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As the world turned to shit, the Coalition turned to religion

With all that’s going on in the world – a pointless war, a global pandemic, rampant global heating leading to increasingly severe and compounding natural disasters, superpowers competing over our region, soaring cost of living, rising inflation, unaffordable housing, poverty, social unrest – the last government spent its dying days fighting for a religious discrimination bill we didn’t need and arguing over trans women playing sport.

When the country was ablaze and blanketed in smoke, our ex-Prime Minister ducked off for a quick holiday. After all, what could he do but pray for us … from a safe distance. On their return, he and Jenny went to visit the victims to tell them about their “thoughts and prayers” and to do a bit of good old “laying on of hands” – because that will make people who have lost everything feel better.

“I’ve been in evacuation centres where people thought I was just giving someone a hug and I was praying, and putting my hands on people … laying hands on them and praying in various situations,” Morrison said.

“It’s been quite a time, it’s been quite a time, and God has, I believe, been using us in those moments to be able to provide some relief and comfort and just some reassurance.”

The fires were due to arsonists and the loony left opposing hazard reduction burns, claimed those who dismiss the call for action on climate change as a “religion” practised by urban elites.

In a display of utter callousness, our ex-deputy PM and ex-leader of the Nationals suggested two of the victims who were killed had “most likely” voted for the Greens. Are we supposed to infer from that that, had they voted for the Coalition, they would be alive today? That it was their own fault?

According to Barnaby, only God can change the climate as he told us in a bizarre video posted Christmas Eve in 2019 when much of Australia was struggling with crippling drought.

“The thing we’ve got to acknowledge is there’s a higher authority that’s beyond our comprehension – right up there in the sky – and unless we understand that it’s got to be respected, then we’re just fools, we’re going to get nailed.”

We have had various Liberal Prime Ministers provide references for paedophile priests and/or describe those who covered up paedophilia as their “mentors”. It was left up to the White House to tell Scott Morrison that it was inappropriate to bring Brian Houston as an invited dinner guest considering he was facing criminal charges.

Conservative commentators like The Australian’s Paul Kelly dismissed the Royal Commission into child sex abuse as “a populist witch hunt” purely designed to undermine Catholic authority.

“This decision has plunged Australia into a multi-jurisdictional, multi-institutional, state-church, high-cost shambles where nobody knows how the massive expectations of victims can be satisfied. It is, however, a perfect fit into Gillard’s political strategy. For Labor, that’s what counts. The media loved it – the combination of a moral crusade, a cast of victims and coming systemic dismantling of the Catholic Church.”

Far from being the party of the outer urban working class and the struggling regions, this jealous defence of wealth and privileged power permeates the Coalition’s response to everything from the Uluru Statement to their support for the mining and burning of fossil fuels.

There has been an influx into the Liberal party of conservative members recruited from Pentecostal churches and other religious groups, with growing influence of climate-denying Christian conservatives.

In the last parliament, being Pentecostal was seen as being meritorious within itself. How else could one explain the promotion of Alex Hawke and Stuart Robert? Or the official photo shoot of an enraptured Morrison lifting voice and arm in praise of the Lord? Or the videos of Scott addressing the congregation?

Our parliament is far more religious than the wider community. The more cynical among us may suggest that is more about a relationship with power rather than God, more about networking than love of their fellow man, more about saving their political hide than their immortal soul.

Courting the religious vote has led to terrible policy and social outcomes – inequitable school funding, divisive debates about the rights of the rainbow community, women’s reproductive health and the choice to die with dignity.

The previous government achieved nothing. They failed to identify risks, let alone manage them, being far more preoccupied with confected culture wars and wedge politics than planning for the future or nurturing international relationships..

It will be up to Labor to offer something better than ‘thoughts and prayers’ to fix the situation that we now find ourselves in after three years of a prime minister who considered himself divinely ordained.

 

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26 comments

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  1. Keitha Granville

    it is beyond time for ANY religious ethos, rule or dictate to be barred from any law making in this country. We are meant to have a parliament free from any religious hold, I believe it is in the Constitution.

    Believe what you want, practise any religion you want, but keep it out of my government !

  2. Grumpy Geezer

    The religious nutters destroyed the Libs in WA and Victoria. I wish them well in their further endeavours.

