Education

The Anti-Western History Curriculum

Australia has a history curriculum that covers students from Years 7 to 10. It was originally designed by Stuart Macintyre, a history professor and ex-member of the Communist Party of Australia.[1] Not only does it push for moral relativism and multiculturalism, it also promotes a radical agenda that is negative towards Christianity but positive towards Islam as well as the Green ideology and other politically correct causes embraced by the radical Left.

Focused heavily on topics such as multiculturalism and indigenous culture, the curriculum places indigenous and Asian ways of seeing the world into almost every conceivable subject. This curriculum contains 118 references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and history. While there can be no doubt that this forms a relevant aspect of Australia’s history, it should not be included at the expense of our country’s predominantly Western values and culture.

This curriculum fails miserably to recognise the impact of Western civilisation in shaping Australia’s cultural, legal, economic and political development. Rather than acknowledging that ours is predominantly a Western nation, in terms of language, legal institutions and history, the curriculum goes on to define Australia as multicultural in terms of a “diversity of values and principles”. There is no mention whatsoever of fundamental concepts such as separation of powers and the Westminster system of constitutional government. It makes only a brief reference to Parliament and none to some of the most significant events in Western history, including the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights.

 

Disregard of Western Christian Heritage

It was the atheist Richard Dawkins, when addressing the King James Bible Trust in 2011, who said: “You can’t appreciate English literature unless you are steeped to some extent in the King James Bible. We are a Christian society, we come from a Christian culture and not to know the King James Bible is to be in some small way, barbarian.”[2] This may be slightly hyperbolic but, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated in 2011, “the Bible is an important part of our culture”; she went on to say that “it’s impossible to understand Western literature without having that key of understanding the Bible stories”.[3] Another former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, certainly agrees. As leader of the opposition he argued, in 2012, that “it is impossible to imagine our society without the influence of Christendom”, thus concluding that “it is important for people to leave school with some understanding of the Bible”.[4]

The role played by Christianity in the development of Australia as a free and democratic nation is undeniable. And yet, Australia is described in the curriculum as a “secular nation with a multicultural and multi-faith society”; indeed as a multicultural society that is “diverse and dynamic” and where people coming from different cultural backgrounds must be taught to “value their own cultures, languages and beliefs”. While students are taught to embrace diversity for diversity’s sake (the new code for multiculturalism),[5] the central place of Christianity in the development of our social and political institutions has been completely ignored.

Among the issues facing our country during its foundational period was certainly not that of establishing a secular government. The Australian Constitution originated in a social environment with different branches of the Christian religion competing strongly for cultural influence. It is likely that a majority of the Founders maintained at least a formal affiliation with major Protestant groups, although the views of Catholics and Jews were also included.[6] Rather than promoting an insistence on the Australian state as comprising a secular entity, the writers of the curriculum should inform students that, as the legal scholar Dr Alex Deagon points out:

many of the framers did not desire a secular society which rejected the public display and discourse of religion. The historical and cultural context of the development of s 116 [of the Constitution] was a general endorsement of religion and a climate of tolerance based on a concern for the advancement of religion.[7]

Christian ideology is infused in the legal and governmental institutions and customs of Australia—starting with the first British fleet departing for Australia in 1787, when Captain Arthur Phillip was instructed by the British government to enforce a due observance of religion and to take such steps as were necessary for the celebration of public worship.[8] According to historians Greg Melleuish and Stephen Chavura, a main concern throughout Australia’s history has been to ensure that religious difference does not turn into religious conflict.[9] They dismiss the claim implied in the curriculum that Australia is somehow a uniquely secular nation as an “illusion, brought on by an inadequate understanding of what religion, and the religious condition, mean, together with a dash of wishful thinking”.[10]

Omitted in the curriculum is also the undeniable fact that Christianity saved the indigenous populations from utter annihilation. In 1859 the biologist Charles Darwin published what soon became a highly influential book: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. While Darwin in Origin defines the word race as a synonym for species, applying the term to plants and animals, the implication that his observations could easily be applied to describe human races was quite evident, which was explicitly elaborated in his Descent of Man twelve years later. Darwin, extrapolating on this supposed “evolution” of the human species and its different races, opined:

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.[11]

Deeply fallacious as such racist arguments are, Darwinian philosophy had a profound impact on the social science disciplines such as psychology, anthropology and law. Many people started believing that the British conquest and colonisation of places like Australia was “proof of the racial inferiority of the indigenous peoples, who simply did not have the inherent abilities—especially mental talent—of the European colonizers”.[12] By placing the existing ethnicities on different levels of human evolution, Darwinism sanctioned the extinction of the so-called “low and mentally underdeveloped populations with which Europeans came into contact”.[13] According to US law professor Phillip E. Johnson:

Because Darwin was determined to establish human continuity with animals, he frequently wrote of “savages and lower races” as intermediate between animals and civilized people. Thus … it was as much Darwin himself as any of the so-called social Darwinists who set the evolutionary approach to human behavior on a politically unacceptable course. Thanks to Darwin’s acceptance of the idea of hierarchy among human societies … the spread and endurance of a racist form of social Darwinism owes more to Charles Darwin than to Herbert Spencer.[14]

What the curriculum fails to address is that colonial Australia was not primarily Darwinian—far from it. It was rough, and some evil was perpetrated on its frontiers. The curriculum is happy to remind us of that. However, although Britain was profoundly impacted by Darwinian philosophy, the leading British opponents of racism and slavery were individuals who remained faithful to biblical teaching, and hence had come to the view that since Adam and Eve are our first ancestors, then they are the ancestors of all humans. “Are not Adam and Eve parents of us all?”[15] As noted recently by Bella d’Abrera:

In 1788, the British colonists brought with them centuries of ­accumulated knowledge and the basis of our cultural heritage. They brought with them the values of liberty, inquiry, toleration, religious plurality and economic freedom. They brought with them Christianity, which had positioned the individual as the locus of meaning, sovereignty and significance. Equality of man, individual dignity and the abolition of slavery were all bequeathed to the world by Christianity and Christian thinkers.[16]

Inspired by the morality of the Gospels, the Christian clergy set themselves to protect the indigenous peoples of this country, “benevolence being an essential for Christian salvation as for the salvation of the heathen”.[17] Without the Christian religion and colonisers motivated by Christian values and beliefs, “the Indigenous population would probably have been completely wiped out. The whole venture … could have been a disaster”.[18] And yet, “saving the Indigenous population of Australia from total extinction may be the Christian Churches’ most important collective achievement. Yet they get little credit for it.”[19] As Keith Windschuttle has noted:

Evangelical Christianity was the dominant Protestant movement of nineteenth-century Australia and a contemporary driving force for social reform. Britain’s great Evangelical revival in the eighteenth century required its adherents to apply the principles of the Gospel to social life and to engage not only in religious rituals but in benevolent social works … [including] prison reform, orphan schools, education for the poor, and especially … the abolition of British engagement in the slave trade in 1807 through the efforts of William Wilberforce.[20]

Why then does the history curriculum completely fail to address all these fundamental issues? Would it be because of the notorious distaste of our academic elites for Christianity and their subsequent refusal to admit that anything good might come from the Christian religion? The curriculum writers refuse to take Christianity seriously. They can’t bear to concede that Christianity has been a positive culture-shaping force for Australia’s society, one that beneficially transformed education, medicine, charity, science and the arts.

