Australia Children Education Opinion State

The absurd attacks on religious freedom in Australia.

During her recent appearance on Q&A, Labor MP Terri Butler made two terrible arguments against religious schools being able to discriminate against homosexual teachers:

1) Doesn’t your religion teach you to ‘love your neighbour’?

2) Homosexual teachers don’t teach maths any differently to heterosexual teachers.

In response:

1) Of course Christians are to love their neighbours. But what does it mean to love your neighbour? Terri Butler’s absurd idea of love would also mean that a Christian school should not discriminate against an atheist being employed as a teacher, because after all, aren’t Christians called to love them? Indeed we are – to be friendly with them, to seek the protection of their life, to help them if they’re in need etc.

But that doesn’t mean Christian schools must employ a teacher who denies the very existence of God and thus undermines the entire purpose and ethos of the school. Is Terri Butler seriously arguing that those who reject the Christian faith (e.g. atheists and homosexuals) are really in a position to propagate that faith to the next generation?

Terri Butler’s position is also full of hypocrisy. We could rightly ask why her Labor party doesn’t love their neighbours and allow a Liberal/Conservative to be a member of it and also lead it?

2) Of course – given how maths is often taught in most schools (devoid of any philosophical grounding) – a homosexual teacher would likely teach the same content in a similar fashion to a Christian teacher. But that logic wouldn’t apply to other subjects like English, History or Science – where philosophical issues that intersect with Christian faith are regularly explored.

But putting that to one side – even the humble maths teacher is more than a receptacle of facts and figures. They are also a model/mentor to students. Their lives ought to display to students what it looks like to live as a Christian. Students (who look up to these teachers) will often look to them for advice and counsel.

Since Christian education is a parental (not a state) responsibility – these teachers are being entrusted by parents to have a large part in helping raise their children in the knowledge of God. Again, it is absurd to expect someone who denies the Christian faith (e.g. an atheist or a homosexual) could do that.

It is important to distinguish between those who practice a homosexual lifestyle and those who experience same-sex attraction but seek to turn from those desires in obedience to Christ. The former denies the faith, the latter is a Christian – who Christian schools would have no issue employing as a teacher.

With the way our culture is turning on religious freedom, Christian schools better start preparing to be financially self-sufficient – which will involve further sacrifices from Christian parents. When you accept money from Caesar – don’t be surprised when Caesar wants to tell you how to run your school. He who pays the piper often calls the tune.

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