Wow, those were some interesting commitments Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott made to the far-right “Australian Christian Lobby” and its associated members tonight, weren’t they?
You know, the ones that haven’t been reported and that you couldn’t watch unless you physically attended a church that had paid the ACL $110 for the right to broadcast what the leaders of the two major parties were saying to its congregation? Yeah, I know – I’m just an ordinary member of the public too; I wasn’t allowed to listen in to what our taxpayer-funded parliamentarian leaders were telling them either.
In fact, the only record I’ve been able to find thus far of what the leaders of the two biggest parties were promising a specific religious sect that they’d do to the rest of us are the tweets of Latika Bourke and Rod Benson.
The first question to Rudd:
Q from Rev. from Coptic Orthodox Church. Wants to know if PM will commit to opening Parly with Lord’s prayer?
Rudd doesn’t know of any plans to remove Lord’s Prayer and wouldn’t support it. Says it gives everyone time to reflect. #ACL
Abbott’s response to the same question:
TAbbott would like to see Lord’s prayer continue as opening of Parly. #ACL
TAbbott reassures Christian leaders Greens would be unlikely to succeed in having Lords Prayer removed from opening of Parly. #ACL
Those dastardly Greens, thinking that the national parliament oughtn’t endorse any particular sect’s religious dogma!
One about asylum seekers, and then:
Presbyterian Leader asks Rudd to commit to opposing gay marriage. Cites the Marriage Act. #ACL
Rudd says Govt believes marriage is between a man and a woman and you only have to see protestors outside ALP conf to know. #ACL
More for Abbott:
Another question about marriage not being ‘mimicked’ by gays. #ACL Abbott: ‘I supported it then, support it now, support it in the future.”
They really are obsessed with denying gays equal rights, aren’t they?
So – we’ve had special privileges for Christians (our dogma should open every parliamentary sitting), and the right of Christian organisations to insist that government denies equal rights to non-Christians.
Why shouldn’t taxpayers pay for Christian indoctrination in schools?
Rudd asked about keeping Chaplains in schools. Rudd says evaluating the program but has a very open mind on continuing it. #ACL
Some disturbing references to the fundamentalists’ other demand: government censorship of the internet:
Abbott: Need a further review tasked to find ways to impose “proper” community standards on media including new media.
Abbott: respects freedom of expression but says the current classification system is “broken.” #ausvotes
Given they’ve the two biggest parties in their pockets, naturally the ACL is most worried about the Greens, being the only ones who stand up to them. Apparently several of the questions focused on how evil and diabolical is this party that doesn’t give Jim Wallace what he wants, and demanded that both leaders resist anything its MPs dare to ask in parliamentary negotiations:
TAbbott asked by moderator to promise he won’t trade off commitments to appease Greens. ‘thanks Kerry’ he quips. #ACL
So. What to take from all this? If you want an internet filter that doesn’t work and puts children more at risk, vote for either of the two major parties. If you want government to continue to give special privileges to one particular Christian sect – to mouth its platitudes in parliament every day, to pay for its agents in schools, then vote for either of the two major parties. If you want government to continue to discriminate against gay people for no reason whatsoever other than pandering to ancient bigotries – then vote for either of the two major parties.
If you feel that religion is none of the government’s business, and it should never impose one person’s dogma on another – well, then, the only way of representing that view appears to be by voting for the party the ACL spent the night bashing. Make it count indeed.