 

Multiculturalist Indoctrination

Another problem is the blind faith in multiculturalist ideology. Such an approach implies that all cultures (except, of course, the Western one) must be treated equally and possibly even celebrated by students. As evidence of this, in its report about students’ responses released on December 13, 2017, the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) comments that the deliberate attempt to force children to embrace cultural relativism has been successfully carried out by this curriculum. The report explicitly states: “it is heartening to note that the percentages of students demonstrating positive attitudes towards Australian indigenous culture and Australian diversity have increased significantly since 2010”.[21]

Western culture is therefore to be treated as just another culture among others. While students are forced to learn about every subject through the multicultural prism of uncritical celebration of all forms of Asian, indigenous and Muslim contributions to Australia’s society, the debt owed to our Western values and culture is neglected. It is clear that the curriculum writers are committed to a radical ideology that advances a morally relativistic view of history, which therefore promotes the concept of diversity even at the expense of what makes Australia unique and special, and what makes so many non-Western refugees, both legal and illegal, want to live in this predominantly Western nation.

By embracing all forms of values and cultures this curriculum makes it impossible to identify what makes Australian values and culture special. For some reason, the crucial principle of Australia’s cultural heritage derived from Western civilisation is not included. “No priority has been accorded to the Western roots of Australia.”[22] Such an approach fails to provide students with much of a sense of their own cultural heritage. Our predominant religion, namely Christianity, appears only incidentally in the curriculum.[23]

Of course, the more extreme advocates of multiculturalism would think that Western values should be attacked as xenophobic, oppressive and inequitable, which is apparently proven by our “racist, misogynist and imperialist past”.[24] Instead of making them more fully appreciate the importance of Western values (such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law), such ideologues would love to see students blindly embracing diversity for diversity’s sake, and to believe ultimately that “citizenship means different things to people at different times and depending on personal perspectives, their social situation and where they live”.[25]

Such a belief advanced by this curriculum makes it far more difficult to argue against religious extremists championing jihad against Christians, and even to argue that there are some moral values we should hold in common if society is to survive and prosper.[26] As noted by Peter Kurti from the Centre for Independent Studies:

one way multiculturalism seeks to institutionalise diversity is by arguing that full cultural tolerance, in the name of diversity, requires both space and permission for religious or cultural practices, even if those practices may contravene society’s norms or laws, or both.[27]

He argues correctly that a preoccupation with diversity allegedly in the name of tolerance and anti-racism threatens to inflict a great distortion upon a free and open society. Far from enhancing the liberal ideal of individual freedom within a framework of the rule of law, the agenda of the hard multiculturalists is to promote the interests of the group over those of the individual.[28]

It is not difficult for a reasonable person to identify all the possible tensions between the concepts of “multiculturalism” and “democracy”. A true democracy certainly does not depend on “cultural diversity”, but on the legal status of the citizen being endowed with equal rights to life, liberty and property. Securing the conditions of a multicultural society and preserving these fundamental rights of the citizen are potentially competing principles, which might have to be traded off against each other.

In On Democracy, his seminal work on how democracies work, Robert Dahl, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Yale University, identifies the underlying conditions that would be favourable to the stability of democratic institutions. “Where these conditions are weakly absent democracy is unlikely to exist, or if it does, its existence is likely to be precarious,” he says.[29] Among conditions he identifies as essential for the stability of democracy are “weak sub-cultural pluralism” and “democratic beliefs and political culture”.[30] “Democratic political institutions are more likely to develop and endure in a country that is culturally fairly homogeneous and less likely in a country with sharply differentiated and conflicting subcultures.”[31] Conversely, he writes, “cultural diversity threatens to generate intractable social conflicts”, thus making democratic institutions no longer tenable. He concludes:

Cultural conflicts can erupt into the political arena, and typically they do: over religion, language, and dress codes in schools, for example … or discriminatory practices by one group against another; or whether the government should support religion or religious institutions, and if so, which ones and in what ways; or practices by one group that another finds deeply offensive and wishes to prohibit, such as … cow slaughter, or “indecent” dress’, or how and whether territorial and political boundaries should be adapted to fit group desires and demands. And so on. And on … Issues like these pose a special problem for democracy. Adherents of a particular culture often view their political demands as matters of principle, deep religious or quasi-religious conviction, cultural preservation, or group survival. As a consequence, they consider their demands too crucial to allow for compromise. They are non-negotiable. Yet under a peaceful democratic process, settling political conflicts generally requires negotiation, conciliation, compromise.[32]

Professor Dahl is suggesting that a properly functioning democracy “cannot be radically multicultural but depends for its successful renewal across the generations on an undergirding culture that is held in common”.[33] Such a culture, writes the liberal British philosopher John Gray, “needs not encompass a shared religion and it certainly need not presuppose ethnic homogeneity, but it does demand widespread acceptance of certain norms and conventions of behaviour and, in our times, it typically expresses a shared sense of nationality”.[34] In sum, it is not actually feasible to lock people into enclaves of ethnicity and expect democracy and real tolerance to thrive; quite the contrary. This simply can’t advance the ideals of democracy and human rights at all.

It is easy to criticise the naive assumption implicit in this curriculum that all cultures necessarily agree with values such as democracy and human rights, or that people belonging to certain cultures will not create “insurmountable obstacles” for the ultimate realisation of all these important values. As noted by the late Samuel Huntington, if democratic elections were held in some countries of the Islamic world, chances are that such elections would bring to power individuals who are wholly uncommitted to the protection of fundamental human rights. By appealing to their own religious loyalties, such elected rulers would be more likely than not to promote intolerance and to deny a broad range of basic rights to all sorts of peoples, particularly women, homosexuals and minority groups.[35]

This brings us again to multiculturalism, which is so uncritically celebrated by the curriculum. As an idea that started out in the 1960s and early 1970s, it might initially have had the reasonable goal of including certain minority groups in Western societies. Nowadays, however, it is rather more difficult to talk candidly about such an idea, since the multiculturalist project is no longer about a fair debate about different cultures, but instead a radical postmodernist ideology aiming at the “deconstruction” of Western values and beliefs.[36] Indeed, in his last book Huntington accused multiculturalism of having primarily become an “anti-Western ideology” that is “directly opposed to Eurocentric concepts of democratic principles, culture, and identity”.[37] Instead of attempting to consider Western values (including democracy, human rights and freedoms), hard multiculturalists consider such values to be “ethnocentric products of Western history”. In their place a radical form of cultural relativism is embraced, one that although it preserves a certain gloss of tolerance and respect for all cultures, simply refuses to admit that culture, at the extremes, can produce either a democratic society or social oppression, particularly against women and minority groups.

