Flat White

God botherers shouldn’t bother Mark McGowan

15 July 2021

11:23 AM

15 July 2021

11:23 AM

According to the proposed changes to the National Curriculum, Christianity is being expunged from what it is to be Australian.

In Western Australia, they have taken it further. The government of Western Australia sees those faithful Christians as dangerous agitators, who need to be suppressed — an interesting view, given that a quarter of the population of Perth turned out to hear Billy Graham in 1959.

The Australian Christian Lobby is no Billy Graham in terms of pulling power. But it preaches similar messages to Graham: to love one’s fellow man, to respect life, and to uphold the family. The ACL may be on the wrong side of the left-leaning zeitgeist, but it does not preach revolution or intolerance.

But apparently, its requests to hire venues for events in Perth and Albany are dangerous political acts. The Perth Theatre Trust knocked the ACL back on the grounds that they wanted to use the venues for ‘political’ meetings.

In writing to advise the ACL of their rejection, the Trust, which is a WA government entity, told the ACL that it will not accept individuals or organisations ‘where the content of the event does not represent the views of the West Australian government or the vast majority of Western Australians’.

Just how is the ‘vast majority’ defined? And how does a bunch of luvvies know what that ‘vast majority’ think?

Or perhaps it’s what the trendy lefties who dominate the arts community think, where they are the philosopher queens who know all, while the ACL represents to them the great unwashed plebs who they demand subsidise their progressive proclivities.

The Trust’s refusal to allow the ACL to enter a commercial arrangement on such a pretext is preposterous. The WA government may have its views, but it is supposed to be a democratic government, tolerant of a broad range of opinions and beliefs. It is not supposed to shut down, suppress or ban opinions and beliefs that represent millions of mainstream Australians.

The ACL’s money is good. Much of it probably comes from church collection plates. Provided they don’t advocate armed revolt against the elected government, or the events they stage risk major public disorder, Mark McGowan shouldn’t be bothered by any group wanting to use state-owned facilities, let alone fundamentalist God-botherers who claim the Prime Minister as one of their own.

Or, for that matter, organisations that might support freedom for Tibet or Taiwan, that also would run afoul of the Perth Theatre Trust’s government-appeasing policy. Mark McGowan’s government is a well-known friend of the Chinese Communist Party leadership.

This ban is perverse and disturbing. Given McGowan has unleashed his inner authoritarian under the cover of Covid, and his political opposition is all but non-existent, this decision citing his government’s views, as the arbiter of access, shows that freedom of thought and association is as much under threat in lockdown and border ban-happy Western Australia as freedom of movement.

It must be rescinded.

Terry Barnes edits our daily newsletter, the Morning Double Shot. You can sign up for your Morning Double Shot of news and comment here.

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