Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jensen falls for false solidarity

There was a very interesting political debate on Australian TV this week. It featured Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen and the boorish leftist Catherine Deveny.

The first issue discussed was asylum seekers. I was disappointed by the unthinkingly complacent view taken by Archbishop Jensen. This could have come from a liberal:
One of the great things about Australia is our welcome and the welcome we give to people from all religions, all places in the world and we have become a little bit visceral in regard to the Muslim people coming here. I think we need to back off a bit, welcome them, make them feel at home and you will find they will take their part as all the rest of us who have arrived here take our part too. On Sunday I was with a Vietnamese who’d arrived here in a boat. He is now he's a pastor in a church, he's got a Vietnamese church, the Vietnamese community have brought us wonderful things. I said to him "What have you brought us, mate?" He said, "Good food." So I reckon welcome people, don't judge them.

There are three key errors here. First, Jensen is feeding the liberal belief in negative rather than positive values. That's not a wise move for a churchman. A liberal morality is built negatively around non-interference; you're supposed to be tolerant of difference, supportive of diversity, non-judgemental, non-discriminating etc. (That kind of morality doesn't necessarily make liberals nice people - Deveny justifies her aggressive rudeness in the debate by claiming she is "intolerant of intolerance".)

And so Jensen is proving himself a good person in the liberal sense when he takes the merely negative view that we simply don't judge or discriminate when it comes to borders. But by falling in line with "it is negative values which makes someone a good person" Jensen becomes blind to more traditional positive values, such as the value of people having a homeland in which they can maintain a larger ethnic tradition of their own, and develop their own culture, and fulfil the human desire to pass on their own tradition from one generation to the next and so on.

The second error is that in stating "welcome people, don't judge them" Jensen is encouraging the liberal idea that race or ethnicity, as predetermined, unchosen qualities ("accidents of birth") shouldn't matter. There is no way that a churchman should sign on to such a political position, as the logic of this position leads away from the Christian tradition. For instance, if ethnicity should be made not to matter because it is a predetermined, unchosen quality, then so too should our sex - the fact of being a man or a woman. But this then means that Biblical views of the family have to be jettisoned, something that Jensen is reluctant to accept. For instance, later in the debate Jensen defends the traditional family on these grounds:
What we're seeing, I think, is a clash of world views between what I’d call individualism and what you may call family or, in a sense, community. It's a clash of world views which is going on all around us and it has drastic consequences one way or another. If you agree with me that a man is a man and a woman is a woman and although they are we are absolutely equal, equal in the sight of God, both made in the image of God, both with the same destiny, both with the same value, all those things are inherent in the Christian gospel and they must remain in the Christian gospel, agree with that and yet, on the other hand, I would say there are differences between men and women which both sides bring to a marriage and we have not been good recently at working out what it is that men bring to marriage and women bring to marriage.

Jensen can't have it both ways. First, when it comes to refugees then he is the individualist who denies natural forms of human community in favour of the view that "we should all be seen as individuals who can fit in anywhere equally well". Second, when it comes to refugees he is happy to go along with the liberal idea that a predetermined quality like ethnicity shouldn't matter; how then can he expect to hold the line when he argues that a predetermined quality like a person's sex should be thought to matter?

Jensen's third error, and perhaps critical error, is to go along with the liberal understanding of solidarity. Traditionally solidarity was based on loyalty to those you had a close and particular connection to or relationship with, such as your family, your community, your ethny, your nation and so on. Liberals have stood this traditional notion of solidarity on its head, by asserting that solidarity is based on compassion toward the marginalised other.

In practice this means that white liberal women like Catherine Deveny will identify against their own men and in favour of those seen as most "other" - perhaps black men or Muslim men.

Jensen does nothing to assert the traditional view in response to women like Deveny. He only fans the flames when he says things like the following:
When you talk to refugees, my business means I catch taxis from time to time, which means I talk to all sorts of taxi drivers, many of whom have university degrees and are highly skilled people who are going to make this - build this nation for us. But they do come from different places. I have met some from Afghanistan but they do come from different places and we've got to remember that the struggles that have brought them here are true in many places in the world. Our program has got to be such that we'll bring people here, preferably the people who are suffering most

He believes that it is the suffering other who is going to "make this - build this nation for us". He has an elevated view of them and a correspondingly diminished view of us, who are presumably incompetent to do the job.