 

Islamic Indoctrination

The situation becomes all the more bizarre when the curriculum asks students to investigate “The Western and Islamic world”. The two “worlds” are listed together as a single entity. This means a primary focus on the apparently positive relationship between Islam and the West, rather than on the West itself. In the Year 8 syllabus, the curriculum is effectively apologetic of the Islamic religion by asking students to appreciate the “tolerance of the [Muslim] Ottomans towards Christians and Jews”.

The truth about life under Ottoman rule is considerably different from what the curriculum appears to imply. A great deal of nonsense is required to presume such a tolerance of Christians and Jews. The truth about Ottoman rule is that Ottoman rulers went to great lengths to humiliate and punish Christians and Jews who refused to convert to Islam. It was official policy in the Ottoman empire that Christians and Jews should feel inferior. They were treated with the utmost contempt and were far more severely taxed than their Muslim counterparts.[38]

Aspects of the Ottoman empire were directly derived from the Koran, including an undertaking of fatwa against non-believers and establishing a caliphate that will always be completely antithetical to Western ways of life.[39] Such ways of life are based on a Christian doctrine that humans are endowed by God with certain inalienable rights. Unfortunately, our students will not be taught these important things. Instead, they will be given the opportunity to “investigate the achievements” of Suleiman the Magnificent in “expanding the empire” and maintaining its “strength and influence”.

Students will not learn how such “expansion” occurred. After all, the Ottomans systematically engaged in “massacre, plunder, and arson” of entire communities.[40] There are numerous episodes of indiscriminate slaughter of Christians and Jews during “expansion” of the empire. Take for instance the Ottoman invasion of Cyprus in 1571, where the Muslim invaders murdered tens of thousands of Christian civilians. Most of the island’s population—predominantly Catholic, with some Greek Orthodox—was brutally exterminated.

This is not to say that in those days Christians were more tolerant than Muslims, but such an effort to portray the Ottoman Muslims as some sort of enlightened supporters of tolerance and multiculturalism is at best ignorant.[41] It presents an utterly false and misleading view of Islam as an intrinsically benign religion that graciously exercises its tolerance towards Christians and Jews. As noted by Paul Crawford, who teaches Ancient and Medieval History at California University of Pennsylvania:

Despite the argument that Islam has historically been a religion of peace, warfare was central to the spread of Islam in the Middle East and Mediterranean, conceptually as well as historically. Pre-Islamic Arab culture was predicated to a significant degree on raiding (known as razzias) and warfare, in ways similar to that of pre-Christian Viking culture; Islam emerged in a violent context and expanded with even more violence. In many ways Muhammad appears as a warrior chieftain, despite his religious message … Muhammad personally participated in or sanctioned no fewer than eighty-six military campaigns or raids against various opponents, including Jews, pagans, and Byzantine Christians, as he and his early followers established political control over the Arabian peninsula. Because Islam theoretically forbids warfare between Muslims, for the deeply entrenched razzia tradition of Arabia to continue, raiding activity had to be turned against non-Muslims.[42]

It gets even worse when the curriculum asks students to celebrate the “inventions and developments in the Islamic world and their subsequent adoption in the Western world”. These inventions which are attributed to the Islamic world were actually not developed by the Muslim conquerors, but are rather the inventions of conquered peoples—the Judeo-Christian-Greek culture and architecture of Byzantium, the remarkable learning of the Copts and Nestorians, the extensive knowledge of astronomy from the Zoroastrians and the great mathematical achievements of the Hindus.[43] Even so-called Arabic numerals are entirely Hindu in origin. By contrast, the anti-intellectual attitude of the Muslim masters and conquerors is so clear that Saladin, the famous twelfth-century Muslim hero who is so admired by many Western writers, closed the official library in Cairo and discarded all its books.[44]

If one takes into account “value premises”, it is patently clear that the modern scientific method flourished in the Western world due to the spirit of rationalism that encompassed a religious doctrine whereby the divine lawmaker has conferred order and law on the universe. This theological assumption played a fundamental role in the rise of modern science in the seventeenth century, particularly an empirical science that posits “the existence of a single God, the Creator and Governor of the universe [that] functions in an orderly and normally predictable manner”.[45] There is nothing of this kind in Islamic teaching, which is why the Islamic world can’t be compared with the Western World in terms of scientific knowledge and development. Since the Koran asserts that Allah is unknown, and that all of one’s life is predetermined by him at the beginning of time, Rodney Stark concludes:

Perhaps the single most important thing that sets Allah apart from Yahweh and Jehovah is that Islam teaches that he utterly defies all understanding. It is impossible for human intellects to grasp any aspect of Allah, nor can he reveal himself further since he is unknowable. Consequently, reasoning about the nature of God is regarded as impossible by some Muslim scholars and denounced as blasphemy by many. Instead of concerning themselves with the sorts of questions about God that occupy Christian theologians, Muslim scholars devote their efforts to working out the intricacies of Shari’a, or holy law.[46]

Professor Stark then concludes that these Islamic doctrines, including the “orthodox” claim that all attempts to formulate natural laws are blasphemous in that they, too, would limit Allah’s freedom, have played a major role in the abject failure of the Islamic world to keep pace with the Western world.[47] According to Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-born American psychiatrist who was one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2006:

In order to safeguard itself from the outside world, Islam … has fought against every innovation, doubting its appropriateness and legality. Its relationship with the world that surrounded it has been characterized by aggression rather than by mutuality and reciprocity. No notable change has taken place inside Islam since the moment it came to being. The only changes that came to Islam came from outside the borders of the authority that the Muslim world has managed to impose on itself.[48]

Instead of promoting a myth of Islamic inventions and discoveries influencing the Western world, the curriculum should invite students to analyse the role of Christianity in the development of modern science. It was the Judeo-Christian conviction about the predictability of the natural order that led one the greatest pioneers of modern science, Sir Francis Bacon, to declare that God provided humanity with two books—the book of Nature and the Bible—and that a well-educated person should be able to study both.[49] All the leading figures in the rise of modern science, such as Galileo,[50] Kepler, Pascal, Boyle and Pasteur, believed in a God that, “far from being a hindrance to their science, was the main inspiration for it and they were not shy of saying so”.[51]

This is particularly so in relation to the scientific discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, especially his discovery of the laws of gravity, which he interpreted as a strong confirmation of the creative genius of God’s handwork in nature.[52] Newton believed that the laws of gravity confirmed the existence of a “Creator of the universe who certainly is not mechanical … [but] incorporeal, living, intelligent, omnipresent”.[53] “This most beautiful system of sun, planets, and comets, can only proceed from the counsel and domination of an intelligent and powerful being,” he said:[54]

