The nation is rightly breathless!
On the other hand, less exciting contests are still occupying our attention. Let me commend Antony Green to you. He has offered some insight into the fiendishly complex Senate vote. Well, it doesn’t have to be complex if you vote “above the line”. I most often vote below the line, because that means I can distribute my preferences for myself rather than relying on some party’s choice. And sometimes party choices can be decidedly odd. For example, what possessed the WikiLeaks Party to preference the Australia First Party (“leader Jim Salaem was formerly part of the National Socialist Party of Australia in the early 1970s”) way above The Greens, Labor, Liberal and Nats? I got that from one of the two sites Antony Green recommends: Below the Line and Cluey Voter. Both are well worth spending time on.
Meanwhile Kevin Rudd has had one of his rather too few finest moments of the campaign on QandA last Monday. Otherwise I have found him increasingly irritating – like a Kevin Rudd impersonator rather than the real deal. But not so on Monday, I have to say. And this is the moment that has everyone talking:
MATT PRATER: I think the – I think the thing is that, you know, every pastor we do marriages between husbands and wives and, you know, Jesus said a man shall leave his father and mother and be married and that’s the Biblical definition. I just believe in what the Bible says and I’m just curious for you, Kevin, if you call yourself a Christian, why don’t you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?
KEVIN RUDD: Well, mate…
TONY JONES: Okay. Thank you.
KEVIN RUDD: Well, mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition. Because St Paul said in the New Testament, “Slaves be obedient to your masters.” And, therefore, we should have all fought for the Confederacy in the US war. I mean, for goodness sake, the human condition and social conditions change. What is the fundamental principle of the New Testament? It is one of universal love. Loving your fellow man. And if we get obsessed with a particular definition of that through a form of sexuality, then I think we are missing the centrality of what the gospel, whether you call it a social gospel, a personal gospel or a spiritual gospel, is all about. And therefore I go back to my question. If you think homosexuality is an unnatural condition then, frankly, I cannot agree with you based on any element of the science. And, therefore, if a person’s sexuality is as they are made, they you’ve got to ask the second question. Should, therefore, their loving relationships be legally recognised and the conclusion I have reached is that they should. And on the question of chopping and changing, I wrote a 2 or 3,000 essay – 2 or 3,000 word essay, stuck it online months and months and months ago, before returning to the Prime Ministership, so everyone would know why I had changed my position, the reasons for it and it was the product of some many, many months and years of reflection in good Christian conscience.**
TONY JONES: Okay. Thank you. Thank you. Okay. We have got to get through a few more questions.
See also this morning’s Illawarra Mercury.
We may next look forward to this:
I really like Annabel Crabb. Rudd’s appearance was the subject of a massive bit of nonsense a few days back. Not so Tony Abbott’s. I look forward to both of them. How is that for even-handedness? And while I am in that mode, do read Ross Gittins today: Abbott won’t rush into making cuts. Strikes me as sensible.
Funny, almost as funny as the reality has too often been!
Meanwhile Clive James – The Kid From Kogarah screens Tues. September 3 at 8.30pm on ABC1 was just wonderful. As I said last night on Facebook: “Just saw this on ABC1 — beautiful. It really moved me more than any of the wall-to-wall election crap we are suffering right now because it was really about LIFE! Wonderful; TV at its very best. Kudos Kerry O’Brien.” My cousin Russell added: “Yes tv at its best I could have watched hours more of that interview.”
- Kevin Rudd’s personal site now has his essay on gay marriage and it is also in the archives at The Australian. See also this commentary by Nathan Campbell, a Queensland Presbyterian, and a strenuous objection to K Rudd’s view of the Bible from Sandy Grant, a Wollongong Sydney Anglican.
- You may see the Clive James interview online for the next two weeks. If you can, do watch it.
- Marcellous on the election – a must read, though he has nothing to say about the chances of the Rabbitohs on Friday night.