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Allow me to fill you in on how Scott Morrison sees himself as our prime minister

I finished my last piece with this quote and begin this one by repeating it.

“Power must be malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo the principles of a secular government and your country’s well-being for the sake of a theocracy.”

What is meant by a secular government?

It could be as simple as where religion and politics are separate. Where:

“Religion is not removed from the public sphere; rather, it is just one voice among many, including those with no religion.”

Arguably or ultimately, however, how you see secularism will depend on what version you use, for it can vary from country to country.

For me, as far back as I can remember, it meant religion should not interfere with politics in Australia. It can have a say, but that is as far as it should go.

Lenore Taylor tweeted and, in doing so, explained the right of the press to report on the religious activities of our Prime Minister.

 

 

Section 116 of our Constitution says:

The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

 

What is a theocracy?

It is a government or a state led by immediate divine guidance or officials who are regarded as divinely guided by God.

The Bible says in Romans 13 of the New International Version:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

The problem I see here for the Prime Minister is that the denomination he belongs to are literalists. By that, I mean they believe every word of scripture is accurate and literally true even if there is some difficulty in marrying the past with the present.

Scott Morrison has never been afraid to lay his faith on the line and, in doing so, has always taken the risk of upsetting those of little or no faith. Most politicians prefer to park their faith outside the house rather than taking it with them into a room of political debate. Not our PM.

His recent speech to those assembled at the Australian Christian Churches biennial conference raised a few eyebrows among those unfamiliar with the language of the Pentecostal church.

His use of expressions such as “speaking in tongues”, “called to do God’s work”, “laying on of hands”, the “evil one” when referring to the devil Suggests that God, without so much as an application, made him Prime Minister, going so far as to describing an encounter with a picture of an eagle after asking God for a sign during the closing weeks of the election campaign.

Unless you are of the faith, these things can be hard to fathom. As is this:

“God has, I believe, been using us in those moments to be able to provide some relief and comfort and just some reassurance.”

I think what atheists find most offensive with religion is not only that they reject theist belief, but also the injustice, immorality and hypocrisy that often comes with it.

In opining about the meaning of community, he walked both sides of the street.

“Morality is about focusing not on you but on the person next to you. It’s about focusing, for me, on you not me. That is the essence of community. You can’t pass a law for it. You can’t create a building for it. It is essentially what springs from each and every one of us. Community.”

A community was both individualistic and collective. Morrison concluded that community was everything but mustn’t express itself in “identity politics” – this to me seemed to be a contradiction in terms because identity politics is but a description of how individuals with shared values come together to form collectives and fights against oppression and injustice. However, it had to fit into the conservative philosophy about the individual.

Religion does not have a monopoly on morality. Or anything else, in my experience.

 

Social Media is a “weapon”

Scott Morrison sees social media as a weapon from the side of evil:

“… but those weapons can also be used by the evil one, and we need to call that out.”

Praying for people and “laying hands on them in various situations” would be confrontational if they knew and were affronted by the attention. Some would say this is an unwanted invasion of their space if they knew what was secretly being done.

Social media is a weapon “used by the evil one”, The evil one being the devil. Even Christians find it difficult enough to put together a coherent description of their God. You get that many variations; it becomes a word game. You can imagine what pictures people might paint of the evil one.

But perhaps the most controversial notion is that Scotty was put in his current leadership position by God. That’s a huge mouthful for people to swallow. Some would say impossible – no wonder the polling was so far out.

Does the scripture include leaders like Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler, or does it mean only the charismatic Pentecostal Christian ones?

There is sure to be another scripture you can refer to that will sought it out for you.

Most churches exist to do good works. Some see their existence as working for the poor or disadvantaged. Others like Catholics are institutionalised, while others like the charismatic churches see their presence as being to save souls.

Nobody can go to Heaven unless they confess that Jesus is their Lord and saviour. All others go to hell. That includes some rather fine people.

