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More Nasty Christophobia

Jan 19, 2012

Three quite thuggish articles in as many days demonstrate that anti-Christian bigotry is alive and well in our mainstream media. All three pour contempt on Christians who dare to express their faith in public. All three are basically hate pieces which offer very little of substance, but plenty of ugly mud-slinging and abuse.

The first hatchet job comes from Anthony Sharwood writing for The Punch. He seems to hate the fact that American footballer Tim Tebow actually expresses his views in public. Thus his piece, “A football field is no place for nutty religious fanaticism” is one long vitriolic attack on Tebow and anyone else who does not fit into his mould.

The entire article offered nothing constructive or helpful. Let me just cite one paragraph: “The fact is, there is something vulgar about wearing your religiousness on your sleeve. It’s like rooting in public. It’s not right. Get a room. Or more to the point, get a church.”

What an ugly, twisted and despicable remark for this theophobe to make. So it is “vulgar” to express your faith in public? So when Jesus publically healed people who had been crippled all their life that was vulgar? When William Wilberforce took his faith into Parliament to fight for blacks, and to set the slaves free, he was just being vulgar?

When Mother Teresa fed, clothed and looked after the dying poor in the slums of Calcutta, she was being vulgar? When Martin Luther King publically affirmed his faith in the struggle for civil rights, he was being vulgar? When a Christian athlete gives a very quick and innocuous vote of thanks to his God for help on the field, that is vulgarity?

Sorry Anthony, but the only thing I can see that is vulgar is your article. I have already written about Tebow on other occasions, so let me just mention a passage from another Australian writer who was not ashamed to give Tebow some credit. Says Janet Albrechtsen,

“How irritating for critics that Tebow doesn’t look or sound like some kooky Southern preacher. Comedians who poke fun at him and so-called intellectuals among left-liberals who do the same, express a particular kind of contempt for a clean-living, pro-life, evangelical Christian sportsman. It seems they are more comfortable with some schlock celebrity who wears no underwear, has had an abortion, chilled out in an addiction clinic, been arrested for shoplifting or otherwise challenged social mores than a committed Christian and his public display of piety….

“The gulf between those who admire Tebow and those who ridicule him is not really a religious v secularist contest. It’s more a free v unfree fight. Fortunately, most Americans tend to take their freedom seriously.

“But if you thought religion in schools causes freedom-cynics in fashionably progressive circles to arch up in disgust, you should see what happens when religion makes its way on to the football field. As one Tebow admirer put it recently, Tebowmania is the ninth circle of hell for American left-liberals; it doesn’t get much worse than this. Just by being a nice, clean-living guy who walks the Christian talk with his missionary and charity work Tebow is one heck of a weapon against secularists who wouldn’t dream of ridiculing any religion except Christianity.”

The second and third examples of ugly anti-Christian bigotry came in yesterday’s Herald Sun. Not content to offer just one attack, they decided to give us two for the price of one. The first was by the paper’s resident God-hater, Jill Singer. She takes some rather nasty pot shots at pro-life feminist Melinda Tankard-Reist.

It seems the great sin of MTR, according to Ms Singer, is that her beliefs are informed by a worldview. But even worse than that, it is a Christian worldview, horror of horrors. I sent in a letter to the HS about this, but am not holding my breath.

It is very hard to get a letter into the HS that takes an alternative point of view. So let me offer it here, so that it at least gets some light of day: “Jill Singer throws a hissy fit because Melinda Tankard Reist has a worldview! And Jill doesn’t? Puh-leeese. Everyone has a worldview; for Jill it is secular humanism. Why is Jill allowed to push her worldview and agenda in public, while MTR apparently is not?”

That Ms Singer can get away with all this, apparently with a straight face, and for the HS to allow all this nasty Christophobia is quite mind-boggling. Given that the great majority of Australians are Christian, meaning that the great majority of HS readers are Christian, just what does the HS think it is doing?

Indeed, if all this was not bad enough, they had another ugly piece on the same day and on the same page, this time by a certain Rob Mitchell, attacking Margaret Court for daring to express her Christian faith in public. Because she takes the biblical stand on human sexuality, and is opposed to same-sex marriage, Mitchell tears into her.

