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Mere men are not godly beings

Australian politics is filled with men and women who have and actively practice their Christian beliefs. Whilst I do not fault the individuals nor the religions themselves, I do not condone many of these values guiding the society of Australia today. Before I go any further, I must point out my own bias here as a descendant of the Stolen Generations. Christian ideals at the core of this country have resulted in me being a survivor of acts of genocide, on more than one occasion. Please know I am not trying to upset nor create any hatred towards anyone, but I think it’s about time we have this talk with ourselves as a nation to define our society’s values.

Recently, I spotted an article in the Sydney Morning Herald (‘It’s our turn’: Inside the Christian Right conference plotting a political takeover) that left me alarmed for many reasons. Firstly, due to my family history with the values that meant my Old People were slaves in all but name; dispossessed of everything in their lives to make room for the colonies. Or they were simply slaughtered. Christianity enabled slavery for more than eighteen centuries, values that established the White Australia Policy many suggest still exist in the country today. Christianity enabled the racism shown not merely on a historical level, but likewise in the systematic version seen within all aspects of Australian society towards my people.

But my fear of these groups dives deeper than my own prejudices against the religion’s history. Over the decades the world has witnessed numerous accusations of sexual violence from within this highly private system; went denied for as many years. Australia is currently in the middle of a debate regarding women’s rights in the light of alleged sexual assaults revolving around Parliament House. Many of the politicians and staff who surround the people accused, and in fact the individuals themselves, are active participants in their churches.

Whilst Aussies debate a new level of respect and normalcy for women, the groups mentioned in the above article, advocate for the conservative factors of their religious values to once again guide the nations in a deeper manner. My fear is that Christianity will be used as another shield for the powerful men who have never ceded the control of said power to the women who stand alongside them. What I find more frightening is that they are openly encouraging these potential politicians not to reveal their true purposes until they have created enough political power around themselves. Personally, I feel that is misleading the individuals who would vote and elect them to Parliament, how are the wider public to know what they stand for? How will these potential politicians guarantee they are acting in the best interests of the people they serve and not those of the church? Secrecy has caused widespread backlash across Australia in the face of legislation such as Immigration, Indigenous Rights, the Indue Card for welfare recipients, and even the report in the Prime Minister’s Office regarding who knew about Brittany Higgins’ allegations. My amazement that the general public are not more wary of these groups advocating for secretive ways before they even run for office.

During the middle of a pandemic the leaders of Christianity are counselling against a vaccine. As someone who has members of my family who belong to what we call the ‘anti-vax community’ I do not want to undervalue their opinions; but advocating against vaccines that will save millions of lives worldwide is something that horrifies me.

Many religious groups around the world refuse breakthroughs the medical industry have made and individuals whose lives can be saved are left to die when treatments are denied upon beliefs of faith. Raising fears that value placed with Australia’s various scientific research networks will be considered less important to these groups.

Most alarming to me, the article speaks of a panel discussion where the head of the Australian Christian Lobby, Martyn Iles, joked about a war with China as a distraction to concerns over climate change or gender identity. When asked if he was “advocating violence or revolution… today“, he replied, “Not yet, that’s down the line.” The use of such words by Mr. Iles worries me about his intentions. Speech like this reads to me as a threat of acts of violence they wish to see: anarchy as it could quite possibly turn out to be if left unchecked. Lawlessness of the same value right wing members of society have accused those standing alongside the Black Lives Matter movements of creating.

Whilst Australia is experiencing increasingly difficult relations with China, the last thing our international interests need, are individuals involved with Parliament House, making jokes about wars with China to distract us from our political complications. Not only would these issues re-arise after a war, but the devastation such conflict would create is not something anyone should take lightly; least of all with humour.

My apprehensiveness of disorder or lawlessness fall along similar lines to these right-wing groups. Except mine differ with regard to raising the rights of all people including individuals with black skin as equal to those Colonial Australia enjoy. Fears I harbour are with respect to the oppressive values that come along with Christianity. The denial of the position the LGBTQIA communities have fought to achieve. What I can only describe as a refusal of women’s rights, as seen by the lack of females in the heights of church’s ranks. Terrified at the possibility the systematic racism underpinning everything in the Lucky Country will deepen and widen the divide between Colonial and Indigenous Australia, in fact I fear this will occur for all the nationalities calling these shores home. Dread that I and other First Nations people like me, will be open to unfair criticism more pointedly racial discrimination as seen in our past, purely because we follow our own religious beliefs over those written in the bible.

