Letter From Australia (About Trotskyite Sydney University)

Orwell Would Weep at the Demonisation of Professor Barry Spurr 

Miranda Devine

The Sunday Telegraph
November 16, 2014

I MUST assume Eden Caceda is an inspired satirical creation by Sydney University students outraged at the brutalisation of poetry professor Barry Spurr. 
After all, the anagram of the name is “A Decadence”. That’s one way of looking at the descent into Orwellian thought-control at the nation’s finest university, which has suspended Spurr indefinitely and banned him from campus for using “offensive” language in private emails, which he said had been hacked and sent to a left-wing website.

“Eden Caceda”, an office-bearer with the university’s “Autonomous Collective Against Racism”, ho, ho, led the campaign last week against Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence’s “racist” Mexican-themed staff Christmas party.  The dress code was “Mexican Fiesta — bring your own sombreros and ponchos”.  But “Caceda” was deeply ­offended by the “culturally ­insensitive” invitation.  “My family has a poncho and it is really important to us, and these people are treating it like a costume,” he said.

Spence, who made the decision to render Professor Spurr a non-person, now finds himself hoist with his own petard.  He has been forced to send an email to staff, cancelling the Mexican dress code: “I have today asked the event organisers to amend our plans so the party has no particular theme.”

You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

Cowardly capitulation to political correctness only ends when the barbarians are pouring molten silver down your throat. But Spence deserves everything to come, because his treatment of Spurr is a shameful disgrace.  It dishonours everything that a great university is supposed to be. Rather than exalting reason and truth, it is prosecuting Crimethink — banishing people for having private thoughts.

Spurr wrote some of his private thoughts in jocular emails to a friend in which he refers to “Mussies”, “chinky-poos” and “whores” and describes the university’s chancellor, Belinda Hutchinson, as an “appalling minx”.  New Matilda has published some of the stolen emails, while the university conducts a top-secret and extremely slow “investigation” into whether they constitute evidence of closet racism, sexism, misogyny, Islamophobia etc.

Spurr said the comments were not serious, but part of a “whimsical linguistic game” in which he and a friend tried to outdo each other with extreme language. Any literate person would understand this boundary transgression. Yet one of the few people to speak up for Spurr lives in London.  “How could anyone take such deliberate touretting seriously?” wrote comedian Barry Humphries, asking if Australia has “gone slightly mad”.

You might have thought that students would rise up in fury and condemn the disgusting treatment of a good man.

Professor Barry Spurr.
Professor Barry Spurr.

But, alas, the only student protests have been by the campus Trotskyists, Socialist Alternative, who shrieked through megaphones outside Fisher ­Library that Spurr was “racist filth” and a “vile bigot” and gathered signatures to have him sacked.

In the days after Spurr was driven out, his fellow ­professors read aloud the ­administration’s ritual denunciation of him before every class, urging students who may have experienced discrimination to come forward.

Spurr is Australia’s only poetry professor. He is the world’s pre-eminent T.S. Eliot scholar. His CV, which has not yet been erased from the university’s website, shows a man of extraordinary literary and academic accomplishment. Students come from across the world just to be in his classes.  Most are dismayed by his banishment, but are so ­oppressed by the McCarthyist atmosphere on campus that they daren’t speak out.

Michael Davis is one brave exception. In a brilliant article in next month’s Quadrant, the 20-year-old blasts the university for “caving to the efforts of 100 caustic teenagers who insult and abuse a 60-something year-old who’s given the better part of his life to that same institution. There would be no University of Sydney without men like Barry Spurr, and there would be no Australia without the Western Civilization he defends.”

Of course, the reason Spurr was marked for destruction was because he helped in the Abbott government’s review of the national curriculum, recommending greater emphasis on the Western literary canon.  Along with review co-author Kevin Donnelly and four other subject experts deemed “conservative”, he has been monstered by the authoritarian Left who control education.

He agreed to help fix the curriculum because he believes English studies are in crisis. He believes democracy is under threat when its people are “inarticulate in their use of language and sub-literate in their linguistic discernment”.

Spurr has devoted his life to eradicating the sort of slovenly, deceitful, politically correct language that “makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts”, as Orwell put it.

Now he is its victim.
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Daily Devotional

On Humility

C. S. Lewis

For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: “He must increase and I decrease.” He will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only in so far as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls.

