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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Conservative Christianity: Trumped by fear and greed

Right wing Christians use the bible to justify capitalism and its fruits of exclusion, greed and fear, however, the teachings of Christ are clearly socialist. The bible in general talks of sharing wealth with the poor, caring for the stranger in the land (such as the refugee), the widow, and forgiveness of debt (including the financial sort).

Capitalists will point to the fact that the bible does have rich people in it, including King Solomon (mind you, they don't seem to advocate Solomon's polygamy these days), and the parable of the talents (which is not promoting wealth accumulation but productivity - a necessity for socialism).

These examples are not provided by the bible to defend capitalism. They are there because these sort of people existed in those times. There were wealthy and selfish people. The bible addressed what was the contemporary society of the day. Yes, people accumulated wealth. However, other verses of the bible talk explicitly about sharing wealth (e.g. Acts 4:32-35, Exodus 16:18) and particularly, about rich people struggling to make it into the kingdom of God (per the description of the camel and the eye of the needle).

With the US presidential primaries in full swing and the leading Republican candidates being Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, it is disturbing that so many Christians defend the positions of these clearly non-Christian nominees who are more interested in accumulating wealth for individual greed rather than for society's need.

For instance, Trump wants to build a giant wall around the USA to keep migrants out, to ban Muslims from the USA and keep a register of Muslim refugees(1). Cruz wants to carpet-bomb ISIS, deport, deport 12 million people(2) and abolish the Internal Revenue Service (IRS being the tax collection agency) and the Department of Education(3). Rubio wants to round up and deport 12 million people(4) and to focus on border protection rather than tax collection(5). The policies of the three leading Republican candidates involve mass incarceration, labelling and segregation. All of them oppose raising the minimum wage, reducing welfare and privatising basic services such as health and education. Their policies are driven by greed and fear. The three of them want smaller government because such selfish and fear-driven policies clearly define the generosity of voters who will willingly take care of the poor and the most vulnerable out of their own pockets, rather than out of government coffers. Yeah ... let's see how that works out.

If this were a sitcom, it'd be a ratings winner and we'd all be laughing like hyenas discussing it at work over the water cooler. But it is real life. There is a very real possibility that Trump, Cruz or Rubio could become President. And it will be with the help of America's radical right-wing Christians.

The similarity to Nazi Germany is staggering. The only difference is that Hitler wasn't the buffoon that Trump, Cruz and Rubio are. The critical role that the church played in Hitler's rise to power is well documented. The critical role that Christians played in the imprisonment of those deemed a threat to Nazi Germany is well documented. Those threats were Communists, Unionists, Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the infirm and essentially anyone who they deemed undesirable. Hitler claimed to be a Christian to court the vote of the church. Hitler believed he was doing the work of the Lord and the church swallowed it up:

And so I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord.(6)

Substitute Jew for Muslim and we have any number of conservative politicians, pastors and pew-warmers. Hitler's seminal work, Mein Kampf, is riddled with references to the Lord and the Creator as he attacks Communists, Jews, Unions, welfare and those who are a burden on society, such as the poor and the sick.

What is the difference between the rhetoric of today's conservative candidates and Hitler's? There's still the extreme Nationalism, patriotism at all costs, while identifying common enemies on which to blame America's economic and social ills, particularly, Muslims, Migrants, Unionists, Socialists, the poor and the sick. Welfare and socialised health are particularly blamed. Ironic coming from Christians considering the bible bangs on so much about caring for the poor and the weak.

With the bible speaking so much about loving and caring for the poor, the refugee, the widow, the weak, it is quite clear that Christians who vote for conservative politicians have never understood their bibles.

Many are more comfortable attacking homosexuality and abortion, than in being upset about the torture and abuse of babies. For instance, in Australia the United Nation has stated that Australia's detention of asylum seekers, and in particular their children, violates the Convention Against Torture(7). Yet, a large number of conservative pastors fail to condemn their precious Liberal Party in its abuse of the world's most vulnerable, but get upset with an anti-bullying campaign to prevent the abuse of LGBTI people(8). Priorities? Skewed!

