“Messiah” From the Shire?


Against all the opinion polls, against all of the bookmakers odds, Scott Morrison, the Pentecostal PM has won his “miracle election” so the government can continue to avoid taking any action on climate change (and other things)

The return of Scott Morrison’s Liberal/National Party government is being portrayed as a massive victory because the result went against all expectations of Labor winning significantly.

Morrison is being lauded in one Murdoch newspaper as “the Messiah from the Shire”*.

But, in reality, at the moment, it seems that the parliament will be practically the same as it was after the last election, with a Liberal/National government having only the same one or two seat majority they started with three years ago. Rather than a significant victory, Morrison has won the status quo.

My pre-election thoughts were that a return of the Lib/Nats under Scott Morrison would be along similar lines to Trump’s win and Brexit. ( I’ve now seen that Trump himself has made that comparison regarding Morrison’s victory). It would be the return of a disorganised schism-ridden government that would increase national turmoil. The focus would remain upon $$$$, in a way that would leave the more vulnerable behind.

scomo-coalAnd then there’s the climate change issue – with the Pentecostal PM well known for gleefully waving a lump of coal around during debate in parliament, and his government having a fixation on building coal fired power stations.

There are far too many problems with this government and its members to write about in a short blog post; including some very dodgy dealings with “environment policy”, in which record payments were made to companies with connections to those politicians awarding the payments.

However, that’s what the voting public, including the Pentecostal churches, have
supported.

Because of that, I consider the election result is very likely God’s judgement on this nation and on the church – just as I see Trump’s election was in America.

As disappointing as it is to see the way things have gone – I would have preferred to see a government take steps to address the nation’s economic inequalities, as well as do something rational with climate change policy – I know very well that any such steps would only be a temporary reprieve from the inevitable.

Before Jesus returns things are NOT going to get better, society is not going to become more equitable. Terrible, destructive changes to the climate and environment WILL happen no matter what steps humankind might take.

We also know that attitudes to God, to Jesus, to followers of Jesus will become more hostile and persecution of believers will be an increasing reality.
I think the actions and attitudes of the public face of “the church” will play a significant part in increasing that hostility.

I have seen what people are saying about the “Christian” Prime Minister in public discussion forums.
While those commenters are clearly, already, God-haters, the expression of Christianity they see through the Prime Minister’s example, gives  fuel to their hostility and makes their message easier to be swallowed by others: very much in the same way that evangelical support of Trump provides fuel for an anti-Christian hostility in the US

______________

* “Messiah from the Shire”, not a Hobbit/ Lord of the Rings reference. “The Shire” is the nickname of the southern suburbs of Sydney where Morrison lives.

An alternate nickname he has been given is “Liar from the Shire”.

28 thoughts on ““Messiah” From the Shire?

  1. It seems we are in an anti-Christ era… or in the beginnings of it. I actually don’t see it in religious terms (like it’s the end times or end of days) overall, but I might have to watch more about that. So far, I have mostly seen hypocrisy. And I feel angry about it, angry enough to not keep falling for the ways I’ve been duped most of my life (for which duping I feel guilty even if it was originally based on my own naivete and later on trying to do the best we could, still being somewhat naive). You’re right that any improvement would only ultimately be temporary. It’s so painful for so many to be blind and hateful. Someone who posts at another blog I frequent — someone from Australia, not the blog owner — has stated that she hasn’t found anyone who voted for this guy you speak of who did it on adult terms (rather than like “ha-ha” ).

    * “Messiah from the Shire”, not a Hobbit/ Lord of the Rings reference. “The Shire” is the nickname of the southern suburbs of Sydney where Morrison lives.

    An alternate nickname he has been given is “Liar from the Shire”.

    I’m sad for you.

    Someone else (someone who used to post at that other site I just mentioned) came and complained about what he perceived as anti-Semitic statements from the other party a month or two or so ago. I pointed out that Trump has said and done anti-Semitic things (and I pointed this out before the election too, but was ignored). I said that it is overlooked in Trump and other Republicans — because they are Republicans. Somehow, they get a Messiah white-wash.