More from Scott Morrison’s recent speech:

“And this came home to me, importantly, during the last election campaign, in fact, and I was up on the Central Coast, and I was up there with Jenny. It was a pretty tough week actually, last couple of weeks of the campaign and I was at Ken Duncan’s Gallery. And I hadn’t, I didn’t know we were going to go to Ken Duncan’s Gallery, we were speaking at a rally that day and we had to go and hold somewhere as we often do before we go over to the next event. And, uh, I must admit, I was saying to myself “where are you?”, where are you? I’d like a reminder, if that’s okay”. And so I walk in, so I didn’t know i was supposed to be at Ken’s Gallery, and Ken’s a great Christian guy and I walked into his gallery and there right in front of me was the biggest picture of a soaring eagle that I could imagine. Of course, the verse hit me that soaring on the wings of an eagle, run and do not grow weary, walk do not grow faint. But the message I got that day was, “Scott, you’ve got to run to not grow weary. You’ve got to walk to not grow faint. You’ve got to spread your wings like an eagle to soar like an eagle.”

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

And why the reference to an eagle?

“Eagles are the “king of birds”, and throughout the Bible, God likens Himself and His children to an Eagle. Eagles are mentioned 34 times in the Bible and are considered an international symbol of strength, stamina, power, majesty, authority, and freedom. You can’t fly as an Eagle unless you stay strong.”

Coincidence is never a possibility when it gets in the way of a good God encounter story.

As an expression of Christianity in practice, the Prime Minister travelled to the conference from Sydney using his taxpayer-funded aircraft.

There was no video of his address, nor was it promoted on his Facebook or official pages. His office has not released a copy of his speech, as usually occurs when he speaks in his official capacity as prime minister.

He never mentioned women in the current context or how the Bible traditionally portrays them. Just as well, l think.

My thought for the day

Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, is the best way of providing solutions to human problems.

PS: George Christensen is to retire at the next election. That’s a weight off my mind.

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23 comments

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  1. Soozka

    A major problem with Scott Morrison’s address to the pentecostals is that it is so out of step with the viewpoints of the majority of Christians. Pentecostals are a very small percentage of the people claiming to be Christian in Australia, as is the membership of the ACL. Yet, these are the people the media go to for comment rather than going to the spokespeople and theologians of Christian churches to which the majority of Christians belong.

  2. Alan Austin

    Unfortunately, John, Scott Morrison and the other Pentecostal members of his Government do not believe the Bible. If they did, the country would be managed well.

    On refugees:

    “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”

    ~ Deuteronomy 10:17-19

    On defending low-income citizens:

    “He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord.

    ~ Jeremiah 22:16

  3. John Lord

    Alan. And Jesus according to Mikale Gorbach was the worlds first Socialist.

  4. Bert

    “Eagles are the “king of birds”, and throughout the Bible, God likens Himself and His children to an Eagle. Eagles are mentioned 34 times in the Bible and are considered an international symbol of strength, stamina, power, majesty, authority, and freedom. You can’t fly as an Eagle unless you stay strong.”

    Maybe so but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines

  5. GL

    Bert,

    If pigs can fly, we see that every day with the LNP, then why can’t weasels.

  6. John Hanna

    The religious right have for years attempted to emulate the state of affairs in the US where religion has disproprtionate influence. It is a stated aim of the ACL to get more representation in parliament or at least more lobbyists to influence outcomes on their behalf.
    Having read the book about Doug Coe and “The Family” and watched the Neflix series by the same name it is not difficult to see how the system works and how pernicious it is. I have no doubt that Smuggo’s visits to the US included discussions with representatives of “The Family” and attendance at their prayer breakfasts. Money flows to politicians of like mind and is responsible for the anti gay legislation in Nigeria. We (the 70%) of no religion need to be very aware of what is happening in this country.

  7. Consume Less

    Moronmo may see an Eagle but our own aussie wedge tail eagles and all other birds of prey are in serious trouble from so many sources. Secondary poisoning from laid baits being one of them. Wake up Australia and look after our beautiful wildlife.

  8. John Boyd

    An a-theist myself, it bugs me that these fringe pseudo-religious cults seem able to appropriate the title ‘christian’ to themselves. It disappoints me that the mainstream, more Jesus-oriented religious groups don’t call them out for the hypocrites they are. However, I think I can work out why they don’t.

  9. wam

    One day enough women will realise that the bible religions are by men for men(jew tragedy??) and the church will end.
    Until then women will suffer, in silence and even if they do something men will attempt to take the credit by saying they gave the women the privilege. ps Remember the bible declares women as an afterthought for man’s pleasure? ‘Most problems that society faces arise from the fact that men have never really grown up’ “History is just an ongoing commentary on the incompetence of men” “At some time in the human narrative…..in our history, man declared himself superior to women. It must have been an accident, or at least an act of gross stupidity. But that’s men for you” (johnlord2013 | June 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm) ‘
    pps I followed your god experience but missed the divorce??
    ppps
    as any intelligent free thinker can see Mobius negates any need for a god creator

  10. Keitha Granville

    We know that many of our MPs have a faith of one kind or another, good luck to them, but they usually keep it between themselves and their god. An MP from the past who wore his catholocism on his sleeve was Bob Santamaria, but he never made it to the top job.

