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Australian Churches Speak Out Against Christianists

Australian Churches Speak Out Against Christianists

A mainstream group representing the major churches in the Australian state of Victoria has attacked misrepresentation of Christian views by right-wing ‘Christianists‘.

The Executive of the Victorian Council of Churches said:

“There are well-organised and well-financed lobby groups who routinely present their views as ‘the’ Christian position. The community needs to know that there is a range of views held on many topics in the Christian tradition, just as there are numerous views in all areas of human endeavour. It is important that no one view captures the attention of the community, of the media and of government.”

“Some groups adopt a threatening stance in their commentary, seemingly to declare ‘debate closed’ when our nation needs as wide an engagement as possible to honour the diversity in our community.”

VCC general secretary Theo Mackaay told The Star Observer that they acted when The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) was the only voice quoted in the media during the debate on marriage equality at the Australian Labor Party conference last month.

“We don’t have a position on the issue of same-sex marriage,” he said.

“If you asked that question at one of our executive meetings you would find there would be some who would be horrified at the thought that same-sex marriage is possibly to be legislated, others who would think that every Member of Parliament, whichever party they come from, should have a conscience vote, and others still who would leave that entirely up to the parties.”

VCC described the lobby group as “based on a fundamentally conservative view of the Christian faith.” Others have described it as belonging to the dominionist strand of Christian activism, originating from the US with ACL having its roots with Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition of America.

The VCC say that they enable a “safe environment to prayerfully discuss and discern theologically differing viewpoints” and “consider carefully all matters before it without the need to threaten or admonish.”

ACL deny that the group presents itself as representing Australian Christianity.

VCC member churches: Anglican; Antiochian Orthodox; Armenian Apostolic; Bulgarian Orthodox; Churches of Christ; Coptic Orthodox; Greek Orthodox; Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East; Lutheran, Malankara Orthodox Syrian; Mar Thoma Syrian, Religious Society of Friends; Roman Catholic, Melkite Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic Eparchies; St George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox; Salvation Army; Syrian Orthodox; Uniting Church, Welsh Church, Wesleyan Methodist.

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216 comments

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1:51AM PST on Jan 17, 2012

We all benefit when people frrom any tradition speak for themselves and do not allow others to hijack their beliefs for other purposes. With freedom of religion in the US we should be especially wary of anyone claiming that ___________ believe this or ____________ believe that.

5:12PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Carol D...I don't want to split hairs with you but.....this is NOT "a Christian nation."

Never has been.

There are many Christian citizens. But we're NOT the "United States of Christ"..."Christian United States"....etc.

4:45PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

@ Gillian M. When I use the term Christian , I usually use the term "real" as opposed to the "pseudo." The denomination doesn't matter, it is whether they live by Christ's teachings, real about 90% of them or pseudo, those who pick & choose and follow only what they feel should be not necessarily what Christ's teachings were, & invoking parts, but not all of Leviticus, that this the 10%. Most denominations have both types in it.

4:07PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

William, you talk about Christians all the time but what type of Christian are you talking about? There are many different forms with many different beliefs. So, are you talking Coptic Christians, Greek Rothodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Lutheran or are you talking generally? That doesn't work because many forms of Christians do not recognize each other or you have something unacceptable like the Westboro Baptists who believe that they are the only true religion!

Most other forms of religion have sects within them but they tend only to have minor disagreements or decide how far to take the laws.

2:36PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Pam says:
And that "silence" is just deadly! it implies assent. The pro-Islam mob always claims that there are millions of "moderate" Muslims--but, we never see them, do we?.....Exactly MY point!

In the same way, the "moderate" Christians sit silently, far too often and IMPLY assent to the hatred against those who are "outside the fold."......IMO..I don't think it's so much about hatred against the people outside the fold as a fear because of those claiming to be the good Muslims as stated above we never hear from them...I know for myself that bothers me a lot and it tells me more about them than them voicing their opinions. At least I am assuming this is what you mean.

Anyone who thinks Christians are without religious prejudice needs to ask themselves if an atheist could be elected President of the US.......Speaking as a Christian I myself would have no problem with an Atheist being a President as long as he respected the will of the people to be able to practice their faith as they see fit and knowing this is a Christian nation he would not go against that tradition. It would be no difference whether it was a Christian in the White House not pushing his religious views on anyone or a non Christian or Atheist not pushing his anti Religious views on the public the way I look at it. As long as they do the job they are elected to do then I see no problem.

5:56AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

I am not a Christian but the blog by Andrew Sullivan seems to be the sentiment of many:

Are you a Christian who doesn't feel represented by the religious right? I know the feeling. When the discourse about faith is dominated by political fundamentalists and social conservatives, many others begin to feel as if their religion has been taken away from them.

The number of Christians misrepresented by the Christian right is many. There are evangelical Protestants who believe strongly that Christianity should not get too close to the corrupting allure of government power. There are lay Catholics who, while personally devout, are socially liberal on issues like contraception, gay rights, women's equality and a multi-faith society. There are very orthodox believers who nonetheless respect the freedom and conscience of others as part of their core understanding of what being a Christian is. They have no problem living next to an atheist or a gay couple or a single mother or people whose views on the meaning of life are utterly alien to them--and respecting their neighbors' choices. That doesn't threaten their faith. Sometimes the contrast helps them understand their own faith better.

And there are those who simply believe that, by definition, God is unknowable to our limited, fallible human minds and souls. If God is ultimately unknowable, then how can we be so certain of what God's real position is on, say, the fate of Terri Schiavo? Or the morality of contraception? Or the

8:11PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

surjit k., ah I guess most Hindus are just not that strict then, I just read that most eat some meat.
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/h_food.asp

3:21PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

MB L. Beth .S " said " Hindus don't eat meat of any kind nor do they consume eggs "
" No true some Hindus don't eat meat "
From Wikipedia. " Contrary to popular belief India is predominantly vegetarian country[17][18] Brahms of East India and Kashmir and the Saraswat Brahmins of the Southwest are allowed fish and some meat[19] "
Well, according to Hindu religion , Hindus and NOT allowed to eat meat ,fish, and eggs. But now days lot of Hindus eat meat, fish and eggs. There are one sect of Hindus Brahmins who would NOT eat any vegetables which grow unser ground,ie patatos,garlic, carrots for example.

3:12PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

"Anyone who thinks Christians are without religious prejudice needs to ask themselves if an atheist could be elected President of the US."

It's hard for even someone from one of the smaller sects of Christianity to be elected. Just look at the flack Romney gets for being Mormon, not that I like Romney, but just being Mormon should not be a deciding factor at all for presidency. I don't care if the president is a Scientologist or Satanist if his/her policies are acceptable to me and they actually support Separation of Church and State.

Yeah would be nice if the more tolerant Christians spoke out against the radicals more often. I see some do it here on Care2, so I know it's possible.

2:42PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

@ Dr C. I fully agree and
@ pam w. you are correct.
The "silent majority" is just that, silent and by not coming out against the radicals, give the appearance of acceptance.

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