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Compensate Aboriginals or leave says Australian Dean: CEN 8.14.09 p 6. August 13, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Multiculturalism, Politics.
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Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Australians should offer compensation to its Aboriginal residents for the crimes and odious sins committed by the descendants of the country’s European settlers, the Dean of an Anglican theological college in Melbourne has declared, or be prepared to leave the country.

Christian teaching requires recompense either through restitution or satisfaction for crimes, Dr. Peter Adam of Ridley College said on Aug 10 during the 2nd Annual John Saunders Lecture entitled “Australia — whose land?” given at Morling College to the New South Wales Baptist Union. The Christian response to the sins of the settlement of Australia, he argued was to return what was taken or to give something in return of equivalent value to the victim where restitution is not possible.

However, “the politics of Aboriginal romanticism that Rev Adam endorses have little basis in reality,” Australian historian Keith Windschuttle tells The Church of England Newspaper. The premise that Australia’s colonization and the English relationship with the Aboriginal peoples was based upon the extermination of the native inhabitants cannot be supported by history, Dr. Windschuttle said.

Government moves towards offering compensation were a beginning, Dr Adam said in his lecture, but something “more drastic” need be done as “no recompense could ever be satisfactory because what was done was so vile, so immense, so universal, so pervasive, so destructive, so devastating and so irreparable.”

The European settlement of Australia was a crime against the native peoples and a sin against God, Dr. Adam said. The church was complicit in the genocide as “the prosperity of our churches has come from the proceeds of crime. Our houses, our churches, our colleges, our shops, our sport grounds, our parks, our courts, our parliaments, our prisons, our hospitals, our roads, our reservoirs are stolen property.”

All non-Aboriginal Australians should be prepared to leave the country, if the indigenous people so desired, or else provide an appropriate recompense, he said. ”It would in fact be possible, even if very difficult and complicated, for Europeans and others to leave Australia. I am not sure where we would go, but that would be our problem,” he said.

In a statement given to the CEN, Dr. Windschuttle, author of The Fabrication of Aboriginal History: Volume One, Van Diemen’s Land, 1803-1847, and editor of Quadrant, the country’s leading intellectual journal, stated Dr. Adam had “uncritically accepted the interpretation of Aboriginal history offered by a particular school of university-based authors comprised of an alliance of neo-Marxists, postmodernists and former members of the Communist Party.”

This school claimed that “after British colonization in 1788 the Aborigines engaged in frontier warfare against the white invaders and, in retaliation, suffered massacres and genocide.” Such an account has been shown to be untrue, Dr. Windschuttle said. The postmodernist school of Australian historians had “failed their public responsibility to tell the truth about this issue and instead have perpetrated a long series of willful misrepresentations” about the country’s past.

“My own empirical research concludes that in all of Europe’s encounters from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century with the New Worlds of the Americas and the Pacific, the colonization of Australia was far and away the least violent. Rather than being common, massacres of Aborigines were rare and isolated events. Some well-known apparent atrocities had been exaggerated out of all proportion and some were entirely fictitious. The overall death tolls cited by the most reputable historians were no more than guess work and fabrications,” he said.

There was no evidence that the prescription offered by Dr. Adam was wanted as the “great majority of modern Aborigines today show little interest in that kind of politics” of race. Studies show that “65 per cent of Aboriginal adults who are married or cohabiting, are doing so with a non-indigenous spouse” while in urban areas where 73 percent of Aborigines live, the figure rises to 90 percent.

“Instead of an Aboriginal state or treaty, instead of customary laws and traditional culture, most Aborigines have shown by their actions they simply want to live like the rest of us,” Dr. Windschuttle said.

Comments

1. Compensate Aboriginals or leave says Australian Dean: CEN 8.14.09 … | australianews - August 14, 2009

[…] from: Compensate Aboriginals or leave says Australian Dean: CEN 8.14.09 … Share and […]

2. John Dawson - August 14, 2009

So, “our houses, our churches, our colleges, our shops, our sport grounds, our parks, our courts, our parliaments, our prisons, our hospitals, our roads, our reservoirs are stolen property”, they were stolen from the Aborigines? I wonder where they had them hiden when Captain Cook arrived?

3. papermind » Blog Archive » Review: Australia – whose land? (part 1) - August 17, 2009

[…] various references to the event have continued to bubble up on websites around the world. An article even appeared in the Church of England Newspaper (UK) replete with opinions from Keith Windschuttle: “the politics of Aboriginal romanticism […]


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