The Gospel According to the ABC

While in Canberra recently, I had time to stroll into the local ABC Shop. Much of the content of these shops, of course, can be regarded as the cream of the politically correct crop. But I must confess I was nonetheless surprised when I browsed through the current affairs/religious books section. So taken was I by the blatant bias of the ABC, that I took down a few notes. The following is the extent of the religious publications on offer:

As would be expected, there was a liberal sampling of Professor Peter Singer’s works. The Monash University ethicist’s latest book, Rethinking Life and Death was available, along with many of his past titles. Professor Singer is a well known champion of animal rights. Unfortunately he isn’t as keen on human rights. He has been a long standing advocate of abortion, euthanasia and infanticide.

Peter Cameron’s autobiography, Heretic, was there as well. The Presbyterian Church had never labeled him a heretic, nor did it expel Cameron, but the dissident minister thought it a good idea to get some notoriety by writing this controversial volume.

Another volume being flogged by the ABC book shop was Barbara Thiering’s Jesus the Man. Thiering has long made it clear that she rejects most of the basics of the Christian faith, with this most recent volume continuing the demolition job.

Another leading iconoclast, Bishop John Shelby Spong, also had his most recent title on display, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? One doesn’t need to guess what his view is.

The debunking of Christianity continues, with Bernard Boas’s book, It’s Time to Rewrite the Bible. The title says it all.

Finally, there was Ian Plimer’s Telling Lies for God. Now irrespective of what you think of creation science and the young earth thesis, this is a bad book. In fact it could be more accurately titled Telling Lies for Science, or better yet, Telling Lies for Scientism – for it is not science, but scientism, and a radical, anti-religious agenda, which undergirds this book. Which is not surprising, given that Plimer is a self-professed atheist and a member of the Australian Skeptics. He uses creation science as his focus, but his real target is the very idea of a transcendent creator.

Of course, in order to be an equal opportunity offender, the ABC did manage to get one Muslim book on display. You guessed it: Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. Better to offend all religions equally, one supposes.

But in fairness, I must admit that one good book did find its way on the shelves. While there were numerous copies of the other books mentioned, there were just two copies of Pope John Paul’s Crossing the Threshold of Hope. But given what a best seller that book has become, I suppose the ABC wanted to get in on the profits.

All of which makes clear that our taxpayer funded ABC seems to be promoting an anti-Christian agenda. How else does one explain this patently biased selection of books? The books on display at the ABC shop make me wonder if there might be some contractual obligation for all ABC staffers to take an anti-Christian pledge before joining up. Probably not, but the effect is just the same.

It is one thing to offer a variety of views on various subjects, but when it comes to this very obvious one-sided selection of titles concerning Christianity in particular and religion in general, some real questions need to be asked about the ABC. Just what does it think its mission and purpose is? Is it there to serve the public, in all its diversity, or is it there to undermine the faith held by the majority of Australians?

It has been said that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case I think you can judge a bookstore by its titles. Were the ABC a private business, perhaps this would not matter so much, but given that it is a public body, it seems that some accountability must be in order. Given all the racial and religious vilification legislation being discussed lately, perhaps the most maligned group in Australia, the Christian community, needs its own vilification legislation. But in these days of political correctness, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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