IGNORANCE: Dean hits back at ‘doomsday waffle talk’
THE Dean of Grafton's Christ Church Cathedral has spoken out against a Coffs Harbour school principal who used a school newsletter to slam students for their recent climate strike.
In a column released last Thursday, Coffs Harbour Christian Community School principal Rodney Lynn dismissed the climate change protest as "doomsday waffle talk" and took aim at the face of the global climate strike, Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg.
In response, Christ Church Cathedral's Very Reverend Gregory Jenks said the piece was typical of the agenda of conservative right-wing Christians, and said it was inappropriate commentary from someone involved in the education system.
Mr Lynn's newsletter article stated "doomsday ideas" were "still getting lots of air time today".
"The only difference is that different people are sprouting them, including a little girl from Scandinavia and a local Australian man called Flannery who, since the year 2000, has had a lot to say about the future climate to only be wrong again and again," he wrote. "My life experience has taught me that the doomsday predictors are just attention getters.
"Doomsday, Doomsday, be afraid, the world can only last another 11 years. By 2030 it will all be over. The planet is about to be destroyed and you can do something about it. What can you do? You can skip school. Hold up a piece of cardboard in the streets and call out for the government to 'do something to stop it all happening'.... Really???
"Do not be afraid. Your world's future is in the hands of God, not in the predictions of a little girl and false prophets. God's promises have never failed yet. God loves you and so do I."
Rev Jenks said he believed the views of Mr Lynn were not good for the planet and not good for children.
"I think it betrays a stunning ignorance of thinking on climate science, and (Mr Lynn) is not in the same league to be up against thousands of climate scientists," Rev Jenks said.
"To attack a young Swedish girl with mental problems, that's verging on child harassment and for an educator at a school where there may be some students living with mental illness, to dismiss them like that is disappointing.
"As a head of a school that purports to be a Christian school, I think it's a totally inappropriate expression on Christian education."
Rev Jenks, who is an adjunct senior lecturer in the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University, said Mr Lynn's use of scripture was "incredibly naive and fundamentalist".
"What's sad is this isn't a personal agenda, this is typical of the agenda of conservative right-wing Christians articulating a ultra-conservative expression of Christianity and it's nasty," he said.