Time for that Performance Review, Jimbo

Not everyone is a cut out to be a media performer. Being in front of a television camera or radio mike is nerve-wracking. So, when your average ‘Joe (or Jo) Blow’ finds themselves in the media spotlight and ends up babbling incoherently, you have to have some sympathy. It’s not an easy gig.

That’s why companies pay good money for polished professionals to represent them. When the reputation of your business or organisation is at stake, you simply can’t risk hiring amateurs.

So, I was surprised by Jim Wallace’s performance on Seven’s Sunrise with Mel and Kochie this week.  Speaking about same-sex marriage – a topic with which he is very familiar – Jim explained the Australian Christian Lobby’s objections as follows:

Well, ah, Kochie the reality is that ah the Scriptures are very clear about the fact that ah Jesus and ah when people become a Christian it’s an individual and a personal experience but from that point on we try to live more like Jesus would want us to and certainly in the Scriptures it’s very clear ah he wouldn’t have ordained homosexual marriage. Now, the reason, though, is couched in the ah natural and that is ah whether you believe that God created ah nature, or whether you believe that there was nothing at all exploded and then there was everything, the reality is that, ah in this issue that it still takes the involvement of a man and a woman to create a child …

And I find it absolutely amazing that at a time in our history when we’re jumping through hoops to try to make sure  that every tree on the planet ah has its natural environment so that it can flourish that we would be challenging the definition of marriage which creates exactly that environment for a child requiring that it’s between a man and a woman  … the reality is here we’re about holding up an aspirational mode ah in society which government has the right to do to make sure that – to make sure that children can flourish in the same way we are demanding for trees.

Frankly, regardless of your views on same-sex marriage, it was a woeful performance from someone who is paid to do better. Someone has to ask – and it may as well be me – has Jimbo jumped the shark?

If I was one of the shadowy figures pouring money into the Australian Christian Lobby, I’d be having a long hard think about the way the organisation’s been travelling over the last 12 months and asking myself if it’s time for new leadership: “Has Jimbo done what we hired him to do or has he made the organisation a national laughing-stock and damaged the ACL’s reputation beyond repair?”

Inexplicably, I’m not privy to Jim’s job description or performance goals, but I reckon I can make a pretty good guess about why he was hired. But first, I need to tell you a bit about the ACL’s history.

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) was founded way back in 1995, only it wasn’t called the ACL then, it was known as the Australian Christian Coalition (ACC).  The name was derived from its American cousin, the scandal-ridden Christian Coalition of America, established by the rabid, right-wing televangelist, Pat Robertson.

At first, it seems, there was little attempt to hide the ACC’s dominionist agenda. In fact, one of the organisation’s early journals was called Mandate – an allusion to the belief “that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns”. That’s right, folks, the long-term goal for these people looks a lot like TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION.

The aims of the ACC could not have been clearer: “to reclaim our society and our government for God and to have the Christian voice heard”.  Did you hear that, non-religious and secular Australians? You’ve got their country and they want it back.

Not surprisingly, the ACC soon found its dominionist theology and fundamentalist lunacy simply wasn’t going to fly in the Australian political landscape. If it wanted to appeal to ‘middle Australia’ it needed a little cosmetic surgery.

Of course, this didn’t mean the ACC planned to abandon its Christian nationalist agenda and ditsy dogma. God forbid! No! It simply meant that a shiny new veneer was added to make it seem … well … somewhat less batshit crazy.

In fairly short order, the name was changed to the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), former SAS chief Brigadier Jim Wallace was brought in to provide the group with some mainstream credibility and a Christian marketing group, Capacity Builders, was engaged to help the ACL build a shiny new non-threatening image.  The aim was to position the group as “a balanced and compassionate ‘voice for values’: a lobbying force influencing all levels of Government”.  You have to admit, that sounds so much less alarming than reclaiming the government for Jesus.

But, as Barack Obama said, (allegedly in allusion to that poster girl for fatuous fundamentalism, Sarah Palin), “You can put lipstick on a pig – but it’s still a pig.”

And so it was with the ACL.  Behind the glossy website, the highly staged ‘In Focus’ in-house ‘news’ interviews with CEO Wallace and artless attempts to tone down the fundamentalist rhetoric, the ACL remains what it originally set out to be – an organisation intent on gaining ideological control of Australia’s key public institutions.