People end up being labelled: illegal or sinner. And then the mantra starts. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Which really is just a slogan to make Christians feel good about abusing people.

They're happy to enforce their twisted version of the bible through law and war. The United States has been the most aggressive nation of modern times with military involvement in dozens of countries in the name of democracy and capitalism.

Conservative politicians have built their empires of wealth and power on platforms of selfishness and fear in order to shore up votes from gullible Christians who believe that a Jesus bumper sticker represents signs and wonders following God's anointed.

Yet the bible is clear: You will know them by their fruit ... not their bumper stickers, not their catchy little slogans. Waging war and attacking the poor, attacking the most vulnerable, fostering hate against other religions and political ideologies is not the fruit of Christ. It is the fruit of the loins of misanthropists; haters of humanity.

Conservative Christians are easily manipulated by misanthropic politicians because they're more interested in dogma than doing, in creed than in caring, in rules than in rights. They're manipulated by fear of the 'other', they're focused on accumulating wealth rather than in sharing wealth.

Who are Christians to criticise radical Islam when they're so willing to vote for radical politicians who preach such greed, hate, fear and war-mongering?

In the well-known parable, the Religious Right are the goats!


1. On the Issues, 'Donald Trump', Accessed 27 February 2016.

2. Washington Times, Victor Morton, 'Ted Cruz toughens immigration stance, says he'd deport them all', 22 February 2016, Accessed 27 February 2016.

3. On the Issues, 'Ted Cruz', Accessed 27 February 2016.

4. The Daily Currant, 'Marco Rubio: "Deport them all" ', 2 April 2013, Accessed 27 February 2016.

5. On the Issue, 'Marco Rubio', Accessed 27 February 2016.

6. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume I: A RETROSPECT, Chapter 2 YEARS OF STUDY AND SUFFERING IN VIENNA, translated by James Murphy.

7. Human Rights Law Centre, 'UN finds Australia's treatment of asylum seekers violates the Convention Against Torture', 9 March 2015, Accessed 22 February 2016.

8. The Age, Jill Stark, 'Safe Schools program: why zealots are trying to drag us back to the dark ages', 24 February 2016, Accessed 28 February 2016.

Updated 29 February 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

2,500 year old laws are no way to run the 21st century ... or Australia

2,500 year old laws are no way to run the 21st century ... or Australia

Prior to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott being ousted in September 2015, he had to contend with a passionate debate about marriage equality. Abbott, supposedly a devout Christian (while torturing children and abusing vulnerable people, but that's another story), is adamantly opposed to marriage equality. Not so, other members of his party or other members of parliament. So to placate the 'yes' vote, Abbott stated that a plebiscite would be held straight after the next federal election. Given that most people want marriage equality, a plebiscite is clearly just a waste of money and time.

Sadly, Abbott's successor, Malcolm Turnbull has continued with the promise to hold the plebiscite rather than just putting a marriage equality bill to parliament.

In the meantime, right-wing extremists whip themselves into a frenzy at the thought of two loving adults marrying each other. Anyone would think that homosexuality was the worst crime in the world. Funny how these people are so silent on the abuse of the world's most vulnerable people at the hands of politicians such as Abbott, Turnbull et al. State-sanctioned child abuse? Meh. Marriage equality? Bust out the pitch-forks and stakes.

The right-wing have claimed that their rights are being violated if same sex marriage is legalised. I'm not quite getting this. It's the right-wing that is preventing gay people from marrying. The gay community isn't stopping heterosexuals from marrying. If there is an attack on the family or a violation of anyone's rights, it is the right-wing's attacks on preventing gay people from marrying and being able to establish loving families.

The right-wing raised the ante by demanding that existing anti-discrimination legislation be suspended during debate on marriage equality. Why would they want that? The law doesn't prevent people voicing their opinion against marriage equality. It does however, ensure people don't persecute others based on sexual orientation. So why does the right-wing want this law suspended? Clearly they don't understand the difference between debate and abuse, between discussion and bullying. Clearly they don't understand the effect their words and deeds have on others.

