Even the worst nightmares can’t keep Bolt upright

The aftermath of news like that from Oslo leaves only numbness. The injustice of it, the disbelief that this was even possible. Bombs at least kill in a single action. The deliberate persistence involved in attacks like Anders Breivik’s make them all the more distressing.

For a writer with comedic inclinations, the usual set of responses are neutered. Laughter falters, mouth half open. Even in our bleakest political situations, there are moments of light. Something like this is all darkness.

As reports began to come in, it was the last subject in the world you would have imagined being used for political point-scoring. But if ever someone was going to do just that, it was Andrew Bolt.

First thing last Saturday morning, with news still scant, he was on his blog suggesting that Muslim terrorists were behind the attack. Not an outrageous assumption, by any stretch, but ‘pretty sure’ shouldn’t be enough for such a prominent columnist to proceed without confirmation.

Contradictory news soon came in, and the page was hastily and almost comically corrected. “Already the unconfirmed reports suggest our immediate suspicions are correct (UPDATE: No, they aren’t)…”

“In fact: ‘Explosives were found on the island,’ deputy Oslo police chief Sveining Sponheim told reporters. He said a man detained by police was aged 32 and ‘ethnic Norwegian.’”

“Even so,” Bolt went on, “the history of Islamic violence in Scandinavia suggests Muslim immigration there has been a bad deal for the locals.”

Hold up a minute. “Even so”? At what point does that a misplaced assumption like that earn the right to an addendum?

In an action replay, it goes: “In latest news, here is some evidence that would definitely prove that I’m right. Oh, wait a minute, that evidence doesn’t exist. Even so, I am actually right, and let’s proceed with that assumption.”

And that was before we even got to the backup evidence. The “history of Islamic violence” that Bolt was able to provide for Norway consisted of three men being arrested (not yet charged or convicted) for possibly planning an attack on either a newspaper or an embassy, no-one is quite sure; and a charge against a man for threatening a politician.

So, two instances of alleged offences that haven’t even gone to court. Not the most weighty habeas corpus ever to land on a judge’s desk.

Not to mention that death threats are hardly germane to radical Islam. I got them from true blue Aussie battlers just last week for writing an article about carbon taxation. Perhaps Bolt can help me arrange to have the culprits deported to Riyadh.

Remarkably for Bolt, he eventually took the stunning evidence brief down, conceding that “leaving it up is being interpreted as my insisting on a gratuitous point instead.” Truer words…

But it didn’t signal any change in attitude. In the days since, Bolt has been milking Oslo for all it’s worth. One doubts he’d be so fixated if he weren’t trying to compensate for his early cock-up.

In the early hours of Tuesday, it was those damn Muslims hogging up all the limelight. Because the killer didn’t actively target Muslims to be shot, Bolt quoted that “Muslims are now the preferred victims even in a story in which they are entirely absent.”

Right. But Breivik’s stated aim was to encourage a popular uprising that would drive Muslims out of Europe, and to devastate the political party that he blamed for their presence in Norway. Not entirely unreasonable, then, to give them a passing mention?

Bolt also attacked an ABC journo for apparently not investigating the Breivik manifesto to Bolt’s satisfaction. “But who checks when it fits the preferred narrative?” asked Bolt with trademark outrage. If there was a Geiger counter for hypocrisy, we’d already be clocking Fukushima levels.

But his glow-in-the-dark moment came while getting stuck into the ABC for describing Breivik as right-wing and Christian. Apparently focusing on a terrorist’s faith as a factor in his atrocities was just not the kind of conduct befitting proper journalists.

“[R]elevance of his Christianity seems obscure,” wrote Bolt on Sunday, “given nothing in the New Testament and nothing said by any Christian leader possibly justifies his murder of so many young Norwegians.”

He returned to it yesterday, in a far less coherent post: “The Christian New Testament explicitly forbids violence, but jihadists quote Koranic verses they say justify murder, and worship a warrior Prophet who slaughtered a Jewish tribe.”

