The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

I AM a sec­u­lar Aus­tralian on the lib­eral Left, but I found noth­ing in Roy Wil­liams’s cri­tique of Peter Jensen’s The Fu­ture of Je­sus ( Re­view, Septem­ber 13- 14), to tempt me to read it, quite the con­trary; why are the New Tes­ta­ment Gospels, as Je­sus’ dis­ci­plines for liv­ing, more rev­e­la­tory or bet­ter than the vast li­brary of hu­man­ist texts by women and men across time and cul­tures? The prob­lem many like me have with re­li­gion is its ex­clu­siv­ity: so much rests on the teach­ings of one man. The fu­ture of hu­man­ity de­pends on find­ing so­cial jus­tice so­lu­tions to­gether, not trust­ing blindly or solely in a saviour who is im­bued with spir­i­tual wis­dom by virtue of his sup­posed di­vine an­ces­try. Sandie Price In­man Val­ley, South Aus­tralia THIS is the drop that makes the vase over­flow or, as you would say in English, the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Af­ter more than eight years in Aus­tralia, I can’t stay si­lent any more and let you re­peat­edly mis­in­ter­pret and dis­tort my lan­guage and cul­ture, which hap­pens to be French. Re­view is one of the pub­li­ca­tions that keeps my in­tel­lect happy. I have high re­spect for what you do. It’s sim­ple, I would prob­a­bly leave my Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship be­hind and move back to Europe if you de­cided to stop your pub­li­ca­tion. It is be­cause of my high re­gard for Re­view that I beg you to stop abus­ing the French. I have lost count of spell­ing mis­takes and gram­mat­i­cal er­rors in The Aus­tralian, but what I saw in the ar­ti­cle ti­tled ‘‘ Show­girl with a cause’’ ( Septem­ber 13- 14) is just too much. The sec­ond line of the sixth para­graph says, ‘‘ Baker was many things: the last of the great cour­te­sans in the Madame Pom­pi­dou tra­di­tion . . .’’ How could you pos­si­bly let this pass? Surely your re­porter, David Na­son, was re­fer­ring to one of the most fa­mous French favourites, la mar­quise de Pom­padour, mis­tress of Louis XV. Madame Pom­pi­dou was the con­ser­va­tive wife ( not the mis­tress) of pres­i­dent Ge­orges Pom­pi­dou. Ge­orges Pom­pi­dou suc­ceeded Charles de ( not De) Gaulle in 1969. Claude Pom­pi­dou died last year and left a legacy of phi­lan­thropy, not of sex­ual fan­tasy. Agnes Michelet Mos­man Park, West­ern Aus­tralia IF Bob Reece ( Your View, Septem­ber 13- 14) had read my book, 1942: Aus­tralia’s Great­est Peril, he would have noted that I write at great length about how the Ja­panese Im­pe­rial Army blocked the Im­pe­rial Navy from adopt­ing its strongly pressed pro­pos­als to in­vade Aus­tralia. Reece says pop­u­lar per­cep­tion in Aus­tralia in early 1942 that an in­va­sion was im­mi­nent has ush­ered in a new kind of un­think­ing, pop­ulist na­tion­al­ism. If Reece and oth­ers take the time to weigh the ev­i­dence from Ja­pan, they might dis­cover that the threat of in­va­sion was both star­tlingly real and im­mi­nent in early 1942. But then, how could a jour­nal­ist pos­si­bly tell us any­thing about our his­tory? Bob Wurth Cur­rimundi, Queens­land

re­view@ theaus­tralian. com. au

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