THE NEW (OLD) SPORT OF CHRISTIAN BASHING
Have you noticed the increasing trend of Christian bashing in western society? Have you noticed that in our so-called tolerant society, all viewpoints are tolerated except the conservative Christian viewpoint? People who would not even consider vilifying or mocking Muslims or Buddhists, have no problem ridiculing traditional Christians and their views. In a pluralistic society that supposedly teaches the validity of all philosophies, the only one that is now not acceptable is the one that was the overwhelming view of western society for thousands of years.
In our modern world, it’s really quite “in” to believe in the power of crystals, or seek inner tranquility through mindfulness, or follow the wisdom of the Buddha,. Mentioning any of those kinds of beliefs at a social gathering will, inevitably, arouse genuine interest and result in respectful discussion. But dare to mention that you are a Christian who believes in the God of the Bible, and you will quickly find yourself alone or, worse, the object of disdain and derision.
PUBLIC RIDICULE OF CHRISTIANITY
More alarmingly, we are now witnessing the increasing tendency to openly ridicule and vilify the traditional Christian worldview in the media. A couple of years ago, the ABC program “Q & A” hosted a discussion on same sex marriage. They invited Katy Faust onto the panel. Katy is an American Christian who campaigns against same sex marriage, despite being raised by two lesbian mothers herself. She speaks very lovingly of her two mothers and also of her many gay and lesbian friends, but believes that homosexual relationships are contrary to the will of God and that children raised in such relationships have dysfunctional upbringings.
The Q & A program did what it usually does when it invites a Christian onto the show; it stacked the panel with people aggressively opposed to the Christian viewpoint. It was a classic case of feeding the Christian to the lions. Not only that, but whenever Katy was speaking, the other panellists constantly interjected, often insulting and ridiculing her, and treating her with complete contempt, to the rousing applause of the studio audience! It was an appalling display of intolerance and vilification. Eventually, Brendon O’Neil, one of the other panellists, spoke up in Katy’s defence, and expressed outrage at the treatment she was receiving. Furthermore, he expressed incredulity at how rapidly society has turned upon Christianity. He stated, “Within the space of a decade, something that humanity believed for thousands of years has suddenly become a form of bigotry, a form of hate, something you are no longer allowed to express in public life. That is an extraordinary shift in intolerance!”.
He’s right – it is an extraordinary shift in intolerance. As I reflected on that Q & A episode, I contemplated the question, “If Katy had been a Muslim and had expressed similar concerns about same sex marriage arising from her Muslim beliefs, would she have been similarly vilified?” I seriously doubt it. In recent months I have read several editorials in newspapers and many letters to the editor openly ridiculing the Christian viewpoint on a number of issues. An edition of the Sydney Morning Herald in 2016 (which I have kept), published a “Letters To The Editor” page entirely devoted to the topic of suffering as “proof” of God’s non-existence. It contained ten letters to the editor aggressively mocking the Christian belief in a creator God and inferring that Christians who maintained a belief in such a God were ignorant and foolish. There were no letters published defending the Christian worldview. I am quite certain that the same newspaper would not dare publish a letter mocking the teachings of Islam. It appears that in our postmodern, secular society, vilification of other religions is not acceptable, but it is apparently quite acceptable, even desirable, to ridicule Christians and their beliefs. We are willing to tolerate all viewpoints, EXCEPT the traditional Christian viewpoint.