I HAVE only had one encounter with the late philosopher Prof Antony Flew – and it jolted me out of the near-comatose state I was in at a very boring National Secular Society AGM in the mid-1970s.
Flew, then a member of the NSS a good while before he completely mislaid his marbles and found God, loudly called out my name and demanded that I publicly declare whether or not I was a member of the Communist Party. Puzzled, and now wide-awake, I demanded to know what prompted the question.
Flew snorted that he took the gravest exception to a several articles I had written in the Freethinker, attacking South Africa’s Christian national’s apartheid regime, and calling for its overthrow. These, he said, could only have been penned by “a seditious communist”, and expressed his full support for the South African government. I politely replied that he was making “a complete horse’s arse of himself”, whereupon he threw a bunch of papers he was holding into the air, and flounced out of the meeting room.
My recollection of that meeting was prompted by the sight yesterday of Flew’s photograph, dredged up from Noah’s Arkives, on the front page of the newly-launched Regal Standard.
The Regal Standard has been produced as an antidote to the Global Atheist Convention, to be held in Melbourne in April.
According to this report, the ridiculous rag is the “brainchild” of semi-retired, semi-intelligent pastor Dennis Prince, co-founder of Kingston City Church in Clarinda, who “felt God” tapping him on the shoulder to tell him that the convention was happening on his watch, and he had to do something about it. So he spent $A5000 and some 300 hours producing the paper featuring a dead crypto-fascist twit on the front page, and needs to sell 45,000 at an average of 20¢ each to recover his costs. He said:
It surprised me when I got all the articles together how compelling was the case for God and his greatness. I was delighted and humbled by that. But I know that atheists will raise hard questions – some are insurmountable.
The lunatic added:
People know intuitively that God is there, we see it in the morals of creations. The paper should not try to defend God but honour him and reveal something of his work.
While I’m disturbed about the convention, I see a positive spin-off. Public interest will be stimulated, and we get to give the answers. Otherwise the gullible will be led down the garden path.
Convention organiser David Nicholls, President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia sees the paper as:
A sign of desperation by the creationist camp. I’m certain the people on the creation side think we are the work of the devil.
The 2012 convention has an even stronger line-up of speakers than the first in 2010, including Richard Dawkins and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, philosophers Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss.
Meanwhile, Creation Ministries grizzled that:
There is little doubt that the media will give full-on coverage as they did last time, with features and interviews sympathetic to the atheists and antagonistic toward God … It’s unlikely the media will give Christians opportunity to balance atheistic misinformation about science and the Christian faith. At the last convention in 2010 the ABC and Melbourne Age effectively acted as a mouthpiece for the godless program.
But CMI says every cloud has a silver lining:
The next few months provide an amazing opportunity for Christians in Australia to make a bigger impact for Christ than usual. The Regal Standard is one effective tool that can be used as a conversation starter with friends, to answer questions that people ask, and to distribute through communities, universities and workplaces.
Please note: there may be a break in service starting soon as I am in the process of changing internet provider, and have been warned that I may be off-line for a period. Get on with it, Teletec, I’m getting tired of repeating this bloody message!