Scott Morrison’s religious fundamentalism is a potential danger to democracy, because this alarming situationMay article, which has received more than 19,000 views, proves it.
Electing candidates from churches like Scott Morrison’s Pentecostal Church and packing them into parliament is detrimental to a viable democracy, writes Brian morris.
WITH THE rise of Pentecostal and charismatic mega-churches, there is a rational concern that a “literal” belief in the Bible has led to anti-science trolls, denial of climate change, and an anti-vax movement. But the end of the game will be more serious if the trend continues to transform into an American style of Christian domination.
Most people will roll their eyes when overzealous Christians say their life’s mission is to convert us all to become “disciples of Christ.” But it is more difficult to tolerate those who firmly believe that all positions of power and authority – in government, justice, media and business – can only be held by those who are spiritually attached to religion. “Literal truth” of the Christian Bible. Including Genesis and all of the Old Testament.
Biblical literalism underlies the growing belief in creationism – that God created everything – and it is this belief that motivates Dominionism; that only Christians can rule a nation. Australasian Sciences in 2011, 31% of Australians believed in creationism. With the rise of evangelism since 2011, the figure is likely to be much higher.
It is the basis of Dominionism, an American export of the 1990s that spawned the American Tea Party movement in 2010 and the same Christian conservatives who elected Donald Trump in 2016. The Republican Party is now fully enmeshed in the theology of the dominion which is exported. in many countries, including Australia.
As early as 2005, Marion Maddox, professor of politics at Macquarie University – and Christian of the United Church – published “God Under Howard: The Rise of the Religious Right in Australia”. It signals the rise of Dominionism here.
Genesis is God’s rulebook for biblical literalists. They take literally what God said to “subdue the earth” and “rule over it”. The influx of evangelism to the United States includes Hillsong and a plethora of Pentecostals churches such as Horizon Church in Sutherland NSW, whose congregation includes Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his family. Pastor Hillsong Brian Houston is also Scott Morrison’s mentor and the Prime Minister heads a recognized Christian government.
Democracy is receding around the world – a trend over the past 13 years, according to House of Liberty, that oversees the rise of authoritarian governments.
Psychology professor Paul Wink of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Hampshire, Dean Michele Dillon and associate professor of philosophy at Bryn Mawr College Adrienne Prettyman write that far-right authoritarianism:
‘…is positively associated with conventional, unchallenged and thoughtless religion.
It is Christian dominionism.
Their ultimate goal is to gain control – or at least to have influence – over the “7 Mountains” of any society. The “mountains” are education, media, government, churches, business, family, and the arts. Christians who work in these areas are required to fulfill the mandate of the Seven Mountains – to take control and carry out God’s plan.
It is anything but a conspiracy to reflect on the growing influence of these fundamentalist religious brands over the past 30 years. Islamic extremism is making international headlines with its ruthless aggression, but Christian evangelism (turning into Dominionism) is increasing its political influence by going under the media radar.
The bizarre aspect of fundamentalism lies in its anti-science foundations. Human evolution is considered a hoax, and Earth is 6,000 years old – based on the presumed lifespan of Biblical figures since Adam and Eve. Australian Christian fundamentalist Ken Ham built a giant Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, featuring life-size displays of humans living with dinosaurs.
In Australia, evangelical Christians are being prepared by a multitude of religious lobbies to run for office in federal, state and local governments, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. America is the most Christianized nation on Earth; Australia isn’t far behind – with one of the highest ratios of fundamentalist MPs in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
This is not surprising considering the recruitment drives of the religious right, as seen in February during the Church-State Crusade – its annual Australian summit – to “arm the Christians for the Kingdom to Come ”. Once again, pure Dominionism. The goal of fundamentalist churches is to roll back secular politics to make voluntary abortion and assisted death illegal, and to ban LGBT + people from working in church businesses.
The public is largely oblivious to all of this and there is no mainstream media analysis of right-wing Christian programs. But many “moderate” Christians are concerned with the undemocratic goals of fundamentalist Christianity.
Baptist Church minister Reverend Dr Craig de Vos said groups like the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) are pursuing a program “straight out of the Dominionist theology playbook”. In 2011, the ABC published an article titled, “Is the Australian Christian lobby Dominionist?” “- when ACL was then linked to the 7 Montagnes website.
The Reverend de Vos said in one of his sermons at the Baptist Church of North Adelaide:
“The religious right of this country wants to take control of the government either by a stealthy insurgency … or by more aggressive means because it feels despised, even persecuted, because all of us ungodly pagans do not share their anti-science and their conspiracy. charged ideas, selective biblical literalism, Taliban-like morality and prehistoric values.“
Dominion ethics are no different from Islamic theocracies that impose Sharia law – countries like Syria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, to name a few. -a. The only Christian theocracy is Vatican City, which is an exclusive Catholic state, but fundamentalists want a return to the Christian-controlled states of the Middle Ages.
Dominionism is unlikely to win, at least in the short term. But Australia is already a “soft theocracy,” with heavily Christianized governments at all three levels. And this despite 78% of citizens who wish to “separate personal religious beliefs from the business of government.” Members of Parliament have a much higher religious ratio than the public.
The question is whether we want Australia to become more and more secular. It means working to elect federal, state and local governments that take a strong stand on the future of the nation and advance a progressive secular worldview. Or, if we just don’t care, the public can nod to fundamentalist Christian groups actively recruiting young Pentecostals, Creationists, and Evangelicals to establish a Christian theocracy.
The world is in crisis with the coronavirus pandemic and the rise of fundamentalisms. According to Demo Finland – the Finnish democracy watchdog – nearly 70% of the world’s population now live in undemocratic states. Or an increase of 20% only in the last ten years.
We must again stress that authoritarianism is underpinned by religion. Australians must decide whether they prefer a progressive secular future or a continuation of our trend to elect fundamentalist MPs and further Christianize our three levels of government.
The leaders of the National Liberal Party (LNP) and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) both remain fixated on the idea of yielding to the illusory ‘Christian vote’. This alone perpetuates our status as a “soft theocracy”.
But taking political candidates from Pentecostal and Evangelical churches and packing more Christians into parliament puts a distinct pressure on a viable democracy.
Religious freedom is indeed a civil right for all, including the true public majority which does not practice a particular religion. and who do not want any form of religion imposed on them. The problem with overzealous people of faith is that they claim spiritual superiority. to “know the plan of God.” Oh good? How? ‘Or’ What?
We must prevent religion from becoming a weapon to assert Christian Dominionism – with the ultimate goal of killing democracy and enthroning Jesus.
Brian morris is a former journalist and founder of the National Secular Lobby (NSL) and Plain Reason.
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