Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Christians and the Election

Jul 29, 2010

The Federal election is now just three weeks away. Sadly at this point there are still plenty of believers who have no idea which way they will vote. Not everyone closely follows politics of course, but all believers are called to dual citizenship: one in this world, and one in God’s kingdom.

Thus we have an obligation to be good citizens of each realm. Our responsibility as earthly citizens must be taken seriously, and we need to have a basic understanding of what are some of the main policies and platforms of the various political parties.

To help believers in this process, the Christian Values Checklist has just been released. It is a one page chart highlighting where seven political parties stand on 23 different policy issues. It helps believers see at a glance how the parties view certain key issues.

As I have stated many times before, Christians will differ on all sorts of issues, politics included. No one party or policy is the epitome of God’s heart and purposes. But some parties and policies may be closer to biblical ideals than others. Thus we need to carefully and prayerfully consider where our votes will be going.

This chart is by no means perfect. Indeed, every time we release one of these, plenty of critics emerge seeking to shoot it all down. Indeed, such armchair critics appear to be a dime a dozen. I guess it is always going to be easier to just criticise someone else instead of actually doing all the hard work oneself.

The truth is, this checklist has been worked on very carefully and thoroughly by a team of knowledgeable and dedicated workers. Hundreds of man hours go into this document, with detailed checks on every single question against every single party. And every one of these seven parties have existed for many decades now (except FF), so they all have their past voting records, position papers, policy statements and so on available in the public arena.

We seek to be as careful and accurate as possible in what we present in these checklists. But still the criticisms continue, usually having to do with what is on (or not on) the list. It tends to be the religious left who most complain. They want to argue that this is just some right-wing hit list.

Several responses can be given here. First, we make no apologies for stressing certain issues which we consider to be quite crucial and vitally biblical. Thus issues such as the sanctity of life or the importance of marriage and family will always get a good run on these lists, since they are obviously so close to God’s heart.

If critics think these are just “right-wing” agenda items, then they must be reading a different Bible from what I am reading. Indeed, maybe their God is different from mine. Such absolutely vital issues are certainly on the heart of God, and we will never compromise on them, just to please some of these armchair critics.

Moreover, it is not our intention to cover every political issue there is. Far from it. Indeed, as you can see, we try to keep this checklist all on just one page. If we tried to cover everything we would have a small booklet at least, which most people would not read. Thus we try to cover some key Christian issues, especially those which are so often ignored by the mainstream media, or even the parties themselves.

And some issues are clear cut, such as the sanctity of life, or the importance of marriage and family. Thus it is pretty straight forward to ask a question about such issues, and seek to assess where the parties stand on them. For example, does a party believe that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman, or does it not?

But other issues are far from clear cut. What exactly does the Bible tell us about global warming for example? The truth is, it does not say a thing about it. There are of course general principles about being good stewards of God’s creation (and we do include that on our checklist), but there are huge disagreements as to the reality, causes and cures of climate change even amongst the scientific community.

Christians too are deeply divided on this. So it would be silly to pretend that there is Christian unanimity on this topic, or that there is simply just one clear biblical answer on complex and technical issues such as climate change. Thus it is hard to come up with clear and precise questions which would somehow unequivocally present the biblical stance on this.

The same with other hot potato issues. Some ask why refugee policy is not on this list. The same answer as just given above applies here. Are there broad principles in Scripture about the treatment of refugees? Absolutely. Most have to do with ancient Israel of course, and circumstances today are in many ways radically different, so applying these principles in contemporary Australia is no easy task.

In fact, there are all sorts of other issues that first have to be dealt with. How modern nations deal with the related issues of immigration, refugee policy, asylum seekers, queue jumpers, and so on, is complex, difficult and multifaceted, and there certainly is no one simple Christian answer on all this, and it is unwise and unbiblical to pretend there is.

Indeed, I had one critic write in recently saying Jesus and his family were asylum seekers. Sorry, but they were of course nothing of the sort, and it is quite silly to suggest they were. Not only is there no one clear biblical take on these modern issues, but political parties themselves have all sorts of differing responses to it all as well.

Thus these sorts of questions, as important as they may be, have not appeared in this current checklist. Also, there are other Christian groups presenting similar sorts of assessments of where the parties stand on certain issues. This one is not the only one, and we certainly do not claim that it is the best there is, or can be.

And it is certainly not a “how-to-vote” guide. It simply presents where seven parties stand on various vital topics, and it is then up to each believer, after studying the parties and their positions, to diligently and prayerfully seek the Lord’s will as to how their votes might best be maximised.

