The ALP ♥s Families… Working Families… First

The Victorian ALP is engaged in a further round of back-slapping following Steve Fielding’s declaration of sleeplessness during negotiations with the KRudd government over its $42 billion economic ‘rescue’ package. In 2004, the Victorian ALP put Working Families First by allocating its Senate preferences to Steve ahead of The Greens. Steve received just 45,260 votes; the Greens 205,920.

Thank God for the ALP; thank the ALP for Steve Fielding.

Speaking of Fielding, NALLIAH, Danny — God Hates Fags (and Victorians) — was Steve’s best mate back in 2004, placed second on the Family First Senate ticket.

Pollytics asks:

If Senator Fielding was, say, beaten to death by Chris Evans in pure frustration over the stimulus plan negotiations – who would fill the vacancy that such a robust set of negotiations would create?

Antony Green answers:

[Nalliah] didn’t actually need to be a member of Family First at all. Pre-selection for Senate tickets is a matter entirely for a party’s constitution and has nothing to do with the Electoral Act. In line with the Heather Hill and Robert Woods cases, had Fielding been declared [ineligible] to take his seat, then Nalliah would have been declared elected in his place even if he hadn’t been a member of the party.

If Fielding resigned, the casual vacancy provisions of Section 15 of the Constitution would apply. The State Governor/Parliament would fill the vacancy with the requirement the new Senator must be a member of the party and still be a member when they take their seat. Whether the person was a member would depend entirely on how the party defined membership.

The reference to Senate replacements being from the same party does not necessarily relate to registered parties. The word ‘party’ as used in Section 15 of the Constitution has no definition and was inserted in 1977 before party registration was introduced into the Electoral Act in 1984. The High Court would interpret the meaning of party more broadly than just registered parties. It would apply equally to unregistered parties.

If there was a dispute over whether someone was a ‘member’, say a challenge by other members of the party, then the whole thing would have to be decided by the Courts before anyone could take their seat.

According to Barney Zwartz (Failing to understand the nature of an understanding God, The Age, February 12, 2009), Danny is “wrong as a theologian, a thinker and a pastor”. Zwartz also writes: “Another key text is the Old Testament book of Job, probably the oldest in the Bible, which ponders suffering. The answer Job is given is that there is no answer — at least, not one accessible to humans; we can only endure. God rebukes Job’s comforters for offering false answers.”

Well, OK. But that’s not all God — or Job — says.

To test Job’s faith, God destroys Job’s life. He kills his ten children, takes way (or kills) his herd, and covers him with “loathsome sores” from head to toe.

In appreciation, Job writes:

“[God] destroys both the blameless and the wicked. When a scourge brings sudden death, He mocks the despair of the innocent. When a land falls into the hands of the wicked, He blindfolds its judges. If it is not He, then who is it?” (9:22–24)

“From the city the dying groan, and the throat of the wounded cries for help; yet God pays not attention to their prayer.” (24:12)

“Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? Their homes are safe… their little ones dance… they spend their years in prosperity and go to the grave in peace. It is said, ‘God stores up a man’s punishments for his sons’. Let Him repay the man himself, so that he will know it!” (21:7–21)

After apologising for doubting God’s wisdom, a pacified God gives Job ten new (and more attractive) children, more animals than he had before, and 140 more years of life. “The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom.” (28:28)

As for Hebrews (which Zwartz also cites), “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (9:22). And Romans — from which Zwartz extracts what is “perhaps my favourite Bible verse, Romans 8:28” — also condemns social rebellion (13:1–2): “The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood.

Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. Who discovered that there was no such thing as a witch — the priest, the parson? No, these never discover anything. At Salem, the parson clung pathetically to his witch text after the laity had abandoned it in remorse and tears for the crimes and cruelties it has persuaded them to do. The parson wanted more blood, more shame, more brutalities; it was the unconsecrated laity that stayed his hand. In Scotland the parson killed the witch after the magistrate had pronounced her innocent; and when the merciful legislature proposed to sweep the hideous laws against witches from the statute book, it was the parson who came imploring, with tears and imprecations, that they be suffered to stand.

There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain.

It is not well worthy of note that of all the multitude of texts through which man has driven his annihilating pen he has never once made the mistake of obliterating a good and useful one? It does certainly seem to suggest that if man continues in the direction of enlightenment, his religious practice may, in the end, attain some semblance of human decency. ~ Mark Twain, ‘Bible Teaching and Religious Practice’, Europe and Elsewhere, 1923

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand. ~ Mark Twain

PS. Happy Birthday Darwin.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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