Tag Archives: religious right

Abbott’s religiosity is no basis for policy

11 Jul

A couple of days ago on July 10, Tony Abbott took part in a radio interview that the Australian headlined: Abbott slams boatpeople as unChristian

“Asked on ABC Perth radio why his attitude to asylum-seekers was unchristian, the Opposition Leader responded: “I don’t think it’s a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door…But I think the people we accept should be coming the right way and not the wrong way…If you pay a people-smuggler, if you jump the queue, if you take yourself and your family on a leaky boat, that’s doing the wrong thing, not the right thing, and we shouldn’t encourage it.”

Abbott doesn’t answer the question about his perceived lack of Christian charity towards those in need. Instead he attempts to blame Muslim asylum seekers for acting in a manner he believes is unChristian. Abbott does this as if people who are not Christian are at grievous fault for being not Christian. That failure taints every action they take in their lives, it seems, and they should be held accountable, mostly by being excluded.

Presumably Abbott is aware that the majority of boat arrivals are Muslim. Presumably Abbott is aware that the largest Islamic democracy in the world is our neighbour, Indonesia. Dog whistling? Following Scott Morrison’s anti Muslim strategy?

Morrison sees votes in anti-Muslim strategy. The opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate… Lenore Taylor, Sydney Morning Herald, February 17 2011.

Oh, yes, most boat arrivals aren’t Christian, unlike Scott Morrison who is a member of the Assemblies of God Pentecostal Church. Not all Christians cultivate an aura of entitlement, privilege and absolute rightness, but too many Christian politicians in Australia today seem to hold those beliefs about themselves. Not all Christians consider other faiths to be lesser faiths, but too many Christian politicians seem to hold those views.

Abbott might as well have accused the asylum seekers of being unAustralian. Either way, what is on display is Abbott’s inability to envisage cultures other than his own as legitimate and equal, and his inclination to judge those cultures in terms of his own limited experience. Abbott’s lack of sophistication coupled with his religiosity, are not qualities we look for in a leader.

However, they do in part explain why Abbott seems arrogantly convinced that he can bully the Indonesians into letting him send back the boats. The Indonesians had a nickname for former Liberal Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock They called him “the minister with no ears” because he harangued them but didn’t listen. Is it Abbott’s aim to inherit this title as he perpetuates the disrespect for a culture he doesn’t care to understand?

Abbott also believes he has the right to bully the navy into towing back boats, in spite of considerable advice as to the undesirable possibilities of taking that course, both in terms of life threatening risks to asylum seekers and navy personnel, as well as disruption to our relations with Indonesia.  “He will not be able to have a constructive relationship with Indonesia and tow boats back,” Philip Coorey quotes an official as remarking, in his recent National Times piece. How much of Abbott’s arrogance in this matter is fuelled by a sense of Catholic Christian superiority to a Muslim nation?

Describing asylum seekers as “unChristian” is an example of how Abbott frames Australian politics through the prism of that Catholic Christianity. Is he capable of making a separation between his religious beliefs and his job as a politician? Increasingly the answer seems to be no, he’s not.

Neither does Abbott speak for all Christians, many of whom are deeply involved in the refugee cause, and would likely distance themselves from his arbitrary judgments.

Whatever the problems are with boat arrivals (most of which are caused by Australia’s treatment of them) they will not be solved through invoking Tony Abbott’s Catholic Christianity and Scott Morrison’s fundamentalist terror of Muslims.  Indeed, neither have any place in the debate. We urgently need decent policy, not religious prejudice and personal superstition.

In his last solo Qanda appearance in April 2010, Tony Abbott was asked the question “When it comes to asylum seekers, what would Jesus do?”

TONY ABBOTT: Well, Jesus wouldn’t have put his hand up to lead the Liberal Party, I suspect. Or the Labor Party, for that matter.

TONY JONES: Okay. But someone who believes in principles that he espoused did do that, so it’s a legitimate question.

TONY ABBOTT: Yeah. Don’t forget Jesus drove the traders from the temple as well. Now, I mean, you know…

TONY JONES: What’s the point of that?

TONY ABBOTT: The point is…

TONY JONES: What’s the analogy?

TONY ABBOTT: …Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone. I mean Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it is not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.

TONY JONES: It’s quite an interesting analogy because, as you know, and a whip was used on that occasion to drive people out of the temple. You know, if that’s the analogy you’re choosing, should we take it at face value?

