THE VEIL HAS BEEN REMOVED
Australia is not a Christian nation. In the strictest sense, it never has been. The 1901 Constitution made it abundantly clear that we are a secular democracy. Section 116 states, “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.” Although the preamble does contain a passing reference to “Almighty God”, the Constitution itself contains no such reference. As it was being drafted, churches argued that the Constitution should explicitly acknowledge God as the ultimate authority and the premise upon which all laws are based, but this concept was rejected.
Accordingly, a 2014 ruling of the Australian High Court determined that the National Schools Chaplaincy Program, which provides 60 million dollars of Federal funding for School Chaplains, was “unconstitutional” based upon “religious bias”.
Despite the significant contribution by the Christian church to Australian society over the years, the separation of church and state, defined in the Constitution, has increased with each passing decade. The growing impact of secularism, in conjunction with the rise of postmodernism (see my previous post), is reflected in census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics:
The percentage of Australians who acknowledge some form of affiliation (however nominal) with the Christian faith has fallen dramatically, from 86.2% in 1971, to 52.1% in 2016. Conversely, the percentage of Australians adhering to a secular worldview and rejecting any form of religion has risen from a mere 6.7% in 1971 to 30.1% in 2016. In fact, these trends are accelerating, and it is estimated that these two converging lines will have crossed over within a further 7 years.
The legitimisation of homosexuality in the recent legalising of same sex marriage is simply another step in the secularisation of Australian society. There have been many similar steps in recent years by which we have moved further away from the teachings of the Bible. In 2016, religious education was banned from regular class time in Victorian schools, and relegated to optional classes during lunchtime and before and after school. This was a complete reversal of the clear pre-election assurances by the Victorian State Government that it would preserve the current program of SRI (Special Religious Instruction) in state schools. There are now pressure groups petitioning for religious instruction to be similarly removed from schools in other states as well.
Around the same time that religious instruction was being removed from regular class time, the safe Schools program was being introduced. This is supposedly an anti-bullying program, but one whole section of the program, entitled, “All Of Us”, includes units entitled, “Same Sex Attraction Experiences”, “Bisexual Experiences” and “Transgender Experiences”, each of which involves the promotion of these alternate sexualities as natural, normal and desirable for school age children. Included in the resources given to students are links to the “Minus18” website, which openly promotes homosexuality and bisexuality to school age children. The program was produced by the Safe Schools Coalition, comprised of LGBTQI activists. Significantly, the program received 8 million dollars of federal funding and 2 million dollars of state funding. After being successfully trialled in Victoria and South Australia, it is now made available for schools nation-wide to use DURING REGULAR CLASS TIME.
Unfortunately, the marginalisation of Christianity will have far-reaching consequences. The Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission reports that over one third of all charities operating in Australia are faith-based charities, predominantly Christian. Without their generous contribution, the government would not have the resources to cope with Australia’s welfare needs. As the percentage of Australians with religious convictions decreases, so too does our national giving to charity. Significantly, the Australian Charities Report 2016 (published in December 2017) announced that donations to charity decreased by 1 billion dollars in 2016! In rejecting Christianity, is our nation aware of what it is losing in the process?
Similarly, atheists may disparage religious schools, but private schools provide education for 36% of Australian students (according to the 2010 CECV census and the 2016 ABS census), and the majority of those schools are faith-based. Without those schools, the government simply would not have the resources to provide education for every child. As Christianity declines in popularity and influence within Australia, so too will its ability to provide practical resources for our society. In rejecting Christianity, is our nation aware of what it is losing in the process?
The marginalisation of Christianity also has profoundly spiritual and moral implications for our society. In repudiating the concept of a transcendent Creator God who has established a set of absolute standards, we have removed the moral brakes and are now descending into the murky depths of moral relativism. The arguments used to justify same sex marriage (“everyone is entitled to express love in their own way”) can now be used to justify any number of previous taboos such as polygamy and under-age marriage. Some might regard this prognostication as sensationalist, but polygamous marriage is currently legal in 58 countries, and the number is growing. Currently, a 40 year old man can legally marry a 12 year old girl in over 30 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Oceania – and the number is growing. In rejecting Christianity, is our nation aware of what it is losing in the process?
Australia is not a Christian nation. It never has been. But at least in the past it gave lip service to Christian ideologies and was nominally guided by Christian morals. Sadly, we are now witnessing the thin veil of Christianity being swept away, to the joyful cheers of secularists and atheists. The true nature of our secular society is beginning to emerge. But, like a puppet who has cut its own strings while crying “Freedom! Freedom!”, the result will be anything but freedom. The wilful rejection of God and his standards, and the corresponding enthronement of “self” as sovereign, inevitably leads to enslavement to the sinful nature and the destructive, headlong pursuit of self-fulfillment.