Not surprising then, that so many LGBTI people suffer bullying. A recent study found that 85% of  LGBTI people suffered abuse, harassment and violence(1). There are much higher incidences of self-harm and mental health issues with LGBTI people than the general community. Much of this stems from the abuse and rejection that they suffer at the hands of bigots, the intolerant and the ignorant.

And so it was that the government implemented the Safer Schools program to promote understanding and acceptance of LGBTI people in order to reduce the incidence of abuse and bullying that they suffer. If a school has protective policies in place, 75% of LGBTI students report feeling safe, compared to 45% in schools where there are no policies in place(2).

Instead of promoting this as a good thing, the rabid right have shown why the Safe Schools program is necessary. They claim it is a conspiracy to further the gay agenda and that children shouldn't be taught that there is such a thing as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex. Senator Cory Bernardi went further with the haughty statement that the Safer Schools program 'indoctrinates kids with Marxist cultural relativism'(3).

If Bernardi's bigotry is the benchmark, then bring on the Marxist cultural relativism as it obviously protects and respects people from the abuse of bigots.

By the by, cultural relativism essentially holds that all cultures are equal. Marxism also essentially holds that we are all equal. Now that we've got that out the way ...

Many of those opposed to marriage equality are right-wing Christians who seem more hung up on the Ten Commandments than the Two Commandments that Jesus espoused (Love the Lord your God ... Love your neighbour). They seem more hung up with laws of Leviticus than they do with the blessings of the Beatitudes.

When it comes to homosexuality, the religious right is adamant that the 2,500 year old Levitical law of the bible applies. Leviticus 20:13 - 'If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them'.

There's a few issues with this scripture. If we're going apply one part of it, then why not the other part. If homosexuality is an abomination, then why aren't the religious right campaigning for the death penalty for the LGBTI community? They're not taking this scripture seriously, so why even bother with it at all? One more thing, 'If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman ...', what happens if he has never laid with a woman and has no intention to because he finds women to be sexually repulsive. Perhaps the scripture only applies to heterosexuals who abandon their natural heterosexual orientation to get it on with a man. Something like what's mentioned in Romans 1:27, 'Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another ...'. This kind of implies that the men were heterosexual to start with and gave up the women for each other. Heterosexual experimentation could be screwed here, but homosexuals and bisexuals who are born that way are not really the target of this scripture.

The upshot is that the world has moved on from the cultural times of the ancient Middle East. We don't stone people. We don't marry hundreds of wives while also collecting concubines. King Solomon, I'm looking at you. According to 1 Kings 11:3, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Oh and he was also the wisest man in the world.

So it's kind of funny in a bizarre, hypocritical, moving-goal-posts kind of way for anti-LGBTI Christians to declare Solomon's polygamy and infidelities to be redundant while stating that questionable anti-gay scripture is the ducks nuts. Or is this their own version of cultural relativism; that biblical culture is so equal to 21st century culture that we can apply 2,500 year old laws. But then there's the cultural issue with polygamy per King Solomon. I don't know. A difficult position to reconcile for the religious right.

Ancient laws are no way to run a modern society and no excuse for bullying, bigotry, hate-speech, persecution, violence.

Turnbull has acquiesced to the crazed Reds-under-the-bed, homophobic demands of the hysterical Cory Bernardi regarding the Safer Schools program, by granting a review into it. Bernardi's plan is that we shouldn't have Safer Schools. Gays be damned ... and bullied ... and bashed, all because children are being brought up in ultra-conservative homes where they learn that LGBTI people are an abomination and will suffer damnation at the hands of a loving God.

The Liberal Party has been pushing the fear-mongering mantra that a vote for Labor is a vote for a Union-led government. It is painfully clear, that a vote for the Liberal Party is a vote for a government controlled by religious extremists and rabid right-wing bigots.

Now, where can I buy some cultural relativism? Perhaps Acts 10:34 - God shows no partiality. That sounds relatively like cultural relativism. I think I'm going to need more of it in the lead up to the plebiscite.

Thank God for the Marxists.


1. Australian Human Rights Commission, 'Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersexual Equality', Accessed 23 February 2016.

2. Australian Human Rights Commission, 'Face the facts: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People', Accessed 23 February 2016.

