Essendon football club has revealed itself as an anti-Christian organisation. It conforms precisely to the new prevailing public culture, with that innate cowardice that allows institutions to perfectly reflect the lineaments of raw power. Essendon doesn’t speak truth to power, it genuflects before power. The effective sacking of Andrew Thorburn as chief executive of Essendon because of his affiliation with the City on a Hill churches represents a dark new phase in cultural intolerance. Essendon explains that it didn’t know the shocking truth, that Thorburn is a mainstream Christian in a church that preaches mainstream Christian views, partly because it’s illegal to ask a job applicant about their religious views or affiliations. But if through some shocking mistake you hire an active Christian, you’re certainly entitled to sack them because of their Christian affiliation.

Ask about someone’s religious affiliation – that’s discrimination. Sack someone because of religious affiliation – that’s inclusive. It has long been the case that society no longer wishes to be governed by Christian morality, or to express its sociologically, behavioural norms. That’s fair enough. We live in a democracy. The majority will, within certain limits, should prevail. The new situation, however, is one in which it is becoming virtually illegal, certainly dangerous to your career, to espouse, or be associated with someone who espouses, traditional Christian views. Daniel Andrews, the chief Red Guard enforcer of ideological conformity, condemned the views associated with a couple of sermons on the City on a Hill web site as bigotry and hatred. What were those views?

One was that full sexual expression is, morally, reserved for marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. This is the orthodox view of the majority of Christian denominations in the world today.  And it goes without saying it’s the traditional view of other religions, including Islam, Sikhism, Judaism, etc. The sermon in question made clear there was nothing immoral about homosexual orientation, but sex outside marriage was morally wrong. Most people don’t hold that view. The City on a Hill folks are not running any kind of campaign against gay people in any context at all. Most Christians accept that something which Christian teaching holds to be immoral should not be illegal. But now even to preach Christian morality is nearly a crime, enough to render you unemployable in any public capacity and fair game for a savage slagging from the Victorian Premier.

Similarly, the comments in the sermon regarding abortion. The traditional Christian view of abortion is that it involves the destruction of innocent human lives. It’s perfectly fine to disagree with these views. Regarding them as intrinsically bigotry and hatred is grotesque. Our society is becoming ever more illiberal. With Israel Folau, the issue was freedom of speech. With the Manly rugby league players who didn’t want to wear the Pride jersey, the issue was compelled speech. In Thorburn’s case, the issue is guilt by association with a sermon from nine years ago that preached traditional Christian morality. Liberalism and pluralism are features of societies that developed under the Judaeo-Christian influence. As we become post-Christian, it seems we are also destined to suffer post-pluralism. It’s only a matter of time, surely, before the avatars of inclusion declare the whole Bible to be “hate speech”.

Source: Article written by journalist Greg Sheridan for The Australian

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