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If you live in Australia and are active on social media, or are a fan of the former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, you may have seen his interview with the former treasurer Peter Costello. If not, click here on this link and go to minute 28:40 and you can watch the relevant parts of the interview, which go for about 5 minutes. In that interview Costello said the obvious, Australia went way to far in its response to the pandemic.

Truer words have never been spoken.

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Watching Peter Costello talking about how crazy the overreach of the Covid hysteria was, is both encouraging and deflating. It is encouraging because he is one of the most prominent living Australians, a man who is respected across the country and in this interview on this topic he is speaking real sense. Pretty much everyone would admit this now. I have had private conversations with people who say, “Yeah, well in hindsight, we went way to far…”

Most people get it now. They realise that we threw out our principles in a moment of hysteria.

But it is deflating to watch this now, because thousands of us were saying this in the middle of it all, and we were sidelined. Prominent people stayed silent and allowed those of us speaking out to be hung out to dry, because we were lacking any prominent support. People who advocated for long held and cherished Western and Christian principles were slandered as radical libertarians, conspiracy theorists and more.

This does not mean it was wrong to speak out. In fact, this is why it was so important that we did, so posterity will know that some of us spoke out against what was happening. But during the time we were abandoned in almost every quarter and attacked from multiple directions.

The Coincidence - a novel by Gabriel Moens

All that leaders of churches needed to do during the hysteria was speak out as sensibly as Peter Costello did in this interview and things would have been very different. That is how powerful the voice of the Church can be. It has stopped things like slavery, it has stopped wars, it has brokered peace between nations, it has been a vehicle of the introduction of human rights across the world. It has been a stabilising force creating nations throughout history and particularly in the West.

All that was needed was for the Church leaders to speak the truth that was clear and obvious: we, nationally speaking, were acting like a bunch of fools, giving into fear and calling it wisdom.  

Hindsight is not good enough. Foresight should be the specialty of the Church.

Hopefully many of us have learnt from this, because as Costello says in the interview, chances are there will be another pandemic. How will we act then?

Matthew Littlefield writes to think through some of the current issues facing society, the Church and whatever else comes to mind that might be interesting to process. Matt's focus is usually historical or scriptural, though he will address current issues from time to time as well. He is a co-author of The Ezekiel Declaration and the book, Defending Conscience, How Baptists reminded the Church to defy tyranny. He blogs most days at

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