Contributed from Victoria
In a recent interview, prime minister Scott Morrison flagged his intention to push ahead with new laws that would allow Christians to discriminate against the LGBTIQ community.
This is being presented as the free speech. Critics suggest that it is nothing of the sort, but on the contrary, a measure to silence those who are on the receiving end.
As important as this is, it is not only about the LGBTIQ community. The attack on it, fits in well with a broader attack, to deny the voice to all but the very small spectrum of opinion espoused by those demanding the change.
The call for religious protection is the spearhead for a number of extreme groups, to enter the Christian community. It is the lever that has been used to penetrate the Liberal Party and bully the much larger number of Christians who do not agree with them. Scott Morrison is contributing to this push.
He has also made it clear that he supports the integration of the state and religion, since his 2008 maiden speech in parliament. This is despite section 116 of the Australian Constitution, which clearly makes the separation.
Freedom of religion is not the objective. The push is to ensure the domination of Christianity is, and this means the restriction of other faiths.
The danger of this outlook is that it is based on the view that some should be more equal than others. It goes further. The real motive behind the push, is not primarily religious but political. It is to impose a particular viewpoint, using a myth of Christian civilisation, to promote extreme capitalism, backed up by a form of police state to deal with those who do not agree.
Evidence of this lies in the actions of many of the activists in this movement, who espouse suppression of what they call the control and destruction of the Christian way of life by a leftist elite said top be in control. This is reminiscent of the rise of the fascist movement in the 1920’s. This way of thinking has entered the Liberal Party and government.
Thus, the purpose of the new laws is to undermine existing anti-discrimination law and protect the right to discriminate.
And this is within the context that the Sex Discrimination Act, the Age Discrimination Act and the Fair Work Act all contain exemptions for religious bodies, giving them the right to treat an individual whose lifestyle doesn’t correspond with their beliefs, in a way that would otherwise be classed as discriminatory.
The objection to the existing exceptions is that they apply to all. The push is to ensure they are only there for some.
Christian civilisation is far from civilised, always was. That aside, it matters not what your particular brand of superstition is, you are in a minority. The vast majority of our society is not this or that particular belief system. In fact today those not following any particular set of superstitions are in the majority. This reversion to the old “missionary” thinking of colonial days shows just how unfit for office this PM is.
These moves being pressed now have frighteningly strong parallels to Europe of the 1920’s & 30’s as Hitler came to power. It is the POLITICAL motivations behind this that is the worry. World capitalism is in ever deepening crisis. beware, maybe by 2030 or so we may have a repeat of 100 years ago.
I postred this elsewhere online, but it is worth saying again in this context.
Angry Christian fundamentalism is all about ‘the emotions’. It’s has a lot in common with fascism. Both fascism and fundamentalism are authoritarian. And of course, Populism is a big force with both fundies and fascists.
In populism, popular emotional thinking, any statement that tickles peoples biases (including the ideas presented by ministers) always wins over logic & fact, no matter what the evidence shows. “Confirmation bias” tends to rule the entire field of theology, so all Morrison is ever going to notice, are ideas that agree with what he already believes. He has been trained to indulge his confirmation bias (as if it were a positive quality) by the leaders in his form of Christianity.
Both fundamentalism and fascism require their followers to treat “flowing with the emotions of the movement” as if those feelings automatically mean they are “right”. The abandonment of reason and fact, in favor of raw emotion is at the center of both groups. The emotional experience is what matters, and fundies are all about emotional manipulation.
They use emotional manipulation to recruit people, by driving them to have nervous breakdown in their services.
They use emotional manipulation to unite the group so that they fear (and avoid) everything outside of the group.
They use emotional manipulation to create artificial emotional bonds between the members (it’s called “love bombing”) so that the people will get a “feel good” wave of emotion associated with that ‘unity’. Social functions are created (in parallel to those outside of the church) to help encourage those contrived emotional bonds.
To make this worse, fundamentalists also take advantage of the “fight or flight” response. Both fear and anger are tied to the fight or flight response, and that response exists to get our attention. But fear nor anger are NOT automatically rational. After we feel that adrenaline rush, we we are supposed to THINK and find out what is wrong… just like when you burn your hand on a hot stove. First you jerk away, and then you figure out what hurt you, and how you got into that situation in the first place. But fundies (and fascists) stay centered on the “fight or flight” wave of emotion, and then embrace fake populist reasons for their feelings.
Fundamentalist ministers use emotional manipulation to create a sate of fear and anger in the congregation. They then point people toward fake metaphysical reasons for those “fear & anger” emotions (satan, sin, conspiracy theories, etc) and use that fear to get emotional power over them. This get people to join up, to contribute, to come to more meetings, to be a part of the emotional sway of the crowd.
They groom people for their self loathing and use that against them too. Anger is a primary tool of the trade in fundamentalism, and self loathing is just anger and fear turned inward.
And once the audience is full of self loathing, and fear and hate for various fictional groups & ‘soft target’ groups, the church then uses that fear and anger as a uniting force for the church.
This thing is, if you know how to work a crowd, once people are brought into a state of fear and anger, that can easily be transplanted to other topics (and people). Angry and frightened people are very easy to manipulate. Their brains are already biochemically primed to look for reason to be afraid and angry. They are easy to deceive.