Friday, August 23, 2013

Party Games 3/54 Australian Christians

First up, I'm an atheist, so the Australian Christians are always going to find me a tougher sell than other people. When you say that you have formulated gold standard policies, based on biblical principles, I'm going to ask just why those principles are relevant to 1) Me, and 2) governing Australia. We have a nominally secular government (section 116 of the constitution) so to say that you want to govern using religious text as the basis for your policies gives me cause for concern.

Given that they are a Christian based party, some of the policies that they have aren't all that surprising. No to gay marriage, no to abortion, more funding going to religious schools, no to euthanasia, yes to internet censorship, abstinence only sex ed. They don't specifically mention contraception, but I don't think I'm going out on a limb saying they're against it.

Their environment policy says we should take care of the planet god gave us which includes doing things like reducing pollution and ensuring development is sustainable, so they aren't as bad as some Christian groups that say global warming can't be happening because God wouldn't let it. They don't go into much detail, but their environment policy does follow the broad outlines I look for, so they do have that going for them. I am a little worried that "Recognising our shared global responsibility in reducing pollution" might mean not doing anything about pollution while China and the US continue to pollute, but don't have much to back that up with.

I'm not sure they quite get the meaning of religious freedom though. In that section of their policy list they say that they want to see parliament continue to be opened with Christian prayers and that the government has a responsibility to uphold Christian traditions. That their understanding of religious freedom is limited to freedom for their religion shows that they've kind of missed the point of religious freedom. They also want to give preference to Christian asylum seekers over Muslim asylum seekers.

Australian Christians are running candidates for the Senate in Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, West Australia and South Australia, and candidates for the House in WA, Tasmania, and Victoria. Preferences are to various small parties first, and putting the Coalition ahead of Labor.

twitter: @OzChristians

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