January 26th 2019

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The Natural Family as an integrative social force in American history

EDITORIAL The Remnant, resistant, creative minority

ENERGY POLICY Enough hot air about carbon dioxide; let's talk LPG

CANBERRA OBSERVED Federal election: the media have done our duty at the polls for us

NSW ELECTION NSW is just starting to sizzle

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Archbishop Wilson free, but trial was no witchhunt

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Awaiting Hayne: full report sure to shake finance sector

LIFE ISSUES The unvarnished truth about surrogacy

HIGHER EDUCATION Massification: that's the name of the game

SOCIETY Dover Beach: a mordant post-Christmas reflection

IRELAND TODAY Celtic Tiger changed out of all recognition

MUSIC One note does not a monotone make

CINEMA Aquaman: High fantasy in ocean depths

BOOK REVIEW Uninformed consent

BOOK REVIEW A thoroughly modern movement

BOOK REVEW The foundation of a successful society


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News Weekly, January 26, 2019

Wynand du Toit

I refer to the article, “Wynand du Toit: writing into the sunset” (News Weekly, December 1, 2018) by John Elsegood. What an interesting article, but I was disappointed in two ways.

First, whilst telling us that two SADF soldiers were killed and du Toit was captured, it didn’t tell us that the other members of the nine-man party were successfully evacuated. Second, it didn’t explain why the South Africans would have betrayed the party to the enemy.

It is interesting to note that this attack on Cabinda occurred five days after the final breakdown of the Lusaka Accords of 1984, which were meant to bring South African involvement in the Angolan war to an end.

Chris Rule,
Gilmore, ACT

The Age of Newspeak

Interesting article on gender politics in the December 1, 2018, issue of News Weekly. Also an interesting article on the proposal of universities to make their own laws.

Now, join the dots. If truth is fluid, like gender and other personal attributes, then how can the law possibly establish truth? Already it is difficult for the law to satisfy magistrates of guilt in some cases because there is so much doubt. If truth is changeable just by saying so, then institutions that rely on finding the truth, like the criminal courts and universities, are out of business.

If an obviously male person with male anatomy and male chromosomes can have his claim to be female (or any other of the over 100 genders published by Latrobe University on the “Gender Master List” available now on TUMBLR) accepted, and a 69-year-old can claim to be 49 and have his claim for “discrimination” considered by a court, then how can anything be accepted as “fact”?

In retail, we have numerous examples of fake and deceptive labeling accepted as reasonable in Australia (but not in the much maligned European Union, where origin labeling is strictly enforced). Frozen foods labelled “product of New Zealand” in our stores are mostly grown in China and packaged in NZ, being shipped here under the “free trade agreement” we have with NZ.

China is now making fake eggs and exporting them to Africa! Lewis Carroll was a prophet when he wrote in Through the Looking Glass that Humpty Dumpty said: “When I use a word, it means just what I want it to mean, nothing more and nothing less.” Likewise George Orwell in 1984 when he described “Newspeak”. I believe we are in fact entering the age of Newspeak.

This, of course, is not new. A century before Orwell in Animal Farm parodied Stalin’s attempt to control everything, including the language, the Marquis de Custine visited Czar Nicholas I’s Russia and was amazed at his autocratic power. De Custine was inspired by Alex De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and the assertion that the future belonged not to Europe but to Russia and America.

De Custine wrote La Russie en 1839 and declared: “the Czar considers himself greater than God, for God orders the future, but the Czar rewrites the past!”

When any of the Czar’s ministers fell from grace, he would send his commissioners around the empire seeking all references to this “unperson” in official archives, newspapers and books, and tear out the pages with his name on them, as if he had never existed.

Of course, there have always been people who wish the truth to be other than what it obviously is. Long before Pilate said to Jesus, “What is truth?” Satan (“the father of lies”) said to Eve: “Did God really say that? You will not die; you shall be like God!” The lie that we can be like God, knowing all, arbiters of truth, is seated deeply within each of us, even though we may not and do not want to recognise it.

Sooner or later, though, the hard facts of reality will hit all of us: we will all die and go to face our maker and have to give an account of ourselves, including what we said, thought and did. We may not like the truth then, nor can we change it.

Dr Philip Dawson,
Low Head, Tas.

Not all are God’s ‘children’

I write as a Protestant pastor (Presbyterian) and have hesitated for some time to say anything, but over the years it has become common for professing Christians who own some kind of Apostles’ Creed orthodoxy to say something along the lines of Peter Westmore’s recent editorial: “Christians believe that every human being is a child of God in a spiritual sense.” (News Weekly, December 15, 2018)

That needs considerable qualification, which was not there in the article, if it is not to be understood in terms of the old liberal Protestant heresy based on German Idealism.

The Bible teaches that we are all indeed created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–28), and so as creatures are the offspring of God (Acts 17:28). However, the overwhelming emphasis is found, for example, in John’s Prologue: “But to all who did receive him [Christ], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

In any real, saving sense, sinners are not inherently God’s children; rather, they become God’s children.

It would be unfortunate, to put it no more strongly, for an impressive application of Christian social ethics to be undermined by an alluring but in the end misguided view of the Christian gospel.

Rev Dr Peter Barnes,
Presbyterian Church,
Revesby, NSW


Reverse discrimination

How would the movement, if successful, within Labor ranks to remove gender from birth certificates and passports impact Labor’s 40 per cent reverse-discrimination quotas in favour of women?

If the inclusive gender push gets up, when people can identity with any gender they like, I can see the day coming when some men, feeling that they are being pushed to the margins, may decide to identity as a woman and present themselves as a female candidate for electorate pre-selections. Just a thought.

Alan Barron,
Grovedale, Vic.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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Last Modified:
April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm