The Good. The Bad. The Asinine.

It’s the trees, stupid

You may have missed it, but Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace was given an opportunity to parade his incoherent buffoonery on Sunrise earlier this week. The bad news is that his microphone was working, but the good news is that I managed to obtain the full transcript of exclusive, behind the scenes footage not shown on television!

So here it is…
_____

Jim:
So what should I say today? I don’t know why, but I’m thinking I should try and throw something in about trees.

Jim’s media adviser:
Two words for you, Jim – word salad.

Jim:
Salad’s for pooftas!

Adviser:
Yes, yes, but don’t use that word.

Jim:
There’s another word for salad?

Adviser:
Probably – but it’s too late to start learning new words. You know you can’t learn anything after 7am.

Jim:
Learning’s for pooftas!

Adviser:
Quite. Anyway, remember when you were just a humble speechwriter for Miss Carolina Teen USA?

Jim:
Ah, those were word salad days… some of my best stuff. “I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, our education over HERE in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children”. Haha, gold.

Adviser:
Exactly. So just substitute “the Iraq” for “marriage” and “maps” for “Jesus” and you’ll be fine. Oh, and try not to come across as a dick this time.

Jim:
Dicks are for pooftas!

Kochie:
What was that, Jim?

Jim:
Nothing, Kochie, nothing! Let’s do this, shall we?

[Now follows the bit that was actually shown on TV…]

Kochie:
So, Jim, why is the church so against same sex marriage?

Jim:
Well, ah, Kochie, the reality is that, ah, the scriptures are very clear about the fact that, ah, Jesus and ah, you know, when people become a Christian it’s an individual and a personal experience but from that point on we try to live more like Jesus would want us to, and certainly in the scriptures it’s very clear that, ah, he wouldn’t have ordained homosexual marriage. Now, the reason though is couched, ah, in the natural and that is that, ah, whether you believe that god created nature or whether you believe that there was nothing at all exploded and then there was everything the reality is that in this issue that it still takes the involvement of a man and a woman to create a child and therefore we have nature prescribing that a man and a woman, ah, should be involved in the creation of a child and should be involved in the nurturing of that child as it’s natural order and I find it absolutely amazing that at a time in our history when we’re jumping through hoops to try to make sure that every tree on the planet, ah, has its natural environment so it can flourish that we would be challenging the definition of marriage which creates exactly that environment for a child requiring that it’s between a man and a woman and that they should live to the exclusion of all others and for as long as they both shall live.

[Rest of interview]

[Off air]

Jim:
Man, that Dr Phelps chick is stupid. She couldn’t even respond to my trees argument!

Adviser:
Yeah, what was that argument again?

Jim:
Trees, silly! Treeees.

Adviser:
Brilliant.

Jim:
Brilliance is for pooftas! Wait… scratch that one.

Idjit Jones is fiery

Who knew that the humble, mild-mannered voice of the people, Alan Jones, could be such a fiery little wanker? Well, let’s be honest, most of us did. And if she didn’t know it before, now Jacqueline Maley does, too.

Alan was in Canberra yesterday to fill the “Convoy of No Confidence” with the confidence of his bountiful wisdom. Or at least he might have done, if he hadn’t morphed into a splenetic bully at the first sign of a reasonable question. You see, Jacqueline, a journalist from the Sydney Morning Herald, had the audacity to ask the Great One if he had been paid to speak at the rally.

Judging by Alan’s reaction, she may have been better off asking him if he rims on the first date. Not only would the answer have been more predictable, she probably would have been spared the verbal onslaught that followed:

Oh, go away! How can you look at yourself in the mirror? Oh, look at these people… the Sydney Morning Herald, for god’s sake. Am I getting a fee… It’s a stupid question… You just stand there so I can let [the crowd] see who you are.