But Bolt’s attempt to position Christianity as cleanskin couldn’t be any more pat.

It completely omits the inconvenient Old Testament, a patently insane and brutal document characterised by a God so jealous and vengeful he might have been auditioning for Once Were Warriors. This is the God of both the Christians and the Muslims, I might point out, and He slaughtered cities, tribes, and at one point the entire world. He’s still the Church’s main squeeze.

Yes, I’ve read the Old Testament – it’s great literature. I’d love to know if Bolt has read a proper translation of the Koran.

And while the New Testament indeed forbids violence, it is the far less relevant half of the Bible in Christian politics. Avowed and public Christians have been involved in war and violence since the Church was founded, and see no contradiction. These leaders have quoted Biblical verses they say justify murder for centuries, and continue today. The deeply religious rhetoric of the United States routinely favours the Old Testament eye for an eye over Christ’s call to turn the other cheek. Just look at George Bush’s reaction to 9/11 against Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg’s reaction to Breivik’s outrage.

Let’s imagine masked men attacking homes in the night, killing and raping those who live there, burning down churches and houses and schools to destroy a society and culture they loathe. Sound like something from Bolt? Yes, because the Ku Klux Klan are perhaps the earliest practitioners of classic terrorism in the modern age. The aforementioned tactics were employed for decades, along with their bombing of Alabama’s 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963.

The Klan are also an overtly Christian organisation, at least in their own estimation. The burning cross did not become one of the most hated symbols in the world due to a Klansman fondness for tic-tac-toe.

Does “nothing said by any Christian leader” mean Klansmen committed their crimes on pure Boy Scout initiative? Does it apply to those who organise the murder and intimidation of abortion doctors and nurses, or the bombing of clinics?

Does it apply to the leaders of Westboro Baptist Church, they who picket funerals, shouting foul slogans at grieving relatives? Westboro is one of the ugliest religious groups in the world. Pure hate is preached in Christ’s name every day.

As for Breivik’s stated religion not being relevant to his actions, look to his YouTube clip. “Celebrate us, the martyrs of the conservative revolution, for we will soon dine in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Add in a few dozen virgins, and it starts to sound awfully familiar.

Other Christians would of course distance themselves from this hateful perversion of religious tenets. So they should. It bears no relation to a compassionate and true interpretation of Christianity. It is something twisted by the unhinged.

So the affront with which Bolt’s commenters receive talk of Christian violence should give them an indicator of how Muslims feel being associated with extremists. Stating that the Ku Klux Klan claim to be Christian should not suggest  that they represent Christianity. In saying that the 9/11 pilots called themselves Muslim, the same detachment should be applied.

Citing Christian violence is not about a tit-for-tat, trying to come up with a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ side. The point is that neither such thing exists. There’s no crisper summation than that of comedian Doug Stanhope: “There are only two countries in the world: dick, and not a dick. The border goes right the way around.”

Bolt, no doubt, would just repeat his self-congratulatory lines about speaking the hard truth that soft-touch liberals don’t want to hear. This would have much more weight if he told the truth in a positive manner as well. Selective reporting of truth is just as deceptive as outright lies.

He doesn’t like to mention the strengths that migrants bring to our country, or how crucial they’ve been to our development. And not just white European migrants like Bolt’s parents, who arrived here after World War II. “But who checks when it fits the preferred narrative?”, a wise man asked. Empathy, apparently, fails to cross the generational divide.

I’d love to see Bolt do a profile on Melbourne’s Alia Gabrez, who aside from being a remarkable writer, helped create and run a volunteer program offering workshops and mentoring to disadvantaged youth of all backgrounds.

Or how about Omar bin Musa, the erudite Australian national poetry champion who has represented us at literary events around the world? Deeply proud of his Australian and Muslim heritage, Musa is a man of wisdom and statesmanlike humility. Spending some time with him might well do Bolt some good.