From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in Words to Live By
The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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Complex Polymers and Human Society

Civilisation as a Thin Translucent Skin

We have argued many times that human society is “thick”–that is, it is multi-layered, complex, and variant. It is a thoroughly complex polymer.  This truth is either denied or repeatedly ignored by Unbelief.  People who seek control over the world or human society all start with an assumption that society is pretty thin and distinctly one-dimensional.  A few laws here, a bit of education there and nirvana will be upon us before lunchtime.  Unbelief unsheathes a sword and approaches human society as if it were a skeleton.  In so acting, Unbelief takes upon itself–whether it admits it or not–the mantle of a god. 

Ironically, one of Unbelief’s more more prominent sects these days are the Greenists, who constantly remind us that the environment is a multi-layered, complex, mutually dependant entity, such that a few tweaks here can have enormous ramifications over there.  Notice, however, that when is comes to “doing something” about environmental degradation, more often than not their proposed solutions are both legalistic and one-dimensional.  Are people over-weight?  Ban fats and sugars.  Is the atmosphere over-saturated with carbon dioxide?  Ban the internal combustion engine and legislatively require battery-run cars.  The Greens very definitely regard human society as a skeleton through which they can see clearly and their sword is big enough to dismember every bone in sight.  The irony of this contradiction becomes even more acute when one considers that if the physical environment is intricately complex, human society is exponentially more so.

Human society cannot long continue as a good and blessed realm if the “mundane things” are not right.  Take for example the mundane dimension of how people regard one another.
  The Christian perspective is derived from the law of God: we are to thy neighbour as thyself.  This one law binds every human being, every soul.  The Unbelieving perspective has lots of alternative “laws” as to how people should regard other human beings: egalitarianism of goods and property; the greatest good for the greatest number; class or racial affiliation; universal non-discrimination; anarchistic license; property based meritocracy, and so on. 

The critic may observe that this represents a contradiction in our argument.  The Christian has one law–a mono-dimensional standard which treats society simplistically.  Unbelief has many laws, and so reflects society’s rich multi-layered diversity.  In fact, the reverse is true.  Loving one’s neighbour as oneself means that society is allowed to become immensely varied and complex and richly so.  It means that one loves the rich man and the poor man alike.  One loves and regards oneself a servant of the master and the slave; the child and the adult; the male and the female; and all ethnicities.  Unbelief, however, in its relentless crusade for its One Principle, will demand and enforce conformity everywhere. 

Some Unbelievers have advanced the criticism that the Christian law is “too extreme”.  Peter Hitchens observes:

. . . my brother Christopher states that “the order to ‘love thy neighbour as thyself‘ is too extreme and too strenuous to be obeyed.  Humans, he says, “are not so constituted as to care for others as much as themselves.” [Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great (New York: Twelve, 2007), p. 213.]  This is demonstrably untrue and can be shown to be untrue–first, through the unshakeable devotion of mothers to their children; through thousands of examples of doctors and nurses risking (and undergoing) infection and death in the course of caring for others; in the uncounted cases of husbands caring for sick, incontinent, and demented wives (and vice versa) at their lives’ ends; through the heartrending deeds of courage on the battlefield, of men actually laying down their lives for others.  We all know that these things happen.  If we are honest, they make us uncomfortable because we are not sure that we could do such things, though we know them to be right and admirable. [Peter Hitchens, The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), p. 132.]

The glue that holds society together comes not from the iron fist of the law, from rules, regulations, diktats, and Sharkey-like Orders, but from millions upon millions of daily respectful kindnesses.  From these grow a complex, multivariate, organic society.  Hitchens, again:

And when it comes to the millions of small and tedious good deeds that are needed for a society to function with charity, honesty, and kindness, a shortage of believing Christians will lead to that society’s decay.  . . .

Mutual benefit ceases to offer any kind of guide to behavior.  Who is to say, in a city ruled by a single powerful and ruthless family from an impregnable fortress, that the strongest man is not also always right?  In fact, the Godless principle that the strongest is always right has been openly declared as recently as the twentieth century in Mussolini’s Italy and operated in practice in Hitler’s German, Stalin’s Soviet Union, and in many other states.  [Ibid., p.145.]

The Christian one absolute law governing all human relationships–to love thy neighbour as theyself–allows a complex, diverse, and richly variate society to come into existence and flourish.  Unbelief, however, cannot tolerate such diversity: its idol-du-jour must have conformity or else.  It is the inevitable outcome of man acting the demi-god, of asserting quasi-divine rights and powers over others in the name of some abstract principle (be it socialism, communism, capitalism, egalitarianism, libertarianism, idealism, feminism, racism, Islamism, or whatever else may be conjured up on the day.  The inevitable fruit of such faithless arrogance is the destruction and dismemberment of human society. 