Once up on stage in front of his adoring fans, he really went to town:

Where is she? She’s gone! Can’t stand and front can’t stand and front can’t stand and front. And when I said the question was insulting… Far from accepting a fee, I’ve actually emptied my pockets for a lot of people in the bush, and will continue to do so…

Too bad the bush needs rain, and not the lint from a $3,000 suit. But why all the rage, Alan? Jacqueline must have really offended you, since you’re usually so nice to people:

    It is absolutely laughable. [Julia Gillard is] off her tree and quite frankly they should shove her and Bob Brown in a chaff bag and take them as far out to sea as they can and tell them to swim home.
    — 2GB, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 6th July, 2011 (via Media Watch)
    .
    What do you make of this galoot Garnaut, the Federal Government’s climate change head-kicker? ‘The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence is telling us climate change is happening’ [says Garnaut] – well of course it’s happening, ha ha, [of] course climate change is happening ya dunce, but is it being created by man-made carbon dioxide emissions?
    — 2GB Sydney, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 18th March, 2011 (via Media Watch)
    .
    What about this brain-dead Sarah Hanson-Young, from the Greens?
    — 2GB, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 6th July, 2011 (via Media Watch)
    .
    You dope, Clover Moore. You dyed-in-the-wool dope.
    — 2GB, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 30th June, 2011 (via Media Watch)

Alan’s quite obviously a lovely young man, so his reaction couldn’t have just been due to plain old wankery. Perhap the question is just inherently offensive?

    Alan Jones:
    Are you being paid for being on the Government’s Climate Commission Science Advisory Panel?…

    David Karoly:
    No, my salary is not being paid by that.

    Alan Jones:
    Are you in any, and in receipt of any, benefits or funds or anything at all from the…

    David Karoly:
    I am receiving a travel allowance to cover the costs of going to meetings of the Science Advisory Panel and I am receiving a small retainer which is substantially less than your daily salary.

    Alan Jones:
    So you’re paid by the Government and then you give an opinion on the science of climate change. Have you ever heard about he who pays the piper calls the tune?

    — 2GB, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 25th May, 2011 (via Media Watch)

Hmm… David Karoly didn’t seem to mind the question. What else could have made Alan so angry?

    My suggestion is to invite one of the biker gangs to be present in numbers at Cronulla railway station when these Lebanese thugs arrive, it would be worth the price of admission to watch these cowards scurry back onto the train for the return trip to their lairs…Australians old and new shouldn’t have to put up with this scum. Peter’s of Kensington’s range of gift hampers are designed to hold useful goodies –oh there’s a stack of them aren’t there?
    — 2GB, Alan Jones, 7th December 2005 (via Media Watch)

Hang on… that last one’s a bit odd, isn’t it? Oh well, I’m sure it’s nothing.

And that’s what it’s all about

Every now and then, a single event manages to capture everything this blog is about. Today’s National Marriage Day Rally was one such event. Let’s start with the good news.

The Good
A Galaxy poll, released today, showed that not every religious person is an irrational homophobe. In fact:

53% of Australians who identify as Christians support same-sex marriage, while 41% oppose.

Not too shabby at all!

Even more encouraging are these words from actual priests:

  • Today in Australia we all live in a secular non discriminatory society. Churches and other spiritual institutions exist within this society. It seems to me that in a secular and non discriminatory society gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple. If people wish to be married within a religious or spiritual institution’s framework then they should accept the rites and rules of that institution. However it is the state that legitimises all marriages.
    – Rev Bill Crews (Uniting Church Minister, Sydney)
  • How can I, a heterosexual who’s been very happily married for 50 years, tell anyone else they don’t have the right to form a loving, committed, lifelong union and enjoy the fruits of marriage as I have done? Marriage is not a club to be restricted to some. Like the Gospel, it is a blessing to be shared.
    – Rev Rowland Croucher (Baptist Minister, Sydney)
  • When a couple want to be part of the institution of marriage, when they fully accept the same rights and responsibilities of marriage and treat marriage with the respect it deserves, why should they NOT get married? As a Christian minister, I believe that marriage is under threat from many angles, but also believe that recognizing same-sex unions will help return marriage to its rightful place in society.”
    – Rev Matt Glover (Baptist Minister, Melbourne)
  • Access to marriage, a public expression of commitment and love, is an essential part of being human and an inalienable right. As Christians we need to support those who are excluded and challenge those who through exclusion dehumanise and discriminate. I urge you to join the campaign to welcome our GLBT friends to express their love and commitment to each other through this special rite.
    – Rev Roger Munson (Uniting Church Minister, Canberra)
  • From a Christian point of view, marriage is an institution designed to serve two social needs:
    1. contribute broadly to social stability
    2. provide a stable environment for the nurturing of children.
    If this is the case then the only questions Christians need to concern themselves with when it comes to the issue of gay marriage are these two:
    1. Would gay marriage lead to greater social stability?
    2. Would a married gay partnership be likely to provide a more secure environment for the nurturing of the children of a gay couple than an unmarried one?
    I think the answer to both these questions has to be ‘yes’.
    – Fr Dave Smith, (Anglican parish priest, Sydney)