    Pentecostalism is a cult, no less than any of the other weirdo spin offs claiming Christianity.
    Gorbachev was right imp, Jesus was almost certainly a socialist. He railed against the hierarchy and privilege of his church elders. Many seem to forget he wasn’t a Christian, he was a Jew. He championed the cause of the poor, the homeless, the faithless, the refugee, and any other underprivileged mob. Doesn’t sound much like Scummo does it.

    I cannot hang on to any faith that believes some are better than others, what kind of people does that make them?

    Rather than asking what would Jenny do, Scummo shoild be asking what would Jesus do. Butnof course he knows that he wouldn’t get the answer he wants.

  11. Dennis Ryle

    John Boyd, maybe they do, but the mainstream media takes no notice.

  12. Canguro

    Remember little Johnnie Howard and his tap-dancing with the Exclusive Brethren, the secretive Christian sect who ‘don’t believe’ in voting, and by virtue of their ‘not believing’ got a free pass from sanctioning and fines from the AEC for non-compliance with Australian law?

    It’s London to a brick that their financial support of Howard in his reelection endeavour in Bennelong went some way towards their successful flouting of the law.

    Even the name of this sect sticks in the craw, that notion of being better than the rest of use. The hypocrisy stinks, as does the LNP’s willingness to accept monies from lawbreakers. If it’s good enough for the rest of the country to have to both enrol to vote and also trudge off to the polls to participate in voting game, then I don’t see why a group of biased & bigoted nutters get let off the hook.

    Hang on, I smell the stink of money… and I sense it’s of an irresistible allure to the so-called business party of Australia.

    Could Johnnie’s heir be of the same ilk? Can’t resist an open wallet flashed in his direction? The Christians are often seen to be wanting to influence the course of politics, and the colour of their money is so…ooo attractive.

  13. Ken

    The Morrison video on Youtube has now been watched over 25,000 times so Scomo trying to keep it quiet didn’t seemed to have worked !

  14. Ross

    According to the bible we are god’s children.
    If god made Scott Morrison PM we must have been very, very naughty kiddies.
    (Tongue planted firmly in cheek)

  15. GW Bray

    Eagles feed on carrion.

  16. New England Cocky

    How can you soar with the eagles when in fact you are strutting as the biggest turkey??

    There are far too many similarities between Scummo’s religious ramblings and the early 20th century utterances of the fascists in Italy and elected in Germany in 1933.

    @Canguro ….. the Nazional$ have had inducements for membership in the past that included NSW Police forgiving traffic infringements and parking tickets, but we stopped that about 20 years ago.

    Now the real money is in forgiving N MDB broad acre farmers in NW NSW and SW Qld for ”stealing” environmental flow from the Murray Darling River System to grow bumper cotton crops during the 2019-2020 worst drought in living memory. Funny how several thousand dollars buys a blind eye to pumping irregularities. Much more profitable that forgiving parking fines for broke garziers …

  17. Jaq

    I bloody hate that man- more so than I ever thought possible. More than Trump.

  18. Canguro

    Mr Cocky, Years ago I went through Sydney Uni on the five-year plan as a mature -age student studying Ag Science, older than my student peers by almost fifteen years. I took the plant stream as opposed to the animal, and on that basis was part of several extended excursions into the north-west of NSW to the black soils of the Liverpool Plains; cotton @ Narrabri and other broadacre enterprises along with horticulture, trips into south-eastern Qld also. Each summer vacation was required to spend time on a property somewhere and then write up a report on the economics & agronomics of the experience. Lake Tandou at Menindee was probably my standout experience of what big money does to the fragile environments & ecosystems but it’s only one among many where inappropriate land use had wreaked enormous damage. As an older student I’m sure I had a different outlook on what agriculture should look like in this country, given cloven-footed damage to landscapes, erosion, topsoil losses, desertification & salinisation from land clearing and so on, and it was disappointing at the end of my time as a student to see young graduates joining the cotton industry as newly-minted agronomists, as it was also some years after graduation when I worked for the Horticultural R&D Corporation and saw the senior program manager leave that place – where he was playing an important role in the assistance of problem-solving in commercial hort. in this country – to take a high-paying position as the CEO of the Irrigation Council of Australia, effectively the spokesperson for a lobbyist organisation acting on behalf of cotton & rice growers, the two sectors responsible for the most inefficient use of water in agriculture. We certainly have deep-seated institutional resistance to best-practice land use in this country, and it’s a crying shame.