3. The Guardian, Shalailah Medhora, 'Turnbull orders review of Safe Schools LGBTI program after pressure from Cory Bernardi', 23 February 2016, Accessed 23 February 2016.

Peter Dutton versus Baby Asha, AMA & the UN

The Australian government: walking the Goering Line.

You know you should review your position on asylum seekers when the conservative Australian Medical Association accuses you of 'state-sanctioned' child abuse (1).

Australia's Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton appeared on Radio National's Breakfast show on 22 February 2016(2), following the release of Baby Asha from Lady Cilento Children's Hospital into community detention. Medical staff at the hospital refused to release the baby if she was to be sent to Nauru because it wasn't a suitable environment. This sparked 10 days of protests, a 24/7 vigil at the hospital and hashtags that trended globally: #BabyAsha #LadyCilento. The AMA supported the doctors' stance, as did a number of state Premiers.


Moments into the interview, Dutton reiterated the Abbott mantra of 'Stop the Boats' and stated that he wanted to be the Minister to Get Children Out of Detention. Then get them out. It's not hard.

Dutton managed to justify his cruelty, at least in his own mind. And cruelty it is. The UN has stated that Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, and in particular the detention of children, violates the Convention Against Torture(4).

Imagine that. Australia torturing children. Australians all let us rejoice ... 

The national anthem goes on:

For those who've come across the seas, we've boundless plains to share ... now that's a bit awkward.

Even more awkward is that Amnesty International has state that Australia is acting illegally by forcing refugees to return to countries where they are in danger(5). Kind of ironic then, that Australia is so hung up on branding asylum seekers who arrive by boat as illegals. Amnesty has also found that Australia is a leading example of what not to do. Australia's boat turn-back policy has encouraged other nations to do the same, endangering the lives of asylum seekers around the world. It makes a mockery of the hand-wringing claims by the LNP that they are saving lives.

But I digress. Back to the RN Breakfast interview.

Dutton justified the government's cruelty by claiming that people smugglers could use Australian hospitals as a formula for asylum seekers to be released into the community. 'These are ruthless, organised criminals we're dealing with', said the Minister for Getting Children Out of Detention. Clearly treating the electorate like fools by conflating asylum seekers with people smugglers and then exaggerating the threat posed to Australia by said smugglers.

Dutton appealed to emotion by stating that there were 1,200 people who 'went to the bottom of the ocean when Labor lost control of the borders'.  Dutton went on to state that there were 'many children within the 1,200' and he wasn't 'going to allow 'new families to be put in that perilous position'.

Again conflation of two issues: deaths and Labor.  While trying to sound like he has compassion for the lives of asylum seekers, he is happy to bribe asylum seekers to return to their country of origin, to return to the threats faced there as long as they aren't here. As long as Australia doesn't have to share its wealth and good fortune with the less fortunate. Failing that, he will send them to Nauru. Dutton then made statements regarding what might happen if there are 'security issues, domestic violence issues, criminal activity issues' against the father. Wait! What? If there already were these issues, the father wouldn't be here, so why in the world would he mention these things if he isn't trying to demonise the father and whip up fear and anger against the family. Can he sink any lower? Well, yes, challenge accepted!

Dutton alleged that Asha's mother deliberately poured boiling water on her while in Nauru, in order to be repatriated to Australia for treatment. Medical documents from Lady Cilento hospital showed that the injuries were accidental(6), proving that Dutton lied for his own perverse benefit. Dutton is devoid of moral values and compassion; lying in order to slander a family who sought protection in Australia. The strong persecuting the weak. The insolent oppressor abusing the vulnerable.

Dutton wants to make things so bad for refugees that they'd rather go home than remain in Australia. Instead of refugees being literally caught between the devil and deep blue sea, Dutton would rather they stay with the devil; amid war, persecution, rape, hopelessness, disappearances.

A despicable position for any politician to take.

Even more despicable Dutton then accused some of those who oppose him of using this opportunity to 'lift their own media profiles'. According to Dutton, this is 'shameful'. Yes, indeed. Using abused children and vulnerable adults to further ones career is extremely shameful. And the Liberal Party has been doing this for years. Demonising asylum seekers, linking them to terrorists. Instilling fear and racism and Islamophobia into the population, to then milk the fruits of that for political gain.

