Aussie Cricketers: “If We Get Covid, So Be It.”

Aussie Cricketers: “If We Get Covid, So Be It.”

When Covid-positive Tahila McGrath was cleared to play at the Commonwealth Games, readers of The Age clutched their pearls despite her firm adherence to the safety measures in place to minimise risk of spreading the virus. Then the cricket team won…

Cricket is played by a small number of people spread out in a vast paddock — a social distancer’s dream.

This, however, did not stop Covid bed-wetters at The Age newspaper reacting with shock when they learned an Australian who tested positive for Covid was allowed to play at the Commonwealth Games.

Australian allrounder Tahila McGrath was cleared by the International Cricket Council to play despite testing positive for Covid-19 before the T20 final against India.

Precautions Taken

McGrath wore a mask when around her vaccinated teammates in the dressing rooms, and she avoided on-field celebrations at the fall of a wicket.

None of this mattered to The Age, where reporter Tom Decent expressed disbelief that McGrath was “allowed to not only play, but bat, bowl and field”.

Perhaps she should have played without batting, bowling, or fielding. But, of course, then she wouldn’t have been playing!

As McGrath was about to go out to bat, The Age reporter tweeted:

“Just in: Tahlia McGrath has tested positive to COVID. However, she’s still playing the women’s cricket gold medal match. Found out before the game. She’s listed to come in next. This’ll be interesting…”

Those interested to see if the Indian players would suddenly catch the Covid from McGrath as she took guard were disappointed. McGrath faced just 4 balls for 2 runs before being caught. And that was all the Indian fielders caught.

Outrage

Readers of The Age were outraged. They described the decision to let McGrath play as “a global embarrassment”, “disgusting”, and a “PR misstep”. Some suggested Australia should be disqualified from the tournament.

One wrote:

“It’s a mockery of a disease. She shouldn’t have played. Remember, international sports also sends messages to millions watching.”

The Australians most certainly sent a message. When they won the match (and the gold medal) McGrath stood about 5m from the rest of the team as they embraced in celebration.

Team Spirit

But then, according to The Age, the unthinkable happened:

(Warning: You should not read the next paragraph unless you are vaccinated, boosted, and double-masked)

“After about five seconds, it all became too much for McGrath. Protocols went out the door as she lunged at her teammates, grabbed them with open arms, and soaked in a moment she deserved to be a part of.”

Outrageous! Did everyone survive? Will there be a Royal Commission? Where were the Victorian police?

Fast bowler Megan Schutt told The Age it was important that McGrath was part of the victory celebration and so the players decided:

“Screw it. If we get Covid, so be it.”

McGrath included in victory

Don’t these Australians read The Age? Have they not listened to Daniel Andrews? Or to Mark McGowan? Or to Dr Kerryn Phelps? Did they learn nothing from the past two years?

Why were they not cowering at home in fear of the sniffle rather than winning gold medals playing the game they loved?

Listen to it again:

Screw it. If we get COVID, so be it.”

Paint the Aussie girls’ faces blue and call them Braveheart. That is the voice of freedom. Young Australians deciding for themselves that they would rather get Covid living their dreams than hide themselves in quarantine collecting masks and booster shots as life passes them by.

It’s about time Australians realised the Covid scare is over. It’s time to let everyone get on with life.

And while we’re talking about sport and Covid, for goodness sake, let Novak Djokovic play the Australian Open in January.

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Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

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The Popular Beliefs that Erode True Inclusivity

The Popular Beliefs that Erode True Inclusivity

Secular attempts to force inclusivity upon everyone are anything but inclusive. Why is this so? Let us examine the underlying assumptions of this totalitarian worldview.

Inclusivity has become a hot topic of conversation since the Manly Sea Eagles Pride Jersey Saga.

The Manly NRL club desired to be inclusive in mandating their players wear the Pride Jersey. And yet, they excluded seven of their players who refused to do so on conscience grounds. As we step back and think about it, here are some of the popular beliefs that underpin the modern secular view of ‘inclusivity’.

And these beliefs lead to anything but inclusivity:

1) Disagreement equals hate

When it comes to some topics — especially gender and sexuality — many argue that disagreement with LGBTIQ views means hating LGBTIQ people.

According to this view, if a Christian believes in the Bible’s design for marriage and sexuality, he must hate anyone who lives differently, from the de facto couple next door to his lesbian colleague.

But the view of ‘disagreement equals hate’ presents all sorts of problems:

  • Can’t parents who disagree with their wayward teenager still love them?

