THE VIEW FROM MY POND

the online presence of Don Keayes

Tag: ideas

A boatpeople solution is in plain hindsight

For a rational understanding of the forelock-tugging on the night before parliament rose for its six week break, you could do a lot worse than this excellent piece by Miranda Devine in today’s Telegraph (I’m quoting it in full as it’s a ripper!):

FOR those posturing compassionistas, like GetUp’s Simon Sheikh and The Greens, and even the government, who remain in wilful denial about the fact the Howard government’s border protection policies stopped the boats – and prevented drownings – the numbers are inescapable.

The graphs, above, from The Australian, say it all.

The only solution is to “take the sugar off the table” as former Howard immigration minister Philip Ruddock puts it.

UPDATE: My colleague, 2GB Radio host Ray Hadley, has a few more figures in his column today: “A plea to every Labor politician to stop this nonsense that almost everyone on Nauru came to Australia or New Zealand. Here are the facts: 1637 people were processed under the Pacific Solution; 705, or 43 per cent, were settled in Australia; 491, or 30 per cent, returned to their country of origin and 441, or 27 per cent, were resettled in other nations.”

Green means political, elitist and wrong

Martin Durkin’s bio says he is a documentary film director and TV producer. More than that he is a thinker and student of history and his blog is about as good as anything anywhere.

I’ve just been reading his excellent posts on the Green-elitist Archbishop of Canterbury and the reasons why totalitarian regimes like the Nazis love the Green agenda.

It’s pouring down here on the pond, so how better to spend a day exercising the mind in the comfort of a sheltered spot.

 

On Marriage

Alison McMeekin has a very important story in today’s Telegraph. She reports that according to federal Labor MP Graham Perrett, it was lawyers and legislators–not God–who wrote the Marriage Act, and so it should be changed to reflect “the views and values of Australians today:”

“It is now time to enact this legislation and raise future generations of children who won’t believe that once upon a time same sex couples in Australia could not marry. The love between same sex couples is no different to that of opposite sex couples and deserves no less the public recognition, the celebration and symbolism which the wonderful institution of marriage bestows on all committed relationships.”

Oh, give me a break! Of course God didn’t write the Marriage Act. But he did design the concept of marriage to be the best way of building cohesive societies and raising well-balanced children! For thousands of years mankind has understood this and maintained a special place for the institution of marriage as “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” Apparently Mr Perrett considers himself much smarter than the best thinkers of the ages, who have always held that marriage need not be redefined from time-to-time to satisfy a morally degenerate elite.

“[It is] unjust that two people who love each other are unable to marry each other because of their sexual orientation” Mr Perrett told parliament.

Why exactly is it unjust? I doubt Mr Perrett or his two homosexual brothers actually read God’s Word in their Roman Catholic youth. Had they done so they would understand that the concept of justice flows not from the magnanimity of fickle lawmakers but from the desire to see the Creator’s perfect character reflected in the dealings of imperfect man. There is an objective truth involved here, which cannot be changed on a whim. Perhaps “unjust” in this case should more properly be rendered “no fair” in the whiney inflection of my six year-old’s full-flighted petulance. And just as my daughter’s case can be shot down with a rational question or two I ask Mr Perrett and his supporters, is it ‘unjust’ that ten people “who love each other are unable to marry each other because of their number“? Or that “a man and a dog who love each other are unable to marry each other because of their species?” Surely this kind of ‘justice’ means that the “final vestige of discrimination” is not the gender issue at all, but rather the number of people involved, the species, or the reciprocated love of inanimate objects … if that’s what lights your fire.

If marriage is no longer to be about the basic family unit and the raising of children then it is about nothing at all. And that’s why Mr Perrett and others like him are wrong. God didn’t write the Marriage Act but he did ordain what marriage was to be. And there’s a very strong body of opinion around this pond that says a Creator and Designer trumps a mere legislator of administrative processes every time.

I don’t really care if Adam Bandt and Andrew Wilkie think there’s “no excuse” for continuing to discriminate against a group of people “simply because of who they love.” The greater injustice is to discriminate against the 98 percent of the population who are heterosexual and who, forsaking all others, pledge their fidelity to a single person of the opposite sex for life, who raise children in a household with both a father and a mother, and who are committed to their children and each other in a way which by definition cannot exist outside of marriage.

A wall is a wall

If you’re a tadpole of the TV age you’ll have some excellent images lodged in your mind as I do. One of the most vivid is Ronald Reagan’s dramatic call, “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” In my mind’s eye I can see the Brandenburg Gate behind him, and from that image begin to flow amazing scenes from just two years later of ordinary people – East and West Germans alike – hacking away at the monolithic Berlin Wall with anything to hand.

President Reagan’s speech was made on 12 June 1987 and has since come to be known as the “Tear Down This Wall” speech. One of the downsides to watching speeches on television rather than listening to them on bakelite radiograms is that we tend only to remember those ‘soundbites’ that are accompanied by images. Thus, almost nobody remembers the far more important part of that speech; the undergirding question of why the wall would eventually have to be brought down by somebody at some time. It was the issue of freedom:

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere–that sphere that towers over all Berlin–the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: “This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.” Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

Making speeches is largely out of favour in our modern world. Politicians are only interested in getting a ‘talking point’ to air for the nightly news cycle and virtually nobody has the inclination to sit quietly for an hour to absorb, consider, and later ruminate over such profound issues as these. I wonder if this is why so many people in the West barrak for a side (Coalition vs Labor, Republicans vs Democrats etc) to gain and hold power, comforted as they are by illusory statements of intention rather than the hard consequences of enacted policies in real peoples’ daily lives.

The Berlin Wall may now be down, but in its place is the stupefying banality of the modern media. Where once families sat about the dinner table and examined deep issues of faith and character in the context of current affairs, now the only things being grappled with are the remote and the dinner tray. Since President Reagan made his speech two generations have been intentionally divorced from the Judeo-Christian values of personal liberty and objective truth. Theirs is now a world of the secular, the relativist and the self-serving manipulator. Their young minds, once filled with unbounded potential, now drearily serve out their time on earth in the gulag of gossip magazines and TMZ. They are enslaved and they neither know it nor care.

I don’t like secularism, atheism, socialism or any other form of totalitarianism. I like freedom of thought and action, artistic expression that lifts the soul, acceptance of personal responsibility for one’s own life and the pursuit of intelectual growth … just as our Creator intended. Concrete or idealogical, I guess I just don’t like prison walls of any type.

President Reagan’s speech–and many others–may be found here.