Monday, 1 February 2016

In the hope of winning back the highest political office in the land is Tony Abbott committing a cardinal sin against gender equality and Australian democracy?

Did anyone really think that American hard-right religious extremism was confined to U.S. shores and missionary outposts in third world countries?

Does anyone really believe that former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is currently courting the misogynistic, homophobic, religious extremist group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) simply to support the notion of Christian family ideals?

The reality is very different.

Religious extremism USA-style is already in this country and it appears that Tony Abbott may be intent on tapping its influence and money in order to rebuild his personal political power.

Indeed, in The Guardian on 27 January 2016, a phone conversation between a journalist and an ADF representative is quoted which seems to indicate that Abbott may be doing just that:

Speaking to me by phone, Clarkson conceded that the closed-door nature of the meeting – which has not been advertised on ADF’s site – made it difficult to know what was happening. But it may not just be an after-dinner speech.
“There could actually be some strategic thinking going on. What kinds of contacts does the ADF have in Australia, and how can Abbott tap into them?”
In any case, it’s a networking opportunity, where an increasingly internationally-focused US Christian right and a leader of Australian social conservatives can exchange views, and perhaps resources.

In April 2016 the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) will be bringing a supporter of this religiously rabid group, Eric Metaxas, to Australia to speak at its national conference.

This is not a simple cultural exchange, it is part of both ACL and ADF’s efforts to eventually turn Australian democracy into a modern version of a 3rd Century theocracy.

ADF has been highly successful in subverting American democratic processes by trading on bigotry and fear and, this makes it a natural ally of Tony Abbott as these tactics are also found in his political arsenal.

Brief background

Then Australian Health Minister Tony Abbott on his feet in the House of Representatives during the Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Repeal of Ministerial Responsibility for Approval of Ru486) Bill 2005 debate on 15 February 2006:

 every abortion is a tragedy, and up to 100,000 abortions a year is this generation’s legacy of unutterable shame.

The Conversation, 29 October 2012:

The bill was presented as a measure to amend the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, but Schedule 3, amending the Health Insurance Act 1973, aimed to “clarify the scope and power to make Medicare tables.”
In effect, the bill would have granted Abbott as health minister extraordinary power to “determine that Medicare benefits are not payable in specific circumstances”, including for items “the government does not wish to fund through Medicare”.
The bill was immediately sent to committee where Schedule 3 was interpreted by politicians and health professionals alike as an attack on abortion, and perhaps IVF.
As with the pro-RU486 legislation, women MPs worked together to condemn the “disconcerting and questionable” Medicare provision.

The following is a transcript of an Australian Christian Lobby: Voice for Values webpage advertising its 2014 national conference

Defending Freedom

Australians enjoy tremendous freedoms.

But what if your freedom was removed because of your religious beliefs?

What if your church was targeted for discrimination because of its beliefs?

What if your foundational freedoms were taken away?

This is a sad reality for many people around the world.

It is also now happening in modern, liberal, Western democracies like the US and Australia.

Alliance Defending Freedom is a US-based alliance-building legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

With over 300 allied organisations, 2,400 allied attorneys and 31 countries represented ADF are leading the charge in defending religious liberty.

This month ADF Senior Legal Counsel, Roger Kiska will be speaking at ACL’s National Conference.

If you care about the future of religious freedom in Australia, you won’t want to miss Roger’s talk.

Register today to secure your seat at ACL’s National Conference and to benefit from Roger’s deep knowledge and experience in the battle to preserve religious freedom.

ACL fact sheet as of 27 July 2016 advocating the right of a doctor to not only refuse to directly assist a woman seeking pregnancy termination but also to refuse to refer a woman on to a medical facility which will assist her:

Click on image to enlarge

 Excerpt from an Australian Christian Lobby 2015 jobadvertisement:

Combine your God-given talents and abilities to make a lasting difference to Australian society. Australian Christian Lobby is a grassroots movement of over 50,000 people seeking to bring a Christian influence to Australian politics. We want to see Christian values and ethics accepted and influencing the way we are governed, do business and relate as a society.
Working with a team of experienced and dedicated campaigners, you will play a crucial role in what the Sydney Morning Herald has described as one of the “top echelon of lobbying groups” in Australia……
Australian Christian Lobby is at the forefront of the Australian marriage debate. At ACL you will play a key role in preserving the legal definition of marriage for future generations through the 2016 federal election and the upcoming marriage plebiscite.

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