In Bolt’s post on Monday, he claimed that extremism of any political character was essentially the same, being “anything that diminishes the value of the individual”.

Diminishing their value is exactly what Bolt does every time he subsumes millions of individuals into the image of ‘Muslims’ doing or thinking a certain way. Bolt and I are both Australians; just a thousand words has shown the gulf between our world views.

But it’s precisely this ambiguity that rhetoricians like Bolt so wilfully ignore. His world is simple: make it about us and them, make people angry and afraid, and watch your page views tick over.

It’s a poisonous position, and one that involves taking advantage of everyone involved: the people denigrated, the ones whipped up into outrage, and the ones whose stories are hijacked to provide one more day’s grist.

Over in Norway, the survivors, the family and friends of the dead, and the nation as a whole, have just begun to endure a nightmare that will last for many years.

Here, in our country, Andrew Bolt no doubt sleeps as soundly as ever.

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85 Responses to Even the worst nightmares can’t keep Bolt upright

  1. Hamish W says:

    Thankyou so much for confirming why I refuse to read any Bolt article or watch his cesspit of a television show.

  2. vaughan says:

    Geoff, you seem to be mixing up Norway and Finland (those dastardly Scandinavian chardonnay socialists all look the same, don’t they?!)… otherwise great piece. When’s National Andrew Bolt Is A Dickhead Day this year? Is it still a purple ribbon thing?

  3. Thoraiya says:

    Thanks for this post! Please consider this an anti-death-threat. May you receive many page views from people who are entirely sick of what Lindsay Tanner calls ‘The Sideshow’.

  4. SimpleSimon says:

    Another well written piece. I have to say, Im glad to hear someone else make the KKK/Christianity vs Islamic Extremists/Islam comparison to highlight the hypocrisy and ignorance of people labelling all Muslims as terrorists. People should study the history of their own religion before criticising others.

  5. jabba says:

    This is why we must continue to endure ‘news’ about dodgy plumbers and cheap tinned food…

  6. Keith says:

    Well done again Geoff. Its about time these ‘shock jock’ charlatans posing as journalists were brought to account. AJ and Piers next please.

    • Bare and Phalanxed says:

      Dammit Keith,

      Didn’t you hear what Alan Jones said about his views on so-called climate change? When he was caught out spreading on-air falsities to his rabid minions, he feel back on (I’m paraphrasing here) “They’re just opinions. I’m not a journalist. I’m a broadcaster”… which apparently gives the shock jocks free rein to say whatever suits their interests.

      Bolt would be well-advised to take the same tack, especially with this latest gaffe. But I get the feeling he thinks he is a journalist… and a scientist… and a sociologist… and a historian… and an Australian hero.

      As an aside, ever noticed how Fairfax always uses the same photo of Jones? That one where he’s holding papers on his knee, double chin accentuated, looking like he’s trying to eat the knot of his tie? Unflattering.

  7. Another well thought out and written piece.
    Concerning his “nothing said by any Christian leader” quote I’m pretty sure Pope Urban II (whose speech started/inspired the First Crusade), would be considered by most to be a Christian leader – but hey maybe I`m wrong.

    • Anfalicious says:

      Catholics aren’t real Christians you see. That way other Christians can conveniently side step the institutionalised pedophilia (although that happens in Anglican churches too).

  8. Thank you for this, it is a fantastic and dignified take-down of such a hate-mongerer.

  9. Adam Ruch says:

    Great piece Geoff. I wrote something similar in semi-response to Jim Wallace of the ACL on Sunrise yesterday, and we could both readily swap Bill O’Reilly in for either Bolt or Wallace and have largely the same conversation. It boggles the mind how these guys can call for nuance in defining who is and isn’t Christian (O’Reilly talks about belonging to a church, for example) but anyone who simply calls themselves Muslim is a representative of all of Islam. The hypocrisy is so flagrant it makes me wish that English had some sort of fatal exception protocols when used to talk such nonsense! Wallace loads this into his political shotgun to take a few shots at videogames given the dozen or so mentions of gaming in Breivik’s manifesto, but writes off the hundreds of pages of Christian-themed moralizing and rationale as irrelevant to the point. I’ve had to use a lot of superlatives quite seriously this week…

  10. bron says:

    Are you in my brain? With a dictionary and thesaurus??! You seem to be able to sum up exactly what I am thinking about certain issues, you just present it in a much more readable manner.

