George Christensen says Christians should join political parties to control the balance of power

National Party MP George Christensen has urged more Christians to get involved in political parties, suggested removing Medicare funding for abortion services, and outlined his frustration that the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill has not been overtly named as a bill for ‘religious freedom’.

Christensen is the latest Coalition identity to spend some time with Family Voice Australia, the Queensland politician called into their Zoom conference on his mobile while he was in his car at the side of the road.  The Christian group has recently hosted online seminars with former Prime Minister John Howard and conservative MP Kevin Andrews.

Speaking to the group, Christensen said Australia has reached a point where Christian voices were being shut out of political debate, and he urges more Christians to become members of political parties so they hold the balance of power. He also lamented the growth pronouns on email signatures and use of the gay pride symbol in the workplace.

The MP also said he believed civilisation was in ‘terminal decline’ and would soon be replaced with “something else”.

On Religious Freedom

“We’re entering a time now where it’s going to go one of two ways, and one of the ways it could go is to complete silence Christians who are of, shall I say, the traditional, orthodox, Bible-believing variety from being able to speak in the public square.” Christensen said.

“In fact the voices that are out there taking opposite views to what traditional orthodox Bible-believing Christians would espouse are not shy in actually saying ‘You guys should shut-up, you should not have voice.’ They bang on about the separation of Church and State, as if that means that if you are a person of faith you should not have any say in how the country is run. Which is completely turning the concept of the separation of powers of Church and State on it’s head.”

“If we actually lose the fight for freedom of faith, we’ve just about lost everything. If you can’t speak freely about your beliefs in the public square – what can you do? You’re relegated to just speaking about it in hushed tones within your own congregations.

Christensen says even within churches people are no longer able to express the religious beliefs, citing Victoria’s laws that ban conversion therapy as an example of religious freedom being curtailed.

“We’ve obviously seen Victoria come out with laws that are ostensively about not harming people who have issues around their sexuality or whatever, but in essence what they do is stop people of faith from actually having discussions with other people about issues which are integral to the faith, and integral to Christian living.” Christensen said.

“I am sick of being on the receiving end of fights, it seems that every stoush that happens in politics that concerns people of faith, or certainly issues that we are passionate about we are always forever reacting and trying to stop some new law.”

The MP said now it is time for laws to push back the opposite way, citing the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill, and his recently announced private members bill on ‘live birth abortion.’ as two examples of legislation designed to represent Christian beliefs.

Christensen he was disappointed that the government’s long delayed bill on religious discrimination was not overtly named a religious freedom bill.

“I hate the title – straight up. I wish they called it the religious liberty or religious freedom bill, cause that’s what it should be about, freedom to practice your faith and not be actually condemned for doing so, or negatively impacted on by doing so, either by government, federal or state. None of this taking classes, or priests or anyone else – anti-discrimination tribunals because they’ve expressed a tenet of faith.”

Encouraging Christians to join political parties

If people are considering joining a political party they should consider joining a major party such as the Nationals or The Liberals, Christensen says.

“When’s the next Australian Conservatives government going to take office? Or the next Pauline Hanson’s One Nation going to take office? When’s the next Christian Democrats government going to take office? They’re not. Federally recent changes make it spectacularly difficult for minor parties to get in.

“It’s just as simple as this, I said this to a Church and State Conference held in Brisbane, well Logan actually, recently. The Sydney Morning Herald picked it up and said ‘ooh this is some sinister plot, Christian takeover’.

“But I just said, it’s simple numbers, if there’s five thousand members of the National Party in New South Wales and suddenly five thousand other people join, and they all just happen to be traditional orthodox Bible-believing Christians, well guess what’s going to happen to the National party. Guess what’s going to happen every time a candidate is selected.

“If we want to ensure that were not just winning fights, but if we want to ensure that governments are going to push back on our freedoms and the rights of people of faith being taken away, then we’ve go to get inside the tent. Join, and join a major party, is what I’d say.

