Confronted by the complete and utter and irredeemable tedium induced by glancing at the digital rotating lands at the top of the faraway tree known as the neocons at The Australian, the pond shamelessly begs, borrows and steals from others ...
Today it's Mike Carlton's turn, as in Little faith despite the fine words, he publishes some lines from a first time parliamentary speech, then reveals it was made by Scott Morrison.
Two can play that game, and the pond will see Carlton's revelation of Morrison's blather and double it.
You see, one of the fine features you can find on the Parliament of Australia website is a way to find first speeches, recent speeches and to browse all speeches in Hansard.
Talk about cruel and unusual revelations.
If you look up the Hon Scott Morrison, here, you can immediately transport yourself to his first speech here.
Wherein you'll cop this epic load of cobbers and corn:
...what values do I derive from my faith? My answer comes from Jeremiah, chapter 9:24:
... I am the Lord who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord.
From my faith I derive the values of loving-kindness, justice and righteousness, to act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging our common humanity and to consider the welfare of others; to fight for a fair go for everyone to fulfil their human potential and to remove whatever unjust obstacles stand in their way, including diminishing their personal responsibility for their own wellbeing; and to do what is right, to respect the rule of law, the sanctity of human life and the moral integrity of marriage and the family. We must recognise an unchanging and absolute standard of what is good and what is evil. Desmond Tutu put it this way:
... we expect Christians ... to be those who stand up for the truth, to stand up for justice, to stand on the side of the poor and the hungry, the homeless and the naked, and when that happens, then Christians will be trustworthy believable witnesses.
These are my principles. My vision for Australia is for a nation that is strong, prosperous and generous: strong in our values and our freedoms, strong in our family and community life, strong in our sense of nationhood and in the institutions that protect and preserve our democracy; prosperous in our enterprise and the careful stewardship of our opportunities, our natural environment and our resources; and, above all, generous in spirit, to share our good fortune with others, both at home and overseas, out of compassion and a desire for justice.
And then there was this:
Australia is a strong nation. It is the product of more than 200 years of sacrifice—most significantly by those who have served in our defence forces, both here and overseas, and by those who have fallen, particularly those who have fallen most recently, and to whom I express my profound gratitude. But a strong country is also one that is at peace with its past. I do not share the armband view of history, black or otherwise. I like my history in high-definition, widescreen, full, vibrant colour. There is no doubt that our Indigenous population has been devastated by the inevitable clash of cultures that came with the arrival of the modern world in 1770 at Kurnell in my electorate. This situation is not the result of any one act but of more than 200 years of shared ignorance, failed policies and failed communities. And we are not alone: our experience is shared by every other modern nation that began this way. There is much for us all to be sorry for. Sadly, those who will be most sorry are the children growing up in Indigenous communities today, whose life chances are significantly less than the rest of us.
And so to the wrap up:
In conclusion, it says in the Book of Joel, ‘Your old men will dream dreams; your young men will see visions.’ Let us have in this place a vision of young men and women that realises the dreams of generations past—the dreaming of Dharawal elders of ancient times, the dreams of Cook and his era of discovery and enlightenment and the dreams of my grandparents’ generation, who fought wars, survived the Great Depression and gave birth to our great Liberal Party with the dream of a brighter day for those who came after them. May God bless and guide us all in this place as we serve those who have had the good grace to send us here on their behalf.
Take that Mike Carlton.
But perhaps the most interesting bit came in an aside. In the speech Morrison mentions three dedicated church leaders whose pastoral work had influenced him. One is the Reverend Ray Green, who ran the Waverley Parish of the Uniting Church at Bondi Junction and who turns up Nick Bryant's portrait of Morrison, Who the Bloody Hell Are You?
Another is Brian Houston, and that's where the tone shifts darker and fundamentalist.
Let's not raise the matter of Houston's father - no one can pick their parents - let's just note that Hillsong is surely one of the greater frauds perpetrated on Sydney, and it's long been a favourite of the Sydney media, from The lord's profits to Hillsong - the church with no answers, and is as good a reason for taxing churches as businesses as has yet been devised. (You can do a Greg Hunt and wiki Frank Houston here and Brian Houston here).
The other name is Leigh Coleman, an ex-Hillsong CEO. You can get a measure of Coleman by reading Investigation into charity run by ex-Hillsong CEO Leigh Coleman, Many Rivers Microfinance, which notes that Coleman attracted attention by being involved in a charity that had spent more than $1.3 million to generate just $330,000 in loans:
In 2006 Leigh Coleman’s operation at Hillsong Emerge – the evangelical group’s former benevolent arm - had its funding discontinued after revelations the vast majority of taxpayer dollars went to employing staff.
Mr Coleman’s current program at Many Rivers has since successfully raised millions of dollars from the Federal Government and some of the country’s biggest companies including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Westpac.
And if you follow the links, you can end up at at Many Rivers Microfinance CEO Ronald Leigh Coleman - a career in finance charities - and cop this insight into the way business gets done in Sydney.
In 2007 Mr Coleman was involved in bitter dispute over a Hillsong plan to build a mega church auditorium for 3200 people in Sydney.
In letters to local papers and at a public meeting Mr Coleman spoke in support of the church proposal but failed to disclose his involvement with Hillsong.He also used the name Ronald in one letter and Leigh in another – when asked about this he claimed Leigh was only a nickname.
"I used Ronald because that's my first name," Mr Coleman told Sydney Central at the time.
And so on and so forth. Every so often the mainstream media pays attention - the tabloid A Current Affair ran a report on the money machine in February 2013, which you can still see on YouTube here.
But it's intermittent, and the pond only remembers each Sunday when Newtown is invaded by an outreach group of Morrison's current church in the Shire, the American style mega church speaking in tongues wacky fundamentalist Shirelive.
It turns out, if you do a bit of research, that the fundies in Sydney do business in the rum, sodomy and lash style that's been in popular vogue since the Rum Rebellion, and there'd be nothing wrong with any of that, except they keep on holding their nose and pretending that they don't ...
So you'll have to pardon the pond if it joins with the eternal footmen holding its coat and snicker at this Morrisonism in his maiden speech:
Australia is not a secular country—it is a free country. This is a nation where you have the freedom to follow any belief system you choose. Secularism is just one. It has no greater claim than any other on our society. As US Senator Joe Lieberman said, the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not from religion. I believe the same is true in this country.
Which is a specious load of bollocks of the first water - and now sees the education system in Australia being reduced to a contending bunch of fundamentalists funded by Australian taxpayers - but at least now the people stowed in assorted gulags will now get to appreciate where not being free from religion will get you ...
(Below: found here)