  • Can people who disagree on deeply held issues — such as religion, politics, and sexuality — be friends?

It’s not easy to disagree over contentious issues. But it is possible.

Look at the life of Jesus: here we see a person who reached out and loved people He disagreed with, with a love that blows us away. Jesus disagreed with people. But He didn’t hate them.

Disagreement does not always equal hate. (Often, it can be the most loving thing we can do).

2) Diversity is essential, except for diversity of thought

Diversity is a popular buzzword.

Manly intended to celebrate diversity through its Pride Jersey. Except it left out a critical component of true diversity: diversity of thought.

If you disagreed with the Pride Jersey and what it represented — if you have diversity of thought — then you were excluded.

That’s hardly diversity.

And this double standard was noted a few years ago by LGBTIQ activist Dawn Grace-Cohen, when she wrote:

Resorting to bully tactics now against people who oppose us betrays that [Same sex marriage] victory. We have asked the country to celebrate our diversity, but that means we must also celebrate diversity of opinion.’

3) A person’s conscience only matters if we agree with them

Traditionally speaking, a person’s conscience was a big deal.

We respected conscientious objectors when it came to military service. Or for medical procedures like abortion. Or for religious freedom. We tried to make space for people’s consciences (albeit imperfectly), because we believed that people shouldn’t be forced to go against their consciences unless there was a compelling reason (e.g. public safety), and then only in the least restrictive way.

But conscientious objection seems less respected these days, especially when it goes against the grain of LGBTIQ views (as the Manly 7 found out firsthand).

4) If I disagree with what you say, I have a right to censor and cancel you

Long gone are the days of people saying, ‘I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’.

You risk being cancelled when you raise your voice against the prevailing orthodoxy on sexual and gender matters (along with other politicised issues such as climate change or race). As several intellectuals from both sides of the political divide have pointed out:

Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organisations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal.

5) The world is divided into good people and evil people

According to the increasingly mainstream views of Social Justice Theory, our world is neatly divided into evil people — the oppressors — and good people (the oppressed).

You’re either one or the other.

And if you’re an oppressor, traditional rights and norms (such as freedom of speech and religion) no longer apply to you. Upholding such rights are seen to harm vulnerable minorities and should be removed.

That doesn’t exactly lead to an inclusive society.

6) We can misrepresent and exclude people we disagree with

Truth and respect in public debate no longer matter.

Again, LGBTIQ activist Grace-Cohen puts this well:

When we are not demanding compliance with our own view, many Australians habitually attack a person with an alternative view, rather than countering with a reasoned argument.

We mock rather than debate. We use slut-shaming or racist, ageist and sexist slurs. We don’t listen for the grain of truth in the opposition’s perspective because we cannot bear the discomfort of there being no easy answer. We cannot wait for the resolution to emerge.

In other words, we want to exclude people we disagree with.

Those aren’t inclusive behaviours.

7) Religious organisations like Christian schools should not be allowed to select staff who are… religious

Political parties like Labor can select staff that only hold to their political values.

Activist organisations like Greenpeace can hire staff who only hold to their views on the environment and climate change. Cultural organisations like Hungarian scouts (yes, I grew up being a member) are free to hire leaders who are… Hungarian.

But it’s becoming harder for religious organisations — including religious schools — to only hire people who hold to the religious ethos of the organisation.

Why the double standard?

Whatever the reason, it excludes religious people from living out their faith in community with like-minded believers.

That doesn’t make for an inclusive society.

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Originally published at AkosBalogh.com. Photo: Yahoo! Sport

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What Will Your Children Say About You?

What Will Your Children Say About You?

As fathers, we will leave a legacy for our children, whether good or ill. Start working on your legacy today, that your children may have a brighter tomorrow.

I can remember, as if it were yesterday, the last day I spent with my Dad. We had an enjoyable day together meeting with business leaders in the Sydney CBD. Three days later, the police knocked on my door to notify me of my father’s passing.

I was shocked at my own expression of grief and how long I took to get over his death. I wrote about it in an article titled, “You Are Never Ready to Lose Your Father.”

My dad was 74 years of age when he passed, which was the average age of death for a man in 1984, so arguably a good innings, but still a shock. It is 38 years down the track, and I still miss my Dad.

My Dad was a massive inspiration to me. Thankfully, I have been able to pass some of that inspiration on to my own children.

As Shannon Alder wisely said,

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”

My daughter-in-law lost her Dad in March 2019. She misses her Dad so much. He was a salt-of-the-earth man with some colourful language to boot. He was a brickie, so he always got straight to the point.