God governs the world invisibly, and he has commanded us to worship him, and no other God … he has revived Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who has gone into the heavens to receive and prepare a place for us, and … will at length return and reign over us … till he has raised up and judged all the dead.[55]

Let’s go back to the curriculum’s assumption about the “tolerance” of the Muslim world. What such “tolerance” means has been explained by Brian J. Grim and Roger Finke in The Price of Freedom Denied, which examines the place of religion in the world. Perhaps the most significant finding in the book is that in majority-Muslim countries “religious persecution is reported in 100 percent of cases”.[56] Indeed, “religious persecution is not only more prevalent in Muslim-majority countries, but it also generally occurs at a more severe level”, they write.[57] In the Islamic world, even Muslims may face persecution if they do not follow the official interpretation of the religion: “Sunni, Shia and Sufi Muslims may be persecuted for differing from the version of Islam promulgated by locally hegemonic religious authorities … Iran represses Sunnis and Sufis. In Egypt, Shia leaders have been imprisoned and tortured.”[58]

In the Islamic world, too many basic rights are circumscribed. For a start, there is no tolerance for homosexuality, women’s rights, or other religions. There is an asymmetrical relationship in the Islamic world between Muslims and non-believers, and between men and women. For example, a Christian caught practising her faith in Saudi Arabia is likely to be beheaded in public. Islamists regularly attack and kill Christian Copts in Egypt and burn down their churches.[59] Sharia law prescribes the amputation of hands for theft (V.38), crucifixion for spreading disorder (V.33), stoning to death for adultery, and the execution of gay and lesbian people (XXVI.165-66).

Christians may agree with Muslims that obedience to the secular law is impossible when that law conflicts with the laws of God. But there is a fundamental difference. For the Christian, “the law of God coincides with the moral principles laid down in the Ten Commandments, which were reduced by Christ to just two—namely, to love God entirely and to love your neighbor as yourself. These commandments do not replace the secular law but constrain it. They set limits to what the sovereign can command: but so long as the sovereign does not transgress those limits, the secular law retains absolute authority over the citizen.”. By contrast, as Roger Scruton writes:

Islamic jurisprudence does not recognize secular, still less territorial, jurisdiction as a genuine source of law. It proposes a universal law that is the single path (shari’a) to salvation. And the shari’a is not understood as setting limits to what can be commanded, but rather as a fully comprehensive system of commands—which can serve a military just as well as a civilian function.[60]

 

Human rights in the curriculum

A properly designed curriculum should make Western history compulsory. This is after all our own values and culture. If you are not teaching the whole thing about our own civilisation, then you are not giving students a complete picture of who they are and what their society is. [61] However, the teaching of important periods in Western history such as the Middle Ages has been left entirely optional. This potentially means students miss approximately 1000 years of their history!

To make it even worse, the curriculum in the Year 10 syllabus claims that the struggle for human rights and freedoms started only with the creation of the United Nations. There is not a single reference to previous struggles for rights and freedoms, such as those of the 1688 Glorious Revolution and the American Revolution. For these revolutionaries the whole purpose of acknowledging human rights was to protect the citizen against excessive government power. A constant refrain demonstrated by the enumeration of those “God-given inalienable rights” was the preoccupation with ensuring resistance against arbitrary abuses of the government.

The concept of human rights was first developed during the Middle Ages, when medieval theologians began to examine the implications of applying Scripture to the conversation about human rights. Because Christianity believes that God gave us life, and the right to life is so important in Scripture, the medieval thinkers concluded that it is objectively wrong to take an innocent person’s life and to forfeit one’s own innocent life. They correctly reasoned that God established individual liberty when He made it patently clear in Scripture that it is morally wrong to arbitrarily take away the liberty He himself has granted to all human beings.

Original to those medieval theologians was a belief in fundamental rights that are grounded in human dignity and advance the common good.[62] Christianity embraces reason and logic as fundamental guides to truth, religious or otherwise. Reason comprises a special gift of God to humankind, working to progressively increase our understanding of the Creator and the natural moral order. The connection between law and reason is an essential component of the Christian approach to law and justice, since the essence of protecting rights is basically a response to the puzzle of freedom within the boundaries of the natural order. In Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (2014), Larry Siedentop commented:

The roots of liberalism were firmly established in the arguments of philosophers and canon lawyers by the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries: belief in a fundamental equality of status as the proper basis for a legal system; belief that enforcing moral conduct is a contradiction in terms; a defence of individual liberty, through the assertion of fundamental or “natural” rights; and, finally, the conclusion that only a representative form of government is appropriate for a society resting on the assumption of moral equality.[63]

The curriculum fails to acknowledge any of these important facts. Students will not understand that the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949) is actually based on the Western legal tradition of rights and freedoms, in that our most fundamental rights are not regarded as government-conferred, but government-recognised. As noted by law professor Ngaire Naffine:

the Universal Declaration reflects the natural law view that rights inhere naturally in human beings: rights are not legal constructs as the strict Legalists insist. They are not the product of law, they are not posited into being by law, but rather precede law and indwell in human beings as a natural property.[64]

Whatever we make of these historical arguments, any proper teaching of history would have to ask students to identify these philosophical underpinnings. But instead the curriculum asks the students to consider the role of the UN in protecting human rights. One doubts if they will learn that this international organisation is notoriously corrupt and has developed a tradition of shamefully delaying responses to human rights violations.

In the UN Security Council, China and Russia have constantly used their veto power to protect human rights abusers. They have prevented this organisation from doing anything substantial about genocidal policies such as the one undertaken by the Islamic government of Sudan. Of course, this is only a repetition of what took place during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, where more than 800,000 people were brutally murdered, and the UN stood by and allowed it all to happen.[65]

Any decent curriculum would require students to reflect on how the Security Council’s inactions have cost the lives of many millions over the last six decades or so. For many years the absolute failure of the UN to protect human rights was epitomised by its now infamous Commission on Human Rights (CHR). As the premier UN human rights body, the CHR was charged with holding “public meetings to review the human rights performance of States, [developing] new standards, and [enhancing] human rights around the world”.[66] Not only has the CHR completely failed to address some of the most appalling instances of human rights violations, it was also used by the abusers to block any criticism.[67] Indeed, countries with an appalling human rights record such as China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Zimbabwe were often elected and re-elected to the CHR, with Libya under the notorious dictator Muammar Gaddafi even serving as chair in 2003.[68]

After a long period of negotiations and deliberations, the UN General Assembly decided to replace the CHR with a new Human Rights Council (HRC) in March 2006. The UN General Assembly then elected countries such as Algeria, China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia as the first members of the HRC.[69] Libya and six other human rights abusers (Angola, Malaysia, Thailand, Uganda, Mauritania, and Qatar) have also been elected to the HRC. As a result, the HRC has become just another way for human rights abusers to deflect any criticism rather than being held to account.[70]

That more often than not the United Nations has completely failed to protect basic human rights is something that every student in Australia should know.