Mr. Iles is quoted as talking about needing to get more Christians into politics as the belief of rewarding the good people and punishing the bad has gone by the wayside. But I ask how many more people do we need in politics pushing Christian beliefs before we acknowledge this has been part of the problem within our system? Since the first politicians in Australia who were mostly Christian, can we genuinely suggest any of these individuals behaved the way God intended? Were this true then a large percentage of our nation would not be currently living below the poverty line. Aussie citizens would all have access to fresh, nutritional foods and adequate housing with running power and water at all times regardless of what they can or cannot afford to pay. Preventable and treatable medical conditions such as Acute Rheumatic Fever or Trachoma would not exclusively be affecting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders at epidemic levels. One third of working Australian women would not have endured sexual assault in their workplace. Aged care residents would too not have experienced staggering amounts of these same crimes, combined with all the atrocities the most recent inquiry have revealed.

Australians seriously need to ask ourselves as a society if we truly desire more hard-right Christian politicians running our country and pushing the ‘conservative’ messages of their past.

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22 comments

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  1. Keitha Granville

    It offends me deeply that these people call themselves Christians. None of them could be further from the ideals of JC.

    For the record I believe he was an historical figure but I cannot accept the basis of the religion built in his teachings.

    Church and State MUST be separate, otherwise we are actively the same as ISIS, a religion running a state, or Utah under the control of the Mormons. I have no problem with any MP practising what ever religion they choose, but they should keep it out of their politics.

    Thanks for drawing attention to this.

  2. RosemaryJ36

    I share your concerns.
    I was brought up in the UK within a Christian family but am now an agnostic.
    I try to follow the rule of treating others as I want them to treat me, but I am suspicious of the disconnect between the claims of faith and the behaviours of those who claim to be Christian – or, indeed, adherents of some other faith.
    I think religion is, and should remain, a personal matter.
    I think we could, however, insist on an ethical standard of behaviour which respects and values people, irrespective of their beliefs.

  3. Carina McNaughton

    I to am disguised with so called right wing Christians. And the damage they have done in the past and the damage they continue to inflict on the indigenous population and the most vulnerable in our society. I am a Christian but I believe the Church and the State should be separate. As Jesus said give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and give unto God what is God’s. I agree wholeheartedly Jennifer if Christianity actually followed what Christ taught we would not have people living in poverty. Indigenous death rates and health outcomes which are appalling. Racism, misogamy, violence, people living in crowded accommodation without running water or homelessness. Among other things. All people should be valued and cared for and not just seen as economic units to be used to increase corporations bottom line. Jesus never advocated violence or women being unequal with men. The principle should be “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” Treat people with respect. Scomo is the anthesis of everything Jesus taught. He would do well to remember the parables of the rich man. Keep his “religion:” to himself and resign immediately along with his cronies.

  4. Canguro

    Years ago I was asked to be a ‘best man’ at a mate’s wedding. He was marrying a fundamental Christian gal, whose brother had just graduated from a seminary, a newly-minted priest no less. He, the groom and I were in a room at her house getting into our suits prior to the ceremony, and the newly-minted man of God suggested we pause and ask for God’s blessing for the coming day’s events.

    I’d never met this bloke before that day (or since, thank …er… God!)

    He turned to me after announcing that he’d pray for the blessings of the Lord, and said words to the effect of ‘but not you. You’re a drinker and a smoker, and not fit to be included in the blessings.’

    To say I was slightly shocked is a bit of an understatement, and to be frank my inner reaction was very uncharitable, with words like f*ckwit and wanker and hypocritical arsehole buzzing in my brain.

    I thought Jesus was cool with the ignorant and offered them a hand up in the world, but apparently his professional interpreters (or at least a proportion of them if recent history is anything to go by) take a different view and place themselves above the martyred prophet.

    Anyway, God’s self-appointed channeller taught me a lesson that day so I shouldn’t be too hard on him, given that he’d chosen to live a life of ignorance.

  5. Andrew J. Smith

    Interesting how both Australia and the UK, in the past generation, have adopted US political and media obsessions with 19th Christianity with cultural attitudes inc. eugenics and libertarian economics. This is used as a tactic to corral an older conservative voting coalition through legacy media which makes sense in a very religious US amongst voters, but looks slightly mad elsewhere with e.g. Howard, Tony Blair, Abbott or Morrison wearing their pious but ego driven Christianity on their sleeves…..

    However, it’s a bit of a tricky tactic with a ‘use by date’ in the very secular UK and Australia, without rubbing people’s noses in it too much; even the US has declining observance of Christianity in younger demographics.

  6. Phil Pryor

    These dogshit, obssessed, compulsive, dogmatic, fantasyfascist fraud right wing adolfian christians are uncivilised garbage and liars, first to themselves, the righteous ratbag anuses, and secondly to all of us as if they were saved, blessed, anointed, and almighty. SHIT.

  7. Liz Kay

    Morrison will forever be known as the man who has God on his lips not in his heart . If he did he would not let the children suffer.