As a fellow tradesman, I wrote a tribute piece to his passing titled, “A Man Called Mick.” At his funeral, this is what my daughter-in-law said about her Dad.

“Even though we were loved, Dad always made it really clear to us that Mum was his favourite, he called her his sweetheart. They were like two peas in a pod.

  • Cuppa every afternoon (beer in summer). Mum put it in the freezer 30min before Dad got home. If we came out the front, we were told to go away. It was their time to chat and catch up.
  • Every Valentine’s Day, Dad would pick Mum a rose from the garden and make her a cup of tea and put it next to her bed before leaving for work.
  • He always said that the best thing about his day was seeing Mum when he got home.
  • Mum would tuck Dad into bed every single night. Even when they weren’t on speaking terms, Dad would still let Mum know he was going to bed, and she would tuck him in.

The truth is, Mum and Dad really loved each other, for better or worse.

The four of us (my brother & two sisters) got together this week to talk about what we wanted to share about Dad. We had so many stories, so many funny times and great memories, but more than anything it was some of Dad’s simple character traits that we really loved and will miss the most.

Dad had a strong presence that always made you feel safe.

He was full of integrity, and taught us about responsibility, honesty and a good work ethic.

We all knew that honesty and telling the truth was important. You could get away with a lot of things in the Robbins household, but if you got caught lying… *whistle*… LOOK OUT

Dad always made sure we were ok... We had great Dad. And we know we did…

We have put together some photos of Dad’s great life, so get your tissues out.”

I came across a great article by Nick Saban called “The Story of My Dad.” Nick’s story reminded me of how we miss our own dads. I will let you be the judge.

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss and think about my Dad. His passing at forty-six years of age seemed unreal and was devastating to our family; yet he is always with me in spirit, in my heart, and in my mind.  

We had a unique relationship because he was my Dad, my boss, and my coach. I loved him very much and want everyone to know that I wouldn’t be the person I am nor have had the success I’ve enjoyed without the experience of Dad in my life; he was my champion! 

He set a standard of excellence and provided a set of values and direction for my life that I still follow today.

legacy

The last conversation I had before Dad died of a sudden heart attack was just after the start of my first season as a GA in 1973. I told him I wanted to be a coach like him and he gave advice, as always, “I’m happy you want to be a coach, however, the expectation, no matter what you choose to do, must always be to do your best and to be the best.”

I promised him I would always try… that was the last time we spoke. I am so thankful I had my father as an example of uncompromising values, standards to live by and, especially, his love for me and compassion for others…

Dad’s headstone recalls his legacy, “No man stands as tall as when he stoops to help a child.”

Lovework

As fathers, we all leave a legacy.

What will your children say about you? That’s why I write to you every week. Give it your best shot before it is too late!

Yours for Leaving a Legacy,
Warwick Marsh

PS: If you want to build a greater legacy for the ones you love, please join us at the Men’s Leadership Summit, Tops Conference Centre, on the weekend of 26-28 August 2022.

Bookings close midnight this coming Friday 12 August 2022.

See video promo here, or watch below.

Download Summit flyer here.

Register here.

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First published at Dads4Kids. Photo by Alena Darmel.

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Soccer Star: Deserted by Courage, but Still Standing for It

Editor’s Note: Suzanna Bowdey at The Washington Stand reports on US soccer player Jaelene Daniels‘ sacrifice of her lifelong career dream due to her principled stance, refusing to kowtow to politically correct politicking in her sport.

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On Jaelene Daniels’s Twitter page, there’s a single pinned tweet. It says, “If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.” “Unashamed,” she added below. The post is from 2016, a year before the soccer star made coast-to-coast headlines for refusing to wear an LGBT pride jersey. It was a decision that cost Jaelene a spot on the US Women’s National team — ending a longtime dream. “I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it wasn’t my job to wear this jersey,” she said. Five years later, that conviction hasn’t changed.

Daniels plays for a North Carolina team that couldn’t be more appropriately named: the North Carolina Courage. But unfortunately, the team named “courage” refuses to tolerate it — at least where religious freedom is concerned. Daniels, who’s more than familiar with the harassment that comes with standing your cultural ground, was asked by management to participate in the team’s Pride night last Friday. Along with a pre-game LGBT festival, players were told to wear a special transgender and rainbow-themed jersey. Daniels, in keeping with her longtime convictions, refused. The team, in a familiar overreaction, benched her.

