Reflections on the New Government

It is early days yet for the new Rudd government, but already we have been given some pretty good indications as to where and how this government will proceed. These first few months in office make up what is known as the ‘honeymoon period’, in which the media and others are supposed to be kind to the new government, and only use kid gloves in their evaluations and interaction.

The problem is, with an overwhelmingly leftist and Labor-supporting mainstream media, this honeymoon period is likely to last for the full term of the government. Thus it is worth our while to examine some areas which may be of concern to Australians as a whole, and people of faith as well.

I here raise a number of concerns, some more weighty than others, which may very well indicate even more problems to come. To highlight the areas of concern at this point is not to suggest that there are no positives. Perhaps another article in the future can focus on those aspects. But here are ten areas where the Rudd government has been causing some worry.

One. Within weeks of taking up her education portfolio, Julia Gillard announced that school chaplains should be secular. Under the former Howard government, schools were given funding to have religious chaplains to help bring some spiritual dimension to the life of the students. The new Education Minister wants to change all that, and allow secular counselors. She says she wants the scheme to be secular in nature. But schools have plenty of secular counselors. What chaplains provide is a window into the spiritual realm, which children should have the right to access.

Two. Related to this, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s most senior education adviser has just come out stating that the rapid growth of faith-based schools under the Howard government has threatened the social cohesion of the nation. Whereas the Howard government welcomed the faith-based independent schools, it seems that the new government sees them as a threat, a matter of concern. This is especially a worry since the Rudd government is now reviewing funding arrangements for schools. With a rabid secularist like Gillard at the helm, this does not auger well for Christian schools.

Three. Another big worry is the fact that within weeks of taking up office, our Prime Minister sent a warm word of endorsement to the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. This is something John Howard never did in eleven years of office. He was unwilling to bow to the radical homosexual lobby and the dictates of Political Correctness. Unfortunately Mr Rudd is, it appears. And he also sent a word of support to the recent Victoria Pride March, in conjunction with Asia Pacific Outgames, a homosexual sporting and cultural event held in February.

This is unfortunate for several reasons. The truth is, the homosexual lifestyle is an extremely high-risk and dangerous lifestyle. Why promote something with such negative public health consequences? Rudd might as well proudly endorse a tobacco rights’ march, or a public celebration of drink-driving.

Also, this is quite bizarre behaviour, given Mr Rudd’s flaunting of his Christian faith before the election. He tried to woo believers into voting for him, claiming to be a good Christian. Yet endorsing a lifestyle and behaviour which is decidedly quite un-Christian and un-Biblical is a peculiar – may I say, queer – way of showing how Christian he is.

Four. Related to this is the whole issue of special rights for homosexual couples. Within days of the election win, the ACT Labor government announced it would again push for same-sex civil unions. The first response of the Rudd government was to say it would not interfere in State and Territory issues.

But given its pledge before the election to not go down this path, and with subsequent pressure from pro-family groups reminding him of this, the whole situation is currently at a stalemate. Attorney-General Robert McClelland wants the ACT to make some slight changes to their proposal, while Stanhope is refusing to budge. In contrast to this attempt at a negotiated settlement, the former Howard government simply knocked such proposals on their heads, and would not have a bar of them.

Mr Rudd has also proposed a nation-wide registry scheme of same-sex couples, which in many respects is quite similar to civil unions, minus the ceremonies. In going down this path Mr Rudd is simply making homosexual marriage inevitable. By granting homosexual couples government recognition, blessing, status, benefits and legitimacy – as in a relationship register – he is on very weak ground in seeking to deny them the remainder: the ceremonies, and the word marriage.

Thus unless somehow challenged, the Rudd government is well on the way to fully implementing the homosexual agenda, something the Howard government worked hard to prevent. Rudd may say he wants to keep marriage for heterosexual couples, but once you officially give to the homosexual lobby 90 per cent of what they have been demanding, the final 10 per cent will be relatively quick and easy to achieve.

Five. There is also the issue of Australia signing on to yet another UN treaty which will again take away Australian sovereignty and further turn us into a lackey of the UN and the globaloneyists. The Rudd government is preparing to endorse a UN declaration on indigenous rights, something which the previous Howard government refused to do. It rightly argued that supporting this declaration would put Aboriginal customary law in a “superior position” to national law. It would effectively set up a sharia law situation, wherein Australian law is superseded by Aboriginal law.

While the declaration is a non-binding one, Australia has signed itself over to so many international conventions and treaties – well over 1,000 at last count – that one has to wonder how long we can last as an independent nation while continually ceding away sovereignty to unelected and unrepresentative global bodies, bureaucracies and committees.

