What is the answer to the quagmire of political correctness our culture currently finds itself festering in? How can we fight this pervasive form of censorship which has seeped into our universities, the media and even schools, and seeks to eradicate religion and particularly Christianity from the public square?
According to Dr Kevin Donnelly, a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University, the answer is for people of good will “to step up” and “argue for common sense.”
“[We should] argue that all have the right to be heard freely without being attacked or censored and to push very strongly that instead of restricting debate, we should have open and fair debate where there is a sense of being objective and impartial rather than enforcing a particular ideology,” Dr Donnelly told The Catholic Weekly.
He also believes Christians need to become more assertive and more public in their beliefs.
“Christians need to be organised and orchestrate for what they believe in,” he said.
Dr Donnelly’s recently published book, How Political Correctness is Destroying Australia, outlines how this form of censorship and cultural ideology, known as political correctness, first emerged in Europe and found its way to Australian shores where it now has a strangle-hold on many of our institutions.
It began with the Frankfurt School of academics in Germany in the 1940’s and 50’s, he explained, who adhered to Marxist ideology. They determined that rather than using physical violence, as traditional communists had done in seeking to overthrow capitalism, they would engage in the battle of ideas and change the way people think through infiltrating the major institutions.
“They weren’t going to win by storming the barricades and trying to have a revolution on the streets because Western civilisation had provided so much prosperity and wealth.”
“So what they argued was that they had to take the long march through the institutions—the universities, the family, the Church—really taking control over a long period they would be able to enforce their cultural-left agenda.”
Those academics later moved on to work in universities around the globe including here in Australia. After several decades of their ideas taking hold in our universities—where graduates in teaching, politics, media and law were churned out, after having been immersed in politically correct ideas—we now see the many fruits of their ideology.
One such fruit is the Safe Schools program, founded by staunch Marxist Roz Ward, that teaches children about gender-fluidity and transgenderism.
“She actually acknowledges it’s not about anti-bullying but rather Marxism and overthrowing the traditional view of family as being a man and a woman and children,” Dr Donnelly said.
The Church has lost much of her strength to fight against political correctness, Dr Donnelly said. This weakening of the Church has been caused by the “disgraceful” child sex abuse scandals, he said, which significantly impacted the general public’s view of Christianity. It is also due to an unwillingness to engage in public debates.
“Some in the Church have taken a backward step because they felt they were under attack, so they won’t step forward in terms of these public debates as forcefully as they might.”
He acknowledged however, that on some controversial issues such as euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage, the Church “still argues very strongly for its beliefs.”
He encourages Christians to engage in public debates whether on TV, radio, social media or through lobbying politicians, and to not forget that Christianity is the basis our Western liberal democracies.
“If you look at the underpinnings of our political and legal systems, as well as our music, literature and morality, it’s underpinned by Christianity.”
“When you look at the development of Western liberal democracy, going back to England and the Westminster Parliament and the Magna Carta, it’s all very much imbued with Christian morality.”
Dr Donnelly’s book is in its third print run and he is currently working on his next book on how political correctness is destroying education.