“Jaelene will not be rostered tonight as she has made the decision to not wear our Pride jersey,” a Courage spokeswoman said in a statement before the game. “While we’re disappointed with her choice, we respect her right to make that decision for herself. We’re excited to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community with our fans, players, and staff tonight and look forward to hosting our first ever Pride Festival before kickoff.”

Cowardly Leaders

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time Daniels has been dissed by the Courage front office. When the team re-signed her in December, they actually apologised for it, acknowledging that her Christian beliefs were at odds with the league’s woke agenda.

The decision to offer Daniels a contract, the team insisted, “was not made lightly and included significant conversations between organisation leadership and Jaelene. The priority expressed in those conversations is the safety of our players and maintaining an inclusive, respectful space for the entire team. … We as a club acknowledge the impact this announcement has on our community,” the North Carolina Courage said in an unsigned open letter to fans at the time. “We’ve spent the past few days reading your messages and reflecting on our actions. We are very sorry to all those we have hurt, especially those within the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Faith with Compassion

While the team’s desertion must have stung, the soccer star never wavered, writing graciously on her social media, “I remain committed to my faith and my desire for people to know that my love for them isn’t based on their belief system or sexuality. I pray and firmly believe that my teammates know how much I cherish them, respect them, and love them.”

It was a classy and mature response from a woman who should be celebrated for standing on principle — but instead has been vilified, shamed, and abandoned by her own team. Obviously, the street of tolerance only runs one way in women’s soccer, as Megan Rapinoe is lionised for spitting on America and showered with endorsements for flaunting her same-sex attractions. One player is elevated for her convictions, the other is punished for them. Welcome to the hypocritical, hyper-politicised world of modern sports.

Sacrifice

While the soccer community gushes over Rapinoe’s “bravery,” the real heroes are the ones refusing to bend to the Left’s cultural orthodoxy. Like the handful of Tampa Bay Rays players who pushed back against the team’s LGBT uniforms in June, Daniels put biblical truth ahead of her professional career. Again.

Back in 2017, when Jaelene withdrew her name from the national team over the Pride dispute, she willingly walked away from every goal she’d worked to achieve. “The peace trumped the disappointment,” she explained, looking back. “I knew in my spirit that I was doing the right thing.” Now, a half-decade later, she’s fighting the same battles, knowing that if the sport she loves has to be sacrificed then it’s “just part of His plan.” As she said then, “Maybe this is why [I was] meant to play soccer. Just to show other believers to be obedient.”

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Photo by Jamie Smed / Wikimedia Commons.

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If Only Christian Rugby Players Were Edumacated

If Only Christian Rugby Players Were Edumacated

There appears to be only one acceptable narrative these days, despite the constant trumpeting of “diversity” and “inclusion”. A professor opines on the Manly rugby players’ apparent lack of education in progressive values.

If only the naive Manly Sea Eagles players who refused to wear the pride jersey Thursday night had education!

Yes, education is the key!

If Christian young people had education — by which I mean indoctrination into LGBTQ+ theory — then they wouldn’t be so, well, Christian.

And they would be free to reclaim their, er, our queer perspective.

Oh, but we love diversity! Diversity is wonderful. And it will be even more wonderful when everyone thinks uniformly, which is to say when everyone thinks like LGBTQ+ activists.

Now of course, the professor interviewed on the ABC’s The Drum didn’t put it quite like that. But anyone, with ears to hear, heard exactly what he said.

Whitewashed History

Pity those poor young Manly players espousing Christian views pushed on Pacific Islanders two hundred years ago by stuffy white colonising missionaries.

The Pacific was a gay wonderland before the arrival of frigid whites carrying their Bibles.

So the Manly players are not to be blamed for their outdated, bigoted views. They’re just poor Islanders needing education.

Or re-education, if you will.

Chair of Social Work and Policy Studies at Sydney University Professor Jioji Ravel told the ABC:

“Education is the key. It’s about being able to have a collaborative conversation with everyone.”

Well ‘conversation’ sounds okay.

But what kind of conversation?

One-Sided

“A conversation about how do you as a team effectively and proactively celebrate ethnic, religious and sexual diversity,” he said.

Okay, forgive me for butting in here, professor, but I think you’re going to have trouble persuading Christians to “celebrate” homosexuality and gender fluidity.

And I’m not sure that homosexual players are going to “celebrate” the Christian view of marriage as being between a man and a woman; or indeed that genderqueer players will “celebrate” the Christian view that male and female are fixed biological realities.

Couldn’t we just agree to celebrate football, despite our passionate disagreement on sexuality and religion?

