The Good. The Bad. The Asinine.

Sometimes, democracy sucks

One of the most admirable aspects of democracy is that anyone can be elected to office. Unfortunately, democracy also possesses an almost fatal flaw – anyone can be elected to office. Step forward, Geoff Shaw and Catch the Fire Ministries.

Geoff Shaw

Geoff was elected to the Victorian lower house in 2010, as the Liberal candidate for Frankston. According to his Wikipedia page, he has a degree in Business Accounting and, before being elected, ran his own financial planning business. So far, so good.

Geoff is also an active member of the Peninsula City Church, a Pentecostal church on the Mornington Peninsula. According to their website, they “provide a place where every person is valued, regardless of their journey in life, and where each person can find a place to belong”. Well that sounds just lovely!

Then, in his maiden speech to parliament, he said that he wanted to acknowledge “the original owner of the land on which we stand”. Wow… he wanted to publicly acknowledge the Aborigines as the original owners of the land? Geoff is quite the progressive! Well, he would be, if he didn’t claim that the original owner was “God, the Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible”. You might question the appropriateness of this statement in a secular parliament, but I’d be more interested in asking Geoff this: If God is only the “original” owner, who owns it now? Is it me? That would be cool.

Anyway, what little street cred Geoff had from belonging to a church that “[provides] a place where every person is valued, regardless of their journey in life” was utterly destroyed in early May, when he laid his cards on the altar for all to see. One of Geoff’s constituents, a young man named Jakob, wrote to him to express his disappointment in the Victorian government’s new, inaccurately-named anti-discrimination legislation:

I’m 20 in a week. I’m able to vote. I want to work, live and love freely during the course of my life, and I want to do that without thinking that I can’t.

That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Well, according to Geoff, if you’re gay like Jakob, it’s not reasonable at all:

What if I loved driving 150kms per hour in residential areas? What if there was a convicted sex offender who stated that, or a child molester? Can they still do what they want? Under your statement the answer is yes. What if one wanted to get drunk, take drugs, steal and murder? What if one loved this? Can they also do what they want without thinking that they can’t?

Equating a consensual love between two adults that, with the right amount of lube, hurts no one, with the extremely harmful crimes of pedophilia, drug-taking, theft and murder is exactly the kind of logic we need in our elected representatives. Presumably, since Geoff was courageous enough to proclaim the equivalence, he will now be doing everything he can to ensure homosexuality is just as illegal as pedophilia and murder. At least the parliamentary debate will be entertaining. You see, as a Pentecostal, Geoff can speak in tongues… you know, like this.

Catch the Fire Ministries

These are the kind-hearted people who blamed the devastating Victorian bushfires, in which 173 lives were lost, on Victoria’s abortion laws. They also blamed the Brisbane floods on Kevin Rudd or obesity or something.

For their next foray into the world of prejudicial idiocy, they’re forming a political party. Yippee!

Their policies are rather interesting. See if you can pick the pattern:

  • Establish full employment ▪ Reduce the cost of living
  • Maintain freedom of religion ▪ Reaffirm our Judeo-Christian heritage
  • No religion to be forced on anyone ▪ Schools to have faith-based chaplains
  • Maintain the family unit ▪ Give parents the right to discipline their children
  • Immigrants are free to celebrate their own backgrounds ▪ People who live in Australia should become Australian
  • Aborigines were the original owners of the land ▪ Aborigines should thank us for everything we’ve done for them
  • Free chickens for all ▪ Chickens to cost one million dollars each

OK, that last one was made up, but you get the idea. And that’s not all they’re doing. They’re not afraid to tackle the big issues:

13. Protect children from homosexuality as it creates health problems.
15. We advocate no Centrelink benefits for polygamists.
19. All elected Members of Parliament for RUA Party are encouraged to donate a percentage of their salary to the poor and the needy.

They at least seem to have caught the fire of originality. But given that their slogan is “To reach people from all walks of life into the Kingdom of God”, they should perhaps Catch the Grammar instead.

Category: Bad, Homophobia, Politics, Religion


One Response

  1. baz says:

    i smell fuckwits

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