CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

The Christophobic ABC Strikes Again

Jul 20, 2017

Never one to let a good chance to attack Christians and tell porkies about Christianity slip away, “our” taxpayer-funded ABC has been at it again. Of course they make a living (at our expense) in doing this. I have lost count of the number of pieces I have written documenting ugly cases of Christophobic nastiness from the ABC.

It happens on a regular basis, and it is so very tiring. If it were some private outfit filled with misotheists doing their thing, that would perhaps be tolerable. But when they live on our hard-earned tax dollars, and use our money to stick it to us, then all of us should be a bit upset about this. Privatise the ABC now.

abc 1But I have made that case plenty of times before. Let me here just briefly look at the ABC’s latest outrage and case of anti-Christian bigotry. Over the past few days the ABC has been running with a beat-up story about how evangelical Christians are the ones most likely to abuse their wives. Yes, you read that right!

If you are a conservative evangelical, a Bible-believing Christian, chances are good that you are daily bashing your wife and treating her like dirt. At least that is the clear impression you would get when you read these attack pieces. Sydney journalist and ABC presenter Julia Baird is the main one pushing this stuff, but it is to be expected, both from her and the ABC.

She is a feminist who writes often on gender and politics, and has penned such pieces as “In Australia, Misogyny Lives On” and “The Courage of Transgender Soldiers”. So no surprises here. The piece begins with this intro:

“Research shows that the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians who attend church sporadically. Church leaders in Australia say they abhor abuse of any kind. But advocates say the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it.”

It is such a bad piece that I am reluctant to even draw your attention to it. It is happy to quote biblical passages about male-female relationships to supposedly show that Scripture is sexist and patriarchal. For example, it is quite happy to quote Ephesians 5:22-23: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour.”

But of course it did not run with verse 25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” However, a companion piece on domestic violence in Islam is altogether different, and much more of a fluff piece. But we fully expect the ABC to go soft on Islam while tearing into Christianity.

Um, stop the fake news and try some honesty here. There is no passage anywhere in the New Testament commanding men to beat their wives or be abusive. But the exact opposite is the case in Islam, with the Koran, the hadith and the sira all making that case. See here for more on this: billmuehlenberg.com/2017/02/23/creeping-sharia-islamic-misogyny/

So let me cut to the quick on this. Have some Christians been involved in domestic violence – both men and women? Have some believers twisted Scripture for their own selfish ends? Do some Christians poorly represent our Lord in this regard? Yes of course to all three questions.

But let’s get back to reality here. There will always be instances of some men – and some women – abusing and misusing Scripture. It happens. But to run with yet another flawed attack piece from the Christ-hating ABC is another matter, and hardly how Christians should deal with these issues!

Yet I have had so many believers running with this hit piece as if it were part of inspired Scripture. It amazes me how little discernment there is out there. They will actually side against their own brothers and sisters in Christ while they side with the militant secular humanism of the ABC.

Some Christians will just blissfully run with it, and not even bother to critically assess what was said and how these conclusions were arrived at. Such pieces involve not just Christian-bashing, but clearly flawed “research” as well. Indeed, even non-Christians have commented on the very shoddy research here, and demolished the sham case being pushed.

One such non-Christian who is appalled by this sort of journalism is Andrew Bolt. He writes:

But anyone remotely familiar with Christianity and Australia should have instantly realised there’s no way “the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians”. First, our worst rates of domestic violence notoriously occur in Aboriginal families, where women are at least 31 times more likely to be hospitalised by violent partners.
Second, it is not the Bible but the Koran that licenses domestic violence. Christ stopped the stoning of a woman accused of adultery, but Mohammed said men could hit disobedient wives: “Admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them.”
And, third, Baird, herself, concedes deep in her online article that her American source says “regular church attenders are less likely to commit acts of intimate partner violence”. That suggests Christianity actually protects women, exactly the opposite of what the ABC implied.

