Chasing the God Botherer Vote


After sitting down at my laptop last Thursday night to watch the Howard/Rudd speech to Christians (and feeling like a complete dill 10 minutes later when I realised it was on this week) I have been wondering what issues may get addressed.

Is it going to be a mirror of the USA’s political footballs – homsexuality, abortion etc to try and win the conversative evangelical ‘family’ vote?

Or will we see some bigger picture thinking and a ‘kingdom of God’ mentality as they seek to win us over?…

What do you think Rudd & Howard need to address to be listened to by Christians?…

11 thoughts on “Chasing the God Botherer Vote

  1. Bigger picture from Howard? In your dreams!

    I’ve had my say on the whole event already and although the organisers say that the ‘media’ will be able to attend and report on the event that does not mean that they will attend or even report on what is said. The restrictive registration process will prevent many people from eharing who may have liked to hear.

  2. Hey Hamo

    Just found out we are mutual friends with Pottsy from Cotesloe (My wife is the music leader there).

    Will catch up for a coffee with both of ya sometime?



  3. I realise there are many, many issues that we Christians should have on our mind when it comes to the upcoming election. I don’t understand why the issue of abortion continues to be, not ignored, but ridiculed as a “wowser” issue by some liberal Christians. Certainly, those of us who have worked with women and families dealing with abortion’s aftermath, don’t believe this is a mere political issue.

    Is it okay to treat any person of any age as a disposable commodity? Is this so contrary to God’s mandate to seek justice and love kindness? Does valuing human life reduce the Kingdom of God?

    These style of meetings with our elected officials are en vogue, but because of the tightly controlled nature of the forum, isn’t very helpful. I wish they would just throw the forum wide open and allow the conversation between audience and politician to flow within certain time constraints. But no professional politician would dare do this.

    To answer your question about what I think Rudd & Howard should address:

    It is a disgrace that there is such a gap in the health and educational levels between the indigenous and non-indigenous communities in our nation, will you lead the government in pouring more resources into the indigenous community to narrow and eliminate this injustice?

    What specific steps will you lead the government to take to further deal with the water shortage, such as mandating every new home to be fitted with a rainwater tanks and funding already built homes to have rainwater tanks? What alternative solutions can your government enact besides the WA State solution of high-cost, high-energy desalination plants?

    While the economy of Australia (particularly in WA) has been doing well, there has been some dark consequences for those who have not been able to keep up with the boom. What will your government do about the housing affordability crisis?

    The lessons and the sting of the Stolen Generation are still with us, but in light of almost 100,000 government-funded abortions every year, isn’t it time to alter our nation’s adoption laws to make it much easier to adopt children within Australia?

  4. Hi Chris – coffee would be good – I work out of Leederville on Thur/Fri

    Lance – I wasn’t deprecating the importannce of protecting unborn life, but I was asking ‘will we see a wider scope of vision than the traditional hot potatoes’.

    If they simple try to win Christians over with their views on moral issues then I will be pretty disappointed.

    The issues you raise are good ones!

  5. maybe howard and rudd could start by making the event an inclusive public event rather than an exclusively “christians only” one, and in doing so they could reinforce a spirituality of everyday life rather than reinforce a dualism that permeates most of our christian culture already – not to mention the overt invalidation of other faiths by such an action from both party leaders.

    Some might say that if other religions want a similar forum they should get on to organising such an event like the Australian Christian Lobby has done – but let’s face it, this event is only happening because of the power held within the christian community in terms of votes – I doubt the homosexual lobby or the migrant lobby or the mentally disabled lobby would receive the same sense of “enthusiasm” to engage from howard and rudd – but maybe i’m mistaken and too cynical???

    i’m sorry but i’m with grendel on this one. the whole concept seems quite bizarre and unnecessary to me – possibly serving to continue to drive a wedge between the christian church and the non-religious or those of different faiths, or perhaps this will have an overflow effect, convincing many people from both these groups not to vote for either of these parties.

    I think i’ll be looking elsewhere to cast my vote.

  6. Hmmm… I am not getting the argument against this event.

    I think it is unusual in a such a secular country to have Christians paid attention to, but don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t happen.

    i think non-Christians would be welcome at any church hosting the event.

    I am fairly non-plussed by it, but see it neither as a wonderful gain or a negative.

  7. I’m not opposed to the event – I welcome it and I think it is good for politicians to talk to people – but given the technology being used to broadcast the event why isn’t it just accessible to everyone. If it was a technological issue then that could have been stated in the ACL’s FAQ section, but the response was basically that the political leaders will be talking to Christians only – a rather exclusive response. While I agree that I could easily go somewhere to see it – my point is that the way it is presented is as something for Christians only – this sends a not-so-positive message before the speeches even begin.

  8. Just in from the ABC

    Rudd, Howard urged to address faiths other than Christianity Posted August 9, 2007 12:16:00

    Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown says the Government and Opposition leaders should speak to a wider range of groups, not just Christians.

    Prime Minister John Howard and Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd are tonight addressing about 100,000 people through the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).

    Their addresses will be broadcast live on the Internet to 700 venues across the country.

    Senator Brown says they should also speak to other groups, including environmental and small business.

    “I don’t think that any section of the community should have a capture of the two political leaders in the run for the election,” he said.

    “I think both Mr Howard and Mr Rudd should rethink that.

    “Good on them from speaking to the Australian Christian Lobby, but bad on them for saying but we’re not going to do the same to other organisations.”

    My sentiments exactly.

  9. no problem with me

    it seems quite sensible that different interest groups will want to know different things so target specific addresses is quite appropriate

  10. your ideal is right hamo, but in reality i doubt you can seriously say that they would be interested in talking to different interest groups that are in fact minority groups in the run up to the election, as they hold no “power”.

    Therefore i think your ideal needs to be reframed to one of “vote winning” tactics – and although this is what some would say running for election is all about, it is certainly less than “noble”.

  11. I don’t agree with the whole politicisation of Christianity that is currently taking place. I agree that the event could have been opened up. But really, get over it. Gays, Greens and so on can be appealed to through legislative changes and funding in the public arena in a way that religious groups can’t. In any case, if they’re being so exclusive, what was Howard’s Muslim Reference Group About?


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