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Ode to Margaret

By Paul Collits - posted Monday, 8 February 2021

The great Margaret Court is under attack.  Again.  For being a Christian with mainstream Christian beliefs, about marriage.  Our society stands at the brink, when citizens are vilified for having mainstream beliefs.

The woke trolls are on a roll.  They come in waves, for Christians who publicly proclaim their beliefs and defend Christian teachings.  It is Margaret Court killing season.  Again.  And even Israel Folau is in the news again.

I grew up in the sixties, when tennis was everyone’s favourite sport and when Australia was king.  And queen.


I missed seeing the greatest ever tennis player, the Rockhampton Rocket, because he had abandoned the amateur game to join a small troupe of professionals who roamed the globe playing what were, in effect, glorified exhibition games, for money.

It didn’t matter that we had lost Laver and Rosewall.  We still had Emerson, Stolle, Newcombe and Roche, who won the Davis Cup every year, on Boxing Day.

Most of the world’s tennis champions were Australians.

There was one who stayed the amateur course, though.  My father called her, affectionately, “Big Marg”.  She was a tall, imposing girl, named Smith.  She took the world by storm.  We loved her.  She took the fight to the Americans, mainly Billie Jean King (nee Moffatt).  She prospered with a powerful serve and volley game.  She did her country proud, peeling off majors like there was no tomorrow.  Her records, notwithstanding the seemingly endless efforts of an ageing, angry Serena Williams to overturn them, still stand.

After tennis, Margaret had married into the powerful Court family in Western Australia, and, along the way, became a vocal Christian.  She started a local branch of a church, the Victory Church, an international born-again Christian church rooted in the biblical teachings of Jesus Christ.

Rod Laver remains an Australian icon.  Modern day champions like Roger Federer weep over him.  Pete Sampras recognises Laver’s claims to be the GOAT – the greatest of all time.  Rod has lived mostly overseas, and was all but invisible to emerging Aussie generations of sports fans.  Most people had never heard of him.  Even fewer would have had a clue as to his personal views on any subject.  He has, thus, prospered.


His female peer chose a different route.  She chose a follow-up life that has now, in the faux-enlightened times of the twenty-first century, bitten her on the Christian bum.

The most recent outrage, occasioned by Margaret’s belated recognition as the equivalent of Laver in deserving an appropriately equal Australia Day honour, has shone an extremely inconvenient light on our morally impoverished culture.

She is used to being shamed for her Christianity.  The first wave occurred a year ago, when she was “honoured” by Tennis Australia for the fifty-year anniversary of her 1970 grand slam.

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This article was first  published on The Freedoms Project.

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About the Author

Paul Collits is a freelance writer and editor and a retired academic. He has higher research degrees in Political Science and in Geography and Planning. His writing can be followed at The Freedoms Project. His work has also been published at The Spectator Australia, Quadrant, Lockdown Sceptics, CoviLeaks, Newsweekly, TOTT News and A Sense of Place Magazine.

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