Six. For those concerned about the increasing secularism of the new government, consider these facts. It has always been the case that the Federal Coalition had far more evangelical Christian MPs than did Labor. At the last election, many of these born-again MPs from the conservative side of politics lost their seats. There are still genuine Christians in both sides of Parliament, but the numbers have shrunk.

As an indication of this, at the recent swearing in ceremonies, most Labor MPs refused to use the Bible. An account in the Australian explains: “Back on the Labor side, the winds of change were freshening as a majority of Labor MPs refused to be sworn in holding Bibles, instead exercising their option to offer an affirmation of allegiance. Of the Labor frontbench, only Mr Rudd, Simon Crean, Martin Ferguson and Peter Garrett took the Bible in hand as they declared their allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs and successors. In marked contrast, all members of the God-fearing Coalition front bench swore on the Bible, many supplying their own for the occasion.”

Of course in a pluralistic country, MPs are free to do what they like in this regard. But this episode simply suggests how much more secular, and maybe even anti-Christian, the Labor MPs tend to be.

Seven. Then there is the whole issue of national religious vilification laws. When publically pressed on this prior to the election, all Mr Rudd could do was hem and haw. He could not make a commitment against such anti-freedom of speech – and really, anti-Christian evangelism – legislation. In contrast, many of the leaders in the Howard government went on record as being firmly against such laws.

The debacle in Victoria since implementing such laws should convince anyone of how bad these laws are and how divisive they in fact are. Such legislation is certainly not needed at the federal level.

Eight. Other proposals will undoubtedly soon be forthcoming. One can expect a call for a national Bill of Rights, or Charter of Rights, to be on the agenda soon. Indeed, many Labor leaders in the past have spoken of such things, and with wall-to-wall Labor governments in place, this and a whole raft of other radical social agenda items will surely be raised.

Nine. Whatever one makes of the sorry day activities for the so-called stolen generations, it seems that if the new government was really serious about showing concern for lost children, Labor MPs would be leaping over themselves seeking to have a national sorry day for an actual, and much greater, stolen generation.

I refer of course to the 100,000 unborn children who are stolen every year from not only their parents, but from life itself. And this is all done with the complicity of most government MPs. While there are a handful of pro-life MPs on both sides of politics, most are committed to business as usual. Until this national holocaust is stopped and publically apologised for, I will remain a bit sceptical about government apologies for other issues involving children.

Ten. Also on pro-life issues, Federal Minister Bob McMullen announced recently that a grant would go to help with “Sexual and Reproductive Health” in the Asia-Pacific. This usually means funding for abortion. Although the government has said money will not go to abortion, this is hard to square with the facts.

This work will be “in partnership” with groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which happens to be the largest abortion provider in the world. Even if government money – $3 million – does not directly go to abortion, that partnering will assist those that do provide for abortion.

If the government was serious about dealing with real maternal health issues, but not providing for abortion, why not partner with groups which are not so pro-abortion? This grant is a part of the Australian Government’s commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals, something which the Howard Government would not support, in part because of the pro-abortion agenda.

Conclusion

Other issues might be raised here, and readers are invited to submit their own concerns. Before the election I penned a number of pieces outlining my concerns about a possible Labor government. Some of the issues discussed here I raised at the time. Others remain to be seen. But as I mentioned, with the entire nation under Labor rule, there really is very little standing in the way to the implementation of a whole raft of radical social engineering agendas. Unfortunately the opposition governments, at state and federal levels, seem weak, divided and uncertain as to how to proceed. This is not a healthy state for a democracy to be in.

I suppose, however, that there is one possible upside to all this. With wall to wall Labor governments throughout the land, the lefties will not be able to blame the conservatives anymore. Interest rates continue to rise, job closures lay off thousands of workers, record petrol prices, etc. And not one Liberal government in the country to blame. Alas, it will only get worse. In a few months George Bush will not be around either. In the good old days Howard and Bush could be blamed for all our woes, whether it was a flat tyre, burnt toast, or global warming. Today with wall-to-wall Labor governments at home, and perhaps a Democrat soon in the White House, the Left will really have to come up with some new scapegoats to take their anger out on.

[1907 words]

55 Replies to “Reflections on the New Government”

  1. Good points Bill. Rudd is a professional political spin king. I don’t trust him one iota.

    Australia will miss John Howard.

    Damien Spillane

  2. No scape goats needed, Bill. It’s all about impressions rather than substance, so there’s nothing to be accountable for.

