And then spaketh god, “Here, have Tony Abott as a reward…”
February 5, 2007
I realise that Australia has a pretty loose interpretation of church-state separation, but these guys are ridiculous:
One month before the 2004 federal election, the leaders of the Exclusive Brethren religious sect wrote a letter to their flock that broke with more than 150 years of tradition.
The Exclusive Brethren breaking with tradition? Was it to encourage study at university? Use of the internet? Reading newspapers, watching television, or any other activity that might promote exposure to the outside world and other ways of life?
The letter offered strong support for the Howard Government, which, they said, would maintain economic prosperity, deal with the “Asian threat” and prevent a return to the “awful years” of the Whitlam Labor government.
Asian threat? I’m as dubious about those bodgy Tamagotchi things as the next person, but just what is that supposed to mean?
But the letter — dated September 8, 2004 and signed by eight men, including the sect’s world leader, Bruce D. Hales (Daniel Hales’ brother) and each of its Australian state leaders — strongly encouraged support for the present Federal Government, even though Brethren members are forbidden to vote.
“The current situation regarding Government in Australia has never been more critical,” the leaders wrote. “In recent years, God has raised up Christian men in Government”, God’s reward for the Brethren’s “maintenance of the Divine standard”.
I assume they are referring to toTony Abbot. As a reward ? So much for incentives.
The signatories warned of the need to strengthen links with the United States and Britain to “protect us from the Asian threat”.
Those crazy Asian kids agan? When will they ever learn?
“The media have joined with the opposition to attempt to discredit the Prime Minister (John Howard) …
Like he needs help.
… and make him a liar based on falsehoods …” they said.
As opposed to the other kind of liar? Once again, he’s doing fine all on his own.
Greens senator Bob Brown, who wants a Senate inquiry into the sect, said:
“The Exclusive Brethren have lost their claim to be apolitical. They are not just a religious sect but a political support base for the Prime Minister.”
Despite obvious sexism, separatism and refusal to to take part in mandatory voting, Prime Minister Howard has defended the right of the Exclusive Brethren to have “unorthadox” beliefs, while simultaneously decrying the muslim community for not “integrating” and it’s “attitudes to women”.
When politicians court or become beholden to religious voting blocks of a particular flavour, we get religion-by-proxy in our government whether we want it or not.