Of course, despite putting the former head of the SAS in charge, the ACL isn’t plotting a military coup.  Its strategy is far more covert. Following the tried and true approach of American dominionists, the ACL plans to achieve its aims through the quiet infiltration and colonisation of our secular public institutions – and the apathy of the Australian public is crucial in facilitating its advance.

It sounds like a conspiracy theory, doesn’t it? But why else would the ACL set up Compass Australia, an offshoot which identifies and mentors up and coming young evangelicals and facilitates their career paths into positions of influence? We don’t have to develop hypotheses. In a 2007 interview with “Christian Today”, David Yates, the coordinator of Compass naively blurted out the whole sordid plan:

“One of the key things that ACL likes to focus on is areas where it can have a disproportionate impact for the Gospel. So, the area of politics and government, where ACL works in, is one particular field.  If you can get through government and policy makers then it can influence laws and it can have a disproportionate effect within the culture. 

That is why we were thinking about the Compass program, or, alternatively, thinking about 15 to 20 years down the track, who will be in the media, education, politics, law, and history?

These fields, to us, are the strategic areas … (Emphasis added.)

Further evidence of the ACL’s dominionist agenda is found in the backgrounds of its personnel, the organisations which support the group, the literature they quote and recommend and the conferences they attend – in short, the company they keep.  It takes a bit of detective work, but scratch the surface of the ACL and you find links (direct and indirect, current and historical) to numerous bastions of dominionist theology.

Indeed, if you search hard enough (and I have), you’ll find the ACL is publicly listed as a supporter of the Reclaim 7 Mountains movement.   (Oh, and Jim, don’t bother getting that 7 Mountains link deleted – I’ve got a screen shot.)

(click to enlarge)

It sounds innocuous enough until you read that this movement claims a divine ‘mandate for taking nations’,  advocates breaking down the wall of separation between church and state and provides ‘a template for warfare’.  Indeed, the perky blonde who introduces this video about 7 Mountains breezily confirms its dominionist message. The Lord, she says, is coming back for “an overcoming church … a church that knows how to possess and occupy.”

This kind of talk is all very good for rallying the troops. But, for the ACL to maintain some vestige of public credibility, it must maintain the charade of being non-threatening and moderate. It wouldn’t do for any theocratic aspirations to become common knowledge. (Oh, oops!  Sorry Jim!) That, I imagine, is why old Jimbo Wallace was appointed as front man and CEO – he appeared to be ‘mainstream’, his military record demanded respect and who would suspect someone with his background to be involved in a group whose aim was to impose a ‘disproportionate influence’ on a democratically elected government?

But, given this week’s bumbling media performance, we have to ask, “How well is Jim doing his job?”

In my view, if Jim was brought in to give the ACL a veneer of mainstream respectability, he’s failing badly.  In fact, observing Jim over the last couple of years, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christian dominionism and bald-faced bigotry must be hand-crafted from polystyrene.  No matter how hard he tries, Jim just can’t stop them floating to the surface.

It’s been a hard year for Jim. It began with him endorsing a law (labeled ‘appalling’ by a senior Anglican bishop) which allows religious schools to expel gay students – for no reason other than for being ‘openly gay’.

Next, sexism reared its ugly head as Jim expressed the antediluvian view that women should not be allowed to serve on the front lines of Australia’s defence force.  Why? Because just that morning Mrs Wallace needed Jim to help open the Vegemite jar.  Yes, really.  You can’t make this stuff up!

Then there was the shameful ANZAC Day tweet in which Jim suggested our diggers didn’t fight for Muslims and gay marriage. In less than 140 characters Jim showed he was out of touch with the values and sensibilities of ordinary, decent Australians and destructively inept at using social media.

In Queensland, the ACL was humiliated when their campaign against a safe sex billboard featuring two gay men, backfired.  When 30,000 people took to Facebook demanding a decision to pull the ad be reversed, the advertising company quickly caved. Even the Queensland Premier and state treasurer branded the ACL’s actions homophobic.

Recently, the ACL cynically decided to exploit the Norwegian massacre to advance its agenda to censor violent video games.  As one Christian blogger wrote:

“… you’re trying to capitalise on [this tragedy] for political gain. That’s disgusting. It’s cheap point scoring. It’s tacky. People see right through it. You’re not convincing anybody of anything except the idea that Christians are out-of-touch and only interested in protecting ourselves.”