    On the education topic, the new head of the ‘National Curriculum Board’ – appointed by Gillard – stated two main concerns about ‘Faith schools’ were creationism and sex education (read ‘non pro-homsexual’).

    There is a very strong secular socialist ‘must conform’ mentality now that there is wall to wall labour, and it doesn’t bode well for conservative values, let alone christian morality.

    Jeremy Peet

  3. Thank you Bill. Not to mention prostitution, gambling, alcohol, pornography, multiculturalism, and the rest. All policies that build great social cohesion, not. Sad, tragic, and alarming. But then, the people voted them in, including many Christian voters. And Rudd has such a fresh and honest face.
    Tas Walker

  4. Bill,

    The reasons the conservatives have been soundly rejected around Australia is that they have no sound policies and no leadership, anywhere. Waving the religion card won’t help them because Australians abhor mixing religion and politics. That’s why Bush and the Republicans are in trouble in America too. People are sick of the influence of the Religious Right on politics. Even McCain called Robertson and Falwell “agents of intolerance” and “corrupting influences on religion and politics”.

    The takeover of the NSW Branch of the Liberal Party by the extreme right is similarly destined to keep them out of power for the foreseeable future, and conservative prospects aren’t too bright anywhere else either.

    The federal conservatives are floundering about like a bunch of sore losers, unable to comprehend what has happened to them. Nelson was obviously only meant to be a stop-gap leader, but he’s only leading them further into the wilderness.

    Australians elected the Rudd government, knowing full well that it would mean a shift towards a more inclusive and compassionate society. The social engineering agenda that is pushed by the Religious Right in this country is not supported by the majority of voters. No amount of bleating on your part will change that.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  5. Also in today’s paper was a commitment from the Rudd government to consider “updating the classification system for games to include an R18+ rating.”

    The Age said Bob Defus, Minister for Home Affairs, “confirmed the issue of “whether or not to allow an R18+ classification” for games would be discussed by censorship ministers at the next Standing Committee of attorneys-general (SCAG) meeting on March 28.

    So add another one to your list, Bill.
    A number of these items were on the Christian Values Checklist (and Labor didn’t score well on that as we analysed their actual policies – check it out at http://www.saltshakers.org.au/html/P/8/B/435/. ]

    At least we (along with the fellow organisers of the Checklist) told people what was likely to happen. I think many of the people weren’t listening!
    Article on the new classification development is at
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/rrated-games-may-be-on-shelves-soon/2008/02/22/1203467345267.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

    Jenny Stokes

  6. Thanks Steve

    And in five years time, when conservative governments are back in power here and overseas, as is likely to happen (these things are quite cyclical in nature), will you be telling me the same about people being tired of leftist government and radical agendas? Or will you change your tune then?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. I kind of agree at the lack of policies of the Liberals. They are not taking a strong conservative stand as is true of the US Republicans and the UK Torries. Conservativism is floundering for want of a strong ideological commitment.

    Their adherence to conservatism is piece meal and doesn’t result from a coherent and strongly articulated worldview. Thus they lack vision.

    Here is a piece on the Liberal faith and the lack of a conservative one – http://www.themidnightsun.org/?p=1960

    Damien Spillane

  8. Interesting take on it Steve. It sounds a lot like the parroting of American liberals jumping up and down about “those fundamentalist Christian hard-liners” that shouldn’t be involved in government. Yet, both the Howard and Bush government was supported into power by Christians and conservative voters who believe in Judeo-Christian values. The opposing parties have spent their long time in opposition ‘crying’ foul and raising the spectre of the “fundamentalist Christian” bogeyman who has “hijacked the goverment”.

    It is not unusual for voters to look to give the opposition a turn and after 3 successive losses labor now has it’s turn, just like the Democrats will probably get their turn in the US, especially if their isn’t a strong leadership case in the incumbent party.

    So I think you’re wrong on that point – Christians did help both parties to power and provided strong support during their reign and to help keep the there. I’m not sure that the average citizen really subscribes to “The social engineering agenda that is pushed by the Religious Right” being the reason why they didn’t want Howard or Bush in government at all. Since governments are responsible for “social engineering” I think people, rightly or wrongly, weighed in with their take on what they wanted to see and voted Labor this time.

    Maybe when the average voter realises they have been duped by a socialist “social engineering” philosophy which goes against their beliefs from a party that doesn’t deliver what they expect it to, they will swing back. It has been a political win by obfuscation and deception since Rudd has clearly promoted certain values which his party never intended for him to govern by.

