The Ongoing War on Christianity in Australia

Hot on the heels of the ABC’s attack piece on evangelical Christians, we have yet more cases of anti-Christian bigotry. They also come from the loony left, and are just the latest of many relentless attacks on Christianity. The newest cases come from Queensland and NSW, so let me speak to each.

The case from Queensland is causing a lot of concern. As is often the case, there may be more to the story than what a newspaper article is letting on, but for the time being we will accept this report as being basically accurate. In days to come we will likely hear more on this.

persecution 25But today’s Australian has this alarming article, which begins this way:

Talking about Jesus, exchanging Christmas cards and encouraging Christianity have been targeted under an unofficial policy from education bureaucrats that takes aim at junior evangelists in Queensland primary school yards. Queensland education officials have moved to ban references to Jesus in the primary school yard, with an unofficial policy that takes aim at junior evangelists.
Christian groups and free-speech advocates have expressed alarm at the recent edict from the Queensland Department of Education and Training contained within its latest review into religious instruction materials and warning that principals were expected to take action against students caught evangelising to their peers.
“While not explicitly prohibited by the (legislation), nor referenced in the Religious Instruction (RI) policy, the department expects schools to take appropriate action if aware that students participating in RI are evangelising to students who do not,” says the department’s report into the GodSpace religious instruction materials, released earlier this year.
“This could adversely affect the school’s ability to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment.”
Departmental policy defines “evangelising” as “preaching or advocating a cause or religion with the object of making converts to Christianity”.
Examples of evangelising cited in the review, as well as two earlier reviews into religious instruction providers, include sharing Christmas cards that refer to Jesus’s birth, creating Christmas tree decorations to give away and making beaded bracelets to give to friends “as a way of sharing the good news about Jesus”.
The clampdown comes despite each of the reviews into the religion lessons aimed at four to 12-year-olds finding no “major inconsistencies” with state legislation or departmental policies, procedures or frameworks.
The reviews were announced last June by Education Minister Kate Jones in response to concerns some instructors had exposed children to inappropriate concepts. The department has promised greater oversight of the programs, which are not compulsory and require parents to provide consent.

And plenty of folks have been alarmed by this proposed clampdown:

The Australian understands that several Christian education providers have raised concerns over the clampdown with both the department and Ms Jones, and sought to have the issue clarified. They believe there is no justification for stopping students who talk about Jesus or religion in the school yard.
Neil Foster, who teaches religion and law at Newcastle University, described the development as “deeply concerning” and “possibly illegal”. “The fact is, there are administrative guidelines that go beyond what the law requires,” Associate Professor Foster said. “It’s really overreaching as far as bureaucratic orders go.”
Centre for Independent Studies senior research fellow Peter Kurti described the department’s moves as “a massive assault on freedom of speech and freedom of religion” that could have unintended consequences. “I don’t think people are on the whole affronted by the handing out of Christmas cards,” he said. “And I don’t think that children have the maturity to comprehend let alone evangelise.”

This is as bad as the crackdown on Christmas carols and the like in Victoria under another Labor premier. I wrote about that shocker here:

My second story comes from NSW where a pastor is being pilloried and his case taken to the education department for daring to have spoken out about Islam. As one news report puts it:

A Baptist pastor who claimed Islam is ‘a cancer that will destroy society’ during a recorded sermon has come under fire. Footage of Keith Piper, pastor for Liberty Baptist Church in north-west of Sydney, has been submitted to the education department after it was revealed the church provides scripture to government schools.
Liberty Baptist Church provides scripture lessons for special religion education (SRE) – an optional 30-minute weekly class offered to students by government schools when a teacher is available.
In the 40-minute video, which was recorded in April 2016 and uploaded to YouTube, Mr Piper repeatedly condemned Islam and the Koran. ‘Islamism is a cancer. We must destroy the cancer or the cancer will destroy our society and our freedoms and everything we hold dear,’ he tells the crowd….
Darrin Morgan, the NSW director of Fairness in Religion in Schools, brought Mr Piper’s comments to the attention of the education department, claiming Liberty Baptist Church’s approval as an SRE provider goes against the department’s policies.
‘We are concerned that the current provisions for SRE … greatly increase this risk by enabling organisations such as Liberty Baptist Church to authorise their own curricula over which your office has no control or authority,’ Mr Morgan wrote to Education Minister Rob Stokes, according to The Guardian.

