In the Sexular Age, sexual identity trumps everything. All other identities must be subsumed under sexual identity and to stand up against this now results in censure and legal implications.
This much is clear from the Eternity newspaper article in which the department of the Attorney General of Victoria was questioned over what rights those who held religious identity convictions had when it came to matters such as choosing who can teach at a faith-based school.
The answer was chilling and implacable: None.
In fact the Attorney General’s department was helpfully explicit. The responses to the questions indicated that either the Victorian Government and all of its progressive gatekeepers, have absolutely no understanding of those for whom religious identity is a deeper identity marker than their sexuality. Or else the AG’s office knows, but does not care.
It would seem the latter is the case. The Victorian Government will push through legislation that preferences sexual identity over any other form of identity formation, including long-held religious convictions. And Christian schools who see themselves as alternate ethical communities are in the firing line.
Mind you, it was ever thus when it comes to education. Progressives in education know that if they can get their hands on kids early (and I use the word “hands” advisedly, since it seems they’ve already gotten to their ears, eyes and hearts), then that’s a win for the Sexular Age.
Have a read of what the AG’s office said about identity:
… schools won’t be able to use religious belief as a way to fire someone because of their identity. For example, if a school is aware that several teachers don’t hold their requisite religious beliefs but only takes action against a gay teacher, this would be unlawful.
Which clearly is obfuscation. If schools DO take action against teachers who don’t hold their requisite religious beliefs they will be just fine. But if the DO take action against a gay teacher because that teacher’s sexual practises are in direct opposition to the school’s religious beliefs around sex, then it’s going to be trouble for the school. Let’s be clear, they are not going to get into trouble for sacking those who don’t hold the religious beliefs, but they WILL get into trouble for sacking the gay teacher.
The reason of course is that sex is the new religion. The new, and highest, religion. The progressive government of Victoria, and increasingly of every other state in Australia, views sexual identity as the core identity of a person. Religion? Pfffft, it’s just something that you attach to later in life, a mere intellectual assent, to which various ethical perspectives on sex can be attached or detached at will.
It was always going to come to this. Despite those who said there was no slippery slope and no thin end of the wedge etc. This was always going to happen. De-funding and de-registration is the direction this is going. The progressive governments of Australia are signing the death warrant of independent Christian schooling.
Now I have heard from friends in Sydney – after reporting in this matter a fortnight ago, – that Anglican school chaplains in some of the more salubrious suburbs of that fair city, think it’s all just a storm in a tea-cup. That somehow those rather gauche non-denominationally aligned schools need to grow up and deal with the realities they deal with everyday.
Well that’s called living in a sheltered workshop. If you’re in an Anglican School in the most conservative, evangelical diocese in the world, with legacy schools in which the chapel and its product is a closely guarded prize of evangelicalism, with nary a toxic liberal in sight, you can afford to sniff at the worries of others. Your whole framework protects you.
But make no mistake, it will come for you in your gilded cages. In fact I’m having a conversations to a chaplaincy team in one of those schools in that very city in the next couple of weeks, because suddenly the orthodoxy of the chaplaincy team and its beliefs around sex have made them targets of the school leadership. Just because you’re going to be the last to be eaten, doesn’t mean you won’t be eaten.
Independent Christian schools pitch themselves as alternate ethical communities and staff as such. To order them, upon pain of being deregistered, to align with the new religion of sexual identity will either shut them down, or shut them up. Which is precisely what the Victorian Government and others like it wish to do. Such schools are seen as impediments to the great utopian goal of liberating everyone to be who they truly think they are – and that revolves around who they truly think they are sexually (within some boundaries for sure, but those boundaries will themselves be gradually erased).
Here’s one of the questions asked by Eternity, followed by the AG’s office’s answer:
Schools based on religions that do not affirm LGBTIQ persons’ sexual orientation will have teaching that contradicts LGBTIQ staff identity. Will this mean that the staff will not be able to push back against the school’s teaching?
The proposed changes provide protection for staff against adverse treatment on protected grounds under the anti-discrimination laws, including sexuality, gender identity, marital status, disability and so on. The changes mean that religious beliefs which permit adverse treatment unrelated to the person’s role may not be covered by an exception.
Example: A school becomes aware that a staff member is gay after they attend a Pride event in their own time, with no direct connection to their school duties. The teacher remains willing to promote the views of the school’s religion to the students. The changes mean that it may be unlawful for that school to take adverse action against the staff member.
Did you get that? The AG’s department is confident that a teacher attending a Pride parade can, on Monday after the glitter has been washed out of his chest hair. go back to teaching in the school with nary a blink and say “Oh, by the way boys and girls, male and female he created them!”
As if! As if we are simply compartmentalised beasts whose ideas and values don’t flow into every aspect of our lives. For years the progressive narrative in education (and one I agree with), is that pedagogy is “whole person” oriented – meaning both educator and those being educated. Everything was about holistic education and finding the right pedagogical approach to each student that involved teachers giving of their very selves to their students.
And now? Now that’s going to somehow, magically, be brought to a screeching halt, as we compartmentalise once again? The hypocrisy is breath-taking. The same education department in Victoria that will be policing sexual identity issues in schools is the same education department that has been promoting its teaching staff as holistic educators who instil values into their students implicitly and explicitly.
What can be done? Well in the short term a lot of noise can be made. But the long term? Probably nothing. As I say in my book Being the Bad Guys, this is not going to go away and we will have to rethink how we educate our young people, who the progressive governments of the world simply see as fresh meat for the Sexular Age and its agenda.
So make a noise by all means, but Christian educators need to start preparing now (needed to start ten years ago) for a complete overhaul of how we educate the children of those who refuse the sexual agenda of the culture, and all of its deep and dark pedagogical ways.