  8. Kathryn

    I wonder if these sanctimonious, hypocritical supporters of far-right “Christianity” realise that Jesus Christ was, in fact, the perfect example of a LEFT-WING SOCIALIST !!!! Christ’s preachings about being kind and generous to the poor, having compassion for vulnerable citizens, supporting the aged and frail are the VERY BASIS of SOCIALISM!

    Let’s also not forget that Christ’s statement about taking care of children: ‘Truly, I say unto you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ seems to have been completely forgotten with so many innocent children having to endure long-term, severe sexual molestation suffered at the hands of so many priests and clerics who hide behind the “sanctity” and protection of Catholicism and so many other male-dominated religions, the overwhelming majority of which are dominated by callously inhumane, right-wing, testosterone-driven alpha male misogynists who want to pigeon hole women as subservient breeding cows chained to the kitchen sink and under the permanent subordination and control of men!

    It seems that, under the skewed governance of this totally corrupt, unspeakably self-serving right-wing extremists in the current LNP, that these type of bible-thumping sanctimonious hypocrites and Hillsong Cultists are rising out of their caves and trying to force their insular, medieval and misogynistic views upon the whole nation! As a result, Australia is REGRESSING back to the primitive, bad old days of the 1950’s!

    History has shown that the ONLY time Australia has EVER progressed was under a LABOR GOVERNMENT. The nano-second a regressive, war mongering, male-dominated LNP government rise to power, this nation takes ten steps BACKWARDS, joins America in a politically-motivated war (used as a distraction against their own unspeakable level of corruption and ineptitude) and/or introduces policies that are, indeed, as unChristian as one can imagine – penalising the poor, attacking the vulnerable and defunding millions of socially responsible programs such as Medicare! In addition, one only has to look at the pathetic line-up on the cabinet of the LNP with only SIX women on the front cabinet WHEREAS the ALP have 50% of their cabinet represented by women. Considering the Australian population comprises of over 51% women, a 50% representation is the LEAST women can expect in government!

    Australians have always been proud of our secular background; proud of our multicultural and (once) egalitarian history but NOW, under the sanctimonious, judgemental and oppressive LNP which is overflowing with misogynistic, self-serving elitists, we have become a selfish, insular nation that is quickly attaining the reputation as one of the most corrupt countries in the western world!

    To all those insufferably nauseating bible-thumping right-wing hypocrites out there: PRACTISE WHAT YOU PREACH!!!

  9. John Hanna

    We need to see a list of all prospective candidates in all electorates along with their religious affiliations, same way the US religious right vets prospective candidates and check their performance. Read the book or watch the series about ‘The Family” to see how far religion has penetrated right wing politics in the US and elsewhere. I have every reason to believe they have influence here in Aus as well Scomo’s prosperity doctrine espoused by evangelicals is the absolute worst. These people have lost the moral high ground after the royal commission findings but are determined to exercise that power. The fruit loops from the ACL are determined to foist their concept of life onto the rest of us (a bit like the Taliban).

  10. Harry Lime

    John,at least the Taliban are not pretending,as head fucked as they are.

  11. paul walter

    All goes back to Industrialism, Imperialism, capitalism and the end of a longstanding Roussaeuian (without labouring on that) mode to the massive changes in social life and habituation from the cradle to grave as the population becomes conscripted; commodified from top to bottom, as described in books of the era where alienated and dislocated individuals described in novels from the likes of Bronte, Dickens and Conrad dysfunctionality in an urban wasteland, through to Hearts of Darkness in the cold slums and or hot and toxic colonies.

    Private schools for the segregated rich and factory oblivion for the plebs death of male female relationships and supportive extended families and communities, left incredibly insecure people with false consciousness out looks and from Jane Eyre’s St John Rivers to today’s politicians, underlyingly insecure people seeking control in the absence of meaningful social relating. Look at our current captains of Industry and politicians, incredibly narrowly specialised in life style, insecure and struggling for value and meaning that life can provide for mentally healthier people.

    People like the PM and perhaps Xtian Porter, socially inept and not able to instigate the good life beyond a reflex lunge for control and attention.

    Another manifestation of some thing operative beneath surface is Pentecostal religion driven by guilt, fear, and imbued and inculcated misplaced sense of duty derived of a sense of abandonment in search of a “fix”, a really unsatisfactory mode that justifies control and kneejerk unconscious impatience when patience and adaptability is called for but passed over.

    So, it is reproduced generation after generation, the churn of people trying to control but short of the individuation to deal with life on life’s terms.
    We could go to Ludwig Feuerbach from here, but it would open a whole mare’s nests of unproveable metaphysical assertions and counter assertion, so it is left for another day.

    For a quick summary, Google the Wiki on Feuerbach and see what you make of the ideas contradictions and paradoxes that intrigued Darwin, Marx, Freud and rest later. Sufficient to say, it is hard to reconcile the behaviours of people imbued in Pentecostal religion and its influence outside itself and its own spreading outwards with absent humanity based behaviours encouraged else where including older gentler NT projections and most socialisms.