As to some other concerns about so-called “social justice” issues, I have written about this on a number of occasions. See here for example:

And I will soon write on this again. The simple truth is, the religious left does not have a monopoly on such issues. All sides of politics grapple with these kinds of issues, and it is a question of which set of policies can best render just and fair outcomes in various areas – economic and otherwise.

So stay tuned for future articles to explore these concerns more fully. In the meantime, I offer to you the 2010 Christian Values Checklist. As noted, it is far from perfect, but it is one honest attempt made by a number of sincere Christian leaders to help us all be better stewards of our electoral privileges and responsibilities.

(Please note, there is also an eight-page supporting document which backs up and documents our assessments of each party on each question. See the link to this below.)

[1248 words]

52 Responses to Christians and the Election

  • Bill,

    This is good work.

    David Alston

  • Thanks for the Checklist.

    Sadly some political parties have fairly predictably poor values, and of course this is reflected in the checklist.

    I think I’m now fairly clear who I’ll be voting for (though I had pretty much made up my mind already).

    Matt Vinay

  • Bill,
    Praise God for the man of God you are.
    I pray for more and more godly men like you. Bold and courageous.

    Is it possible to place the Checklist in local newspapers? I live in the country West Australia and still not everyone has online access.
    Especially our older generation in nursing homes and units. ta
    Heathermary Dellaca

  • Thanks Heathermary

    I believe it has been placed in newspapers in the past. Of course it costs money to do so, and permission may first be needed from those responsible for it:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill
    Thank you for posting the Christian Values Checklist.
    I will pass them on to my friends and family.
    It is the best list I have ever down loaded.
    Anne van Tilburg

  • Heathermary, I see on the web site Bill referenced that the Institute is happy to have it passed on to others. However, it’s still wise to ask them, and since it is a political election document, we need to take care to follow the instructions at the foot of the page.

    I have asked for permission from our minister to speak about these issues in our church this Sunday, and to give out the Checklist and the Supporting Statement, as well as pray for the election.

    John Angelico

  • Thanks Bill for addressing the criticisms leveled at the Checklist.
    As one of those involved in analysing and assessing the party policies, I think having the moral and ethical issues of life and family all addressed in a single page is quite an achievement!
    I’m working on the next request – having a brief one page version of the supporting statements – that is actually quite hard to do but I’ll try!
    Jenny Stokes

  • I remember last election that the Evanjellyfish Alliance claimed that increased foreign aid was something that Christians should be concerned about. But the Bible says nothing about governments taxing their own poor citizens to give to rich despots, and the trillions of dollars poured into Africa has been more hindrance than help.
    Jonathan Sarfati, USA

  • Thanks Bill, for the marathon effort you and many others (including the Saltshakers’ team) to put this together.
    I would add two comments:
    1. It is clear from the list that both the Labor Party and the Greens are on the wrong side on issue after issue on this list. Yet the sad thing is that not only do many erstwhile Christians vote for them, but tell us that it is the Christian thing to do. With an avowed atheist now as PM (which has happened before: John Curtin, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke – all Labor icons) how can anyone from the Christian community have a Christian conscience and still vote for this crowd?? I call the Labor Party what I have called it for many years:
    Atheists and
    Or in the light of the legislation passed here in Victoria to restrict religious freedom, especially of Christians:
    Libertines and

    2. The religious left have attacked the checklist in the past, and doubtless will do so again, as you remark. The basic line will be on the poor and refugees. But we already have a welfare state, so what is the problem on that score? And then, as I argue in the current issue of Saltshakers, on the issue of asylum seekers/boat people there is the matter of the rule of law. If we throw open the doors to all and sundry (as the left is currently demanding in the U.S. in opposition to Arizona), where does that leave the people who come in through the regular channels? The fact is that the left does not believe in the universal rule of law – only when it suits their purposes, but believes with George Soros that the notion of sovereign states with secure and defined borders is as anachronistic as kings in castles. That’s the real agenda here – a global state where the only border is the Earth’s surface. And there are many organisations working for precisely that. The current UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon is very much committed to that goal. But for the Christian that is abhorrent (who controls the controllers?), and the final antichrist.

    Murray R Adamthwaite

  • It’s a very useful chart.
    Tas Walker

  • Thanks for this article Bill. I’ve put it on my Facebook wall to help inform others. Thanks also for the links you sent me y’day on The Crusades.

