On August 9th, both John Howard and Kevin Rudd will address 200 church figures in a National Press Club event, organised by the Australian Christian Lobby, that will be broadcast live across the country. Why? Here's why:
The Federal Election, to be held later this year will be a significant election. In the 2004 election for the first time in many years, election analysts identified the impact of a Christian vote or Christian constituency. ACL wants to assist this important constituency to make an informed decision on how to vote in 2007. In 2004, the influence of the Christian Right (whenever you hear someone like Jim Wallace crowing about "the Christian vote," he means the Christian Right) was most keenly felt in the arena of marriage legislation, when the Federal Government--eagerly supported by the "Opposition"--introduced a law banning same-sex marriage. The impact of this new "Christian constituency" was soon felt in the education portfolio, where in 2005 the then Minister Brendan Nelson, having watched the Campus Crusade for Christ DVD Unlocking the Mystery of Life: Intelligent Design, opined that ID should be taught in schools if that's what parents wanted. And last year, in the midst of a long debate over the supposed lack of "values" in secular schools, the Federal Government unleashed a $90 million plan to fund school chaplains.
So what's on the agenda this year? First of all, the ACL is very keen to see that the filthy homosexualists don't get too uppity about "equality under the law" and whatnot: "We would [. . .] not want to see any [. . .] moves made which would undermine the traditional definition of families, and therefore the strength of families as an institution, or jeopardise the best interests of the child." (WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN???) Furthermore, now that the Federal Government has banned the sale of X-rated material to the dark-skinned savages, the ACL is calling for an across-the-board ban, lest this filth corrupt the pure hearts of decent white Christian folk:
"The deeply concerning problems in the Northern Territory show just how great a problem pornography is and how far greater controls are needed," Mr Wallace said. "It is time we put the future of our children before the demands of the pornographic film industry!"WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN??? Hmmm . . . there seems to be a theme here.
While it will be interesting to hear Rudd couching ALP social democracy in the patois of the Bible-thumper, while Howard promises to lead the nation into an era of 50's-style socks-and-sandals wowserism, it would be nice if there was an Enlightenment constituency--a secular liberal democratic constituency--for our political leaders to pander to.
After all: we think, and we vote.