    I think I love you.

    • Sheree says:

      Here here!!! This is a brilliant post. All my rambling chaotic thoughts neatly summarised with a target and dart over Bolt’s head for good measure.

  11. Charlie says:

    I started reading an article in the Daily Telegraph (my bad!) yesterday, and was immediately taken by surprise. The hate and poison that it stated as plain truth truly shocked me, even with my Telegraph Lens on. Of course it was by Bolt. No wonder there is such misunderstanding, and resulting fear and hatred. No wonder half this country longs for the days of the ‘White Australia Policy’, something which I thought we all learned was terrible in primary school history.

    They gave him a double-page spread! The fact that his opinion apparently reaches so many Australians sent me into a minor state of depression last night. But once again, Lemon, your words are a breath of fresh air and so much more. Never underestimate their power.

    Cheers mate. You are a true Australian. (Almost sounds like an insult, doesn’t it?)

    • Bare and Phalanxed says:

      Ah, the Bolta double-page spread…

      To be fair though, three quarters of a page is often dedicated to a full-body picture of a suited Bolt, stroking his chin in faux pensiveness…

      And here I thought those head-to-toe byline photos were exclusively the domain of shoeless female lifestyle columnists.

      Just keeps outdoing himself, don’t he?

  12. Chris Parker says:

    Wow its a pity that your writing and views have not a much larger audiance, Bolt unfortunatly will go on spewing his bile to the cheer squad of Jones., Hadley and Ackerman,, whilst the great unwashed wallow in their apathy and ignorance

  13. Gav says:

    Religion is the problem. I posted this on facebook when the news broke. I was jumped on “how do you know it’s Muslims?” and then “I told you it wasn’t Muslims”. But then I never said that it was…

    • Seems that dogma is the problem, not religion. It’s dogma that drives Bolt to his conclusions, and dogma that drove Breivik to his actions. People jumping to erroneous conclusions, and then (sometimes violently) sticking to those conclusions despite all arguments and evidence to the contrary. It’s certainly easy to point out many examples of that sort of cognitive bias in religious people, and how many religions tend to encourage it, but to focus on it as a problem *of religion* ignores the more pervasive issue.

    • Anfalicious says:

      It’s really intolerant dogma that’s the problem. Religious people who celebrate other religions as well as their own don’t strike me as the type who would kill for religion.

    • Gav, i had similar on Pal talk, “praying for armageddon” for years everytime news broke it would get flooded, before i would hear it anywhere else. So many people seem to get drunk on religion, seeking validation especialy when they sell it to another.

      One of my favorites, “Religion Retards God”.

      There is no good in it at all, just social control…methinks

  14. reckless says:

    Another cracker, Geoff.

    At the risk of being labelled a circle jerker, it’s like you’ve pulled all of the frustrations out of my head, put them into some kind of logical order and written them down for the world to see.

  15. moz says:

    Nice piece. Really must think of something for National Andrew Bolt is a Dickhead Day.

    The video game complaints have the causality backwards – having decided to go a on shooting rampage, he looking for training tools and decided that video games were easier than paintball or joining the army. Much as he decided that killing unarmed youths was easier than attacking the army or police, or anywhere guarded by same. He was irrational, not stupid.

    • Anfalicious says:

      National Andrew Bolt is a Dickhead Day.

      Please tell me that’s something that is already happening. If not, I wonder if Geoff would be interested in being it’s patron 😛

      • EoR says:

        NABiaDD is celebrated every year on June 3rd, so you’ve got a little while to wait for the next one. But think of the anticipation. And the Blottish dickheadedness you can collect in the meantime.