    By the way, Andrew Bolt in November 09 accounted for at least 61 drownings of illegal boat people trying to get into Aust under the Labor party’s soft boat people policy (see

    David Roberts

  • One of the issues on the checklist is, “Support mandatory ISP filtering of internet pornography”. We need to think carefully about this. Internet pornography is a sickening and dangerous problem but I’m not in favour of asking the govenment to decide what internet sites are permitted and what are not. Governments would love a mandate for censoring the internet. I think we would quickly find the censorship extending to Christian sites like this one.
    Tas Walker

  • One item that should not be on the chart is ‘Support mandatory ISP filtering of internet pornography’. The filter is being brought in under the guise of protecting children from porn, counteracting terrorism, etc. However the real reason why the Government wants the filter is so it have control over the one form of media it is powerless against. The internet. It will be used to silence Government critics and truth speakers. I can see a future where preaching an undiluted Gospel will be illegal in this country. They will certainly want to put an end to it online also. There has already been the case of the pro-life website that made it onto the blacklist ( ). I warn you now, allow this filter to pass and many other sites, like this one, will follow suit.
    Know Won

  • Thanks guys

    Yes we are aware that not all Christians support this measure, and that a debate does centre on this issue. This is not the place to go into all the pros and cons of the debate, and I really hope that one question out of 23 does not end up derailing this entire checklist.

    Let’s try to keep the bigger picture in mind here, and not unnecessarily get sidetracked on one issue which may be contentious for some. It is easy to undermine this entire checklist and all the effort that went into it, by focusing too much on just one issue. But the team will certainly keep these considerations in mind for the next checklist, so the debate is worthwhile in that respect.

    For just one example of the debate, see this article in favour, and the many (pro and con) comments below it:×38.html?comments=45#comments

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks for the checklist Bill. We’ve had copies available in church for previous elections and will certainly do so for this crucial event. Do people understand the importance of getting the right Senators in ? Could you put out something on this point to help people decide how they’ll vote?
    Anna Cook

  • Thanks Anna

    Yes you are quite right and perhaps we can add some supplementary material to the website. The short and obvious answer is this: if the Greens get the balance of power in the Senate, we are all in big doo doo.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks for the work and the blog.

    You mention “sanctity of life”: last 2 elections I voted Labour because primarily I was outraged that the Liberal government had taken us to 2 wars with what I see as no valid reason (particularly Iraq), and having read something of the horrors of war I don’t take this as lightly as the vast majority of my fellow Australians obviously did.

    This is not a criticism about your list, I just wonder how the war issue merits so little consideration from people who (rightly in my opinion) champion the cause of “pro-life”. It may be water under the bridge now to some extent but I didn’t hear much protest back then either.

    However this article and your previous article on the Labour / Green coalition has certainly made me think seriously and probably at this stage I won’t be continuing to give my vote to the ALP.

    David Stanhope

  • Bill,

    The question of mandatory ISP filtering is an important issue, and is, in my opinion, valid to be in the checklist – but maybe modified to ask for the stance on mandatory ISP filtering beyond pornography.

    The real issue with mandated ISP filtering becomes one of who decides which sites are “filtered”.

    For example, it is not beyond imagination that some of the “straw men” that have been popping up could be “hooked in”, such as a Bill/Charter of Rights, a UN declaration, Freedom of Religion laws, or even a new Internet Complaints Commission.

    David Alston

  • Thanks David S

    A good question. The short answer is this: the “sanctity of life” has to do with protecting innocent life. Not all life is innocent. There is, in other words, a place for killing in Christian thinking. In classic just war theory, the killing of combatants is not illicit. And the 6th commandment does not prohibit all killing, simply murder, which is the deliberate taking of innocent life. In a just war, enemy combatants are not innocent, and killing them is not murder.

    But obviously killing unborn babies is the taking of innocent life. So the abortion issue must be kept distinct from the issue of warfare, and whether some wars are in fact just.

    I spell this out more fully here:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks David A

    Yes you get to the heart of the matter. Hopefully most of us (except the radical libertarians – and there are some Christian versions of this) want to see all harmful porn blocked as much as possible. But most of us also are wary of government censorship of the Net. The question is whether the former can be achieved to some extent without necessitating the latter to a large degree. This is where much of the debate lies, and it is not fully clear as to the exact answers. Some sort of balance or compromise may be needed here, but it is certainly a complex and at times quite technical question.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Some guidance on the outworkings of the preference system would be good too. One would assume that preferences would flow on to Parties most closely aligned values wise. Would that be correct?
    Anthony McGregor

