Easter Reflection

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St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, rises above the ashes of the Blitz, 29 December 1940.

As we celebrate Easter this year, I’d like to pause and reflect on the status of Christianity in 2018, its place in our lives and the determination of some to usher in its decline.

Quick admission before I start; since my late teens until recently I had always been one of those avowed agnostics, comfortable in my certainty that modern man and our scientific advances had marginalised God to the extent that Christianity or religion as a whole could be ridiculed as being the domain of the weak, those not willing to take responsibility for their own decisions, those who put their faith in the imaginary big man in the sky. I was quite happy to snigger along at mainstream television, movies and music that regularly ridiculed Christians and Christianity and lauded such luminaries as Richard Dawkins and his book, The God Delusion, as intellectual giants.

I’m not quite sure when things changed for me, but since first encountering “Pastor” Jordan Peterson’s lecture series on the Bible a year or so ago, I’ve realised just what a shallow stream I had been swimming in. As a father of two young children, I’ve come to understand that the values of Christianity are being lost to the next generation and I’ve taken the steps to ensure that my kids understand the inherent blueprint that I chose to ignore for so long.

I’m a professional psychologist.

Put bluntly, rather than ushering in a glorious secular utopia of humanist and egalitarian values, the removal of God from our lives in a secular West has largely seen that void filled with all manner of other ‘false idols’ – spirituality, material consumerism, self-congratulatory atheism, celebrity culture, and green activism (worship of Mother Earth) amongst others.

By far the worst of all would have to be progressivism, that great melting pot of social justice issues that so captivates the Left under the guise of rights and progress, but really just constitutes the worship of the benevolent State and its pope, Big Brother.

It’s no secret that progressives hate Christianity; the messaging in the media and entertainment industry has been constant for several decades now – Christians are red necks, backwards, intolerant losers, and somehow deserve to be cast out as pariahs for their God-fearing ways.

Now I’m not a hypocrite; I recognise that the long history of Christianity is tainted by religious war, cruelty and intolerance. Recent instances such as the paedophilia scandal which rocked the Catholic Church are heartbreaking for the victims and require a massive amount of soul-searching from within the church structures in order to establish trust with the faithful and the public at large, but I’m capable of recognising the goodness that Christianity espouses and the grounding influence that it can have on what is becoming a pretty degenerate and confused society.

Nowadays though, Christianity seems perfectly capable of making a rod for its own back by moving away from its age-old principals. For Progressive Christians in the US, church activities have subsumed social justice and identity politics, and a new generation of church goers has grown up thinking Black Lives Matter more than others, gun control is a matter of religious imperative, or that borders don’t matter at all – but now safe in the knowledge that they are backed by a righteous cause. Remember the example of the Church of Sweden going full gender theory on the scriptures by removing pronouns and adopting gender neutral terms?

(I remember the last time I attended church at Christmas, the sermon was about the Parable_of_the_Workers_in_the_Vineyard, that uses an analogy of labourers in a vineyard to show that no matter how late in the day one starts, anyone who accepts an invitation will receive equal reward in heaven. Somehow the minister turned this into a sermon on universal basic income and the need to pay those that work one hour (or not at all) the same as those that work a full day – because that was fair? I remember going home and even my very devout father-in-law agreeing with me that the church should not be advocating socialism.)

Photo by Randomly London

Then there’s the little matter of multiculturalism and the stealth invasion of the West by Islam. As this report from the Gatestone Institute notes, Christianity is on the retreat in the UK, with mosques replacing churches and Muslim worshippers soon to outnumber regular Christian church goers. The Church of Sweden has prostrated itself before Islam, advocating for Islamic migrants to avoid deportation and Muslim safe spaces in churches, and in a bizarre bit of virtue signalling cuckoldry, one bishop has noted he is looking forward to hearing the Muslim call to prayer in Sweden.

