Nick Cave as one of the most important theologians of our time

 
I use the word theologian advisedly. Cave’s description of the vengeful thuggery literally dominating the public square right now as “mercy’s antithesis” is brilliant – as are the meditations on contemporary culture he draws from the idea. His recourse to mercy as the life-enabling kernel of all civilisation and human progress reminds me of Pope St John Paul II’s encyclical Dives in misericordia (Rich in Mercy, whose 40th anniversary falls on 30 November). Do read Cave’s letter to Valerio and Frances.

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57 Responses to Nick Cave as one of the most important theologians of our time

  1. K2

    Someone posted this on the open forum the other night.

    A brilliant polemic that needs to go viral.

  2. Iain Russell

    19 August marks the anniversary of the burning alive of the English Martyr Thomas Billney in 1531. A victim of Papist thuggery in the public square.

  3. Tintarella di Luna

    currencylad, thank you for this post, this came up in discussion at a family get-together on Saturday. Magnificent, mercy’s antithesis – the thing that is being lost with the loss of Christianity and belief is the belief in contrition, atonement and forgiveness.

    The Cancel Culture Left is reverting to the barbaric-it wants blood, it wants total annihilation of the person it believes has sinned against their every-changing chronicle of sins, it hangs draws and quarters the sinner, it eviscerates, excoriates and gibbets its ideological enemies, the metaphorical becomes the actual because when a person’s character, honour, achievements and beliefs are destroyed in the public square what remains? Publilius Syrus : what is left when honour is lost?

    It just appals me utterly and that is why I am so glad there is the pushback because the Cancel Culture Left has gone too far.

  4. Davey Boy

    Martin Iles (ACL) touched upon this in his recent statement on BLM:

    I condemn Black Lives Matter because they are a Marxist movement.

    Marxism is anti-Christ.

    They substitute sin with power.

    They substitute the individual with the tribe, imputing guilt, innocence, and judgement to collective groups, not responsible people.

    They absolve guilt, not by repentance, but by claiming victim status. Sin is justified for some tribes.

    They do not absolve guilt for all. It cannot be absolved for the wrong tribes.

    They exist to agitate, tear down, create chaos, divide, and destroy. That is the cultural Marxist objective – wreck the joint; destroy the system; do it violently.

    They substitute facts with emotion, stoking the flames of anger to drive this program, by (for example) wildly exaggerating the extent of racist policing. They gnaw away at law and order.

    Most horrifyingly of all, however, they don’t substitute forgiveness with anything. There simply is none. Sins of the past cannot ever be made right. Every last drop of reckoning, penance, and reparation must be extracted.

    “Forgive, even as God in Christ forgave you…”

    It is a very grave sin for a Christian to adopt an unforgiving spirit. It is anti-Christ, because it denies the very essence of who Jesus is and what He has done in us. It is what you join hands with every time you hashtag BLM.

    Not to mention, they support the total destruction of the nuclear family, the ‘liberation’ of gender, abortion, and every other sinful thing we’ve been weeping over in recent decades.

    Yes, scripture says God hates the sin of partiality, which is what racism is.

    Yes, scripture says you cannot hate your neighbour and love God at the same time.

    God is colour blind.

    God sees us we truly are – human beings, made to bear His image, but fallen in sin.

    In His mercy, God offers us what we truly need in Jesus – true salvation from sin and full forgiveness for all. A perfect image-bearer in Christ, into whose likeness we are transformed, day by day.

    This is the colour-blind message which truly answers the needs of our world.

    It is the greatest equality ever known, from the God of the universe.

    Christians must LEAD with answers that have their roots in this message, not follow sheepishly behind the cultural trends of the day which are utterly opposed to this message in their very core.
    “For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28)

  5. Bruce

    Tintarella, you are too kind. “Too merciful”, even.

    “….the Cancel Culture Left has gone too far.”

    In the view of REAL people, absolutely.

    However, in their own toxic view, they are just getting righteously “warmed up”. They have a “solution”, dare I say, a “final” one, that they are attempting to impose 0n the rest of the world.

    As many would suspect, this is not an unprecedented state of affairs. What is also NOT unprecedented is the general “official’ response to it.

    In the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero:

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear”

    The game afoot here is cultural and civilizational treason; nothing less.

  6. As has been pointed out many times, the woke/cancel culture are far worse than the worst of Puritans could ever have been.