  16. Polly says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I cannot thank you enough. You have challenged Bolt’s hateful diatribes in such an eloquent and reasoned way. We need more voices like yours in Australia today. Keep writing – you’re brilliant!

  17. MsD says:

    Right about now, Andrew Bolt’s face should be looking like he just sucked on a Lemon.

    • Jen Hunt says:

      As depraved and ignorant as it sounds, I wish this blog had Facebook-like functionality so I could just “like” this post! Punny stuff 🙂
      And Geoff – you are my Hero, so eloquent, intelligent, and as said a thousand times before by other readers, you articulate my thoughts and feelings almost identically – and it’s encouraging to know that there are plenty of us out there that have similar, non-racist, non-prejudice, intelligent thoughts. I just wish we were the majority, although for the now it seems we are not. Keep up the good work.

  18. Fran Barlow says:

    Well said geoff. The latest RW spin is that if it’s not a Muslim/leftists it’s not really terrorism — just a crazed loner madman. And anyone who says otherwise is just gloating or maybe part of a false falg operation. (see Mervyn Bendle in The Drum, Quadrant) tellingly, he’s at James Cook U, with Bob Carter … hmmm

    Of course, it’s not unanimous. Rev. Pat Robertson (who praises Hitler) thinks Breivik may have been right (though of course shooting people went too far) . Glenn Beck compares the victims to Hitler Youth. (Had this occurred to Breivik, they’d have been safe). Some loud ostensible christians like this person’s “christian/western” ‘jihadi’ spirit. Jihad just means struggle, the German word for which is Kampf as in Mein Kampf

  19. Bryan Duke says:

    Bravo Lemon. You and all will find a lot to ponder in this recent article from Newsweek too. http://www.newsweek.com/2011/02/27/europe-s-extreme-righteous.html

  20. Pappa G says:

    Well put Geoff. It’s sad to think how many people in this country actually read and believe Andrew Bolts vitriol. I’m not a violent person but i think if i ever met Andrew Bolt i’d feel like punching him in the face, hopefully i wouldn’t stoop to that level though.

  21. Reversed Concave Spoon says:

    Yeah, never understood why christianity claimed ownership over the No True Scotsman fallacy. All religions have an equal claim on that.
    As for Andrew Bolt, combine the parandoid, deluded and super conservative with some sort of command over the English language and you have a sounding board for everything that is wrong with the human spirit. It naturally follows that the deluded right and willfully ignorant cheersquad all line up to lick testes.

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  23. I am one of those guilty of tastelessly drawing conclusions using from this horrendous attack. I have used it to point out that with the inflamed debate here in Australia, Jones and Abbott and co. should moderate themselves. In case some nutter who is making death threats to climate scientists, goes that bit further. I see the events in Norway not only as an unspeakably saddening tragedy, but also as a warning to those who cynically indulge in the politics of hate and fear. Sure it’s easy votes, but we could pay a very heavy price. I don’t know how you stomach reading Bolt’s articles, but I admire the effort to hold this idiot (who is part of the hate/fear politics problem I mentioned above) to account. Great stuff!

    • Andrew, R.E;- “should moderate themselves. In case some nutter who is making death threats to climate scientists, goes that bit further.” It has always been something unfathomable that these people can’t be held accountable if such takes place. Plausible deniability i believe we call it, great place to hide it seems, mic, camera, blog-of-fear! Ahh well, at least here we can have a sense of fighting back!

  24. EoR says:

    “[R]elevance of his Christianity seems obscure,” wrote Bolt on Sunday

    So perhaps Blot could focus on things like Breivik’s referencing Christopher Monckton? Oh, no, that won’t do, it’s just another absolute match with Blot’s worldview… White, Christian, rightwing, Islamophobic climate denier…

    In Blot’s deranged worldview Muslims cause terrorism. They either commit terrorism, or they force other people to commit terrorism to stop them. You see: if it wasn’t for Muslims, there wouldn’t be any terrorism!

