I recently had the privilege of interviewing the Hon. Mark Latham, former leader of the ALP, and now a NSW parliamentarian for One Nation. While Mark said that he would describe himself as an ‘atheist’, he has become the main defender of religious freedom. This is because Latham sees the value of Christianity in shaping Western civilisation’s morality and worldview.
Latham has become the conservative champion against many of the so-called ‘regressive’ ideas that now dominate the state education system. Unscientific philosophies such as gender fluidity, and especially the sexualisation of young children. Latham said:
We’re going through a period with attacks on many of our institutions by regressive left-wing politics and it’s almost as if they’re driving us back to the dark ages with many of the things they’re doing. And one of their big attacks… in trying to erode our civilisational values that they can attack Christianity. Because whether you’re a believer or not, whether you’ve had religious faith or you’ve lapsed, we’re all as a society — as a Western civilisation — heavily influenced by the values, tenets and history of Christianity.
As I often say to my children every day when we wake up, we might not consciously think of it and talk about it straight away… but how we conduct ourselves during the day, our moral sense of right and wrong, good and bad, the rules of civil society that we follow are heavily anchored in the Bible. The Ten Commandments, for instance, remain in large part guidance in the moral standards of civil society.
Whoever He was, and whatever His significance, Jesus was undoubtedly the greatest moral teacher in history. He lived, he taught lessons that are timeless, and probably more relevant today than even in his own time. So, all of those things guide and underpin so many of our civilisational values.
As Left-wing politics sneers at Christianity and attacks people like Margaret Court and Israel Folau, religious freedom has become a front-line battle in civilisational protection and I’m interested in that, and I recognise that one of the essential pillars of our civilisation is Christianity, particularly in its moral and civilisational dimensions for society. And so, I’ve been involved in the struggle and you don’t have to be a believer to recognise the truth of all that.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Latham went to talk about some of the major issues now facing Australian society in particular. The full interview can be viewed for free here. Significantly, Latham stands in a venerable tradition — such as King Cyrus in Ezra 1:1 — of an unbeliever being the human agent to promote and defend divine truths and purposes. And as such, he deserves our prayers and support.