Another write-up about this add this information:

Pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Cherrybrook, Keith Piper, says he was asked to stop teaching religion classes at Macarthur Girls High School in Sydney’s west in 2005 after a Muslim student complained about his comments on the Quran.
The pastor and his church have been referred to the NSW Department of Education by Fairness in Religion in Schools, with the anti-scripture group calling for a review into the approval process for the teaching of religion in government schools.
The group wrote a letter to the department after it became aware of YouTube videos posted by Mr Piper in which he refers to Islam as “a cancer” and says “Islam is culturally incompatible with Western Christian values and peace”.
Mr Piper has not taught religion in schools for more than 10 years, however Liberty Baptist Church is listed in the Department’s ‘Special religious education providers’ and members of his congregation, including his wife, continue to teach in schools. Mr Piper told SBS World News members of his congregation “totally adhere” to appropriate curriculum and “don’t talk about Islam”.

I spoke to Keith Piper just recently about this and he told me he has been quite puzzled by it all. He told me that some folks are simply trying to find something to discredit him and to attack him, all because he is a Christian pastor and because he dares to speak about things we are not supposed to discuss – things like Islamic violence and terrorism.

He repeated the simple fact that he has not taught religion in schools for a dozen years now, so this story is just a beat-up. He made it clear to me that he does not hate Muslims, but he does care greatly about the Koran and what it teaches. He said he simply wants to educate and alert all Australians as to what is really found there, including all the violent bits.

So here we have just some of the more recent cases of leftist politicians and bureaucrats putting the pressure on Christians. There have been many more, and there will be many more. And the problem is, taken by themselves it may not seem like much.

But it is the cumulative effect we should care about. The incremental approach is much more subtle, and people can be caught off guard. But each of these cases taken together becomes a real threat to religious freedom and the ability of Christians to share their faith in the public arena.

While the enemies of Christianity keep seeking to strip-mine this nation of all its spiritual heritage and benefits, others have sought to remind us of the invaluable role Christianity has played in this nation. As Kevin Donnelly put it several days ago:

While secular critics are happy to undermine Christianity, especially Catholicism, what is ignored is Judeo-Christianity is central to Australia’s cultural, economic, moral and spiritual wellbeing and one of the foundation stones of Western civilisation….
It’s also important to recognise the benefits of Christianity to Australia’s economic and social wellbeing. Catholic and other faith-based schools teach 34 per cent of Australian students, saving Commonwealth, state and territory governments the billions of dollars needed if those students enrolled in government schools.
Christian schools, compared to most government schools, achieve stronger Year 12 results and are better at addressing bullying caused by racism, and parents see such schools as having more disciplined classrooms. Christian-inspired or managed hospitals, philanthropic organisations and charities such as the Salvation Army, Catholic Health Australia, the Brotherhood of St Laurence and World Vision Australia are also integral part of Australia’s health and welfare system.
Instead of presenting a negative and one-sided picture, secular critics such as the ABC and the Fairfax Press should acknowledge the benefits of Christianity and its central place in the life of the nation.

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8 Replies to “The Ongoing War on Christianity in Australia”

  1. Hi Bill, there is no doubt about it, the whole Australian education system is under attack. We need to stand up for our Christian children within the school system. We also need to support the large numbers of young Christian Men & Woman who have had to walk away from state run teacher training courses because their strong Bible based beliefs are at odds with the LGBT curriculum requirements. Unfortunately it’s only going to get worse. Jesus was not kidding when He declared; “If they’re going to persecute me, then they’ll persecute you too”. Unfortunately for those who seek to destroy Australia’s Christian Heritage, Romans 14:10-12 does promise a day of reckoning. Bill this article serves as a reality check for the level of persecution that Christianity can expect. Your efforts are to be commended, Blessings, Kel.

  2. I wonder if the ban on referencing Jesus in the school yard will extend to the common misuse of His name that is so rampant everywhere these days. How will schools begin to even implement this? Will a child who swears/blasphemes the name of Jesus in heightened anger in the school yard be given a free pass to continue to do so, while another child who expresses the name in heightened joy find themselves in trouble?