He then takes a closer look at the “research” involved and finds it seriously wanting:

But check further and it becomes clear Baird missed clear evidence that contradicts her anti-Church theory. Her single source for her big claim is Steven Tracy, a theology professor at a Phoenix seminary, who did indeed in one essay claim “conservative Protestant men who are irregular church attendees are the most likely to batter their wives”.
But when you check Tracy’s own sources you’ll find the evidence is against him. Tracy cites a paper by Professor Christopher G. Ellison which actually finds that other groups experience greater incidences of domestic violence, demonstrating that there are, in fact, competing views on this issue. The paper claims: “African-Americans, in particular, have higher levels of domestic violence”.
What’s more, Ellison says that men who often go to a Christian church “are 72 per cent less likely to abuse their female partners than men from comparable backgrounds who do not attend services”. The conclusion is clear: “Our findings … suggest that religious involvement, specifically church attendance, protects against domestic violence.” Christianity literally saves.
Tracy also quotes in his footnotes a New Zealand study by Emeritus Professor David Fergusson which confirms that Christianity is a civilising influence, counter to what the ABC implied.
As Tracy writes: “… 11.2 per cent of husbands who never attended church assaulted their wives. But only 2.2 per cent of husbands who attended church at least monthly assaulted their wives, while 6.2 per cent of husbands who attended church sporadically assaulted their wives.”
This is not what Baird reported and what the ABC yesterday claimed. Why didn’t the ABC report the truth: that Christianity actually saves women from abuse? Why did it instead falsely claim — and instantly believe — the falsehood that evangelical Christians are the worst abusers? The ABC is not merely at war with Christianity. This proves something worse: it is attacking the faith that most makes people civil.

41mvTM5cZwL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_And let me bring another non-Christian into this debate, whose research takes us to the exact opposite conclusions of Baird. Feminist scholar Elizabeth Brusco penned a book called The Reformation of Machismo, looking at how evangelical Christians are the ones who actually reduce domestic violence. As one write-up puts it:

“In the US, Conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly are found to be the least likely group to engage in domestic violence. Marxist feminist Elizabeth Brusco set out to study the impact of evangelical conversion on family life in Columbia. Here’s what she discovered by careful research:”

The asceticism required of evangelicals brings about change in the behavior of male converts, particularly in relation to the machismo complex in Latin America. Drinking, smoking, and extramarital sexual relations are forbidden. By redirecting into the household the resources spent on these things, such changes have the effect of raising the standard of living of women and children who are in varying degrees dependent on the income of these men.
My data on Colombian evangelical households support the conclusion reached by virtually every other analyst of Latin American Pentecostalism, that is, that conversion of both a woman and her husband improves the material circumstances of the household. Quite simply, no longer is 20 to 40 percent of the household budget consumed by the husband in the form of alcohol. Ascetic codes block many of the other extra-household forms of consumption that characterize masculine behavior in Colombia: in addition to drinking, smoking, gambling, and visiting prostitutes are no longer permitted.
Furthermore, an emphasis on male as well as female fidelity within marriage prohibits a man from keeping a woman other than his wife, and so a man’s limited resources are no longer split among two or more households dependent on his wage.
In re-forming male values to be more consistent with female ones (i.e., oriented toward the family rather than toward individualistic consumption) the movement provides a “strategic” challenge to the prevailing form of sexual subordination in Colombia. [pp. 5-6]

Brusco concludes:

The tangible changes and improvement in the standard of living of women and children in dependent households is only a symptom or an indicator of something much more remarkable that is happening.
With conversion, machismo is replaced by evangelical belief as the main determinant of husband-wife relations. The machismo role and the male role defined by evangelicalism are almost diametrical opposites. Aggression, violence, pride, self-indulgence, and an individualistic orientation in the public sphere are replaced by peace seeking, humility, self-restraint, and a collective orientation and identity with the church and the home. [p. 139]

So here we have two non-evangelicals coming to the defence of biblical Christianity, while all sorts of rather clueless Christians are sharing this ABC hit piece as if it were gospel. Shame on them. They are simply siding with the enemies of Christianity, and they are pushing dodgy “research”.