TONY ABBOTT: No. No. I’m just saying that, look, Jesus was the best man who ever lived but that doesn’t mean that he said yes to everyone, that he was permissive to everything, and this idea that Jesus would say to every person who wanted to come to Australia, “Fine”, the door is open, I just don’t think is necessarily right.”

“Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone.” And Tony Abbott of course knows to whom Jesus would say yes in 2012. This is old-fashioned Sunday School rhetoric. This is drivel. Tony Abbott is a man showing all the signs of being out of his depth. Give him a slogan, put a funny hat on his head, get him making pies, yes he can do all that. But the serious business of leadership? Of policy? Of decent public discussion?

Jesus is reputed to have driven moneylenders from the temple, and he did it violently. The analogy Abbott makes between usurers and asylum seekers is both despicable and revealing. Jesus acted because he believed the moneylenders were defiling a sacred place where they had no right to be plying their sordid trade. The story is an example of Jesus’ righteous anger, and his desire to protect his beloved father’s house from the contamination of profane activities. Jesus wanted the temple kept pure and to this end, he drove the impure out.

How interesting, then, that a Christian should choose this particular analogy to explain why not everybody who wants to come to Australia may do so, in particular those of other faiths who arrive seeking asylum by boat. Dog whistling again? Capitalising on concerns about a presumed Muslim inability to integrate into a country Abbott wants to think of as unspoiled and Christian?

“Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone. I mean Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it is not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”

There is no place for religiosity in the asylum seeker debate or anywhere else in our politics. There’s especially no place for a future Prime Minister who believes he knows what Jesus would do, and makes policy accordingly. Jesus is irrelevant in the asylum seeker impasse, as are Tony Abbott’s projections of what Jesus might think.

Having said that I can’t help but feel if Jesus was around now, he might well stride into parliament with a stock whip and kick some arse.

PM is ‘fornicating socialist atheist’ in bed with ‘homosexual socialist atheist’ claims Christian Right

4 Dec

Guest post today by Christian right pastor Bill Muehlenberg (though he doesn’t know it yet). In the public interest No Place For Sheep has nicked this from Bill’s “Culture Watch” website. If you don’t like it Billy boy, bite me.

UPDATE: It’s really worth going to Bill’s website and having a read of the comments that have gone up there on his article today.

Thanks to Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear for the link.

Image by bigotedbillmuehlenberg

WHEN DARKNESS DESCENDS UPON A NATION, by Bill Muehlenberg

Federal Labor has declared itself to be aligned with the powers of darkness. It has decided that the most important thing this nation needs is homosexual marriage, and to hell with ordinary Australians and workers who dare to stand in their way.

Here is the story: “The Australian Labor Party has voted in favour of same-sex marriage. It’s also backed a motion to allow state and federal Labor MPs a conscience vote on gay marriage if a Bill comes to parliament. The motion on the conscience vote was carried 208 votes to 185.

“The motion to change the party platform on same-sex marriage was carried on the voices. When the results were announced, Senator Penny Wong hugged Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Delegates on the floor of the party’s national conference in Sydney clapped and cheered.”

So Labor has officially and decisively abandoned its own base, the workers, and the Australian people, and has declared that it exists solely to do the bidding of Bob Brown and the militant homosexual lobby. This is a sad day for a political party and the nation.

Well did Kim Beazley Sr say three decades ago, “When I joined the Labor Party, it contained the cream of the working class. But as I look about me now all I see are the dregs of the middle class. And what I want to know is when you middle class perverts are going to stop using the Labor Party as a spiritual spitoon.”

Imagine what he would say today? This is a betrayal of workers, of a party, and a nation. It is a sell-out, and our children will especially suffer as a result. And assuming this becomes a bill and is eventually passed, this will clearly mean an open attack on Christianity, family, and marriage.

And what of Labor’s leader? Did we really ever expect that a fornicating socialist atheist was going to really hold the line on this? Of course not; certainly not when she is in bed with our other leader, a homosexual socialist atheist. One commentator got it right:

“But it is now clear Gillard’s authority and credibility will be diminished by the vote on the party platform at a conference she has been unable to exploit to lift her leadership and revive Labor. While senior ministers such as Wayne Swan, Simon Crean and Anthony Albanese desperately insisted Labor was not being sidetracked by same-sex marriage and was really concentrating on jobs, the opposite was obvious.