Awesome.

And, of course, there must be some Christians in the Greens. And the Greens are all over it.

The Bad
Unfortunately, however, it’s not all preachers and Greens. Over at the National Marriage Day rally:

  • Bob Katter was on hand to lend his trademark air of dignity to the occasion, and remind us that “Gay is one of the most beautiful words…no-one should have the right to take that word off us”. Apparently the word is much more beautiful than his hat, which he did take off himself, and then auction. Some cashed-up moron bought it for $2,700. Way to contribute, Bob.
  • Bob’s partner in whine, Barnaby Joyce, helpfully informed us that “If someone wanted to introduce legislation calling ‘camels’ ‘horses’ that would be equally as ridiculous”, apparently unaware that his mate Bob has already drafted an act to that effect.
  • Finally, visiting American Rebecca Hagelin threw in the usual crap about same-sex marriage forging an unstoppable path to incest and paedophilia.

Which brings us to…

The Asinine
And wouldn’t you know it, it was the Australian Christian Lobby who delivered, yet again:

The Australian Christian Lobby dismissed as absurd that the majority of Christians would approve of same-sex marriage as indicated by a Galaxy poll today and trumpeted by the Greens.

“Certainly my work with Evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox churches leaves me in no doubt that the great majority of their adherents don’t support same-sex marriage,” said Mr Wallace, the Lobby’s Managing Director.

Apparently Galaxy could have saved a lot of money by just asking Jim what the average Christian thinks.

Still, at least he seems to recognise that church attendance is a better measure of the nation’s religiosity than the box you ticked on the Census:

“I think a simple additional question on the poll that determined if the person actually attended a church might have made the result more informative,” he said.

Sure it would have, Jim. If only regular churchgoers were counted as Christian, then maybe Galaxy would be saying that only 5% of Christians support same-sex marriage. Unfortunately for you, however, it would also mean that only 8.8% of Australia is Christian.

Your call, Jim.

Calling all bigots!

What
The National Marriage Day Rally! Prudely brought to you by the Australian Family Association, the Dads 4 Kids Fatherhood Foundation, the National Marriage Coalition and, surprise, surprise, the Australian Christian Lobby.

And don’t forget to buy a ruby and gold National Marriage Day Rosette – they’re the coolest!

When
Tuesday, 16 August 2011, 10am – 12pm, when all the non-bigots are at work. Rosettes for sale all day long.

Where
The Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra. And afterwards at St Timonius (think about it), for some dry biscuits and white wine spritzers. Cardigan swap starts at 2pm, and socks and sandals get in free! Please buy a rosette… we really over-estimated the average bigot’s demand for meaningless paraphernalia.

Who
You, silly! And anyone else who thinks that our kind of love is the best. The best I tell you! Just like our rosettes. Which you should buy.

How

  1. Drive your horse and buggy, donkey, or church minibus to the ACT;
  2. Make a quick stop in Fyshwick to stock up for our “Bungas for Bummers” campaign;
  3. Head to Parliament House and pay our very reasonable $30 registration fee; and
  4. Buy a fucking rosette.

