One of my inspirations for inserting my voice as a conservative Christian into conversations about important public issues has been Andrew Bolt. His observations that the Church has been cowed into silence, his calls for Christians to refuse to be sidelined, are not few.
So the blog post he made this morning both surprised and disappointed me. He’s got the wrong end of the stick. He now seems to be batting for those seeking to silence Christians and those supportive, at least culturally, of generally traditional Christian values.
He titled his blog post, “DO FUNDAMENTALISTS NOW RUN THE VIC LIBS,” and opened with, “The new religious cabal controlling the Victorian Liberal party seems to have forgotten Liberal principles, and seem determined in their self-righteousness to make more enemies than they will be able to handle.”
Why, you may ask? How have these now vocal Christians suddenly got Andrew Bolt wishing them back in their box, back in the boundaries approved by the inner city progressive elitists?
They’ve complained to the Victorian Liberal Party about this statement from fellow party member, James Penny, who under a cowardly Facebook alias stated, “We true liberals, the ones aligned with Malcolm Turnbull, and those who believe in what Menzies created, hate these moronic Mormons just as much as everyone else.”
And the Party agreed that such behaviour was unacceptable, and promptly suspended his membership.
But Bolt disagreed. He wrote,
“Bastiaan and his allies had better pull their heads in very fast.
Real Liberals don’t do this kind of thought-policing.
Real Liberals don’t think criticising religions is “religious vilification” that must be banned.
Real Liberals don’t smash debate and dissent.
Real Liberals don’t push religious views on anyone.
Bastiaan and his clique have had sympathisers who support their broader complaints about the woolly Left of the Liberal party. But they are very likely to lose them with this kind of stupidity.
A party that expels someone critical of Mormons is a party that seems likely to expel just about anyone at all. First they came for the Mormon-mocker, next…”
And here’s why I disagree with Australia’s most popular columnist.
Replace the word Mormon with Muslim, and nobody in the “Real Liberals” would dare say “We true liberals, the ones aligned with Malcolm Turnbull, and those who believe in what Menzies created, hate these moronic Muslims just as much as everyone else.”
It’s not thought policing to say this statement deserves Party sanctions. Criticise the ideology all you like. But there’s a chasm between criticising Islam or Mormonism, and hating all the members thereof. Hating people broadly based only on their shared religious belief is precisely the “smashing of debate and dissent”, precisely the “pushing of religious views” and “thought policing” Bolt says “Real Liberals” don’t do. It is fascistic extremism.
Complaining about this isn’t stupidity, Andrew. This is demanding that debate be centred around ideas and issues, and not individuals and identities. The self-righteous buffoonery of James Penny to which Marcus “Bastiaan and his clique” are objecting, Andrew, is the epitome of typically leftist character assassination, and NOT “Real Liberals”.
Yes, Andrew. Fundamentalists do run the Vic’ Lib’s, and they have done for far too long. Fundamentalist “moderates”, a self-congratulatory term for left wing liberals, have had a stranglehold on the Victorian Liberals for so long that the world’s worst abortion laws went unchallenged when the “right wing” major party regained government; and that the party’s entire culture panders to closed-shop, inner-city, political elitism, rather than the aspirational, traditional Aussie, family values Menzies once championed.
You know, Andrew, you’ve butchered the Nazi metaphor a little too much in applying it to those objecting to minority mockery, and missed the more accurate comparison to those you’re effectively excusing. It’s not “First they came for the Jew-mockers…” – it’s “First they came for the Jews.” So instead of, “First they came for the Mormon-mockers…” you should be more accurately observing, “First they came for the Mormons.”
Because next it will be the Catholics, then the Protestants and Evangelicals, and so on, and so on. There’s no class of people being targeted by internal sanctions against public vilification – it’s protection against a devolved debate. What we’re seeing here is a first line of defence to the comprehensive march through the institutions against cultural Christianity, even now through the so-called “Real Liberals”.
With over 50% of Australians identifying as Christian, why the surprise and indignation that the major party, sort of on the right, might once again have a majority of members who hold to authentic Christianity, pejoratively described as fundamentalism as if comparable to suicide bombers? Wouldn’t this simply be a predictable ratio if the silent majority got off their fat derrieres and got into the game? In fact, I would expect it to be a lot more than 50% if truly representative, given how many haters of Judeo-Christian, Western democracy flock to the left.
This has nothing to do with freedom of speech and more to do with freedom of association, so don’t suggest there’s any hypocrisy or double standard. Party discipline around constructive debate and antithetical behaviour, has no relation to general legislation with the full force of the law as affecting public debate.
For a start, a party is a self-organised association of like-minded people (not the gag reflex-inducing “broad tent/church”). It is therefore a voluntary, not compulsory, submission to some basic shared values, of which stark contradiction should naturally disqualify you from association therewith. The civil liberty to political expression want is not threatened or compromised, as no one is holding a gun to your head or threatening other law enforcement measures if you dissent. If you don’t in fact subscribe to those common values, it simply means you’re in the wrong party, and freedom of association demands that the majority be free to disassociate with very liberal members, such as the extremist in question.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant for the progressive infection of the Liberal Party, and bringing their toxic culture to public attention is what it takes to cure the problematic compromise we’ve all observed. It’s time the progressive fundamentalists had their death grip on the Liberal Party relaxed and more real people, even Mormons, join up, preselect people who share their values, and fight for an equal voice without unnecessarily divisive vilification for their involvement. That is how we get better representation, and is the opposite of smashing debate and dissent. And that is why the establishment is so immaturely angry and nasty, and precisely why the Liberal Party suspended James Penny.