    Garth Penglase

  9. Oh yeah, right, the Australian people rejected conservatism. That must be why Chairman KRudd tried so hard to pretend to be conservative, adopting many of Howard’s policies, and KRudd also clipped the wings of the unions.

    The problem now is with the Coalition thinking they can win by being Labor-Lite and trashing their former leader, instead of standing firm. But all they will do is repel their base, that will no longer provide the essential grass-roots volunteer work, while the Left won’t vote for the Lite version when they can have the real thing. It didn’t work for Vic and NSW Libs, the Rockefeller Republicans or the UK Tories. Damien’s piece points out something similar.

    Conservative governments are thrown out when people grow tired of them; leftist governments are thrown out when people are sick of their incompetence and social engineering.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  10. All this was foreseeable by blind Freddie’s deaf guide dog. But some of the Christian lobby groups were so enraptured by Chairman Rudd, despite strong representations that Labor would be anti-Christian. My thoughts about them were:

    Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you.

    (Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari to an Earth commander in Babylon 5, when his strong advice not to upset the Minbari was rejected, leading to the disastrous Earth-Minbari war.)

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  11. Good list Bill.

    I would add an over-riding general concern for the Federal Government’s disregard for our Constitutional safeguards.

    a) there may be a Constitutional challenge to the nonsense of Friday Parliament without Ministers or requirement for a quorum
    b) many of the measures announcements deal with areas which are the major preserve of States (less so of Territories but some there too).
    c) There appears to have been no consultation with States, nor negotiation that we have seen (another broken promise: lack of transparency).

    This is a lurch towards centralism which is becoming so obvious that the epithet “Chairman Kevin” is even being accepted on the pro-Labor side of media and politics.

    However, this centralist tendency (part of Labor’s long-term strategy, of course) was not a prominent part of the election campaign, was it?

    John Angelico

  12. You made a good point about wall to wall Labor – from now on we drive home the thought that for everything wrong, Labor is to blame and tell Aussies who voted Labor to get a bit of sense! And the Brummy government in Victoria deserves a shake up first.
    Dallas Clarnette

  13. Question for all: (And I don’t have a smart-alec answer)

    What might you guess God was up to when He chose Rudd over Howard?

    I am of course making the assumption that by choosing Rudd we did not thwart the plans of the Almighty. If that is a wrong assumption, please clarify.

    Restating the question: You have made plain your thoughts about where our society may possibly head as a result of Rudd’s leadership (or lack thereof), so why might God have chosen that for us? And what effect do you suppose that Labor government policies might have on Christians in the near future?

    I suppose asking anyone to predict the future is fraught with danger (particularly of embarrassment) but I would like to hear some speculation if you are willing.

    Thanks for your consideration

    Dale Flannery

  14. Here are a few more that I would add to the list:

    The signing of the anti-economic growth Kyoto protocol which will likely drive up energy costs and therefore also our cost of living;

    The re-regulation of the labour market thereby setting the scene for rising unemployment;

    The winding back of Howard’s NT aboriginal intervention by reinstating the apartheid like entry permit system, and;

    The possible introduction of a new R18+ rating category for video games thereby allowing even more violent games on the market.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  15. Dale, God didn’t choose Rudd over Howard – we did. God is soverign but man has freewill – including the freedom to make bad choices.

    I believe there is some truth in the old saying that as a nation we get the government we deserve – so for our sins we got Rudd and Labor.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  16. The Australian Prayer Network [apn] appears to have a view that the Federal election was on balance about ‘justice’ with respect to the Aboriginal this time around. Howard would not and Rudd did.

    Concur with your ten points Bill and I understand the viewpoint of apn.

    Ray Robinson

  17. Trite sayings like “it’s all under God’s control” should realise that God’s control included Hitler and Stalin. They also ruled under God’s sovereign control. But it was also under His control that their empires eventually crumbled.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  18. Thanks Dale

    You are actually raising a number of rather big issues here, not least of which is the interplay between divine sovereignty and personal responsibility. Partly your questions can be answered depending on where one stands on the theological spectrum.

    But as Ewan says, we make choices which have consequences. Plus there is also the issue of satanic interference. So we have at least three variables at play in these sorts of issues.

    And in 1 Samuel 8, for example, we see the people demanding, and getting, a king, even though Yahweh was not pleased with the idea. So it is a bit of a complex issue, one that a full article would need to sort through. Stay tuned.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  19. Bill,
    This is a very cynical article. I’m not sure you would have presented so scathing a review of a Coalition performance. I guess that’s opinion for you, though.
    Simon Kennedy, VIC

  20. Andrew Bolt said it himself; “This could be the end of the Liberal Party”. That statement was made on the morning after the election, and Bolt has a habit of making big statements.

