Episode 148 – English Weddings and English Signs

We discuss the test case against School Chaplains and The Fist identifies a possible problem. We give you a different take on the Royal Wedding ceremony and Hugh and The 12th Man gang up against The Fist over English signs and banning books that incite violence.

A legal challenge to School Chaplains

Ruddock review delivers final report to government, which will be released shortly. Peter Dutton begins beating the drums.

Royal wedding – thoughts

A transcript of Bishop Curry’s speech

If you’ve ever wondered why the Western world put the United States in charge of popular music some time in the second half of the 20th century, have a look at the Eurovision Song Contest.

A council wants English language signs

More on book burning – Teaching manuals in Gulf Arab-financed mosques in Belgium promote anti-semitic stereotypes of Jews and call for the persecution of homosexuals, according to a leaked Belgian intelligence report.

What exactly is modest about dressing in such a way that everyone, man or woman can’t help but stare at you?

2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren than service members

Since 1968, more Americans have been killed by guns than have been killed in all wars in U.S. history

How do you define success?  What are your goals for the podcast?

From a listener – Your most recent episode is the most hair-brained, left-wing pinko episode I’ve listened to yet. So mad I’m going to have to write an email response outlining all of the nonsense … but very entertaining

 Henry Ford – The Fist says “I told you so”

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One comment on “Episode 148 – English Weddings and English Signs
  1. The Iron Fist says:

    I received this comment from listener Janelle – Great episode as always guys. We shouldn’t outright ban the Qur’an or mandate that the sword verses be censored. The 12th man is right, this book is already out there, its futile to think you can censor it in the age of the Internet. Yet I agree that we should not allow speech that intentionally or recklessly incites violence. How do I reconcile this? I would argue that people publishing, using or quoting from the Qur’an (or Mein Kampf, The Bible etc) do not necessarily do so with the intention of inciting violence. The authors of ISIS’s magazine Dabiq ARE obviously trying to incite violence, to encourage the murder of infidels, and they should be guilty of an offence. Likewise ISIS sympathisers republishing and distributing it may be guilty of terrorism offences. But then we have many commentators (e.g. Clarion Project, Sam Harris, various journalists) who have quoted from or republished Dabiq articles in full. Clearly their intent is not to incite violence but to show Western audiences the mindset of a jihadist, to better understand this group and their ideology. For a similar reason we should never ban the shitty bits of the Qur’an and Hadith – how could we in Australia possibly understand and interpret the behaviour of Islamic countries – killing atheists, whipping adulterers, executing gays – armed only with cherry picked and sanitised versions of the Qur’an & Hadith? The “Nothing to do with Islam” brigade would have a field day – even now they don’t want to admit that the actions of jihadists groups have any connection to Islamic doctrine. How can we understand the dynamics of domestic violence in Muslim communities if surah 4:34 gets excised from the official version available to researchers and social workers in Australia? Changing our laws about what can be published here is not going to make an iota of difference to anyone who believes the book is perfect and inerrant. They will keep reading the original text. The only thing we are doing is hiding the problem by presenting a sanitised version of the Qur’an and pretending this is the one everyone reads. Pslam 137:9 “Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock” as horrible as it sounds, is interpreted as the yearnings of the Jewish people in exile, expressing a violent fantasy of revenge against the Babylonians. It is not interpreted by any religious group in the modern era as a commandment to kill the kids. If this psalm is read aloud in a Catholic Mass, I cannot see how it would be construed as incitement. The whole congregation would probably be very alarmed if the priest didn’t follow it up with an explanation of the historical context. On the other hand, if the priest followed up the Psalm with a sermon that this was a commandment, and encouraged his congregation to kill their kids, then this would clearly be incitement to violence. The Qur’an is more difficult because the orthodox Islamic view is that the Qur’an is inerrant, perfect and “uncreated” – there is less scope for progressive apologists to argue that the Qur’an should be understood within a historical context when it is believed to be eternal. Yet still, despite the horror of many verses and their supposed “inerrancy”, somehow the majority of Muslims around globe do not spend their days slaying the polytheists wherever they find them. Clearly there are some non-violent ways to interpret the text (or at least to call yourself a Muslim while ignoring inconvenient verses). On the other hand: – A sheik who lectures about the sword verses or the hadith about killing Jews, and argues that they should be understood literally and are still relevant today, should be guilty of incitement. – The publisher of a new edition of the Qur’an with a preface that encourages the reader to enforce the sharia punishment of death for apostasy and sodomy, is guilty of incitement. – Even someone who does as little as putting up a poster with Quran 9:5 on it, if their intent was to encourage other Muslims to hurt some Hindus or Yazidi in the neighbourhood, or if they had reckless disregard for that consequence, that’s incitement. Someone who publishes and examines these horrible verses in a religious studies journal, or analyses them linguistically, or an ex-Muslim who publishes them to criticise them, is not going to be guilty of incitement. You can’t have a blanket ban on a text because they are used for all sorts of purposes that have nothing to do with inciting violence. Intention and context matter. Under my definition, there are probably a fair few Islamic preachers guilty of incitement in Australia today – and I think that is the correct outcome. I don’t want the censors pen on their holy book, but they had better start cherry picking like mad and considering historical context instead of citing the sword verses approvingly and preaching a literal, violent version of the faith. I don’t make any exceptions for “genuinely held religious belief” – a religious belief should not trump any other type of genuinely held belief.