In the Radio National interview with Fran Kelly, Dutton was asked to respond to the statement by Professor Bryan Owler, National President of the AMA, that indefinite detention was akin to child abuse. Dutton deflected this by pointing to 14,000 refugees languishing in Indonesia and 1,200 who drowned at sea 'under Labor'. Both serious issues, but complete distractions from the question. Children being abused by government policy? Ooh, look - something is happening over there ... ooh, look - something else is happening somewhere else. Distraction. Dutton didn't answer the question other than distorting the issue and again conflation other issues with the subject at hand. Child abuse is child abuse, whether there are 14,000 refugees in Indonesia or 1,200 who've tragically drowned.

To use those lives and deaths to justify child abuse sets a new standard in opprobrium.

Dutton boasted that he has reduced the number of children in detention to less than 75. This could be admirable if they were going to be granted permanent resettlement, but since the Labor-led government of Kevin Rudd in 2013, it has been government policy to not offer permanent settlement to any refugee arriving by boat(7).

Dutton, Turnbull, the LNP government are using asylum seekers as human scarecrows to ward off any other would be boat arrival.

Disappointingly, the feckless leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten was silent for much of the 10 day vigil for Baby Asha. Eventually he simply requested Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure that the government is 'following correct procedures'(8). Gutless.

At least the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, also from the Labor Party showed true leadership and guts by demanding the government release baby Asha and stop playing politics with people's lives(9). Conversely, and tellingly, the leader of the Queensland LNP, Lawrence Springborg demanded that if Baby Asha is healthy enough she should be discharged and 'cared for in accordance with the laws of the land'(10) - which could mean sending her back to Nauru. Springborg showed himself to be all legality and no morality.

After the 10 day protest, Dutton relented and released Baby Asha and her family into community detention. While this appears a small victory for the Lady Cilento staff and the protestors, it is hardly reassuring because Dutton emphasised that the family will eventually be returned to Nauru.

New Zealand offered to take 267 asylum seekers in Australia who were part of a High Court case(11), yet the government has refused. Dutton, in true Liberal Party form, blames Julia Gillard for this. Apparently it was her deal with New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, that provided a back-door way of gaining access to Australia. If this is the case and the government is genuinely concerned about the fate of the asylum seekers as well as concerned about keeping them out of Australia then surely it wouldn't take much to write a clause in the agreement to ensure they don't come to Australia once resettled in New Zealand. Instead, the government would rather the asylum seekers are punished, either returning them to the harsh realities of their country of origin or resettling them in a developing country or in countries committing human rights abuses, such as Cambodia, Philippines and Malaysia.

This was made clear by Dutton when he went on to state that it (resettlement in New Zealand) would encourage people smuggling by providing asylum seekers with a 'legitimate outcome'. Apparently, the Immigration Minister can't possibly allow a 'legitimate outcome' - implying that his solution is an 'illegitimate outcome'. So the people suffer while the Australian government uses people smuggling as a distraction and excuse for the abuse of innocent and vulnerable people in the name of politics.

Dutton's modus operandi was painfully transparent: raise the threat level, denounce the detractors and state that it is only the Liberal Party who can keep the country safe.

Herman Goering would have been proud:

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Recently, a psychiatrist likened the electorate's view on Australia's detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island to Nazi Germany(12). The message that the Liberal Party conveys to the electorate is not just following the Nazi recipe espoused by Goering, but is having the same outcome: 'public numbing and indifference towards state abuses'. Even more telling of the Liberal Party's fascist approach to refugees is the threat to jail whistle-blowers who report on conditions in the detention centres(13). This includes doctors, teachers and aid workers. How does that national anthem go again?

Australians all let us rejoice 
For we are young and free

How about:

For we are young and gagged?

Patriotism. The conservative parties seem to be trying to out do each other with how patriotic they are. Former Prime Minister Abbott couldn't seem to surround himself with enough flags when delivering or defending soul-destroying policies. Australia Day and Anzac Day have both been hijacked by radical right-wing into being a celebration of White Australia, where racism and vilification are the ordre du jour.

