National emergency in Australia
The fruit of forty years of evolutionary policies
Photo Anne Clark istockphoto.com
In late June 2007, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, declared a National Emergency whereby teams of medical and social workers, backed by police and supported by the military for logistics, will intervene in Australian Aboriginal townships to end child sex abuse.
An editorial in The Australian newspaper blames the problem on forty years of failed government policies.1 Why were the policies wrong and what policies should be applied in future? Before we can fix a problem it needs to be properly diagnosed.
Howard’s announcement came in response to a government report, received on Thursday (21 June 2007), that revealed extensive pedophilia and juvenile prostitution in Aboriginal communities within the Northern Territory. The plan he announced includes bans on alcohol and pornography as well as medical examinations for all children under 16.
Monica Brown, who worked as a nurse in remote Aboriginal communities, said, ‘Grandmothers, nurses, teachers and Aboriginal health workers have been assaulted and threatened for speaking out for the abused. Children have died during or after sexual assaults. For the sake of these kids and the families we must act.’2
Roslyn Phillips, research officer for the Festival of Light, a family-values advocacy group, said, ‘We congratulate the federal government on its action to protect Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory from child sex abuse—but it is 17 years late.’
In 1990 Festival of Light released a study by Professor Judith Atkinson that found alcohol and pornographic videos led to a very high rate of violence and sexual violence, affecting 90% of Aboriginal families living in trust areas in Queensland.
Aboriginal leaders pleaded at that time, ‘Please ban X-rated videos. They are causing the genocide of our people.’ But government did not listen … until now.
Why didn’t governments respond earlier? Because the request flew in the face of their secular humanistic views. For all that time, Governments have been intent on unraveling Australia’s Christian heritage, and energetically legalizing pornography, prostitution, abortion, easy divorce, co-habitation and the like for all Australians. In fact, one politician, who as Attorney General legalized the distribution of X-rated videos, was reported as saying in 1976, ‘Children want a right to sexual freedom and education and protection from the influence of Christianity’.3
Like a canary in a coal mine, this National Emergency should be a wake-up call. If the policies have failed the Aboriginal people then they will ultimately fail everyone.
The Australian in its editorial, ‘A failed indigenous experiment ends’, suggests why these policies imploded. It says, ‘The declaration of a national emergency in Aboriginal Australia puts an end to the great experiment of exceptionalism4 that glorified indigenous culture.’
‘Glorified indigenous culture’? How is that?
That’s the idea of the ‘noble savage’, free of hang-ups and in close touch with nature. It’s also the idea that different groups of people need different approaches, different standards. It’s straight evolutionary thinking. It ignores the fact that we are all sinners in rebellion against our Creator. That is the problem that needs to be resolved, and governments can’t do it.
The fruit of evolutionary thinking
Photo Lara Wieland
Australian universities have been using the evolutionary worldview for teaching Aboriginal culture for decades. In fact that is the way all academic studies are framed, including geology, biology, anthropology, astronomy, sociology, politics, law, social work and medicine. It is the standard naturalistic Darwinian approach.
Consequently whenever the university-trained leaders in our society think about a problem, their diagnoses and proposed solutions are based on their Darwinian worldview. Their attitude to Aboriginal culture comes straight out of evolutionary thinking. And as thirty years of Aboriginal misery have shown, Darwinian policies do not work.
