No cross on the ballot box

By | 2012/03/23

Apparently, there’s a new christian political party in town, the “Australian Christian Party”, and they mean to become the new third force in Australian politics.

Vote Never

The Australian political system is historically comprised of two behemoths, the supposedly left-leaning Labor Party and the conservative Liberal/National coalition. Together at any given point these represent the vast majority of where voters will place a tick on a form. In the past, the Australian Democrats were the third political force, with the semi-official motto of “keeping the bastards honest”. That lasted until the Democrats sided with the LNP in the senate to allow passage of the GST, which saw them spectacularly implode, both in terms of leadership and in the eyes of the average Australian voter.

Since then the Greens have been growing considerably to fill that vacuum, and as issues caused by climate change, unsustainable population growth and corporate greed continue to plague the country I suspect their influence will continue to grow.

Then you’ve got the fringe parties. Some of these are socially left leaning, such as the Australian Sex Party, who defend the rights of everyday Australians to have sex. And the right leaning, such as One Nation, who practically exist to promote a return to the White Australia Policy.

Past that, things get very murky. Because then, you have  the whackjob parties. The Australian Shooters Party for instance – bravely defending the rights of everyday Australians to own guns and shoot animals with them for ‘sport’. You’ve got Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party – bravely defending the rights of angry conservative white men born before World War II who want to Go Back To The Fifties. (Clearly they’ve never added a flux capacity to a Delorian.) More recently you’ve got Bob Katter’s Australia party, which despite the name seems curiously concerned with state issues, but unsurprisingly given the name, it’s mostly concerned with Bob Katter.

And now there’s a new whackjob party in the mix: the Australian Christian party, who, according to their website, have the following values:

  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Hope
  • Justice
  • Freedom
  • Moral Law
  • Respect
  • Sacrifice

Amongst other things, the purpose of this party is to ensure that marriage stays between one man and one woman, and to promote the traditional family.

When questioned by the Sydney Star Observer, a public candidate for this new political party, Frank Papfotiou, said he was still coming up with a position on same sex marriage and likened it to a discussion about football – is it soccer, AFL, etc.? And would cricket be called football?

Now, I’m no sporting person – in fact, I generally loathe the highly unhealthy attitude towards sport this nation has, but even I know that cricket can’t be called football due to the rather basic premise that you’re not allowed to kick the ball in cricket. So I’m a little unsure where Frank was going with that analogy. However, he did tell the Observer:

“What I support in theory is that the government doesn’t restrict the freedom of choice people have, so long as those freedoms don’t impact negatively or harm other people.”

(Sydney Star Observer, 22 March 2012, “New christian party launched“)

If that’s truly the case, then Frank has only option available on the front of same sex marriage based on the principles of the party – to fully support it. Otherwise, it would be a case of allowing a group to negatively restrict the public freedoms of another group based on their private belief systems.

Yet, given the proposed defence of marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman, it would seem that a more correct interpretation of the purported values of the party would be:

  • Honesty and Integrity – Don’t look behind the curtain!
  • Hope – That we don’t get in!
  • Justice – For people who believe exactly what we believe in with no variation!
  • Freedom – To oppress people we don’t like!
  • Moral Law – Because nothing’s more moral then executing people for eating shellfish!
  • Respect – Us! Respect Us!
  • Sacrifice – The Gays!

Any fringe or whackjob group is entitled to assemble its own political party, and given the trends towards growing levels of atheism and a rejection (particularly by younger generations) of attitudes that impact the freedoms of others, I fully expect the amount of votes this new party will get will be a very small percentage, and likely over the course of time a dwindling percentage.

The really sad thing about religion is that many of us grew up being taught a core premise of religion was social justice. The reality is like when we discover the truth about Santa.

Yet demonstrably that is often anything but the case. Based on their founding principles of denying basic human rights to all, I can only assume the Australian Christian party intends to uphold that basic christian practice which we see demonstrated time and time again – claiming to advocate justice for all, so long as that justice aligns with some prejudices written about in a book over a millennia ago by people who had barely a clue as to how the world worked.

Just as whackjob groups are entitled to form their own political parties, it’s the job of sensible voters to minimise the damage they can cause. The United States is a perfect example of what happens when insane people start making decisions – women getting medically raped before abortions, schools being forbidden to use the word ‘gay’, abstinence being taught to horny teenagers as the only valid path before marriage, and so on. Lately Tennessee, one of those American states that seems to pride itself on the evil repressions enacted by its legislatures, has started requiring schools to teach about the “controversy” of evolution. (Hint: it’s only controversial if you’re so stupid that you blindly adhere to a faith despite clearly documented evidence to the contrary. And the controversy is with you, not the science.)

We don’t want to end up like the United States, and so if you see the Australian Christian party appear on your ballot paper, it’s very important to not mark a cross anywhere near them.

Otherwise you may end up nailed to one.