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Greens snub Christian Lobby election forum

By Charlotte Harper 21 June 2016 35

ACL election document

Greens ACT Senate candidate Christina Hobbs told the RiotACT this afternoon that neither she nor any Federal Greens candidate would attend an Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) Meet the Candidates forum tonight, and confirmed the Greens had not replied to the organisation’s questionnaire for political parties on moral and social justice issues.

“Absolutely not. While I’m happy to speak with people of all political persuasion I will not legitimise an extreme fringe group,” Ms Hobbs said.

“We didn’t receive it in ACT to my knowledge but I don’t have time to fill a survey of a fringe group with bigoted extreme views.”

Candidates scheduled to attend include Labor Senator Katy Gallagher, Liberal Senator Zed Seselja and Sex Party candidate Steven Bailey.

Senator Gallagher tweeted this afternoon, “There will be many people tonight who don’t support the election propaganda of @ACLobby.”

But Ms Hobbs urged all ACT candidates to boycott the event.

“I am not surprised to see Senator Seselja attend this event – he is a well-known opponent of gay rights – but I am incredibly disappointed to see that the Labor Party has accepted the ACL’s invitation.

“In the aftermath of the Orlando tragedy, most Canberrans would be horrified to see both of their Senators sharing the rostrum with bigots and extremists. By attending this event, Senators Seselja and Gallagher are both legitimising bigoted and offensive views.

“For too long, the Australian Christian Lobby and conservative forces have been setting the policy agenda, and spreading lies and misinformation about Australia’s LGBTI community.

“This is the same group that once said being gay was more hazardous than smoking.

“This is the same group that warned that same-sex couples having children will lead to another stolen generation.

“And this is the same group that has called for anti-discrimination laws to be ‘set-aside’ so opponents of same-sex marriage could engage in a huge race to the bottom during a plebiscite campaign.

“It’s time for Canberra’s representatives to show some leadership on this issue and pull out of tonight’s event.”

The ACL is labelling next week’s Federal election as the most important in a generation because it says “redefining marriage will … threaten many of our most fundamental freedoms”.

The Deakin-based organisation describes itself as a “grassroots movement of over 50,000 people seeking to bring a Christian influence to politics”. It is non-party partisan and non-denominational, but the major parties’ policies on two key issues of concern for the group this election, same-sex marriage and the Safe Schools program, mean it is effectively calling on its members to vote for the Coalition.

“More than any other election issues, these two will radically reshape Australia, starting with re-shaping our children’s understanding of sex and gender,” says managing director Lyle Shelton in the organisation’s election guide (an extract from which appears in the image above).

“You and I know that this is just the rehearsal. If the Coalition is elected, the next big challenge will be the campaign to preserve marriage through the promised plebiscite after the election.”

The website includes a series of links to party responses to a questionnaire on moral and social justice issues. These will provide valuable insights to voters of all perspectives. Scroll to the bottom of this page on the ACL site to find the questionnaire responses.

Recent news items on the organisation’s website include:

ACL Election Guide Highlights Labor’s Shift to the Extreme Left on Social Policy

Labor Must Be Clear On Whether It Will Fund Sex-Change Operations For Minors

Shorten’s ‘Homophobe’ Label A Bullying Tactic To Silence Respectful Debate

Shorten’s Orlando Link An Unfortunate Ploy to Silence Discussion on Marriage

According to a Wikipedia article on the organisation, it is opposed to same sex marriage, euthanasia and abortion.

A recent comment on a post on the ACL Facebook page on abortion had this to say:
“If a life would have gone forwards without intervention then the intervention is an act of murder. Why all the protests about sharks when we remain silent about human lives lost every day. Shame and guilt perhaps?”

A spokesman said the ACL had invited all the candidates. Other confirmed attendees included Sandie O’Connor of the Rise Up Australia Party, David Kim of the Christian Democratic Party and Anthony Hanson of Mature Australia.

The forum will be held at the lobby group’s Eternity Church, at 490 Sulwood Drive, Kambah (not its Eternity House office in Deakin), between 7pm and 8.30pm tonight, and a spokesman told the RiotACT that all are welcome so long as they RSVP by 5pm today at http://www.acl.org.au/act_senate_meet_your_candidates_forum

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35 Responses to
Greens snub Christian Lobby election forum
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Claire 9:42 pm 24 Jun 16

Whoops! Who sounds bigoted? Not everyone agrees with your election propaganda either

PeterC 7:56 pm 23 Jun 16

Funny how much this “Christian” organization has in common with Islam, in regards to their views on the LGBT community. Could we one day see them put aside their differences and form an alliance to oppose abominations before God/Mohammed?

Islam, Judaism and Christianity do have the same god. They are branches of the same evolutionary tree and only differ on which prophets they give greater credence to.