Before the professor can continue to expand on the merits of “conversation”, the ABC host had a very important point to make. He interjected:

“There are going to be kids, queer kids, watching this who now know that a whole bunch of their players don’t support them.”

Oh yes, the kids! Will no one think of the kids?

There are gay and genderfluid kids all across the country this week in fear of their lives — perhaps suicidal — because seven Christians didn’t want to run around a footy field wearing a rainbow!

Seriously?

Religious Freedom

Why don’t they ever worry about the Christian kids?

You know, the Christian kids watching this who now know that if you stand up for your beliefs, you’ll be told by police it’s not safe for you to go to the football? (The Manly seven were warned not to attend Thursday’s game as their safety could not be guaranteed.)

What about the Christian kids watching this who now know that if they embark on a sporting career, they’ll likely be forced to choose between the game they love and their most deeply held personal beliefs on sexuality and gender?

The kids! Think of the kids!

Pffft.

Slippery Slope

But I digress. Back to the professor and his call for… what was it? … ah yes, collaborate conversation.

“I think this is an awesome opportunity for us to continue to have a shared conversation with Pacific community and the broader queer community and the whole community around mental inclusion of sexual diversity.”

Hang on a moment. Suddenly we’ve gone from a conversation about celebrating religion and sexual diversity to a conversation about “inclusion of sexual diversity”.

Having softened the audience up with his mushy rhetoric about “collaborative conservations” and “shared conversations” and “celebrating” this and “understanding” that, the professor came to his real point:

“Interestingly enough, prior to colonisation across all of our Pacific Islands, and our communities within, our sexuality was fluid.

“So we actually learned from white Western perspectives to have shame and stigma around our sexuality.

“So it’s an opportunity for even us as Pasifika communities to reclaim some of those queer perspectives from our Pasifika heritage.”

(Pacific Islanders also learned from white Western perspectives not to eat each other.)

The professor’s point was that these Christian Islander footballers are homophobic, but only because of white man’s religion. (Christianity actually began as a Middle Eastern religion.)

However, salvation is at hand. With a little indoctrination, they can quickly be stripped of their religious beliefs and become LGBTQ+ activists like the professor.

Hmmm… this “conversation” is sounding a little bit like “conversion therapy” to me!

The professor, who has worked extensively with NRL players across the competition, has been getting a good run in the media this week, describing the sexual utopia that existed in the Pacific before the arrival of Christianity.

He wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald:

“Before the missionaries visited our beautiful island homes in the period of colonisation during the 1800s, sexuality among many Pacific communities was fluid. Men would have sex with men without fear and shame. Sexuality was seen as an expression of connecting socially and relationally with others.

“Pasifika people need to be proud of our pre-colonial views of queerness and reclaim such views as part of our ability to love our neighbour as ourselves.”

“Love our neighbour as ourselves.”

Hmmm, that phrase rings a bell.

Let me think a moment…

Wasn’t that…

Yes. Yes it was! It was Jesus who said that!

It was the Jesus whom those white colonising homophobic missionaries imposed on Pacific Islanders in the 1800s who said “love your neighbour”, though I’m not sure Jesus meant that we were to love our neighbour by reclaiming our latent homosexuality.

Anyway, once these naive Islander lads refusing to wear the rainbow jersey get educated by the professor, they’ll be totally on board with gay genderqueer Jesus and will be able to truly celebrate diversity. And possibly love their neighbour in a very special way.

You know it makes sense. And if you doubt it, you’re just another bigot who needs edumacating.

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Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

Subscribe to his Substack here for daily witty commentary.

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Politicians Bravely Speaking Truth

Politicians Bravely Speaking Truth

These two courageous politicians sure are a breath of fresh air. May their words bear fruit and herald the start of a positive cultural shift across Australia.

Yes, it might seem like an oxymoron, but it does sometimes happen: a politician will get up and say that which is true — profoundly true. It might be a rarity, but it does happen. And when it does, it is worth taking note of and applauding. There have been two recent cases of this occurring, so let me run with both.

One involves a brand new federal politician and one involves someone who has been around for quite a while. I refer to Jacinta Price and Bob Katter. The former has just delivered her maiden speech in the Australian Senate. And the latter has offered a strong defence of Christianity while focusing on its many critics.

Religious Freedom

Let me begin by offering the full text of Bob Katter’s brief speech he gave just yesterday in Parliament House. He certainly pulled no punches as he targeted the secular left woke agenda and the anti-Christian bigotry we see all around us:

KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter, has used a media address in Canberra today to slam the continued persecution of Christianity, after learning the Senate Chief has proposed to ban morning prayers.