We expect Christ-haters to run with this sort of foolishness, but when Christians get on board and promote this sort of stuff you know we are in a real bad way. No wonder we keep losing. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-18/domestic-violence-church-submit-to-husbands/8652028
www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/losing-faith-in-the-abc-over-attacks-on-christianity/news-story/99d48aa4961063465be75f77e31ad27a
www.movements.net/blog/blog/2017/7/18/the-gospel-changes-men-and-heals-families

[1740 words]

27 Responses to The Christophobic ABC Strikes Again

  • I have written to the ABC and asked for an alternative view to be published and if they don’t, it will show how biased they are.

  • Feminism, lesbianism – same ol, same ol.
    Why do we even bother to recognise them??

  • Right on the money Bill. With friends like the ABC, who needs enemies. The fastest thing that is infecting our Media today is FALSE NEWS. Bill as always, keep dishing it out, we’re right behind you. Blessings, Kel.

  • Dear Bill,
    I skimmed the original article and was appalled. An untrustworthy and vicious article by Baird.
    One has to ask what is her end game? To destroy the body of Christ and persecute innocent men?
    To build men to be better husbands or to tear them to pieces?
    Tragic stuff from someone who claims to be a Christian.
    Phil

  • Saw this report on the ABC’s “7:30” last night and was gobsmacked by its sneering anti Christian and ill researched agenda.

    It was as if Ms Baird and Ms Sales thought they (my sarcasm) had found the smoking gun to get “those Christians!” because it’s not radical Islam that puts us in danger, but evangelical Christianity.

    About as vicious and wrongheaded an attack on Christianity I’ve ever seen in an Australian TV current affairs piece.

  • Yes Andrew the Always Bash Christianity network is well past its use by date.

  • I grew up in a household where every Sunday, we went to church. Very rarely did we miss out on church. However, my father did not treat my mother with honour and respect. There have been instances where my father would physically abuse my mother and the children (including me), until I got old enough to protect them from any attacks.

    Yet, my father would attend a prayer on the Monday morning (still does), Tuesday he would attend a prayer meeting (still does), Wednesday he would attend a bible study, Thursday another prayer meeting at another church, Friday would be a church service (still does), Saturday morning he would attend a prayer meeting at another church, and then Sunday would come along… both morning and evening services.

    The abuse he inflicted was terrible… especially on my mother. It escalated to a point to when my father left the home to find some lawyers, to try to get his hands on my mother’s super, just to inflict emotional harm. What has enraged me even more was that the church refused to discipline my father, but instead basically brought my father back home with my mother….still in his unrepentant, scheming, misogynistic state. The church committee thought they did their duty by merely bringing “reconciliation” to the family and then left us alone, while the abuse continued. There are doctors reports of him hitting my mother over the head, causing my mother frequent headaches and dizzy spells. They are ignored by the church, and the thinking was that we should not get authorities involved because the church is sufficient in resolving matters like this.

    Later on I told some people in the church about this stupidity and showed them 1 Cor 5, and especially verse 5. This was to correct them. I was ignored.

    I guess this Julia Baird would love to have a story like this in her hands and twist this around nicely…and I was considering at one point going to someone like her to bring to light the stupidity of the church decision, as well as my dad’s abuse in the family.

    In conclusion, even though my father would adamantly call himself a Christian, he is not. True Christians would not abuse their wives in the first place. I always have in memory this verse in the bible:

    1 Peter 3:7: “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”

    Why would a professing Christian abuse his wife, when there is a verse in the bible that clearly states that you must honour her, and more than that, your prayers will be hindered?

    Anonymous.

  • Why do we even fund this ABC?

  • Whose ABC? Their ABC.

  • A sad story indeed anonymous. Just the sort of thing that the Always Baloney Critic loves to pick up on and use on the basis of one example is good enough to prove that all Christians are like that.

    Show them 10 that are not like that and they shrug it off as too small a sample.