Opposition to Pride symbols

The MP said he’d also like to see restrictions on corporations asking staff to use preferred pronouns on email signatures, or supplying staff with badges, pins or rainbow coloured shoelaces

“There’s definitely a lot of ‘wokeness’ amongst the corporate world.” Christensen said.

“They’re going after all the politically correct causes, I don’t really begrudge them from doing this, whether it’s refugees or indgenous affairs, but the other thing they are doing is asking their staff members to support causes that are in favour of the LGBTIQ community.

“You can do that by wearing lapels, badges, or they gave them all rainbow coloured shoe laces, I know for a fact that one employee was spoken to because he refused to wear the rainbow coloured shoelaces. This is nonsense sort of stuff, but it’s creeping in, it’s part of what has actually been called ‘soft totalitarianism’.

Christensen said Christians could look to the writer Rod Dreher, whose latest book is titled Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents. The MP had a lot of praise for the controversial writer, saying some of the previous criticism of his work had been unfair and misinterpreted his messages.

George Chistensen did comment on any specific controversy that the US writer has been embroiled in, but Dreher has previously advocated that even if US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanagh had been found guilty of rape as a teenager, it should not have prevented him from being considered for a place on the bench. The author has also been criticised for describing LGBT people as not being ‘fully-human”, while he’s also compared homosexuality to alcoholism.

The backbencher said the media were removing opposing voices by creating ‘pile-ons’, while government and corporations were overstepping their roles.

“We really do need to draw a line in the sand and I think the Religious Discrimination Bill, which I hope gets a name change to the Religious Liberty Bill, is something that can push back against this.” Christensen said.

On Abortion

On the issue of abortion Christensen said he had designed a private members bill that would hopefully force Australia to change it’s approach based on international agreements, while stopping Medicare funding of abortion services was also an option that could be explored.

“These international UN agreements that we sign up to have been used in the past to override state laws through the external affairs powers. We sign up to the International Covenant on the Rights of the Child, and in that covenant it says that every child shall have the right to life, and that all state parties that sign up to it must ensure that the child is provided with the medical treatments it needs to survive.” Christensen said.

Making it a federal law that Doctors must treat an aborted birth that shows signs of life is the basis of Christensen’s private members bill. When asked by an attendee if there had been consideration of removing Medicare funding to abortion services, Christensen said it was an option.

“That’s a fight in the future that I want to have.” Christensen said. “But I think that a lot of work will have to be done on that, it’s come up before, there’s inaccurate data, we don’t actually know how many abortions are being performed each year.”

“I think there a lot of work to be done here, but fundamentally it’s correct, why should I, or you, or anyone else who believes that abortion is the murdering of an innocent life, be asked to pay for that which they are consciencely objected to? It’s a good question, I don’t believe I should be paying for it. That debate is going to come up, but all I can say is I’ll pick one fight at a time at the moment, but if I’m around for the next three years you’ll see that play out.”

On the terminal decline of civilisation

Christensen told the audience that in his view civilization as we know is winding to an end and will be replaced by something else.

“I’ll tell you my view pretty firmly is that civilization is in terminal decline, and when a civilization is in terminal decline, something replaces that civilization, it can’t just go to be an a-civilization or an un-civilization.” The MP didn’t share his views on what replaces civilization.

On Victoria’s Conversion Therapy ban

An attendee asked Christensen if he thought Victoria’s recently passed Change or Suppression Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill was unconstitutional because it breached freedom of expression and religion.

“I would have thought so, but unfortunately our Attorney General has just been pilloried with another undermining of the rule of law in this country, but I would have thought that those laws do breach the implied right to communication in this country, but it becomes somewhat of a ‘Lawyer’s Picnic’ in that it has to be taken to the High Court in order to test that.

“They could do anything, they could agree, they could disagree. That’s my view on it, I’m not a lawyer, and I’m certainly not a judge.” Christensen said.

The MP said the case of anti-abortion campaigner Kathy Club was an example of how the High Court might treat a case challenging the Victorian bill that bans changing and suppressing sexuality and gender, and it would need someone to break the law, and be willing to take the issue to the High Court.

Graeme Watson

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