Mothers’ Day – is no less committed to state-orchestrated death sold as compassion. The “save lives” mantra of both men – and all the de Blasios and Cuomos like them – is the sickest irony of the pandemic. They have a vested interest in silencing the religious.

Why is it unthinkable that religious believers in Victoria should be free to make their own decisions about how to conduct services … but uncontroversial that they can choose to be killed?”

 
Let us imagine for a moment how coronavirus would have been managed if the Commonwealth and states had not the power to “lock down” an entire country. For a range of ‘selfish’ reasons, businesses, social organisations and institutions of all kinds would have been competing to deploy (as also to showcase and advertise) the most advanced prophylaxes known to be efficacious. The churches might have been more innovative with their own bespoke measures to safeguard their older-than-average congregants than the state “experts” who bungled ship arrivals and nursing homes. Companies, consumers and churchgoers would have made choices for themselves and their families pursuant to information made available to them, and according to necessity as they judged it. Remembering that pandemics rise and fall with bell-curved predictability anyway, would this counter-scenario have been any less successful than the Stasi version for which politicians and ‘officials’ are now congratulating themselves? Provided governments took care of those things rightly within their purview – like controlling the nation’s borders – then no, not necessarily.

Even if this is unrealistically optimistic, it cannot be denied that the LFR – the liberty fatality rate – of such an approach would have been zero. Why is it unthinkable that religious believers in Victoria should be free to make their own decisions about how to conduct services, or whether they can safely attend them, but uncontroversial that they can choose (under VAD laws) to be killed? It’s not as though the former is alone potentially injurious to others. Many people are damaged by killing the old and infirm, starting with all those involved – volunteers and executioners – then spreading to others made to feel worthlessly burdensome and to a society irrevocably coarsened by the acts. Libertarians and Christians form a unity ticket in this important sense: the essential is not always the material or the merely utilitarian. It is more often – and far more deeply – what is believed and what is felt; what is exercised not by leave or licence, but as of right.

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30 Responses to The Essential

  1. notafan

    In a nutshell CL.

    As free people we should be able to make our own decisions about attending church services.

  2. Roger

    …the essential is not always the material or merely utilitarian. It is more often – and more deeply – what is believed and what is felt; what is exercised not by leave or licence, but as of right.

    Well stated, CL.

    Would that our church leaders understood this.

    covid-19 has taught us a lot.

  3. sfw

    Has Liberty Victoria made a statement about this egregious loss of liberty? I think not.

  4. Richard Bender

    Yawn…voluntary euthanasia is still voluntary and not forced by the state, no matter how many stupid names you give it. This is a clear instance of Andrews increasing freedom.

  5. Bronson

    Voluntary interesting concept when your being pressured by the family to do the right thing?

  6. Iampeter

    Look I really don’t say this to be mean, but you can’t just cram as many disjointed conservative talking points into a single post and pretend this is political commentary. It’s certainly not right wing. It’s not even coherent and is full of all the usual show stopping self contradictions.
    For example, Christianity is the OG leftist ideology, so if you support it then you can’t oppose anyone as “far-left wing.” It’s a contradiction.
    For the same reason bemoaning this or that about Christians on a right wing blog makes as much sense as bemoaning this or that problem communists are facing. It’s a contradiction.
    Also, if you oppose abortion, because you brought it up for some random reason, then you oppose individual rights and are therefore a leftist, so can’t oppose left wing anything. It’s a contradiction.
    Also, everyone is suffering under lockdowns in many different ways. Trying to get special exemptions for your special interest group is called leftist identity politics, which means you’re again being a leftist while crying about leftists. Again you’re contradicting yourself.
    On and on it goes.

    Also, euthanasia in Victoria is not “state-orchestrated death.” This is InfoWars-level nonsense.
    But if it was, it makes no sense why a Christian would oppose it. Your holiest symbol is literal human torture and sacrifice. Again, contradiction.
    Oh wait, I guess you’d argue you want the suffering to be drawn out as much as possible. Christianity is not just about death it’s about suffering too. OK. I’ll give you this one. You’re opposition to euthanasia is actually you being consistent for a change.

    Libertarians and Christians form a unity ticket in this important sense: the essential is not always the material or the merely utilitarian.

    If by “Libertarian” you mean an actual right wing, meaning supporters of individual rights, rights-protecting government and capitalism, then no, there is no unity ticket. Such ideas are fundamentally opposed by Christianity.

