Posts Tagged ‘stolen’

The movie Australia is a fun and adventurous story, yet also depressing story mostly focused on the degradation of the Aboriginal cultures in Australia, namely the “Stolen Generation.” The Stolen Generation being a period between 1910 and 1970 when the Australian Government determined that Aboriginal children (especially those of mixed decent) would be removed from their families and instead raised abroad in Christian missions and schools where they would be forcibly subjected to Christian teaching. It is estimated 100,000 children constitute the Stolen Generation.[1] The movie is more or less correct in it’s portrayal of what happened. But there are two things that must be addressed before we all go on our anti-Christian or anti-religion rants: First, the actions of Christians at these missions and schools to rehabilitate children that were stolen from their families is not condoned in biblical doctrine. And second, there was in my opinion a much more heinous act done to the Aboriginal people prior in the 19th century all in the name of science…

                First, we must understand that Christians can do very un-Christian things. This has been the case all throughout history, and still happens frequently today. Just because someone claims to be a Christians, doesn’t mean they really are, and also doesn’t mean that what they do is instructed in the Bible. But the corrupt behavior of Christians should not be the catalyst by which you reject Christianity or the Bible. Especially if the Bible doesn’t condone the actions certain corrupt Christians take. A good analogy is law enforcement. There are surely many corrupt law enforcement officers around the world, but the corruptness of certain law enforcement officers does not render all other law enforcement officers nor the practice of law enforcement itself, as false and corrupt. Yet again, the Stolen Generation was another event in history that tarnishes the name of Christianity. But if you know your history and bible well enough you’ll know that the decision to break up Aboriginal families and force feed them Christianity was a decision rooted in racism, not Biblical doctrine.

The Stolen Generation

                However, not mentioned in the movie was a time period in which the aborigines were subjected to a much more horrific circumstance; body snatching. In the 19th century, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was spreading like wildfire throughout the world. What most people don’t know about Darwin was that he was racist in his evolutionary theories, ranking white people as the most evolved, and African people as less evolved, and with aboriginal people being the least evolved and lowest on the totem poll. This meant that aboriginal people were the closest connection to our ape-like ancestors. So naturally, scientists in Europe were desperate to study the anatomy of aboriginal people.

                Scientists and museums began to request bodies to study. Graves were dug up as body parts were prepared and shipped back to Europe. This also became an open invite to shoot aboriginal people in the name of science. The 1866 Mayor of Queensland, Korah Willis even admitted to killing an aboriginal man and dissecting his body for scientific study the year before.[2] A German evolutionist named Amalie Dietrich came to Australia, hired by a museum to kill and “stuff” aboriginal specimens and ship them back to the museum.[3]  She became so notorious in Australia she was referred to as the Angel of Black Death. There is one account from a missionary in which 45 aboriginal people were slaughtered by police officers, their heads decapitated, boiled to remove all flesh, and the skulls studied to find the ten best which they would ship to Europe for payment.[4] It became such an epidemic that Australia had to pass laws in 1880 to prohibit the killing of aboriginal people. Which interestingly enough was lamented by Edward Ramsay, the curator of the Australian Museum in Sidney, because it interrupted his supply of specimens. [5] All in all it is estimated that 10,000 dead bodies were shipped to British Museums alone.[6] Yet these men and women felt justified in their actions, because to them aboriginal people weren’t fully human. Isn’t it interesting that this is also the same excuse many use to abort millions of babies worldwide…

                Don’t get me wrong, what happened to the Stolen Generation was dreadfully wrong. But it pales in comparison to the inhumane acts of racist murder of the aboriginal people, all in the name of science. I would like to see Hollywood incorporate these heinous acts into a movie to so show the world what the foundation of evolution looked like. Regardless, the real root of the problem is racism as an evil in the heart of man in our sin cursed world. And whether you’re a scientist or a self-proclaimed man or woman of religion, if you have racial prejudice in your heart it will show in your actions. However, the Bible teaches us that we’re all God’s children, all descendants of Adam and Eve, and we are to love one another as we love ourselves. If we take God’s words into action, believe in them with all our heart and live by them, then we can truly overcome the evils of this world.


[2] David Monaghan, ‘The body-snatchers’, The Bulletin, November 12. 1991, pp. 30–38.

[3] “Darwin’s Bodysnatchers: New Horrors” by Carl Wieland, http://www.creation.com

[4] Ibid

[5] David Monaghan, ‘The body-snatchers’, The Bulletin, November 12. 1991, pp. 34.

[6] Ibid, pp. 30.