Dear John, whoever now takes pen to write / Or at the keys tap-taps through half the night / To give a new Religio Laici / Or Hind and Panther to this vacant sly / Neurotic modern world must first take note / That things were not the same as when you wrote. / The modern mind was then scarce embryonic / Which now stands forth loud, indistinct, moronic / The great Unculture that you feared might be / “Drawn to the dregs of a democracy” / Is full upon us; here it sours and thickens / Till every work of art and honour sickens. — A Letter To John Dryden by James McAuley Drowning in social media sludge, propelled by intimidatory elites … so much has been written in the past couple of weeks about what should and should not be said in public that McAuley’s letter to Dryden could merit a posthumous award for foresight.
But not even he could have foreseen the triumph of the long march this year when reason would be replaced by insults and a sly slogan would replace the hard, unchangeable truth about nature, sex and marriage.
He might not have been shocked to know there was a “debate” about marriage — his poem predicts the terrible results of marriage’s decline — but he would be shocked that only people on one side of this joke “debate” were being hauled off to anti-discrimination tribunals and threatened with fines for their thoughts about how normal sex and marriage should be taught to children.
So what are the guardians of education’s portals, those keepers of right think, teaching our children these days? Educators must go along with whatever the proper thinking is on the issue du jour and, consequently, everything is reduced to the rubrics of a series of interlocking agendas: gender, multiculturalism, gay rights, whatever. It has nothing to do with reality or, God forbid, knowledge.
So is gay marriage a challenge to the natural family? No, it is about equality, and “diversity”, love hearts and going to school wearing purple. Domestic violence? Of course, that is really about gender equality, and teaching “relationships”. Excuse me while I guffaw.
Consequently in Victoria “educators” have seized the moment to kill two birds with one stone. They have decided to scrap religion, the hallmark of the old verities, by tagging on to the fashionable hand-wringing over “domestic violence”.
They have decided it is irrelevant that the Christian religion teaches the most basic respectful tenant of the second commandment, to love your neighbour as yourself. Never mind about leaving children ignorant of the religious traditions that permeate our whole culture from art to poetry to everything, including a grasp of human rights. In fact, where do they think human rights even came from?
And who cares what families think or want? Nobody has asked them, even though it is actually from them, not in a classroom, that children learn domestic harmony.
None of this is relevant to the guardians because better cultural and philosophical education is not what this attempt to stamp out religion from state schools is about. It is about replacing the last defence of the ordinary verities with a confection made up of shallow rights — talk as seen through the distorted prism of the gender wars, cleverly bound up in the emotional hysteria primed and propelled by electronic and social media.
Young people are very susceptible to emotionalism Consequently, facts, whether about gay marriage or domestic violence or anything else, become irrelevant. It is the vibe that matters.
Take domestic violence. Even though the gender warriors want us to believe the average suburban home where more than 70 per cent of Australian children live with both parents is a hidden maelstrom of male violence, it is not particularly prevalent. The worst, most shocking violence — physical and sexual — against women and children in Australia, indeed anywhere in the West, occurs in indigenous settlements racked with drugs, alcoholism and pornography.
But this doesn’t fit the gender rubric, or the multicultural one, or the libertarian one, either. Everyone is dead scared of the feminist/libertarian columnists, bloggers and academics who are running the domestic violence agenda aided by online campaigns such as White Ribbon, so facts are ignored.
Here are some facts about domestic violence. Which women are more prone to violence? Unmarried women. Which men are more prone to dish it out, especially to children? To use the officialese, “resident unrelated males” — in normal speak, the boyfriend. Who are likelier to kill children? Mothers are. Who is the next likeliest to kill them and physically or sexually assault children? The boyfriend. Who is least likely to kill or to sexually or physically assault children? Their father.
Sensible people would see these facts as pointers to the protective nature of the strong natural bond, between men, women and their children, and an increase in domestic violence, as a symptom of decline of that bond, especially combined with drugs and alcohol.
But defending the nuclear family isn’t part of any agenda, especially of the lobby groups that actively have sought its obliteration.