Even Richard Dawkins, the arch proponent of Darwinian evolution, hinted (on the Australian ABC) that he would not like to live in a country where Darwinian ideas were applied to morality and politics:
‘I’m a passionate Darwinian when it comes to science, when it comes to explaining the world, but I’m a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to morality and politics.’5
Yet Australian governments have been applying Darwinian principles to remote Aboriginal communities for forty years. And they have been forcing them on mainstream Australia as well, all with devastating results.6
Even Aboriginal people who are trained at university think of themselves in secular evolutionary terms. For example, Helen Milroy, a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia, was the first Aboriginal medical graduate in Australia. At a forum in Cairns recently she said about her people, ‘We had very good social and cultural norms in place many, many years ago, otherwise we wouldn’t have been a culture that survived for well over 60,000 years.’7
No one would deny that her people had many good social and cultural norms. But by uncritically accepting the secular dating for Aboriginal people we are implicitly buying the evolutionary line that says some people are more evolved and some are less evolved.8 Because evolutionary thinking tends to attribute the differences between people groups to thousands of years of ‘separate evolution’, and since there is no ‘fixed rate’ of evolution, it’s easy to conclude that one group of people must be somehow less evolved (and thus less human) than another. Modern evolutionists do not generally have such racist views, but this is in spite of, not because of, their Darwinism. In fact, the astonishing biological closeness and relatedness of all humans, predictable on a biblical basis, has led to human evolution theories becoming drastically modified to accommodate the data.9
Darwin proposed the idea that humans evolved from ‘anthropoid apes’, and he considered the Australian Aborigines as primitive and not much evolved from the animals as compared to his ‘own kind’, Europeans. In fact, Darwin anticipated that the ‘wilder races’ would become extinct because survival of the fittest meant they would be superseded by the evolutionarily-advanced ‘civilized’ races.10 Even the Japanese in WW2 taught that they were the superior race, as Europeans with their longer arms and hairier chests were closer to the gorillas.
Our true heritage
Creation Ministries contributes to Aboriginal communities
Contrast this with the true history as recorded in the Bible that we are ‘all one blood’. According to the Bible we are all related through Adam and Eve, the first two people. We are also related through Noah, who with his family survived the Flood which devastated the world at that time.
All people, including the Aboriginal people, are made in the image of God. All people are separated from their God by their sin. It started in the Garden of Eden (a real place with real plants and animals, real people and a real serpent—otherwise it’s just a fairy story). Sin destroys. The wages of sin is death.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to sin. The Gospel transforms people and communities.
Evolutionary theories destroy the credibility of the Bible and the objective foundation for the Gospel. Evolution destroys people, communities and nations, which is why it must be abandoned. Christian academics at our Australian Universities need to wake up and realize that we are engulfed in a battle of worldviews, and take steps to reclaim academic ground for Christ, in every area.
When Governor Lachlan Macquarie arrived in Australia in 1810, the small struggling colony was dysfunctional, suffering the effects of alcoholism, prostitution, family breakdown and impending famine. Dysfunctional communities are not confined to Aboriginal people. Macquarie introduced measures to lift the ‘natural affections’ and ‘family feelings’ of the colony including schools, ‘to educate the young in the principles of the Bible’. He ordered that convicts of all religious persuasions attend divine worship on Sundays. He launched the Bible Society in the colony and also the Sunday School movement. Historian Manning Clark noted the transformation these measures brought to the colony, and the gratitude the settlers showed toward Macquarie: ‘Until his departure he toured the settlements and was received with praise and affection by officials and settlers wherever he went.’11
This heritage of Bible teaching was part of the curriculum in Australian government schools until the mid 1970s, when many state governments moved to have it removed. Such ‘de-Christianization’ follows the same pattern as in many other western nations, and the trend commenced after the introduction of evolution into the curriculum around 1960. After all, if the Bible is not really true in its history, why trust what it says about spiritual matters?
All the public discussions about the problems within our Aboriginal communities, and the proposed solutions, have ignored the spiritual dimension. Governments, of course, cannot compel a spiritual response. But we are not just evolved chemicals. We are created in the image of God—body, mind and spirit. As Jesus said, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4)
Personal and community transformation
What is to be done? What is the way ahead?
Obviously law and order is foundational for any community (Romans 13:1–7), so the decisive government response in this area is commendable. But law can only do so much. And which laws are we going to enforce?
Ultimately, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the only answer. The Gospel flows out of the true history of the Aboriginal people as faithfully recorded by their ancestors in the Bible. When Aboriginal people accept Christ they are not accepting a Western religion. Rather, they are discovering their true heritage.
All over Australia, Aboriginal people have some Dreaming stories which are strikingly similar to Bible stories, often not realizing the connection. For example, when George Rosendale in North Queensland first heard the story of the Tower of Babel as a child in Sunday School he put his hand up and said ‘You whitefellas have it all wrong. That language story didn’t happen over the sea. My grandmother said it happened here near Cooktown.’ His grandmother heard the story when she was a young girl, long before the missionaries came.12 Note that these stories are never of biblical events after Babel. I.e. they may be reminiscent of Adam and Eve in the Garden, of the Flood, and of Babel, but nothing about Moses crossing the Red Sea, e.g. The reason is clear—after the dispersion associated with the tower incident, there was no more interaction between what became the Aboriginal and Hebraic cultures respectively.