  • To David Stanhope – Saddam Hussein was a monster and a murderer – he had to go, it is as simple as that. I do not know about your thoughts but if I was an Iraqi, especially a Christian one, then I would not be too quick to be criticising my liberators. Your throw away line about the vast majority of Australians supporting the war in Iraq, it just might be possible that the so called “vast majority” might have seen the urgency to do something about Hussein from a humanitarian point of view and there is certainly nothing wrong or immoral about that.
    Steve Davis

  • Regarding preferences: just number all the boxes, then you don’t have to worry about them! It’s not that hard to do (a couple of minutes) and then you know exactly where your vote is going.
    David Keen

  • Thanks Steve,

    I don’t disagree about Hussein but are you reasonably sure the good from the war outweighed the death and suffering?

    – it was not sanctioned by the UN.
    – the false justification for the war at the time was Weapons of MD: it follows then at least serious spin and / or errors of judgement were involved.

    – If I was a dead Iraqi, or one living in a shattered community, or an innocent one having lost an innocent family member I wouldn’t be so grateful – would you? And it seems that a lot of Iraqi Christians preferred not to hang around after we fixed their country up and joined others in mass exodus. “The Red Cross stated in March 2008 that Iraq’s humanitarian situation remained among the most critical in the world, with millions of Iraqis forced to rely on insufficient and poor-quality water sources”.

    – major inconsistency: what about other monsters / murderers? Eg Uganda, Pol Pot etc etc What about stopping the Rwandan Genocide when it was happening? You’d think that these evil people had less force to oppose a police action, so what happened?

    David Stanhope

  • HI Bill;
    Thanks for posting the Christian Values Checklist.
    I will be making sure my Family & Friends get to read them. They will be great value to our first time voters and a blessing for those who don’t know where to start.
    Thanks again and Bless you & the team who have put this together.
    Fay Menzies

  • David, one thing I do not want to do is to turn this forum in to an emotional argument, to start with, if you were dead it would not make any difference anyway, if you did lose an innocent family member then that is a tragedy I would not even begin to imagine but you seem to be implying that a country should never be invaded solely on the basis that an innocent person(s) might lose their life, if the world thought like that when Hitler was around imagine where we would all be now! Also you seem to be focusing on one life to the detriment of the rest of the Iraqi people, that is a very unrealistic view of things, all through the ages innocent people have always suffered in wars and one day you and me and our families just might as well! As for the UN, I am really surprised that anyone would take that sink hole of feckless bureaucracy seriously, they have more blood on their hands than some of these despots they were supposed to deal with. As for this so called “major inconsistency” what is your point here? I’ll tell you exactly what happened, the wonderful United Nations sat on their hands and did absolutely nothing! Lastly, don’t tar the people who champion the cause of pro life with the implied accusation that they were pro war simply because you did not hear too much protest back then, as I previously stated, those people might have backed the war to get rid of Hussein, they should not be viewed in a cynical light for that!
    Steve Davis

  • Hi David
    While there was and still is death through the war I make a few points
    1. Have we looked at the huge death toll inflicted by Saddam H before the first gulf war and between part one and part two? Answer millions.
    2. Have we asked, who is doing most of the killing now? Mostly Muslim killing Muslim.
    3. How many of the 36 points Saddam agreed to to stop part one had he observed before the US patience ran out? By the way, the UN patience was never going to run out! Answer, about 6 out of 30.
    As for the other tyrants, yes action should be taken, but sadly many Christians would oppose the strong action required against them too!!
    Peter Stokes

  • Bill,

    There’s a reason Christians don’t vote for parties like the Family First, CDP and DLP. They have very limited policy scope and generally poor quality candidates. Steve Fielding has been an embarrassing disaster and is widely regarded as an erratic fool – he makes even Barnaby Joyce look like a genius. The CDP is riven by personality clashes, and Fred Nile should have retired two elections back. These folk have only been elected because of quirks in the preference and quota systems. The Vic ALP will never make the same mistake they made that gave Fielding a seat on preferences, so a Green will likely replace him. DLP? – almost invisible as a political force. These minor parties are in competition with one another and are therefore splitting the already small conservative Christian vote.

    While Christians generally might have some concerns about gay marriage, abortion etc., they aren’t issues that really affect people’s everyday lives to the same extent as job security, paying the mortgage, saving for retirement, educating the kids, health care, child care, the escalating cost of fossil energy, looking after elderly parents etc. They might be called “secular” issues, but they have a much bigger impact on people’s lives. and are therefore much more likely to affect their vote.

