Tony Abbott’s pro-Bible statements outraged his opponents. And the reason is obvious to all with marbles. In socialist circles, encouraging pupils to study Judeo-Christian texts is a sin.
The Australian Education Union’s federal president, Angelo Gavrielatos, ritually sniffed at the idea. Abbott was attacked by an Islamic intellectual, Dr Ameer Ali too. The Rudd government also sent backbencher Kate Lundy out to stage future quote-crime scenes. The hysterical ACT Senator cried, “Mr Abbott wants to take the choice away from parents and force every kid in every school to study the Bible.”
Even the sulky atheist Christopher Hitchens openly acknowledges, “You are not educated if you don’t know the Bible. You can’t read Shakespeare or Milton without it … And with the schools now, they don’t even teach it as a document … So kids can’t quote the King James Bible. That’s terrible.”
Abbott is in good company. Or as Charles Dickens said, “The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.” Theodore Roosevelt was certainly in the pro-Bible camp too. Indeed he associated the Good Book with high-wisdom. (“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”) C.S. Lewis also held the position that without Biblical literacy we’re more vulnerable to spin. (“Odd, the way the less the Bible is read the more it is translated.”)
And that’s why Labor hacks despise it. Don’t teach the New Testament – and the next thing you know Jesus is a vegetarian feminist, driving a hybrid with a pro-gay marriage sticker. Or the Old Testament is just a mean patriarchal manifesto.
Daniel Webster’s politically-incorrect statement that “Education is useless without the Bible” too must offend the likes of Angelo Gavrielatos. But who is he? Other than an anti-free speech union statist, I mean.
Like it or not, in the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible, Robert J. Hutchinson states (p.7):
For approximately 1.8 billion people on the planet – roughly 1 billion Roman Catholics, 280 million Orthodox, 473 million Anglicans and Protestants, and 14 million Jews – the Bible is revered, in one way or another, as the word of God.
Or as I like to say, Christianity is the world’s most influential language. Therefore, Abbott is in touch with the wider world. Kevin Rudd just likes to parade outside of church buildings.
To be sure, the anti-Christian frenzy of the 1970s still lives in the hearts and minds of Labor’s education revolutionists. It also lives in the Canberra Press Gallery. So the fact that student texts still dwell on Europe’s poor-put-upon witches who suffered under the allegedly mean Catholic Europeans – as opposed to communism’s 100 million-plus victims – tells you all you need to know. Thank the unions. Thank censorship. Thank the revolution.
In truth, Labor’s atheist crusaders don’t have a problem with religion in the classroom when Christians are being slandered. They just have an issue with students studying time-honoured Christian traditions. But in any case, if one really believed in Catholicism’s most hate-filled critics wouldn’t that be more of a reason to study the Bible?
I’m not a Catholic, but like Abbott I see where this intolerance comes from. And like all hate-filled messages it is fuelled by ignorance. Or as Robert J. Hutchinson states (pages 13-14):
Historical demographers estimate that, in 350 years between 1478 and 1834, the Spanish Inquisition was responsible for the execution of between 2,000 (Encyclopaedia Britannica) and 32,000 people (Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews, 1987).
That works out to about ninety-seven people year – a ghastly number, to be sure, but a far cry from the “millions” routinely cited be secular fundamentalists.
As for the “witch hunts,” another example Harris and others give of irrational religious fanaticism, the British historian Norman Davies estimated that 50,000 people, primarily women, were executed as witches over a four-hundred-year period – an average of about 125 a year.
It amazes me how emotional some secular fundamentalists are – and how they detest primary sources. As a Protestant, I find it ironic how often Protestants have to deal with anti-Catholicism too. And what to do when an atheist screams, “The Bible promotes hate- look at the witch hunts!”?
Are all Bible-readers potential killers?
The easiest thing in the world for me to do would be to tell atheists I’m a Protestant – not a Catholic. Or say, “I’m not responsible for the real or imagined religious crimes in your head.” But that wouldn’t really address the heart issue here because emotions are erratic creatures. You see, such is the secular fundamentalist’s mindset that he or she isn’t swayed by facts.
And this is why Catholic Abbott needs to stay strong. In addition to facing attacks from Kevin Rudd’s Labor machine, he is dealing with Canberra’s media-approved bigotry.