I don’t know how much the ACL paid Capacity Builders to develop its new image, but I’d venture to say it’s money down the drain for the organisation’s financial backers. The ACL is increasingly isolated and frequently exposed as a propagandist machine for the rabidly religious right. Under Wallace, the organisation lurches from crisis to crisis – outraging the non-religious and embarrassing the crap out of all but the holiest of happy clappers.

And so, returning to Tuesday when Jim fronted up to Seven’s Sunrise program for a little argie-bargie about gay marriage with the intelligent, articulate (and gracefully gay) Dr Kerryn Phelps.  It was a pathetic performance which revealed Jim no longer has what it takes to represent the ACL.

Jim’s arguments against same-sex marriage were weak and easily refuted. Worse, his claim that Jesus would not have approved of same-sex marriage shows either a cavalier disregard for the truth or a pitifully poor grasp of the New Testament. As ex-Christian author, Jake Farr-Wharton explains, “Here’s what Jesus says about homosexuals in the New Testament:  “ _”.”

Once again, the ACL cemented its reputation as a national laughing-stock.

Now, if the powers that be decide Jim’s still their boy and elect to keep him on, well, that’s just dandy. I’m happy to sit back and watch the continuing decline of the ACL under his increasingly inexpert leadership.  But I reckon when Jim comes up for his annual performance review the ACL puppeteers might just think about this week’s Sunrise performance and the events of the past few months and start wondering, “What is it we pay this guy for?”

It might be time to think about an early retirement, Jim.

Chrys Stevenson

38 thoughts on “Time for that Performance Review, Jimbo

  1. AndrewFinden says:

    I agree that Dominionism is bad, and I agree that the ACL has generally been ‘off message’ of late. Though I tend to be wary with talk of dominionism because I’ve seen too many cases of it being wrongly called (e.g. Francis Schaeffer or Langham Partnership). Take, for example, your quote (emphasis mine):

    “One of the key things that ACL likes to focus on is areas where it can have a disproportionate impact for the Gospel. So, the area of politics and government, where ACL works in, is one particular field. If you can get through government and policy makers then it can influence laws and it can have a disproportionate effect within the culture.

    I would argue that ‘impact for the gospel’ is not necessarily the same thing as ‘establish a Christian theocracy’ (I want to see the gospel impacting people’s lives, and I want a secular government), nor is, there is nothing inherently sinister or theocratic about wanting to influence culture (plenty of secular and other lobby groups also want to influence culture). That’s not to say that the ACL hasn’t gone beyond that and advocated legislating Christianity (which is where the issue should be taken up, not with ad hominem guilt by association or ‘hidden agendas’). Wanting to ‘influence laws’ is not inherently wrong either, but whether the suggestions are justifiable or not is the issue.

    Everyone has the right to have their beliefs and values heard and impact on how they make decisions, even elected officials.

    Having said that, there does seem something inherently incompatible with the concept of Christian political lobbying. If someone was trying to pass laws saying that Christians couldn’t exercise their faith and practice, I could understand it (lobbying for rights as opposed to lobbying for a viewpoint) , but as it stands, the ACL is a lobby group for a particular strand of conservative values, which are neither distinctly or necessarily “Christian”. There may well be non-believers who support their cultural values, why alienate them? I’d prefer to see a Christian lobby actually lobbying for justice and mercy (you know, those things that we’re called to love – Micah 6:8; Luke 11:42) in legislation. Where is the ACL in standing up for refugees, for example?

    Compare this to the way a group like the Centre for Public Christianity use media – not to try and establish some Christian culture[tm], but to talk about Christ. At the very heart of Christianity is the understanding that change doesn’t come via the law, but by a change of individual’s hearts by encountering Jesus.

    Bit rambly on my part.. but oh well.

    p.s. Have you read any of my mate’s posts re ACL

  2. AndrewFinden says:

    hmmm… reading the 7 mountains link and watched the video. It’s not Dominionism theology (influencism perhaps?). They’re not trying to set up a theocracy (Francis Schaefer explicitly opposed that). They are using a whole stack of pretty awful Christian jargon, but they’re talking about influencing how people think, rather than creating Christian theocracies or taking over the government. I haven’t quite figured out the eschatology behind it all though.. the whole thing, the language makes me uncomfortable, but I don’t think it’s the evil government coup the way you imply.