 

The Rights of Women

There is in the curriculum a constant preoccupation with the role played by women throughout history, across civilisations. Such discussion is found in almost every topic. For example, the Year 7 syllabus asks students to analyse one of Egypt or Greece or Rome, and to study “the rights of women” and “the role of women in Athenian or Roman societies”.

For a curriculum that seems so deeply interested in the role of women in different societies, it would be expected that the role of Christianity in advancing the rights of women would be considered. Feminist scholars often claim that Christianity has been a major oppressor of women throughout history. These scholars usually ignore the fact that the first Christian communities were predominately female, not male.[71] As noted by the late Cambridge historian Henry Chadwick, in 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.”[72]

The early Church was especially attractive to women. From the early days of Christianity women were involved in numerous church activities. In those days Christian women enjoyed much higher status then did their female counterparts elsewhere in the ancient world. In the words of Dr Peter Brown, Emeritus Professor of History at Princeton University, “the Christian clergy … took a step that separated them from the rabbis of Palestine … they welcomed women as patrons and even offered women roles in which they could act as collaborators”.[73]

By contrast, the ancient world’s scorn for women is well known. Plato, who believed in reincarnation, went on to suggest that a bad man’s fate is to be reincarnated as a woman. Plato regarded a female as “a kind of mutilated male” (Timaeus, para 91a). Likewise, Aristotle thought that women were defective versions of the rational “polis-male”. Women may have some power of reason but “it is very feeble and without authority”, he wrote. (Politics, 1260A12). He concluded: “Females are imperfect males, accidentally produced by the father’s inadequacy or by the malign influence of a moist south wind” (The Generation of Animals, II, iii). According to Dr Robin Lane Fox, an Oxford professor of Ancient History:

In Athenian citizen-households, the father decided if a new-born child was to live … in some Greek states … marriage for men was recommended at a late age. Until then, they could satisfy their sexual appetites by using slave-prostitutes, although homosexual sex between men and boys was also frequent.[74]

By contrast, writes Rodney Stark, “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”.[75] 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”.[76] In 1 Timothy 3:11, Paul refers to women in the role of deacons. In Corinthians 11:11–12, he 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.[77] According to Stark, “objective evidence leaves no doubt that early Christian women did enjoy far greater equality with men than did their pagan and Jewish counterparts”.[78]

In elevating the status of women in the ancient world, the early Christians were 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.[79] It was to women that Christ first appeared after His Resurrection.[80] He purposely confronted prejudicial attitudes towards women, and 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 with her was virtually unthinkable and absolutely scandalous. This is why the Bible refers to the disciples’ reactions upon finding Christ talking to the woman: they were “surprised” or “marvelled”, which carries a sense of incredulity.

The disciples’ wonderment arose from their Jewish culture. Women in Palestine at the time of Christ were subject to severe legal restrictions. Their witness had no validity in law courts and they were often segregated from the rest of society and shut up in their houses. They weren’t considered fit for education. Jewish women were not allowed to read the Torah to the assembly, and women were seated separately 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.”[81] By contrast, writes US 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. In an ideal Christian community all barriers of prejudice must be broken, including xenophobic nationalism (Greek or Jew), racism (barbarian or civilised), social discrimination (slave or free), and gender discrimination (male or female). The late Harvard legal historian Harold Berman credits such statements as 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.[82] 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.[83]

Frequently, Western 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 are blatantly ignorant of, or simply unwilling to recognise, what Paul writes about marriage and sex:

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to the husband … 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 Christian husbands should not withhold from their role of fulfilling their wives’ sexual needs. This is why in seventeenth-century New England the courts consistently “upheld the view that women had a right to expect content and satisfaction in bed”.[84]

Of course, even this historical fact may not pacify the ideologues who are blindly convinced that Christianity must be an anti-woman religion. This is especially so when someone is not a Christian and therefore may lack the proper knowledge of the meaning of the following instruction 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 a Christ-like 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 that husbands must be willing to sacrifice everything for their wives. A husband must lay down his own life for his wife if necessary. There is no such demand of wives to give their lives to their husbands. 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).

I also note with particular concern that in the Year 7 syllabus, students have to undertake an analysis of Islam. In a curriculum which claims to be concerned about the protection of women’s rights and the role played by women in society, it would be profitable if students were invited to analyse the treatment envisaged on women in the Islamic world as compared to the treatment of women in the Western world.

Islamic law, called sharia, controls every aspect of the life of an individual Muslim and even non-Muslims. It notoriously discriminates against women in a variety of ways: their testimony in a court is worth only half of a man’s (Surah II.282); women inherit only half of what men do (IV.11); wives may be beaten by their husbands (IV.34); and they cannot marry non-Muslims (II.221). According to law professor John Warwick, the Koran dictates that “men are superior to women, owing to the qualities which Allah has elevated the former over the latter” (IV, 38). There is even an unsettled debate in Islamic jurisprudence as to whether a woman can actually enter Paradise.[85]

In the Muslim countries of the Middle East the killing of a woman who “shames” her family—“honour killing”—is a widespread practice. In Iran, the law allows a male adult to marry off a little girl as young as nine years of age. In South-East Asia, female genital mutilation, not indigenous to Asia, was imported with Islam. The practice is limited to the Muslim population exclusively. Guidelines for Health Care According to Islamic Law, an Indonesian book published in 1956, gives clear instructions for the operation:

Therefore, circumcision among Muslim female children involves cutting the praeputium clitoridis, sometimes the clitoris itself or the labia minora. The child lies flat on her back, lifts up her knees and spreads her legs … After some words of prayer, the clitoris is cut with a pair of scissors or a small knife, as closely as possible along this boundary. It if is cut by a knife, a slice of Rhisom (turmeric) is placed as a base between the knife blade and the clitoris.[86]

Female genital mutilation was affirmed by Mohammed himself. Its most common justification is based on the Sunnah where a debate between Mohammed and a woman who was a “circumciser” is recounted. Mohammed asks if she was still practising genital mutilation to which she replied: “Yes, unless you forbid it.” Mohammed answers: “It is allowed. Come closer so that I can teach you: if you cut, do not overdo it, because it brings more radiance to the face and it is more pleasant for the husband.” [87]

Where are the multiculturalists on this and other issues such as forced marriages and honour killings? Apart from a handful of honourable exceptions there is silence, since for many such left-wing scholars there is a hierarchy of “correctness” and the notion of “cultural respect” apparently trumps the fundamental rights of women.[88] As a result, genital mutilation, “honour killings”, polygamy and forced marriages take place also in our so-called “multicultural” society.[89] In Britain, Geraldine Brooks notes the results of a comprehensive study on family violence carried out in the 1990s, in which researchers discovered that women married to Muslim men are eight times more likely to be killed by their husbands. She comments:

