Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Christian Government?

This week there were reports in the media from some Christians, indicating that they could not vote for Labor, because Julia Gillard is not a Christian, and their pastor had told them they had to vote Liberal to get a Christian as Prime Minister. Some thoughts quickly sprang to mind.

It is NOT the role of those who run a church to tell people who they can, or can not, vote for. At all! My vote comes from my consideration of the policies of offer (so dreadfully lacking in details), and the quality of the local candidate. Some of you will have the choice of an Independent candidate, as well. Mostly, it seems, the pastors are from the more fundamentalist Christian churches, and it almost reminds one of the control that Scientology and The Exclusive Brethren  exert over many of their members. While it was once not uncommon in 'mainstream' Christian churches to direct people how to vote in the 1950's and 60's, most have long since ceased such interference in personal political affairs.

Electing a "Christian" Prime Minister, does not mean that you will get a Christian government. Consider the previous Liberal-National Government, led by John Howard, a Methodist, and which had Tony Abbott, a Catholic, as a member. Consider the following:
  • WorkChoices: a system designed to lower the wages of working people, to make it easier for them to be sacked, which allowed 'take-it-or-leave' contracts, and which was designed to distribute that money to companies. Was that Christian? Would Christ have done that? Tony Abbott vigorously defends WorkChoices.
  • Treatment of refugees: the use of Nauru and Baxter detention centres drew sharp criticism from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Among other criticisms, Nauru and Baxter were used to inter women and children, and separate them from their husbands/fathers for years; and the 'Christian' government knew, and did noting about, the psychological trauma. Was that Christian? Would Christ have done that?
  • Social Security and 'middle-class welfare': Tony Abbott was part of a government that made it more difficult for people to receive welfare, at times when they needed it. The Australian Council of Social Service, and individual social service providers, including St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army, were critical of the Howard-government policies. Tony Abbott defended them. At the same time as Howard's government made it harder for those needing social services, it embarked on a redistribution of the savings to those who were already better off. Was that Christian? Would Christ have done that?
  • The government of which Tony Abbott was a member, deliberately misled Australian voters in the 'children overboard affair', during an election campaign, no less. 
    (See: ) Members of the 'Christian' government lied. Was that Christian? Would Christ have done that?
Electing a 'Chistian' as Prime Minister will not give us a Christian government. Do not let any pastor, or other church official, tell you otherwise. ALL political parties have non-Christians, and set a purely secular agenda, often designed to appeal to the lowest common votes - personal greed and fear. So, it would be best to set aside any religious considerations, and decide which party / candidate will best act in Australia's interests, and in the real best interests of Australians.

The Good Samaritan, although not one of the Chosen People, was a much better person than those 'Chosen People' who ignored the plight of of a fellow human being.