Victorian Premier Dan Andrews: “No matter where you’re from, what you look like, what you believe in or what language you speak – there’s no place for hate in Victoria. … It is important that everyone across our State knows about the works of the Prophet Mohammed, Peace be Upon Him.”
Australian National Imams Council: “From the Islamic standpoint, homosexuality is a forbidden action; a major sin and anyone who partakes in it is considered a disobedient servant to Allah that will acquire His displeasure and disapproval.”
Recent media reports: ‘New Indonesian penal code articles penalise sex outside of marriage with up to one year in jail and prohibit cohabitation between unmarried couples, among other measures.’
OK, in light of all that, what is Andrews gonna do? Does he agree with the ANIC and what Indonesia is doing? If not, why not? If he wants all Victorians to learn about the prophet and what Islam is all about, does he want them to learn about how homosexuals are treated in Islam? Or infidels? Or apostates? Or women? Or free speech? Or religious freedom? Or pluralism?
In case you missed the news from Indonesia, here is how one report begins:
Sex outside marriage in Indonesia is now a criminal offence punishable by jail time, as is insulting the president and spreading “fake news” after the country’s parliament passed controversial amendments to its penal code despite community opposition. Witchcraft is also outlawed in the Southeast Asian nation where shaman and rainmakers still openly operate, after some legal experts argued such a law could prevent lynchings of accused sorcerers.
Anyone convicted of claiming to have supernatural powers, or offering to cause illness, suffering or death faces a maximum 18 months’ imprisonment under the new law. Minimum prison terms for corruption, however, have been reduced from four years to two in a move likely to be cheered by grasping officials nationwide, given the number of bureaucrats charged with such offences in recent years.
MPs passed the sweeping changes to the country’s colonial-era penal code on Tuesday notwithstanding mass protests in recent years over some of the revisions, and warnings from civil liberties groups that the changes wind back personal and democratic freedoms in the Muslim-majority country. Amnesty International Indonesia director Usman Hamid said the legal revisions showed Indonesia – a country long hailed for its religious tolerance – was “going backward”.
Among the new code’s most controversial articles are the criminalisation of premarital sex – a provision that will also affect the LGBTQ community – and the outlawing of cohabitation of unmarried couples. Extra-marital sex is already an offence though under new laws governing all three crimes, only a spouse, parent or child of an offender can make the complaint.
There are a number of things that can be said about all this. First, parts of Indonesia already are under sharia law, such as Aceh. There, men and women found guilty of adultery can be whipped up to 100 times, while homosexuals caught in the act are also brutally caned.
Second, the double standards of the left in general and Dan Andrews, in particular, are all too obvious. They push Islam as much as they seek to cancel Christianity. I have already written about this in much more detail.
The Christian View
But how might Christians think about the Indonesian law changes? Do they not also think sex outside of marriage is wrong? Yes, they do, and they also think homosexuality is wrong. So there is some common ground here. But things quickly begin to diverge thereafter.
Islam is a political ideology and has no church/state division. It is a theocracy where everyone must submit to Allah and the Koran. ‘Islam’ means submission. There is little or no freedom of conscience in Muslim-majority countries. Everyone is to follow sharia law and/or versions of it. Death is often the penalty for many of these sexual crimes.
But from its inception, Christianity allowed for some room to move concerning church and state. Jesus speaking of ‘rendering to Caesar’ set the pattern for this. It took a while for this to fully work its way out, with separation of church and state – properly understood – now a hallmark of most Western nations.
Consider how two authority structures set up by God deal with these matters. Simply put, the state deals with crime and punishment. The church deals with sin and forgiveness. Overlap exists, but many things that are sinful are now no longer illegal, eg., cohabitation, pre-marital sex, and so on.
For a long time, they were illegal, and some Christians might rightly wonder if we should return to that place. In many ways, it would spare us all so much grief and hardship, family fragmentation and social decay. Things like no-fault divorce and the sexual revolution have overall been disastrous for women, children, marriage and society as a whole.