And he does so by presenting just about every falsehood in the book. He parrots all the old furphies about higher suicide rates being due to “homophobia” and that “if you remove the discrimination and homophobic abuse, very quickly the mental health of these young people improves.”

What is it called when you pass on myth as truth? As I document in my new book, none of this happens to be true. Places where homosexuality is widely accepted, such as San Francisco, Amsterdam, or Sydney, have higher than average rates of suicide and mental health problems for homosexuals just like everywhere else. It has nothing to do with “homophobia” and everything to do with an unnatural, dangerous and high-risk lifestyle.

Of course the more honest homosexuals admit all this, as I fully document in my book. But the Christophobes will simply ignore the evidence and keep on shooting the messenger, whether it is me or Margaret Court. But what do we expect from the MSM and their activist cohorts?

So well done HS for a double dose of Christian-bashing and militant agenda setting. All you have to do is get rid of conservative columnist Andrew Bolt and your editorial stance will be right up there with all the other leftist MSM outlets in Australia. Then you can really go to town in attacking those pesky Christians for daring to speak their mind in public.

www.thepunch.com.au/articles/a-football-field-is-no-place-for-nutty-religious-fanaticism/
www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/the-lords-quarterback-strikes-fear-into-liberals/story-e6frg7bo-1226246753791
www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/unholy-row-for-feminism-high-ground/story-e6frfhqf-1226246796771
www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/time-for-leadership-after-courts-serve/story-e6frfhqf-1226246799492

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29 Responses to More Nasty Christophobia

  • “A football field is no place for nutty religious fanaticism”. What pearls of wisdom. I wonder if they would take their own advice and keep the pseudo-religious rainbow flag waving out of tennis courts…
    Alex Burton

  • Yes very good point indeed Alex.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Tennis turmoil in the city! …as some highly-opinionated Aussies go ‘off their nut’, and lambast tennis great Margaret Court, for expressing her legitimate view-point, I was reminded of how, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, “the whole city was in turmoil…” (Mt 21:10). Risen from the grave, he is still upsetting whole cities!
    Trevor Faggotter

  • Yes quite right Trevor. Well said.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dear Bill,

    I love your articles, but can I ask where you got the idea that most Australians are Christians. I know we are a Christian country, established by His faith and His principles, but saying Aussies are mainly Christians, is that off the mark? I thought it was One in Ten. I might be wrong of course, and it doesn’t affect your article, but I was just wondering where you got your stats from?

    Ben Mathewson

  • Thanks Ben

    At our last national census, 64 per cent of Australians identified as Christians. Sure, those who are actually practicing Christians, or in fact actually born-again, is another matter. And actual church goers may well be one in ten. But at least in this nominal sense, most Australians are Christian.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Call me crazy, but I love all this persecution. It means we are getting under their skin, we’re starting to make a difference by not remaining silent. Keep on speaking out in the public square my friends. It’s your square, too.
    Anna von Marburg

  • Indeed, Bill, I know someone who claims to be a Christian, but insists that the Christian worldview is wrong. Don’t ask me how she reconciles those two ideas in her head.
    Justin Nowland

  • Bill I’ve been a supporter of the Australian Defence League which is going through some troubling times at the moment. On Tuesday I removed myself from their Facebook pages, not because of someone attacking my website for things I’ve written there but because of the supporter’s attitude to Christians. They just did not want to hear a Christian’s point of view when it was so relevant to the subject. I happened to say how those at Cornerstone Church and Catch The Fire must be grieved at the loss of Mandy the Iranian Christian murdered by her husband in Ashwood. I also remarked at Mandy’s courage to do the work she did as an apostate amongst the refugees. This led to terrible remarks being made about Christians not capable of having such feelings and that there is no proof that she died because of her faith. I tried to set the record straight about some misconceptions about Christianity by way of answering their remarks in as nice a way as I could, but it only made the situation worse. In the end I was told that there were other forums where to talk about religion and that the ADL only had an interest in opposing Islam. I came to the conclusion that I could no longer work with people holding such entrenched attitudes towards Christianity. If Australia was hoping that this group was going to be the key to saving them from Islam they’d better think again. Jesus said “If they hated me they will hate you because of Me”. The bloggers seemed to be carrying such hate that I felt that they had had some bad experiences with the Church sometime in their lives and no amount of reasoning was going to change their minds.
    Keith Lewis