  12. Kronomex

    John,

    It’s a great idea but the LNP (more so than Labor and the Greens I think) and the tiny “christian” based parties would have a fit if they had to do what you suggested. The screams of confected outrage about religious bias would be deafening.

  13. paul walter

    Kronomex, for post of the day, roflmao.

    I suppose it is a sad commentary that even a dull person is reduced to laughter at the series of reports on crass ineptitude and venality issuing forth in a steady stream from msm.

    Gotta laugh or you cry though.

  14. Carina McNaughton

    Kathryn. You are spot on Jesus was all about caring for the people. The LNP have never cared about anyone but themselves. It is all just lip service. Oh look we oppose abortion, we oppose gay marriage and people vote for them. Christians need to love and accept everyone. That’s why the church and state should be separated. Fanatical Christians forget this. They are not chosen to receive wealth. Jesus was poor and had nothing yet he gave his life. If these fundamentals and the Catholic hierarchy truly followed Christ then they would give away the wealth and look to making a just equal society.

  15. New England Cocky

    @Phil Pryor; once again you have nailed the bastards ….. These unChristians are proposing to re-unite church & didn’t Hitler do the same thing in Germany in 1933 for the benefit of both church and corporations.

    The present financial mess only benefits the fascist capitalist bosses presently luxuriating in the COALition CORPORATE SOCIALISM of JobKeeper handouts and increasing corporate profits.

    Well, you gotta look after the Bosses if you want enormous ”political donations” AKA ”political bribes” to buy Lord Muloch’s media mastheads and pervert the Australian electoral system yet again. The myths are steadily of the COALition being the most competent financial managers are exploded. The myths of competent general management are blown away by the too many scandals. The lack of any real principled talent can readily be seen by Blind Freddie wearing a welders mask. Time now for an immediate general election to allow the AUstralian voters to decide whether they want this talentless Morriscum marionette to continue destroying the Australian way of life as we have known it.

  16. John lord

    Excellent article.

  17. Jacqueline Ann Rogers

    Like you I was worried when I read this article not only for the infiltration of so called Christians into completely unwarranted high positions in Government, which with 10-13yr. contracts now being given out, will hamper decent future Government. but also we all know that there is money to be made out of wars and that seems to be the sole aim of Morriscum’s Mafia. The only actual governing that has gone on since Turnbull is the anti-freedom regulations that Dutton is secretly bringing in and anti-transparency laws of Morriscum.

    Race, Gender, Disabled, Aged and Poor have all been thrust downwards as proof of non-believers and therefore of no consequence whatsoever except worker-bee. History is repeating itself. When our legal system cant protect us and our Head of State and it’s representative cares nothing, I can see no solution BUT then I remember SOLIDARITY and how those workers rose up and fought back.

    It is no good saying Murdoch is old and eventually we will get a decent honest press, we had Packer before Murdoch and we will have Lachlan after Rupert, we have to get to the masses of overworked, underpaid, people who only have time to make their decisions on headlines and soundbites. We know that anyone who watches the total waste of QT, the obstruction and manners of LNP can make up their own mind, but the millions working their butts off every minute of every day dont have that luxury.

  18. DrakeN

    Kronomex, Laming got elected in a State with no significant media other than far right-wing and a bit of wishy-washy ABC.

  19. DrakeN

    Nicely written, Jennifer, to which I add my consistent opinion that no person of convinced religious affiliation should be eligible for any position in public office.

  20. wam

    A consultant could fix the parliament’s problem, according to scummo’s deputy, who is prepared to spend an hour or two listening to an expert or two.
    I agree with your fear of Christians who are able to lie and destroy if it is for their god(same god as all bible men so same basic freedom.
    They are free from questions by force feeding children beliefs that cannot be questioned on pain of hell. The christians pass laws that give them and any other ‘believers’ freedom from questions(not to mention tax evasion).
    Perhaps your family are a lot like many of my ex-students from the NT communities who accept and share American evangelical views and posts. Many with outrageous ideas of science, global warming and the pandemic.
    They believe their ancestor did not know Jesus so are not in heaven and the pray for me to find him. I used to try an explain why there is neither a need for a beginning nor reason for a male god but questioning the Bible or god is painful so I no longer comment except on the most ludicrous posts from a septic tank pastor.
    However it is not hard to agree the ‘need more Christians’ in parliament then we wouldn’t have laws that put billions into twiggy and his racist ideas, billions into supporting the religious indoctrination of children and the old school tie culture, billions into the hands of the rich with no strings and billions into satisfying the conservative imagination of the meaning of fair, equitable, welfare and socialism.

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