An enraged Mr Katter used the opportunity to hold up the Holy Bible and rattle off a plethora of recent examples of religious persecution in Australia. He showed solidarity and support to the seven Manly Sea Eagles players, who stood down to defend their religious beliefs, praising them for their conviction.

“This Book for 5,000 years has been the heartland of religious belief, a concept that there is something bigger than me, but in sharp contrast, the persecutors believe that there is nothing bigger than themselves and their opinions,” Mr Katter said.

“For 5,000 years the persecution of the people who believe in this Book have been on public record. I will not go through the persecutions that go back to the dawn of time.  I’ll just mention one — just one.

“During WWII, six million people were murdered in cold blood, many in gas chambers, for no other reason than what they believed. And remember, the Torah is based on the first five Books of the Hebrew Bible.

“This continued persecution is well and truly alive today. Just have a look at what’s happened to these seven boys from Manly. They have been persecuted for no other reason than they have moral conviction and whether you agree with their convictions, or not, is irrelevant.

“The conviction shown by these seven men is heroic and every decent member of society should admire them. Whether you agree with them or you don’t, they have stood up for what they believe in at great personal sacrifice and that is truly admirable.

“This is what the people of self-righteous arrogance have done to them:  they have had their jobs taken off them, taken their family security off them, taken their incomes from them, they have put the house they live in in great jeopardy, their futures, their aspirations — all in jeopardy.

“According to news reports today, these players have been confined to their houses; they have been locked up.  Apparently, they are doing this to protect the players, but do you know what they said to the First Australians when they rounded them up in chains and sent them to Palm Island? They said, “We are doing this to protect you.”

“To think that this is happening in Australia today is sickening. We Christians have no illusions that we are now under persecution.

“First, they targeted Dr Hollingworth and the biggest church in Australia. He was torn to pieces. Having finished with the biggest church in Australia, they then started on the leader of the second biggest church in Australia. Tore him to pieces.

“Then they turned to the Evangelicals. They started on Israel Folau. They took his whole life away from him and destroyed his career because he made a quote from this Book. He was punished for his quotation of this Book. Yet for 5,000 years people have based the foundation of entire societies on its teachings. More than half the world believes in this Book, or in parts of it.

“Is it an unreasonable thing to quote from a book that more than half the population is committed to? In Australia it is!

“And now, we have been told today by some that we cannot say prayers in the Parliament. We can show allegiance to some lady in England, but we cannot say prayers.

“So, to my fellow Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, and people of other religious belief, I say this to you — Please will you circulate the names of those who persecute you. We must stop this cold-hearted persecution. They got Pell, they got Hollingsworth, got Folau, they have got the Manly boys, so when will they start on you?!”

Well done, Bob! Such a relief to hear someone giving us some hard truths and not mealy-mouthed platitudes and sweet nothings. Give me a dozen more courageous fighters like this and we might be able to start draining the swamp of Australian politics, just as Trump tried to do in the US.

Policy and Responsibility

Next, let me present parts of the speech delivered by the champion Indigenous Leader Jacinta Price on July 27 in Canberra. It too was a refreshing bit of much-needed political realism. Early on she said this:

Despite billions being spent, the violence and despair that puts these places and many others like them in the headlines is not changing. We need change and we need the right legislation to effect it. My vision, my hope and my goal is that we can effect change that will see women, children and other victims in these communities become as safe as any of those living in Sydney, Melbourne or any other Australian city.

My goal is to halt the pointless virtue signalling and focus on the solutions that bring real change that changes the lives of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens — solutions that give them real lives, not the enduring nightmare of violence and terror they currently live. It is not good enough that the streets of our Northern Territory towns — and other towns across regional Australia — have gangs of children aged six to 16 wandering around with no adult supervision in the early hours of the morning. It is not good enough that almost all of these children have witnessed, or been subject to, normalised alcohol abuse and domestic, family and sexual violence throughout their young lives and that that is the reason for their presence on our streets. Such neglect in great numbers would not be accepted in the prosperous suburbs of our capital cities.

She went on to speak in favour of limited government:

I believe in small government, which equates to small bureaucracy, so that Australians may get on with their lives more effectively. We must better determine where our national budget is being spent effectively, and change expenditure accordingly where it is not. Fiscal management is integral to the success of a nation, and therefore must be a leading component in all decision-making.

We have seen the immediate impact of the new Labor government’s minimum wage increase: forcing small businesses to close. The cries of business people struggling with cost-of-living pressures, whose livelihoods are now destroyed, have fallen on deaf ears. This would have not occurred under a coalition-led government.