Civilisation at that point becomes the thin translucent  skin of an elderly dying man.
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Letter From the UK (About Racial and Religious Profiling In Adoption)

Social Worker Tried to Stop Couple Adopting Because They Were ‘Too Jewish’

15 Nov 2014

A former Justice of the UK’s Supreme Court has told how he had to overrule complaints that a couple were “too Jewish” to adopt. Lord Wilson told an audience this week that rules regarding the ethnicity of a child in care were discriminating against those same children they were intended to protect.

Child Protection agencies and local authorities recognise that an adoptive home is often the only viable solution for a child in care and the best opportunity they will get for a stable family home, particularly those who were taken into care because of abuse by their biological parents.

“But”, said Lord Wilson, “that has lead to other problems.”

In a lecture entitled “Adoption: Complexities Beyond the Law” he told a story of a three year old child who was to be placed for adoption with a couple with a strong Jewish identity.  The girl, who was a quarter Jewish, a quarter Scottish, a quarter Irish and a quarter Turkish should, according to the child’s guardian, be placed in a non-religious family environment.

“[The guardian] argued that C [the child] should be placed in a non-religious family in which exposure to her of the four elements of her ethnicity might evenly be developed. She said that the proposed couple were too Jewish,” said Lord Wilson.  “I rejected her view. I directed that C be placed with the couple and, a year later, I made the adoption order. Less than four weeks afterwards, out of the blue, the adoptive father died. I felt terrible: I had overruled the guardian’s objection and had caused C to be adopted by a grieving single parent.”

But he went on: “In the event however the adoption has worked out beautifully. C is one of four children, adopted under orders made by me, with whom, even after all these years, I keep in touch. They tend to write to me just before their birthdays, as if subtly to remind me of their continued ability to make use of £25.
Two years ago C and her mother invited me to attend her batmitzvah. The family pinned a kippa on to my head. C looked radiant.”

He added that he applauded the “recent statutory dilution” by former Education Secretary Michael Gove “of the aim of seeking to place a child with adopters of similar ethnicity.”  The reason, he says, is because most people who adopt are white. So while the authorities know that there is a perceived need for an ethnic match between child and parents, it is better they are placed in a loving home with parents from different backgrounds than “languish” in foster care.

In a conclusion which may well upset many politically correct organisations, he said that to permit children, based on their race, to miss the opportunity of a loving family home is discrimination itself.

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Daily Devotional


C. S. Lewis

Prudence means practical common sense, taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it.

Nowadays most people hardly think of Prudence as one of the ‘virtues’. In fact, because Christ said we could only get into His world by being like children, many Christians have the idea that, provided you are ‘good’, it does not matter being a fool. But that is a misunderstanding.

In the first place, most children show plenty of ‘prudence’ about doing the things they are really interested in, and think them out quite sensibly. In the second place, as St Paul points out, Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary. He told us to be not only ‘as harmless as doves’, but also ‘as wise as serpents’. He wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.

The fact that you are giving money to a charity does not mean that you need not try to find out whether that charity is a fraud or not. The fact that what you are thinking about is God Himself (for example, when you are praying) does not mean that you can be content with the same babyish ideas which you had when you were a five-year-old.

It is, of course, quite true that God will not love you any the less, or have less use for you, if you happen to have been born with a very second-rate brain. He has room for people with very little sense, but He wants every one to use what sense they have.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.  Sourced from BibleGateway.
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Religious Establishment

Secularist Hypocrisy

One of our parochial secularist bloggers has opined on the subject of parliamentary prayers.  His “personal” view is that there should not be any official prayers in the parliament.  He writes:

I personally don’t think Parliament as an institution should have a prayer. Religious belief is a personal decision, not an institutional one. MPs who wish to offer a prayer should be able to do so as they see fit, but my preference would be that there be no official prayer led off by the Speaker as this jars with being a secular country. [Kiwiblog]

This statement is unremarkable insofar as it is typical of the hypocrisy found in almost every place in our day.  Let’s see if we can de-construct the statement  to illustrate.  We are given the following justification for not having parliamentary prayers: “Religious belief is a personal decision, not an institutional one”.  The question is immediately begged, “Who says so?” Or, by what standard, or rule, or principle can the assertion that religion is a “personal decision” stand? It is, after all, a claim of universal dimensions.

