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Politics and religion


Marty_d
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The Liberal party in South Australia was recently flooded with hundreds of membership applications.

 

This followed the sermon from a pastor - Rob Norman - from a pentecostal church in Adelaide - in which he basically told followers to apply to join the Liberal Party, in a blatantly political attempt to force their conservative views onto the party.  (As if the Libs needed to be any more conservative!)

 

Luckily Simon Birmingham has stood up against this and initiated a review of the new applications to ensure that the applicants support the party's existing policies, including I assume on things such as the freedom of women to have an abortion, and assisted dying laws.


For this, he's copped stick from other members of his own party, who are crying "undemocratic" and "religious vilification".

 

What the?  If a church is going to explicitly try to take over a political party instead of remaining apolitical, shouldn't they lose their tax-exempt status and be counted as a political party, which is taxable?

 

We all know there's a pretty big correlation between religiosity and political conservatism, that is, the more religious you are, in general you'll vote for the conservative side of politics.  That's fine, people should be able to make up their own minds about the policies of parties and vote according to their conscience.

However when the leadership of churches advise their congregations to not only vote for a particular party, but become members in order to change the direction of that party, there becomes no separation between church and state.  They've crossed that line.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-15/liberal-member-audit-defended-amid-religious-vilification-claims/100215792

https://indaily.com.au/news/2021/06/11/libs-divine-right-recruits-given-marching-orders/

https://indaily.com.au/news/2021/06/09/the-conservative-correction-egregious-social-policy-blamed-for-libs-pentecostal-insurgence/

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I wonder if the number of Pentecostals is enough to swing any election? I would have thought their numbers were pretty low, when it came to wielding any influence.

 

I reckon Clive Palmer and his almost unlimited amount of money he pours into influencing elections, in his and the Liberals favour, is more of a worry than a few Pentecostals.

 

We should be calling more loudly for all political donations and expenditure to be made publically available at all times.

 

Edited by onetrack
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I believe they have a bit more influence at the moment given the PM is a Pentecostal. But, I don't think that is the point about whether one or another branch of a particular religion will by themselves exert influence. The question is whether or not a church (any church) is attempting to exert its influence by having its flock systemically enter political parties  on the direction of a leader - and then presumably drive the business of the day in the direction its leader wants to go. If this happens, regardless of the fact they are an animated version of Christianity, chances are any political activities they engage in/policies they attempt to get the party to pursue would appeal to most of the more devout Christians of any branch (well, to a point). And, depending on what they are advocating (e.g. subsidisation of religious institutions), then they will obtain the approval and backing of non-Christian religions, etc.  So a small minority faction of a religion infiltrating a political party can end up having a lot of influence.. especially if the party think there are votes in it (and they won't lose too many of the existing voter base).

 

For me, religious institutions are nothing more than political organisations. This is not to be confused with people who are of are spiritual and subscribe to a particular religion to channel their spirituality, but I have yet to see a religious institution that is not about controlling and having power over its subjects, often for the benefit of the people administering and part of the machinery of the institution. Some do some good community work - I don't disagree. But by and large, my view from what I have seen is they are an alternate polity.

 

And no, as they are not charities in their own right, they shouldn't be exempt of taxation and other laws, such as that of obligations, industrial relations, etc.

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9 hours ago, onetrack said:

I wonder if the number of Pentecostals is enough to swing any election? I would have thought their numbers were pretty low, when it came to wielding any influence.

 

I reckon Clive Palmer and his almost unlimited amount of money he pours into influencing elections, in his and the Liberals favour, is more of a worry than a few Pentecostals.

 

We should be calling more loudly for all political donations and expenditure to be made publically available at all times.

 

I agree with absolute transparency of political donations, in fact I'd go one step further and ban all political donations.  

 

However I don't think it's the low number of pentecostals overall, it's the fact that 500 of them were joining a state branch at one time with the aim of making that arm of the government more socially conservative.  Because organised religion is a hierarchical structure, if the bloke (and it's almost always a bloke) at the top tells his followers to do something then there's a pretty good chance that many of them will.

 

On the other hand you don't suddenly get 500 normal secular people joining a conservative state party with the aim of making it more progressive.

 

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I cannot see what the problem is, if religious groups try to stack a political party. I have no time for religion and wouldn't trust a highly religious person as fat as I could throw him, but why shouldn't they try to influence politics. The real pity is that the average person will not get engaged with politics and just about believes anything they are told. Politics, religion and sport are all seemingly above the law and it needs people to question what is done in their name.