Tax cuts are what delivers an increase in a worker’s pay packet on payday. Tax cuts are what supports small businesses to survive through the pressures of increased cost of living, to ensure they do not have to lay off workers or close altogether.

It is not only the private sector that is suffering. Non-government organisations that provide services to victims in domestic violence situations are now being forced to reduce staff numbers. These staff specialise in work specific to supporting victims of abuse and the reduction of family and domestic violence. Careful consideration must always be taken when delivering legislation, so as not to produce outcomes that exacerbate already difficult circumstances.

She also said this:

But we must always remember that our nation is not simply black and white. We are rich with the contribution of Australians of many backgrounds, 30 per cent of whom were born overseas, and this is one of our greatest strengths as a nation. My elders taught me that any child who was conceived in our country holds within them the baby spirit of the creator ancestor from the land. In other words, Australian children of all backgrounds belong to this land. They too have Jukurrpa Dreaming, and they too are connected spiritually to this country. This is what I know true reconciliation to be.

These teachings cannot be delivered through legislation, nor through any corporate reconciliation action plan. These teachings are about what it means to be a modern human in an ancient land. It’s time to stop feeding into a narrative that promotes racial divide, a narrative that claims to try to stamp out racism but applies racism in doing so and encourages a racist overreaction. Yes, it is time for some truth-telling.

Our nation’s schools’ sole responsibility should be to educate, not indoctrinate, but we have in recent times witnessed the overwhelming politicisation of our children. Children are now encouraged to skip school to be paraded as activist spearheads by adults who place the weight of the world on their shoulders. Meanwhile, children in remote communities, where school attendance rates are in some places as low as 19 per cent, do not have the privilege of gaining an education that the activist class take for granted. Everyone wants to be an activist — to push governments to solve their dilemmas — but no-one wants to be responsible for themselves.

Our aim should not be to blame our current democratic institutions for all our perceived failures but to encourage the individual responsibility of all Australians. Where we fail is where we encourage others to believe responsibility for one’s own life can be avoided and disadvantage can be charged to another. We need to focus on nation building, not nation burning. Our laws as they stand now are not racist, as some will claim, but exist because we have overcome historical racist legislation.

Jacinta Price is a hero in my books. We need many more brave women — and men — like her in our various parliaments. Well done, Bob and Jacinta. You two give me some real hope for the future of Australia. God bless you both.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch.

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Smell the Diversity. Feel the Inclusion.

Smell the Diversity. Feel the Inclusion.

Manly’s flirtation with wokeball ends in a mess. The officials gave lip service to diversity, but really sought uniformity with modern secular norms.

It’ll be an inclusion game,” they said. “It’ll celebrate diversity,” they promised.

And so it was.

Except that the Manly Sea Eagles forgot to include their players when they planned it. And they assumed uniformity of thought among the playing group when they announced it.

The rugby league team bosses had been so busy congratulating themselves on their upcoming diversity pageant that they never noticed the diversity within their own dressing room.

Half the team were committed Christians, holding to a biblical view of sexuality. Who knew? Not the doyens of diversity at club headquarters who assumed everyone thought alike.

But worse, this was not the kind of diversity Manly officials had in mind when they planned their diversity parade against the Sydney Roosters.

To borrow a line from George Orwell’s Animal Farm: LBGTQ+ diversity good. Christian diversity bad.

Men of Principle

It seemed the Christian players didn’t want to promote homosexuality and transgenderism and whatever it was that the + represented.

To be clear, the Christian players weren’t objecting to playing alongside LGBTQ+ people, they just didn’t want to wear the rainbow — a Christian symbol now culturally appropriated by homosexuals to promote licentiousness.

And so Manly’s demonstration of diversity was now threatened by a handful of independent thinkers.

Why couldn’t the players who thought differently just get on board with the program, so that the club could go ahead and promote its willingness to embrace difference?

The last thing club management needed, when they were trying to showcase their love of diversity, was an assortment of beliefs.

A solution was at hand, though.

The club could choose, because of their commitment to inclusion and diversity, to stick with their traditional jumper. That would allow the entire team, in all its diversity, to be included in the game.

But not so fast.

How — without forcing other people to run around in rainbow jerseys under threat of being sidelined from the sport they love – would the suits in head office show off their virtuous commitment to inclusion and diversity?

It quickly became clear that the club could only demonstrate their love of inclusion by excluding half their players.

And so they did.