    However, it will be interesting to see how the conservatives re-group. I’m not sure that the Australian people will be very keen to see a government as far right as Howard’s was. Not in the next 5-10 years anyway. As soon as Howard started trumpeting Work Choices, people got worried. The Coalition lost because it’s leader didn’t leave when he should have, and because they threatened people’s employment conditions. No matter how wonderful you think Howard was, he stuffed up in the end. Hewson made the same mistake in 1993; he went too far right with his policies.

    Simon Kennedy, VIC

  21. Thanks Simon

    It should be pretty clear why I would not be as harsh on the former government. Most of the concerns I have about the Rudd government involves thing the Howard government opposed. So yes, that would make me less scathing of the Howard years, although his term was far from perfect.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  22. That Australian Prayer Network piece was a load of twaddle. It reflected a view of divine sovereignty more like Allah than the true God of the Bible, and a view of economic justice that owes more to Marx than Christ. Of course, the Germans voted in Hitler too, so would these churchian lefties have praised this as God’s work praising Hitler’s soft heart for the unemployed?
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  23. What are you talking about Simon? Only someone coming from a leftist perspective could think that the Howard government was “far right”. In reality I think the Howard government was somewhere around centre right. Howard made a few concessions to conservatism that Rudd is now busy reversing, but the Howard government mostly just provided a ‘holding’ position on the left’s agenda. Now with the election of federal Labor the brakes are off and it’s again full steam ahead for the left.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  24. I realise the current government has not actually done much, as yet. But would anyone like to speculate what we might see in the future as a result of Labor government admitted policies.

    I could guess the following: less freedom to share our faith (from vilification laws); increased abortion (through funding of ‘health initiatives’); criminalisation of those who are not politically correct (protecting LGBT’s from ‘hate’ speech) …

    Am I a paranoid pessimist, or just a little disheartened?

    And supposing that some things like these come about, what are we going to do about it?

    Dale Flannery

  25. Thanks Dale

    I think all three of the issues you raise could well take place – even more than they are now – in the near future, especially given that we have wall to wall Labor, and a divided and demoralised opposition. That is neither pessimistic nor paranoid, just realistic given the state of play at the moment.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  26. In today’s Australian, there was a front page article about requests from the Left to Kevin Rudd. Basically it amounted to: yes, we know that you won government by promising to be conservative, but now is the time to impose radical ideas like the Bill of Rights and show Labor’s true left colours. That’s typical of the Left: campaign to the right or at least the centre, but double cross the voters and impose their leftist agenda on the people once in office.

    This is just like what President Reagan said of the Communists, at time adulated by many in the Left, that to attain “their goal … of world revolution and a one-world Socialist or Communist state … they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat, in order to attain that ….”

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  27. Despite Simon Kennedy’s whinges about John Howard’s Work Choices, Howard wasn’t the first. Jesus also supported such a system of individual employment contracts. In Mt. 20, Jesus taught a parable about a landowner who made individual contracts with workers, and when some whinged, the landowner, with Jesus’ clear approval, said:

    Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

    But according to the Left, people don’t have the right to make individual contracts or do what they please with their own money. The whole point of the Left is that the Anointed know better how to spend money than the people who actually earned it.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  28. I would like to suggest two other terms than the left and the right of politics which were made up by … remind me someone, please. And spare me the terms such as centre right, the far right, the far left and that dreadful ‘nonaligned’ term. People who sit on fences get splinters in their bottoms or fall off or both.

    I would like us to evaluate policies on what the effect is on human growth, develoment and well-being (spirit, soul and body) whether it is progressive or regressive. I prefer to think of myself as progressive as I press on to know the fullness of Christ.

    So good on you Bill. Your stand by revealing where cardboard Kevin07 Rudd is leading this country is appreciated. He is regressing us as individuals and as a nation.

    Greg Brien

  29. Jonathan, that is absolute rubbish. Matthew 20 has nothing to do with individual employment contracts and everything to do with the Kingdom of God.

    If we were to use your style of hermenutics, we could proceed to say that Matthew 18:10 gives a detailed description of how one should manage livestock, according to Jesus’ opinion. Or, another example, Luke 29:11-27 would give permission for anyone whose position of power is questioned, to slaughter those who are doing the questioning.

    The parables are not meant to be read in such a way at all! Reading them like that is twisting the Word of God to suit political purposes.

