By James A. Wilson
Australians have just handed themselves a national elections upset like unto the shockwave of Donald Trump’s come-from-behind win over Hillary Clinton, the Brexit vote, and the return of Benjamin Netanyahu to power in Israel just last month. Pundits in Australia forecast not just a win for Bill Shorten and his leftist Labor Party, but a big win. Internal polls in both Labor and the conservative Liberal Party called for a closer margin but still expected Labor to ascend to the apex of authority in the Land Down Under. Instead, Labor is out and Bill Shorten is ousted as their leader.
Evangelical-Charismatic Christian Scott Morrison continues as Prime Minister with a larger margin than the razor thin edge he enjoyed a month ago and since displacing moderate Malcolm Turnbull. Media brains – the same who prophesied the vote so spectacularly wrong – attribute the upset to overly extravagant Labor promises to retirees without explaining how they would fund them. My own conviction is the Australian People have given Labor a pass for a long time on social issues like same sex marriage and abortion, education, and climate change. They have accepted Labor and Green Party denials about the persecution of those who object to their social agenda…until now. They did this because Australians are a genetically fair-minded people. Voters thought it best to give ideas like so-called marriage equality a chance to level the social and cultural playing field; more than sixty per cent voted what Aussies call a fair go to progressive – read socialist – arguments on the issue.
The chickens were inside the eggs. It took a while for the eggs to hatch.
Back in 2016 then PM Turnbull called for a national plebiscite on marriage equality. The results would be advisory, but Parliament was committed to changing marriage laws if results warranted it. A national free-for-all was set in motion, including physical attacks on speakers at rallies, verbal excoriation of iconic Australians such as tennis great Margaret Court, and boycotts of businesses.
At least one former prime minister and one broadcast journalist were assaulted while walking on public streets; there was a bombing attack on the headquarters of a prominent Christian organization. Although leftists – including most media outlets – claimed these incidents were virtually all fomented by bigoted opponents of marriage equality investigation revealed at least nine of ten were the work of its supporters; this included the broadcasting of homophobic banners that turned out to be the work of same sex marriage supporters masquerading as traditional marriage backers. When the leftists won the plebiscite such incidents only increased across the country. The agenda was never the claim that equality advocates wanted a place at the table; it was always to crush dissent and dissenters.
Two events converged in the recent past to push Australians over the edge. One is the social and professional lynching of football champion Israel Folau, the latest episode of punishment for those who do not embrace that cultural agenda. Folau posted a passage from scripture detailing a number of alternatives to faith in Christ – including the gay lifestyle – and expressing his conviction that faith in Jesus heals and redeems all. Qantas Airlines owner Alan Jones – himself a gay man and the owner of Folau’s team arranged for his permanent banning from Australian football. Any who have defended Folau’s right to speak – whether or not they support his views – have been subjected to similar persecution by the thought police.
Just as important was the moving of a bill in normally progressive Queensland’s parliament to authorize abortion for any reason up to twenty-two weeks’ gestation, and at any time after if a second doctor agrees. The bill was moved without the usual procedures permitting debate and other parliamentary niceties; Queenslanders found their sense of fairness and decency mightily offended. Their vote was the deciding factor returning the Morrison coalition to power.
Add to these majors the relative minors that most Aussies do not accept the rhetoric of human caused climate change as wholeheartedly as their leaders, the reality that government is selling their energy to nations such as China while telling them to get used to outages, and school curricula have increasingly tilted toward a militant LBGTQ world of kindergartners being instructed their gender is a matter of choice. The question becomes less “how did it happen?” and more “why did it take so long?”
All that said, my prayer is that ScoMo takes his evangelical faith seriously enough to govern by it – not in terms of this or that doctrine – but in terms of the example His Lord sets wherein all constituents are not on the same page and faithful allies are essential. Jesus said those not against Him are for Him; He cherished such people.
Scott Morrison has led a coalition of conservatives and the One Nation Party. The latter is vilified in the press for alleged anti-Muslim and anti-indigenous bigotry. I am no expert on One Nation, but knowing the reputation for manufacturing news the AUS press has earned I lean sympathetically toward those they accuse. Those who are not against Morrison need to be treated as friends until further notice.
And bigotry? Israel Folau’s social crime was posting a statement of his faith on social media. Now that the people have spoken through their election, here is hoping these same people begin to chant, “We are intolerant of intimidation.”
Standing against these elitist bullies will be good for everyone’s freedom – including the bullies – in the long run. And may God forgive us for letting things go so far into the night. May He likewise protect us from becoming what we stand against.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books, or at firstname.lastname@example.org