  3. Michael Taylor

    If ever a govt had their priorities wrong then the Morrison govt was it.

    Talk about not reading the room.

  4. Josephus

    The religious nutter senator in the ACT has gone too thank er heaven. Gillard was our only atheist leader ; more please.

  5. New England Cocky

    Just think of all those little kiddies in their overly funded private schools praying that the Albanese LABOR government will continue to buy their parents votes with gross largess and unaccountability, while around the corner the Aged Care workers are falling over in exhaustion and praying for a pay rise so that they may feed their families tonight for the first tie this week.

    The think about all the Australian voters praying for a government composed of empathetic politicians who are working for the benefit of ALL AUSTRALIANS ….. Does the Albanese LABOR government answer their prayers? Certainly, their prayers were answered when the natural disasters resulting from the 2019 election results were calmed by a return to a democratic egalitarian LABOR government.

  6. Consume Less

    Well said Kaye, so grateful Australia kicked them out. So had enough of LNP dogma.

  7. Lawriejay

    Three gods in one – The Sun – The Atmosphere – Water ! The Universal Trinity !

    Who could ask for anything more ?

  8. wam

    oh no! Are you suggesting the deniers believe man is not causing climate change because only god can change the climate? Did god create venus? Did god put the greenhouse gases on venus? Is man putting the greenhouse gases on earth. Is the melting ice, god’s design? Why is god’s rising sea level drowning the land of most pious pacific islanders? The boys of the bible can’t handle questions? I would ask the girls but they are doing the dishes in the kitchen. But enough either you are worried about the danger of greenhouse gas emissions causing a greenhouse effect or waffle about climate and hope osmosis overcomes god. Your: “Courting the religious vote has led to terrible policy and social outcomes – inequitable school funding, divisive debates about the rights of the rainbow community, women’s reproductive health and the choice to die with dignity.” and the rabbott, copperman and scummo and their debt are the lessons of our wasted 9 years of politics that albo needs to show us.

  9. Max Gross

    I predict that once Labor has completed repairs Aussies will vote the LNP back in again. Happens. Every. Damn. Time.

  10. Michael Taylor

    Despite losing the election the LNP pollies haven’t skipped a beat. They’re the same incompetent bunch today as they were during their three terms.

  11. Michael Taylor

    Indeed, Max. It’s very cyclic.

  12. Arnd

    Keitha:

    it is beyond time for ANY religious ethos, rule or dictate to be barred from any law making in this country.

    This looks like a fair call to make … – but I regularly wonder how comprehensively those making it have considered the far-reaching implications.

    To provide crude indication of these implications: if you were rigorously to root out all reference to religious principles and ethics, all you’d be left with is secular reasoning and reference to empirical science, or, in other words, a materialist world view. And let me remind you that the, still to this date, most accomplished materialist philosopher is one Karl Marx, who did go to great lengths to establish the precepts of so-called “scientific socialism” – and we all know how this turned out.

    And I say so as a “marxist” (please carefully note capitalisation, or rather lack thereof) myself!

    Even if we were to collude to put enormous effort into updating Marx’s 19th century “pre-fordist” notions of “scientific socialism”, so as to account (in hindsight) for the terminal failures of Bolshevism and Maoism, and to adjust to the changed needs, requirements and sensibilities of 21st century “post-fordist” societies, I doubt that the political “dictate of reason” implicit in the call to eliminate all religious reference from public policy formulation and implementation will generate the positive outcomes you seem to expect to follow of logical necessity.

  13. Arnd

    Max Gross,

    I predict that once Labor has completed repairs Aussies will vote the LNP back in again. Happens. Every. Damn. Time.

    Ever wonder why?

