Funny, I’ve lived in this “Bible Belt” for years and I’ve never once voted for a bigot

I was interested to read, in this Crikey story on Rob Hulls agreeing to let religious schools and other businesses discriminate against staff for such outrageous things as BEING DIVORCED (gasp), the revelation that apparently I live in a “Bible Belt”:

But, the important third factor here is the large numbers of swinging evangelical voters who live in Victoria’s most marginal seats, the majority of whom live in Melbourne’s suburban Bible belt.

According to Phillip Hughes, the director of the Christian Research Association: “The bible belt starts around Camberwell and extends out to Blackburn, Box Hill, Burwood, Mt Waverley and Mulgrave. These are places with the highest number of churches and church attendance in Melbourne.”

Interesting. Sounds like these would be some good electorates for the non-bigot side of politics to start campaigning. Certain politicians seem to be confused – they’ve equated Christianity with bigotry and mislabelled regions with a couple of large modern churches as being predominantly “fundamentalist”. We should remind those MPs that the particular brand of “evangelicals” in question may be very noisy about their creepy dark ages approach to human sexuality – but they’re not a majority. Far from it.

I’d hate local candidates to be coming to the erroneous conclusion that there is no electoral cost from pandering to prejudice and discrimination.

I live in the Bible Belt and I vote… against bigotry.

ELSEWHERE: From the comments to the marriage equality protest post, two pieces of absolute gold on this subject from the Onion:

10 responses to “Funny, I’ve lived in this “Bible Belt” for years and I’ve never once voted for a bigot

  1. Savvas Tzionis

    FYI….

    Yesterday the Australian Families Association was AGAIN sounded out for an opinion on John Safran’s latest show.

    I was livid.

  2. There has to be a major influence coming from American Christian organisations into this country.

    Not so long ago I was proud that we appeared to have sensible community-minded religious folk in this country and not the absolute rightwing nutters found in the US. Now it looks like we are catching up to the US quite fast now.

    Why should churches be allowed to discriminate when they pay no rates or taxes and their brain-washing schools are funded by taxpayers many of whom, such as single mums and gays, are actively discriminated against to the point of hate speech and actions. I really do see some of the Christian lobby groups as hate groups not that far removed from the KKK and similar crazy cults.

  3. AdamTheLurker

    Religion doesn’t have much of a hold on people in Australia, even if the Christians in our country get as loud as those in America it wont be coming from as large a portion of the demographic as over there. Fingers crossed anyway.

    Here’s data from the census (note that many people who say they are religious don’t actually practice said religion – they just connect with the cultural community):

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/46d1bc47ac9d0c7bca256c470025ff87/bfdda1ca506d6cfaca2570de0014496e!OpenDocument

    Even if every person who claimed to be christian was infact a believer they would still make up only 68% of the population. And that’s 8 years ago too. Note the non-religious and people who chose not to answer.

  4. ^^Sorry – that’s a test, Jeremy, my home PC seems fine…. Damn – I like to do my ranting in work…

  5. Re: the bible belt – makes a certain amount of sense, actually; a number of those areas fall smack-bang into Melbourne’s historically “dry” districts.

    Still, I would have thought that the bible-belt had shifted to the outer fringes of Melbourne where the wacky happy-clapper religions have taken hold. You know, Fielding territory.

  6. Right their with you (well a bit further out east)

  7. Not so long ago I was proud that we appeared to have sensible community-minded religious folk in this country and not the absolute rightwing nutters found in the US. Now it looks like we are catching up to the US quite fast now.

    Whilst some in Australia would no doubt love to see the emergence of something like the Religious Right, it’s unlikely, IMO. The main denomination in Australia has long been Catholicism, which has traditionally, in Australia, at least, been associated with immigrants and the working classes. Catholic institutions which offer very conservative takes on abortion, homosexuality, etc, nonetheless are often very critical of Workchoices, liberalisation of the economy, increased working hours, etc. The last major political party to bring religion to the fore were not Families First but the DLP. Consequently, this attempt to ally Christianity with an ideology that encompasses free marketism, crusading foreign policy, ani-welfarism, etc, is a relatively recent invention, and one that I can’t see taking off.
    In the US, the Religious Right were assisted by a media and political class continually telling the people that they’d been shafted by ‘liberals’ and ‘elites’. In the Howard years, the Murdoch media has tried its hand at selling this message, but it hasn’t cut through to the extent of becoming a ‘movement’. Australians simply don’t believe that Rudd is endangering the country’s moral fabric through deficit spending, or increased regulation of the workplace.

  8. Pingback: What is it about gays and lesbians that scares Rudd so much? « An Onymous Lefty

  9. Pingback: Do they own your whole life? « An Onymous Lefty

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