Australia News & Commentary

Christians Will Not Be Tolerated

"...within hours of my appointment being announced, the media and leaders of our community had spoken. They made it clear that my Christian faith and my association with a Church are unacceptable in our culture if you wish to hold a leadership position in society."

Well, that did not take long. A brand new CEO has been forced out in record-breaking time. Not even 24 hours into his new job and he is already a goner. I had headlined an earlier piece on this with these words: “Gasp: They Actually Hired a Christian!” But I was too quick to do so, and now I need an update: “Gasp: They Actually Fired a Christian!”

Well, he resigned, but we all know he was actually forced out. Wokism will simply not tolerate dissidents. The secular left will NOT allow these recalcitrants to be around.

So who am I speaking of here? Was he some career criminal? Perhaps a mass murderer? A suicide bomber? A malicious child molester? Pfft, he was something far, far worse of course. He is Andrew Thorburn and his crime was – yep, you guessed it – to be an open, biblical Christian.

Thorburn had just landed a nice job as CEO of the Essendon Football Club. But for daring to be associated with a church that actually believes its own Scriptures, all hell broke loose. And now he is cancelled – big time. So his illustrious career came to a really quick end. As one news report put it:

The new chief executive of the Essendon Football Club, Andrew Thorburn, has resigned just one day after being appointed to the role. Mr Thorburn’s resignation comes after it emerged the church he leads has published a series of articles critical of homosexuality and abortion. The appointment of the ex-CEO of NAB was announced on Monday, and he was due to take over the AFL club on November 1. Acting CEO Nick Ryan will continue in his role whilst the club commences the process to appoint a new CEO.

Well, it certainly is a good thing that this guy who is clearly further to the right than Attila the Hun is no longer there to cause so much mischief and mayhem – even though he had already said that the sexual status of his footy players would be of no concern to him. But his crimes are just too great to be tolerated.

Here is a statement he just recently released about this sad state of affairs:

Yesterday was one of the proudest days of my life. To be offered the role of CEO of the Essendon Football Club – who I have followed since I was a boy – was a profound honour. At last night’s Crichton medal, I could hardly contain my passion and wonder at the opportunity. I love the club, love the people, and was incredibly excited about the work ahead. I had seen a picture of a club that was not as broken as feared, and that with leadership and focus, could rebound strongly.

However, today it became clear to me that my personal Christian faith is not tolerated or permitted in the public square, at least by some and perhaps by many. I was being required to compromise beyond a level that my conscience allowed. People should be able to hold different views on complex personal and moral matters, and be able to live and work together, even with those differences, and always with respect. Behaviour is the key. This is all an important part of a tolerant and diverse society. 

Let me be clear – I love all people, and have always promoted and lived an inclusive, diverse, respectful and supportive workplace – where people are welcomed regardless of their culture, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. I believe my record over a long period of time testifies to this.

Despite my own leadership record, within hours of my appointment being announced, the media and leaders of our community had spoken. They made it clear that my Christian faith and my association with a Church are unacceptable in our culture if you wish to hold a leadership position in society.

This grieves me greatly – though not just for myself, but for our society overall. I believe we are poorer for the loss of our great freedoms of thought, conscience and belief that made for a truly diverse, just and respectful community. 

My faith is central to who I am. Since coming to faith in Jesus 20 years ago, I have seen profound change in my life, and I believe God has made me a better husband, father, and friend. It has also helped me become a better leader. That is because at the centre of my faith is the belief that you should create a community and care for people, because they are created by and loved by God and have a deep intrinsic value.

As it happens, I do sometimes disagree with things I hear in church – but I believe strongly in the right of people to say them, especially when taken in context. Reducing complex matters to a sentence is dangerous. Australia has a long tradition of diversity and religious freedom, and that must include preserving space for religious people to be able to express their religious beliefs.

I am saddened by these events. I wish the Club success, and thank Dave Barham in particular for the opportunity he gave me. I hope the external review leads to great change. I am truly sorry that I will not be able to work with the whole Essendon team, and Brad Scott and Josh Mahoney in particular.

While I think he should have stayed and fought this blatant anti-Christian bigotry and hatred, it is up to him to decide which way to proceed. But this is just another case of hardcore Christophobia in action. And of leftist hypocrisy and double standards.

Just consider what we actually read on the Essendon footy club website: “We strive to make our people proud by becoming the most successful, inclusive, and respected club in Australian sport both on and off the field.”

Um, too bad their inclusion does not include Christians. They could have stood up for him and fought for his right to be there. But like all gutless wonders, they seem to worry more about offending the woke pansies, the mainstream media elites, and the noisy radical minority groups.

I have been saying this for years now: the secular left does not just want to be left alone to do their own thing. They want – indeed, demand – your approval, celebration and promotion. They want you to bow the knee to their agenda – or else.

Recalcitrants are not wanted. In fact, they will be targeted, hounded and destroyed. Welcome to our Brave New World where Christianity is now a threatened species. And it will keep getting worse if we do not wake up real soon and start taking a stand.