    Simon Kennedy, VIC

  30. The political spectrum as defined by ‘left’, ‘right’, etc., may not be perfect but it is still quite adequate for evaluating most political concepts so I will continue to use it until someone comes up with something better. The problem with using the term ‘progressive’ is that it is a term that has been captured by the left and redefined to suit their purposes.

    If you don’t like the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ then just substitute with ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  31. Simon, the whole parable would lose all point if Jesus didn’t intend his audience to think, “yes, of course the landowner has a right to be generous with his own money, so how much more has the Owner of all have a right to be generous?” Jesus often used such a fortiori arguments.

    Conversely, you can’t even find a jot or tittle in Scripture about the government having any role of forced redistribution of wealth, setting wages that an employer may pay, or any of the other favourite lefty policies.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  32. Simon, obviously the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard is teaching about the Kingdom of God, however it is perfectly reasonable to draw from it other principles such as that mentioned by Jonathan above. That employers have the right to make individual agreements with their employees is presupposed in that parable and implicitly endorsed by Jesus.

    As for Luke 29, I couldn’t find it. Maybe you are reading from the gospel according to Marx.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  33. Bill,

    You misjudge me again. I would prefer to see state governments from the opposite side of politics as the federal government. It gives voters some comfort that political power is subject to some checks and balances. In fact the danger of wall-to-wall Labor was a key element of the Liberals’ election strategy. Despite this danger, the voters rejected the Howard government, and the reasons have been well documented.

    So now we have a situation where the highest office occupied by a Liberal politician anywhere in the country is the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, and he could easily lose office next month.

    Meanwhile state Liberal MPs flounder around, offering no effective opposition in any state, nor at federal level. They are destroying a once great Party, and this is certainly not good for effective government. I don’t like it any more than you do, but at present I couldn’t bring myself to vote for any of them.

    I sincerely hope they can find their way out of the wilderness, but I’m not optimistic it will happen in five years.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  34. Dr Safarti

    The Australian article is about the desires of the ‘left’ rather than the intentions of Prime Minister Rudd.

    What it says of Rudd is “Mr Rudd has said pursuing a republic is not a priority. He said he would not pursue a constitutional preamble on Aborigines and has agreed only to “consider” a charter of rights under Labor’s policy”.

    We should all pray that Rudd will be stronger than we fear.

    Dale Flannery

  35. This morning a friend encouraged me with Jeremiah 17:5-8 and I am challenged not to look to a government to supply what I need or what I desire for our society, nor to fear what this government my bring. If I am trusting God then I should be petitioning Him as well as doing activities that will bring about change. (My complaining and worrying is probably not one of those activities:-).

    Cheers

    Dale Flannery

  36. Steve Angelino is right about the State Liberals. The NSW and Vic branches are trying to be Labor-Lite, which annoys their base so they can’t count on them to volunteer come election time, and the Lefties will vote for the real think anyway. The QLD Opposition can’t even govern itself, so Queenslanders are skeptical that they can govern the state, even though QLD Labor is racked with scandals and incompetence. The WA Liberal leader snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by spouting off on some unnecessary and unrealistic idea.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  37. Ewan and Jonathan,

    You are being ridiculous. Simply because I disagree with you doesn’t make me a Marxist, or a Communist, or even a Socialist. You are being entirely irrational and reactionary. It is hardly worth engaging in debate with you.

    Simon Kennedy, VIC

  38. Interesting to read how far to the right the centre seems to have moved. It just goes to show how inadequste the terms are. Lets face it: the major parties in the major anglophone countries are all economically centre-right & the major differences are on a liberty-authority scale.

    I am intrigued by the idea that allowing queer-folk to be joined in a common-law bond is giving them preferential treatment: surely to offer them a privilege extended to 80% of society is not preferential treatment. Also, there is no requirement for ceremony in a common-law marriage (i.e. civil union — what an ugly neologism!); the celebrant/JP need only utter a few legally required phrases & have the couple & the witnesses sign a register.

    Dean Ransevycz

  39. Simon

    Nothing that Ewan and I have said was not said by Nobel Prizewinning economist Friedrich Hayek (1899–1992) in his classic The Road to Serfdom (1944). Basically, even the moderate leftist policies you advocate require an increase in government power to interfere with mutually agreeable transactions between two free individuals. And the government bureaucracies tend to grow and increase their power.

    You will not find the slightest hint in the Bible that the secular government has any role in setting prices and wages, or forcibly confiscating earnings to set up a welfare bureaucracy. But there are many times where the Bible teaches the value of private property, and the benefits of personal generosity. The Left is generous only with other people’s money.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  40. Bill, great ten points. It has stimulated much discussion.
    Stan Fishley

  41. Thanks Dean

    In one sense, anyone can marry. In another sense, only some can. Five-year-olds cannot marry. Neither can I, since I am already married.

