Rudd, Abbott spend the night making special promises to conservative christians where you can’t hear them

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.


Does the party you vote for give Jim Wallace whatever he wants? Mine doesn’t.

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.

ELSEWHERE: Spock is now over the “not for your eyes” aspect, and starts to advertise the real debate.

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10 responses to “Rudd, Abbott spend the night making special promises to conservative christians where you can’t hear them

  1. From what I saw Jim Wallace bought up the prospect of a “Hostile Senate” at least 3 times.
    He was the only one bringing it up, insisting that the leaders promise that they “wouldn’t back down from the commitments they have made today” so that they could pass legislation through the senate.
    As if the demands of a few thousand Christians should take priority over a democratically elected senate and government.
    The word I’m looking for to describe him starts with c, is beloved by Wah and ends in unt…

  2. It’s no secret the two of them are against gay marriage. Rudd’s just mature enough that he either doesn’t feel unease at the thought of associating with homosexuals, or he’s serious enough to hide it.

    Odd that for some reason Christians care so much about stopping Asylum Seekers. You’d think a religion founded by a refugee who said “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…I was a stranger, and ye took me not in…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” would be crying out for the government to treat asylum seekers better. I guess it’s one of those points where they’ve been mature enough to be put secular concerns over their religious values.

  3. http://www.viewpointmagazine.com.au/
    Oh, and if you want to check it out, Viewpoint magazine give you enough preview pages to see the sinister Bob Brown’s article on how he looks foreward to negotiation and cooperation with the future government, and the Shanahan response. Not to spoil it, but the Gay Agenda gets brought up (in that marriage, like all things, is downgraded if you let Gays touch it), as are the fine people of Annandale, the prospect of limitless growth (ask the Rabbits how that works out), and the fear of Australia being swamped by “hundreds of millions” of gay, crippled, unskilled, non-anglophone refugees (by the way, it’s the Greens who are exploiting people’s fear of overpopulation). The phrase “Nazi-style” is used to refer to Peter Singer’s views at one point

  4. This needs a lot more publicity. I think a lot of voters would be upset about this kowtowing to the ACL.

    Wonder what drives someone like Wallace?

    It seems Rudd’s going out of his way to appease the religious this week:

    http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/what-am-i-chopped-liver-how-rudd-dived-into-schmooze-mode-20100621-ys5g.html

  5. confessions

    Thanks for this. I thought this was broadcast on Apac channel, but can’t say for certain.

    Abbott: Aboriginal people need to pick up tools and make something of their lives. #ausvotes about 11 hours ago via TweetDeck

    WTF? What chance will this get reported in the MSM?!

  6. Pingback: Pell attempts to use his good public image to crush the Greens « An Onymous Lefty

  7. confessions

    At ABC Online:

    Mr Rudd was forced to defend the progress of the Northern Territory intervention and income quarantining.

    Love how now that Labor is extending the income quarrantining stuff to everyone, suddenly it’s a problem. We’ll ignore it when it applies only to black people living in the north, but get up in arms when it starts to affect our own. Hypocrites!

    And how surprisement that Abbott’s offensive comments implying aboriginals are lazy doesn’t get a run at Their ABC.

    broggly: it seems from the ABC report that the xtians were in fact quizzing Abbott on his stance from the position that he’s too hardline.

  8. Splatterbottom

    Wow! Politicians sending out tailored messages to special interest groups. Prostituted politics is the price major parties pay for power.

    In a free society, the state should be indifferent to personal belief systems. This is not to deny the necessity of a commonly held set of civic virtues to enable a cohesive society. The problem arises when one group tries to co-opt the state to its particular set of values.

    We should all at least be able to agree on basic principles, the foremost of which is to allow people as much freedom as is consistent with the liberties of all other members of society.

    The real problem arises when particular groups do not know their place. Freedom is not consistent with a winner takes all strategy in the culture wars.

  9. SB,, it’s the ACL which has been pushing for the Secret List of Forbidden Sites. That seems like a pretty big co-option to me.

  10. Splatterbottom

    Exactly my point, Broggly. The state has to balance up the encroachment on individual freedom with the public benefit. Conroy’s shit list is a travesty. People should not allow their hard-won freedom to be pissed against the wall.

    Of course all sorts of interest groups are pushing their agendas and trying to have their pet causes enshrined in law. I don’t think this issue is limited to religious pressure groups.

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