If the claim that religion is exclusively to be a personal or private matter (which is really the unspoken premise here) upon what universal standard does that assertion rest?  Where does it come from?  Who, or what, sanctions it? Or, more quixotically, are we entitled to assert, on the statement’s own ground, that the dogma, “Parliament as an institution should not have a prayer” is a religious dogma, because the one who holds to it acknowledges it is his personal view. 

Someone will doubtless retort that we have just committed the fallacy of composition.  To hold that all religious beliefs are private does not mean that all privately held opinions are religious ones, in the same way that whilst a dog is a four footed animal, it does not mean that all four legged creatures are dogs.  But how would we know? By what standard would we distinguish or determine whether a private opinion was also a religious precept?  Certainly it has the hallmarks of a religious commitment, since if a religion is to have any bona fides at all, it must trade is some way with ultimacy and universals.  In this case, the writer has a personal view that true religion is a personal matter only, but his view also leads him to bind the consciences of others.  His view is that parliament should not open with prayer.  The last time we checked parliament was a deliberative, corporate body of other people

If the writer had opined that his view on whether parliament should have prayer or not was a private one and not for public consumption or consideration he would have been perfectly consistent. But he necessarily denies his own profession when he wants his view of religion to bear upon, and bind others.

We conclude that the statement, “religious belief is a personal decision, not an institutional one” is itself an intensely religious dogma.  But worse, in this case, the devotee of the “religion is a private matter” religion is also holding the view hypocritically, since he wants his dogma universally to hold over all other human beings, societies, and civilisations. 

But the plot thickens and the waters become murkier still. There is an allusion to a higher and wider body of doctrine upon which the “personal belief” of this bona fide religion is grounded.  Opening the parliament with prayer “jars with being a secular country”. A secular country is one which acknowledges no god or deity or ultimacy of any kind, except the ultimate principles of secularism.  Pushed further, secularism draws upon the ultimate belief systems of materialism and atheism.  All three are congruent ultimate belief systems.  All are religions in their own right. 

All three–secularism, materialism, and atheism–seek to impose their respective dogmas upon society, the community, the schools, and upon individuals.  This in itself is a perfectly mundane and unremarkable situation.  All religions, being ultimate belief systems, attempt to do the same.  What is both peculiar and remarkable is that the devotees of all three are usually found sneering at other religions attempts to see their beliefs established in society, whilst striving mightily, by means deceptive and misleading, to establish their own religion, demanding the submissive servitude of all other belief systems to their own.  It manifests both dishonest self-deceit and hypocrisy.

Our religious view is this: all societies represent the establishment of one religion or another.  Secularism is just one more religion vying for influence and power so it can be the controlling doctrine of the nation.  It will gladly share its power with two other human-created idolatries–atheism and materialism.  It is the Devil’s trinity.  But one way or another we will have an established religion.  It is inevitable. The legerdemain and self-deceit of those who deny this reflects either ignorance (the willing suspension of self-critical faculties), or deliberate duplicity.  

Either way, we are neither amused, nor fooled.

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Taking Advantage of the Vulnerable

Worse Than Fiction

John Le Carre’s novel, The Constant Gardner is a story of pharmaceutical exploitation.  Big Western drug companies distribute drugs in African countries, but the drugs are untested, dangerous, and end up killing people.  They were not approved for use in the US and other Western countries.  Since the West was smart enough not to distribute them, African countries were easy pickings.  Sound far-fetched.  Not at all.  It is actually happening, as the following article from Turtle Bay and Beyond reveals:

New York Times Whitewashes Dangerous Contraceptive for Poor Women

By Lisa Correnti
November 14, 2014
African women march against harmful contraception
Big pharma, a rich philanthropist, government aid and a children’s non-profit announced yesterday that they would make a controversial injectable contraceptive more widely available to poor women in developing countries.

The New York Times trumpeted the announcement that Pfizer Inc., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) will provide financing to assure the new self-inject version of Depo Provera – called Sayana Press would reach millions of women in rural areas.

Sayana Press like its predecessor Depo Provera, is a dangerous progesterone contraceptive. Some 11 scientific studies revealed an increased risk of contracting and transmitting HIV/AIDS among women using Depo Provera. Women using these progesterone contraceptives double the risk of breast cancer, have prolonged bleeding, delayed return of fertility, and are at greater risk to develop severe cases of osteoporosis. For this reason the FDA issued a black-box warning that it shouldn’t be used beyond 2 years.
Yet, in sub-Sahara Africa women have been using Depo Provera for upwards for years and know nothing of the longterm consequences.