    I know you bridle at any criticism of the checklist, but honestly it’s looking a bit tired, repetitive and amateurish, and seems out of touch with the realities of modern politics as it affects Christians. I suggest trying to recruit Christians with more political nous to the panel who produce it.

    Ray Anderson, Melbourne

  • Thanks Ray

    Given the number of times I have said this is not a perfect checklist, it would be silly to reject all criticism. Genuine constructive criticism is welcomed by the team, but I am not sure if this qualifies as such. I do indeed grow weary of armchair critics who denounce other people’s labours on efforts like this, while offering absolutely nothing better of their own.

    And one also grows weary of those who denounce sincere Christians who run for office for the smaller parties, while not doing anything similar themselves. Just what exactly are you doing in these arenas? Have you ever run for office? Have you ever stuck your neck out in the attempt to make a difference?

    I certainly do not regard any of the Christian parties or candidates as perfect, and I do not always agree with them. But I would much rather give them credit for actually trying to do something – however imperfect it may be – than to those who just sit on the sidelines and toss in their rather cavalier denunciations.

    As to “secular issues” just what are you suggesting? That these smaller Christian parties in office somehow do not deal with such matters? Of course they deal with every issue that is out there, including all the ones you mention. It is just that they offer a bit of emphasis on some other Christian concerns as well which are not usually found in the larger secular parties. Nothing too horrendous there I would have thought.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill

    Good work on the checklist; not much I would disagree with. I need to do more research on the “Bill of Rights”.

    Liked your comments on killing in war. “For everything there is a season and I time for every purpose under heaven…”. However, starting a war is something never to be taken lightly. They can end in fiasco, like Vietnam.

    I agree with some of Ray Anderson’s comments about the Christian minor parties. Not sure how they would cope in power but I would like to see them with some balance of power.

    David Williams

  • “No one party or policy is the epitome of God’s heart and purposes” – no indeed (nor is any one party the epitome of Satan’s); but I do think that the idea that humans can, by their own efforts, create a perfect world/humanity (salvation by Man alone) is inevitably wholly opposed to God’s purposes; and this belief is so often the core of political ideology, as held by most of our political parties these days, whatever their label or tradition.
    John Thomas, UK

  • Ray Anderson’s talk about “splitting the vote” forgets that Australia is not plagued by the moronic “first past the post” system but has a preferential voting system instead.

    “While Christians generally might have some concerns about gay marriage, abortion etc., they aren’t issues that really affect people’s everyday lives to the same extent as job security, paying the mortgage, saving for retirement, educating the kids, health care, child care, the escalating cost of fossil energy, looking after elderly parents etc. They might be called “secular” issues, but they have a much bigger impact on people’s lives. and are therefore much more likely to affect their vote.”

    A perfect description of the Lot Syndrome. Righteous Lot loved the many secular benefits of living in Sodom: a seat at the gate, wealth, a mortgage-free house … But he ignored the extreme corruption and how it even permeated his own family. Now many Christians love the benefits that an anti-Christian party like the Labor/Green alliance brings them (at the expense of other Australians whose taxes are confiscated to pay for them), but ignore the moral corruption they bring, including a love for sodomy.

    Jonathan Sarfati, USA

  • David Williams: if you want good research on the Bill of Rights, one of the best critiques comes from none other than Bob Carr, an atheistic former Labor premier.

    For example, The Rights Trap: How a Bill of Rights Could Undermine Freedom. Carr points out problems such as freezing of the priorites of the time:

    Our view of the importance and priority of rights changes over time. A constitutionally entrenched bill of rights freezes those priorities at a particular point in time. If a bill of rights had been included in the Commonwealth Constitution in 1901 it would most likely have enshrined the “White Australia policy”. The “right to bear arms” is a “right” under the United States Constitution that many see as the root of the tragic shootings which afflict that country. It is not enough to say that these rights can be changed by a constitutional referendum. We all know that referenda are rarely held and are rarely successful.

    Even when a bill of rights is not constitutionally entrenched, and can therefore be changed by legislation, the political reality is that a bill of rights is given “quasi-constitutional status” and is almost impossible to amend.

    And Carr points out that such bills have increased litigation, but this will overload the courts and make it harder for ordinary people to be heard:

    While the Courts are swamped with thousands of Bill of Rights cases, where will the ordinary person go for justice? The Courts will be made even more inaccessible and the cost of running the court system will increase. The main beneficiaries of a bill of rights are the lawyers who profit from the legal fees that it generates and the criminals who manage to escape imprisonment on the grounds of a technicality. The main losers are the taxpayers, and society in general through the reduction of community values to mere courtroom weapons.

