Andrew Bolt: Attack on church a cultural assault Andrew Bolt, The Courier-Mail
March 30, 2017 12:00am
WE’RE persecuting Christians again. It’s a frightening sign, because that’s what barbarians and totalitarians usually do. The Romans, French revolutionaries, Nazis and Communists all did it. Jihadists do it still. And now it’s done here. The latest examples?
First, same-sex marriage activists savaged the Coopers Brewery for supplying the beer shown in a video of a polite debate between two Liberal MPs, the gay Tim Wilson and the Christian Andrew Hastie.
The Christian was the problem. Hastie said he liked Wilson and respected his relationship with partner Ryan, but was still against expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex relationships. This Christian view was so shocking that activists boycotted Coopers and forced the Christian-owned brewery to pull the video, apologise and publicly back same-sex marriage.
Next, a former Greens candidate and a Melbourne same-sex marriage group attacked IBM and PwC for hiring Christians who were members of Christian groups that also did not agree with same-sex marriage.
IBM caved. Managing partner Mark Allaby quit the board of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, a training organisation set up by the Australian Christian Lobby. Now they’re turning on Macquarie University. Gay rights activist Michael Barnett has told the university it was a “bad look” to hire senior research associate Steve Chavura, also a member of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute.
You’d expect a university to defend diversity of thought, wouldn’t you? But Macquarie University, a member of the Pride in Diversity movement, declined to support Chavura, saying only it “asks that employees adhere to the university’s public comment policy”. But who can rely on our institutions to defend the faith so critical in creating our culture, our freedoms — and them? Even the Queen, officially the Defender of the Faith, now barely dares. Last month her officials had one of her chaplains, Gavin Ashenden, resign for embarrassing her by defending Christianity from the claims of Islam.
Ashenden’s sin? He’d protested when Glasgow’s St Mary’s Cathedral had a Muslim activist read a passage from the Koran for the Eucharist on the Feast of the Epiphany, a passage that called Jesus a fake Messiah.
Here it’s the same. Two Christian pastors who explained the Koranic teaching on jihad were taken to court in Victoria in 2004 and found guilty of vilifying Islam — a verdict overturned only after an appeal.
But Christianity is not under siege from just Islam and same-sex marriage bigots. The Greens want to strip churches of their legal “right to discriminate”; actually the freedom to insist their employees live the faith.
A Greens candidate even took the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal for stating the church’s defence of traditional marriage.
Much of this hostility comes from creeds that consider Christianity the opposition, not least because Christianity preaches freedom of conscience. But the its enemies have also used the churches’ sex abuse scandals to demonise Christianity generally and the powerful Catholic Church in particular.
The scandals are real and the abuse of children horrific, but the Catholic Church’s many enemies in the media refuse to acknowledge those scandals are almost entirely in the distant past. Even the royal commission into child sex abuse says the average gap between alleged offences by Catholic priests and the alleged victims lodging a complaint is 33 years and those complaints are themselves several years old. That suggests the church did decades ago crack down on paedophiles, thanks above all to Cardinal George Pell.
But the media needs the church to seem unapologetic and unreformed, as something evil that must be destroyed. It’s worked. Actor Rachel Griffiths told ABC radio she was “elated” that arsonists had burned down the beautiful St James Church in Brighton because it had decades before had a paedophile priest.
Sadly, even some Christians now seemed ashamed of their faith. The Uniting Church last year revamped its logo to make the crucifix near invisible.
“You are right to highlight that sometimes we do not mention Christ’s name in our advertising,” explained the head of the church’s welfare arm, now merely called “Uniting”.
“Since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, faith-based organisations like ours are perceived pejoratively.”
The vilification of the church has succeeded and now Christians are being picked off, one by one, hounded out of public debate. The ultimate symbol of what’s happening? SBS banned an ad made by Christians defending traditional marriage, yet ran one by Ashley Madison for a dating service for adulterers.