  7. Iampeter

    Political Correctness Has Grown To Become The Unhappiest Religion In The World

    Ah, yes. The unintentional comedy of religious people using religion to negatively describe ideas they disagree with.

  8. cuckoo

    Nick Cave has always been his own man. Such a rare thing in life these days, especially public life.

  9. cuckoo

    I’m watching with a certain amount of schadenfreude as the middle class lefties in my social circle, who would normally genuflect to any progressive nostrum, quietly and privately express dismay with cancel culture. Their naivete is almost endearing: they really thought the revolution would stop with them.

  10. cuckoo

    Ah, yes. The unintentional comedy of religious people using religion to negatively describe ideas they disagree with.

    I’ve run that through my Joe Biden translator and it still doesn’t make any sense.

  11. Leigh Lowe

    Not mere empty words either.
    Cave refused to, um, cave under pressure to boycott Israel.

  12. duncanm

    Nick Cave is his own man. Good on him for standing up and expressing this in such an eloquent fashion.

  13. C.L.

    19 August marks the anniversary of the burning alive of the English Martyr Thomas Billney in 1531. A victim of Papist thuggery in the public square.

    And today is the veneration day for Blessed José María de Manila, murdered on this day in 1936 by leftist animals during the Spanish Civil War.

    Not 1531 but 1936.

    I hadn’t heard of Bilney; he was apparently a disciple of Martin Luther (intellectual father of the Holocaust and enthusiast of social discord and violence). By the legal standards of the time, Bilney was shown every possible mercy.

    Civil law in the 1500s (under which Bilney was executed) seems barbaric in our eyes.
    Likewise, the men of the 1500s would be shocked by our industrial slaughter of the unborn.

  14. Roger

    Sectarian polemics…is it really that sort of blog?

  15. Nob

    Well, good on him.

    But I think he’s wrong about the “once noble intentions” of PC.
    I hated it from the start, before some genius thought up the name “Political Correctness”
    When was it, late seventies, early eighties?

    Nearly forty years later I was still having the argument with a good friend.
    “But it’s just politeness” she said.

    I hated it because my logic went like this:
    The most intolerant people are the most readily offended.

    If you make offence unacceptable, criminalise it even, then you are handing more power to the most intolerant.

    Is that what you want?

  16. C.L.

    Sectarian polemics…is it really that sort of blog?

    Are you joking, Roger? 🙂
    Sectarian debates have been a feature here since com boxes were added.

    Andrew Reynolds and I once debated papal authority since late antiquity for about two months – in daily essays.

  17. Mak Siccar

    Just back from my permitted exercise walk through the cbd of the city where I live. Walked past the local Myer store. Sign in the window said

    Happy Fathering Day
    6 September

    As far as getting my business is concerned, they can go and get fathered!

  18. Tim Neilson

    Iampeter
    #3549870, posted on August 17, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Ah, yes. The unintentional comedy of religious people using religion to negatively describe ideas they disagree with.

    Poor old zero comprehension skills intellectual failure Iamashiteater.

    The only person quoted as saying that is Nick Cave, not “people”. (Commenters here have agreed with the point of Cave’s critique but none have adopted that metaphor.) And Cave himself has said of himself:
    I’m not religious, and I’m not a Christian, but I do reserve the right to believe in the possibility of a god.

  19. The BigBlueCat

    Iampeter
    #3549870, posted on August 17, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Ah, yes. The unintentional comedy of religious people using religion to negatively describe ideas they disagree with.

    Interesting comment from the follower of the Ayn Rand cult. Substitute “religioius” with “ideological” and “religion” with “ideology” and you get his self-critique.

  20. stackja

    Orwell would probably call PC newspeak. Some pigs…

  21. Iampeter

    Are you joking, Roger? 🙂
    Sectarian debates have been a feature here since com boxes were added.

    “Sectarian debates” – i.e. bringing up irrelevant and superficial religious stuff for no reason in conversation – are a common feature of ALL conservative discussions about politics and even economics.
    It’s almost like they don’t really know what politics is actually about and bring up religion instead.
    Which they also don’t really know much about and certainly don’t take seriously, so…yea…

    Poor old zero comprehension skills intellectual failure Iamashiteater.

    Which is funny given your response here fails to comprehend and address what you’re responding to.
    As usual.
    Just more unintentional comedy!

  22. JC

    Cancel culture isn’t just from the Left. We see it here everyday with people attempting to cancel out numbernuts instead of ignoring the idiot’s ravings.