Presented with statistics on violence towards women, or facing the furore over the Rushdie fatwa … Muslims … ask us to blame a wide range of villains: colonial history, the bitterness of immigrant experience, Bedouin tradition, pre-Islamic African culture. Yet when the Koran sanctions wife beating and the execution of apostates, it can’t be entirely exonerated for an epidemic of wife slayings and death sentences on authors. In the end, what they … are proposing is as artificial an exercise as that proposed by the Marxists who used to argue that socialism in its pure form should not be maligned and rejected because of the deficiencies of “actually existing socialism”. At some point, every religion, especially one that purports to encompass a complete way of life and system of government, has to be called to account for the kind of life it offers the people in the lands where it predominates.[90]

Have young Muslim girls living in our Western societies benefited from the sentiments expressed by the curriculum regarding the celebration of diversity and multiculturalism? In Britain, hospitals report an average of fifteen cases of female genital mutilation each day, yet there have been no successful prosecutions despite the practice being illegal since 1984.[91] In fact, hard-core multiculturalists have attributed criticism of female genital mutilation to “cultural imperialism”. For instance, US law professor Leti Volpp has written several articles in law journals to argue that any attempt to outlaw such heinous practices apparently underlies a “racist ideology” which portrays non-white women as “requiring liberation into the … social mores and customs of the metropolitan West”.[92]

Women from minority cultures often speak against such double standards.[93] They claim the radical advocacy of “diversity” and “multiculturalism” denies the recognition of equal rights for every individual regardless of religion or ethnicity. Since the postmodernist dogma of “diversity” and “multiculturalism” has been accepted by the curriculum with no proper critical reasoning, it really does not matter that, at least within some cultural groups, so many women will never enjoy the same level of community protection that is normally afforded to Western women. As legal philosophy professor Michael Freeman rhetorically asks, “Can it not be argued that allowing a cultural defence enables the rights of a group to prevail over the interests of female members of that group who are likely to have had little input into the formulation of its norms?’[94]

What Professor Freeman says surely applies to this or any other curriculum that downplays the role of Western values and culture in the protection of fundamental human rights regardless of gender, colour or religion. Given such moral relativism it is no wonder that “cultural excuses” are a common strategy of litigation in criminal cases involving non-white male violence against women and children. Some cultures are clearly not good for women, since they are suffused with practices that endorse and facilitate male oppression. Promoting “multiculturalism” and “diversity” and preserving the basic rights of women may simply not be possible, since enforcing such “diversity” and protecting these fundamental rights are actually competing principles that have to be traded off against each other. As Ibn Warraq points out:

Multiculturalism often ends up providing cover for the most reactionary beliefs and practices of other cultures, rather than encouraging the more liberal strands to develop. An attentive ear is given mostly to the community elders and traditionalists, who often are the least educated and most determined to preserve their power in the status quo. Thus we essentially defend the most oppressive beliefs and practices of a minority culture, ignoring the denial of rights to its women or children.[95]

This is why multiculturalist ideology as promoted by the curriculum may be fairly accused of ignoring or downplaying the basic rights of women.[96] This is a politically correct curriculum that is designed to make children embrace a multiculturalist, morally relativistic understanding of the world. Its ultimate goal is therefore the achievement of some goals at the expense of others.

 

The crimes of communism ignored

There are other obvious examples of bias in the history curriculum. The curriculum mentions the “White Australia policy” but is entirely silent about the massacres by leftist dictators such as Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao Tse-Tung, or about Stalin’s “Great Purge” in Soviet Russia, and numerous other crimes and atrocities committed by numerous leftist regimes in the name of “social justice”. Although Christianity and communism are two of the most powerful and significant movements in the modern era, students will have no idea about this. As noted by Kevin Donnelly:

One doubts whether students will learn about the failure of socialism as an economic system, the millions killed by communist dictators, the success of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in staring down totalitarian regimes, the corruption of the United Nations and the fact that democratic ideals such as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are uniquely Western in origin and steeped in Christian commitment and belief.[97]

For a curriculum originally drafted by a former member of the Communist Party, it is disappointing that communist ideology has been ignored. On the other hand, it might be quite convenient for a Marxist academic not to address the millions of victims of Marxist regimes. In the twentieth century alone, these leftist regimes and revolutionary movements killed at last 100 million of their own people. In the former Soviet Union alone, a country founded on Marxist goals and principles, the victims of murder by the socialist state approached at least 20 million.[98]

In practice, the socialist dream envisaged by many left-wing scholars has turned every government into “a permanent dictatorship of non-workers over manual labourers and peasants”.[99] Marxist-oriented regimes amount to a dictatorship not of the proletariat but a dictatorship over the proletariat and over all other classes.[100] Marxism also justifies the confiscation of productive resources, turning every individual into a state employee, and makes them completely dependent on the state bureaucracy. In the words of Trotsky, “In a country where the sole employer is the state, opposition means slow starvation.” Under communist regimes in Russia, China, Cambodia, Ethiopia and North Korea, millions have died as a result of government-inflicted mass starvation.[101]

 

Final Comments

Despite its extraordinary bias and inaccuracies, Professor Macintyre defended his curriculum as “balanced and impartial”.[102] Anyone reading the document will be in no doubt that it is not balanced, and that it teaches a politically correct view of history and Australia’s place in the world. Instead of “balanced and impartial” content, students are being fed on a diet of identity politics and politically correct indoctrination which is truly appalling. [103]

“Of course, the teaching of the history of Australia requires us to teach the history of the first Australians, our Indigenous people,” the then Education Minister Julia Gillard said when the curriculum was announced in 2010.[104] This is a good thing. But how about teaching our children the values of Western civilisation, including Christianity, which are values that made Australia one of the world’s most peaceful, successful and prosperous democracies?

This curriculum does not offer a balanced version of history. It is not designed to make students think, or to teach them how to acquire the skills they need to develop their own critical thinking. No curriculum should be about ideological indoctrination, yet Australian children have been forced to study history under a curriculum that promotes both moral and cultural relativism. This curriculum is terribly designed and must be entirely repealed as a matter of urgency.[105]

 


* LLB, LLM, PhD (Monash), Professor of Law, Sheridan College; Professor of Law (adjunct), The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus; President, The Western Australian Legal Theory Association (WALTA), Editor-in-Chief, The Western Australian Jurist law journal. Former Law Reform Commissioner, Law Reform Commission of Western Australia (2012-2017).

[1] While a postgraduate student at Monash in the early 1970s, Stuart Macintyre joined the Communist Party of Australia. His membership lapsed while he was living in the United Kingdom, where he joined the Communist Party Great Britain. On returning to Australia he joined the Australian Labor Party. He now considers himself to be a “democratic socialist”.

[2] Quoted from Josephine Vivaldo, “Film Honours 400th Anniversary of King James Bible’, Christian Post, March 31, 2011, at http://www.christianpost.com/news/film-honors-400th-anniversary-of-the-king-james-bible-49658/

[3] Kevin Donnelly, “The Bible Must Be Part of the National Curriculum’, The Australian, February 27, 2017, at https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/the-bible-must-be-part-of-the-national-curriculum/news-story/8428ce6fa416e5388f3d9853a65874e3

[4] Ibid.