    Carr has also written popular-level pieces e.g., Lawyers are already drunk with power. He points out one problem, already exhibited in Victoria’s Two Dannys persecution that Bill has written about:

    Churches are becoming aware their immunity from anti-discrimination laws — a justified immunity — will end with a charter or a bill of rights. Church leaders can democratically lobby parliaments and cabinets, but not non-elected, tenured judges.

    Fortunately The federal government bowed to a revolt inside the Labor Party and rejected the push for a national charter of rights that would have handed new powers to the judiciary… at least for now.

    Jonathan Sarfati, USA

  • Bill,

    No, I have never run for public office, nor do I wish to. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t criticise those who do. I run a small manufacturing business. If I get a complaint from a customer I don’t act defensively and suggest they try doing the job. Instead I address the issue and use the experience to improve my product quality.

    A problem with political representation is that there is little professionalism, no qualifications required, and poor quality control. Parties ought to be responsive to the electorate in the type of candidate they pre-select, but too often vested interests and “old school ties” determine the candidates.


    I haven’t forgotten about the preference system, but preference leakage ensures that many votes are lost. Furthermore, those minor parties all need their own administrations, funds, volunteers, logistics etc., which draw resources from the same small pool. So they do indeed compete with one another, for the same reasons that plague all human endeavours – selfishness, jealousy, pride and petty differences of opinion. They also often miss out on public funding because their primary vote is too small to meet the threshold.

    Ray Anderson

  • U know Bill, if u r in the Senate I don’t have to worry who to vote. I will just tick u in the box during the election and we will have peace.
    I see u as a person who knows our Fathers’ heart and up there He is pleased with u.
    Anyway we pray and hope our Christian Democrats will be blessed with many votes and at least they can stand up for us. I pray that they too will be in tune with what God wants them to do and not to please the crowd.
    God bless,
    Molly Lim

  • Thanks Ray

    A Christian endeavour such as this is not quite the same as running a small business, but even businessmen know the difference between customers offering constructive criticism and someone just launching a condemning tirade.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • “what about other monsters / murderers? Eg Uganda, Pol Pot etc etc What about stopping the Rwandan Genocide when it was happening?”

    You could add Darfur, Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others to the list.

    The reason why these atrocities weren’t stopped is because the UN is a pathetic, spineless organisation filled with ideological pacificists, and yet these days no one will act against a tyranny unless the UN allows them to. Recall the US, UK and Australia had to give the finger to the UN to go after Saddam.

    Jereth Kok

  • “The religious left have attacked the checklist in the past, and doubtless will do so again, as you remark. The basic line will be on the poor and refugees. But we already have a welfare state, so what is the problem on that score?”

    Murray has made a really important point here, which needs to be put in bold and underlined.

    If you find yourself totally broke and unemployed in Australia, you will get free health care, unemployment benefits, rent assistance, and free education. In fact there is so much tax collected in Australia that welfare is now handed out to the middle class — baby bonuses, free home insulation (whoops), and if Julia wins the election, you’ll even get $2000 towards a new car. Soon there will even be paid parental leave courtesy of the government.

    Australia has as much welfare as a country possibly can have. It is to the point where the welfare system is routinely abused by people who would rather not work — as a medical practitioner I see this every week (eg. people who have very little wrong with them who have somehow gotten on the disability pension in their 40s or even 30s).

    Christians who say that we should vote Labor/Greens in order to show more “compassion” to the poor really have their heads in the sand. If you want to show more compassion, how about giving something to charity, out of voluntary good will? Don’t kid yourself that there is anything “compassionate” about voting in political parties which will just increase taxes on the middle class so that more money can be spent on abortions and wasteful, often anti-Christian government programmes.

    Jereth Kok

  • Jereth,

    Not only is the UN a total waste of time and money but you should google the religious/occult connections of the UN. Lucis trust Publishing{formerly called Lucifer Publishing} Tower of Babel symbolism etc etc. Why governments are kowtowing to this Babylonian monstrosity is a mystery.
    For further reference look up Alliance of Civilizations,{to which Australia is a signatory} and Parliament of Religions.
    Glenn Christopherson

  • Julia, the hypocrite, is sinking into oblivion. Check out this story, but especially the comments.
    The one I love is the comment which refers to the hypocrisy of Julia ‘praying’ for Kevin Rudd. You either believe in God, or you don’t.
    Jane Petridge

  • Picking up on David Stanhope’s above objection to the Iraq war on the grounds that there is a “major inconsistency” when nations like the USA, UK and Australia make the effort to remove murderous dictators like Saddam Hussein but leave others alone. I agree this is inconsistent but how does this inconsistency invalidate the Iraq war? Rather, it simply indicates that were the governments of the USA, UK and Australia operating in a more just and consistent manner there would probably have been more wars not less!