  23. pbw

    I’m not religious, and I’m not a Christian, but I do reserve the right to believe in the possibility of a god…

    …but I don’t believe in the possibility of a god.

    Incidentally, did Nick Cave cover Don’t Fear the Reaper?

  24. Tim Neilson

    Iampeter
    #3549995, posted on August 17, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Poor old contemptible failure. It’s just so predictable.

    He totally beclowns himself. Someone points it out. He hasn’t got a leg to stand on, but he’s too childish to admit it. So he goes for a quick “No U” sneer, with zero facts or logic to back it up. The poor old failure really thinks that that will fool people into overlooking the 100% intellectual poverty of his prior self-beclownment, instead of realising that people notice the 100% absence of facts and logic from his strident sneers.

    Poor old loser. Poor old failure. Poor old Mr zero.

  25. dover_beach

    Andrew Reynolds and I once debated papal authority since late antiquity for about two months – in daily essays.

    They were worthy of compilation and publication. Very much enjoyed that series.

  26. pete m

    Bilney was not shown every possible mercy.

    1 forgiveness
    2 ignore
    3 debate
    4 deport

    But oh no burn him is the last option

  27. Frank

    I’m not sure of Mr Cave’s theological chops but they certainly worship the water he walks on in St Kilda.

  28. Iain Russell

    C.L. – nice try. FFail. Rome is Evil.

  29. The BigBlueCat

    Tim Neilson
    #3550035, posted on August 17, 2020 at 10:51 am

    The problem is, Tim, that he thinks Nick Cave is an actual theologian, which of course he isn’t. Cave is right, though when he says:

    Mercy ultimately acknowledges that we are all imperfect and in doing so allows us the oxygen to breathe — to feel protected within a society, through our mutual fallibility. Without mercy a society loses its soul, and devours itself.

    and

    Cancel culture’s refusal to engage with uncomfortable ideas has an asphyxiating effect on the creative soul of a society.

    Our friend hasn’t addressed anything Cave has actually said, but instead engaged in identity politics in an attempt to denigrate religious people (which he claims he doesn’t do). But as a member of the Ayn Rand cult, everything uttered by Rand herself and her most senior acolytes at The Objectivist is, without doubt, the gospel truth. Which of course it isn’t.

    Self-awareness isn’t his strong suit. He needs more mercy lest he is cancelled.

  30. Bruce

    Nick Cave played Nick Cave in “Wings of Desire” Major role by Bruno Ganz (pre- “Downfall”), Peter Falk appears as himself and then there’s the magnificent Solveig Dommartin.

    The movie pops up on “Sex Before Soccer” from time to time.

  31. John A

    Iain Russell #3549802, posted on August 17, 2020, at 4:46 am

    19 August marks the anniversary of the burning alive of the English Martyr Thomas Billney in 1531. A victim of Papist thuggery in the public square.

    Iain Russell #3550115, posted on August 17, 2020, at 12:18 pm

    C.L. – nice try. F Fail. Rome is Evil.

    That’s pretty bombastic, Iain

    The Western church under the Papal system (it was not called RC in 1531) had it’s faults, errors, heresies and so on as all human institutions do. But that doesn’t stop it from getting some, in fact most, things right.

    If God can open the mouth of a donkey to tell off the disobedient Balaam, then He can deliver the truth through imperfect humans too.

  32. God is colour blind.

    There are a bunch of Egyptian first borns who might disagree with this.

  33. Mother Lode

    By the legal standards of the time, Bilney was shown every possible mercy.

    The people of the 1500’s would have considered the idea of justice from the 1000’s to have been pretty nasty too.

    And anyone who is serene and content with their moral lucidity in this age would probably be surprised at the words people 500 years hence would use to express their disdain for our barbarity.

  34. C.L.

    C.L. – nice try. FFail. Rome is Evil.

    I wasn’t ‘trying’ anything.
    You have to explain what an obscure protestant plonker has to do with Nick Cave.
    GO!
    By the way, Rome had nothing to do with the death of the obscure Bilney – who strikes me as one of the fairly numerous suicides-by-heresy in the annals of that era.

  35. Iain Russell

    Great stuff CL and John A! You both epitomize the evil that is Rome.

  36. dover_beach

    You both epitomize the evil that is Rome.

    LOL.

  37. Bruce

    Lamprey stated:

    “Sectarian debates” – i.e. bringing up irrelevant and superficial religious stuff for no reason in conversation – are a common feature of ALL conservative discussions about politics and even economics.”

