Christmas Eve, 2021

I have said a few days ago that this country is no longer Christian, and there will be consequences. The Maori view of everything is paramount. It’s Christmas Eve, but there is no break for the enemies of all that is true and the promotors of the narrative. They are vaxxed: they are woke: they have jobs.

And they will not tolerate any dissent. They used the ability of academics to have unpopular beliefs in their long march through the institutions, but now they have power, they are taking it away. Now they can teach, they are not guiding people to knowledge. They are telling those who have findings they do not like not to publish them.

It has reached the point where we have to walk away.

On the 23rd of July of this year, seven professors of the University of Auckland penned a letter to the Listener asserting that Matauranga Maori was not science. Professor Joanna Kidman of Victoria University was the first to sound the alarm and went straight to the heart of the matter by tweeting the following question one day later: “Where do these shuffling zombies come from?” Where indeed! In the face of such offence against Maori, it would be understandable if she had reflexively responded with a personal attack on the seven professors but, to her credit, Prof Kidman took the high road.

With equal restraint, and in the spirit of a scientist seeking to explain unusual phenomena, she went on to ask “Is there something in the water?” Equally restrained responses came from Prof Hendy and Dr Wiles, in the Science Faculty at the University, who presumably drink the same water as the letter writers but who drafted a Petition not only condemning this offensive letter but critiquing “science’s ongoing role in perpetuating ‘scientific’ racism, justifying colonisation, and continuing support of systems that create injustice.” To date, over 2,000 people have signed it, many of them from Auckland and therefore presumably drinking the same water.

Prof Dawn Freshwater, the VC of the University, joined the fray three days after the letter appeared, to state that “while the academics are free to express their views…they do not represent the views of the University of Auckland,” and added that the letter had “caused considerable hurt and dismay among our staff, students and alumni.”

There will be those who point to outdated legislation recognising the right of academics to express “unpopular and controversial views” but Prof Freshwater rightly understood that avoiding hurt and dismay is a far more important requirement in a modern university. In fact, to avoid any risk at all in this area, it may be better for academics to say nothing on any subject.

Prof Freshwater is also to be congratulated for divining within three days the views of the University on such an important issue, a process that would normally take months of consultation, thereby enabling her to promptly identify the professors’ views as those of a small minority. Progress in science is only possible if minority views are culled, and university administrators are clearly in the best position to do so. If there could be any criticism of Prof Freshwater, it would involve her conceding the right of the seven professors to even express their views. Laudatory as this sentiment is, it can only encourage more statements that could lead to hurt and dismay.

Even stronger action was taken by the Royal Society of New Zealand, which immediately rejected the professors’ “outmoded definition of science” and then initiated action to expel two of the letter writers who are members of the Society.

The Society’s immediate condemnation of the professors placed them in an excellent position to then objectively assess whether to expel them. So as to ensure fairness, the Society first had to conduct an investigation, and it set up a panel to do so. Two of the panel members had already signed the Petition condemning the letter, which would have put them in an excellent position to ensure fairness before then expelling the two miscreants. However the two miscreants pedantically complained and, so as to avoid even the slightest suggestion of prejudice, these two panel members courageously stood aside, hopefully in favour of others who were equally offended by the letter but had not yet put their signatures to the Petition.

Offending the unrighteous is not sin. If that was the case, then the prophet Amos would not be called such: if that was the case our honour would never be reproach.

And if that was not the case then Christ would be unrighteous, for he offended the Pharisees and Sadducees of his time. But Christ bought truth, which is offensive, mercy and love. And his righteous death, appeasing the offended, was for our salvation.

PSALM 4

1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach?
How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah.
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him.
4 Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And trust in the Lord.
6 Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”
Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!
7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.

Amos 2:6-16

6 Thus says the Lord,
“For three transgressions of Israel and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they sell the righteous for money
And the needy for a pair of sandals.
7 These who pant after the very dust of the earth on the head of the helpless
Also turn aside the way of the humble;
And a man and his father resort to the same girl
In order to profane My holy name.
8 On garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar,
And in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
9 “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,
Though his height was like the height of cedars
And he was strong as the oaks;
I even destroyed his fruit above and his root below.
10 It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt,
And I led you in the wilderness forty years
That you might take possession of the land of the Amorite.
11 Then I raised up some of your sons to be prophets
And some of your young men to be Nazirites.
Is this not so, O sons of Israel?” declares the Lord.
12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
And you commanded the prophets saying, ‘You shall not prophesy!’
13 Behold, I am weighted down beneath you
As a wagon is weighted down when filled with sheaves.
14 Flight will perish from the swift,
And the stalwart will not strengthen his power,
Nor the mighty man save his life.
15 He who grasps the bow will not stand his ground,
The swift of foot will not escape,
Nor will he who rides the horse save his life.
16 Even the bravest among the warriors will flee naked in that day,” declares the Lord.

Matthew 21:1-11

1 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold your King is coming to you,
Gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ”
6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, 7 and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. 8 Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. 9 The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!”
10 When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Bruce Charlton is on form this morning. He notes that we are neurotic about illnesses. As if worry can extend our life. Large hint: it cannot. But what worrying about the COVID does do is blind you from the more severe threats. There have been more people shot dead in Auckland than died from COVID. There have been far more people die in road crashes or drown.

And that is before we count those who are dying from cancers caught late, or from despair, due in part to social distancing.

Thus we have a severely damaged neurotic mass population – this damage having been quite deliberately inflicted by government, corporations, institutions and the media; and sustained against all reason, evidence, common sense – and basic humanity (if indeed such exists in 2021).

All, as with many neuroses; the neurotics all-too-often do not even want to be cured; partly because their disorder is convenient; and partly because the cure (i.e. doing what is feared, until you get used to it) will cause more suffering over the short term.

Consequently, the world is destroying itself acutely and incrementally, with the approval of a large segment of the now-behaviorally-disabled population whose attention is focused entirely on an existentially-trivial – or non-existent – hypothetical threat.

But saying this stuff requires that you are anonymous in the People’s Republic of Aoteoroa. Even if you are being “retired”. I am: but to remain with any work I have to be quite careful of what I say because the snitches inform the press and the amenable authorities at the same time. In the short term, it is not a comfortable thing to seek righteousness.

In the long term, it is the only thing that will give you comfort.