Scott Morrison and his faith have been the subject of national discussion for three years, and yet journalists still don’t know which church he attends.
Heck, after three years they still can’t even spell ‘Pentecostal’.
And then there’s the former Greens leader who insisted that Mr Morrison giving his final speech as Prime Minister in church was proof of a conspiracy to transform Australia into a theocracy.
Cultural elites never took Mr Morrison’s Christianity seriously. Instead, they caricatured his faith in order to demean him.
Not that Pentecostals cared that much. About a quarter of the two billion Christians in the world are Pentecostals. That happened without the ABC, and despite the Greens’ anti-Christian hand-wringing.
Anyway, most churchgoers understand that our elites much prefer a small, empty church, populated by elderly parishioners cheering the ordination of a transgendered priest who believes souls can be saved by banning coal.
That’s a church our left-leaning elites can say ‘amen’ to.
But a church auditorium packed with young families professing love of Jesus and belief in the Bible as the word of God? Not so much.
Journalists spent three years studying Mr Morrison’s brand of Christianity to conclude that Pentecostals were ‘Happy Clappers’ because they were, um, happy. And they liked to clap to music.
This was about as serious as the analysis got.
Oh, and they told us Pentecostalism was ‘American-style Christianity’.
But only because journalists seemed unfamiliar with South Korean-style Christianity. Or Nigerian-style Christianity. Or Indonesian-style Christianity.
That’s where the largest Pentecostal churches are. But you’d have to be a journalist with access to Google to know that.
‘American-style Christianity’ worked for journalists because it sounded sinister, like something Donald Trump himself had created.
Some particularly switched-on journalists reckoned Pentecostals planned to influence the world.
Well hold the front page!
Seriously, would you give five cents for a religion that didn’t want to influence the world?
With such attention to detail, it was hardly surprising that when Mr Morrison gave his final speech as Prime Minister at Horizon Church on Sunday morning, the ABC reported that he was speaking at Hillsong Church.
Horizon and Hillsong are, of course, completely different churches, located 46km from each other.
What does it matter?
Mr Morrison’s detractors have long accused him of being a Hillsong member. In doing so, the enemies of Mr Morrison have sought to tar him with the scandals of Hillsong Church, and the enemies of Hillsong Church have sought to tar it with the unpopular policies of Mr Morrison.
It’s a wonderful arrangement for the haters who get to crucify Hillsong and Morrison with one nail.
So within minutes of the incorrect ABC report going to air, Hillsong started to trend on social media with haters of the PM and haters of the church queuing up to show their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
This tweet was typical…
‘Scummo went back to the cult (Hillsong) today to cry about being a LOSER.’
Except that Hillsong is a mainstream church, and Mr Morrison wasn’t there.
This tweet was popular…
‘I’m now confused. The same bloke who said he hadn’t even been to Hillsong in years just appeared on the ABC giving thanks at Hillsong Sydney. The very day after losing the election!’
Someone needs to tell the confused viewer (and the hundreds who ‘liked’ and shared his tweet) that he was only confused because he had been watching the ABC.
Meanwhile, The Australian newspaper reported: ‘An emotional Scott Morrison has addressed the congregation at his pentacostal [sic] church in Sydney following his defeat.’
Imagine if he had addressed a Cathalic Church. Or a Baptast Church. Or a Unitang Church. Or an Anglacan Church.
You get the idea.
Does it matter? Only if you care. And the media appear not to.
Former Greens leader Christine Milne cared, though too much.
In response to the PM’s last speech she reflex-tweeted:
‘Australia is a secular society and our Parliamentary system is based on separation of church and state. We are not a theocracy, and in spite of your best efforts Scott Morrison and your mentors like Brian Houston, never will be.’
Someone needs to let Ms Milne know that her Christophobia is showing.
It’s amazing that the former leader of a federal political party could be so ignorant about concepts she names and claims to understand.
Australia is not a secular society. It’s a multicultural society, with a secular government. The government is secular to prevent the church ruling the State and, just as importantly, to prevent the State ruling the church.
Can you imagine Ms Milne’s surprise when she learns that separation of church and state does not preclude an elected leader from going to church and giving a speech?
And it was just a speech. Mr Morrison wasn’t giving the church executive power!
Mr Morrison used his final speech to read a couple of Bible verses that talked about the faithfulness of God to people during tough times.
He ended by saying (and I must insert a trigger warning here for Leftists who imagine that the mere mention of God means a theocracy is being imposed upon them): ‘May God bless Australia, may God bless our community.’
With those entirely non-controversial words, our first Pentecostal Prime Minister was done.
Meanwhile, the Pentecostal church will continue growing, just as it was before one of its own was elected PM.
The media will find a lesbian priest preaching to empty pews that Jesus never really existed, and report it approvingly.
And our cultural elites will give thanks to no one that despite three years of the Morrison government, they are free to continue believing in nothing.
You can follow James on Twitter. You can order his new book Notes from Woketopia here.
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