Recently, Barnaby Joyce addressed a rally of Western Australian farmers on the topic of live exports. Not only did he passionately insist that the live export trade would not be shut down, but yea, verily, it would grow. As Mr Joyce told the rally:
“What we’re up against, is like a religion.
“Zealotry. And they’re not going to stop with just the closure of the live export sheep game, that’s not where they stop. These people haven’t got a partial religion, they’ve got an absolute religion.”
Of course, I don’t know how this sits with Phil “Monty Burns” Ruddock. I mean, the Federal Government has commissioned a report into religious freedom, but it seems to me that if one has the freedom to be religious then that also gives one the freedom to have a non-partial religion.
Mr Joyce, as some of you are aware, is a great supporter of “partial religion”. By that, I mean that he believes that people should be bound by his religious beliefs – as in the case of same-sex marriage – but that he himself should be free to ignore them when it comes to bonking a member of his staff or lying to the general public.
However, a great many religious people seem to have the belief that their religion is an absolute one and not something they can pick and choose. Of course, there are also a great many people who agree with Barnaby that partial religions are the only way to go. For example, it’s sinful to allow schools to have their Safe Schools program, but when Jesus talked about welcoming strangers, he obviously didn’t mean strangers who arrive by boat.
Notwithstanding any of that, Mr Joyce seems to be taking a strong stand against “zealots” because they’re “like a religion”. From this, I infer that Barnaby thinks that groups who are like a religion are somehow bad. This, of course, is strange unless he perceives religion itself as bad.
Now, I’m sure that the WA farmers must have taken issue with Mr Joyce’s reference to the “live export sheep game“, given that it’s not a game to them but a serious business, but maybe they forgave him because he’s from Canberra where everything’s a game. Personally, however, I was more concerned about what he meant by “that’s not where they stop”. Did he mean that once the live sheep industry was shut down that they’d start on other animals? Or was he suggesting that they may turn their attention to human trafficking? Or worse yet, join forces with the Green Religion and try to change life as we know it?
Some of those members of the Green Religion attempted to twist the words of the ACCC report and suggest that by telling us we needed to have a transition from coal, that meant that we shouldn’t keep burning coal forever. No, by orderly transition they clearly mean no transition at all, and that we should build more coal-fired stations which are natural and wholesome. If God hadn’t intended coal to be our power source why did he make it so cheap? However, the Green Religion want us all to go back to some by-gone day when people managed to live without polluting the atmosphere. I mean, it’s all very well to rely on solar, but if the sun stops shining – which scientists predict will happen sometime in the next billion years – that’ll put a real dent in economic growth.
No, I’m with Mr Joyce on this one. We need to put people before sheep and coal before people. Anything else is just succumbing to the zealots! We need to listen to the rational people like Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly, George Christensen and Cory Bernardi.
Religous freedom is all very well. But not if it’s a religion we don’t like!