PATH developed the self-inject delivery system through funding by USAID and others. Reproductive health expert Kwame Fosu says the new delivery system will circumvent mandatory informed consent required by the FDA for drugs with black box warnings.

Fosu has been sounding the alarm on the serious side effects to US lawmakers in Washington and to African delegates at the United Nations.  Depo Provera stakeholders — the Gates Foundation, USAID, and reproductive rights groups that claim to have a woman’s best interest, remain quiet on the side effects. And now, a major media outlet – Why?

The $14 billion for “population assistance” directed to intermediaries like UNFPA, IPPF, Marie Stopes, FHI360, and PATH have a secure funding stream implementing family planning programs that prioritize long-acting contraceptives like injectables and implants. Some $8 billion is targeted to sub-Sahara Africa.

Partners on this new effort to distribute Sayana Press to women and girls of reproductive age include the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and PATH.
depo_breast cancer

“In the place of our real needs they offer us a product that we have neither wanted nor demanded,” said Obianuju Ekeocha, founder of Culture of Life Africa. “It is heart-breaking to see how these wealthy proponents of contraception have chosen to unleash their extensive projects on Africa with programs overlooking the real needs of African women, which include access to good education, good healthcare, food and water,” continued Ekeocha.

Depo Provera and the progesterone implant Jadelle (Norplant 2) are targeted to poor women only. Women in Europe and the US do not use it. Norplant 1 was withdrawn from the US market after thousands of lawsuits filed by women harmed by the side effects. It since has been licensed to be manufactured off-shore.

These aggressive programs will be successful in lowering fertility in these regions but will do nothing to provide economic gain and lift women from poverty. With harmful pharmaceuticals like these, poor women will have less children – but they will remain poor, and now, will have health issues that won’t be addressed by sub-standard healthcare systems.


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Daily Devotional

When I Am Anxious

. . . casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

John Piper

When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). And I take the promise with trembling, “knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3–5).

When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise: “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4).

When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise that “none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Romans 14:7–9).

When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promises, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6); and, “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Let us make war, not with other people, but with our own unbelief. It is the root of anxiety, which, in turn, is the root of so many other sins.

So let us turn our eyes fixed on the precious and very great promises of God. Take up the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit for help, lay the promises up in your heart, and fight the good fight — to live by faith in future grace.

For more about John Piper’s ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.
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Myopia and Living in Denial

Send In the Clowns

A US Republican congressman recently opined that Vice-President Joe Biden was only two shoes short of a clown. The jibe was intended to remind the country why Republicans don’t want to impeach the President. Were Obama to go, Joe would ascend to the Oval Office. It’s a scary thought to many.

ISIL’s actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own. Today we grieve together, yet we also recall that the indomitable spirit of goodness and perseverance that burned so brightly in Abdul-Rahman Kassig, and which binds humanity together, ultimately is the light that will prevail over the darkness of ISIL. President Obama

But the jibe was a double entendre. The irony of the second meaning refers to that which Joe Biden presently lacks (two clown feet). Obama has them in spades. He is the clown complete with two enormous feet. The only time he opens his mouth is to change them. That’s why he is qualified for the top job, and Biden is a pale understudy. Uproariously funny.

Obama as the consummate clown entertained us all recently with his formal statement lamenting the sad death of an US aid worker, Peter Kassig, murdered by ISIS. Adopting the mien of a celebrated and revered Doctor of Theology, Obama emphatically assures us that Kassig’s murder had nothing to do with Islam and its teaching.

It is just this kind of chutzpah and ideological drivel which makes Obama the laughing stock of most of the world. His utterance in this instance reminds us of risible afflations of Soviet disinformation at the height of the Cold War, or, more recently, out of Pyongyang, North Korea.
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Matt in San Diego

San DiegoMatt has safely arrived in San Diego and the Annual General Meetings of the Evangelical Philosophical and Theological Societies commence in a few hours.

Matt is giving two papers this year, one at each conference: “Mackie’s Answer to the Error Theory: A Reply to Joyce″ at the EPS and “Abortion as Self Defence” at the ETS. As his book, Did God Really Command Genocide? Coming to Terms with the Justice of Godco-authored with Paul Copan, has just been released and is available for sale at the conference, I expect he will be busy promoting that too.

If you are lucky enough to be in San Diego at the conferences please snap a pic of him for me and tag him on Facebook so we back in NZ can see what he is up to :)

I want to thank those who generously donated to help get Matt there, we couldn’t have done it without you.

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