The Victorian Government has banned religious organisations and schools from firing or refusing to hire people ‘based on protected attributes such as sexuality, gender identity or marital status.’
The state government announced that the ‘landmark laws to better protect LGBTIQ+ Victorians from discrimination at work and school’ came into effect yesterday, sending a ‘strong message from the Andrews Labor Government that equality is non-negotiable.’
According to a government media release, the legislation will not impact how religious bodies can select priests, ministers, religious leaders or their members. The Bill will, however, only allow for religious organisations to make employment decisions ‘based on an employee’s religious beliefs where these are inherent to the job such as a religious studies teacher, and the discrimination is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.’
“Equality is not negotiable in Victoria,” said Martin Foley, Minister for Equality. “These changes show how important it is to continue backing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in all aspects of life.”
All aspects of life? Unlike Christianity? What the government fails to recognise is that Christian education is much broader than a religious studies class.
Fundamental to the Christian faith is the belief that Jesus is Lord over everything, not just Biblical studies. Math, history, science, biology, art, and everything else, are all grounded in this basic, long-held Christian confession.
Contrary to Christianity is the assumption that there is any neutral subject that can be taught in the same way by both Christians and non-Christians alike. There is no area of neutrality in all of creation. To suggest otherwise is to deny God’s total sovereignty over all things.
If God is the creator of all things, and he is, then he is the Lord and determiner of all things. If that is not an educator’s basic presupposition, then the educator’s perspective shifts from the Bible to a humanistic and man-centred outlook.
Now, some might say, aren’t they just teaching basic facts? But facts are not neutral either. Facts are preceded by and interpreted by faith.
As R.J. Rushdoony notes:
“The ‘facts’ of the universe are very different for a Buddhist, an existential humanist, and an orthodox Christian. For the Buddhist, all is illusion and misery; his faith requires a world and life negation. Maya and karma determine all things. For an existential humanist, ‘facts’ have only a purely personal meaning, the meaning which each man assigns them. Neither man nor creation have any essence, any created and preordained meaning. Good and evil and every other form of meaning is self-generated: they are values I assign to things in terms of my will. Nothing has any meaning from God’s creative act; all meaning comes from man’s creative act. In Biblical thought, however, every fact is God-centred and God-interpreted, so that the meaning of all creation is to be understood in terms of Him and His Kingdom.”
Little wonder why Noah Webster famously said, “Education is useless without the Bible.”
What the state government has ruled is that Christianity does not encompass every aspect of life. It is to reduce Christian education to a Christ-denying syncretism by blending contradictory systems of beliefs. In effect, they have made it unlawful to ensure Christ is Lord over every subject of Christian education, and in so doing, reduced Christian education to a government school with a Scripture class. But hey, at least the Scripture teacher can profess Christ, for now.