    And why can’t we have politicians like Stoltenberg in Australia? What did we do wrong?

  25. stace8383 says:

    A very well-constructed and interesting blog post, thank you very much. I’ve never much liked Andrew Bolt, and you’ve expressed my feelings about him exactly! 🙂

  26. Scenic route to hell says:

    Good article, Lemon!
    When first told by my wife that a bomb had gone off in Oslo, I too was guilty of jumping the gun in apportioning blame. “Bloody Neo-Nazis!” I shouted down the hallway… I was wrong and I apologise for my prejudice to all the innocent, white as the driven snow Neo-Nazis out there, harmlessly going about their business of hate and violent fantasies. But I was close… Right club, wrong chapter. It just seemed obvious to me that in the context of Norway the most likely hate activist/s responsible for this outrage would be from the domestic right and not from their internationally active “Muslim” branded cousins*.

    *I don’t differentiate between the various hate groups and their mouthpieces, whose base motivation for their world view is paranoid fear and hatred of the unfamiliar and different with the resulting hate rhetoric espousing overt or implied violent or otherwise extreme solutions, all huddling together in their respective chapters of hate and mutual reassurance. Same club, different chapters. And yes, I do think they are all nutters suffering from essentially the same mental disorder. Only the severity of the disorder, location, cultural background and level of community acceptance of their existence differentiate the chapters from each other within this club of irrational fear and hate. They are the different accents of the same language.

    • “Scenic route to hell”, RAOTFPMSL @ nic. Personaly it seems to me each time a group over-procreates the brain (soul) and heart (spirit) dilutes, mental disorder? Anomie!

    • excatholica says:

      Don’t be so soft on the Nazis. Breivik might have been motivated overwhelmingly by his perverted interpretation of Christian doctrine, but much of the faux historical explanations and overall political framework do strongly echo Nazi nostrums – ‘feminisation’, the list of demands for forcible assimilation, the use of terror to awaken the masses (“Deutschland erwache”, anyone?), the elite cadre, and most especially, the existential terror of “survive or perish” and “The needs of the many will always surpass the needs of the few”….

      all sounds drearily familiar

      • geoff lemon says:

        All sounds drearily familiar for many more reasons than Nazism. It’s a classic template. In fact in his manifesto Breivik is explicitly anti-Nazi, pro-homosexual, and pro-Israel.

  27. firstkitten says:

    ‘Other Christians would of course distance themselves from this hateful perversion of religious tenets. So they should. It bears no relation to a compassionate and true interpretation of Christianity. It is something twisted by the unhinged.’

    indeed, and thank you for your reasoned observations.

  28. Leeroy says:

    I’ll echo other’s sentiments and state that this was well considered, written and is bang on the mark. Thankyou.

  29. Mark says:

    Oh Geoff, you’ve done it again!

    I was surprised by how many people I knew ran around accusing Muslim terrorists of the Oslo tragedies without first checking their facts. I’m not surprised Bolt didn’t, however. His Islamaphobia is so acute, he may well have a psychosomatic star and crescent rash.

  30. Richard says:

    This article fits in with my ideologies and beliefs so I instantly like you and will listen to what you say in the future and instantly hate anyone who speaks against you.

    That same scenario goes for many Bolt lovers too unfortunately and that is the real problem. The majority don’t listen to a problem and try to figure out what is going on based on logic and reason but just follow blindly those who fit into their worldview.

  31. I think the chasm lying between the quality of comments here, and those on the Punch’s equivalent page, demonstrate the core of Bolt’s strength pretty effectively. Bash Bolt, you automatically are labelled illegitimate by his hordes, meaning that anything you say can be instantly dismissed as irrelevant.

  32. “It bears no relation to a compassionate and true interpretation of Christianity.”

    There’s a true interpretation of Christianity?