  3. The tired allegations against Cardinal Pell were covered exhaustively 15 years ago, and died a natural death. The record of the accuser was hardly mentioned.
    This is a witch-hunt, a second helping of smear. Again the Cardinal is portrayed as arrogant, proud, and guilty. And (surprise!) a book arrives just in time to seal his fate.
    It seems that the background of the accusers somehow has no bearing on the Cardinal’s guilt. One of them has been behind bars for drug violence. The second also has a record, and a habit of playing the victim.
    The crime of ‘inappropriate touching’ goes back 40 years. Is this all they have?
    Cardinal Pell opposes the destruction of Australian morals. That makes him the enemy of the Victorian Government and a hard-left media, which produced the miraculously-timed book. An unholy alliance, to be sure. And with witnesses who have had trouble with the law, they must be really desperate.

  4. Yes, this is an absolute beat-up by the euphemistically named “Fairness in Religion in Schools”.

    One of the members of the Victorian chapter bas been very outspoken (indeed euphoric) about their success in Victoria, and has publicly stated that they have now set their sights on NSW schools.

    In addition, one of the outspoken members of the Victorian chapter just happens to be employed at Monash university as a lecturer with responsibilities for teaching teachers. He is frequently interviewed by the left-leaning media for his views on home schooling. Unsurprisingly, he advocates greater authority over parents who are directly responsible for their children’s education. He is hardly an impartial advocate against home schooling but is rolled out repeatedly by lazy media sources as an “expert” on what he describes as “our” (and no, he is NOT referring to parents) children.

    Yet another example of evil hiding in plain sight: on the one hand advocating against religious education in schools as parents have a right to raise objections to the teaching of world views that contradict their own values. On the other hand, parents should not be allowed to “Safe Schools”, “Respectful Relationships”,.and a multitude of other propaganda in government and Catholic schools; additionally, parents must not be allowed to choose curriculum content for their children in independent schools or home education locations either. The only link that they seem capable of making with a manger is to attach a snarling dog to it …

  5. But woe to the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has gone down to you!
    He is filled with fury,
    because he knows that his time is short.”

    Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
    – Revelation 12:12 & 17 [NIV]

    Satan is neither a good Christian nor an enthusiastic Zionist…

  6. The reason that the lefties hate Christians so much is because Christians have an awareness of a Creator God in their life that is as real as the people they meet and the computers that they are sitting in front of. Just because non-Christians have not experienced the work of the Holy Spirit of God like Biblical Christians have, they think that God isn’t real….but it just means that they are missing out on part of life that is available to them, but they don’t want it. That is why the Bible is so important. The truthfulness of the Bible never changes because truth is immutably objective and unlike the subjective, post-modern humanists/atheists “truth” , the Bible also provides us with the knowledge of reality as the Creator God made it and it gives us supernatural insight into human nature by explaining the good and the bad. The lefties hate this because it provides an objective truth that cannot be manipulated or perverted by leftie political indoctrination. It is immutable. Because Christians have objective reality to live by, the lefties cannot dilute or explain it away with their fake “truths” – Bible-believing Christians cannot be fooled by the leftie propaganda slogans. The Bible therefore acts as the reference point (or measure) to determine “right from wrong”, “good from bad”, “moral from immoral”, “lust from love”, etc….without a reference point, you cannot possibly determine these things other than “what you make them up to be”.

    Also, the logical implication of making truth whatever we want it too be (ie. “progressive moral relativism”), is that we all contradict ourselves as we all believe that “my truth is better than your truth”. This is the best proof yet that a Creator God exists and that His Word is truth (ie. The Ontological Argument). As the ultimate Creator of the universe, God then has the authority to do what He wants with creation including laying out the rules for living.

    Homosexuality is just another feeble attempt by humanist/atheists to impose an unnatural/unhealthy lifestyle on humanity in a blatant act of defiance to the Creator God because homosexuality, along with other “non-god” movements (like the evolution theory, big bang theory, One World Order, no religions, world peace, climate change, etc) that all fail to align with the natural order of the biological/spiritual world as God created things….and no “wishing” this away will change anything. God warns us of ignoring Him and He displays great pity on those who rebel against Him – that is why Jesus prayed (and I follow Jesus’ example): “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. When a person says “I don’t believe the Bible….”, they are stating that they are believing in something else. Everyone believes in something. Everyone has a view of the future even if, for example, it is secularism as the basis of a future utopia. Secularists have no evidence that secularism will lead to an objective absolute utopia, only their faith that it will. In other words, for a secularist to get fully behind secularism today with claims to higher reasoning, they must have faith in where it will lead. For there is no evidence it will go anywhere. So for all their reasoning in the end they must themselves rely on faith that cannot be supported by their reasoning. Based on human wisdom to date, if they think that I believe in fairytales then they believe in a larger fairytale.

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