The Coalition’s Senator Eric Abetz recently took a well-deserved swipe at the media. He claimed that the media is not truly representative of the Australian population but has a left wing bias – particularly against things Christian. “If you have a Christian, conservative point of view to offer, the media will have this negative-sentiment override which will simply be critical of any views that you may seek to express and that has, regrettably, been the case now for many years in the media gallery.”
Recently a bold headline in The Australian (17/10) proclaimed, “State schools telling kids to ‘thank God for the gift of cancer’”. At issue was a workbook listed for religious education in Year-9 in NSW government schools. It claimed (shock, horror!) that this book tells teenagers they have sinned and deserve God’s punishment. The writer further lamented that according to this textbook the world is in deep trouble. Here is yet another case of the left-leaning media taking a swipe at things Christian.
This blog would become far too long if I listed all the other issues that the author had problems with. Perhaps one more line from the article will give you an idea of where this writer is coming from. “These materials push views towards sex, sexuality, abortion, suicide, homosexuality, sin, death and gender roles from a conservative, evangelical Christian perspective.”
An article like this makes us aware that there is a whole different world-and-life view between Christians and many non-Christians. The difference is so big that someone like Natasha Bita (the author of the article) can’t even get her head around the fact that this is the content of a religious education program – and one would expect that such a course would faithfully reflect the tenets and beliefs of the religion in question – Christianity in this case.
I’m aware of course that we can teach the Bible but teach it in inappropriate ways. Most normal Christian families would not read to their young children the story of the man in the book of Judges who chopped up his concubine. Religious Instruction (RI) teachers have not always kept that age-appropriateness in mind. Some years ago a young RI teacher with more enthusiasm than wisdom told her Grade-3 class that sin and wrongdoing dooms all of us to hell – something that she apparently explained in quite graphic detail. Was she right in what she said? Absolutely! But complaints about children having nightmares after her class shows that hers was not an age-appropriate way of teaching that sin has consequences.
The point is that we have two vastly different views of reality in our culture. There are of course many more than two but I would suggest that there are two dominant world views. The one is Christian. The other is materialistic, evolutionary and largely agnostic or atheistic. These two world-views stand in sharp opposition to each other and the opposition between these two views of reality is increasing. In the state of Victoria the education department has now cut RI from the curriculum and replaced it with a program called Respectful Relationships Education. Churches can still come in and take RI but only during lunch times and before and after school. The Victorian government caved in to pressure from those supporting that other view of reality that has no time for a Christian outlook.
What makes this battle between two world-views interesting is the rise in Australia of another dominant world-view. It’s a view that shares some aspects of our Christian worldview. It believes in a God. It also upholds many moral values that we uphold (eg. no same-sex marriage) yet in other ways it is radically different to a Christian world-view. I’m referring of course to the Islamic world-and-life view. The big problem is that the left-leaning media in Australia are very cautious in criticising Muslims while Christians are fair game.
It all leaves me wondering: Is the heart of the issue the claims of Jesus Christ to be Lord of all? If it is, why do some people hate Jesus so much?