Tony Abbott lecture on Freedom of Speech

Tony Abbott will give the Fr Gregory Jordan, SJ, Memorial Scholarship Lecture in Brisbane on 29 April 2016. The title of the lecture is: FREEDOM OF SPEECH: THE RIGHT AND THE RESPONSIBILITY. Details of the time and place can be found Here.

Fr Gregory Jordan was a much loved and respected theologian and former headmaster of St Ignatius Riverview. Both Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce were at St Ignatius during his headmastership. They attended his funeral in July 2015.

A favourite accusation of Abbott’s army of unappeasable enemies in politics and the media is that he is a religious zealot, eager to force the Australian population to convert – or else. It is one of the most serviceable parts of the Abbott persona they have created, and they keep hammering it.

Those familiar with his background, however, know that Abbott is considered by many orthodox Catholics to be on the liberal side, far from the dogmatic finger-wagging zealot of the manufactured image. Indeed, he fits the image of the modern Jesuit. In his book Battlelines, he gave a short account of his main (religious) influences.

Apart from my parents, the church was the biggest influence on my early life. From 1966 till 1975, I was at St Aloysius and then St Ignatius College, Riverview, in Sydney. The college mottos, ‘born for higher things’ and (roughly translated) ‘do as much as you can’, give a good idea of the Jesuit ethos at that time, which I thoroughly assimilated…

The Jesuits who taught me wanted to bring out the very best in their students but didn’t expect them to be saints. They weren’t dis­loyal to the Pope or subversive of the church but often seemed impa­tient with the ‘scold’ side to religious teaching. ‘Don’t bother giving up chocolates for Lent’, Father Emmet Costello used to advise, ‘but do something positive like going to Mass more often’. ‘We are all the prod­ucts of those who have loved us or failed to love us’, he often observed, quoting, I think, the American Jesuit John Powell. For me, the mes­sage was that God preferred big-hearted people who might sometimes make mistakes rather than robotic rule worshippers.

Tony Abbott’s actions as a politician bear that out. There are numerous ordinary people who give accounts of his generosity and compassion – a sympathetic word, a phone call about a sickness or death. Then there are the public demonstrations – his working with the SES, his yearly stay with the Aboriginal communities in the north, the pollie pedal, and so on. He shows his faith in his works rather than in his words.

The organizers of the Fr Gregory Jordan, SJ, Memorial Lecture have chosen well.


Furor Abbottus – a reality sapping mental and emotional disorder

Furor poeticus is Latin for ‘poetic frenzy’. The term goes back to the Ancient Greeks and refers to a poet’s being transported to a state in which he would channel the gods’ thoughts and feelings. During his Trinity College days, with some humour, Edmund Burke borrowed the term to describe his youthful fixation on poetry and history. He called those phases his furor poeticus and furor historicus.

The idea of a frenzied psychological state came to mind when I read a report on with the headline: Bureaucrats refuse to reveal Abbott’s alcohol preferences despite FOI request. It seems that all this year Labor Senator Penny Wong has been after an account of the brands and types of alcohol Tony Abbott drank while prime minister. After the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was forced by a Freedom of Information request to come up with a pile of receipts, Wong’s desired information was blacked out. She ‘likened this lack of transparency to an episode of ABC comedy Utopia.’ Continue reading

Prime Minister Abbott’s 2015 Magna Carta lecture, Parliament House, Canberra

Often, it is in retrospect that particular events assume their greatest importance.

When the English barons gathered at Runnymede to parley with King John, they weren’t thinking of history; they were thinking of themselves.

They weren’t conscious of universal rights; they were conscious of their own grievances.

For the most part, the Magna Carta reads like a log of claims against the king.

Merely to make such claims, though, reveals a clear understanding that the king can’t do what he likes, and that a subject has rights even against a sovereign.

Even in the 13th century, this was not a novel concept.

Even then, the king’s coronation oath typically included a promise to govern according to law.

It wasn’t long, though, before the Magna Carta came to be seen as a constitutional watershed binding all future kings. Continue reading

The meaning of ‘holocaust’ – another opportunity for the leftist media

The Macquarie (Australian) Dictionary meaning of the word ‘holocaust’:

holocaust/ˈhɒləkɒst/ (say ‘holuhkost), /-kɔst/ (say -kawst)

noun 1.  great or wholesale destruction of life, especially by fire.

2.  an offering devoted wholly to burning; a burnt offering.

[Late Latin holocaustum, from Greek holokauston a burnt offering, properly neuter of holokaustos burnt whole]
holocaustic /hɒləˈkɒstɪk/ (say holuh’kostik), adjective

The word frequently appears in the Bible referring to burnt offerings. After the Second World the word was used to describe the attempted genocide of Jews. It is a word that has powerful literary use as an image to convey terrible and purposeful destruction. See HERE

The leftist media’s confected outrage over Prime Minister Abbott’s use of the word ‘holocaust’ as an image should once more convey to Menzies’ people how vicious and unconscionable the left are in their attempt to destroy the prime minister. There is no tactic, no lie that is too great or too low for them to employ in their unrelenting political campaign. Menzies’ people should be well aware of who their enemy is. Andrew Bolt shows how transparent the leftist media’s tactic is: Abbott hanged for what the gallery forgave Keating and Bob Brown.