  3. Vicki says:

    Let Jimbo be the bimbo for the phobos, his mumbo jumbo makes him look completely loco!

  4. Andrew, I’ve done a lot of research on dominionism, reconstructionism and Christian nationalism and I’m very satisfied that the 7 Mountains movement is as I’ve portrayed it. For anyone interested in this topic, may I suggest Michelle Goldberg’s “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” and this article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201108/concerns-about-the-religious-right-are-not-overblown

    • AndrewFinden says:

      Based on the evidence you provided, I don’t think they’re dominionists so much reconstructionists, which is not exactly the same thing. I don’t agree with it (their post-millennial eschatology is much clearer now, actually), but it’s not dominion theology as I understand it to be. They might well be arguing for theonomy but not a theocracy. Whether that distinction makes things any better remains to be seen, however. I guess I was thrown off-scent by the reference to Schaeffer – he was not a dominionist or reconstrcutionist, but it seems they like to try and rope him into it :D

    • AndrewFinden says:

      Actually, I stand largely corrected. The more I read and think about it, the more the distinction between theocracy and theonomy becomes insignificant. While I stand by my view that Christians, like all people and groups, have a right to lobby the government, and that there’s nothing sinister about calling for the government to act with (gospel values of) justice and mercy, I reject the 7 mountains view that legislation ought to be based on OT law (not least, for various theological reasons as well as the desire for a secular government).

  5. As always, Finden takes the defensive line and supports religious imposition on others by trying to ameliorate the worst aspects of the ACL.

    The sort who returns waving a slip of paper screaming ‘Peace in our time’.

    A Fabian gradualist approach, tolerating the worst to build on later- when?

    The ACL is not ‘off message’ at all.

    That IS the message, the one Wallace gives for the ACL.

    There is no other message they ever give.

    A trawl through the ABC Religion Reports of old is a worthwhile activity.

    Read all about the ACL, and vomit.

    Of course, other arms of the Christian church have no need for such crass lobbying. Roman Catholics, Anglicans and others dominate in many areas in just the manner the ACL and their Compass idea could only hope for.

    And few Australians realise the extent to which the school days in a Catholic or other faith school permeate the mind of the young child and helps to direct them in later life.

    Why else would ‘faith’ schools exist, after all?

    Exactly the same hegemony Compass seeks, but for them and their mobs, not the Micks and co.

    Just a part of our community? Maybe, but that does not mean that all this religious shaping of society is good or beneficial, does it?

    After all, just look at those who so publicly proclaim their religiosity, be that for a Christian (so called) view or some other ‘faith’ within the world of business, never mind politics.

    If what we have is the result of their God-given ‘moral values’ driving our business world (and politicians) then God help us all.

    Of course, the ‘Garden of Eden’ escape clause always allows ‘real Christians’ to claim wrong doers make that ‘choice’ and do not represent ‘real faith’ at all.

    Funny that, and very convenient too.

    • AndrewFinden says:

      As always, Finden takes the defensive line and supports religious imposition on others by trying to ameliorate the worst aspects of the ACL.

      Did you even read what I wrote?

  6. Mikey Bear says:

    Music to my ears Chrys. Thanks.

  7. Doug Steley says:

    I must email Jim and ask what Jesus said about homosexuals

  8. Edward Robinson says:

    You’re a gem in the crown of rational thought, Chrys. One wonders where Jimbo got his mind-warping infection.

  9. Infiltrating government beuracracy in order to disregard due process and democracy is not the same as lobbying the government. The education department in various states and federally is strongly infiltrated. Which is why when many, many parents complain about chaplaincy and Religious Indoctrination in states schools the respective education ministers can truthfully say “I haven’t seen any complaints”.

  10. I always read your stuff Andrew. Love it. So predictable.

    Danny, the reason our political masters see no complaints is because they went to school in Qld and the teachers forgot to teach them the first three Rs, managing only the fourth R.

    The fourth R being the basis for Bligh’s Smart State.

    There are but three ‘normal’ people in the Qld parliament who do not believe in gods.

    And their sort never get to run EQ.

    The last one, Wilson, was a fundie like Jim Wallace is.

    This one is just a Dick.

    • AndrewFinden says:

      I always read your stuff Andrew. Love it. So predictable.