    The RELIGION of “socialism” is replete with opportunities for “religious debate: “How many dead Kulaks can dance on the point of a bullet?” and so on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WboggjN_G-4

    Saints, sacred texts, martyrs, “true” disciples, “sacred sites, “holy” lands, “conversion” forced and otherwise, “Icons”, Inquisitions, tithes, “sacrifices” etc.; all the trappings are there in plain view.

  38. Iampeter

    The RELIGION of “socialism” is replete with opportunities for “religious debate: “How many dead Kulaks can dance on the point of a bullet?” and so on.
    Saints, sacred texts, martyrs, “true” disciples, “sacred sites, “holy” lands, “conversion” forced and otherwise, “Icons”, Inquisitions, tithes, “sacrifices” etc.; all the trappings are there in plain view.

    Yea I know.
    Socialism is just a re-branded and serious version of Christianity.

    That’s why those of us who are actually right wing oppose Christianity and why I’m always pointing out that religious conservatives are leftists for very fundamental reasons.

  39. Rex Anger

    Socialism is just a re-branded and serious version of Christianity.
    Lolwut, IamMarcuse’s’RepressiveTolerancemadeManifest?

    You know less than nothing about either of the two concepts you are conflating, and are proud to admt your ignorace, trollykins. You make a superb Red Guard. Just as well you don’t take your reigion seriously- Watching you lose an physical argument on the street would be amusing (though sadly permanent)…

    That’s why those of us who are actually right wing oppose Christianity and why I’m always pointing out that religious conservatives are leftists for very fundamental reasons.

    Just a shame you are not rightwing, eh, IamAVeryPoorOutrageTroll. And besides, when it comes to ‘religious’ types, both political and otherwise, it takes one to know one, doesn’t it, Petey?

    (Beware trolly-kins, one of these days you gonna get SAVED!)

  40. Rex Anger

    Anyone ever noticed how IamAnIndividualist,Honest☹️ loves to both smear collectively and appeal to a collective alike whenever it attempts to fart and sneer about anyone it has decided is not like it?

    How terribly objective and individual of it…

  41. Lee

    Some of the most right wing people I know (and have known) are Christians and hate socialism and communism with a passion.

  42. Rex Anger

    @ Lee-

    Socialism and communism are utterly anathema to Christianity. The former are about the extertion of total control over one’s life by others, while the message of Christ is very simple- ‘Come, follow Me and LIVE FREE in Me.’ No sacrifice or works required on the follower’s part, except to remain in Him. He does the lot!

    That this message may be twisted and misunderstood is down to imperfect (and poorly taught) people. There are teachers who are full of knowledge and credentialled to their eyeballs, but do not Spiritually understand their teachings. This is grievous, and Christians pray for their understanding and correction.

    Then there are wilfully and proudly ignorant people like IamSoReligiousIHateAllReligions, for whom we pray for mercy.

    After all, if there is no eternity and a Christian dies deluded, at least he is happy. If, however, the Christians are right…

  43. Tim Neilson

    Rex Anger
    #3550933, posted on August 18, 2020 at 10:09 am
    Lee
    #3551038, posted on August 18, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Iamashiteater is actually this site’s most fanatical supporter of totalitarianism, as long as there’s crony capitalism involved. He gets an achingly rigid boner every time he sees individual rights crushed by government as a favour to their big corporate cronies.
    Like most hard line totalitarians he can’t comprehend that Christianity is all about individual choices, since there is an organised church and he’s got no concept of any organisation existing for any purpose except compulsion.

  44. Rex Anger

    Iamashiteater is actually this site’s most fanatical supporter of totalitarianism, as long as there’s crony capitalism involved

    No wonder I’ve never seen him use the word ‘Fascist!’

    #IamBenito…

  45. Rex Anger

    No sacrifice or works required on the follower’s part, except to remain in Him. He does the lot!

    OK- Clarification: One does not need to sacrifice or work to get in with, nor to stay in Him. You make a conscious choice to blieve and continue to believe and walk with Him. The works, perceived sacrifices amd other actions are merely the playing out of this mindset and spiritual decision, as He prompts change and growth and relationship.

    That is what scares people- Relationship. Following rules is one thing. A Creator God who wants you to know him as ‘Father’ and ‘Friend?’ Far too much, man!