  • I sent a letter to the Herald Sun and The Australian on Monday morning defending Margaret Court’s right to have her say on the issue of SSM and supported her statement. Neither were printed.
    At least Billie Jean King got stuck into our resident female Dr. and Tennis Australia in today’s Australian.
    Madge Fahy

  • If one wants to know why Britain is in the vanguard of moral paralysis, or why churches have become self-censoring, one has to look no further than a little piece of legislation called Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 that is catching Christians like fish caught in a fine net – especially street preachers. Jesus Christ would not last five seconds for the act says (and please note the little words, “INSULTING,” “THREATENING,” “ALARM,” and “DISTRESS”):
    “(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he:
    (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
    (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”
    One only avoids prosecution if one can prove that one believes that no one will ever hear or see what you have either said or written; for it says:
    This offence has the following statutory defences:
    “(a) The defendant had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be alarmed or distressed by his action.
    (b) The defendant was in a dwelling and had no reason to believe that his behaviour would be seen or heard by any person outside any dwelling.
    (c) The conduct was reasonable.”

    Due to pressure from some MPs and Christian organisations who are alarmed at the number of Christians being arrested, jailed and fined, like Mr Harry Hammond, because of Section 5 of the Public Order Act, the Home Office recently put out a consultation asking us as to why the word “insulting” should be removed. On completing the consultation, the HO acknowledges and thanks us for responding by putting up a picture of the ubiquitous, homosexual and BBC celebrity, Stephen Fry, who seems to mock and leer at us over his shoulder, as if to say your response is homophobic and therefore insulting and threatening.
    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/
    The Home Office briefly came top of the homosexual lobby, Stonewall’s index of diversity champions, but which has now slipped to second place. (please look at all the employers who are in the thrall of the gay lobby).
    http://www.stonewall.org.uk/at_work/4763.asp
    http://www.stonewall.org.uk/what_we_do/at_work/workplace_equality_index_2011/stonewalls_top_100_employers/default.asp

    David Skinner, UK

  • Bill,
    Given our nation’s Christian heritage and the many blessings which we enjoy thereby, I completely support your right to speak out against Christophobia and commend you for doing so via letters to the newspaper and your website. But we also need to remember our Lord’s words: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me” (Matt 5:11). They remind us that insults and unfair criticism, not to mention outright persecution, “go with the territory” of being a Christian and, paradoxically, are even a blessing! For example, aside from the promised eternal rewards for bearing patiently with such trials, history shows that such sufferings purify and strengthen the church and impart power to its testimony. So, while we should use all means available to us to protect our rights, let’s also 1) be realistic, which might mean foregoing notions that Australia is in any sense any longer a “Christian” society and 2) maintain an eschatological focus. Our Lord’s kingdom, of which we are heirs, is not of this world, which indeed is passing away.
    Pr Mark Henderson

  • Thanks Mark

    Yes your point is well taken as long as we do not allow it to go askew. That is, it is not the case that we must either accept persecution, or stand against anti-Christian bigotry. We in fact can embrace both simultaneously. Scripture nowhere makes us accept what would be a false dilemma, and Scripture allows us to do both at the same time.

    The logical outcome of the argument which says persecution is always only good is to rejoice when Muslims take over a free nation, or secular humanists, or Nazis, or whoever, because the persecution will wake up the church. I certainly am aware of how persecution purifies the church and separates the men from the boys. Thus if it happens, God can use it for good. But as I have said so many times, we are nowhere in Scripture encouraged to seek persecution or pray for it.

    Yes we expect persecution. We were told it will come. But that does not entail passive acceptance and resignation of evil in the world. Quite the opposite. Righteousness exalts a nation, and we are to work for that. Part of that entails resisting all the anti-Christian legislation and agendas we find around us.

    Indeed, we should all thank God when genuine religious liberty exists, and we should all seek to work for the preservation of those freedoms. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience are all tremendously important goods which we should not take for granted, and which we should not allow to be stolen away without putting up a good fight.

    So we can still work for what is right in society, including working for freedom of speech for Christians in a world increasingly seeking to take such freedoms away from believers. But hopefully we are both on the same page here. Thanks again for your remarks.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Nehemiah is an example for our times I believe. He was determined to build that wall but he did not merely build. Certain adversaries were trying to pull it down while he was building, so he wore a sword to fight off those who would destroy it and he organised people to both build and defend.