There are lessons we can learn from black communities of the US, where churches have played a crucial role in social transformation. Harry R. Jackson says the leaders of these churches ‘believe that government programs alone cannot stop crime, poverty, or poor schools.13 The new black church is not waiting for a handout. They are promoting immediate change through wiser, biblically-informed choices and personal accountability.’
Jackson goes on to say, ‘They are using a new brand of black power to transform the nation. These men and women all believe that they can change America because of their faith in personal transformation (through religious conversion) and community transformation (through education and economic development).’
The same transformation can happen in Australia, and here’s one small insight into what is possible.
Dr Lara Wieland first encountered the dusty, remote community of Kowanyama when she began working there as the government doctor. She fell in love with the people but was torn inside with the social problems and the suffering. She was especially devastated by the ‘grog babies’, the damaged children born to mothers addicted to alcohol.
Since 2003 Lara has been organizing teams of Christians from diverse backgrounds to visit Kowanyama (most coming from Cairns, 800 km south) three or four times a year.14 They support the local Christians, develop relationships with the youth and share Jesus with the children. Through fun, games and loving acceptance, they create opportunities for ‘powerful discussions with the children about: youth suicide, drugs, violence, black magic, grace, forgiveness and freedom.’
Sergeant Lance Millwood of Kowanyama Police said, ‘The program is the best thing since sliced bread. It is the only thing in the community that gives these kids any goal or direction in the time they are out of school.’ People have commented on a perceived drop in juvenile crime rate, better attendance at school and children showing more interest in learning.
We need to respond
The Gospel of Christ is ultimately what our Aboriginal people need; indeed the Gospel is what all Australians need. We all crave to know our true heritage, and to find the answer to our fundamental human problem—alienation from our Creator. That’s why we all need the glorious and ongoing transformation of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Christians and churches across Australia need to respond to the needs of our blood brothers at this critical time.
- A failed indigenous experiment ends, The Australian, 23 June 2007; <http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21952105-7583,00.html>. Return to Text.
- Brown, M., As a remote area nurse, I treated too many too often, Letters, The Australian, 23 June 2007; <http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/letters/index.php/theaustralian/
comments/as_a_remote_area_nurse_i_treated_too_many_too_often/>. Return to Text.
- Sydney Morning Herald, p.11, 7 May 1976. Return to Text.
- In this context, this is the idea that Aborigines should be encouraged to live separately from and not subject to the norms, laws and traditions of the ‘invader’ society, but more in accord with their own traditions, i.e. treated as ‘exceptions’. Return to Text.
- Richard Dawkins, The Science Show, ABC Radio, 22 January 2000. Return to Text.
- See Dalrymple, T., Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass, Ivan R. Dee, Publisher, Chicago, USA, 2001, for a graphic description of how the worldview of our academics and elites is destroying the lives of everyday people. Return to Text.
- Tradition the key to solving social ills, forum hears, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/
2007/06/26/1961907.htm?site=idx-qld> Return to Text.
- The ‘60,000 years’ also contains a subtle racist putdown of Aboriginal society, highlighted when a former Prime Minister, John Gorton, raised the question of why Aborigines had not invented things like the wheel in all that time. Return to Text.
- E.g. the ‘Out of Africa’ concept. Even its rival hypothesis has had to introduce all sorts of secondary ‘gene flow’ concepts to accommodate this unexpected (for evolutionists) finding, that all ‘races’ are amazingly closely related. Return to Text.
- Darwin, C., The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, 2nd ed., John Murray, London, p. 188, 1887. Return to Text.
- Stringer, C., Discovering Australia’s Christian Heritage, Col Stringer Ministries, Robina, Qld, pp. 86–88, 1999. Return to Text.
- Wieland, C., The scars of a nation, Creation 22:48–49, 2000. Return to Text.
- Jackson, H.R. Jr, Black power: the new conservative stronghold, 20 November 2006; <http://townhall.com/columnists/HarryRJacksonJr/
2006/11/20/black_power_the_new_conservative_stronghold>. Return to Text.
- Newsletter, oUT tHERE & Kowanyama Kidzone 2006/2007. Return to Text.