  • This is just trash – I wish the ABC was more conservative and not so pro everything else. I don’t like feminists or what they stand for (‘it’s all about me, me, me & my glass of wine – stuff the family & husband, I don’t need to spend my time on the family’).
    On the subject of Feminism:
    I like networking with other women, particularly meeting other business women and was thinking of joining Australia’s largest women’s group called ‘Business Chicks’. A privately owned group with lots of networking events, breakfasts, lunches and opportunities to hear from high-profile speakers. However, upon investigation, I found out that the owner/founder is feminist and the staff often cheer on feminist and leftist ideals. There’s no way in the world, I’m going to pay $199- a year to be a part of this mob, when they promote such rubbish. Even if one gets cheaper tickets and bonus items/opportunities to meet speakers, etc.
    It might be time to do an article on this group, Bill – business women of all backgrounds should be able to join this group for free and not be subjected to a barrage of feminist and leftist views!!

  • Regarding Phil Browne’s comment on 20/7, does Julia Baird actually claim to be a Christian? Of course, non-Christians at times do quote the Bible to try and prove a point without understanding the background or meaning of that scripture. Thus “submit” doesn’t mean that a Christian wife meekly bows to all her husband’s wishes but rather allows him to lead in their marriage. The husband may wisely, for instance, suggest that his wife manages the finances because she’s better at that than he is.

  • The ABC is privatised now Bill, and it is telling the world its’ private view. This privatising of ones’ personal life or corporate business life (as in Mr Joyce CEO Qantas) is the energising of a demonic urge. That urge is existential guilt. This drive in all natural men and women is in the human spirit and can only be dealt with by the Word of Christ which is the Word of the Cross in the power of the Spirit of Christ. Only there is the guilt dealt with for all – it happened on the Cross c. 2000 years ago in time being the eternal purpose of the Sovereign God of grace. Christians in Australia had better not give way to vilification of this attitude of Ms. Baird and the host of others who have been deceived and willingly follow the energising of Satan. ABC – Australias’ Bully of Christians is His scourge upon a lukewarm sickening church and if we do not return to the gospel rationale of life, history and the eschaton, we will give account to Christ. In saying this I am not at all criticising the messenger – yourself. I heartily agree – privatise this false ABC now! But we have here a call to repent – the church has been far, far away from the gospel Paul received from Jesus. God have mercy upon us all and restore the power of the gospel as in days gone by – and save Australia.

  • In light of anonymous’s story (so tragic to hear of this) how should the church respond?
    Do the church elders try reconciling (which Baird would take as the church enabling the violence therefore justifying her very biased article) or should the elders encourage separate ways?

  • Thanks Adele. The proper biblical and pastoral response to these situations would take a few articles from me to do the topic proper justice. But a few quick replies: It depends on where the abuser is at. If repentant, aware of the sin, and wanting to change, then all sorts of help and counsel can be made available. But if the abuser – whether male or female – continues in such sin and does not want to change course, then church discipline must be brought into play, whether it be expulsion from the fellowship, referral to the police, and so on.

  • Is it worth suggesting folk compare the Christian article to the Muslim one? Despite acknowledging the Koran permits wife beating that piece stridently defends Islam. By contrast the Christian piece is double length, and deliberately ignores evidence favouring Christianity. It’s not merely an attack piece, it’s a piece filled with lies and either shoddy or deliberately poor research. Add in the fact it is only one of several anti-Christian items recently pushed by the ABC and it becomes clear why they’re considered Anything But Christian.

  • Let’s not fear this article by the ABC, because our faith lies in the Truth, and not on cultural or social views. Anyway, it is well acknowledged that the ABC is extremely biased. Even many secularists think the ABC is biased, and rightly so. But of course, we need to rebuke that who attack Christianity, accusing it of ‘racism’, ‘sexism’, ‘religious intolerance’, and of course ‘homophobia’.

  • I would like to add to anonymous by request’s mention of scripture

    James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

    Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
    Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be bitter with them.

    Rom 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    1Cor 13:2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
    1Cor 13:3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
    1Cor 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
    1Cor 13:5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
    1Cor 13:6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

    Matt 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    1Jn 3:23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
    1Jn 3:24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

    Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
    Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
    Colossians 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

    for the husband or wife who is suffering;

    1Corin 7:10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband ; but if she does separate, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband, and the husband should not divorce his wife.