  2. My opinion on Brexit was that it has been ill-conceived. It was foolish to pursue without first working out how it would be implemented.

    If I lived in Britain I don’t know how I would have responded in the referendum, but viewing from afar, I see it went ahead for the wrong reasons, promoted by some very dodgy political characters with questionable motives.

  3. “it went ahead for the wrong reasons”

    Can you be more specific? Why were they wrong? What would be the “right” reasons for leaving?

  4. Someone else (someone who used to post at that other site I just mentioned) came and complained about what he perceived as anti-Semitic statements from the other party a month or two or so ago

    I’m aware of one potential candidate from the Labor Party who allegedly made some anti-Semitic or anti-Israel comments, but they were dis-endorsed by the party because of those comments.

    Whether the comments were anti-Semitic, or anti-Israel I couldn’t say because I don’t know what was said.

    The winning Liberal/National Party dis-endorsed some candidates after they made anti-Muslim and/or anti-homosexual comments. Others made similar comments but were not dis-endorsed. Those kicked out were usually not expected to win their seat anyway.

  5. Can you be more specific? Why were they wrong? What would be the “right” reasons for leaving?

    Wrong reasons? The racist element. The desire to make Britain great again (to misquote a slogan from a different nationalist campaign). Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson (why would anyone in their right mind follow anything either of those men favoured?)

    Right reasons? if Britain was genuinely being disadvantaged by its membership. If the process of leaving had been well-thought out and planned for so it could progress with minimal harm and disruption to Britain.

  6. The Morrison governments major (maybe only) election promise was for immediate tax cuts for those on middle and low incomes. Only three days after their win they’ve already backed out – perhaps delaying those cuts for a year.

  7. What was the racist element, specifically?

    “why would anyone in their right mind follow anything [Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson] either of those men favoured?” I don’t know. You tell me.

    How/why would Britain have been stronger by remaining? Again, specifics……..

  8. Not exactly the point of my post, so no point in carrying on with answering questions that already have very clear answers.

    Whether or not Brexit was in Britain’s interest is irrelevant- the fact that they jumped into it without any forethought or planning, is the problem of Brexit.

    I think the common element is the following of leaders who can not deliver what they promote, who attain positions of power and influence through deceit.

  9. I said: Someone else (someone who used to post at that other site I just mentioned) came and complained about what he perceived as anti-Semitic statements from the other party a month or two or so ago. I pointed out that Trump has said and done anti-Semitic things (and I pointed this out before the election too, but was ignored). I said that it is overlooked in Trump and other Republicans — because they are Republicans.

    I was ignored and brushed off (not in a “personal” sense but in an atmosphere of remaining partisan in the name of being a person of faith) at his own site(s) [this was before I began posting at the “other site I just mentioned” more recently]. There was another reaction at his own site(s) — more than once, I was told by someone (else) with an air of expertise (yet repeatedly questionable judgment in my opinion) to just be quiet about it for now.

  10. “Before Jesus returns things are NOT going to get better, society is not going to become more equitable. Terrible, destructive changes to the climate and environment WILL happen no matter what steps humankind might take.”

    This comment really hit me. Made me realize I’ve rather been operating on an unexamined assumption: that when the American electorate throws out the current deceivers, we’ll again have sanity, decency, and wisdom guiding our country.

    But this comment stops me short. As you say, things will NOT get better before Jesus returns. And most certainly NOT by political change.

    Amen.

    Thanks for the wake-up call.

  11. Hi Steve, that realisation is what keeps me form despairing too much about the direction the political landscape is taking. While I’m sure we’d all like our home nations to do the right thing and by doing so provide stability and equity (as far as humanly possible) – ultimately, if we believe scripture, we know the world isn’t heading in that direction, but the world and its political leaders are not the ones to determine the ultimate outcome. And no matter how bad things will get, Jesus is coming back to reign and to do what is right and just.