  7. Carpe Jugulum

    This is a clear instance of Andrews increasing freedom.

    Freedom to do what? Kill off your unwanted relatives?

  8. Iampeter

    Yawn…voluntary euthanasia is still voluntary and not forced by the state, no matter how many stupid names you give it. This is a clear instance of Andrews increasing freedom.

    Christian leftists want you to not just die but to suffer first.

  9. mem

    Let’s get this all in perspective. In Australia 100 people have died of, or mostly with Corona virus (as they were already dying of something else), since the world went on pandemic alert. The Andrew’s government instead of keeping this in proportion, has gone overboard to lock us up and prohibit activities that most people would manage well even if there is a nasty flu bug around, which if you look at history occurs about every five years. Last night I returned to my neighborhood shopping center after doing voluntary work for isolated elderly, only to find the the whole suburban village crawling with orange vested people disinfecting hand bars, door knobs and even garbage bins for the whole precinct. Who is paying for this I ask? And to what objective if not to try and intimidate the locals and virtue signal that you are proactive and in control. It is a gross over reaction that is causing great harm to many, including the elderly who have been frightened by Chicken Little Andrews who seems has an agenda that has nothing to do with health at all. Wake up Victorians, this is real and Andrews is about to change our lives for the worst and for evil reasons. Climb out of your bunkers Liberals you need to get on top of this and get out there for Victoria and our future generations.

  10. Robber Baron

    The tyrant must be arrested, shot by firing squad and hung by his feet…Mussilini style.

  11. C.L.

    voluntary euthanasia is still voluntary

    The key word isn’t “voluntary.”
    The key word is “assisted.” I’ll leave you to ponder why.

  12. Perplexed of Brisbane

    Disappointingly, all I have learned about our institutional churches is that they don’t really believe what they profess and their true god is the state.

    Ironically, this might be the best thing that has happened to Christians but the worst thing for churches.

    Let’s hope we don’t have a bad ‘flu season, the churches will be cowering in fear for the foreseeable future.

  13. Peter Greagg

    Great post CL.

    On a related point, I am very disappointed not one Christian Bishop has pushed back at this tyranny.
    And I am not even religious.

  14. Tim Neilson

    voluntary euthanasia is still voluntary and not forced by the state, no matter how many stupid names you give it

    This is exactly correct!

    Like that woman in Holland who was held down by her relatives while she was struggling and screaming “I don’t want to die” so that the doctor could give her the lethal injection.

    The doctor didn’t force the relatives to do that! So it was all OK! There would never be any abuse at all of such well intentioned legislation.

    You KNOW it makes sense!!!

  15. Botswana O'Hooligan

    Well, Sam Clemens aka “Mark Twain” opined that everyone complained about the weather but no one did anything about it, and so it is with the good folk in Victoria. Their current government didn’t march into power at gunpoint, the electors did it through the ballot box for them, tilt, game over. We cannot emulate the French or the Russians for revolutions are not really productive so we are stuck with things exactly the way they are, but as an old bloke of about 80 who sometimes pays his respects at a bush cemetery to grandfathers who were light horsemen, to a father and uncles who probably exercised rule .303 in WW2, I feel ashamed to be an Australian.

  16. rickw

    Freedom isn’t given back. It is taken back.

    I haven’t observed one scrap of their lockdown shit.

    The Church I attend is now holding services again.

  17. John Dee

    Botswana..
    I suggest you have a rethink.
    Do not ever say you are ashamed to be an Australian.
    By all means say…”I am ashamed that these pathetic mental midgets are Australian.”

  18. Boambee John

    sfw
    #3460011, posted on May 21, 2020 at 6:45 pm
    Has Liberty Victoria made a statement about this egregious loss of liberty? I think not.

    Has even a single one of Australia’s multitude of “Civil Liberties/Human Rights groups made even the faintest criticism of the actions taken by the Commonwealth and state governments?

    Perhaps they commented adversely of the restrictions on entry into Australia, but if so, it was somewhat muted,

  19. NoFixedAddress

    HeIsRock with his “I am Groot” shtick again.

  20. That OP is the biggest load of cobblers since Steve Kates last posted.

    It must be hard for CL to type, what with those nails he hammered through his own palms.

  21. Leo G

    HeIsRock with his “I am Groot” shtick again.