    Australia has been such a great country with so many blessings. We should not be like Esau either – too ready to give up our inheritance for a pot of soup. Make your own analogy here.

    Anne-Marie Modra

  • Yes quite right Anne-Marie.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Show this person up for the man of straw he really is. It has always been possible to denigrate Christians because we usually bear no hatred or inclination to do anyone any harm. Yet christians in the past have willingly accepted persecution and death in the arena for the love of God and his son. because we have something they don’t possess and that is a knowledge and faith in our creator. People who don’t have this are profoundly lost, get angry and hurl abuse at anyone who reminds them of something beautiful that they don’t have or understand. However we don’t have to take it quietly and have every right to correct him in a Christian Manner. Lets face it jesus laid it pretty heavily on the Pharisees despite being in one of their houses and sharing their food. Now that’s someone to really admire.
    So lets find out whether this man has any substance at all by challenging him to express these self same ridiculous remarks against the Islamic women who openly wear scarves and burkas every single day to publically make an open statement of their religion and beliefs. Let’s see this man come out against Islam and those that carry a rug to pray five times a day in the work place, in the schools or even in prayer rooms specifically provided by their employers who luckily don’t have this guy’s particular hang ups. However I won’t hold my breath waiting and strongly doubt he has the wherewithal to do it. Because like hungry predators they generally pick only those least likely to do them harm.
    And lastly let us remember we are going to be persecuted and possibly be be-headed because of our faith. So why are we going to be persecuted? Quite simply because we won’t be kept quiet or renounce our faith. So it’s only going to get worse.
    Ann Von Marburg I’m with you.
    Dennis Newland

  • I got a feeling you may already know about this article. But just in case you didn’t, here’s the website. “Phelps vs Court – A Shameless Exercise in Moral Panic”.
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3779108.html?WT.svl=theDrum

    Anthony Houareau

  • I don’t know what motivates Mark Henderson, but I do know one thing. He chooses to ignore the obvious. When he quotes the scripture “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me” (Matt 5:11) he hasn’t put two and two together that people don’t do this if you remain silent.

    Satan is not bothered by invisible Christians. The one’s he does not like are those that believe and speak the truth. Because he is the father of lies, his main purpose to shut us up is to avoid the truth being heard and believed. If that happens he has no case as all his campaigns (homosexuality, abortion, sex, religion etc) are based on lies.

    If Mark and others like him wants to be an invisible Christian because Jesus said we should expect persecution, I am happy for them to play in the sandpit whilst Australia is being ravaged by satanically inspired radicals, elitists and pseudo experts who want to mould us into their own image and drag us all into their pit of hell, but I for one will not be told who I can’t believe in, that I can’t exercise my Christian conscience and that my worldview is not legitimate because it is not their worldview.

    My apologies if I offend anyone (does that mean I am guilty of a hate crime) but a spade is only of use if it is called a spade. If you don’t know what it is you won’t know what to use it for.

    Roger Marks

  • Bill,
    What is Jill Singer on about? She writes these vile hit-pieces with almost monotonous regularity, especially when someone, e.g. Margaret Court, takes a Christian stand in the public arena. It sounds like a personal agenda, especially given that many – probably a majority – of journalists are atheist ex-Catholics with an axe to grind against the Roman Catholic Church.

    She has nothing of any scholarship, no intellectual qualifications of any sort that I can see, to bring to the debate about God, the Bible, Christ, Church history, philosophy etc. And this ignorance shows in her vitriolic but intellectually vacuous productions.

    She seems rather to be a self-appointed mountebank, a journalistic cobra with lots of venom to spew against any and all her Christian enemies. There she sits in her little leftist ivory tower, issuing secular anathemas in her many pompous encyclicals, sealed with her humanist seal, doubtless to the applause of her leftist acolytes.

    Excuse me for my cynicism, but it’s hard to avoid regarding one with so little of substance to offer. I really don’t know whether to laugh or get upset.

