Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Presumably Jesus wants them for sunbeams instead

One of the things that occurred to me very forcefully several times during the nightmare morning I spent a few years ago in the Assemblies of God stronghold in the Adelaide suburb of (wait for it) Paradise, researching this piece [update: they seem to have put it behind a paywall, sorry!], was that many of the less, how you say, cerebral people among Christians tend to use Jesus (Assemblies of God are very very big on Jesus) as a sort of all-purpose blank screen onto which to project their desires, fantasies and fears. So while I didn't see Q and A last night [CORRECTION: it was not last Monday's but an earlier Q and A, on April 5 this year. This error has been kindly brought to my attention by Ken Lovell. Hi Ken *waves*], the telly still being borked and me still being too disorganised busy to get and set up a new one (new antenna, furniture-moving, nine-yard logistics narrative), it comes as no surprise to read this morning a particularly stupid and indeed mildly offensive remark made last night [on April 5] by Mr Rabbit in answer to a question about asylum seekers:

"Jesus didn't say yes to everyone, Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it is not necessarily everyone's place to come to Australia."

Jesus wept. 

Last time Abbott said something like this (for it is his line, and he has been holding it for some years) I was silly enough to make what I would have thought was the obvious 'No room at the inn' argument to a Christian, Abbott-loving friend of mine (yes yes, I know). It made him incandescent with rage and scorn, but I'm still waiting for him to explain exactly why it's not a valid point.


Liam said...

Yes indeed. He must have a different edition of the Gospel of Matthew (err, 2:1-19) to mine.

fred said...

Not trying to derail discussion but I think that the policy of both major parties on asylum seekers are deplorable. I commend http://batteriesredux.blogspot.com/ for an excellent presentation which puts the "boat people problem" in perspective.

fred said...

excuse the typo - the policies are deplorable

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I agree with you, fred, but as you rightly suspect, it's really not what the post is about. I'd be surprised if there were anyone who comes here who doesn't already know that the 'boat people problem' is a total beat-up.

Tatyana said...

One of the advantages of the digital times in which we live and work is that some tv programs can be viewed on any device with a screen hooked on high-speed internet. I'm not sure if Mr Abbott is aware of this fact yet, but I was pleased to hear that he recently purchased a new mo'dem, and while he can't receive and send entire libraries of documents just yet, at least the email is functional. (That Q&A program is available on ABC's iView.) Maybe he'll brush up on Jesus stuff too, after he's had a moment to catch up on broadband technology ...

The Monthly piece looks interesting.

Tatyana said...

'Mo'dem' usage is courtesy A. Crabb, reporting on The Drum.

TimT said...

It depends what your particular interpretation of the Bible is of course but this Christ is the chap who says:

Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household

And also:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

It sometimes seems to me that the intelligent and politically-inclined often attempt to use Christ as a template for their own beliefs as well. The wisest response to this inclination probably came from Republican Mike Huckabee, in answer to a question of the 'what would Christ do' form: "Christ had the good sense never to enter into politics."

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

TimT, indeed. And in the 'no room at the inn' episode, I was mocking Abbott's arrogance and hubris in presuming to know 'what Jesus would do'.

TimT said...

It may have been in response to a question about 'what Jesus would do'. He tends to attract those. That being said there's obvious hubris in his response.

Increasingly irate Bernice said...

Given that TAbbott will be guiding the Navy's boats by phone, surely we should not be surprised that he also has the inside running on his God's (well OK one third thereof) intentions for refugees.
What infuriates me is the callousness of this - Bernard Keane writes about it in another circumstance of conservative thinking in today's Crikey. http://tiny.cc/1h6r4
The callousness that allows the Abbotts and his followers of this world to look up sorrow and misery with cold scorn. I don't think he has a functioning cell of empathy anywhere in his person.

seepi said...

The man is clearly insane. Unfortunately quite clever with it, but insane nonetheless.

What a load of Cr^p.

So 'Australians place is in australia'
'Kosovo refugees place is in refugee camps'
'Iraqi's place is in a warzone'

What is his actual message
- nothing should ever change?
- refugees are not jesus's problem?
- Australians have been born to better things and deserve them?

it is so illogical that you can't even argue with it and sound logical.
But clever.

genevieve said...

Allow me to provide some lyrics from a very fine song I used to sing when I was a young Christian:


Very 'room in the inn' stuff. Time to throw one moneyslinging pollie out of the temple, I think.

genevieve said...

Sydney Carter also wrote gems like 'The Devil Wore A Crucifix' and provided the lyrics for 'The Lord of the Dance' (set to the Shakers tune which is better known as part of Copland's Appalachian Spring suite.)
BLOODY TONY. Now I'm really cross.

HEH captcha *turing*

skepticlawyer said...

Given the mass of contradictions present in that collection of Jesus quotes, maybe He should have gone into politics...

Zarquon said...

maybe He should have gone into politics

He did. It led to his crucifixion by the Romans and being mocked as 'King of the Jews'

(wv ivermin Apple's new product)