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • The Labor Party is stooping to desperate LOWS to discredit Tony Abbott, by dragging out quotes from the past, starting with Tanya Pliberseck’s comments about Abbott’s ability to deliver PPL.
    Regardless of what Abbott has said or believed in the past, he now MUST deliver policies that reflect the views of the Party he leads – the Liberals.
    Seems like Gillard’s slogan ‘MOVING FORWARD’ has a limited definition under her ‘hypocricital’ terms.

    She is now behaving in a DESPERATE manner to win this election and I hope Australians see her for what she is…
    Jane Petridge

  • No folks, I am not kidding about Julia Gillard. She intends to be VERY WILLINGLY NASTY this week.

    From the ABC online Sunday 1st August…..

    Meanwhile, Ms Gillard has not denied reports that Labor has been giving journalists lists of past quotes made by Mr Abbott on various subjects.

    “They’re quotes of Mr Abbott, they’re things that he’s said,” she said.

    “Australians are entitled to know Mr Abbott’s words.

    “We make his words available. If he’s embarrasseed by them that’s too bad. He said them.”

    Jane Petridge

  • Thanks Jane

    And while the MSM is quite happy to fling mud at Abbott, it covers up or ignores all the juicy items of Julia’s past:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Actually Bill, what Julia is doing by bringing up the past, apart from distancing herself from her own slogan, is she is BULLYING Tony Abbott. As former education minister, I thought one of her priorities was to eradicate Bullying. Actions speak very loud I’m afraid.
    But back to my original point, she is desperate now…
    Jane Petridge

  • Quite right Ewan, that was my previous point when I replied the second time to David S. It would be good to see the free world deal with Kim Jong IL, Mugabe and some of those other ratbags in parts of Africa eg. Somalia and Sudan. The problem would be one of logistics I think, as well as the task of trying to rally the people in those countries to form a resistance and help the “invading armies” be they the US or whoever. The thing that gets up my nose is all these people in Australia who love to put the boot into the Americans when all along, it was American boys doing the dying as well as our own to save us from the Japanese for example but those people seem to have a black or white view of everything – eg. I think war is wrong period, if you get invaded then well you will have to think of something else – yeah right!
    Stephen Davis

  • What Dr Kok says above is totally correct. The problem is, for leftards, “compassion” = generosity with other people’s money.
    Jonathan Sarfati, USA

  • Steve, I was not trying to make it into an emotional argument, I was countering your statement that “if I was an Iraqi, .., then I would not be too quick to be criticising my liberators” by giving examples of non-grateful Iraqis, which there would be plenty of. No response either to my observation about the Iraqi Christians being so pleased with the liberation that about 50% fled the country!

    I am not “implying that a country should never be invaded solely on the basis that an innocent person(s) might lose their life”. I could believe in a just war in theory (not 100% convinced and I think that the onus is on the Christian just war advocate to present a strong case because of how I read the bible re Gods love, grace and treatment of enemies / sinners), and maybe the first gulf war was, but I certainly don’t think that our invasion in 2003 with the US was.

    Regarding my point re major inconsistency, (to Ewan and Jereth Kok also) I think the claim that our invasion was a just war to remove a dictator (I’ll restate that the official _false_ reason was WMD) is much less credible when the same leaders don’t seem to give a toss about these other bad guys. And I really don’t believe that logistics / popular support would be worse in all or most of these other situations (Rwanda especially ?) – just excuses. What also further destroys credibility in the theory that the war was a moral one was that this was the same guy that the US were supporting earlier: “The Reagan administration gave Saddam roughly $40 billion in aid in the 1980s to fight Iran, nearly all of it on credit. The U.S. also gave Saddam billions of dollars to keep him from forming a strong alliance with the Soviets. Saddam’s Iraq became “the third-largest recipient of US assistance”.” This was after and during the time he was proving himself a monster / murderer! No, it seems that removing a threat to money and oil interests were more the explanation for our invasion than “a monster and a murderer had to go”.
    I think we should especially as Christians hold our leaders accountable for issues as serious as war.

    FYI I am pro-life, I attended a protest outside Victoria Parliament. I am also not yank bashing for the sake of it – a good friend sometimes should say what they shouldn’t do and take a stand if necessary.