  14. andy56

    lets get to the root cause here. The LIBS are ideologues. Small government, no regulation, every man for himself thinkers. With this mind set, PLANNING is irrelevant, the market will resolve all issues, UNTIL,Staying in power requires a shift of capital here to there. So they are ideologues who believe that only they can rule and rules are for the other side. Where they have fallen is in believing their own BS. But you know, facts got in the way. People saw through the charade. Belatedly for sure. They need to understand that being in government requires work planning the future, not just let it happen. Nobody can forsee the future but some things stand out like dogs balls. Climate change and increased demand for energy for a start. They need to understand that the market is reactive, they do but turn a blind eye. The market wont bring Koalas back from extinction. The markets wont stop the flooding in flood plains, especially after the market allowed buildings to be built on them. Markets wont be buying more firefighting aircraft until the place has burnt down. PLANNING is totally at odds with LIBs ideology. Thats why they should never be given a hose again. If you want everyone to own their own home, you dont wait till the market has jumped the shark before saying the market will correct and then add fuel to the fire by giving out more money. I have been saying these things since the whitlam days. Sorry to report that until last month, most of my friends blindly went over the cliff with the libs. The RBA has a lot to account for. They have been an arm of the libs and their ideology. They have the levers to contain the cost of housing but just refused point blank to exercise any discipline on our markets. Ten years ago, we were leveraged to the hilt. How do we stand now? Even worse. They have constrained themselves with fear. Scared to the point they did nothing. Brain surgeons, the lot of them. The mining industry, touted as our path to wealth. Well yea, the government is earning a few quid only because of the shear amount of money coming in. The biggest gas extractors may never pay tax. An opportunity cost for everyone. In the end , the amount of money flowing for construction just distorted our economy and didnt employ that many people. Now those very same people held us to ramson over climate change. Their jobs are more important than our future lives. Thank god for covid. It clearly put the spot light on the lack of planning. No amount of BS can disguise the reaction scotty got after the fires. Here in Thailand we say, sahm nahm nah. Serves you right.

  15. Old Codger

    Hi Andy, ‘They need to understand that being in government requires work planning the future, not just let it happen.’ That did not and will not be of any use to them, the tories. They had 9 years of lolling about in their hammocks (from Paul Keating), enriching themselves. They were successful in those endeavours. Their only failure in their minds, is that they lost (through utter incompetence), the chance to keep doing it. If there is any justice, a few of the tories will find themselves on corruption and fraud charges and end up in prison in the not too distant future.

  16. Brozza

    I saw the headline and thought, what’s the difference?

  17. Jack sprat

    As long as the conservatives rely on faith and dogma and disregard the enlightenment as if it never had occured ,we will always be pulled back to the dark ages by these god bothers.

  18. Harry Lime

    Hi, Old Codger,from a fellow old codger,looking forward to the day of judgement….secular, not Biblical..and Brozza…not much.And hello Jack sprat…history teaches us that we learn fuck all from history,we appear to be purposely ignorant,and are quite at ease with our dumb as fuck stupidity.

  19. wam

    oh no! Are you suggesting the deniers believe man is not causing climate change because only god can change the climate?
    Did god create venus? Did god put the greenhouse gases on venus? Is man putting the greenhouse gases on earth.
    Is the melting ice, god’s design?
    Why is god’s rising sea level drowning the land of most pious pacific islanders?
    The boys of the bible can’t handle questions? I would ask the girls but they are doing the dishes in the kitchen.
    But enough either you are worried about the danger of greenhouse gas emissions, waffle about climate and hope osmosis overcomes god, or you try to teach the effects of greenhouse gas to those who will listen.?
    Your words are deadly:
    “Courting the religious vote has led to terrible policy and social outcomes – inequitable school funding, divisive debates about the rights of the rainbow community, women’s reproductive health and the choice to die with dignity.”
    They reflect the rabbott, copperman and scummo add their debt to make the lessons of their wasted 9 years of politics that albo needs to show us.

  20. paul walter

    I think it is 50% crank religion married to 50% equally cranky neo liberalism.

    Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and seeing Tudge and Taylor uplifted is an abject commentary on nine years of Pythonesque politics redolent of the stench of graft

  21. Kaye Lee

    wam,

    “Did god create venus? Did god put the greenhouse gases on venus?”

    There are a couple of theories about this – god isn’t one of them

    https://www.space.com/18524-how-was-venus-formed.html

    “Is the melting ice, god’s design? Why is god’s rising sea level drowning the land of most pious pacific islanders?”

    Everything is god’s design. Or nothing is. It’s a kind of irrelevant question. The ice is melting because the planet is warming. The planet is warming because of the additional greenhouse gases being pumped so quickly into the atmosphere causing a build up which hinders radiated heat escaping.

