By Dr. Ted Baehr and Dr. Tom Snyder
For several decades now, the mass media has promoted the Rousseauian myth conception of the “noble savage.” This is the false idea that the non-European, pagan cultures and indigenous people in North and South America, Africa, and Australia had an innate virtue and natural, peaceful simplicity prior to the arrival of hordes of Europeans who came and despoiled the land while killing thousands if not millions of people, including innocent women and children.
Of course, in promoting this revisionist notion of history, the mass media usually casts white society, especially Christian missionaries and political leaders, as the ultimate bad guys, who (the story goes) killed and plundered their way across the Caribbean, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Peru, Australia, etc.
That’s exactly the portrait in the new movie epic AUSTRALIA, which opens today in many theaters around the world, not just in the United States and Canada.
In AUSTRALIA, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman encounter a mixed race aborigine boy, Nullah, and his grandfather, King George, the leader of the aborigines in Northern Australia in 1939-41 when the movie takes place. In the movie, Christian church leaders and local police officers are labeled as complicit in forcibly rounding up the mixed race aborigines, separating them from their mothers, and putting them in isolated schools run by missionaries.
In reality, however, the historical record is quite different. In reality, while Christian missionaries may have been paternalistic at times, it was the missionaries who saved countless aborigine children, including mixed-race ones, from the ruthless male leaders of many tribes. Not only did aborigine men often brutalize women in these tribes, but the men also raped the children, including many young males who were sodomized during secret male initiation ceremonies.
In fact, from the very first arrival of Europeans in Australia, according to Louis Nowra in his article “Culture of denial” (The Australian, March 7, 2007), the settlers often observed how “the men kidnapped women from other tribes, raped them and forced them to become their wives.”
According to books like “The Native Tribes of South-East Australia” (1904) and anthropologist’s Phyllis Kaberry’s “Aboriginal Women Sacred and Profane” (1939), a man in aborigine society “had power of life and death over his wife” and thought of women as faithless, sexually insatiable and untrustworthy.
According to many recent reports, this pattern of violence and rape in aborigine culture continues today, fueled by a skyrocketing access to pornography.
It is important to note that, in the middle to late 1800s, according to “Aborigines in White Australia,” edited by Sharman Stone for Hienemann Educational Books in 1974, and other sources, it was actually Darwin’s theory of evolution that led to an rising number of murders of aborigines, who were killed for their fossil bones. The widespread belief in Darwin among government officials also led to mixed-race children being placed in foster homes, Christian schools and government institutions, because the mixed-race children were considered “more evolved” than their full-blooded parent.
Thus, it was actually secular scientists and those in secular government who promoted racist policies against aborigines, not Christianity.
Finally, an examination of court records by us and by people like conservative commentator Andrew Bolt shows that some aborigine parents actually wanted their children to be placed in schools separate from their tribes, to give the children a better chance of improving their lot in life.
That said, it is also true that some Christians in Australia during the 1800s, unable to refute the pseudo-science that is Darwinism, began to buy into the racist lies of evolutionary theory and took part in the forced governmental removal of mixed-race children.
Other Christians, however, who were opposed to the anti-biblical teachings of Darwin, opened their homes to aboriginal children, to protect such children from being institutionalized. Some of them also protected half-castes from occasional tribal infanticide.
We had a chance to interview AUSTRALIA director Baz Luhrman briefly about these matters.
Although the movie’s production notes said he did research about “stolen” aborigine children for his movie, Baz denied any knowledge of the positive activities of many Christians to protect aborigine children from violence in their tribal communities. He admitted, however, that it probably did happen, though to what extent, he does not know.
This is the problem with today’s society.
So many people have been fed the constant lie, from the mass media and their teachers at school, that European settlers in the New World and Australia, including Christian missionaries, were evil and/or misguided, but that indigenous pagan tribes were good, peaceful, harmless, and in tune with nature.
But, as books like “Columbus & Cortez, Conquerors for Christ” by John Eidsmoe and “1492 and All That” by Robert Royal have proven, indigenous pagan cultures in North and South America not only had war, slavery, cannibalism, and rape, they also despoiled their natural environment!
Despite all these real historical facts, however, the mass media continues to foster the myth conception of the “noble savage.”
Not only does this lie romanticize pagan culture and romanticize human nature, it also is a viciously bigoted attack on the Judeo-Christian heritage of Western Civilization and the Christians and Europeans who lived by that heritage.
But, who can blame the “journalists” in the mass media and filmmakers like Baz Luhrman? For this is what we, and they, have been taught in our government-run schools and in our public and private universities, often by teachers promoting an anti-Christian agenda of social engineering.
Our children and grandchildren are also being taught these myth conceptions and lies.
It is absolutely vital, therefore, that common people of values and faith rise up against their “masters” in the mass media and in our education system, and tell the real truth about the history of Australia and the New World.
The future of our society is at stake. We must redeem the values of the mass media and the education system, eliminate these myth conceptions, and set the historical record straight!
Note: Dr. Ted Baehr is founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE®: A Family Guide to Movies, Entertainment and Culture (www.movieguide.org), an outlet of the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry in Hollywood. Dr. Tom Snyder is editor of MOVIEGUIDE®.
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