Malcolm X's words come to mind: 'You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it'.

Dutton couldn't help but go into election-mode fear-mongering by trying to scare us with the prospect of a 'Union dominated government'. This apparently requires the current coalition government to 'work harder to keep our country safe and out of the hands of these Union bosses'. Oooohh ... scary. The only scary thing is a country devoid of Unions and controlled by business interests whose only priority is the bottom line. Workers be damned. Any worker who votes for a party that is so proudly and vocally anti-Union is committing industrial relations suicide. Business bosses aren't interested in the rights of workers, only the Unions are.

Back to the issue at hand. According to Dutton, the government is dealing with the refugee issue in a 'firm and compassionate way'. Maybe spend some time in a detention centre on Manus Island, Christmas Island or Nauru and then explain how compassionate it is.

Failing that, have a listen to the AMA. At least they're not the biased, bleeding-heart refugee advocates. If the AMA is calling it child abuse, if the UN is calling it torture, then stop the distractions, stop the diversions, stop the lies and stop the demonisation!





1. The Guardian, Helen Davidson, 'Prolonged detention is 'state-sanctioned child abuse', says head of doctors' group', 21 February 2016, Accessed 22 February 2016.

2. ABC Radio National, RN Breakfast, Fran Kelly, 'Interview - Peter Dutton on the release of Baby Asha', 22 February 2016, Accessed 22 February 2016.

3. Newsweek, Mirren Gidda, 'Baby Asha will be sent back to Nauru detention camp, says Australian Immigration Minister', 22 February 2016, Accessed 22 February 2016.

4. Human Rights Law Centre, 'UN finds Australia's treatment of asylum seekers violates the Convention Against Torture', 9 March 2015, Accessed 22 February 2016.

5. The Guardian, Ben Doherty and Calla Wahlquist, 'Australia among 30 countries illegally forcing return of refugees, Amnesty says', 24 February 2016, Accessed 24 February 2016.

6. Brisbane Times, Nicole Hasham, 'Peter Dutton accused of 'dirty politics' after report suggested mother deliberately burnt baby Asha', 23 February 2016, Accessed 23 February 2016.

7. ABC, 'Asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat to be resettled in Papua New Guinea', 20 July 2013, Accessed 22 February 2016.

8. ABC, 'Baby Asha: Protesters vow to put bodies on the line to prevent baby's offshore removal', 21 February 2016, Accessed 22 February 2016.

9. Brisbane Times, Amy Remeikis, 'Peter Dutton 'playing politics' on Asha: Annastacia Palaszczuk', 22 February 2016, Accessed 22 February 2016.

10. Queensland Times, Kim Stephens, 'Springborg: Hospital should release refugee baby Asha', 15 February 2016, Accessed 22 February 2016.

11. The Guardian, Daniel Hurst and Ben Doherty, 'High court upholds Australia's right to detain asylum seekers offshore', 3 February 2016, Accessed 22 February 2016.

12. Brisbane Times, Nicole Hasham, 'Psychiatrist likens immigration detention views to Nazis and gulags', 18 February 2016, Accessed 22 February 2016.

13. Australian Medical Association, 'Whistleblower doctors face jail threat from today', 1 July 2015, Accessed 22 February 2016.

Updated 24 February 2016.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Church of the Poisoned Mind

Church of the Poisoned Mind

In the 1980s, British pop group, Culture Club led by the inimitable Boy George, had a hit song called 'Church of the Poisoned Mind'. It included the lyric:

Love is hard to find
In the Church of the Poisoned Mind

While the song was more of a love song than a critique of modern religion, the lyrics can certainly be applied to modern Christianity. The religious right has hijacked Christianity from being an inclusive, loving religion to one that is exclusive, hateful, spiteful and driven by greed.

Much of the modern church is a church with a poisoned mind.

The religious right treat abortion and homosexuality as the worst things in the world, they regularly vote for politicians who's primary focus is on the support of big business at the cost of the poor. They vote for politicians who wage illegal wars based on false claims. They vote and campaign for politicians who wilfully imprison and demonise asylum seekers.

