On of the more distasteful products of this week’s appalling violence in the Middle East is the effective support some who call themselves Christian are giving to Hamas as they do anything to avoid unequivocally condemning the rape of women, murder of children and general wholesale slaughter of more than a thousand non-combatant civilians.
One such person is Canon of Melbourne Cathedral, Rev Dr Garry Deverell. Deverell chose to respond to an “X” of mine yesterday where I pointed out that there was a quite obvious disparity between the deliberate barbarism of Hamas’s outrageous attack and Israel’s attempts to minimise civilian casualties. Here is the full exchange to read:
Please do note carefully what Deverell has done. In response to my setting out a series of claims including the awful things that Hamas has done, Deverell states that “war is fought with propaganda”. ie he is arguing that my statement “Hamas gave no warning and prosecuted the deaths and brutalisation of women and children” is “propaganda”. I ask him to clarify.
At this point it would be easy to provide such clarification: no, it’s not propaganda that Hamas terrorists did these things. But Deverell will not do that. Instead we’re told he doesn’t “deal in binaries”. He avoids the specific claims by only speaking about generalities. At the time of writing he has not responded to my final tweet. Nor do I expect him to (but it would be lovely if he did).
In the meantime what are we left to conclude? Deverell, an associate priest at Melbourne’s St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, suggests in public that the reports of last Saturday’s outrages are “propaganda”. When asked to clarify he doubles down.
But this is not the first time Deverell has used Twitter/X to strain the very boundaries of what should be acceptable for someone in his position to argue. Back in July Deverell (using a previous edition of his account with the same username, now restored for “book-marketing purposes“) interacted with Rev Dr Andy Judd of Ridley College in the following exchange:
Yes, you got that correct. Deverell thinks that the claim that all people are to repent and trust in Jesus is “Jesusology” and the New Testament is “a little more complex”. More than that, he tells us all that what the NT writers “believed” is incorrect and “Jesus is not quite as central to it all”.
So there it is. An associate priest at Melbourne Cathedral who insinuates that reports of the Hamas atrocity are “propaganda” and who also thinks “Jesus is not quite as central to it all as the NT writers believed”. I wonder what the Dean and the Archbishop say?
image: edited from original at St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne
On or around 10am on Sunday morning, when we here in Australia were all fully aware of just how brutal the previous day’s attack had been, Deverell posted this. I’ve verified the post and the timing: