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July 26th 2017 print

Augusto Zimmermann

For Safety, Ladies, Marry a Christian

For reasons that have again failed to excite the curiosity of the responsible minister, the national broadcaster seems to bear a persistent animus toward Christianity. Yet, in their attitudes towards women in general and domestic violence in particular, the followers of Jesus set the gold standard

wedding ringsDomestic and family violence is too grave a problem to be misused as a weapon in anti-Christian bigotry. And yet, the ABC has just achieved a new low standard in ‘anti-Christian’ journalism. In a recent report on 7.30, Julia Baird and Paige MacKenzie claimed the biggest wife-­bashers are Christian men who ‘sporadic­ally’ attend church. The report quoted advocates claiming ‘the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enab­ling and concealing it’.[1] In an online article by Baird, published by the ABC on July 21, no details of any surveys are given to substantiate the claim that Evangelical Christians are the worst wife-beaters. There is only an inconclusive reference to an obscure researcher’s citation of a survey in Brisbane.

Here we encounter a militant anti-Christian bias by this tax-funded media corporation. A journalist makes an outlandish charge, oblivious to the immense body of research that contradicts her. Not only is there no support for a claim that Christian husbands are more likely to abuse their wives; there is actually solid evidence that they are better, more loving spouses.[2]

Of course, modern feminism has a distinctly anti-Christian flavour. Feminist scholars often claim that Christianity has been a major oppressor of women throughout history. Amidst ongoing denunciations that Christianity is inherently patriarchal and sexist, these ideologically-driven scholars often ignore the fact that the early Church was especially attractive to women. The first Christian communities were predominately female, not male.[3] As noted by the celebrated Cambridge historian, Henry Chadwick (1920-2008), in ancient Rome ‘Christianity seems to have been especially successful among women. It was often through the wives that it penetrated the upper classes of society in the first instance’.[4]

Although from the early days of Christianity women were involved in numerous church activities, feminist scholars have gone so far as to claim that rampant sexism was the rule in the early Christian communities. In fact, in those days Christian women enjoyed a much greater status then did their female counterparts elsewhere in the ancient world. According to another prominent historian, Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930), in early church history ‘Christian preaching was laid hold of by women in particular…’.[5] Christians differed in this respect not only from pagans, but also from Jews. As noted by Peter Brown, Emeritus Professor of History at Princeton University, ‘the Christian clergy … took a step that separated them the rabbis of Palestine … [T]hey welcomed women as patrons and even offered women roles in which they could act as collaborators’.[6]

Professor Rodney Stark was for many years was professor of sociology and professor of comparative religion the University of Washington. He now works as Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. According to him, ‘objective evidence leaves no doubt that early Christian women did enjoy far greater equality with men than did their pagan and Jewish counterparts’.[7]

Professor Stark informs that ‘there is virtual consensus among historians of the early church as well as biblical scholars that women held positions of honor and authority within early Christianity’.[8] For example, he explains that women deacons assisted in liturgical functions and administered the charitable activities of the Church. This is in line with the Apostle Paul’s commendation of ‘our sister Phoebe’ to the Roman congregation, stating that she was a ‘deaconess of the church of Cenchrea.’[9] In 1 Timothy 3:11, Paul refers to women in the role of deacons. In Corinthians 11:11-12, Paul talks about the right of women to prophesy, and that they are as essential as men in Christian fellowship. ‘For it is through women that man comes to be, and God is the source of all,’ he says.[10]

In deeply elevating the status of women, those early Christians were simply emulating the example of Jesus Christ, who had many women as friends, followers, and supporters. Christ even saved a woman caught in adultery from being stoned to death.[11] It was to women that Christ first appeared after His Resurrection.[12] He purposely confronted prejudicial attitudes toward women in general, and so he blatantly broke with the rabbinical tradition to not speak with a Samaritan woman at the well (See John 4). Not only was it totally unheard of for a rabbi to be alone with a Samaritan woman, but to discuss theology it was virtually unthinkable and absolutely scandalous. This is why the Bible refers to the disciples’ reactions upon finding Christ talking to that woman: they were ‘surprised’ or ‘marvelled’, which carries a sense of incredulity.

No doubt, the disciples’ wonderment arose from the exposure to their Jewish culture. Women in Palestine at the time of Christ were subject to severe legal restrictions. Their witnesses had no validity in law courts and they were often segregated from the rest of society and shut upon in their houses. They weren’t even considered fit for education. Jewish women were not allowed to read the Torah to the assembly, and women were seated separated in the synagogues. As quoted in the Babylonian Talmud (ca. AD 90) by Rabbi Eliezer: ‘Better burn the Torah than teach it to a woman’. Elsewhere the Talmud admonishes: ‘Everyone who talketh much with a woman causes evil to himself’.[13]

The disparagement of women is particularly seen in this prayer often uttered by ancient Jewish men: ‘Praised be to God that he has not created me a Gentile; praise be to God that he has not created me a woman; praised be to God that he has not created me an ignorant person’. By contrast, writes U.S. theologian Gary Thomas, ‘Jesus challenged and confronted these attitudes about women, lifting women up and including them in his inner circle of confidantes and supporters’ (See Luke 8-1:3).

Based on the Christian statement of faith expressed by the Apostle Paul, ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28). Statements such as this exercised an enormously positive effect in the development of human rights in the West, including gender relations. Arguably, in an ideal Christian community all barriers of prejudice must be broken, including xenophobic nationalism (Greek or Jew), racism (barbarian or civilized), social discrimination (slave or free), and finally, of course, gender discrimination (male or female).

Feminist critics have unreasonably dismissed all these biblical statements. They assume that such remarkable statements had no impact whatsoever on the advancement of human rights, in particular fundamental rights to women. In reality, however, the late Harvard legal historian, Harold Berman, credits biblical statements such as the  one found in Galatians 3:28 as positively having ‘an ameliorating effect on the position of women and slaves and the protection of the poor and helpless’ between the sixth and eleventh centuries.[14] According to Sanford Lakoff, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of California, San Diego:

The Christian teaching with the greatest implications for democracy is the belief that because humanity is created in the image of God, all human beings are of equal worth in the sight of God. Along with the Greek Stoic belief in equality as a reflection of the universal capacity for reason, this belief shaped an emerging democratic consciousness, as Alexis de Tocqueville noted when he observed in the introduction to his study of democracy in America that Christianity, which has declared all men equal in the sight of God, cannot hesitate to acknowledge all citizens equal before the law.[15]

Frequently, feminist scholars interpret the rejection of divorce by Christianity as something incidental to a revulsion against sexuality, and also demonstrating a strong bias in favour of ‘patriarchy’. These critics remain blatantly ignorant, or simply unwilling to recognise, what Paul wrote about marriage and sex: ‘The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to the husband. For […] the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does. Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control’. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) This means that Christian husbands should not withhold from their role of fulfilling their wives’ sexual needs. This is why in seventh century’s New England the courts consistently ‘upheld the view that women had a right to expect content and satisfaction in bed’.[16]

Of course, even this historical fact may not necessarily pacify the ideologues who are blindly convinced that Christianity must be an anti-woman religion. This is especially so when someone lacks the proper knowledge of the meaning of the following instruction which is found in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything’ (Ephesians 5: 22-24).

Submitting to another person is an often misunderstood concept. For the Christian wife, this means obeying a husband as long as he acts in Christlike manner. For the Christian husband, this means putting aside his selfish desires in order to care for his wife’s well-being. This is why Paul adds this important admonition: ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her’ (Ephesians 5: 25). Paul is saying here that husbands must be willing to sacrifice everything for their wives. They should give away their own lives if necessary. A Christian husband must make the well-being of his wife the primary consideration, ‘so husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself’ (Ephesians 5: 28).

The essence of Christian leadership is not personal empowerment, but sacrificial love. This essence of sacrificial love is found in Philippians 2 where Paul urges believers to ‘do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others’ (Philippians 2: 3-4). Paul then goes on to escalate the concept by requesting Christians to emulate the example of Christ himself, ‘who, being in the very nature God … made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant’ (Philippians 2: 6-7). That Christ often expressed this principle is found in several passages of Scripture:

Matthew 20:26-27
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’

Matthew 23:11
‘The greatest among you will be your servant’.

Mark 9:35

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’

Mark 10:43
‘Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant’

Luke 22:26
‘But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.’

Although claiming to be the Son of God, Christ made himself into a humble servant. On the night before his death, he humbly washed his disciples’ feet (John 13: 1-17), ‘thus demonstrating in the most dramatic way that authority and leadership mean that you become the servant, you die to self in order to love and serve the Other’.  In doing so, theologian Timothy Keller notes: ‘Jesus redefined all authority as servant-authority. Any exercise of power can only be done in service of the Other, not to please oneself. Jesus is the one who did not come to be served, as the world’s authority figures expect to be, but to serve, to the point of giving his life’.[17]

At least for those who truly live by Christ’s definition of authority and leadership, in the language of Christianity the leader is the one who must be the most self-effacing, the most sacrificial, and the most devoted to the good of others. It takes an equal degree of submission for a faithful husband to actually submit to such a sacrificial role, as a ‘servant-leader’ in the marital relationship.

How different is this Christian message from the feminist language of gender empowerment and gender-domination! Of course, we know that today’s feminism is basically a sexist ideology aiming at empowering woman in the pursuit of individual autonomy. The ultimate goal of feminist ideology is personal achievement at the expense of all others. Accordingly, the expectations of husbands, parents, and children are considered less important than a woman’s right to attain autonomy and self-determination.

What could not be more departed from the Christian concepts of leadership, love and sacrifice? It is really no wonder why Christianity is so hated and despised by the advocates of radical feminist ideology. Take the issue of marriage, for instance. We often encounter in the feminist literature a highly militant anti-Christian bias. Some feminist scholars dare even to claim that Christian views of sex roles lead to justification of husbands’ mistreatment of their wives. Of course, this precisely what the ABC alleged to be so.  However, as Professor Stark correctly points out, ‘not only is there no support for claims that Christian husbands, especially those of the Evangelical Protestant variety, are more likely to abuse their wives, there is solid evidence that they are better, more loving husbands’.[18]

About two-decades ago the U.S. National Health and Social Life Survey conducted massive personal interviews with a national sample of 3,432 Americans 18 years of age and older.[19] ‘That survey was remarkable for the care that went into its execution, and the results are probably very accurate’.[20] At the end of this, it was found that Christian women were ‘extremely’ emotionally satisfied with their sex lives. And here, too, the irreligious were the least likely to give that answer.[21] Interestingly, the researchers concluded that ‘conservative Protestant women’ are far more likely to ‘always’ have an orgasm during sex with their husbands (or live-in partner), while those with no religious affiliation were by far the last likely to do so.

As can be seen above, the feminist stereotypes about the lives of married Christian couples are ill founded. Perhaps some of those feminists would have a happier marriage if they embraced biblical Christianity and married a committed Christian husband, and reject their arguably narcissistic lifestyle. Although committed Christian men would reject premarital sex with them (but without any of the last repressive effects proclaimed), once they got married they would almost certainly have far superior sex lives with them! Indeed, as Professor Stark notes, ‘Christian women married with Christian men reportedly have sex more often, more reliably achieve orgasms, and express greater emotional and physical satisfaction with sex than their irreligious counterparts’.[22]

As can be seen, although Christianity has received considerable bad press (especially from the ABC) we are talking about a religious worldview that is profoundly pro-family and pro-women. There is no justification for a tax-funded media corporation to support unsubstantiated claims that contradict ‘an immense body of well-done research’ supporting the claim that Christian men, especially of the Evangelical kind, are better, more loving husbands. Christianity, to be sure, is definitely not ‘feminist’ and it offers a worldview that is deeply departed from contemporary feminist ideology; though one that is far more attractive for women, and which works. 

Dr Augusto Zimmermann LLB, LLM, PhD (Mon.) is Director of Post Graduate Research and former Associate Dean (Research) at Murdoch Law School. He is also Professor of Law (Adjunct) at the University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney campus), and a member of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia

 



[1] Julia Baird, ‘Submit to your Husbands: Women Told to Endure Domestic Violence in the Name of God, ABC, July 21, 2017, at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-18/domestic-violence-church-submit-to-husbands/8652028 See also: Ean Higgins, ‘Churches Hit Back at ‘Selective’ ABC Show’, The Australian, July 21, 2017, at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/broadcast/churches-hit-back-at-selective-abc-show/news-story/1b779dbd8eecb3e071298690c6494571

[2] Rodney Stark, America’s Blessings: How Religion Benefits Everyone, Including Atheists (West Conshohocken/ PA: Templeton Press, 2012), 66

[3] Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity (New York/NY: HarperCollins, 1997), p.98.