  12. “but the world and its political leaders are not the ones to determine the ultimate outcome. And no matter how bad things will get, Jesus is coming back to reign and to do what is right and just.”

    Now THAT is something I can agree with you about. One can complain about a country’s (one’s own and others) current leadership and populace ad nauseum. But in fact this is just the other side of the same coin.

  13. As much as I have my own disappointments with the direction politics takes, the biggest issue to me is the devotion of Christians to particular political parties and to a particular political philosophies that promote social policies completely contrary to the ministry of Jesus, and to the gospel of the Kingdom. (policies that favour the rich by disadvantaging the poor).
    And that devotion is exploited by political powers who use that “Christian” devotion to obtain and maintain power.

    My issue is more with the Christian devotion that has put people into power, more than in the people who have attainted power through exploiting Christians.

    Christians should know better, but often they don’t, because of trying to serve two masters: God and Nation. The resulting hybrid of patriotism and Christianity perverts the gospel and serves neither God or nation.

  14. Well, then perhaps true Christians should check out of politics entirely and leave the choosing of leaders to others.

  15. It’s largely the same (Christians who put people in power and the powerful who exploit Christian devotion — probably more to self or even foolishness than God and nation). And there are people who don’t and haven’t held “office” but hold power, whether as a preacher (even if not as famous as others) or as a CPA (etc.) putting their name out at a local megachurch.

    https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2019/05/22/mike-huckabees-fight-to-throw-the-public-off-his-florida-beach
    Mike Huckabee’s fight to throw the public off ‘his’ Florida beach

    Mother Jones has compiled the comprehensive account [link in Arkansas Times article] of Mike Huckabee’s political and legal fight to keep the public off the strip of beach in front of his $3 million home near Destin, Fla. After getting millions in public support to maintain the beach, Huckabee now claims it as his own, with the help of political trickery……….

    [The following is my quoting from the linked Mother Jones article.]
    ….

    … Huckabee built his dream house on a public beach, a spot where some of the more than 4 million spring breakers and tourists who come to Walton County each year had been parking their lawn chairs and fishing poles since time immemorial. That meant the Fox News contributor had to share much of the 115-foot-long spit of sand in front of his $6 million house with those who helped pay for it—the people who watch his TV show. And he didn’t like it one bit.

    ….

    ….

    ….

    In 2016, the rash of homeowners attempting to privatize their beaches prompted Walton County to pass an ordinance declaring all 26 miles of beach in the county open for public use, although many remained privately owned. The county was on solid ground here: The Florida Supreme Court had declared the public’s right to enjoy the dry sand of private beaches back in 1974.

    ….

    For all Huckabee’s distaste for the public, Walton County wouldn’t have much in the way of beaches if not for the massive contribution of taxpayers. Climate change–induced sea-level rise is eroding the sand, and the stretch of beach in front of Huckabee’s house had been hit by seven hurricanes in the six years before he bought the plot. The county has spent millions of dollars trucking in sand to renourish its beaches [see linked article] and preserve its primary industry: tourism. But that hasn’t deterred rich property owners from suing the county, claiming that it illegally seized their property when it passed the public use ordinance.

    They had help [linked propaganda] from the Pacific Legal Foundation, a libertarian public interest law firm funded over the years by Exxon Mobil, the tobacco industry, the Koch brothers, and a host of right-wing foundations. (PLF had joined a similar fight in California, when a tech billionaire fought all the way to the Supreme Court to restrict public access to the beach in front of his house, ultimately losing.) In late 2017, a federal court ruled in Walton County’s favor.

    So Huckabee turned to politics, lobbying the state legislature, whose members were more pliable than federal judges. ….

    [And w]ith the help of a high-powered lobbyist, …. on July 1, 2018, [certain] Walton County homeowners quickly put up “no trespassing” signs on their beaches, hiring armed security and installing ropes to cordon off their little pieces of paradise [when a new measure as applied to Walton County went into effect cosponsored to gut the ability of local governments to pass ordinances granting public access to privately owned beaches].