  33. Anfalicious says:

    This is the MO of the modern propaganda machine:

    1. Think up political convenient statement (Eg: there are WMDs in Iraq)
    2. Publish in as many places as possible as quickly as possible as predominantly as possible.
    3. Quietly issue retraction.

    By the time the retraction is done (which most people don’t read) the initial statement has already solidified in many minds as truth.

    What Bolta did here was regrettable, deplorable and snappleicious. I don’t think that journalists should be held to account if they get something wrong, but this is gross negligence (at the very least, the more cynical would say that it is deliberately plotted politics). Bolt should be facing some sort of sanction over this, even if it were that he had to take a holiday for a few months.

    The really disgraceful thing, however, is that in a sane and rational world, the public backlash would be so great that the Herald Sun would have no option but to take some in house sanction. Unfortunately, reading the comments over at the slime merchants HQ, you can see that there are many who are finely attuned to his particular brand of dog whistle.

    Anders mentions Howard, Costello, Pell and Windschuttle as heroes or inspiration; I was honestly surprised that Bolt didn’t get a look in there, because that would almost finish of the pantheon of Australian evil (you could probably chuck Ackerman, Laws and Jones in there too). These hate merchants have peddled their wares for the last decade and all we can be thankful of is that they haven’t inspired a local nutjob (yet).

    People rant and rave at the Muslim community for not disowning those who preach terror; when will the Right wing in this country hold themselves to the same standard?

    Sorry for going over the 200 word mark with this comment, I’ve recently written my own piece on this. Hope you don’t mind some spam: What Do Muslims Really Think?

  34. Anfalicious says:

    I must pull you up on your poor research, however:

    “Do not think that I have come to send peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. I am sent to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Matthew 10:34-35)

    And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire..” (Matthew 3:10-12)

    And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:21-22).

    That’s without even doing all the ones in Matthew FFS. Do Christians even read their Bible? I’ve read it twice cover to cover (prompted by wondering why we kept reading the same bits over and over again at Catholic school… “Miss, why don’t we ever read Leviticus or Deuteronomy?”

    Interested parties may wish to also see “Jesus and the Zealots”, a rather convincing argument that Jesus was not the peace loving hippy 20th century Christians made him out to be, but was, in fact, a violent revolutionary committed to the overthrow of the government. Seriously, do Christians never stop and think about the fact that the Koran is what Mohammad actually wrote. The New Testament is a collection of Chinese whispers put together over hundreds of years. The most contemporaneous gospel to Jesus is Luke, written some 40 years after his death (meaning it is nearly impossible for Luke to have any first hand knowledge). That the Bible is a collection of stories put together by an authoritarian hierarchy and still has this stuff in it suggests that the Christian establishment is just A-OK with violence in the name of Christians.


  35. loz says:

    Not sure about this “true interpretation of Christianity”. Being an atheist I think it’s all crazy shit.

  36. liam says:

    Geoff, another good one, thanks. Keep them coming, always thoughtful.

    I happen to agree with Dominique about Urban II, but he got it from Gregory the VII, who he worked under for some time. To look at it from a more modern note, we could look at WW2 and the appeasement there by the Catholic Church, likely because after all, the Germans were not rounding up Catholics.

    Oh, Anfalicious, good researching!

  37. A Bolt says:

    I kill you!

  38. marc says:

    Three words that rebut the argument often trotted out argument that ‘sure, not all muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are muslims’:

    Irish. Republican. Army.

    • I remember being astonished during the London bus and tube bombings that news reporters (here in Aus that is) were saying how AMAZING it was that these brave, brave Londoners were getting their lives back together after such TERRIBLE UNPRECEDENTED attacks…I thought…wha’? After all the IRA bombings? And the BLITZ?
      It seems that many, many people think that sectarianism never existed, and terrorism ‘started’ in 2001.