It is these policies that are the biggest threat to family values, to the poor, to the downtrodden, to the vulnerable, to the persecuted.

Considering that many conservative politicians claim to be Christian, their treatment of refugees, the poor, the needy, is anything but Christian. Take Australia's abuse and torture of children for example. The United Nations has found that Australia's treatment of asylum seekers breaches the international convention on torture(1). Yet, both the Liberal and Labor parties continue to support the brutal and inhumane treatment of asylum seekers.

Christ said, "suffer the little children". This doesn't mean to make the little children suffer.

While the religious right is distracted with abortion and same sex marriage, children are being tortured and murdered by the very political policies they support. Conversely, less conservative churches, such as the Uniting Church, are protesting against the government's inhumane treatment of asylum seekers.

Abortion is a biblical issue that is younger than the McDonald's Happy Meal (2). As has been pointed out by The Christian Left, abortion was designed by the founders of the religious right in the 1970s to 'coalesce a right wing political movement' (3). It was instilled purely for political manipulation and not from faith.

While abortion maybe unsavoury for many, the religious right's concern for the child ends at child-birth. They oppose welfare, they oppose rises to the minimum wage, they oppose refugee resettlement, they oppose foreign aid but they often support war in third world nations. Each of these factors contributes to the reasons women choose abortion, each of these factors contributes to child mortality and each of these reasons are not consistent with the teachings of the bible that the religious right so voraciously claims to support. The bible teaches sharing, caring, peace and love. These are the things that the religious right either actively campaigns against or at best, pays lip service to.

Opposition to homosexuality is the other key issue that underpins the religious right's narrative and drives their political choices. Given that the bible is not the best role model for marriage, it is strange that the religious right declares that they support the biblical view of marriage.

Let's unpack marriage according to the bible:

Take your pick: rape, incest, polygamy, infidelity, sexual slavery, arranged marriages.

Yeah ... let's go with marriage according to the bible.

Same sex marriage is not going to ruin society. It is no threat to anyone else's marriage. Critics will often argue that it will destroy family values.

What does destroy families is the wilful imprisonment of children. The wilful imprisonment of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters without charge. The wilful demonisation of innocent people based on lies often perpetrated and perpetuated by the religious right in their blind support of politicians who pander to racism, xenophobia, fear.

What destroys family values is hate-driven ideology and slander. Something that a number of Christians are doing without thought of scripture commanding them to love their neighbour. instead, they're happy to spread lies about Islam or twist the words of the Quran in order to justify their own hate and fear. We're seeing an increase in attacks on Muslims and mosques reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Martin Niemöller, a German Baptist minister at the time, firmly blamed the church for the rise of the Nazis, because it tolerated the persecution of communists, the sick, the Jews(4).

The religious right defends to the death the selfish and unbiblical ideology of capitalism. They believe the bible teaches them they can accumulate wealth without limit and that redistribution of wealth is theft.

Capitalism succeeds through exploitation. It is a fallacy that the rich earned their wealth from their own hard work. Most of the rich got rich through the efforts of people who slaved their guts out for little return: some not even being paid minimum wage. Workers contribute to the wealth of the company. It isn't theft to expect that wealth to be shared at least with those who contributed to it, whether they're the cleaner, checkout operator or the CEO. It is obscene that the executives are paid thousands times more than what their employees are paid. Some CEOs earn thousands of dollars an hour, while their staff barely make minimum wage.

For Christians to support this is anathema to the precepts of the bible. James 5:1-5 condemns the hoarding of wealth and the robbing of the workers through withholding of wages. Interesting then, that the USA's right wing so voraciously opposes lifting the minimum wage to a standard that it can be lived upon:

1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.

Much of the Western world is built on the rape of the third world. Corporations are continuing to source their labour from low-income nations to avoid paying higher wages. This doesn't benefit the third world. It only serves to drive a wedge between the rich and poor, it increases poverty and child mortality.