    This heating causes climate trends to change radically over a relatively short time period and natural disasters to be more intense. And THAT is the danger. A lot of people think warming by one or two degrees and having more CO2 will be a good thing which is why you can’t just stop there. They must understand the consequences of a changing climate and that these gases are accumulating and will take millennia to dissipate. We have to stop adding to the problem as a matter of urgency.

    But you know all that. Which is why I never understand your comments about climate change.

  22. Kathryn

    Uncontrolled, nauseating bible-thumping hypocrisy and callous capitalistic neoliberalism has always played a large role in the sanctimonious cabinets of various LNP governments, but it was stepped up a notch when the swaggering, incoherent Mad Monk, Tony Abbott, rose through the ranks on a platform of fake religious fervour and ultra-conservative alpha male patriarchy. Abbott, with great assistance from the malignant Murdoch press, rose to leadership on a platform of reprehensible character-assassinating lies and appalling misogynistic attacks against Julia Gillard whom – history has proven – was, without any doubt, his superior in every way.

    Tragically, the majority of gullible, Murdoch-manipulated Australians (at that time) chose to believe all the manufactured, politically motivated lies spewed out by the Abbott/Murdoch/IPA Alliance and elected the depraved abomination, Abbott, to destroy, vandalise and defund everything egalitarian and humane Australians cherished! Abbott’s destructive, regressive, misogynistic and (thankfully) very short reign ensured that women, once again, would be seen – in the same way as the Catholic Church generally regards women – as nothing more than disempowered, disregarded “hand maidens” to the demands of an insufferably hypocritical and totally corrupt patriarchy!

    When even the idiots in the LNP could see that the dangerous loose cannon, Abbott, was becoming a serious liability to their chances of winning another federal election, they chose the more moderate Malcolm Turnbull to step in to take over the rising and justifiable rage against Abbott’s total incompetence, mind-numbing inability to lead and remorseless inhumanity. I think most people – even avid Labor supporters – were somewhat relieved when Turnbull took the reigns from the internationally scorned Mad Monk – but not for long!

    Festering in the background was Scott Morrison – clutching a wide range of knives to stab into the backs of ANYONE he saw as standing in his way to self-serving wealth and despotic, autocratic power! Morrison, of course, did not deserve this leadership – he had not paid his “dues”, in fact Morrison was the original “hollow man”; a man who had NO SKILLS, no backbone, no character, took credit for OTHER people’s achievements and was known to be completely incapable of holding down any job in the REAL world before he rose and rose through the ranks of the LNP with nothing to recommend him but a malignant, pot-boiling level of ruthless ambition! Yet there he was, the bone-idle Sloth Morrison, yet ANOTHER inane, irrational signed-up member of the Horizon church which was nothing more than a twisted variant of the notorious prosperity-driven Pentecostal CULT of Hillsong. Established under another name in 1949, Horizon is a Pentecostal church, which operates in a similar manner to the ever-rising Hillsong Church. Indeed, its most famous member, the rabid Morrison, advised that his close friend, the Hillsong pastor Brian Houston, was a particular inspiration during his parliamentary maiden speech. However, since that time, Brian Houston has since stepped back from his role as Senior Global Pastor of Hillsong for 2022 when he was charged with “Concealing a serious indictable offence of another person” – that “other person” being Brian Houston’s father, Frank Houston – a notorious, recidivist paedophile who died before facing serious child sexual abuse incidences that occurred in the 1970s, incidences that Brian Houston became aware of in 1999 but which he did everything in his power to conceal and/or minimise.

    Needless to say, Morrison’s ruthless ambition didn’t countenance any feelings of loyalty towards his “old friend”, Brian Houston. The road to leadership for the treacherous Morrison is littered with the carcasses of colleagues and friends he was willing to betray and “sacrifice” in order to satisfy his born-to-rule entitlement! After ruthlessly backstabbing his own colleagues Michael Towke, then Malcolm Turnbull, on his way to the top, it was so easy for the Morrison to turn his back on the disgraced Brian Houston as well! Clearly, backstabbing treachery, snivelling disloyalty, contemptuous arrogance, pathological dishonesty and venomous ambition isn’t seen as “depraved” within the insular confines of the Horizon church, eh?