Rustygear 3:34 pm 23 Jun 16

Just to say I agree with all those people here who have in one way or another pointed out that the Greens themselves are becoming more intolerant themselves as the years wear on. I used to vote for them when they pushed environmental issues, but although they still have policies on the books that address those issues, their main public focus now has diverted to minority identity politics and immigration. But it is this latest kind of intolerance – and I suspect quite a hypocritical or at least unbalanced one at that (‘Greens snub conservative Muslim lobby’ is not a headline that we’ll ever read) and all the associated name-calling their adherents carry on with, that demonstrates a new and ugly viciousness in the Greens – and that turns me off completely.

Mysteryman 9:52 am 23 Jun 16

pink little birdie said :

Here_and_Now said :

Funny how much this “Christian” organization has in common with Islam, in regards to their views on the LGBT community. Could we one day see them put aside their differences and form an alliance to oppose abominations before God/Mohammed?

Is that so? Please go ahead and list the similarities for us.

I just said it didn’t I? They have similar views on LGBT people.
Perhaps if I put it another way – Islam and the ACL both think being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is wrong. They both certainly do not think these people should be allowed to marry.
They both also use their religious texts to back up their ideologies that it is a sinful thing.
Is that elaborated enough for you?

No, it’s not enough. You make the claim that they both have a lot in common, but views on homosexuality are the only thing you’ve listed. And you’ve been so vague about it that you obviously don’t understand the differences in how they view the issue.

So I’ll ask you again; since you claim there are so many, please list the similarities between Islam and Christianity. Because I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about.

wildturkeycanoe 6:42 am 23 Jun 16

Here_and_Now said :

Funny how much this “Christian” organization has in common with Islam, in regards to their views on the LGBT community. Could we one day see them put aside their differences and form an alliance to oppose abominations before God/Mohammed?

Is that so? Please go ahead and list the similarities for us.

I just said it didn’t I? They have similar views on LGBT people.
Perhaps if I put it another way – Islam and the ACL both think being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is wrong. They both certainly do not think these people should be allowed to marry.
They both also use their religious texts to back up their ideologies that it is a sinful thing.
Is that elaborated enough for you?
This is not my personal opinion mind you, simply just an observation and an attempt at a tongue in cheek go at those opposed to gay marriage.
I am slowly changing my thoughts on the subject and feel now that if gay people want to marry, why not let them be as depressed as every other married couple in the world? Why not let them have the same relationship woes that all married couples enjoy? Let them get stuck in relationships, lose everything in divorce court, get chastised for infidelity.
But marriage is in my opinion still a religious union, involving a man, woman and God. If a civil union is desired, so that their relationship becomes legal in the eyes of the law and government, I am happy for them to form such a union. But do not think for a minute that it should be called marriage as defined by christian practices. Let them sign a legal document and celebrate it their own way, but to force mainstream churches to recognize it as a marriage and expect thousands of years of religious teachings to be turned on its head is not acceptable.

Masquara 10:36 pm 22 Jun 16

Good. The ACL do not represent the majority of Christians.

I’d say they probably represent quite a few, e.g. much of the parent body at Brindabella Christian College. ACL are arch-conservative, but I think it’s wrong for Christina Hobbs to label them extremists, as though they are like Westboro in the US, or like one of the extreme Imams anywhere.

Masquara 8:25 pm 22 Jun 16

Good on Bailey et al for engaging and being prepared to argue with right-wing bigots. Ya boo sucks for Christina Hobbs. I wonder whether she would turn down an invitation to attend an event run by anti-gay Muslim leaders…

bobster 7:08 pm 22 Jun 16

Every civil libertarian and free speech proponent knows that the worst way to deal with bigots is to try and shut them up. And every tolerant person knows that by debating issues out in the open is the only way to address issues of racism, bigotry and intolerance. The Greens have just shot themselves in the foot. They should have been there to argue the ACL with logic, evidence and passion. They squibbed it. I can’t believe they are that stupid.

chewy14 5:48 pm 22 Jun 16

chewy14 said :

dungfungus said :

pink little birdie said :

Typical Greens. Anything they disagree with is labelled “extremism” and “bigoted”.

These people were copping those terms regardless of whether the Greens are in play or not because it pretty much describes them.

‘Bigotry’ is a real thing; it’s not something made up just for you to feel like a special snowflake for disagreeing with the Green Party.

This isn’t a case where people who are homophobic or racist or religiously prejudiced or whatnot get to say ‘don’t call me a bigot because that’s not how I self-identify’.

When you google the word “bigot” the first definition given is “a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions”. That sums the Greens up perfectly. They are so busy shouting bigot at those they disagree with (who, incidentally, generally happen to be quite respectful about differences of opinion) that they don’t see the hypocrisy of their actions.

Yes, bigotry is a real thing. Just look at the progressives.

By your own definition your last sentence could also be considered to be bigotary. Hmm where does one draw the line to bigotary or just simply having an opposing view?

When one refuses to engage with those with opposing views because of them?

People often claim that being a “bigot” is in of itself a bad thing but every one of us is a bigot on many issues. The problem seems to be the pejorative way the word is excessively used by those who don’t fully understand what it actually means.

