Are Australian values based on the ‘Judaeo-Christian tradition’?

Irfan Yusuf points out that it isn’t just the whole idea of a citizenship test that is going to be controversial, it is also the questions and answers – in particular the answers.

Take question 15:

Australia’s values are based on the …

a. Teachings of the Koran

b. The Judaeo-Christian tradition

c. Catholicism

d. Secularism

Apparently ‘b’ is the correct answer if you want to pass the citizenship test. As Irfan says, the ‘Judaeo’ bit is stretching it. Judaism’s direct effect on Australian values is negligible. Only the long-ago influence of Judaism on Christianity (in the particular the Old Testament) can make any intellectual sense of this term; in reality Christianity has been the dominant faith in Australia and in Europe, from which most Australians came.

Ironically, in light of the choice against the Koran this question forces, the term ‘Judaeo-Christian’ was a 20th century effort to be more inclusive towards non-Christian religion rather than a serious description of religious or ‘values’ history.

But which Australian values are based on the ‘Judaeo-Christian tradition’? Not obviously those on offer in question 14:

Continue reading “Are Australian values based on the ‘Judaeo-Christian tradition’?”