Simply listing all the tangible benefits to children, couples and societies of two-parent heterosexual marriage has been demonstrated by mountains of social science evidence. So even if one left out religious arguments for a moment, a very strong case can be made for the way the West ran until recently. But those issues I have discussed at length elsewhere. See just one piece.
So on that level, Indonesia might be on to something. However, the Christian also knows that this is not the full and final answer. Law can only take us so far. Jesus made all this perfectly clear when he taught that a change of heart is what is ultimately needed. It is not just our outward actions that are harmful and sinful – our inner desires and lusts are the real problem.
So when Jesus taught that a man looking at a woman with lustful eyes has already committed adultery (Matthew 5:27-28), he really took things to the next level – to their root cause. And the state, courts, and laws cannot deal with these inner habits of the heart. For example, no law against lust will be viable or enforceable.
The state can only deal with outward behaviour, while the church gets to the real issue: the inner man. Without a deep-down change of heart, no mere book full of laws will finally and fully deal with what really ails us. But that of course does not mean there is no need for laws, for police, for courts, and for jails.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. rightly put it: “Morality cannot be legislated but behaviour can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.” Or again: “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”
Of course, for two millennia Christian thinkers, theologians, philosophers, ethicists and political theorists have discussed how things like faith, morals, and the public good are to be worked out in terms of the church and the state. That massive set of debates cannot here even be broached.
But the truth is, for much of human history immoral actions and activities were often also illegal and punishable by the state when laws were transgressed. As I said, Christianity takes things even further, dealing with the real source of our troubles.
So let me return to how Islam deals with many of these matters. Execution for many sins are common. Also common are other severe punishments such as chopping off the hand of a thief, and so on. Their way of dealing with these crimes differs quite a bit from how things are done in the West – which until recently could be described as the Christian West.
In light of all this, when Dan Andrews says all Victorians must ‘know about the works of the Prophet’ just what is he suggesting? Is he telling us that Western democracies with the rule of law and freedom of conscience should be ditched for what we find in Muslim-majority countries? Does he agree with Indonesia or not? Does he want us all to be living under sharia law? Does he so despise Western democracy that he instead prefers Islamic theocracy?
Sure, we all know he is just another fool of a politician trying to buy votes from another minority group. Perhaps he may even dislike Islam almost as much as he does Christianity. But he will keep playing political games with Muslims as long as he thinks it will keep him in power.
The problem is, I have no doubt that there will not be one journalist in Victoria smart enough and moral enough to call him out on all this. None in the lamestream media will challenge his love affair with Islam, despite it being a violent, repressive and anti-democratic political ideology that prefers jihad, dhimmitude and sharia law to our way of life.
Since the brainless wonders in the media will NOT challenge him on this, I guess it falls to me and others to seek to do so. Thus I will keep penning pieces like this until our journalists get their act together. In other words, I will probably keep writing pieces like this for a very long time indeed.
Dan, Peace be Upon Him, wants us all to know the works of Islam’s prophet. Um, which ones? Several articles would be needed to provide a full listing of the works of Muhammad, but we can start a very short and abbreviated list here:
- Killing children
- Having sex with children
- Having at least 13 wives
- Treating women as second-class citizens
- Torturing and killing opponents
- Waging war on all rivals
- Leading 100 military campaigns against his enemies
- Owning, abusing and raping slaves
- Forcing people to convert to Islam
- Spreading his faith by the edge of the sword
- Promoting terrorism and jihad
- Commanding the death of infidels
- Commanding the death of apostates
- Forcing other non-Muslims to live as dhimmis
The list can go on and on. And Jesus, by way of contrast, did none of this. But Dan views Christianity as the enemy, while he has a boy-crush on Islam. See more on the many differences between the two faith leaders here.
So I ask you again Dan, which of the works of your prophet buddy do you want us to embrace and emulate? We all want to know!