The Australian Christian Lobby: Propping Up a Corrupt Liberal Party Establishment
I recently wrote an article entitled Dont Vote for Christians in which I outlined the strategy I think Christians should use when voting this election. I argued that voting as a Christian does not mean simply voting for Christian representatives on the ballot paper but rather examining political party policies and their ideologies to determine which vision for Australia solves the big issues we are facing.
Martyn Iles from the Australian Christian Lobby recently released a video outlining their Federal Election Strategy in which he argues for the opposite. Martyn is distressed by the idea that people want to put the major parties last on the ballot paper and give votes to alternative parties. He says pay no attention to the political parties, rather vote for the right people:
“The parties in the present state of politics, with the wheat and the tares everywhere, the parties don’t hold the answers. The right people and the empowerment of the right people in those parties, holds the answers.”1
As a Christian shepherd and Christian activist here are several reasons why I believe the Australian Christian Lobby is holding back positive change by propping up a corrupt Liberal Party establishment.
The ACL’s strategy is a resignation to more of the same.
In his presentation Martyn has resolved himself to the inevitability and continuation of the two party duopoly. Martyn makes several predictive comments such as intimating that Labor will win the election and de-emphasizes the value of alternative parties saying their role should be to hold some form of balance of power in the senate.
It should not be lost on anyone that the political outcome Martyn describes is precisely the state of affairs that has presided over the demise of Australia for the last few decades and which has seen the complete desecration of our society by cultural Marxist forces of which Martyn to his credit spends much of his time debunking.
Now perhaps Martyn is just being realistic. Nevertheless as long as voices like his resign Christians to the continuation of the political status quo by convincing them to vote for the best people they can find amidst a sea of corruption that is the major parties, then we should expect more of the same kind of fruitlessness from Christianity in politics that we have seen these past many years. Surely it is time to imagine something better and Christians ought be visionaries in this regard.
What is actually required in Australian politics is sweeping ideological change. The kind of change that is brought about by entirely new political parties whose underlying vision contains a deep commitment to liberal democratic values and restoration of fundamental freedoms. By de-emphasizing alternative political parties Martyn is holding back the likelihood of such a shift taking place. He is disempowering the many Christians and conservatives who have left the major parties or been kicked out to join political movements seeking to restore freedoms. Many of those leaving recognize that the Liberal party is no longer an advocate for traditional democratic freedoms but are instead pushing Australia into a post-democratic, technocratic era.
The ACL is naïve in thinking Christians in major parties have any real influence to produce fundamental ideological change.
Martyn begins his strategy talk by outlining the absolute disgraces the Liberal Party have overseen this last term. It is a long list which includes killing off the almost useless religious discrimination bill, as well as pouring millions of dollars into school curriculum that teaches children more cultural Marxist perversions whilst turning a blind eye to mandatory injections for the population.
Martyn admits that good people in the major parties are disempowered to produce any real change. I couldn’t agree more. Yet his strategy seems to be for us to continue to re-elect these few good people to their seat in a major party. It should be obvious how ridiculous a strategy this is. If voting for the few good people in the major parties whose voices fell on deaf ears the first, second, third, fourth and tenth time around, it is not going to work this time either.
The reason why good voices in the Liberal party are disempowered has nothing to do with our not voting for them. Rather it is because the two major parties are run much like dictatorships where the dominant influence doesn’t always come from the members themselves. The recent controversy surrounding Scott Morrison’s overturning of the member’s candidate pre-selections in NSW is a perfect example of the top-down authoritarianism at work in the Liberal party.2
The Liberal party is no longer faithful to its core values. If the major parties are run internally like dictatorships then their party politics cannot produce a healthy liberal democracy. No amount of voting for a few disempowered members is going to change this reality. Indeed with this kind of leadership at work no more than a few token Christians to appease conservatives and lobbyist organizations like the ACL are ever going to be allowed to gain a foothold in the party. Thus short of foundational ideological change these voices will remain disempowered.
Instead of Christians being taken for fools again this election I believe we should instead contribute to a strategy that will cut the head off the snake. There is no better way to do this than for all Christians to remove their support from parties who are no longer ideologically committed to a worldview that encourages a free and Christianized society.
It isn’t entirely clear why the ACL insists on supporting Liberal party candidates to help the majors form government thereby ensuring more of the same kind of punishments be metered out upon Australian citizens that we have endured these past several years. Perhaps they have incumbent Liberal party members in their ear asking for help to get re-elected. Perhaps these members are the politicians that are willing to lend an ear to ACL’s Christian values and they rely on them to bring them before parliament.