      Dare I suggest you stop ‘predicting’ and try comprehending. I think you’ll find I was not defending ACL at all.. quite the contrary.

  11. [...] Posted by admin, on September 1st, 2011 Jim Wallace’s performance review [...]

  12. Alec says:

    Suppose I travel back in time and talk to the historical Jesus. Suppose I ask him, “Jesus, what is your opinion of men who have sex with men?” How do you think he would respond? I don’t know much about the historical Jesus, but I suspect he was quite a religious guy and he lived in the 1st century. So, I suspect he might have responded with something like “I don’t approve of men who have sex with men.” But apparently, my suspicion must be wrong, because no Bible story lists him as saying one or the other. I must have a callous disregard for truth.

    • But Alec, as you know Jesus, in his day, was not a conservative, but a radical. Many of his ideas were shocking to the society in which he lived. How do we know his views on homosexuality were not as radical as his view that non-Jews could enter the kingdom of god, or that you couldn’t buy your way into heaven?

      Of course, it is possible that Jesus was homophobic. But if so, it was not considered important enough to pass on through the Scriptures. That’s a rather large omission given the focus given to the subject by people like Wallace.

      On the other hand, there’ the mystery of the ‘beloved disciple’ (no, I’m not saying he was Jesus’ gay lover, but it is certainly open to interpretation). Also, John Shelby Spong believes that Paul may have converted to Christianity because of its comparative tolerance for homosexuality. (Paul did seem to have a lot of trouble getting his mind to control his member – and he wasn’t too keen on women, remember?)

      The point is, because there is nothing in the Scriptures which provides Jesus’ views on homosexuality and as gay marriage was not even a concept considered at that time, it is fundamentally dishonest (and presumptuous) for anyone to assert they know what he thought about the matter. It is simply not possible.

      • AndrewF says:

        Jesus, in his day, was not a conservative, but a radical. Many of his ideas were shocking to the society in which he lived.

        Yes, many of his ideas shocked the religious leaders, but he also observed and affirmed the Mosaic laws. 2nd Temple Judaism had managed to gather a whole bunch of extra rules over time, and much of that he rejected. He also chastised them for failing to see the point of and actually follow the law and prophets and failing to recognise the messiah. To paint this as progressive vs conservative is, I think, far too glib and misleading.

        there is nothing in the Scriptures which provides Jesus’ views on … gay marriage

        Why would he have anything to say on a C21st redefinition of what marriage is? You might as well suggest that he never said anything about pirating mp3s.

        He does, however, affirm, in Matthew 19 that marriage is between a man and woman (citing Genesis). It is thus, not dishonest to say what Jesus affirmed about marriage.

        To ignore that is a little like the story of a boy who is in Big W and asks “can I buy this skateboard?”His mother says no. He says he’ll meet her at the car in 20mins. They get to the car, and lo and behold he has bought a skateboard.. “you didn’t say anything about not buying the skateboard in Target!” he replies.

        Having watched the interview now, I think Jim was actually justified in citing Jesus’ views on marriage as the reason why the Church (which he, perhaps foolishly, was called to represent in the interview) is opposed to same-sex marriage. In fairness, the question wasn’t specifically about legislation or proposed changes to the legal definition of marriage, though as the interview went on, it became obvious that was the unspoken question.

        If the question is about why the church thinks what it does about marriage, then citing its founder’s view is entirely legitimate. Arguing that this view ought to be the basis of secular legislation, however, is not.

        Where I suspect I differ from Wallace is that while I happen to agree with Jesus about marriage, I also have the view that if the government wants to change their legal definition and recognise other kinds of relationships as marriages as well, good on them.

        Of course, you can erroneously label that ‘homophobic’ if you wish, but it’s no more homophobic than you’re ‘christiophobic’.

      • So, Andrew, would you also claim that the refusal of Christian churches to accept desegregation based on their reading of the Scriptures was not racist? Would you also claim that Martin Luther King, in despairing of the churches’ view against civil rights was ‘christiophobic’?

  13. Is a hankering for religion a mental illness?

    http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/pdf/2011-22.pdf

    Love this one too:

    “It was a pitched battle between our faith and our reason, and eventually our reason just refused to be suppressed any longer, no matter what the potential consequences.” Succinctly, a former Baptist wrote: “Christianity is a disease. Education is the cure.”

    http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/pdf/2011-21.pdf

    Hooray for the former Baptist!

