Time to be a good loser

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It is time to practise what the writer/scholar John Dickson, himself a “Yes” voter, suggested Christians should become better at – being a good loser.

“No group in society should be better losers, more cheerful sufferers, than followers of the crucified Lord, Dockson wrote in a piece called “The Art of Losing well.”

He was writing about the Christian voice in society. But tonight the focus is on those Christians like me who backed the losing side in the Voice referedum.

” If society rejects our case, we should not respond with an air of entitlement or demanding our rights. We should never be sore losers,” Dickson writes about Christians in general. “No group in society should be better losers, more cheerful sufferers, than followers of the crucified Lord.”

As Australia processes this referendum result, those of us Christians on the losing side should take John’s suggestion to heart.

At another level my response is “of course I know how to lose, I follow GWS” – the AFL club that had a great season this year but is still struggling to established itself as a leading club and has a tiny support base. In my house after watching a GWS match we have often had to say “that’s character forming.”

And today I have been working on character. treating all voters with respect – event the ones who said things like “you have got to be kidding” when begged “please vote Yes.” I tried especially to say “have a good day”, or later in the afternoon, “have a good night to them” – indicating respect for their decision and meaning it.

On a lighter note here are some observations from thirteen hours outside a polling booth.

• A voter who said he was voting “no” because the Albanese government had been to close to close to Israel: when he came out he smiled and said “I voted yes I couldn’t bear to support Dutton.”

• A highlight: “I came here to vote no but I voted yes because you said please.” Maybe he was kidding, but i hope not.

Several times we were asked

“Why should I vote yes“ then a short explanation by team member – “okay.” these were golden moments

“It’s a big fat no from me “ I smiled and said “you’re entitled to your vote.”

Because we were handing out at Beverley Hills North Public School – the pattern of impecibly groomed and mostly thin young women declaring they wanted to vote, avoiding eye contact woth the “yes” team, led to a comment “Beverley Hills Housewives vote no”

• From my observation, Muslims mostly were Yes voters, and Chinese even more strongly yes.

• On many booths, like mine there were zero “no” campaigners until one “no” voter who exclaimed on her phone “there’s no one here!” on leaving the booth, to her credit came back late in the afternoon and gave us some competition.

• And something that makes me proud – on the campaign chat group that’s been active tonight is the comment from the Watson electorate co-ordinator – who worked extremely hard – “the No people have commented they are pleasntly surprised we are nice.” We tried really hard. I met heaps of really nice people and can honestly say i tried as hard as I could.


  1. It’s intriguing, reading through your reflections on the referendum campaign, especially the part where you emphasize having to try as hard as you could to be nice. It subtly casts a shadow, doesn’t it? Almost as if niceness isn’t a customary part of your interactions, which I find a bit paradoxical considering the ethos ‘The Other Cheek’ presumably stands for. It’s almost an admission that the effort to extend basic courtesy was an uphill task for you, hinting at a deviation from the very progressive values you advocate. It makes one wonder, doesn’t it? If embodying these values daily, rather than when it’s just strategically advantageous, might align more authentically with the compassionate narrative your platform seeks to portray.

    • I was expecting someone might comment like this. I don’t claim to be anything other than a sinner saved by grace. Of course, the process of sanctification will make one wonder. If I could comment on The Other Cheeks take on issues, I also have readers not pleased with The Other Cheek for being conservative on marriage, for example. Does Christianity fit easily into conservative or progressive thought? I suspect not.

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