Acton 5:39 pm 22 Jun 16

In terms of recognising and addressing life’s worries there is little to distinguish Liberal from Labor and no great affection for either leader. But most of what the Greens are, represent and aspire to are anathema to the majority of adult Australians. So the Greens risk being marginalised to the point of irrelevance in the same way as the Australian Democrats and other fringe political parties. There is only one Greens issue which does have traction, which is neglected by the other parties and which if presented as a credible policy would gain them a lot of mainstream support. Euthanasia.

Mysteryman 5:06 pm 22 Jun 16

chewy14 said :

dungfungus said :

pink little birdie said :

Typical Greens. Anything they disagree with is labelled “extremism” and “bigoted”.

These people were copping those terms regardless of whether the Greens are in play or not because it pretty much describes them.

‘Bigotry’ is a real thing; it’s not something made up just for you to feel like a special snowflake for disagreeing with the Green Party.

This isn’t a case where people who are homophobic or racist or religiously prejudiced or whatnot get to say ‘don’t call me a bigot because that’s not how I self-identify’.

When you google the word “bigot” the first definition given is “a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions”. That sums the Greens up perfectly. They are so busy shouting bigot at those they disagree with (who, incidentally, generally happen to be quite respectful about differences of opinion) that they don’t see the hypocrisy of their actions.

Yes, bigotry is a real thing. Just look at the progressives.

By your own definition your last sentence could also be considered to be bigotary. Hmm where does one draw the line to bigotary or just simply having an opposing view?

My last sentence doesn’t demonstrate intolerance. It’s evidence of disapproval, though. There’s a huge difference and the fact that people refuse to see the it, is what allows leftist groups to drag political discourse to the level of blind hatred and flagrant hostility. Unlike the people who spend their time squealing ‘bigot’ at everyone they disagree with, I’m more than happy for opposing views to exist and be expressed.

Mysteryman 5:01 pm 22 Jun 16

Funny how much this “Christian” organization has in common with Islam, in regards to their views on the LGBT community. Could we one day see them put aside their differences and form an alliance to oppose abominations before God/Mohammed?

Is that so? Please go ahead and list the similarities for us.

madelini 4:35 pm 22 Jun 16

theword said :

pink little birdie said :

When it comes down to it, there needs to be a voice for the progressives in this country.

So you admit the Greens have been infiltrated by people who are excessively interested in fringe issues and social activism that has nothing to do with environmental conservatism.

Why should the *Greens* be the voice for the indoctrinees conned by 40 years of post-rational neo-marxist anti-social philosophies?

No, I do not admit that they have been infiltrated by anyone, nor do I think that they have abandoned their original intent. I have observed that as a party, the Greens have evolved to become more than a one-trick pony and a real contender for a number of important seats around the country. They broadened the focus of their policies as their relevance and public profile grew.

Equality is not a fringe issue. It’s a very important issue that affects the majority of people in this country. If you are able to explain how it is a post-rational, anti-social policy, I would love to hear why.

Your biggest issue seems to be that the party is still called the Greens, even though they have diversified. Considering that the environment remains central to a large amount of their policies, it’s not a misnomer. Evolution is a natural process, particularly in politics – see how the ALP has evolved since the Whitlam years.

JC 4:30 pm 22 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

pink little birdie said :

Typical Greens. Anything they disagree with is labelled “extremism” and “bigoted”.

These people were copping those terms regardless of whether the Greens are in play or not because it pretty much describes them.

‘Bigotry’ is a real thing; it’s not something made up just for you to feel like a special snowflake for disagreeing with the Green Party.

This isn’t a case where people who are homophobic or racist or religiously prejudiced or whatnot get to say ‘don’t call me a bigot because that’s not how I self-identify’.

When you google the word “bigot” the first definition given is “a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions”. That sums the Greens up perfectly. They are so busy shouting bigot at those they disagree with (who, incidentally, generally happen to be quite respectful about differences of opinion) that they don’t see the hypocrisy of their actions.

Yes, bigotry is a real thing. Just look at the progressives.

By your own definition your last sentence could also be considered to be bigotary. Hmm where does one draw the line to bigotary or just simply having an opposing view?

A_Cog 4:07 pm 22 Jun 16

Christina Hobbs’s reaction is inappropriate and quite concerning.

Sure, she may not like the wackos at the ACL, but to boycott their election forum is not what a serious politician should ever do. It raises doubts about their suitability for the very position they seek.

Say Hobbs is successful and gets elected, and as a Senator, represents the 250,000 ACT voters and their children. Her job is to represent all of them, not just her narrow view of those who agree with her. If elected to the Senate, Hobbs would frequently receive petitions from constituents asking her to table them in the Senate on their behalf. The question then becomes, should she refuse to represent constituents who she is a senator for but disagrees with?

Flip it the other way: an ACL candidate is successful, and then ignores greens / Muslims / LGBTI / climate change believers / women…

It should not matter whether she agrees with their views or not – it should matter whether she supports the institution of democracy which permits people to have differing views, and whether she takes her potential democratic role seriously.

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