“Incredibly, this was an issue Gillard had decided to commit to before the last election and has continually defended but has not publicly championed so that if she was beaten she would be seen as going down fighting for something she believed in.

“Instead, Gillard has only weakly defended her position in a newspaper article and completely disappeared from view ahead of the conference this week. This defeat for Gillard and the fight within the ALP, no matter how it is handled, will have reverberations far beyond the single issue of same-sex marriage.”

There are not only huge political and social ramifications concerning all this, but spiritual ones as well. The Bible makes it quite clear what this is all about:

Proverbs 14:34 – Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
Proverbs 29:2 – When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.

But it is not just godly leadership which is so very much lacking today. So too is godliness in the pews. Where are the Christians who have faithfully stood up about this? I have been telling Christians for months now they must contact their local MPs before this Labor conference.

Yet I would be very surprised indeed if even 5 per cent of them did. We are so engrossed in our own selfishness and trivial pursuits that we are fully happy to see the entire nation be destroyed around us. Our apathy and indifference is killing this nation and it is killing the church. Yet we do not even bat an eyelash over it.

And don’t get me started about all the so-called Christians who actually support Labor, the Greens, and the radical homosexual agenda. The truth is, we have traitors in our midst, even in the pulpits. One pastor after another has sold his soul in order to be popular, receive the praises of men, and not rock the boat.

Fortunately not everyone is living in gross, sinful compromise and rebellion. A pro-marriage rally was held this morning in Sydney to side against the evil at the Labor conference. There should have been tens of thousands of Christians there – even hundreds of thousands. If Hillsong alone sent its flock there, it would have been massive.

So where were they? Why do the bulk of believers seem to not give a rip about any of this? Why are our churches silent, our leaders cowardly, and our people so frozen? What will it take to rouse a deaf, dumb and compromised church? There is clearly only one answer to all this:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

So suck that up all you fornicating middle class dregs.

The brutalizing of Australia

24 Mar

Anger Bot by Dave Sliozis

 

When human beings whip themselves up into states of apoplectic rage they tend to all look the same. Thus the images of Barnaby Joyce frothing at the mouth at the “Look, we’re a Tea Party!” demonstration yesterday, reminded me immediately of Muammar Gaddafi. While retaining their individual features if somewhat contorted, the energy of  their lunacy is foregrounded, and it doesn’t really matter anymore who they are.

Self-interested fury is a continuum with Joyce at the milder end and Gaddafi at the murderous extreme. But it is a continuum.

Then there’s the placards, backgrounding Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in TV footage: “Ditch the Bitch, Ditch the Witch, Bob Brown‘s Bitch.” I’m no fan of Ms Gillard, but whoa!  We’re entering Sarah Palin territory here.(I’ve got an article in On Line opinion this morning on the merging of the religious right and state politics in NSW and the USA, that yesterday’s rally eerily supports.)

Then there’s the articles in the Drum over the last couple of days, by Gerard Oosterman, Bruce Haigh and Greg Barnes, all protesting the treatment of detainees at Christmas Island. The comments on the articles are something to behold. The rage against the authors and refugees is palpable, and the misinformation and ignorance displayed is a tribute to the propaganda talents of politicians and shock jocks. These homegrown talents are about to rival Sarah Palin’s Get them in the Crosshairs campaign against Democrats who voted for healthcare reform.

Violence, incitement to violence, brutalizing and hyperbolic language, verbal abuse, xenophobic and sociopathic disregard for the safety of human beings from other parts of the world, are all on the increase in Australia. They are aroused and nurtured by some self-interested politicians, and self-interested rabid media commentators.

It’s not that edifying watching Gillard and Abbott go at it in Question Time either.

Brutalized and brutalizing methods of communicating displeasure are becoming the default position. After yesterday, nobody can deny that. In other spheres public and private, these abusive uncontrolled verbal attacks are known as domestic violence, and intimidatory bullying.

Pointless trying to reduce these violences in intimate settings. Pointless trying to reduce bullying in schools and the workplace. As long as this type of brutalized attack is encouraged by political leaders and ranting media types, as long as it is accepted as our daily discourse, we’re fighting a losing battle in the schools and the home because its in the air that we breathe, and everyone has permission to indulge their most base emotions.

People’s revolt? No, revolting people.

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