[4] Henry Chadwick, The Early Church (Harmondsworth/UK: Penguin Books, 1967), p. 56. Likewise, the German Lutheran theologian and prominent church historian, Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930) stated:  ‘[T]he percentage of Christian women, especially among the upper classes, was larger than Christian men’. – Adolf von Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries – Vol.2 (New York/NY: Putnam’s Sons, 1905) p. 227.

[5] Harnack, p.73

[6] Peter Brown, The Body and Society (New York/ NY: Columbia University Press, 1988) pp. 144-45. Peter Brown is Rollins Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. His work has concerned, in particular, the religious culture of the later Roman Empire and early medieval Europe, and the relation relation between religion and society.

[7] Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity (New York/NY: HarperOne, 2011), p 124.

[8] Ibid. p 109.

[9] Romans 16:1-2

[10] 1 Corinthians 11:12

[11] John 8:1-11.

[12] Matthew 28:10; John 20:11-18.

[13] Susan Groag Bell, Women: From the Greeks to the French Revolution (Palo Alto/CA: Stanford University Press, 1973), p.72

[14] Harold Berman, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge/MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), p 65.

[15] Sandorf Lakoff, Democracy: History, Theory and Practice (Boulder/CO: Westview Press) 1996, p 90.

[16] Richard Godbeer, Sexual Revolution in Early America: Gender Relations in the American Experience (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), p.60.

[17] Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (London/UK: Hodder & Stoughton, 2011), p. 178.

[18] Christopher G. Ellison and Kristin L. Anderson, ‘Religious Involvement and Domestic Violence among U.S. Couples’ (2001) 40 Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 269-86. See also: W. Bradford Wilcox, Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands (Chicago/IL: Chicago University Press, 2004).

[19] Stark, above n.2, p. 87.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid., p. 88.

[22] Linda J Waite and Kara Joyner, ‘Emotional Satisfaction and Physical Pleasure in Sexual Unions: Time Horizon, Sexual Behavior, and Sexual Exclusivity (2001) 63 Journal of Marriage and Family 247-64. See also: J. Kenneth Davidson, Caron Anderson, Darling and Laura Norton, ‘Religiosity and the Sexuality of Women: Sexual Behavior and Sexual Satisfaction Revisited’ (1995) 32 Journal of Sex Research 235-43.

Comments [9]

  1. Jimbob says:

    A truly enlightening exposition of the “power” of the gospel to civilise us. How sad that writers like Julia Baird who I thought had quite a profound Christian influence in her life and what appear (prima facie) to be excellent examples of Christian gentlemen in her own life (her father and her older brother) should descend to the gutter as a journalist. One can only wonder what goes on in her head to knowingly and with obvious malice aforethought seek to smear a particular class of male.

    I’m am never going to excuse wrongdoing by Christians (Catholic, Eastern, Protestant or whatever) but this “war” on Christianity by the public broadcaster is not only unseemly but also quite immoral. I’ll bet London to a brick that a very substantial proportion of Christians will be of the solid middle Australia whose taxes pay for the various (undeserved) sinecures of these supposedly “professional” journalists! It seems a great injustice that we must pay taxes to support those who would seek to destroy every civilising value we hold dear and even us if they could. It’s refreshing to see Professor Zimmerman highlighting some real and easily provable positive effects of the timeless values he outlines above.

    As John Bunyan once said whilst languishing in prison for his faith, the Devil loves nothing more than to clothe the Christian in bear skins and then set the dogs on them! The ABC has become a pack of raving, frothing at mouth, barking mad animals.

  2. [email protected] says:

    James Parkes, the English Anglican who studied in depth the beginnings of Christianity as a sect of Judaism, wrote a few books under the name of John Hadham to give succor to his countrymen’s spirit during and after WWII. In these he addressed secular sensibilities by bringing to his Christian faith the style of discourse he had learned from Jewish method of distillation through argument. This exposition here about relationships within marriage, founded on Christian texts and practices, along with real world observation, reminds me of that style of discourse. Thank you. Is this author the same Augusto Zimmermann who has applied for the now open position as president of the Human Rights Commission.
    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&an=john+hadham

  3. Peter says:

    I liked this enormously Augusto but I simply don’t think that this passage below from Ephesians can be saved, whatever gloss is put on it:

    “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5: 22-24).