  19. Jon Chesterson

    NEITHER GOD NOR PSYCHIATRY CAN FIX THIS PROBLEM – WE NEED A NEW MAGNA CARTA

    The purpose and function of Prime Minister is to serve ALL the people of Australia in a humane, democratic, informed and fair manner, not push one barrow of religion or politics – party interests are subordinated to national interests. We are a secular country constitutionally and what that means, is NO religion gets a vote. It means all faiths are respected and must not interfere with the governance of the country in return. People are free to pursue their faith not impose it on others.

    Of greatest concern are Morrison’s religious and delusional beliefs clouding his judgment and reason, calling up social and economic favour, prejudice and corruption. He is NOT here to do GOD’s work (that is for recognised religious leaders), he is here to work for Australia and its people, and clearly he isn’t doing that, from his own mouth, his head, his minority church, his actions and morality.

    Party policy is party policy, not government policy – To be government policy there are higher order elements and questions to be satisfied and that is a National and Parliamentary matter, not merely a party or partisan matter. It is these elements our leaders and politicians seem to have forgotten and swept under the carpet.

    So the same applies to party, partisan and corporate interests including media, these are agencies who do not get to vote in their own right, they are not part of the constitutional suffrage that is. Lobby they might, but that is where the lines should be drawn and all donations should be reported, capped and regulated in equal and proportionate measure. Special conditions should apply to public and private media agencies, if you don’t tell the truth in good faith, ensure the news is reasonably accurate and trustworthy, there should be automatic and timely consequences imposed. Independence (of corporate, religious and partisan ties) and diversity not monopoly must be the primary goal and platform for both public and private media/broadcasters. News is news, critique is critique, neither are fiction, religion, lobby, for profit or entertainment.

    Morrison should have long since been pulled into line by the Governor General over his religion and party corruption, and subsequently dismissed a long time ago.

    The monarchy and religion have failed us as have the churches and our public institutions. The Governor General is clearly a redundant appendage and serves no meaningful constitutional or moral purpose any more, it has wasted and been wasted through ineffectual use. In fact ‘it’ serves to maintain the status quo no matter how corrupt and inhumane our government and Prime Minister behave – That is what we can observe in modern times. Unlike many democratic countries we don’t even have a Bill of Rights to protect our own citizens.

    It is time for reform, a public charter (a new Magna Carta), a Republic, where the people and informed council of proportional measure get to secure, sanction and sack a government in a timely manner, to ensure it does its duty while in office, not just after the damage has been done and/or if ever.

    Neither god nor psychiatry can fix this problem. This is ‘mankind’s’ greatest dysfunction, always has been – reflected in how we govern ourselves and each other, and our whole planet suffers.

  20. Andrew J. Smith

    My concern is why or which Australians are tolerating this US evangelical form of religion which is inserted into every narrative of the government?

    The form of radical right libertarian socio-economic policies imported from the US, preferred by the powers that be in Australia, are joined at the hip with and couched in fundamentalist, puritan or Calvinist Christian beliefs and (self) exceptionalism as their justification. This is opposed to more mainstream and moderate Christianity with secular, agnostic and grounded congregations and/or believers who do not worship nor practice i.e. more independent and not following orders…..

    The concern is that society and electorates rely upon media but over time the LNP have co-opted some crazy Christianity, and confusing conspiracy theories, to reflect (and deflect from too) the LNP’s own Anglo Saxon* conservative Christian ‘values’ which are used to sway voters on PR, emotions and feelings.

    Emerging in the GOP in recent weeks, meriting criticism from George Bush Jnr., is the promotion of (white) Anglo Saxon (protestantism) or WASP values; a return to the past of generations or even a couple of centuries ago….. matching the old influencers, economists etc. like Malthus, Smith, Darwin, Galton et al. mostly dreary and deeply deeply religious (praying their theories would work).

