Friday, 19 October 2007

Crawling out of the woodwork:

Elections have a way of bringing out the bottom-feeders, especially those of a religious variety. From

Exclusive: Brethren get a foot in the doors of power
Alex Mitchell writes:

Crikey can exclusively reveal that the secretive Christian sect, the Exclusive Brethren, has gone to great lengths to obtain parliamentary lobbying status for two of its leading Sydney members.

Warwick John of Copeland Road, Engadine, in Sydney’s south, and David Walter Stewart, who gives his address as an Engadine Post Office box number, have become official parliamentary lobbyists representing the so-called Christian Lobby Group.
With their official credentials issued just before the NSW state election in March, John and Stewart can patrol the corridors of the NSW Parliament in Macquarie Street merely by flashing their official passes. Their keen interest in meeting ministers, shadow ministers and MPs in the privacy of their parliamentary offices is bizarre when you consider that the fundamentalist sect bans its flock from voting in elections!

The parliamentary democracy-worshipping MPs who signed and sponsored the lobbyist passes for the non-voting Exclusive Brethren were Upper House MPs, the Rev Fred Nile and the Rev Gordon Moyes, of the Christian Democrats, and David Clarke, an Opus Dei supporting Catholic and leader of the NSW Liberal Party’s hard right, pro-Howard faction.

John declared on his application form that the purpose of his special pass was to “lobby for Christian rights” whatever they are. Normally, lobbyist passes are authorised by parliament’s presiding officers who, at that time, were Speaker John Aquilina and Legislative Council President Meredith Burgmann. Because parliament was in recess pending the March 24 election, it is unclear whether they co-signed authority for the passes or it was processed by the clerks, Russell Grove (Legislative Assembly) and Lynn Lovelock (Legislative Council).

As comprehensively demonstrated in Monday night’s Four Corners, the Exclusive Brethren has interfered in state and federal elections in NSW, South Australia and Tasmania and overseas in New Zealand and the United States supplying campaign cash and advertising support to right-wing conservative and anti-Green forces.

The exposure of Fred Nile as an ally of the Exclusive Brethren will do little to shame the Iemma Government. This week it was revealed that Premier Iemma successfully solicited the services of Nile to act as chairman of a limited, restrictive upper house committee inquiry into the Royal North Shore Hospital scandal thereby escaping Opposition demands for a wider investigation into the maladministration of the hospital system, doctor and nursing shortages and chronic under-funding by Treasury.

Watching Labor rely on the likes of Nile, whose reprehensible re-election platform was a religiously bigoted 10-year ban on Moslem immigration, is sickbag-reaching stuff. Iemma, MP for Lakemba, is living down to the catchcry of his mentor Graham Richardson – “Whatever It Takes”.

This particular Christian would like to make it perfectly clear that unlike the Brethren I don't believe women must always wear their hair long, covered by a little scarf thingummy. However I do believe that usimg the name of God to forbid people from exercising their democratic right to vote is evil - as is compromising one's values in return for a few grubby Brethren dollars.


Anonymous said...

I would hope that not all christians will be categorised into the same box , im sure it is really well known that this should not be the case .
But it might be that so far for many many years some good Christians maybe have not helped matters by backing certain other dominations rights to believe and do as they wish using the citation of its their religious right .

This doesnt help with those that get persecuted by these cults in the process , and in a way helps allow it to continue .

Many christians would be quick to stand up and speak out against any muslim that might see jihad as a religious right .Yet when it comes to a cult that has blown apart familys for years and years , has caused depression and even suicide the silence of other christians on the matter is almost deafening .
Often support for the persecuters the exclusive brethren is handed out by other faiths by suggesting it is the right of this domination to transulate the bible how they wish and to do as they please ,they look nice and rosy on the outside can recite scripture etc so we should not have any part in it and will not listen to those that suggest they are getting hurt.

In a time when the statistics is showing there is a general downturn in the faith young people have in christianity , this might be a wake up call to suggest that maybe it is not right that other dominations sit on the sideline saying nothing regarding other dominations after all .
This might suggest that although other christians might be wonderful , they also have some responsibillity of christianity over all .

Alcibiades said...

A very good point; like many other sects claiming to be Christian, the Exclusive Brethren have cause untold misery which has all too often been ignored for expediancy's sake.

In this case I find it particularly loathsome that self-professed "pro-family" Christians like the clergy-turn-politicians Moyes and Nile have been willing to overlook the obscene practices of a group which is manifestly anti-family, in return for a hope of receiving lobbying support and, possibly, a few campaign donations, albeit received indirectly.

Just as Muslims must accept a degree of responsibilty for Islamic extremists, and work to bring about an end to this perversion of their faith, so too must Christians distance themselves from the unnacceptable practices of our own nutters. By their secretiveness, arrogance, and general downright nastiness the Exclusive Brethren (along with a lot of other more mainstream organisations) have shown that whoever they may be following, it sure isn't Jesus, and those of us who are trying to walk in Christ's footsteps, however faltingly, should have no qualms about saying so.