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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

pesky laws and decent white folk


Spot the decent white folk

In Marr's world if they're Christians they must be white.

In his latest piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. David Marr seems to think that Christianity is the white man's voodoo.
Anti-vilification laws aren't the answer. In Victoria, two hellfire Christian preachers, Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot, are facing jail after preaching against Islam in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Ever since, they've been fighting an action brought by the Islamic Council of Victoria under the state's new Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.

That's the pesky thing about these laws that show almost zero tolerance for religious and racial intolerance: they can be turned against decent white folk. Nalliah calls Victoria's act a "foul law" and "sharia law by stealth". The two pastors have been asked to apologise but are contemplating martyrdom by imprisonment instead. Scott said: "You don't compromise truth for fear of jail.

David Marr is a man with a huge chip on his shoulder about Christianity in general and conservative Evangelicals in the Anglican Church in particular, and who has, as a result, been "preaching against" Christianity for years. He reveals his ignorance here by implying that the Pakistani born-and-raised Daniel Scot and the Sri Lankan born-and-raised Danny Nalliah are "white folk" simply on the basis of the allegiance to Jesus Christ. This despite the fact that Christians of colour in Africa and South America vastly outnumber Anglo and other European Christians. Indeed while Christianity declines in the West (as Marr himself is living proof) it grows rapidly in the South. I guess in Marr's topsy-turvy view of the world Nalliah and Scot are not "coloured" but are really white, on the assumption that only white folk could be Christians - and "hellfire preachers" to boot.

In the same way that Condi Rice and Colin Powell are not really black, and that Margaret Thatcher is not really a woman, I suppose...

Also in Marr's world the two Christian pastors are "contemplating martyrdom by imprisonment" apparently because they are not man enough to say "sorry" in self-funded and expensive newspaper ads addressed not just to the three Anglo converts to Islam who infiltrated their meeting and were offended by hearing the Koran accurately quoted - but to the entire Muslim community of Victoria. I point out that this is not a matter of choice for the two men for it is not they who have introduced this law, or who have brought these charges or who will be imposing the court's sentence. Any "choice" they now have is of a rather restricted kind. Once you have taken away a man's freedom of both conscience and expression you are left with something less than an open democratic society. Surely a "real" liberal can see that? How would Marr feel towards homosexual activists willing to be imprisoned because of their conscience and beliefs. A lot more supportive and sanctimoniously approving I would suggest! Then again would David Marr himself compromise truth for fear of jail? I hope not.

In conclusion I simply note that which Marr neglects: the Christian pastors are not contemplating martyrdom-by-suicide bombing-in-a-public-place-with-lots-of-innocent-bystanders either. That's only but one of the differences between Christian "fundamentalists" and Islamic "extremists" which Marr can't seem to spot.

8:07:00 pm