It's terribly unwise for someone in his position to go anywhere near the liberal attitude to solidarity. He is, after all, an older white male in a position of responsibility. Therefore, he is going to be one of the ones who is identified against -  it is a case of solidarity against white males just like him. And if he is tainted then so inevitably is his church.

Deveny reminded him of this during the debate. When Archbishop Jensen tried to defend the church by arguing that the church sees everyone as having equality, she interrupted him to deny that everyone has it:
I'm sorry, a white middle class man like you does have it. Try being disabled, try being an asylum seeker, try being gay, try being a woman, you’ll find it's not there.

He is being put in his place as "a white middle class man" - there is no solidarity with the likes of him.

And what of Jensen's complacent attitude that it is Muslim refugees who are going to build Australia and that we should just welcome anyone and not judge? The timing of his comments was not exactly great, was it? In recent times we've seen Muslims in Norway demand that part of the city of Oslo become a Muslim quarter; Muslims in Libya brutally murder the American ambassador; Muslims in Sydney hospitalise two police officers in demonstrations against a film made in the US by a Copt; and demonstrations and riots in many countries around the world against the same film.

We have embraced the wrong sort of solidarity, one in which natural ties of loyalty have been discarded.


  1. Just did an internet for Catherine. What a surprise. Another woman of European ethnic background trying to destroy her own culture, her own men, her own country. Ethnic European men all over the world have to deal with even their own women trying to destroy them. What other ethnic group has women who so actively try to destroy their own people?

  2. I feel sorry for the 3 boys Cath Deveny has. It's homosexual men I guess of all colour that she loves. Being she is bringing her boys up in a non-hetronormative environment...Personally I think she's a bit of a nut.

    Yes, Peter Jensen is the "Man up and marry those sluts.", type of priest. Seemingly Jensen puts the husband in the position of swearing to worship his wife as JC, it's why some wives he marries are willing to submit to the husband in marriage vows. Being the husband must always worship the wife as JC, it gives an easy out to the wife, as I'm sure these wives are able to use the bibles doctrine for their own favour.

    Note: Obviously this is not the case for all Christians that marry, but judging from the trends in the USA, I have my suspicions.

    I've read the Christian priests have done the same thing to Christian men in the USA, and it has not helped the situation, if only made it worse.

    @ Mark I agree with your assessment of Jensen. The Churches universal egalitarian love, which is a concept of the Universal brotherhood has really screwed up the Churches POV on Liberalism.

    Liberalism is diffidently the ideology that is ruining our civilisation, letting our Churches and political leaders to hollow out our civilisation from with in.

    This being said, the coming calamity will probably help solve these problems, as long as people like us are spread through out the communities, to rise up to fill the vacuum.

  3. What other ethnic group has women who so actively try to destroy their own people?
    Ever hear of "Yellow Fever"? Or the phrase "Me Love You Long Time"?

  4. Ever hear of "Yellow Fever"? Or the phrase "Me Love You Long Time"?
    yet again white men manage to get the blame.
    Nice work.

  5. @Anonymous:
    Women choose, men display.
    However, if they choose wrong, don't expect the remaining guys that were previously rebuffed on shallow grounds, to "man up" and "pay full price for used".
    Would you have sympathy for a regular guy who had kids but wanted to date Kate Upton?

  6. The root of the left-wing understanding of reality lies in this:

  7. Hey, here are the people you want to welcome and make feel at home! Don't judge her, she's no doubt a hard worker who will help build the nation (if the nation is Pakistan, not Australia).

    Shocking video shows girl, aged EIGHT, speaking of her love for Jihad during Muslim conference in AustraliaLittle girl addressed a crowd at Muslims Rise conference in Sydney
    The event was held by the Australian chapter of Hizb ut-Tahrir
    The video emerged as the city deals with the fallout from violent riots

    By Kerry Mcqueeney

    ..Shocking footage has emerged of a girl as young as eight speaking of her love for Jihad and the Syrian uprising during a video filmed at a Muslim conference in Sydney.

    The little girl made the controversial comments as she addressed a crowd at an Islamic gathering, while the Australian city continued to deal with the fallout from violent riots at the weekend.

    The girl - named only as eight-year-old Ruqaya - was filmed speaking during a 'Muslims Rise' conference held by the Australian chapter of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Bankstown, west Sydney.

  8. ""I feel sorry for the 3 boys Cath Deveny has.""

    OMG she has children? And they are male?

    Never felt so sorry for three kids in my life, they probably would have been better off growing up in in public housing with an alcoholic single mother.