With those who thought differently successfully culled from the group, the Manly Sea Eagles were in a position to show off their diversity.

Manly coach Des Hasler

It was a tough sell. But coach Des Hasler did his best.

His 10-minute address to journalists — during which he used the words “diversity” and “inclusion” six times each, along with generous sprinklings of “tolerance”, eight apologises and a quote from Gandhi no less — seemed to do the trick.

As long as you didn’t think of the excluded players being excluded, Manly stood for inclusion.

And as long as you ignored the players unable to take the field because of their religious beliefs, rugby league was for absolutely everybody.

Look! A rainbow!

Threats

Meanwhile, police were warning the exiled Christian players to stay away from the game that was for absolutely everybody, because of fears for their safety.

According to news reports:

‘There were even fears protesters angry at the players’ stance could attempt to enter the ground and harass the seven stars. It was unanimously agreed the players would be told to stay at home.’

Just imagine if Manly wasn’t an inclusive club!

National Rugby League boss Peter V’landys

National Rugby League boss Peter V’landys told journalists that he respected the beliefs of Christian players.

But then he went on to caricature those beliefs:

‘If you don’t want to be inclusive and you don’t recognise that we’re all human beings and we’re all the same, well you have the right to stand down and not play.’

So inclusion and diversity round at the football boils down to this: it doesn’t matter how you actually behave toward other people — if you fail to wear the prescribed rainbow jumper promoting all things LGBTQ+, then you are guilty of inhumanity toward your fellow man.

Imagine how the seven players — sheltering in their homes from angry fans demanding they ditch their Christian principles in order to prove how inclusive everyone else is — must have felt hearing that.

We celebrate diversity, unless your diversity differs from the uniformity of popular culture, in which case we condemn your diversity as bigotry, because we were never really after diversity in the first place.

Can’t you just feel the inclusion?

___

Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

Subscribe to his Substack here for daily witty commentary.
Photo: Charlie Bakhos

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Report: U.S. Offers Russia Deal to Free Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan

Report: U.S. Offers Russia Deal to Free Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan

The United States has reportedly offered the Russian government a deal to free two imprisoned Americans, WNBA star Brittney Griner and corporate security executive Paul Whelan.

Though details of the offered deal remain scant at this juncture, a source close to the White House told the Associated Press that the United States offered the Kremlin convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Griner and Whelan. In April, the U.S. successfully swapped convicted Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshen in exchange for imprisoned Marine veteran Trevor Reed.

“We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release. Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal, and I’ll use the conversation to follow up personally and, I hope, to move us toward a resolution,” Blinken said.

John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, told reporters that President Joe Biden personally signed off on the deal to free Griner and Whelan. “The president and his team are willing to take extraordinary steps to bring them home,” said Kirby.

“We believe it’s important for the American people to know how hard President Biden is working to get Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan home,” he added.

The last known public correspondence between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov occurred on February 22 before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Blinken said his recent request to speak with Lavrov stemmed from both the desire to free the prisoners and to negotiate with Russia on “a U.N.-brokered deal to free multiple tons of Ukrainian grain from storage and warning him about the dangers of possible Russian attempts to annex portions of eastern and southern Ukraine,” according to the AP.

“There is utility to conveying clear, direct messages to the Russians on key priorities for us,” said Blinken. “What we’re seeing and hearing around the world is a desperate need for the foods, the desperate need for prices to decrease.”

Griner has been imprisoned in Russia since February after authorities arrested her for having a vape cartridge infused with CBD in her luggage. She has since pled guilty to possession of an illegal drug and has pleaded with the Biden administration to help with her release. In recent weeks, the Biden administration has taken considerable heat for allegedly not doing enough to negotiate her release.

“It kills me every time I write to her, and she asks, ‘Have you met with him yet?’ And I have to say no,” Griner’s wife, Cherelle, said in a recent appearance on CBS Mornings.

I’m sure she’s like, ‘I’m going to write him and ask now because my family has tried to no avail, so I’m going to do it myself,’” she continued. “Everything about this is a calculation for me because I have to walk the fine line of harm versus help when it comes to my wife right now.”

Paul Whelan, a corporate security executive from Michigan, was sentenced by the Russian government to 16 years in prison for espionage, a charge he and his family have flatly denied.

Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, the reported prisoner set to be exchanged for the American pair, was sentenced to 25 years in 2012 for selling millions of dollars worth of illegal weapons. Russia, however, maintains that he was a victim of an aggressive U.S. sting operation while the judge who sentenced him told the Associated Press that he has served enough prison time.

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