Australian Evangelicals show their Independence

I heard a news report this morning on the radio that confirmed to me yet again the relative independence of Australian Evangelicals from Conservative politics.

Because of the close relationship between Evangelicals and Conservative politics in the US, many Australians are fearful that similar Christian groups in Australia will simply become "tools of the right" as it were. I saw John Doyle ("Roy Slavin") on The ABC the other day giving the Andrew Ollie lecture, making very close comparisons between Christians in the US and Australian Christian groups who are pushing the prosperity gospel.

But this morning it was reported on ABC radio that Peter Jensen, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney and one of Australia's most influential evangelical heavyweights, has come out against the Conservative government's Industrial Relations changes, arguing that the changes are not good for families.

Family First, the Australian Christian political party that surprised everyone during the last Federal Election, has also recently come out against these changes for exactly the same reason. Family First are more aligned with the Assemblies of God and Pentecostalism rather than the Calvinist Jensen.

I'll be honest here - I haven't examined the legislation personally so I don't know how good or bad it is. Nevertheless, what is important is that two leading Evangelical sources have refused to endorse a very important piece of right-wing economic legislation. They have not been browbeaten or brainwashed by conservative politics to support it.

It's not that Jensen or Family First are "watered-down" in their faith. Both would argue strongly against Abortion and Homosexuality like any other moral conservative.

However, what this shows is that Evangelicals in Australia are less likely to be influenced by Conservative political agendas, especially those that promote right-wing economics. Praise God.

From the One Salient Overlord Department

© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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1 comment:

Paul W said...

And praise God that is largely the same with the largely "Christian" conservative Party in NZ, United Future. They are against typical policies off the Right: the old hoary chestnuts for Christian conservatives of "school vouchers" and "tax cuts."

Why do the Christian Right in the USA often sound like a religiously frosted over version of Leo Strauss and Milton Friedman?