    ….

    The bill didn’t just ruin the vacations of tourists who rented houses near the beach only to encounter security guards who chased them off. It also prevented Huckabee’s neighbors who own the modest cottages behind his mansion from using the beach just steps from their front doors. “All those thousands of people who’ve invested in homes that are close to the beach, are they going to be allowed to go to the beach as they have for years?” ….

    ….

    ….

    ….

    ….

    ….

    ….

    ….

    ….

  16. That’s one option for some – but maybe a better option would be not to take an active role in promoting one candidate or party above another, and to personally take each candidate and each election on their particular merits, instead of portraying one particular political branch as always being somehow more “godly” or at least more (Judeo) Christian friendly than another. – which usually is not the case, despite Christian support.

  17. “And there are people who don’t and haven’t held “office” but hold power, whether as a preacher (even if not as famous as others) or as a CPA (etc.) putting their name out at a local megachurch.”

    You forgot to include the thousands of unelected bureaucrats in our bloated Federal agencies who create regulations without the voters’ — excuse me, the taxpayers’ — consent, but at the taxpayers’ expense. Was that simply an oversight on your part?

  18. I have to point out that common “concern” of “taxpayers” and taxpayers expense”.

    That tax issue is also an obsession of our returned government who like to promise that they want us to keep more of our own money in our own pockets instead of being paid in taxes.
    However, that policy overwhelmingly benefits the already wealthy, who are already being paid or accruing obscene amounts of money, while those on the low income scale at best get to keep a bit of extra pocket change.

    And all of these cuts to taxes have to be paid for by so-called “cost-cutting” – or cuts to spending. and those cuts inevitably are made to community services, or programs for those most in need.

    The clear example of this dates back to the Reagan era, when that President slashed taxes by an incredible amount. Its no coincidence that at the same time that the wealthy were being given thousands of additional dollars in tax relief, that housing services were slashed and the level of homelessness jumped to (then) record levels. Levels that have increased ever since.*

    I find it more than significant that the political parties that now seem to be most favoured by christians are those that disadvantage the poor and reward the rich.
    Considering that shown favour, it’s more than significant to consider what Jesus said about the choice between serving God and serving money. Why do so many christians throw their support behind those serving money?

    I have no problem with paying taxes and seeing that money used for the benefit of the community, especially those far less fortunate than myself (and I don’t have a massive income)

    * https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/cost-of-rewarding-the-rich/

  19. I find it more than significant that the political parties that now seem to be most favoured by christians are those that disadvantage the poor and reward the rich.

    Quite possibly (probably?) the effects of the prosperity gospel upon Christian thinking.

  20. I’m sorry no one taught you, Jeanne, how to comprehend the topic of a conversation or subject of a couple of lines. Anyway, you asked: Was that simply an oversight on your part?

    No… such a notion wasn’t what was being discussed. However, no government can function without employing people who aren’t elected. But “the bureaucracy” isn’t bloated. It is overwhelmed by people who don’t want it to work “for the people” (as opposed to for rich people who want to take all). I’ve read many articles about observers (non-government and non-industry) showing up at disaster areas (especially environmental catastrophes like oil spills) and discovering the scene dominated by industry representatives rather than actual government/agency oversight. You’re getting your way and don’t even know it. Taxes are never low enough, there are never enough people being neglected or strong-armed out of what they need or deserve or have a right to.

    And now that you mention it, it is very troubling to me that there is no “law” against indicting a sitting president — yet here we are. The “opinions” of a couple of Republicans from the Nixon era [other living operatives from the Nixon era as well as disgraced apparatchiks from multiple Republican presidencies also surfacing at this time and holding sway] have prevailed. Mueller held back from recommending indictment, and Barr posits that a president can do no wrong.

    Onesimus, imagine the nerve it takes to be a “preacher” who buys a place and proceeds to take away from the entire community around you (and indeed the entire country) a natural resource the country and community has sustained and finds nourishing. The gall to feel so entitled. The named individual has held office, but there are many like him even if they haven’t. Preacher or not, they claim Christianity.* And this same man argued against refinancing and other help to ordinary people during the financial meltdown of 2008 — other people should just take their lumps.