  46. The BigBlueCat

    Rex Anger
    #3550933, posted on August 18, 2020 at 10:09 am
    Anyone ever noticed how IamAnIndividualist,Honest☹️ loves to both smear collectively and appeal to a collective alike whenever it attempts to fart and sneer about anyone it has decided is not like it?

    Every. Single. Time.

  47. Iampeter

    Some of the most right wing people I know (and have known) are Christians and hate socialism and communism with a passion.

    Then they aren’t serious Christians and/or don’t understand what Christianity, socialism and/or communism are fundamentally about.

  48. Rex Anger

    Then they aren’t serious Christians and/or don’t understand what Christianity, socialism and/or communism are fundamentally about

    It’s almost as if IamSoDeliberatelyBlindIWouldNotMissMyEyesIfSomeoneGougedThemOut has chosen to ignore everything posted before this latest eructation of his…

    What a foolish little fascist…

  49. Tim Neilson

    Then they aren’t serious Christians and/or don’t understand what Christianity, socialism and/or communism are fundamentally about.

    Poor old utter and total intellectual failure. Now reduced to insisting that Christianity isn’t what Christians believe, but that it’s what Iamashiteater thinks Christians should believe so as to fit in with his 100% wrongologist cartoon-like binary dogmatic absolutist generalised labels.

    How desperately sad.

    Come on Iamashiteater – show that your version of Christianity is real Christianity. Give us the biblical references – literal chapter and verse – and explain why they support your argument.

  50. Lee

    Then they aren’t serious Christians and/or don’t understand what Christianity, socialism and/or communism are fundamentally about.

    Breathtaking arrogance, ignorance and BS on your part!
    One of my former acquaintances (recently deceased), a devout Christian, fought in WWII and lived through the Cold War, knew more about communism (and opposed it with every fibre of his being) then you’ll ever know, having studied it extensively.

    As Omar Mukhtar (a M u s l i m cleric, played by Anthony Quinn) says to Italian General Graziani (Oliver Reed) in Lion of the Desert (1980): “you’re lecturing me about my own religion!”

  51. Iain Russell
    #3550115, posted on August 17, 2020 at 12:18 pm
    C.L. – nice try. FFail. Rome is Evil.

    You belong in the KKK.

    I am sure you need to burn something now.

  52. Rex Anger

    @ Tim Neilson and Lee-

    I cannot help but feel we have done the equivalent of the Three-headed Knight’s brief confrontation with IamSirRobin

    Should we have tea and biscuits?

  53. Iampeter

    One of my former acquaintances (recently deceased), a devout Christian, fought in WWII and lived through the Cold War, knew more about communism (and opposed it with every fibre of his being) then you’ll ever know, having studied it extensively.

    Nothing you’ve written here indicates any knowledge of Christianity or communism.
    You don’t even know where to begin.

  54. Rex Anger

    Nothing you’ve written here indicates any knowledge of Christianity or communism.

    OK IamTheBestestTheologianEver, enlighten us. Tell us all about our faith and how we are doing it totally wrong. And how the lies and murderous venality of Marx and his acolytes align perfectly to the Bible’s teachings, and especially Jesus’ teachings, on people, how to live and what it’s really all about.

    I have complete confidence, however, that you will once again squib on putting your money where your venomous little mouth is and do a Brave IamSirRobin…

  55. Tom

    Hahaha. Thanks for showing up, IamGoebbels.

    Now how about you go and get a real job? Oops, you can’t because your beloved government “experts” just shut down the economy — a wet dream for your fellow fascists.

    Long live the ScoMo-Dannograd Fourth Reich!

  56. Rex Anger

    You don’t even know where to begin

    Thank you for this admission, IamAVeryPoorQualityOutrageTroll. Perhaps you should just stick to telling us all about how evilbad the Evilbad Orange Man and deliberately confusing virus lockdowns with sovereign people exerting control over admissions through their nations’ borders to prove a point about nothing. Or maybe waste some space shilling for Big Tech, its globalist masters and the Deep State it protects, enables and pays off.

  57. Lee

    Nothing you’ve written here indicates any knowledge of Christianity or communism.
    You don’t even know where to begin.

    You’re telling me you know more about those subjects than a man who had studied communism since the 1940s, and been a minister of the Pentecostal church for more than sixty years?

    LOL

    For insufferable arrogance and conceit you take the cake, IamALeftWingShillSoFarUpMyselfWithShitForBrainsAndIDon’tHaveAClueWhatIPontificateOn.

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