    If that wasn’t bad enough, we had the pompous, insufferably arrogant, sanctimonious hypocrite, Morrison, rising to become the absolute WORST, most corrupt, deceitful and malignantly secretive PM in our political history. This was a man who actually PROMOTED the worst skirt-lifting misogynistic predators in his unconscionable cabinet! Morrison’s cabinet was inundated with criminally corrupt, pathological liars, self-enriching thieves and stone cold callously inhumane political psychopaths (like the current leader, Peter Dutton) who’s abhorrent abuse of an innocent and defenceless little Tamil family (including two little children) from Biloela was worn like a “badge of honour” in a pathetic attempt to “prove” that the Lying Nasty Party placed a hard-lined priority on our “international” borders EXCEPT, of course, if the subject was saved from deportation because she was an au pair employed by Dutton!

    Now we have the dire situation where the religious “nutters” and cruel political psychopaths in the LNP have seized total control over any pretence at “moderate” leadership and things are going to get worse – a HELLUVA lot worse – if the irrational, cold-blooded sociopath, Peter Dutton, is allowed to become the next PM. Over the last nine years, the LNP have dragged the (once) fine international reputation of our nation through the dirt, Morrison’s callous disregard for anyone but himself, his incomparable dishonesty, non-stop lies and treachery in dealing with our Pacific neighbours and betraying the submarine deal we had made with the French (after which the French President, Emmanuel Macron inferred that Morrison was a disreputable liar) has done so much damage to Australia’s credibility and integrity!

    The ONLY things the pompous, totally corrupt and stratospherically inept Morrison “achieved” in his catastrophic mismanagement of our nation over nine long, disastrous years of corruption and waste, was a MASSIVE, never-before-seen debt of $1 TRILLION and a vile faecal stain outside of Engadine Maccas!

  23. Canguro

    Kathryn, a wee correction:

    re. …that the Lying Nasty Party placed a hard-lined priority on our “international” borders EXCEPT, of course, if the subject was saved from deportation because she was an au pair employed by Dutton!

    The au pair wasn’t to be employed by Dutton. She was employed by one of the sons of one of Australia’s pastoral dynasty families.

    I recall this when it was revealed because I had been employed by that dynastic business across several of their properties in NE SA in the early seventies, including the ‘mother property’, where said dynastic family lived, and when said sons were mere toddlers. Extraordinarily wealthy people. Completely used to getting their own way in all areas of life. The biggest private landholder in Australia. They would have had access to the highest levels of political influence within state and federal politics; one of their family was for a time a federal Liberal politician. They would have leaned on Dutton to approve the visa, and of course Dutton would have been blinded by their wealth & power and long-standing affiliation with both the Liberal and National parties.

  24. paul walter

    Kaye Lee’s contribution, 9.08, of course set me alight, set me off trains of thoughts that won’t end for months. Always can find a context.

    On the metaphysics, All I can say, on these things is that I know nothing, echoing Socrates.

    Shakespeare made some astonishing comments in “Hamlet” including the following, early in the play:

    “There are more things in heaven and earth
    Horatio
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”

    Prof Brian Cox on his ABC documentaries on Astrophysics has blown away so many preconceptions- knew it all, knew nothing,as it turns out.
    Kant, I think, suggested that there may be some things that will remain beyond the likely limits of human intelligence, but it is always going to astonish the writer that anything is here at all, or that there is life…no reason why?

    The correct answer is, “I dont know” Yep, I am only incidental to the functioning of the universe. Its not about me, Do I really matter in the greater scheme of things? I used to say there is no God, but now I wonder if this judgement actually based on ignorance (given my manifest limitations). Its like Prof Cox saying that everything coming to being at once (altho not in the form 14 billion years has evolved it intoat the Big Bang event. Where is “the centre”?- More and more things I CANT get my head around.

    Had Morrison and his friends have followed their beleifs more accurately, they would not have had the hubris to persecute the Biloela family and welfare recipients, to name just two of many.. To say God gave him the right to presecute them and others and to be proud of it, is such a drift from the right course that one falls over in amazement.

    Pride comes before a fall.

    Many people saw through Australian populist conservatism some time ago and waited for the rest to catch up, hoping in the meantime the righties would mend their ways. “You can tell a crank, but you can’t tell’em nuttin”

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Ok, so is there a God. I dont know. I am no longer arrogant enough to say categorically, yes or no. And what kind of god anyway.

    But I could say the election a month ago was a god given gift to restore balance (perhaps).

    .

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