The religious right campaigns for smaller government. It sees taxation as theft. Yet who is going to build the roads and bridges, the schools, hospitals, electricity generators? The west has seen a major drive towards privatisation. This may reduce the tax burden, but privatisation comes at a cost. It is a fallacy to expect competition to drive down prices when consumers are prisoners to the greed of the capitalists who control that competition. Corporations introduce user-pays systems to cover their costs.

Of course, the reality is that even with privatisation, the government doesn't reduce the tax it takes, so consumers are hit double:

Taxation by government and taxation by corporation.

One of the religious right's recent mantras is that government is evil. Yet again, the bible clearly states that the government is the minister of God to do good. Romans 13:1-7 states: ' ... the authorities that exist are appointed by God ... For he is God's minister ... For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers ... '

Dare to state that the Bible promotes Socialism and one will be lynched in some Christian circles. Yet the bible consistently tells us to share wealth.

The basic premise of Marxism is biblical. 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need' is a summary of the bible which states, 'He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack' (Exodus 16:18).

Acts 4:32-35 which speaks of the basic elements of communism - communal ownership and redistribution of wealth:

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. .... 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

The bible is opposed to capitalism, to the accumulation of wealth while others suffer. Luke 12:33 - 'Sell your possessions, and give to the needy'.

The racism, bigotry and intolerance that permeates the ideology of the religious right is borne of fear. If the religious right read their bibles they'd realise there is an antidote to the fear that consumes them, as stated succinctly in 1 John 4:18:

Perfect love casts out all fear 

Sadly, many in the religious right would rather reference the teachings of arch-capitalist and atheist, Ayn Rand, then reference the teachings of the Christ they claim to follow.

If the religious right is genuine in the love of Christ, they would do well to free and care for refugees, to share wealth and care for the poor, to share love and stop attacking Islam, to promote peace and stop voting for politicians in the mould of George W. Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard, who waged war based on lies and fear.

The religious right are happy to twist scripture to support their warped view of Christ, however it is all legalism. All they try to defend is anti-abortion (or pro-life as they misname it, as their concern ends at birth), anti-homosexuality, anti-Islam, anti-immigration. Their view of scripture is 'thou shalt not' rather than 'thou shalt'.

Right wing Christianity is all legality and no morality.

They care more for capitalism and greed than they do for people. They fail to care for the poor, for the refugee, for the least of these as the bible calls it in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-45): inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, you did it to Me.

The religious right should ditch its poisonous teachings and embrace the socialist teachings of the bible, the teachings of love, peace, caring and sharing.


1. Human Rights Law Centre, 'UN finds Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers violates the Convention Against Torture', 9 March 2015, Accessed 14 February 2016.

2. Patheos, Fred Clark, 'The "biblical view" that's younger than the Happy Meal', 18 February 2012, Accessed 14 February 2016.

3. The Christian Left, 'Abortion', 2 February 2015, Accessed 14 February 2016.

4. 'Of Guilt and Hope, by Martin Niemöller', document and analysis by Harold Marcuse, Accessed 14 February 2016. This page provides the following quotation from Martin Niemöller:

'When Pastor Niemöller was put in a concentration camp we wrote the year 1937; when the concentration camp was opened we wrote the year 1933, and the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers. Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians - "should I be my brother's keeper?" Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables. - I remember a conversation I had with a person who claimed to be a Christian. He said: Perhaps it's right, these incurably sick people just cost the state money, they are just a burden to themselves and to others. Isn't it best for all concerned if they are taken out of the middle [of society]? -- Only then did the church as such take note. Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren't guilty/responsible? The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers. … I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out. … We preferred to keep silent. We are certainly not without guilt/fault, and I ask myself again and again, what would have happened, if in the year 1933 or 1934 - there must have been a possibility - 14,000 Protestant pastors and all Protestant communities in Germany had defended the truth until their deaths? If we had said back then, it is not right when Hermann Göring simply puts 100,000 Communists in the concentration camps, in order to let them die. I can imagine that perhaps 30,000 to 40,000 Protestant Christians would have had their heads cut off, but I can also imagine that we would have rescued 30-40,000 million [sic] people, because that is what it is costing us now'.