[5] Kevin Donnelly, “Australian Values Take Their Lead From the Christian Bible’, The Australian, October 11, 2017, at https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/australian-values-take-their-lead-from-the-christian-bible/news-story/70d0a385536f3b0bd366f74a511c01ea

[6] See Geoffrey Blainey, A Shorter History of Australia (New York/NY: Random House, 1994), Chapter 11.

[7] Alex Deagon, “Secularism as a Religion: Questioning the Future of the Secular State” (2017) 8 The Western Australian Jurist 31, p 59.

[8] Charles Francis,Why Australia’s Christian Heritage Matters’, News Weekly, March 1, 2008, at http://www.newsweekly.com.au/articles/2008mar01a.html.

[9] Greg Melleuish and Stephen Chavura, “Utilitarianism contra Sectarianism’, in William Coleman (ed.), Only in Australia: The History, Politics, and Economics of Australian Exceptionalism (Oxford/UK: Oxford University Press), p 65.

[10] Ibid, p 63.

[11] Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (2nded, New York/NY: A L Burt Co, 1874) p 178.

[12] Richard Weikart, Hitler’s Ethics: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress (New York/NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), p 70.

[13]A R Wallace, Natural Selection and Tropical Nature (London/UK: Macmillan, 1891), p 177.

[14] Phillip E Johnson, Objections Sustained: Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law and Culture (Downers Grove/IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998) pp 35–6.

[15] Louise Staley, “Review of David M Levi’s How the Dismal Science Got Its Name [2001]” in Chris Berg, John Roskam and Andrew Kemp (eds), 100 Great Books of Liberty: The Essential Introduction to the Greatest Idea of Western Civilisation (Ballan/Vic: Connor Court, 2010), p 145.

[16] D’Abrera, Bella, “Let’s Honour our Western Heritage Without Shame’, The Australian, January 24, 2018 at https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/lets-honour-our-western-heritage-without-shame/news-story/cb476aa84d494a95271ed7563d6a0e32

[17] Roy Williams, Post God Nation? (Sydney/NSW: ABC Books, 2015), p 35.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid., p 51.

[20] Keith Windschuttle, The Break-Up of Australia: The Real Agenda Behind Aboriginal Recognition (Sydney/NSW: Quadrant Books, 2016), p 297.

[21] Kevin Donnelly, “Australian Students Beguiled by Allure of the Culture Left’, The Australian, December 13, 2017, at https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/australian-students-beguiled-by-allure-of-the-cultural-left/news-story/87c67d26f7926a7cc4092df55072adc

[22] Greg Melleuish, “History in the National Curriculum’, in Chris Berg (ed.), The National Curriculum: A Critique (Melbourne/Vic: IPA, 2010), p 4.

[23] Ibid. p 8.

[24] Donnelly, above n.5.

[25] Kevin Donnelly, “The Sly Assault on Faith-Based Schools’, Quadrant, August 20, 2013, at https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2013/08/the-sly-assault-on-faith-based-schools/

[26] Ibid.

[27] Peter Kurti. The Tyranny of Tolerance: Threats to Religious Liberty in Australia (Redland Bay/Qld: Connor Court, 2017), p 61.

[28] Ibid., pp 59-60.

[29] Robert A. Dahl, On Democracy (New Haven/CT: Yale University Press, 1998), p. 147.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid., pp 150–51.

[32] Ibid, p 150.

[33] John Gray, Enlightenment’s Wake (London/UK: Routledge, 2007), p 36.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Samuel Huntington, “Democracy for the Long Haul’, in L. Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, Y. Chu & H. Tien (eds.), Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies (Baltimore/MD: The Johns Hopkins University, 1997), p 7.

[36] “It is in its most intense and extreme form that multiculturalism … is propagated by a coalition of nationalist-racist blacks, radical feminists, gays and lesbians, and handful of aspiring demagogues who claim to present various ethnic minorities … This coalition’s multiculturalism is an ideology who educational program is subordinated to a political program that is, above all, anti-American and anti-Western. It’s no exaggeration to say that these campus radicals (professors as well as students), having given up on the “class struggle” – the American workers all being conscientious objectors – have now moved to an agenda of ethnic-racial conflict. The agenda, in its educational dimension, has as its explicit purpose to induce the minds and sensibilities of minority students a “Third World consciousness” – that is the very phrase they use. In practice, this means an effort to persuade minority students to be contemptuous of an hostile to America and Western civilization as a whole, interpreted as an age-old system of oppression, colonialism, and exploitation. What these radicals blandly call multiculturalism is as much a “war against the West” as Nazism and Stalinism ever were.” – Irving Kristol, Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea (New York/NY: The Free Press, 1995), p 52.

[37] Samuel Huntington, Who are We? America’s Great Debate (New York/NY: The Free Press, 2004), p 173.

[38] Rodney Stark, God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades (New York/NY: HarperOne, 2009), p 28.

[39] Donnelly, above n.5.

[40] Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion (New York/NY: HarperCollins), p 202.

[41] Rodney Stark, God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades (New York/NY: HarperOne, 2009), p 18.

[42] Paul F. Crawford, “The First Crusade: Unprovoked Offense or Overdue Defense?’, in Alfred J. Andrea and ADnrew Holt, Seven Myths of the Crusades (Indianapolis/IN: Hackett Publishing, 2015), p 6.

[43] Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason, pp. 56-7.

[44] Ibid., p 65.

[45] Lynn T. White, “Significance of Medieval Christianity’, in G.F. Thomas (ed.), The Vitality of the Christian Religion (1944), p 96.

[46] Rodney Stark, Discovering God: The Origins of the Great Religions and the Evolution of Belief (New York/NY: HarperOne, 2007), p 366.

[47] Ibid., p 367.

[48] Wafa Sultan, A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam (New York/NY: St Martin’s Griffin, 2009), p 58.

[49] See John C. Lennox, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (Lion Books, 2009), p 21.

[50] Contrary the “mythical impression’, Galileo was no agnostic or atheist. He considered that “the laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics’. Galileo believe that “the human mind is a work of God and one of his most excellent’. Initially his heliocentric theory enjoyed a great deal of support from the clergy but was “vigorously opposed by secular philosophers, who were enraged at his criticism of Aristotle’. – Galileo Galilei, Opere VI, 232. In Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (1615) Galileo accuses university professors of trying to influence the church authorities to oppose his scientific arguments since such arguments threatened the all-pervading Aristoteleanism of the academy. There is, of course, no excuse to the persecution of the Catholic Church against Galileo, although it should be also noted that he was never tortured and that his subsequent “house arrest” was spent, for the most part, “in luxurious private residences belonging to friends’. – Lennox, above n.49 p 25.

[51] Lennox, above n.49, p 21.

[52] Newton revered the Bible to such a degree that he searched it for a hidden code that would reveal the future. – Schmidt, Alvin, How Christianity Changed the World (Zondervan, 2004), p 232.

