Last night Q&A had no politicians on the panel and so actually got to have a decent discussion. The topic was ANZAC Day and its significance. I was particularly interested in the discussions about the ANZAC legend, its authenticity and role in building a nation. I admit, I didn’t watch the whole program (sometimes the argument is a little intense so I flip between it and Brothers and Sisters – ah the juxtaposition!) but I thought all of the panel members (even the lady from the Defense Force PR Dept) had intelligent things to say. I wrote on my Facebook status “Tamie Davis loved Q&A tonight – so much better without politicians on the panel! Germaine Greer is so cool!” There were a number of comments, but I want to pick up on one in particular (thanks &y! :) )
Comment #1: ha? Germaine Greer cool?
Someone else said: A women who likes to cut through the crap, while remaining thoughtful and honest.
Comment #2: I really don’t get what people see in her or her opinions. It’s all very well to have a clear opinion (that’s more than many people have), but she’s clearly anti-God, anti-family, and a whole heap of other good things. What’s the attraction?
I want to pick up on two of the theological reasons for why it’s OK to hear what she says:
1. I hear Germaine Greer because I too, am anti-God. Every fallen human is anti-God. That’s the Fall! It’s deciding that we know better than God what is good for us; not thinking it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God; not glorifying God as the Creator. Germaine Greer is not the only one of whom this is true: it’s true of every human. Even those of us who have been made new (and are being made new) by the Spirit, are still fallen. Our every attempt to reach God, know God, love God is flawed by our own sinfulness. If we are to disqualify people’s opinions because they are anti-God, we disqualify the opinion of every human, not just Germain Greer.
2. I hear Germaine Greer because in his goodness, God allows wisdom to be found in the most unlikely of places. While a robust theology of sin reminds us that none of us are in every sense pro-God, a robust theology of creation reminds us that this is God’s world and no part of it is free from his rule and grace. It’s not surprising, for example, to discover that a slab of Proverbs in the Bible has been ripped off the Ancient Egyptian wisdom writings of Amenomope. Now, the Amenomope writings have been doctored by the editor of Proverbs – for example, the Egyptian gods have been replaced with Yahweh -and I’m not suggesting that we ought to swallow Greer’s philosophies whole, but nor should we discount what she has to say.
It’s OK not to agree with Germaine Greer’s stance on God or family, but that doesn’t mean we can rule her out of a discussion about Australian culture and the ANZACs. And on this particular occasion, I thought she had some useful things to say!
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.