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Only just found this podcast. LOVE IT

Really great to see some honest conversation, that doesn’t seem concerned with making the truth more palatable for the fair of heart. I think we really need a lot more of this.


Great listen

Fantastic podcast and gets better every episode. BUT if you can’t handle the truth about the dismal state of Australian politics give this one a miss.

The Happy Dog

Look forward to this podcast every week

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Ep 81, one of the best and most enjoyable

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Episode 68 right on the mark

This episode was just the right length, but more importantly, was a little more measured in addressing the topics. I admire the Iron Fist in the way he can craft rational statements about appalling behaviour in the topics discussed, and I found the 12th Man to be a good balance to the Iron Fist. I wish the Velvet Glove wouldn’t giggle at important topics or when religious thinking is described – we already find them ridiculous, but laughing every time is a bit much after hours of listening to episodes. This is a fun but semi-serious podcast that everyone should listen to, and I thank them for making the time to produce it.


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Christmas Special

All podcasts are great but the christmas special takes the cake. Excellent show guys.


Australian Centred Debate

This podcast is great for those looking for debates about secularism, religious power structures and Western liberal democratic ideals, all with a focus on the Great Southern Land. The two main protagonists bounce ideas off each other and occasionally guests are brought in to give different perspectives (I love to hate Right Wing Tony!). These are not Left Wing Nutters, I know as I tend to that description too often myself and disagree with them at times. Rationality and free thought rule! The boys don’t mind if you throw in your two cents, in fact, I think they love to hear from the public. Very worth a listen.


Great Job

I look forward to this show each week. So informative! Thank you.


Stumbled upon

I stumbled on this podcast and enjoyed a number of podcasts. I love the deconstruction of the arguments and the range of topics. The input of the 12th man, right wing Tony and in particular Hugh Harris and Objective morals and Moral relativism. I am a atheist/secularist and would love to see you guys on Q&A keep up the great work. Secularism is a fight worth fighting for.


Not getting any worse

I’ve been listening for a year now and you haven’t gotten any worse. It’s nice to hear a good Australian perspective with varying views. Keep it up.


Always well worth the time

The Fist and crew do a great job of debating and dissecting a range of secular topics. Great work, and always an amusing listen.


Well balanced podcast

I’ve been listening since the first episode and it has proven time and again to be my favourite podcast. The guys have a balanced view of the world and politics. Well worth a listen.


Back catalogue

Greeting Fist, Glove and Man. I’m working my way through the back catalogue and enjoying it immensely. Your discussions contain the kind of intelligence and fluid thinking with a touch of irreverence that I have been looking for in a local content podcast. Keep up the good work.

Tony W

Love your work

Love your work, your podcasts are excellent and your political commentary and general banter really improve my day! Thank you!


Sensible Secularists

A provocative and informative discussion of current affairs at the intersection of religion and politics. The perfect antidote to religious privilege and snowflake culture. Best listened to at 1.5x speed.


Episode 139 Comedy Classic

G’day Iron and Velv. When I found you blokes, I had finally found some Australian voices of reason and common sense. After listening to a chunk of the back catalogue and keeping up to date with the podcasts, I became a patron, you fellas should be on the Senate. Anyway, episode 139 was a little strange at first, until the nutter came out. And then, oh mate, it became comedy. Where did you dig up that crazy nutter? Thanks Fist and Glove. Watley


Hi guys, many thanks for

Hi guys, many thanks for your podcast which I have just discovered. I am looking forward to exploring the back catalogue. It’s great to hear Australian voices doing such a podcast. One thing though – it’s a bit blokey. Ever thought of having some women on?

Ms McIntosh


Possibly my favourite Aussie podcast. Nice one to do the gardening to!


Great Aussie Secularists..

Finally found some Aussie voices speaking about our issues with Australian accents and with Aussie guests from a secular point of view. Great work guys!



Congrats on 3 years! I’m a fairly new fan (thanks to Caitlin Langley) and this is becoming one of my favourite podcasts. Keep up the great work. – Andy Dowling, Andy Social Podcast / Self Starter Podcast / Bass Player in LORD (don’t worry, we’re not a Christian band!).

Andy Dowling

Glad I found it!

Finally! So glad to find other like minded people in Australia! You’ll be pleased to know I joined the Labor Party just before discovering your podcast and yes, I am as secular as they come!

Matt Chalk

An Enjoyable and Engaging Listen

I’ve been listening to the Iron Fist and Velvet Glove Podcast for a while now and have found it really engaging. The discourse is most often very intelligent and insightful. I often feel like I’ve learnt something when I’ve finished listening. However, I think that sometimes the hosts can be limited in their perspective and that can limit the depth of the discussion, but overall a great podcast you should all listen to.


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