Desperate Labor stokes religious hate

Australia; election 2019; PM Scott Morrison; Labor leader Bill Shorten;

Bill Shorten has pulled off an act of unparalleled political bastardry by reneging on an agreement with PM Scott Morrison and inflaming religious hatred on the eve of the election.

Shorten and Morrison had previously agreed that the furore over Israel Folau was off the table during the election campaign, but Labor are clearly getting desperate as they slide further in the polls by the day. Still, exploiting anti-religious hate is a new low, even for a party as hypocritical and amoral as Shorten’s Labor. quote.

Scott Morrison has accused Bill Shorten of a “grubby” and “desperate” bid to alter the election agenda and distract voters from his high-taxing policies by politicising the Prime Minister’s faith in the final days of the campaign.

 Mr Morrison, a devout Christian, responded on the hustings in Tasmania that he did not believe gay people went to hell, later arguing he had grown up believing “God’s love is for everybody”.

“I am not running for pope; I am running for prime minister,” Mr Morrison said.

The exchange between the leaders elevated religious freedoms and LGBTI rights as flashpoint issues and came after Christian leaders wrote to Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten seeking clarification on their policies to protect people of faith.

Presbyterian Church of Australia assembly clerk Bruce Meller — a signatory to the letter sent to the two leaders on Saturday — said he thought Mr Shorten had targeted Mr Morrison because of his faith, and his comments were grossly “unfair and hypocritical”.

“It’s symptomatic of what is happening all over the place, where Christians in particular are being targeted,” Mr Meller said.

“I also think it’s abominable that Bill Shorten is endeavouring to apply a religious test to Scott Morrison when tests of religion for public office are banned under our Constitution. end quote.

This is not just a slip-up by a flailing Shorten, either. This is a co-ordinated strategy by Labor, who are clearly willing to scrape any barrel in their grab for power. Shorten’s venality is only exceeded by his hypocrisy. quote.

[Mr Shorten said] “This country needs to really lift itself and the political debate and coverage needs to really lift ­itself in the next four days…The nation’s got to stop eating ­itself in this sort of madness of ­division and toxicity.” end quote.

So, he’ll just stir up more division and toxicity by exploiting sectarian hatred. The only person who can hold his head up in this is Scott Morrison, who had unsuccessfully tried to keep religion out of the campaign. quote.

When asked directly on Monday whether he agreed with Folau’s belief — that gay people would go to hell unless they repented — the Prime Minister sought to defuse the issue, but did not provide a direct response.

Mr Morrison said he never mixed religion with politics, but the refusal to provide a more definitive answer left him vulnerable to attack and forced him to clarify his view yesterday afternoon. end quote.

It’s even more hypocritical that Labor is transparently trying to pander to the “yoof vote” by appealing to anti-Christian prejudice, considering how many of Labor’s front bench, from Shorten himself to Penny “I’m gay” Wong, profess to be Christians themselves.

But Labor may well find that this cheap hit-job backfires, and further alienates Australian voters. quote.

Mr Shorten’s attack on Mr Morrison was taken up by chief lieutenants Mark Dreyfus and Penny Wong and came ahead of today’s release of polling on voter attitudes to religious freedoms, commissioned by the Institute for Civil Society. The YouGov Galaxy survey — obtained by The Australian and conducted between Tuesday and Friday last week — found overwhelming support for legal protections upholding freedoms for people of faith. Among those polled, 75 per cent agreed freedom of thought, conscience and belief through speech, practice and teaching needed to be protected. Only 5 per cent disagreed, with 20 per cent undecided…

The attack from Labor appears to contrast with other results in the YouGov Galaxy survey, which found 59 per cent agreed with “allowing people who do not agree with homosexual activity to speak freely and publicly about their reasons for objecting to it, without penalty or adverse action”.