As the bugler sounded the traditional calls, “Stand Fast”, “Last Post”, “Rouse” and “Carry On”, during the dedication ceremony at Stone Hut last Sunday, it became apparent that, to the guests, mostly middle aged and onwards, the occasion was as much a celebration of our culture as anything else. The hymns spoke of faith in God, the bugle calls spoke of duty and service to the nation and the unveiling of the plaques reminded us of the cost of nationhood and the sharing of loss. These great themes have underpinned Australian culture since settlement and it is not surprising therefore, that they have all been under attack by those who seek to remake our national image in a way which will see it conform to the atheist, marxist model so beloved by the new class elites.
As to faith in God, the national census still indicates that about 75% of the population, when they sit down to fill in their census form, profess a belief in God although only a tiny proportion express it by way of Church affiliation. This statistic is a manifestation of the failure of the institutionalised brainwashing that has occurred in our school systems in the last thirty years. For, despite it being a totally discredited theory in the eyes of scientists, Darwinian evolution is still taught in our schools as the only explanation for life on earth.
This, of course, ignores the views of such eminent scientists as the Astronomer Royal Sir Fred Hoyle, who wrote in the New Scientist, way back in 1981, that evolutionary theory was “nonsense of a high order”. The twentieth century’s leading science philosopher, Sir Karl Popper, claimed that Darwinism was so lacking in substance that it could not seriously be regarded as a testable theory, but was, instead, a metaphysical programme. Eminent geneticist Thoedosius Dobzansky goes further, asserting that far from denying the validity of religious solutions to the age old question of the origin of life, science has created its own religion in the theory of evolution, “…a religion which is surrounded by mystery and mythology and which casts the scientist as the High Priest, invoking the gods with scientific jargon.”
Science now puts forward the notion that life on earth was imported from elsewhere in the solar system – in other words, man arrived from outer space in a highly sophisticated spacecraft and then dwelt in caves for thousands of years before inventing the wheel. On March 6th 1982, the Adelaide Advertiser editorialised on this issue in this way: “It would be presumptuous for laymen to ridicule these latest scientific pronouncements. But they might find it hard to resist the conclusion that, other theories to account for the origin of life on earth having been successively abandoned, the professors have found themselves left with two alternative explanations – a miraculous event, or some sort of incursion from outer space; and that, given the prevailing disinclination to accept the possibility of Divine Creation, they have chosen the latter.”
Finally, we give God the opportunity to answer His critics, which He does in verse 1 of Psalm 14; “The fool has said in his heart ‘there is no God’”.
As to duty and service to the nation, previous generations understood that citizenship implied both rights and responsibilities, duties as well as privileges. The seventeenth century English metaphysical poet, John Donne, put it this way in his “Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions” (1624):-
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; and therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”.
This articulately expresses the notion, generally accepted at the time, that the individual could only flourish if the whole was healthy – that, in the body politic, sickness in the whole would result in illness of the individual. And so it has proved. The appropriately entitled “Me Generation” has substituted self-interest for community interest. The strength and vigour of our culture, founded on responsibility and duty to each other, has been dissipated on the altar of self-indulgence. And who will be brave enough to say that individually, we are better off now than we were in more difficult times, that our future tomorrow is more glowing than it was yesterday?
William Shakespeare gave Hamlet the line: “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark”. That seems to apply in Australia, too, and, if, as the Bible tells us, the Church is meant to be salt to the nation, then our condition derives, no doubt, from the failure of the Church to resist the rottenness and stand up against the increasing abandonment of godly principles in national life. Salt after all, is given to purify and preserve, to sanctify and to savour. In a darkening world, it would be expected that the light would be clearer, but it too grows dim, itself perhaps a result of separating itself from the source of power.
Finally, as to the cost of nationhood and sharing of loss, most of those at Stone Hut last Sunday knew something of those things, having lived through harder times. They know that there is a cost that comes with what we have; that a price had to be paid for the freedoms we enjoy. They know what it is to be bound together in adversity, under the threat of invasion and the loss of liberty. Freedom is a condition of the individual and liberty is a condition of the environment. The former cannot exist unless the latter does. Liberty is not the natural condition of the environment, of course, quite the opposite. The natural order is for men to oppress others, to overpower them, to rule them, to control them, to exploit them, to use them to advance their own interests. It is only where there is light that there is liberty. “The truth will set you free” the Bible tells us.
There is no time like the present to reflect upon these things. We are currently being invaded, with an armada of illegal immigrants landing on our vast and unprotected coastline. That they can do so, is itself a consequence of the reduction of coastal surveillance operations by successive Federal Governments, which give priority to superannuation payouts and other perks of office, rather than to the well being of the nation. The culture that these invaders bring with them will be no respecter of ours and will soon overpower the wishy washy elites who have abandoned the rock of our culture for the shifting sands of cultural relativism.
We must recapture that culture, its values and principles, if we want to survive in our own land.