    Murray R. Adamthwaite

  • Thanks Murray

    Yes, I have no idea why the HS employs her.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dear Bill, Thank God there are Christians as famous as Margaret Court who will stand up for the Truth because they are few and far between. Australians, being sporting crazy would remember Margaret Court more for her sporting prowess than the fact that she is a Christian pastor so her comments would carry more weight with them than other Christian clergy. The Holy Spirit does indeed blow where it wants to! As for the MSM all I can say is that we are lucky to have journalists like Andrew Bolt, Melissa Tankard – Reist and a few others who have both the courage and spirit to defend the ethics of their chosen profession. They must be extremely frustrated with the state of the media in Australia. The fact that they hang in there in spite of everything benefits every Australian of good will who want the best for Australia and we should always remember to pray for them.
    Patricia Halligan

  • Dear Bill, I have seen some of the tennis on the TV. There seems to be nobody at the tennis matches or in the audience who seems the least bit interested in what Margaret Court stands for, or what some homosexual activists want to talk about. It seems if Margaret Court turns at the Arena named after her, and some homosexual activists decide to make a shindig, they may not be welcome. Some sections of the media seem to be helping the homosexual activists.
    Regards, Franklin Wood

  • Bill – Keith Lewis – what is Keith referring to regarding Mandy and Ashwood?

    One could suspect that much of the vitriol found on facebook toward Christians may well come from those who see it as another form of jihad – particularly the irrational as referred to by Keith.

    Ray Robinson

  • Dear Bill,
    Thank you for your incisive articles and for this one in particular. I am sorry that you get vilified for your stand but pray God will strengthen for your great ministry in this country.

    What amazes me–although I guess it shouldn’t–is that I’m often hearing that Christians are intolerant which usually means that they disagree with the trendy views of others.
    But then when I read some of the examples you quote one can only ask where is the intolerance?
    Why is tolerance demanded of Christians but not seemingly given to them? Of course I know that the ‘new’ tolerance means, “Don’t disagree with the trendy left even if you think they are dead wrong because if you do you will be judged as despicably intolerant”.
    We seem to be passed the days when polite, civil discourse on controversial issues can be entered into without name-calling.
    Again thank you for your sacrificial work.
    Warm regards.
    Ian Ridgway

  • AMAZINGLY in the the Canberra Times today I read a great article by Melinda Tankard Reist on the personal cost she is enduring, including death threats, for her willingness to defend females against all types of sexualisation. The daily attacks she receives would make most men squirm. She is one of my heroes and I’m a bloke.
    Lyle Hutchinson

  • Hey Bill, a survey for your readers to vote on in Adelaidenow news:

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/street-preacher-says-adelaide-city-councillor-defamed-his-character/story-e6frea6u-1226250753041

    If we allow the devil to win this battle we could soon find ourselves behind bars for preaching the full truth of the gospel.

    Mario Del Giudice

  • Dear Bill,
    I found your website this morning, and the first thing I read was the news about the abortorium ceasing to do late term abortions. I have passed this news on to some other people already.

    I concur with your thoughts on the anti-christian media who have no qualms about running advertisements for prostitution, probably in the full knowledge that they are facilitating the exploitation of women some of whom are tricked into this so-called industry by promises of employment or training in legitimate occupations. In N.S.W. the Fairfax community newspapers, and The Daily Telegraph have these advertisements placed next to the Death Notices and In Memorium columns as well as other legitimate classes of advertising.
    Another “really Important” piece of news to-day is a report that a juvenile “celebrity” screamed as she cut into her boyfriend’s phallus shaped birthday cake. What about the children dying of starvation in Somalia, aren’t they newsworthy?

    Donald Battaglini

  • Quite right Donald.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dear Bill,
    I received an email from an organisation called “The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe” this morning. I have my name on their mailing list.

    Their address is http://www.intoleranceagainstchristians.eu

    The news coming out of France, Spain, Germany, and the UK, especially the UK gives one pause for thought. It is happening here already with the passing of The Abortion Law Reform Act, 2008, in Victoria. If the Greens and their friends have their way NSW and Queensland will follow sooner rather than later.

    Parramatta Bishop Anthony Fisher’s sermon on 28th December, 2011 is worth reading or listening to (www.parra.catholic.org.au). Search for “bishop’s homilies” – It is fourth from the top of the list,

    There is so much related material available that I can only suggest that anyone who is interested should check out the above mentioned websites.

    Donald Battaglini

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