    Hey, Jim’s a Baptist too.

  14. AndrewF says:

    So, Andrew, would you also claim that the refusal of Christian churches to accept desegregation based on their reading of the Scriptures was not racist? Would you also claim that Martin Luther King, in despairing of the churches’ view against civil rights was ‘christiophobic’?

    No, because it’s a false comparison.
    As you would be aware from recent events, just because someone claims to be basing their view on a given text, be it the bible or the constitution, does not automatically mean their interpretation (and we all interpret) is justified. Simply hand-waving that someone else uses a text to justify something says nothing about whether it’s actually justified or not. (I was tempted to ask which texts and exegesis you were referring to, and which you though was a justified interpretation, but the water has been muddied enough)

    More importantly, though, I think you’ll find that I said did NOT oppose the government changing the definition of marriage to allow homosexual unions. To compare my view with particular American churches opposing desegregation is unfair and completely ignores the points I actually made. (Don’t forget, I live happily in a place where same-sex marriage already exists – I’m trying to avoid the cliche but I really do have a couple of friends who are in same-sex marriages.)

    Just because you disagree with certain views, beliefs and practices of mine, some of which I might understand to be intrinsic parts of who I am, does not stop you having a friendly coffee with me, does it? That you don’t affirm these doesn’t mean you hate me or are afraid of me, does it?

    • Where did the idea of hate come from? I don’t hate anyone – Jim Wallace included. I consider you a friend. I do, however, hate the attitudes which drive young gay people to suicide. And, Andrew, you look pretty fearsome in a moustache, but I’m certainly not afraid of you. ;-)

      • AndrewF says:

        If you’re not implying that ‘thinking that marriage is between a man and a woman but that the government can recognise same-sex unions as marriages if they wish to’ is homophobic, then good, I agree, it isn’t. If you’re not implying that ‘not liking or affirming what someone thinks or does = *phobia’ then good, I agree.
        As I said, you’re not a ‘christiophobe’ just because you don’t agree with some of my views and actions.

  15. Nathan says:

    Hi Chrys,

    I’ve bagged out the ACL heaps from a Christian perspective (I am the blogger you’ve cited in your post, and the friend Andrew linked to above). I think they’ve been pretty rubbish to date at actually engaging with what a Christian position regarding politics is – not just because they are into dominionism, or something that looks a lot like it, but that they’ve shoehorned the Christian agenda into the conservative agenda.

    So I too think that Jim Wallace has been a bit of a failure and would like to see the ACL head in a different direction (as a Christian interested in the political process, but more interested in people actually understanding who Jesus is properly).

    But I’m willing to cut Jim some slack on this Sunrise interview because I think it’s actually a step in the right direction, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard him mention Jesus in a media appearance. There may have been other times that I’m unaware of – but for me, this latest interview is a change of direction, and a welcome one, because it may be that Jim starts to actually set the agenda based on what Jesus’ social agenda was – caring for the poor, loving one’s neighbour, and ultimately knowing God through owning Jesus as Lord. Any picture of “kingdom” or “dominion” painted in the New Testament (as part of Jesus’ radical realignment of Israel’s exilic expectations of a Messianic kingdom) is a picture of a new creation, a future distinct from our present, and so it’s a category mistake, I think, to try to recreate that future now – it’s also horribly nasty to people who don’t share our faith to make them live as though they do. I think we all need a little bit of epistemic humility in both politics and discourse. Which is why, incidentally, my position on the marriage question is that we should remove government control from marriage and allow people to define it however they want (including the church).

    But thanks for the link.

    • Hi Nathan, nice to meet you. I think the point that has to be made is that Wallace was co-opting Jesus for his own hateful agenda. Wallace doesn’t ‘follow’ Jesus, he moulds him to fit his own set of particularl fears and prejudices. That is a completely different approach to Findo’s, and, I expect yours. I may not agree with Findo’s beliefs, but I do respect his sincerity. Of course, I think the whole thing is a lot of fantasy, but the social-justice Jesus is, at least, a lot less harmful than the Jesus-as-ventriloquist’s dummy that Wallace rolls out.