    David Stanhope

  • David Stanhope claims:

    (I’ll restate that the official _false_ reason was WMD)

    No, read what Bush actually said. Here is something similar from John Howard:

    “We’re talking about a regime that will gouge out the eyes of a child to force a confession from the child’s parents. This is a regime that will burn a person’s limbs in order to force a confession or compliance. This is a regime that in 2000 decreed the crime of criticising it would be punished by the amputation of tongues. Since Saddam Hussein’s regime came to power in 1979 he has attacked his neighbours and he’s ruthlessly oppressed ethnic and religious groups in Iraq — more than one million people have died in internal conflicts and wars. Some four million Iraqis have chosen exile. Two hundred thousand have disappeared from his jails never to be seen again. He has cruelly and cynically manipulated the United Nations oil-for-food programme. He’s rorted it to buy weapons to support his designs at the expense of the well-being of his people. Since the Gulf War the people of Iraq have not only endured a cruel and despotic regime but they’ve had to suffer economic deprivation, hunger and sickness.

    And we should never forget that economic sanctions imposed have had a humanitarian cost. That cost has been made worse by Saddam Hussein’s rorting of the sanctions regime. Those sanctions could have been lifted years ago if Iraq had complied with the requirements of Security Council resolutions about disarmament.

    It is too easy to limit, it’s too easy for some people to limit the humanitarian considerations to the consequences of military conflict. In truth there’s nothing easy or reassuring or comfortable about the problem of Iraq. Surely it is undeniable that if all the humanitarian considerations are put into the balance there is a very powerful case to the effect that the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime would produce a better life and less suffering for the people of Iraq than its continuation.”

    — John Howard, National Press Club address, March 13, 2003—7 days before the Iraq invasion.

    WMD was one of the reasons—and accepted by the majority of Democrats at the time, based on the same information Bush had available—until it became politically unpopular. They rightly pointed out that Saddam had used them before. Likewise, Kevin Rudd He told parliament that Saddam

    “has invaded his neighbours, in complete violation of international law, and he is in possession of weapons of mass destruction, which in the past he has used against his own people as well as his neighbours. None of these matters are the subject of dispute.”

    – Kevin Rudd, Hansard, September 17, 2002.

    “There is no debate or dispute as to whether Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. He does.”

    – Kevin Rudd, Lateline, September 24, 2002.

    Regardless of your opinion of war, at least some can be justified by the prevention of even more killing, e.g. WW2, and arguably, getting rid of the Butcher of Baghdad. Conversely, the War Against the Unborn has no justification, yet this has many more casualties.

    Jonathan Sarfati, USA

  • Jonathan,

    You say “no”, then you later qualify it with “WMD was one of the reasons”, so I’ll assume your “no” meant WMD was only one reason out of the official ones, and removing the bad man was equally or more the reason.

    Yet I don’t think so. Reading Bush from the address to the nation, which surely must carry most weight (

    “yet, our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.”

    To be sure there are (less) references to freeing the people, but IMO clearly thats not the main issue and wasn’t until the WMD couldn’t be found.

    Howard also:
    “The Government has decided to commit Australian forces to action to disarm Iraq because we believe it is right, it is lawful and it’s in Australia’s national interest”

    Robert Hill: “So our primary objective was to rid the regime of weapons of mass destruction but we said that if we can get the incidental benefit of giving the Iraqis a better future then they are entitled to that benefit.”

    Also, you haven’t addressed the issue of credibility I raised before: neither in regards to the previous support for Saddam (chemical warfare anyone?) nor in the deafening silence in regards to other equally bad or worse, less powerful regimes.

    To me the Democrats public opinion is irrelevant, as are your quotes from Kevin Rudd. The inspectors on the ground were reporting they couldn’t find any and the situation seemed to be well in hand.

    You obviously didn’t read my opinion about just war above: IMO WW2 would be a candidate.
    Pro-life (which both of us support) doesn’t mean we should be silent about other sanctity of life issues.

    David Stanhope

  • David – and others

    Can I remind you that this post has nothing to do with the morality of the Iraqi liberation? You are getting quite far afield here. If anything, argue such issues under the relevant articles I have written on this subject. OK?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Mr Muhlenberg, I fully endorse your article and am very concerned at the effect the results of this election could have on our nation. The following URL is a video I came across while seeking ways to inform my friends of the perils that are ahead of us. You may like to forward it wherever possible. – vote for someone with Christian values. Be aware of the Greens anti-christian agenda.
    Janet Courtney

Leave a Reply