    More of a hoot than a groot, I think, to read about Dick Bender and Aim Peter hosing down a “stupid name” hubbub.

  22. calli

    Disappointingly, all I have learned about our institutional churches is that they don’t really believe what they profess and their true god is the state.

    The tension is between the directive of Romans 13 and the directive to meet, and break bread and worship. The Church, so far, has been obedient to the first and has tried to organise the latter within the bogus, ad hoc “rules”.

    This can’t go on indefinitely. So far, Christians are being innovative but it just isn’t the same, particularly for the lonely and elderly. And we must be able to celebrate holy communion together – that’s what it’s for.

    Something that has become clear though – out governments given half a chance are hostile to faith. (Except faith in them and their lab-coated priests and priestesses).

  23. Perplexed of Brisbane

    Calli,

    What you have said is completely correct and Bill Muehlenberg has written more eloquently on this than I ever could.
    The churches have been quick to obey this scripture to the letter but have ignored that governments only enjoy God-given authority while they govern according to God’s will.

    I think Christians will find ways to meet together without the churches. We may finally come to understand what our brothers and sisters around the globe withstand every day. That may actually be good as the church has always flourished under adversity but becomes weak under peace.

  24. cuckoo

    One of the laziest arguments against the death penalty is to ask any defender of that idea “But would you be willing to carry out the execution?” – yet no-one ever says to a defender of “assisted suicide”, “Yes, but would you be willing to administer the lethal injection?”

    (When asked the stupid death penalty question in a tv interview, Evelyn Waugh replied waspishly that he thought it very unlikely the government would call upon a middle-aged novelist to carry out executions.)

  25. Iampeter

    The key word isn’t “voluntary.”
    The key word is “assisted.” I’ll leave you to ponder why.

    The key word isn’t “assisted.” You’re conflating assisted suicide with euthanasia, which are separate issues, in order to appeal to emotions, to justify not only regulating every aspect of peoples lives, but how they die too.
    Neither activity qualifies as “state-orchestrated death.”

    Also, holding such a far left wing positions, among many others in this post, it’s not clear what your issue is with “far left-wing” anything.
    Nor is it clear why you think you have a unity ticket with right-wingers.

  26. Boambee John

    The loneliness in the cellar seems to be affecting m0nty badly. JC might have to take him some donuts.

    Munchies for m0nty?

  27. Tim Neilson

    Trying to get special exemptions for your special interest group is called leftist identity politics, which means you’re again being a leftist while crying about leftists.

    Poor old ignorant braindead Iamashiteater once again beclowning himself with a statement of such staggering stupidity that it would be almost beyond belief if we hadn’t seen it so often.

    How is it asking for a “special exemption” to say that churches shouldn’t be restricted to a maximum of 10 people when other places are being allowed up to 25% capacity?

  28. Old Lefty

    Ah yes, Yarragrad.

    A revealing sidelight on the Pell trial fiasco. There is a poster in the foyer of parliament house in Melbourne explaining the system of government, in which you will see a stern-faced Ferguson CJ shoulder to shoulder alongside Comrade Andrews as part of the system of government under parliament. What the poster doesn’t tell you, of course, is that parliament is under the thumb of the ALP Socialist Left, with a little help in the upper house from the Hunchback’s chum Fiona Patten of the S3x (sorry, Reason) Party.

    And if Ferguson, according to this poster, knows her place, so does Andrews, posing proudly in front of the Forbidden City with Mao looming over him.

  29. John A

    calli #3460466, posted on May 22, 2020, at 6:43 am

    This can’t go on indefinitely. So far, Christians are being innovative but it just isn’t the same, particularly for the lonely and elderly. And we must be able to celebrate holy communion together – that’s what it’s for.

    Something that has become clear though – out governments given half a chance are hostile to faith. (Except faith in them and their lab-coated priests and priestesses).

    1. Given the antecedents of Holy Communion / the Lord’s Supper in
    a) the original institution of the Christian version in the upper room on the night before He was betrayed
    b) the practice of the foundational church as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles
    and
    c) the direct connection with the Jewish Passover and the Exodus from Egypt
    I could make a case for the practice of communion in small groups (family-sized) as well as in congregations.

    2. The sad truth is that churches, particularly organizationally (and I am in the Presbyterian church – very organizational), have not realized that the institution of government has been captured by the (universal) church’s enemies temporal and spiritual.

    The old saw goes: You can’t negotiate with someone who wants to kill you.

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