    • Mikey Bear says:

      Personally, and I suspect my view is not had in isolation, I think it’s pretty arrogant for anyone to enforce their personal religious beliefs on others who don’t uphold those religious beliefs. That’s what’s happening here when we hear the fundagelical wingnuts of Jim Wallace’s ilk trying to sway politicians to their bigoted intolerant religious views. If we had some muslim imam telling politicians all women must wear burqa and hijabs, I bet that would go down like a pork chop on Good Friday.

      Whatever Jim Wallace thinks Jesus thought about marriage is completely irrelevant to the secular Marriage Act. Jim Wallace actually has no idea what Jesus thought about gays getting married, although I’m sure he’s had many conversations with his god about it.

      Jim Wallace is a deluded christian make-believer who is becoming increasingly out of touch with the mainstream. The media don’t take him seriously, much like a side show at the circus, although he seems more like the main act these days.

  16. The only reason the Bible exists is because there were no mental hospitals or medications for those hallucinating back in those days. Please stop talking about what Jesus would have thought…………. There was no Jesus just a bunch of mentally ill people trying to cope with lifes unpredictabilities. Move on, grow up!!!

  17. So, Jim Wallace is ‘on the right track’, eh Nathan? Cos he said the J word ‘at last’

    Well, thank God for that!

    I think it was good, for once, NOT to hear Jim telling us all how he was a trained killer once, and how he trained others to work as snipers and to ‘kill with mercy’, and so I might agree with you Nathan if his dropping of his very unChristian fascination with shooting people for God Queen(s?) and country marks a new beginning, but I suspect it does not, and there is no chance of a new beginning in such as this man.

    Looks like Dana has read those two articles I posted and agrees with the findings about mental illness and religion going hand in hand.

    Of course, Jim is not alone in the ACL and any replacement for him would be more of the same, so we should not wish the boy away too soon. He’s fun, so let’s cut him some slack just to keep the Jim Circus going longer.

    I wonder what the Jim-Jesus said about the High Court decision yesterday?

    Would the Jim-Jesus agree with the Baptoatheist PM and her cabinet of deeply committed Christians, such as that parrot-faced minister of immigration, or with the entirely Christian Full Bench I wonder?

    Surely, as with ‘poofs’ and marriage, there is a single God directed Christian answer to all this?

    Andrew, perhaps you and Nathan can weigh in here and help us non-believers?

    What did Jesus say on stiffing reffos? Did he say we should jail them, or sink them, or tow them back, or treat them as humans?

    If it was the latter, then how come so many Christians have ‘misspoke’ and we get the Gillard Baptist Christian view, the Abbott Catholic Christian view and the Sophie Mirrabella Greek Orthodox Christian view, or the Frank Brennan Catholic Christian view?

    How come there can be so many, wildly different, God directed Christian views Andrew and Nathan?

    This is why we need to be able to read the very precise and exact words that Jesus actually spoke or else all we get are human interpretations of what he might have intended to say, had he ever thought about it, and that, frankly, is just a fraud isn’t it?

  18. Martin says:

    It was a pathetic performance which revealed Jim no longer has what it takes to represent the ACL.

    What do you mean by this ? He has exactly what it “takes” to represent the ACL, he is a small-minded homophobic bigot with a sense of entitlement. The last thing anyone can want is an effective communicator and social media-savvy slick operator who would actually be effective in pursuing their dominionist infiltration plans.

  19. Annie Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for this piece Chrys.

    I love the way you write. Your clarity takes my breath away.

    It still beggers my intelligence that the arguments about Christianity and what the Bible and the “Jesus” said or did not say has to be taken on by atheists/agnostics. Having read the Bible through three times and having ‘referenced it’ many times throughout my life, I never ever recognise what the fundamentalist Christians are talking about when they quote it. I am sure they have never read even the New Testament completely, because if they had they could not make it fit any of their homophobic, sexist, bigotted arguments, not unless they are doing the slight of mind and personal ‘conversation’ with themselves that makes a reasonable narrative.

    It is not historic, nor reasonable, nor helpful.

  20. [...] Link: Time for that Performance Review, Jimbo « Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear. [...]

  21. [...] August, in response to a particularly pitiful performance by Wallace on Seven’s Sunrise program, I wrote on this blog: “If I was one of the shadowy figures pouring money into the Australian Christian [...]

  22. [...] a name-change and a make-over, the Australian Christian Lobby maintains close ties with dominionist organisations throughout the [...]

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