Twitter just alerted us to the news that Treasurer Scott Morrison will be speaking at the Australian Christian Lobby’s 2016 conference at the Wesley Centre in the Sydney CBD on Saturday, April 23.
This piece in New Matilda reveals that the conference star turn is one Eric Metaxas, a Christian who believes there are parallels between the failure of church groups to resist Nazism in the 1930s and the growing acceptance by liberal US Christians of LGBTQI people. Metaxas has also backed gay conversion therapy.
We already know the ACL and its spokesman Lyle Shelton have campaigned, successfully it seems, to have the Safe Schools program gutted. We also know that the ACL has an inordinate amount of influence over our governments, including that of atheist PM Julia Gillard, whom Jim Wallace persuaded to keep the school chaplaincy program.
Why are our politicians beholden to this minority group of fundamentalist extremists?
Also speaking at the conference are Miranda Devine, Noel Pearson and Dr Jeffrey J Ventrella, whom New Matilda describes thus: A Senior Counsel at the litigious Alliance Defending Freedom, Jeffery Ventrella argued in 2012 that the US government should divert funds from LGBTI health programs and instead spend the money convincing those in the communities to change their sexuality.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if Morrison speaks at the conference without challenging its homophobic slant, he is endorsing that perspective.
He is billed on the conference website as The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia, so we can assume from this he is appearing in his official capacity, and thus as a representative of the Turnbull government.
It is most alarming that the Treasurer of this country should support the extreme discriminatory views expressed by Metaxas and Ventrella. It’s extremely alarming that Morrison should represent the Turnbull government at a conference that seeks to disseminate homophobic perspectives.
There is probably an argument to be made that politicians, particularly those holding high office, ought not to publicly support any religious views in their official capacity. We are a secular country. Our governments are not vehicles for the furtherance of religious beliefs of any kind.
There is definitely an argument to be made that no politician and legislator should publicly support views that are contrary to our anti discrimination laws, such as those held by Metaxas and Ventralla.
As usual, I don’t support no platforming. I do support protest, and support for protesters if you can’t actually be there on the day.