In any case, this clutching at straws via a few good members of parliament to represent our values isn’t working. If this tactic were working at all Martyn wouldn’t be travelling the country teaching Christians themselves how to use plain reason and Scripture to navigate the neo-Marxist ethics that have taken over their workplaces, schools and churches. Instead we would have policy change coming down from above protecting our public institutions, our families and our children. But that is not happening because almost nobody in parliament cares about “Christian values”.
Begging a fundamentally corrupt political establishment, hostile to a Christian worldview for the time of day to consider the values of Christians appears to me a frustrating and futile strategy.
Christian values are no substitute for a genuine political strategy.
Trying to speak “Christian values” into parliament via a few good men is like expecting Lot and his family to affect positive change by continuing to reside in Sodom and Gomorrah. Why not an alternative approach? The approach God employed when things were so obviously bad that there was no way back. You take whoever is left that is devoted to what is good and you bug out, consigning what is behind you to the complete destruction it deserves as a witness to what happens when people wholesale depart from God instituted realities.
You then create or get behind something new! Something that is ideological sound and designed at the core to deliver the kind of change required. But this would require a new strategy to Christian politics. Not one wedded to voting for a few disempowered Christian members inside the political establishment so they can beg their counterparts dedicated to a neo-pagan society for the right to be Christian inside it. If it is true, as Martyn rightly points out, that we Christians must live Christian lives regardless of whether the government is on our side why then are we resigned to this demeaning and defeatist political strategy?
Instead, I contend we Christians should love our non-Christian neighbors by developing a comprehensive political strategy for the running of Australia as though our worldview is the only one with any common sense. After all if Christian politicians cannot convince non-Christians to vote for them based on policies that benefit every Australian then then we really have no business being in politics at all.
The fact is that there is not enough committed Christians in Australia to produce any meaningful change via a strategy of presenting our values to parliament as though they and we ourselves were an endangered species for them to look after. Rather we need to be a part of new political movements that have the restoration of fundamental liberties, human rights and true justice at their core.
The reality is you don’t have to be Christian to want to live in a society that is no longer based on the theft of Australian wealth by international institutions. Or a society where our children are abused by neo-Marxist globalist forces and its woke pagan religion. Plenty of Australians do not want that society! I speak to them all the time. Yet instead of lighting the way forward with a comprehensive political agenda that could make sense to anybody Christians are stuck fiddling around the edges of politics3 rather than drivers of real ideological change.
The idea that there is the same amount of bad eggs in alternative parties as the major parties is false.
Martyn Iles uses the biblical metaphor of the wheat and tares suggesting that no matter what political party you choose there are good people and bad inside them. This may be true to some extent, but it ignores the fact that over time institutions change and veer from their foundational principles.
It is often the case that when institutions become corrupted those still committed to the values which made that institution worthwhile need to branch out and start something else whereby those principles will continue to be taught and preserved. Otherwise fundamental precepts may be altogether lost to the inevitable demise of the corrupted institution.
These kinds of healthy splits happen throughout history with Christian denominations. When new institutions are started to preserve Christian truth the corrupted organization begins to die off. Often it is those last few good people propping up the institution who are responsible for prolonging the damage and confusion caused by the corrupted institution.
Christians should be sensitive of God’s pattern of judgement on religious and political institutions alike. And we should not be involved in propping up corrupted institutions beyond their time. When the train is headed the opposite direction it is time to get off and back on the right train. The more people that do that and the sooner it is done, the more momentum in the right direction and the more work that can be preserved. Christians should not be the last ones off the train. It is a terrible testimony to be found clinging to corrupt traditions as though they were still serving us.
I have been involved with alternative party politics for several years. Whilst not all candidates I worked with were Christian, a good percentage of them were. Nevertheless all our candidates were regular Australians wanting a better Australia and not career politicians. They were all deeply invested in fundamental freedoms and a liberal democratic society. All were against woke ideology.
In other words there were lots of wheat and very few tares. Now political parties will change over time but new movements with a solid foundation can preserve liberty and peace for generations.
New political parties are an important way to preserve core values that are no longer functioning at the heart of the coalition government. We ought not prop up the corrupted Liberal party establishment by continuing to sponsor the last few people within the establishment whose voices are trampled.
Christians should instead be invested in political change at an ideological level, not driven only by causes or Christian values but instead working with others devoted to fundamental freedoms from which we can develop comprehensive political strategies for the proper governance of Australia in a way that honors God and preserves freedom for all.
Therefore at this time in history alternative political parties devoted to this ideological change are the best answer for the future of Australia.
Further Reading in the 2022 Federal Election Series
Don't Vote for Christians! (20th April 2022)
The Two Horse Race: The Illusion of Democracy in Australia (13th May 2022)
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Australian Citizens Party, Robert Barwick used this phrasing recently to describe political strategies that are not committed to change at the ideological level. CITIZENS REPORT 13/04/2022 - The bank that could burst the bubble / Financial victims compensation