Derryn Hinch – the self proclaimed human headline (it’s his Twitter handle) – is a boofhead.
Always has been. Always will be.
A TV shock jock with too much to say, and who says things he has been court-ordered not to say.
A bloke who has several contempt of court matters to his name, as well as many well-publicised ex-wives (five) to his name.
He’s pretty much piggybacked off a lot of people’s misery for the sake of his own name.
A name, which, incidentally, he humbly lent to the political party he established in 2015 – the Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party.
The fact that he was subsequently elected to the Australian Senate in 2016 proves – to me at least – that there is no justice.
But, as they say, a broken clock shows the right time twice every day. And Derryn absolutely nailed it when he said this yesterday, in light of the Ruddock Review on Religious Freedom.
Derryn Hinch, Human Headline: wake up, take a bow, for you have just predicted the future:
And no, by the future I don’t mean what he’ll do on Monday, but the future in terms of where funding is going for faith based institutions.
Those who have lambasted him in the past for all his stupidity and aggrandisement are suddenly singing his praises (which makes a change from him singing them I guess):
Though it’s worth noting that Richard Cornish’s other two options are distinct possibilities.
Why is Hinch right on this one? Why? Because he’s not a political animal, he’s a cultural animal.
Politics is downstream of culture. Hinch has made a name for himself sniffing the winds of culture and running with them. He’s seen where this thing is headed and he’s merely telescoped it. A day is coming when what he says will come to pass. He’s merely saying things that many politicians think, but few, save the Greens, will come out and say at this particular time.
Political animals fear the populace that puts them in to politics and can take them out of politics and therefore out of being an influence.
But cultural animals? No such fear. Hinch could lose his seat tomorrow and he will not be afflicted, like so many ex-Prime Ministers, with attention deprivation disorder. He will go on being the Human Headline.
I think he’s right. I think that’s ultimately where the dust will settle for public funding for Christian, and other religious, institutions. We’re going to have to pay our way if we want to do things our way. There is no stomach, and certainly no vision, to fight for alternate ethical communities among the political class in Australia.
And that’s where many institutions, including Christian schools, might reach the point where they finally say:
“You know what? That’s okay. It will be okay to lose funding. We had a good run with it, but it’s over now. The carrot and stick of government funding is now too high a price to pay. Okay, it will be tough and our teachers and the schools we operate will have to drastically change to accommodate this, but that’s fine. We’re providing a Christian education designed to equip people to live a gospel life in an increasingly hostile, secular frame.
Teachers and schools that have that vision, rather than merely a vision of an impressive school system that provides all of the opportunities that aspirational members of society may demand, will keep going.
It will be hard. No doubt about that.
But it will be worth it. They will be strong and certain and secure. They will maintain a gospel focus. They will maintain a distinct Christian social and sexual ethic that highlights difference to the culture, all the while maintaining an open-handed stance to those who do not believe. And they will continue to be missional, with enough space for non-Christians to attend if they so choose.
And I think that’s exciting. And a deliciously dangerous vision for younger Christian generations seeking a vocational vision. And a vision that many a young Christian teacher who is not too worried about how much super they need, or whether their significantly reduced wage compares favourably to other teachers in the public and private systems, will sign up for.
For if you pitch a vision like that – of deep difference – to a band of brothers and sisters who want to make a difference in their communities, then you’re going to get sign up not in spite of it being difficult, but because it’s difficult!
And then there will be other schools. Other education systems who look at the threat of the loss of money, and roll over. And they will eventually become, – if they are not already -, purveyors of a gospel-less gospel that the secular culture approves of.
They will offer a bland Moralist Therapeutic Deism: a blancmange God who is harder to nail to the wall than jelly, and whose main aim is never to challenge me, but to keep me happy, successful and employable; a Stepford God to do my bidding. And why would any student who is not a Christian ever sign up to such a small “g” god?
The Human Headline has picked the future, and in time the political animals will catch up with the cultural animals. It’s a challenging future for sure, as it will require much change, much of painful. But it’s either slow painful death, or deep painful change. Pain is not an option – only the outcome is.