Christianity has seen fit to turn the other cheek when it should be fighting eye for an eye, Old Testament-style. As this excellent piece notes, for centuries Christians have dealt with repression from others, but there is an intensifying anti-Christian campaign in the West, where no expense is being spared by those on the political Left to undermine contemporary Christian traditions, whether it be via the media, the education system or universities. Defence of age-old institutions such as traditional marriage is denounced as regressive, and basic virtues such as chastity and faithfulness to one partner are deemed repressive to women.

Nowhere is this more prevalent that at the ABC.

It’s interesting that one must go back several years to find articles or shows that treat Christianity with fairness or reverence; most these days display at best a dismissive tone or are somewhat celebratory in their reporting that Christianity is on the wane in this country, as if it’s only a matter of time.

This piece from 2015 is one of the last that I can find with an honest opinion on the rise of Muslim fundamentalism in this country; the divisive notion of multiculturalism in Europe that fuelled problems with Islam there; and that predominantly reminds the reader that Australia is a Christian country first and foremost, that this has been the root of Australia’s and Europe’s relative prosperity. But read the comments section and one realises the problem – a litany of dog-whistle arguments about any number of progressive social justice issues – Christianity is dead, a vile notion, ‘muh gay marriage’, third world poverty, Catholic paedophilia scandal, the author is a right-wing shill – the spitefulness and willingness of the average ABC reader to regard Christianity as uniquely awful writ large.

In 2017 the ABC tried to spruik the prevalence of domestic violence amongst evangelical Christian families as part of a series exposing domestic violence within religions, citing it as somehow equivalent to the prevalence of domestic abuse within Islam. It set off a controversy with churches coming out strongly in defence of the allegations, and the academic whose work the ABC cited stating that the ABC cherry-picked the data. The ABC had failed a basic journalistic test, the agenda more important than the facts – its message was that Christianity must be portrayed in a bad light.

Of course this hasn’t stopped the ABC at all; this week they again reported a damning study of domestic abuse amongst churchgoers in Britain, with apparently 1 in 4 in abusive relationships. I couldn’t wait for the fact checkers to run a rule over this one, so a five minute search revealed the statistics for the UK in general show 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are in an abusive relationship … I fail to understand the drama – an incredibly small sample size in one part of Britain renders no statistically worthy anomaly, yet it’s been covered extensively by the media.

While Christianity gets a bollocking on a regular basis from the mainstream media with intense coverage of anything to do with scandal in the Catholic Church, instances such as the “beat your wife as a last resort” controversy spawned by Muslim feminist Keysar Trad were ignored by Leftist media and the ABC.

We are told regularly that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, despite all evidence to the contrary – whether it be FGM, resistance to same-sex marriage, terrorism or just simply the treatment of women – and the ABC goes out of its way to report anything to do with Islamic terrorism as extremism or mental illness only.

Gay Pride events around the world have often adopted a “Jesus was Gay” type theme, with several academics declaring Jesus was likely a poofter what with hanging with twelve men, yet when the gay pride movements note Allah is Gay, no effort is spared preventing the great offence being levelled at the Muslim community, with Lauren Southern now receiving a lifetime ban from the UK this past week for her efforts in exposing this obvious hypocrisy.

The list is endless, but ultimately, there’s one sin for which the Left’s hatred of Christianity is evoked more than anything else, and it’s the one thing I wish to leave you with today:

What Christianity ultimately grants us is the freedom to take personal responsibility – for ourselves, our families, our decisions – including the freedom to face the consequences of the decisions we make alone.

This flies against the relativist nature of the Left, for whom there are never any consequences; given its permissive and hedonistic culture, its groupthink and its mindless zealotry, any semblance of personal responsibility is supplanted by blame of the ‘other’, and decision-making is ceded to the Group.

The fight against the mindless hordes of the Left will be a lot harder in the coming years if we forget our Christian heritage, and the values which it underpins. Whether you’re lapsed, agnostic or indifferent, have a rethink about your Christian heritage this Easter and remember that without it, we will leave the door open for a truly awful totalitarian alternative, that-which-shall-never-be-blamed, that does not tolerate dissent at all.

No wonder the Left wants Christianity gone.