ABC accused of anti-Christian journalism

Julia Baird (ABC)

Church leaders have accused the ABC of anti-Christian journalism in a report on its TV program 7.30 that claimed the biggest wife-bashers are Christian men who sporadically attend church, The Australian reports.

The report quoted advocates claiming “the Church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it”.

Critics of Julia Baird and Paige MacKenzie’s report broadcast on Wednesday night say it failed to reveal that the US research it relied upon showed in fact that the more Christian men attended church, the less likely it was that they would abuse their spouses.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, told The Australian: “It’s unfortunate but absolutely real that the ABC is taking a distinctly anti-Christian line. Week after week we are seeing many of the very good things the Christian Churches are doing being minimised, so it’s important they are called to account as they are simply not treating us at all fairly.”

In the report, Baird said “in many quarters of the Church, females aren’t allowed to preach or take on significant leadership roles … as long as women’s voices are denied within the church, domestic violence will continue”.

But The Australian has established that the Anglican Church’s most senior female official, Archdeacon for Women Kara Hartley, granted the ABC an extensive interview for the program but none of it was broadcast.

A source said: “I find it ironic that we were bashed over the issue of ordination of women, and our most senior ordained woman, who is on our domestic violence taskforce and who is fully up-to-date on these issues, was ignored.”

In the introduction to the report, presenter Leigh Sales said: “We talk about women in Islam, but statistically it is evangelical Christian men who attend church sporadically who are the most likely to assault their wives.”

Yet Baird observed that “in Australia, there has never been any real research into the prevalence of domestic violence within church communities”.

An ABC spokesman said the report was “not an attack on Christianity but an exploration of its intersection with issues of domestic violence, a legitimate and newsworthy subject”.

FULL STORY

Churches hit back at ‘selective’ ABC show (The Australian)

RELATED COVERAGE

'Submit to your husbands': Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God (ABC News)

Christian women told to endure domestic abuse (7.30)

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