    * Of course, not all selfish people claim Christianity. Does that absolve Christians?

  21. Jeanne quoted, tersely: “I’ve read many articles”

    For substance of my context: … many articles about observers (non-government and non-industry) showing up at disaster areas (especially environmental catastrophes like oil spills) and discovering the scene dominated by industry representatives rather than actual government/agency oversight. You’re getting your way and don’t even know it.

    I voted Republican all my life, until I realized they are undermining our government. They complain about government not working while making sure to the best of their ability that it doesn’t. It’s very disingenuous and cynical (even evil). Many of the indoctrinated don’t know. And, yet, many do. One is responsible for their own honesty and openness to facts and witnesses in life. It’s also an observable fact that the taxation rates for rich people are never seen as low enough… while the minimum wage, too, is never seen as low enough (in that its removal is desired).

    I agree with Onesimus that each election cycle (and candidate) is best approached anew so that people of conscience don’t provide cover for the most greedy tendencies.

  22. In our elections, I’ve often voted for candidates of different major parties. I don’t follow one or the other “religiously”.
    In our State elections I’ve voted for one and in the Federal elections I’ve voted for the other.
    It depends on the local candidates and the policies being put forward by their party.

  23. I’m with Tim on this one.

    Christians has a mandate to pray for leaders, whoever they may be. But we also have a responsibility to support (in whatever way our political systems allow for our input) people who will use the authority God delegates to them as HIS ministers: doing good to people, and punishing evildoers (Romans 13:1-4).

    The “Christian conservative” movement in the US (and whatever it calls itself in Australia) is instead a lapdog of a specific faction…heedless of whether or not that faction acts as God commands. The “Christians” of that group repeatedly show they are ready to abandon, or falsify, Jesus’ teachings, and scripture, to whitewash “their” faction

    And example from yesterday: Franklin Graham and over 300 other prominent “Christian leaders” cited I Timothy 2:1-4 in issuing a national call for Christians to pray for the present president. The need for prayer, Graham said on facebook, was that nobody has ever come under attack from “enemies” like the current president.

    IPresumably Graham is referring to the current president’s political “enemies,” rather than the many former business-partners, unpaid contractors, people scammed by Trump University, banks holding millions in defaulted loans, etc.

    “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

    I certainly hope all American Christians are praying, regards the current president, that we will have “tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” under his rule. For himself, as God desires for all men, we can certainly pray that the current president “..be saved and…come to a knowledge of the truth.”

    Does that scripture say, as all these big-name leaders tell us, that Christians should “pray that God will uphold the current president against his political enemies” ? Such prayer rather fosters the “wrath and dissension” we’re told should NOT be part of our prayer (v. 8), doesn’t it ?

    Or do 300 of America’s most prominent Christian “leaders” falsify scripture to serve their corrupt ends, and mislead those who follow them ?

    If the latter, may God deal with them as He determines. Most of all, may God protect His people from deceivers who come in His name. Amen.

  24. Let me add my amen.

    Or do 300 of America’s most prominent Christian “leaders” falsify scripture to serve their corrupt ends

    Unfortunately the falsification of scripture has been the dominant practice of Christian leaders for far too long.

    And to varying degrees it’s probably a practice we’ve all learned from them
    I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve realised that I myself have either misquoted or misused scripture to support a point that I’ve wanted to make.
    By using “proof texts” its so easy to promote meanings that were never intended by the whole context. Your example is one: calling for us to pray for our leaders, but for reasons that are NOT given in scripture.

    Now, whenever there’s a verse or two of scripture that I want to reference to make a point, I try to make sure that those verses actually DO support that point.

    I have found, too often, that scripture is used by leaders (and others) as a springboard to promote their own ideas, that have little relevance to the meaning of the text used, viewed in its correct context.

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