Here’s a non-exhaustive list of people I seem to have infuriated this week: Paul Murray of Sky News, Pauline Hanson, Barnaby Joyce, the Rationalist Society of Australia.
My offence? For Easter, I wrote an article about what Australians say they believe, drawing on data from a survey we at CPX commissioned from McCrindle. I made some observations about openness to spiritual realities, especially among young people and women. I found the results interesting, if not earth-shattering. ABC News agreed, and published the article on Easter Sunday.
Over at Sky News, Paul Murray laid into “the so-called national broadcaster” for running polling about the existence of God (they didn’t). They interviewed Pauline Hanson, who suggested this was reason enough for the ABC to stop receiving public funding; Barnaby Joyce, who condemned my piece as “this vitriolic crap of the left”; and Michael Kroger, who called it a “despicable contribution”. (For good measure, the Rationalist Society took me to task for – I think – discrimination against men, and intellectuals.)
I suppose, had someone at Sky read what I wrote, they might have realised that it was an invitation to Australians – from a Christian – to consider, at Easter, that there might be something “more” to life than the material. But their narrative about those godless socialists had no room for the possibility that big bad Aunty might platform someone who believes the very things the culture warriors claimed to be defending.
I’m sure there are lessons to be drawn here about culture wars, mental biases, manufactured outrage, and the dangers of Not Actually Reading the Article. But today, I’m simply taking a moment to reflect on human absurdity as I drink my tea – and ponder the storm in my teacup.