    But there is no law anywhere in the world that says a homosexual cannot marry. All a homosexual has to do is find a nice girl and he can get married. Likewise, if a lesbian meets a nice fellow and wants to marry, nothing is stopping her.

    Anyone can marry as long as they meet the criteria and obligations of marriage. If they do not want to play by the rules of the game, then they should stop deluding themselves into thinking that their rights are somehow being denied them.

    Rights come with responsibilities, and societies have always extended to heterosexual married couples benefits and privileges because they meet the obligations of marriage, and they conferred benefits to the rest of society. Heterosexual marriage has always been about providing two chief goods: the regulation of human sexuality and the provision of care and nurture for the next generation.

    Governments are under no obligation whatsoever to confer special benefits and status on to same-sex relationships.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  42. Hi Bill,
    Great stuff. Yes the problem is Kevin Rudd can claim all he likes to be a Christian but he is hog-tied to a large extent by party politics. Just look at Labor’s past godless men like Mark Latham and others. The mould is set – if he doesnt tow the line he knows what will happen. We realy do need more Christian members right across the board.
    David Gaskell

  43. Hi Dale,
    Just read your comment and Jeremiah 17:5-8 realy puts things into perspectiive. We all need to come to this truth. Thanks for your comment
    David Gaskell, NSW

  44. Bill,

    I’m not sure that i follow the point about 5 y.o. children: a child has the potential to enter into a marriage contract upon reaching an age at which they are competent. Equally, it is just convention (& law) that prohibits 2 men entering a marriage contract with 2 women. Is not the overarching principle one of all parties to this contract being freely able to enter into it? Therefore, there is no logical reason that a woman should not be permitted to marry 2 or more men, for example, so long as all parties to the marriage agree (it may be the only way to ensure that the female partner in a marriage will be able to do less than half the housework!).

    Furthermore, our putative 5 y.o. only has their privilege to enter into a marriage contact revoked when they choose a certain person as a partner. Hardly seems fair.

    Dean Ransevycz

  45. Thanks Dean

    But until a few short decades ago, no culture throughout human history considered marriage to be merely a private contract. It was always seen as much more, as a social institution, which impacts everyone in society.

    Since the two goals of marriage have always been the regulation of human sexuality, and the wellbeing of the next generation, this precludes all kinds of relationships. Your advocacy of polyamory and same-sex marriage only appears logical when we strip-mine the institutions of marriage and family of their historical functions and goods.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  46. Hi Bill,
    Thanks for opening this debate, I believe it is good to discuss these things openly so everyone has a right to choose what they believe and follow. I am a committed Christian of 20 years now but before I had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ I was very judgemental of others and quite selfish. I know now that when one asks for revelation, revelation is given freely. I have noticed that when people are in trouble the first name on their lips is Jesus or God. We are created in His image and we are a Spirit before we are a body. We have a Soul being made up of our mind, will and emotions. When our body dies our Spirit lives on for all eternity. This generation of youth have a right to understand their spirituality and should not be denied the right to Christian Chaplains in schools. There is enough secuarlism in Australia, perhaps as a people of this great nation we should ask God to help us to see our divine purpose and give true meaning to this life here on earth. We may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome 🙂
    Sharon Fairfull

  47. Hi Guys,

    Thought I might add a female voice here.

    This is quite a vibrant discussion group, which is both informative and entertaining. Keep up the good work of bringing important issues to our attention. Most people are like sheep, and will follow the loudest horn, though, fortunately, there are some of us who are able to cut through the spin, whether based on historical performance or common sense, and recognise it for what it is.

    What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Perhaps western Christianity is due for a good shake up. One just has to read how strong the Chinese Christians are, to know that our Lord is able to sustain us whatever the condition Chairman Rudd drives this country down into, whilst ably supported by the feminist deputy by his side.

    Of course WA [most of us] strove hard to keep work choices in place. (;-)) There is a boom on. No doubt brought on by good Liberal policies, though the Chinese may have had some small participation, even though the government is Communist.

    While we can laugh, give our opinion, select our own religion [hopefully Christian] we have much to be grateful for.