[53] Quoted from Morris Kline, Mathematics in Western Culture (Oxford University Press,1953) p 260.

[54] Richard Westfall, “Isaac Newton’, in Gary Ferngren (ed.) Science and Religion (John Hopkins University, 2002), p 155.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Brian J. Green & Roger Finke, The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twentieth-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

[57] Ibid., p 169.

[58] Paul Marshall, Blasphemy and Free Speech, 41(2) Imprimis 2 (2012).

[59] David Pryce-Jones, “Islam Faces its Demons’, The Weekend Australian, September 22-23, 2012, pp 15-16.

[60] Roger Scruton, The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat (London/UK: Bloomsbury, 2002), p 66.

[61] Stefanie Bolough, “Ideologues Have Captured School History Curriculum’, The Australian, August 24, 2017.

[62] Ibid., p 64.

[63] Larry Siedentop, Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (Cambridge/MA: Harvard University Press, 2014), p.332.

[64] Ngaire Naffine, Law’s Meaning of Life: Philosophy, Religion, Darwin and the Legal Person, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2009, 102. Elaborated under the auspices of Eleanor Roosevelt and her commission, when Roosevelt, an avowed Christian, summed up the attitude of the framers, she argued that this was “based on the spiritual fact that man must have freedom in which to develop his full stature and through common effort to raise the level of human dignity” “Statement by Mrs Franklin D Roosevelt’, Department of State Bulletin (December 1948) 751, quoted by Ngaire Naffine, Law’s Meaning of Life: Philosophy, Religion, Darwin and the Legal Person, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2009, 103.

[65] John R. Bolton, “Does the United Nations Advance the Cause of Freedom?’, Heritage Foundation, Lecture No.1047, September 6, 2007.

[66] United Nations, “UN in Brief: What the UN Does for Justice, Human Rights and International Law’, September 1, 2006, at: www.un.org/Overview/uninbrief/chapter3_humanrights.html

[67] See Brett D. Schaefer, “The United Nations Human Rights Council: Repeating Past Mistakes’, Heritage Foundation, Lecture No.964, September 19, 2006, at:

[68] Reporters Without Borders; Reporters Without Borders Suspended for One Year from UN Commission on Human Rights. United Nations, 24 July 2003, at: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=7619

[69] Only 24 out of the 47 Council members were ranked as “free” by Freedom House in its 2006 worldwide survey of political rights and civili liberties. – Freedom House, “Freedom in the World 2006: Selected Data from Freedom House’s Annual Global Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties, at www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/pdf/Charts2006.pdf (September 1, 2006)

[70] Indeed, the hope that this new UN Human Rights Council could improve the disastrous record of this international organisation in holding human rights abusers to account has definitely not been fulfilled. During its very first year alone, the new UN Human Rights Council, among other things, failed to adopt a single resolution or decision condemning human rights abuses in 19 of the 20 most repressive human rights situations as identified by Freedom House in 2007, refused to censure the government of Sudan for its active role in the genocide in Darfur; passed nine one-sided resolutions strongly condemning Israel for “violations of human rights and breaches of international humanitarian law” but ignored provocations by Hezbollah.See: Brett D. Schaefer, “The United Nations Human Rights Council: Repeating Past Mistakes’, Heritage Foundations, Lecture N.968, September 6, 2006. See also: Brett D. Schaefer, “The United Nations Human Rights Council: A Disastrous First Year, Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder No.2038, June 1, 2007. See also: Freedom House, The Worst of the Worst: The World’s Most Repressive Societies, 2007 (New York: Freedom House, 2007)

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

[72] 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.

[73] 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.

[74] Robin Lane Fox, The Classical World: An Epic History of Greece and Rome, 2nd ed, Penguin, London, 2008), pp 187–8.

[75] Ibid. p 109.

[76] Romans 16:1-2

[77] 1 Corinthians 11:12

[78] Stark, above n.40 p 124.

[79] John 8:1-11.

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

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

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

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

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

[85] John W Montgomery, “Law & Gospel: A Study Integrating Faith and Practice’, Canadian Institute for Law, Theology and Public Policy, Edmonton/AB, 1994, p 44.

[86] Fran P Hosken, The Hosken Report: Genitals and Sexual Mutilation of Females (4th ed., Lexigton/MA: Women’s Internat, 1993), pp 279­–80

[87] Ibid.

[88] Pater Baldwin, “Regressive Left Puts Bigotry on a Pedestal’, The Weekend Australian, September 19, 2016, p 19.

[89] Jamila Hussain, The Myths and Realities of Islam’s Shariah Law, OnLine Opinion, March 2, 2006, at http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=4211.

[90] Geraldine Brooks, Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women (London/UK: Anchor Books, 1995), p 35.

[91] Baldwin, above n.89.

[92] Leti Volpp, “Talking Culture: Gender, Race, Nation, and the Politics of Multiculturalism” (1996) 96 Columbia Law Review 1573, p 1577.

[93] Nilda Rimonte, “A Question of Culture: Cultural Approval of Violence against Women in the Asian-Pacific Community and the Cultural Defense” (1991) 43 Stanford Law Review 1311.

[94] M. D. A. Freeman, Lloyd’s Introduction to Jurisprudence (8th ed., London/UK: Sweet & Maxwell, 2008), p 1297.

[95] Ibn Warraq, Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate’s Defense of Liberal Democracy (New York/NY: Encounter Books, 2011), p 207.

[96] Janet Albrechtsen, “The Corruption of Feminism’, Policy, Vol.31, No.2, Winter 2015, p.5.

[97] Kevin Donnelly, “Dumbed-down Australian History Curriculum’, News Weekly, Melbourne, 1 May 2010, at: http://www.newsweekly.com.au/articles/2010may01_s.html

[98] See Courtois et al, above note 121, pp 9–10.

[99] Richard Pipes, Communism: A History of the Intellectual and Political Movement (London/UK: Phoenix Press, 2003), p 15.

[100] Ibid., p 39.

[101] Ibid., p 152.

[102] Donnelly, above n.98.

[103] Bolough, above n.59.

[104] Samantha Hawley and David Mark, “Draft National Curriculum Unveiled’, ABC News, March 1, 2010, at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/01/2832548.htm

[105] Bolough, above n.59.

 

2 comments
  • lloveday

    Quote: “Deeply fallacious as such racist arguments are…”

    Darwin also presented many sexist arguments, even mixing them with racists ones:

    “males are more evolutionarily advanced than females”
    “the child, the female, and the senile white” all had the intellect and nature of the “grown up Negro”
    “The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain”
    “the average standard of mental power in man must be above that of woman”

    It bemuse me that the same people who would have someone before a court/commission/tribunal for stating some of Darwin’s conclusions re race and sex, will claim that the same Darwin’s research and conclusions prove conclusively that Creation could not, did not occur.

    • lloveday

      Double oops – bemuses racist

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