    I prefer to rely on Dominican priest Wilfrid Harrington (Jesus and Paul, 1991)who argues that Paul’s letter to the Ephesians was almost certainly not written by Paul and was one of a number of pseudo-Pauline letters representing a “backlash to the disturbing prominence of women in the Christian movement”. Makes sense to me and gets out of this awful order of God – man – woman; which, to my mind, is not consistent with all of us being one in Christ.

    • pgang says:

      You’re modernist-contextualising it Peter. Not only were they different times, but Paul always wrote with an over-arching theological viewpoint. Adam was the first man and is our representative for our sinful, fallen life – the patriarch of the ‘body’. Jesus is the perfect man (the Son of Man or, as we would say today, The Man), who is the patriarch or representative of our resurrection or ‘spiritual’ self/body. Just as we are subject to Christ (whether faithfully or not), so we are also subject to Adam (and Satan). Just as we are doomed through Adam, we are saved through Christ. Understood in this light, Paul’s teachings become much clearer.

      Eve was created as a companion for Adam, taken from his own body. She was somebody who, as Adam himself stated, was of equal ‘value’ as himself. Adam calls Eve (whom he names), ‘the mother of all living’. It is impossible to think of a more honourable name. Paul states that man comes to life through a woman. Paul says pretty well nothing without a Scriptural context.

      But Adam remained as the head of humanity, the first-born Child of God. It was through the sin of Adam that we fell, not the sin of Eve. Adam is ultimately the responsible party.

      Note the construction of Paul’s argument. Wive’s are to submit to their husbands, as they submit to the Lord (submission is not servitude but recognition of representation, like submitting to the authority of the state). Eve was in submission to Adam, as we know from his carrying the responsibility of sin before God. For the husband (Adam) is the head of the wife (Eve).

      Then comes the wonderful example of Christ, for both the husband and the wife. Women, be the like the Church which is the body of Christ (which we all partake of in the Holy Sacrament). We are again reminded here that Eve was taken from the body of Adam, and thus women are admonished to live resurrection lives in the body of Christ (as opposed to the body of Adam).

      Men, be like Christ – the loving (resurrected) servant of your wife, just as Christ is the loving servant of the Church. Authority does not mean authoritarian. Note also the closed loops, in which women must also submit to the Lord, and that life comes from women even though Eve was from the body of Adam. Paul says a lot with a few words.

      I don’t see how this is problematic as it call both parties equally to a response in Christ, based on the interwoven relationships that began in Eden.

      Note how existential, naturalistic evolutionism does serious damage to the proper context of these teachings. The ‘enlightenment’ philosophical experiments actually endarkened true Reformist progress.

      I agree that Augusto has written a wonderfully devastating critique/apologetic, which will be totally ignored by the world.

    • Jimbob says:

      Peter,

      What you have highlighted is a classic problem with understanding the Bible as a living document. It really is easy to make it say what we want it to say rather than letting it speak for itself. I have no wish to enter any debate on the science of hermeneutics (whether of religious, secular or scientific texts) but the passage you just quoted actually doesn’t start at verse 22. It starts at verse 21 which commences with the words:

      “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ”

      Mutual submission is not a particularly difficult concept to understand. All of us submit to the authorities because that is better than anarchy and lawlessness; children whilst in their minority and whilst their knowledge is limited and life experience lacking are better off submitting to their parents.

      When we submit to “authority”, we tend to have some semblance of social order as the product of that submission which then enables us to follow our dreams, express our views and generally pursue our individual happiness. On the other side of the submission equation, we trust that our rulers will subdue the natural desire to pursue their own interests and pursue ours instead. They would do this by restraining those who disturb the peace and even punish those who at recalcitrant and obsessed with doing evil to others. Try living in world where there is no soundly constituted authority! There are plenty of failed states for you to experiment with….if you dare. Need I say anything we don’t know about parents neglecting the proper authority they have over their children? How many self-obsessed narcissistic “little emperors and empresses” do we want to produce?