    May GOD mercifully bless us all with discernment of his commands and obedience to them.

  • Just thought I would quickly add some more scripture to my previous post;

    1Cor 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
    1Co 11:8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.
    1Co 11:9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
    1Co 11:11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman;
    for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.
    Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

    Eph 5:28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
    Eph 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
    Eph 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

    the Word’s wisdom on relationships

    Rom 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour.
    Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
    Rom 12:16 Live in harmony with one another.
    Rom 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil
    Rom 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
    Rom 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God

    Titus 3:2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

    Rom 15:33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

  • The more we learn about the hatchet job of Baird and the ABC, the more we see how reprehensible they really are, and how despicable this story really is. There were actually some real positive stories that could have been included, based on lengthy interviews, but they were deliberately omitted from the program. As mentioned, it seems clear they had one predetermined goal in mind: to paint evangelical Christianity in the worst light possible, even despite all the evidence to the contrary. And we have to subsidise these Christophobes. See this story:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/broadcast/abc-ignored-churchs-positive-story/news-story/3e301d4f813b4eafa182d730b64c95d0

  • There is an old joke about the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (previously Commission) that goes,
    ‘You can get a job there if you are a Communist or a homosexual, especially if you are both.’ It has been a haven for Christ haters all along. How often in the past has it presented antithetical and atheistic documentaries under the guise of religious programming.

  • One thing that is needful is a proper definition of what a Christian is. Too often those who are held up as a poor examples of Christianity are anything but, as many of those who would call themselves Christians do not really understand the true definition of the word. Just because you say that you believe in Jesus and follow him does not mean that you are Christian, no matter how many church meetings you attend.

    My paternal grandmother was married to two “good Christian men”. The first died and left her a widow, and the second, my grandfather, rotted in Pentridge after trying to kill her. As a result my father grew up without knowing his father, but his mother took him and his brothers to church most Sundays, so he grew up as part of his local congregation. However, when he was about 19 years old they had a visiting minister come to preach. That day was the first time that he heard the gospel preached and he and his mother realized that they had been living a lie. Up until that time they had no idea what it meant to be Christian, having not even been taught the basics of salvation, rather than pew warming.

    Attending “church sporadically” does not make anyone a Christian, no matter what type of church it is, or how much they read (often only select portions of scripture) and pray. We need to promote a biblical definition, not buy into the world’s definition of what it means to be a Christian.

    The latter part of Act 11:26 says, “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” So a Christian is someone who is a disciple of Jesus Christ.

    So who are disciples of Jesus?

    Joh 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.
    Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    Those who continue in Jesus’ word, that is doers, not just hearers of the word, are his real disciples. We need to read and do the whole word, and not just portions of it.

    Men, like my paternal grandfather, who had probably never even heard the gospel, let alone become a true follower of Jesus, are not Christians. Their actions are not a reflection on the nature of Christianity, no matter what the ABC claims. However, we can’t really expect Christ haters to give a true definition of what it means to be Christian, when even regular church attendees can go many years without ever finding out.

    We should also expect those who are false Christians to be ready to attack anyone who stands up for the truth of these matters. Keep standing firm Bill. You’re not alone.

  • Great work, Bill. Keep it up.

  • Many thanks indeed Stephen. Keep up your great work as well.

  • We all know about the verses in the Bible that tells wives to submit. But how many people know about the subsequent verses that spells out God’s frightening expectation on the husband?

    http://inspiriting.com/2017/07/20/are-husbands-frightened-of-whats-expected-of-them-from-wifes-submission/

    Why is nobody talking about that???

  • To anonymous, my heart goes out to you. Church preachers, leaders, teachers, elders are not Bible based, nor teaching the truth of God’s Word. The present day ‘church’ is teaching corrupt and distorted messages, moral values have eroded within the church with false teaching and false doctrines. Better to find a trusted friend who can be a real, true friend to you.

  • The ABC is the result of Cultural Marxism’s long march through the Institutions and its infiltration by CM’s brainwashed buffoons who are led but could never lead.

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