Above it was said that Scomo was a Pentecostal and as far as I can see he is a true believer. I consider that to be a good case for endorsing my mistrust of religious people. I certainly do not trust him.

What he comes up with in his free trade deal with the UK will also demonstrate why I mistrust him.

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Of Course it's Branch stacking and it's happening in other "Liberal" branches also. Religion and the state should be kept separate . Do you want to be like Iran or POLAND or Turkey? Good on Birmingham but they will GET him like they bully anyone who opposes their aims. Archbishop Mannix used to tell the faithful how to vote. If its OK for the Hillsong lot is it OK for Moslem or Hindi people to do the same thing? Only charitable work should be untaxed. A church should not get tax exemption just because some one calls their cult /sect a church.. Nev

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Well, my hopes of becoming a Pastafarian and enjoying tax-free status, have now been severely dashed by SACAT and the Corporate Affairs Commission.

 

These bodies have declared the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to be a "hoax religion"! Who'd have guessed that?

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-19/sa-church-of-the-flying-spaghetti-monster-proposal-rejected/100228038

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Well, you have to wait a while, yet, I guess.. But to me, this means it is akin to a church:

 

"Ms McEvoy upheld the Corporate Affairs Commission's decision that there was no evidence the church engaged in "systematic teaching and learning processes, ...." Word spreading and story telling - yes..  teaching and learning???

 

(Actually, that is a little unfair.. last timeI was in a church, the sermon was about some of the issues faced by the poor in Africa, but in its historical sense?)

 

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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I guess the Pastafarians weren't Authoritarian enough, to classify as a proper Religion. They forgot all about the extreme punishment bit, for basic disobeyance of their Commandments. Or maybe they forgot to construct some Commandments?

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I wouldn't say it's the "worst". Excommunication and social ostracization is much worse. Or cutting your head off for saying I don't believe all  this stuff.. IF someone is already going to HELL, why be nasty to them on top of it? Isn't HELL enough punishment?. God designed it  so  it must be perfect..Nev

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Yes Nev, absolutely no sense in lots or religious twaddle. When such is pointed out, the pious like to say that god moves in mysterious ways.

 

The article I posted above reminded me of a family member who trained as a preacher and became enthusiastic about tithing- that is, each family in the congregation should give 10 percent of their income to the priesthood. 

All over the world the faithful have paid for massive, expensive churches and cathedrals while they live in hovels.

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"religious groups are just another not-for-profit body needing to finance their activities"... Yeah right... Obviously the prof who said that hasn't been to the Vatican City or Westminster Abbey.

 

Although I don't subscribe to religion, I don't begrudge people who do. Entirely their choice as long as they are not being brainwashed to do it (e.g. the single mum being fed only the good bits of the bible, and then being coerced through guilt or shame if they don't financially contribute... ).

 

Said what I had to say re taxable status and non profit BS... I guess, when I worked for Coles Myer at the Tooronga Zoo (nickname given to their head office in Tooronga, Melbourne), the could have avoided payg taxes as they definitely gave back to communities all over Australia.

 

9 minutes ago, facthunter said:

The church near  where I was in Barcelona had a sign near the entrance door "This Church is the House of God. IF you are not properly dressed do not come in.".Nev

Hmm, since god makes us without clothes, was this a nudist church? (Church of Naked Day Adventurist?)

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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When I was a child, poor & starving ( in England  ), ! The church gave us Nothing whatsoever.

They would only have had to provide a paupers grave should l have died !.

Then when at a working age they want Me, to support the church, 

Guess my responce to Their begging.

spacesailor

PS , why are is only the church, allowed to have graves ( for the dead of course ). Even the parks don,t allow 'scattering of ashes' on Their land.

PPS, yes l am baptised . Twice.

Edited by spacesailor
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Quote

There was a lot of guilt around it, if you can't do it …

This is exactly where the problem lies. The Guilt factor is a huge thing in organised religion - and it doesn't really matter what religion you are, they all practice it.

 

As a general rule, the longer the Church has been established, the better they are at hammering the Guilt factor. 

 

I once saw Ian Paisleys daughter describes the Roman Catholic Church as "an Authoritarian Regime".

 

But her old mans Church was little better, Paisley was big on fire and brimstone and guilt, and draconian heavenly punishment. All this from a "God of Love"? 

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