      Those who exercise authority well see it as a public service / duty and in our system (thankfully informed by Christianity) usually means that other avenues of achieving personal prosperity or happiness must be sacrificed. As an example, I often wonder why a man like Tony Abbott puts up with so much unbelievable malice (but of course, he is not the only one). How different could his life have been had he concentrated on a banking career or a business career? Think also of the sacrifices loving parents make and often for a degree of gratitude more dangerous to the soul than a poisonous serpents tooth!

      It is this kind of mutual submission that Paul is really talking about. It works both ways “submitting to husbands as to the Lord”; submitting to wives as the Lord…who by the way came to serve His “bride” (even at the cost of the ultimate sacrifice – read the section in it’s context)and not to be served. Good order in the family is equally as important as good order in broader society and indeed, I am an older fart and would venture to say, you can’t have one without the other.

      Context is critical.

      I’ve never read anything by Fr. Harrington but I’ve certainly heard the argument many times. All I can say is that “unity in Christ” was never intended to be “uniformity” in Christ. Male and Female as far as I can see, together reflect the “imago dei”. Without both, the image of God in man is not complete.

      Anyway, I’m only going over ground well covered by Professor Zimmerman. There is no reason to read popular modern constructs back on a text which is “timeless”.

  4. Warty says:

    I can understand why you might write this article Augusto, and yes I suppose there is a need for a voice to counter that of the ABC, but personally I really couldn’t give two dingo’s droppings what the ABC have to say on religion or Christianity in particular: if what they said about George Pell fondling boys, in some strange town in the Republic of Victoria, and then showering in front of them, is anything to go by; or the utterly one-sided report on the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre; or this renewed assault on the Church, then who’s listening? Certainly none of the people reading Augusto’s article. We are wall to wall conservatives here. Well mostly.
    Now what did make me sit up and take note, was that Anglican Minister, Mark Durie, on the Bolt Report, who said “To be fair, on this particular issue, I do feel Julia Blair has a point . . . I’ve encountered many women with stories like the one she describes, an it is the case that there are churches through their theology and practices that do make the abuse of spouses worse. And we do need to have a public discussion about it’.
    Now forgive me while I take a moment to quietly vomit in the corner of my upstairs study. No, it may not be noticed, because chaos reigns in the room at the best of times, and some of the stuff I read and hear do bring me to the point of retching, but this one actually ensured it.
    Now there are all sorts of problems with Durie’s opening statements. First of all this is a classic example of the sort of Western white man’s guilt thing, except it’s not about neo colonialism, but more Christian guilt for being, well, Christian.
    By now, we know the stats. and the fact is that church goers are overwhelmingly less likely to beat the bejeebers out of their wives. Unlike nominal Christians who don’t go to church, or very seldom indeed. And these are flaming saints in fluffy white dressing gowns compared to Aboriginal males in remote communities; and that bunch had been at it long before grog was brought to these shores, or the white fellas who had the strange tendency to speak respectfully to their wives . . . well not all the time.
    This lovely PC indoctrinated minister from the Arthur Jeffery Centre, at the Melbourne School of Theology, made these statements, but was unable to support them with hard facts or figures; made no attempt to compare his (lack of) evidence with, say Islamic communities, or any other sort of head kicking community you care to name. No, it was not his game. He was there to run down his own church so that he could join in the sense of elation the rest of the lefties get when they indulge in virtue signalling. Not for Mark to do anything to safeguard our Western Civilisation. No he simply threw his never used cassock on the pyre while Neo-Gramsci fiddled.
    Now this I did indeed care two dingo’s droppings about.

    • Peter says:

      Warty, I am so glad you said this. My feelings exactly when Mark Durie gave his pathetic opening. I get the impression that Anglican ministers, on the whole, suffer from the misapprehension that Christ was a doormat and that they have to follow suit.

      • Warty says:

        That’s exactly the impression I got. Even the way he returned Andrew Bolt’s greeting sounded wimpy. In the late 20th, early 21st Centuries, some Christians have transformed ‘turning the other cheek’ into unconditional surrender. St Paul would have all kinds of pink fits.
        I was reading Greg Sheridan’s memoir, When We Were Young & Foolish, last night, and he referred to Tony Abbott’s as ‘muscular Christianity’. Of course Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s was a different order yet again, though he died for his. I can’t see Durie dying for anything.