Why
To stop people who we’ve never met from exercising a relationship choice that doesn’t adversely affect us in any way whatsoever, by pretending to defend the definition of marriage that we’ve had since time began (in a universe where time began in 2004), namely:

    “A union between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.

Don’t worry about the whole “exclusion of all others” and “entered into for life” nonsense. Your right to cheat and get divorced will remain intact!

What to bring

  1. Your bible.
  2. A cardigan.
  3. An unjustified feeling of moral superiority and righteous indignation.
  4. Enough money for 15 rosettes.
  5. A pitchfork.
  6. A keen sense of fun!

What NOT to bring

  1. Your brain.
  2. The gay friend-of-a-friend you’re thinking of when you tell a non-bigot that some of your best friends are gay.

See you there!

Time to pull our fat fingers out

I just came back from a rather good lunch of Pad Thai (washed down with a refreshing Coopers Pale Ale), opened SMH online, and was confronted with this:

“Too little, too late.”
That’s the phrase that’s often been used to describe the international response to the famine in the Horn of Africa, where more than 12 million people need food aid because of a severe drought.

12 million people without food… and here I am with a stomach full of food that I didn’t even really need. Disgusting. So I went straight to UNICEF to make a donation. If you can, you should too.


East Africa Famine, Drought, Conflict

From the same SMH article:

Ethiopia

  • The Marxist policies of Mengistu Haile Mariam, which he began abandoning in 1990 with some economic reforms, left a country ravaged by economic decline, famine and regional conflicts that consumed half the state budget. In 1984-85, in the famine, up to one million Ethiopians starved to death.
  • For months in 1984, Mengistu denied the devastating famine in Ethiopia’s north. Aid workers later recalled he flew in planes loaded with whisky to celebrate the anniversary of his revolution, as hunger deepened.
  • Bob Geldof, after watching pictures of the famine, organized Live Aid in 1985 to try to alleviate the hunger. Watched by 1.5 billion people, it raised $100 million for Africa’s starving.
  • Somalia

  • The United Nations said on July 18 it had started airlifting food aid to rebel-held parts of drought-hit Somalia and that Islamist insurgents had abided by a pledge to allow relief workers free access.
  • Some 10 million people are affected in the region, dubbed the “triangle of death” by local media, that straddles Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. Somalia has had no effective central government for two decades, worsening the impact of recurring droughts.

If that doesn’t spur you to action, these photos might. And to see how the region’s religions are doing everything they can to help, go here.

What political honesty sounds like

Here is the Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, publicly rebuking the Catholic Church, following the release of the Cloyne Report.

Great stuff.

You’ve got to be kidding…

A Christian midwife is taking her employer to court because they forced her to use her Christian super-powers to raise people from the dead. Oh… sorry… it’s because they’re making her wear pants. Sweet baby Jebus! That’s terrible. In fact, if I was into bad puns I would be tempted to say that it’s a midwife cwisis. But I’m not, so I won’t.

But what does wearing pants have to do with being Christian? Well, this:

A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.

Bugger… there doesn’t seem to be a lot of wriggle room there. But it’s still a bit confusing. I mean, I guess it means I can’t wear skirts, but which gender gets to wear shorts? And what about singlets, socks, belts, hats, scarves, thongs and Hypercolour t-shirts? And, now that I think about it, didn’t everyone just wear robes back then anyway?

Why yes, yes they did.

As an added bonus, since she’s so keen to follow the rules in Deuteronomy, the hospital might be able to use her to enforce disproportionately harsh punishments for extremely specific types of inter-spousal assault:

If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

Unfortunately for the midwife, even this added benefit wasn’t enough to convince the employment tribunal to rule in her favour:

On Tuesday night the midwife’s claim was rejected by the tribunal. It ruled that the strict uniform policy in force at Queen’s Hospital did not disadvantage Christians and was “legitimate and proportionate for infection control”.

Phew! Cwisis averted.

Spare a thought for poor Fred

It must really suck being out-reasoned by an 11-year-old.