13th August 07
John Howard and Kevin Rudd are both appealing to Christian values in an effort to enhance their status as worthy leaders. But what are these Christian values we’re supposed to admire? As neither Howard nor Rudd are keen to spell them out, the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc decided to take a look. We discovered it’s easier to gain an understanding of Christian values by looking at the things they oppose rather than the things they reckon they support.
- Christian values oppose granting relief from misery and unremitting pain to terminally ill patients who desire to die with dignity.
- Christian values oppose equality for women; by (a) maintaining they should be subservient to their husbands, and (b) insisting they have not the right to decide whether or not they are able, emotionally and/or financially, to give a child the best possible upbringing. To this end they oppose both legal termination of pregnancies and the availability of RU486, thus denying the benefits from its widespread introduction that have been observed in advanced Western nations.
- Christian values oppose equal rights for same-sex couples.
- Christian values oppose anti-discrimination legislation, by demanding exemptions for all activities in which they have some interest.
- Christian values oppose broad comprehensive sex education for all students, despite voluminous research proving it is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, premature sexual experimentation and sexually transmitted diseases.
- Christian values oppose stem-cell research which has the real potential of leading to cures for many intractable health problems besetting humanity.
- Christian values oppose strong opposition to the teaching of creationism; so-called “intelligent design”, thus undermining both science, and the development of rational thinking in students.
- Christian values oppose a balanced approach to teaching about religions. Instead of a broad-based study of human religions, beliefs and values throughout history, they want to indoctrinate young minds with their own unsubstantiated belief system.
- Christian values oppose the right of state school students to be free of religious indoctrination, by demanding access to state schools through tax-payer funded Christian chaplaincy programs, thus replacing properly trained School Counsellors – a social disaster!
- Christian values oppose a fair deal for everyone by refusing to pay tax on the profits of their enterprises, thus creating an enormous, unfair burden on honest taxpayers who haven’t this right to evade their moral duty.
The AFA has sent a Questionnaire on a number of these matters to all federal politicians. It is alarming how few have responded! Are our representatives with no ‘faith’ frightened to be honest because of a possible religious backlash? Or are they merely the lap-dogs of political power-brokers, fearful of repercussions for non-compliance?
Whatever their reasons, it is inexcusable that those touting for votes by pushing Christian values are so contemptuous of the electorate that they refuse to state them in the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc survey. http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/survey.htm
Our parliamentarians enact laws binding on all Australians. If they are using Christian values to determine what makes a good law, then it is high time these values were written down clearly, and published for everyone to see. How else can we learn to trust political decisions? By concealing their values and motives, politicians undermine our fragile democracy. More than half the voting population has no interest in religion, so to continue pretending that Christian values are somehow better than, or different from the universal ethical guidelines that have kept humanity going for a couple of hundred thousand years, is stupid and unrepresentative.
The Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc president, David Nicholls said; “If the citizens of Australia want to keep their society democratic, secular and pluralist, then they should demand answers from would-be politicians, whether they represent a political party or are ‘Independents’ – far too many of whom are merely front men and women for religious organisations. This is the only way to make your vote count.”