Daily Archives: November 29, 2008

Another Victim of the New Inquisition!

Deary me. Another one sent to the stake by the New Inquisition of the New Orthodoxy. This time it’s poor old Rolf Harris – yes, he of the wobble-board and paintbrush fame. His crime? Questioning the New Orthodoxy on Indigenous Issues. The news of his heritical statement broke yesterday (see “Time to get off your arses: Rolf’s advice to aborigines”), and today the sentence was pronounced (see “Harris remarks spark outrage” and The Age editorial).

I’m not saying whether what Rolf said was right or wrong, although I do think that he might have said the same thing without the help of the colourful colloquialisms he employed. What I’m commenting on is the fact that he has been treated in exactly the same way as Warwick Marsh of the Fatherhood Foundation. He has questioned the rules of the New Orthodoxy, and it’s straight to the stake.

The fact is that when his comments are engaged and not simply rejected as an outrage, even his indigenous detractors have admitted some element of truth in what he said: Lowitja O’Donoghue (who thought that Harris has “some bloody cheek” to make such a suggestion) admitted that “Aborigines must help themselves” (which is what Rolf said in stronger language). “There are lots of people who get off their butts, as he says, and do things,” she said. And this is not to be denied but applauded and encouraged for the whole people.

But Ms O’Donoghue goes on to say that “colonisation [read: you non-indigenous people being here] was the root cause for much of her people’s plight” and “Australia [ie. you non-indigenous people] needed to lift its game in how it dealt with indigenous issues”. Thus while admitting just what Rolf said, she continues to sing from the old song sheet of blame and victimhood.

Former national Labor president and indigenous leader Warren Mundine also “agreed that it was up to Aborigines to instigate change. However, he said Harris’ language was a “bit tough”.” We at SCM agree. He went on to say

“It’s not as simple as (Harris) thinks it is,” Mr Mundine said. “I agree that we have to get up, take responsibility and drive forward, but at the same time I reject that it is our traditional values at fault … It’s actually the whole process of invasion, colonisation and government policy.”

So while agreeing with Mr Harris in the first part of his statement, he too eventually falls back upon the old song sheet and starts singing of victimhood and blame.

As I said in a short Letter to the Editor published in the Age today:

WARWICK Marsh, from the Fatherhood Foundation, said: “I hope we’re in a free society that still allows us to speak our mind” (The Age, 27/11). Well, you found out the answer to that question, didn’t you?

David Schütz, Boronia

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Past Elder admits: "No Alternative to the Church"

You know that one of the philosophical projects we have had going on this blog for some time is to sort out the mystery of Past Elder’s (aka The Artful Dodger’s) ecclesiology. Well, deep down in the combox to the blog on conscience below, PE offers another clue to unravelling the riddle. I asked him, if he objects (which apparently he doesn’t, he was just pointing it out) to the authority of the Catholic Church as being a determinant (perhaps even THE determinant) in the matter of Conscience, what is his alternative? We received this reply:

I do not demand you change, nor do I characterise your ways as wicked, nor, although I think it would the best for you, do I seek to convert you to Lutheranism (that being the requested “alternative”).

…A Catholic can have nothing to do with this preposterous and monstrous sham [“the post-conciliar entity travelling under the name “Catholic Church””], precisely for the sake of Catholicism and the Catholic Church. That’s it.

As to what to do then, the “alternative”, I don’t know and I am not trying to encourage you to follow the path I did at all.

For me, the utter violent and vicious apostacy of the Catholic Church to the Catholic Church itself was so intense as to render Christian belief impossible in any form for about twenty years.

I am not saying you must do so too. The message is what I saw, not what I myself did about it. You may find another answer. Many have.

If you want to find what I believe by the grace of God was shown to me as the answer, fine but I am not here to promote that, nor to challenge the Catholicism you seek, but to say for its own and very sake, what has been presented to you under the same name is nothing of the sort.

In fact, I do not believe there is another authority [for conscience other than the authority of the Church]. The solas I now believe are not understood apart from the church.

My difference with the post-conciliar Roman church and, now, with the actual Catholic Church are not about the authority of the church at all, but about how does that authority, and that church, actually work out.

I am not here to promote my answer for that.

In other words, PE has not given up his belief in “the church” (small “c”). He believes that there is no longer any such thing as the “Catholic Church”, and he rejects the institution that contintues to go by that name today.

He comments on this blog to convince us of this opinion. He wishes to open our eyes and to lead us out of the “tent of wickedness”. But to what? To leave us starving in the wilderness?

He says that he does not comment on this blog “to challenge the Catholicism you seek, but to say for its own and very sake, what has been presented to you under the same name is nothing of the sort.” But, my dear PE, do you seriously expect us to accept your challenge, to admit that you are right, to leave “this preposterous and monstrous sham” when you give us no clue as to what the alternative may be?

From your own experience, the only alternative was “to render Christian belief impossible in any form”. You don’t expect us to embrace an act that would have the same effect upon us, do you?

But the fact is you now DO have Christian faith. Tell us how this is possible! Tell us – nay, enlighten us – we beg you, and lead us through the wilderness to the same verdant pastures that you yourself now enjoy. You still believe “the church” is an authority – thus you must have some experience of it, you must have some knowledge of it.

Or is there indeed “no alternative” but the Church to which I now belong – the Catholic Church?

For, even if the Catholic Church (ie. the institution that goes by that name today)is a “preposterous and monstrous sham”, yet, if beside her there is no “reality” to which I may turn as an alternative, then I have no choice but to abide by that choice I made eight years ago: to embrace her and all in communion with her and all her teachings as those of our Lord Jesus Christ himself.

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