Tim Blair


New Criterion



Friday, October 04, 2002

News reporter Nick Grimm trespassed into the territory of Auntie's preachers and mouthpieces this morning when he shamelessly led two leading churchmen on AM this morning. They hardly needed his help to disgrace themselves.

Nick's professional colleagues don't need him taking the devil's side either.

It seeems the Protestant churches are offended that the Howard Government is not kneeling before the altar of their pacifism. Conscience demands that something be done.

Prayer? Discussion out in the parishes? Buying space in the media?

Don't be a dolt, brother!

To the barricades, comrades! The spokesman for the Uniting Church promised that his flocks were going to be "civilly disobedient". This seems to mean breaking the law, politely of course.

Here's where Nick deserted journalism to help expand the ambit of leftist intransigence. You didn't think it could be done?

So you're proposing "a form of conscientious objection" prodded Grimm?

"Yes" his sacredness replied. And he's prepared to go to jail for it.

We've heard of conscientious objection before. It used to mean refusing on the grounds of your beliefs to participate in military service when conscripted.

Well, here's the new definition from the Protestant establishment.

"Conscientious objection" is violent, illegal action against your fellow citizens when governments make policies you disagree with, even when arrived at by legal, open and democratic means, no matter what most of your fellow-citizens think.

Who's writing the devil's dictionary now?

There was a time, when the Protestant churches and sects were at their peak, when political quietism seemed a natural corollary of the greater good of having governments off their back. That denial of full citizenship has perhaps left them with a legacy of political naivety.

Political naivety combined with moral arrogance is vicious.

The Anglicans were formed as a State Church of course, so we can look to them for a more constitutionalist approach, can't we?

You can throw mud on my mitre but I swear I heard their Archbishop Peter Watson endorsing the plans of his loopy Uniting brothers and sisters.

Now we all know that Protestantism is dissolving into all kinds of irrationalisms as the patriarchal God takes refuge somewhere beyond the Big Bang. I had't realised just how far irrational leftism has taken charge of the churches' commanding low-points.

These meddlesome priests make Archbishop Adams, Pastor Lane and Soul McCutcheon look quite clever.

And they don't need your help, Brother Grimm.

Or Auntie's.

(Transcript in 24 hours)