September 20, 2009

A little too much Turnbull

Australian pollies, thank god, rarely resort to the religious or the biblical.

Malcolm Turnbull, the vigorously unpopular leader of the opposition, dipped his toe into biblical territory during the week, proving that the path to hell is paved with pollies daring to use the lord's words in convoluted and mortifying ways that are best left to the privacy of one's home.
"Turnbull turned his eyes to the heavens and declared, "Now in the New Testament we are told in Corinthians of faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love, and that is so true. Both Lucy (his wife) and I believe very firmly in and practice love to all we can."
Way too much information.

Not dwelling too long on his marital love practices, Turnbull attempted to reassure his audience over the global shortage of water:

"Malcolm ... got very wound up about the shortage of water on the Earth, and turned to the Bible to reassure us things can improve.

"It is interesting that in the Bible water is a constant metaphor," he extolled. "Of course, that is how we are baptised as Christians in water, literally.

"But as a dry country the idea of water, its unpredictability and its importance occurs throughout the Bible, so I was pleased to see that you have highlighted in Isaiah 41, verse 17, this passage: When the poor and needy/are dying of thirst/and cannot find water/ I, the Lord God of Israel,/will come to their rescue. I won't forget them. I will make rivers flow on mountain peaks. I will send streams/to fill the valleys./Dry and barren land/will flow with springs/and become a lake."

Malcolm the lover of all then turned to Psalm 126, verse 4, which reads "Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the streams in the Negev".

And just like that, a little gaze to the heavens, a little random scripture, and our water woes were solved.

Turnbull's love is never in short supply


  1. geoff3:07 PM

    dear dear

    Far be it for me to buy into what is essentially a Christian thing, even in a light hearted way, especially twice in a couple of days.

    But in all fairness, Turnbull was addressing the launch of the Poverty and Justice Bible published by the Bible Society in association with World Vision Australia . As did the Prime Minister who had this to say, among other things.

    “I congratulate those who have put together this extraordinary work. I congratulate those who have seen fit to assemble a version of the Bible which draws starkly to people’s attention the challenge of Micah, the challenge of John, the challenge facing us all as an informed community of faith.”

    And this:

    "The Christian traditions from which you all come are many and varied. But I think all of you in this room would agree with one thing: it is not simply and exclusively some individual, pietistic retreat into yourself in pursuit of some microscopic spirituality. No, it's not that. It is a tradition alive in the fact that faith without works is dead, and that the Christian doctrine to which you all aspire, and which you all believe, is one that is both about individual spirituality and a parallel commitment to social justice."

  2. I'm well aware of the context Geoff. Turnbull didn't randomly or whimsically start spouting biblical text!

    His contribution was, I believe, ham-fisted.

    In fairness to him, that outcome is often the case when pollies latch onto the bible. No big surprise, really, given that god wasn't especially taken with rulers of the earthly variety. Although he was content enough for Cesar to take that which was owed to Cesar ...