    Hilary Farquhar, WA

  48. Hi Dean,
    your comments on marraige are interresting, but unfortunately based on ignorance of Gods desire for man. The Bible says for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. you cant be one flesh with 2 or more wives. Marraige is not a contract but a blood covanant reflecting the relationship that the church has with Jesus. One final point God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. The Bible is very clear both in the old and new testemants that homosexuallity is wrong and not Gods desire for man.
    David Warilla

  49. Bill,

    You stated:

    Since the two goals of marriage have always been the regulation of human sexuality, and the wellbeing of the next generation, this precludes all kinds of relationships.

    Even if it could be shown that your premise is true (which i doubt, but “show me the money”…), it does not follow that poly-amorous & homosexual relationships are precluded.

    Surely homosexual marriages would fullfill the “regulation of human sexuality” part of your premise?

    Thanks. Dean Ransevycz

  50. John Howard’s Irving Kristol Lecture
    Delivered to the American Enterprise Institute, Washington DC
    5 March 2008

    Pretty good, stressing the benefits of strong families, free trade and markets, and resolute foreign policy.

    Remember that Chairman KRudd won by ‘me-tooing’ many of Howard’s ideas. But Nelson is being treated with contempt by voters for me-tooing where Labor differed.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  51. Thanks Dean

    The phrase is the ‘regulation of human sexuality’, not its irresponsible proliferation and misuse. Same-sex relationships and polyamorous ones do not qualify, almost by definition.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  52. How, Bill, do homosexual relationships not qualify as a “regulation of human sexuality”? (Let’s leave the polygamy out of the equation for the moment.) Is this more question begging, or are we just at odds over definitions?

    I put it to you that any commitment between two persons, to the exclusion of all others, is to be celebrated by our society. Isn’t that what you’re getting at, really, at the heart of the matter? And, of course, as gay uncles & grandfathers or lesbian aunts & grandmothers, these couples can fill a gap in the lives of children, so often deprived of extended family by our post-industrial society.

    Dean Ransevycz, Sydney, NSW

  53. Thanks Dean

    Marriage, as I said, is about the regulation of human sexuality, and the bearing and rearing of the next generation. Since same-sex relationships cannot produce children, that rules out the second fundamental reason for marriage. As to the first, that regulation has always been about keeping the wandering male to commit to his female partner, especially so the second factor was ensured. Women in marriage domesticate men, and the public ceremony that goes with it is a message to all that the male’s days of sexual wandering are over, as he now commits to a lifelong relationship with his wife, and any children which might result from that union.

    Moreover, the number of homosexuals who are a) in committed, life-long relationships to the exclusion of all others, and b) actually want to get married, is minuscule. Most homosexuals admit to enjoying promiscuity and multiple partners, and find that long-term relationships (and certainly marriage therefore), are far too restrictive.

    Marriage has always been about heterosexual pair bonding, and the protection of children. Thus again, homosexual relationships fail on both counts. Homosexual activists can try all they want to redefine the institution of marriage out of existence, but then they should no longer pretend that it is still marriage.

    Finally, people are welcome to become involved in all sorts of committed relationships, be it two sisters, a religious order, or a football team. But those relationships are still not marriage, and never will be.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  54. Dear Bill, Your reflections on the new government are very interesting and informative and yes I would like to add one more if I may. I noticed in WA’s Sunday Times [30.3.08] considerable coverage of the plight of Australian born aged pensioners who are having to cut down on food and basic essentials in order to make ends meet on the pittance they get from a single government pension. The paper said, quite rightly, that these pensioners were worse off than other pensioner groups who sometimes received part pensions from their countries of origin. Even pensioner couples were a bit better off because they were able to share water, rates electricity etc. There were some comments from the National Seniors’ group who have challenged Julia Gillard to support moves to increase the single aged pension to two thirds of the double aged pension in order to give them a much needed better quality of life. The paper said that this will cost about one billion dollars as opposed to the thirty eight billion the Rudd government proposes in tax cuts. The NSG argues that since there are more women than men on the single aged pension, women living longer than men, Julia Gillard should naturally concern herself with this issue. The NSG is to be congratulated for raising this serious issue of poverty in our midst and for challenging the minister but the big question is will Julia Gillard, the rabid feminist she is known to be, respond to the challenge or will she just ignore it as many feminists do on issues that really concern women? Since many of these women married, ran households and raised their families before careers and jobs outside the home became the accepted norm for women it is doubtful whether the ‘sisters in suits’ like Julia Gillard would ever have cast a thought about their unselfish and valuable contribution to the Australian way of life and are thus deserving of a decent pension. The only thing rabid feminists like Julia Gillard have achieved in my opinion is contributing to the misery felt by many women over their abortions on demand which the feminist movement helped to make legal and acceptable. God Bless Always
    Patricia Halligan

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