Eternity News simply refuses to be fair or balanced

It’s big of John Sandeman, editor in chief at Eternity News, to clarify they don’t think Martyn Iles or I advocate violence or revolution.

This back-handed retraction instead accuses us of “silly and possibly callous banter.”

Instead, Iles and Pellowe engaged in silly and possibly callous banter at the recent Church and State conference that Campbell was responding to.

Of all the pompous hypocrisy I have ever seen it’s a shame on the Bible Society’s once good reputation that this appears in their media business.

First I have to explain to the self-righteous stone-throwers the entirely obvious fact that I’m not a racist because I was in a photo with people who are accused of racism – people pictured who included a Maori man, elected by the others as their leader.

This is what’s called feeding the trolls, and its futility is why I’ve never bothered before last night.

Now it appears I have to explain that if you take a quote in isolation and without context you can kiss goodbye to your credibility as an objective journalist and say hello to a career affirming the prejudices of intellectually lazy readers.

And no – occasionally publishing a token conservative as well isn’t a reputation rescue. It’s just throwing fresh meat to the lions you trained in the circus you oversee.

What’s silly and possibly callous is lamely excusing your gross error in editorial judgement with condemnation of that which you know absolutely nothing about, except what you read in the Sydney Morning Herald, despite your better knowledge of the characters involved.

What someone who was there would know was there was a fabulous unity of spirit and fellowship, despite differences, which built cumulatively until the final session of a two day conference. The religious-mocker who wrote the SMH piece may not have even attempted to reflect that the comment was in answer to a question about hope and possible solutions for the serious public issues being discussed.

Unremitting attacks on marriage, sexuality, gender, women, men, children, and preborn babies appear to have no end in sight. The panel reclined on stage in lounge chairs for a two hour conversation at the end of a two day conference with the audience enthralled throughout and audibly upset when the time to conclude came.

In answering a question about optimism for change, the point was made that our culture has become so comfortable and spoiled with relative prosperity, peace and liberty that we have begun obsessing with oppressive “solutions” in search of an actual problem.

In that context it was pointed out light-heartedly – with an irony obvious to all that were there and in not so many words – that the significantly harder times of national disaster (such as a hot war with China) may break the national fascination with harmfully indulgent fantasies.

Sandeman’s “clarification” states:

“…Christian leaders such as Lyle Shelton, David Pellowe, Martyn Iles, Stephen Chavura, Mark Powell, George Christensen, and James MacPherson, or platforms like Caldron Pool” [are] people or groups that [Campbell] felt need to be responded to.


None of these have advocated violence, at the Church and State Summit or elsewhere.

How unspeakably stupid or malicious must the readers be that need this spelled out, or alternatively, how recklessly written, edited and published must be the pieces that allowed room for such a conclusion?

Eternity News presumes to diagnose a fire in Christendom in need of putting out, offers buckets of high-octane fuel to throw on it, then slaps the victims of the flames they fueled.

I’m glad the Roman Catholic journals have higher editorial standards than Eternity News have displayed this week because there were also plenty of friendly jibes at a formally-robed Priest on the front row during some parts of the Summit, as there were of members of other Christian traditions. All were taken as they were intended: deeply affectionately.

If quoted in isolation and without a shred of Christian charity, other writers/editors could also be quite uppity in their selective misrepresentation of the Christian conference. They too could completely mislead their readers like the SMH, or retreat to describing them as “silly and possibly callous banter”.

It strains credulity that any sincere professional could so consistently insist on misrepresenting something they know so little about.

It’s silly, and possibly callous.

Dave Pellowe is a Christian writer & commentator, founder of The Good Sauce, convener of the annual Australian Church And State Summit and host of Good Sauce's weekly The Church And State Show, also syndicated on ADH TV. Since 2016 Dave has undertaken the mission of arming Christians to influence culture through events from Perth to Auckland, videos, podcasts and articles published in multiple journals across Australia and New Zealand. [more]

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