  21. Arnd

    Jon Chesterton,

    The purpose and function of Prime Minister is to serve ALL the people of Australia in a humane, democratic, informed and fair manner, not push one barrow of religion or politics – party interests are subordinated to national interests.

    Such general statements roll off the tongue so easily, and print even more easily. But what do they actually mean? In practice, and on the ground. As so often, here, too, the devil is in the detail.

    As I ended up concluding some time ago, the many and varied partisan and special interests that together constitute the “Greater” or “National” interests (and leaving alone the ever greater need to attend to the international or global interest, in a manner, and with dedication that is largely unencumbered by patriotic considerations) seem to have an inbuilt tendency to cancel one another – the technical term is Aufheben.

    A prime minister and government which endeavoured to truly represent all interests in an even-handed manner might end up doing very little of anything – quite like the Queen of the Realm who reigns, but does not actually govern, and whose (supposed) munificence, according to one Winston Churchill, derives “not from the powers she wields, but from the powers she denies“.

    Harry Truman famously searched for a one-handed economist: “All my [even-handed] economists say ‘on the one hand, on the other hand’!”

    When former US Joint Chief of Staff Colin Powell was first mooted as possible first black US President, his growing popularity, despite his not ever having commented on any politics, was noted with some consternation, until commenters tweaked to the fact that his popular appeal was based precisely on this absence of policy commitment: everybody was free to project his or her intents and preferences on the blank leadership canvas offered by Powell. The very moment he was to make a pronouncement, he’d disappoint up to half or more of his prospective supporters.

    To me, committed as I am to the Marxist aim of the Withering Away of the State, and to the Governance of People converting to the Mutual Administration of Things, this insight does not pose great problems. Quite on the contrary, it seems entirely in keeping with expected politological trends, and dies a good deal to explain the contemporary imbalances of a system in transition.

    I think it would be most helpful, if progressives, such as congregate on The AIMN, could acquaint themselves with the fact that ScoMo and his band of incompetents are not executing some carefully laid evil plans, but that they are in the main occupying a pre-existing policy vacuum with inane bluster, increasingly of the “prosperity gospel” variety, which really is nothing other than a last-ditch attempt to imbue “the icy waters of egotistical calculation” (Communist Manifesto) with some religious sentimentality.

    It must also be said that the existence of this secular policy vacuum is, in the main, the consequence of the progressive side of politics taking things for granted for decades on end, and not doing their job in charting a better course.

  22. ajogrady

    The L/NP are now the party of hypocritical “not fit for purpose” religious fanatics and corrupt to the core spives and shysters that do not come close to be representative of a modern functioning and cohesive egaliterian society.

  23. Raymond Tinkler

    I read with interest all of the views expressed here about Morrison and his Pentecostal crew who have been “miraculously” entrenched within the govt of this country’s top echelons of power i.e. the Prime Minister and many Govt Ministers, lavishing great dollops of public money, that will only end up wrecking the carefully constructed social structure we have had for many years and has served us well in creating a reasonable facsimile of an egalitarian one, on all the things that will wreck that too.
    I now refer to the the Liberal & National Party Coalition, acronym the LNP, as the P/LNP, because of that assimilation of it by the P/’s (Pentecostal) members influence. We already now have a union of Church? and State. Their aim is to complete that fully in as short a time as possible so that they can use the power that the State has under it’s control to produce a condition of the populace where as expressed best by the words used by the TV Series, Star Trek’s, Borg collective where “Resistance is futile”. We don’t have time to “bugger around” with esoteric philosophical debates, quite frankly. The enemy of all that the Australian secular Constitution and it’s Westminster Democratic Parliamentary system stands for, is on the brink of also being assimilated by that foreign based USA Bible Belt anachronism of a religion. The “intruder” is no longer at the door, he is firmly ensconsed within causing mayhem and destruction as he sees fits his dogmas. And they are many and anti Australian, not to mention anti-the Christ of the New Testament.

    Australia stands, I believe at it’s most existential crisis point ever. Let this “influence” continue it’s path as it is and Australia will be changed in ways inconceivable before their arrival on the political scene. This is more than just politics as we have known it. This is the most radical of changes possible. And don’t think this only happening to Australia. Who do you think was and still is behind Donald Trump in the USA? Is he showing signs of a “come back”? A renewed destabilisation of the American political structure? Are there similarities in methodology to be seen? I believe Australia will get only one last chance at the most to arrest this slide into Church/State rule. Get organised before it is too late.

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