    • Anfalicious says:

      300 terrorist attacks in Europe in 2010; 3 by Muslims…

  39. Mykl Carlton says:

    Mr Lemon – Nicely done. Mr Bolt has always peeved me. I think these people (Laws, Jones etc.) get the following and airtime because there’s no equally strong voice on the left, or on the reasonable, if you think that’s where the divide truly lies.
    Anfalicious – please fact check your belief that Mohhamad (PBUH) wrote the Q’uran. He didn’t write a character. Also look at the Haddith, the collections of sayings of the Prophet (PBUH), and how they vary between them. You might also look into variant versions of the Q’uran itself.
    Anyway, this is not the forum for religious education, but I felt it important, given the thrust of this subject being factual accuracy.

  40. Geoff, your knowlege of the bible took me by supprise. Was just loosing interest and finaly, the smile i come here to experiance. R.E.- “”If there was a Geiger counter for hypocrisy, we’d already be clocking Fukushima levels.”” 🙂

    If Andrew Bolt had read koran im sure he would be quoting it, it has a firm hipocricy clause at the end under the guise, “when in rome”


    • geoff lemon says:

      Cheers Stephen. That’s why the site’s called Heathen Scripture, actually. I’m fascinated by religious texts and heritage, especially Christian. I just don’t happen to believe in any of it.

  41. Not Limited By News says:

    Andrew Bolt isn’t a journalist, and did the not-a-journalist thing of simply relying on news feeds which also suggested the terrorist was Muslim.

    Colbert covers it brilliantly as usual:

    • Bare and Phalanxed says:

      Class act, Mr Colbert. Haven’t seen a jot of him since ABC2 saw it fit to ditch the Rapport.

      “… And even if there was a rush to judgment, we must not repeat that mistake by rushing to accuracy.”

      “…And if that hypothetical day should come, that’s an imaginary lesson they will not soon pretend to forget.”

      Still got it.

      Looks like Bolta wasn’t the only “journalistic gun-jumper” making an ethically retarded effort to backpedal. Still, he was quite expert in his customary “I blame the ABC” defense. No mention of the possibility that Breivik is one of those sly, light-skinned Aboriginal folks though. Lift your game, Andrew.

      Thanks for the link!

      • Anfalicious says:

        You can stream it directly from comedy central now, they’ve taken down the international wall (at least for us).

  42. Reuben says:


    Further to the comment I dropped on your Twitter feed yesterday (I’m @reubenacciano) about criticism itself being attacked under Howard, Annabell Crabb published this on The Drum today, re: Breivik citing Howard as an ideological guide/admirable figure:

    “In New Matilda, Aron Paul picks up the killer’s threat to “decimate cultural Marxism” and has a bet that these words “did not originate in the mind of the terrorist, but were planted there with the help of poisonous political discourses which have enthusiastic proponents here in Australia.”


    And the only way we combat the willful ignorance of those who might choose the easy emoting and lies (of Abbott, say, about the carbon tax, or Bolt about left-wing cultural elitism) over proper argument and facts-based analysis is by continuing to contribute our voices to the conversation and checking our sources.

    Ignore every dick that says “you’re preaching to the converted” and remember the parable: “…until eventually they came for me, for I was the only one left.”

    I’ll be adding my voice soon.

  43. Dash Riprock says:

    Thanks Geoff,

    I was at the doctors and so I read the Herald Sun. I haven’t much time for Christine Nixon but the sheer nastiness of the hun is beyond any type of reporting, With Nixon, as with all on their list of people to be destroyed, it is a constant vicious vendetta. So for Bolt to go the Muslims before any facts are known is just business as usual. Today they have three opinion pieces by her enemies and two editorials and a two page spread mainly bagging her and claiming she is making money from the bush fire victims. Amazing.

    • Anfalicious says:

      Both sides are correct in that one; Nixon was incompetent and made poor choices and the Hun has been on a witch hunt.

  44. Gramma says:

    As usual, I love it. As usual, I think you are brilliant. Congratulations on another wonderful article.

  45. Pingback: Grand Theft Auto Nazareth: Jim Wallace’s blame wars | Heathen Scripture

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