As I said in a recent post, Scott Morrison’s captain’s pick for Warringah, Katherine Deves has monopolised the recent religious nutjobbery headlines with her repugnant views on transgender people1. However, it seems that the National Party is not to be outdone. They have come up with their own religious nutter vying for the fruitcake prize among candidates for the federal election. Her name is Kimberly Hone and she is running in the federal election for the seat of Richmond.
The Richmond electorate is large, covering over 2,100 square kilometres, and is roughly triangular; it extends from Tweed Heads, on the boundary between New South Wales and Queensland and extends down the coast to just south of Ballina and west from Tweed Heads to around Pumpenbil. It includes the towns of Tweed Heads, Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, Lennox Head and Ballina, among others2. The seat is held by Labor’s Justine Elliot, who won the seat on a two-party preferred count of 54%, against the National Party’s Matthew Fraser on 46% in the 2019 federal election3.
Hone’s National Party promotional site is replete with the usual guff that you get in such sites: blah, blah family, blah, blah, community, blah, blah, getting things done, blah, blah, strong representation. It also states she and her husband run a “small business coaching firm”4. Nowhere does it mention that she is a Pentecostal Christian, and the small business she runs, is a “ministry” (Business Greenhouse) that advises Christians in business. Nor does it mention that she previously worked as a chaplain and church youth leader. It seems that local National Party members only recently became aware of Hone’s religious bent, as well as her involvement with religious political parties such as the defunct Family First party and Corey Bernardi’s similarly defunct Australian Conservatives5.
Like Deves in Warringah, Hone has repugnant views about much to do with the modern world. She moans about same-sex marriage, voluntary euthanasia, but most of all, she moans about the separation of church and state, which is enshrined in the constitution6. As an aside, Hone’s solution to domestic violence is for women to ‘marry well’5. Who would have guessed it was so easy?
In a speech she gave at the Living Waters pentecostal church which was about the ‘Christian Worldview in Politics’6, she said, in part “I’m so glad that you don’t trust your government any more. … I’m so glad that you are worried about the vaccination, that you no longer trust medical science, because you are asking questions about what happens after death. … The public are asking these great questions. The harvest is ready. I’m having amazing conversations with people, even in the political arena, who have been working on government places for decades and all of a sudden, they don’t like the government. They don’t know what they’re doing there. This is a great place. … How do we bring God’s kingdom to the political arena? How do we change the mountain, from the inside out, not the outside in. … The ultimate goal for me is … I want to bring God’s kingdom to the political arena. And I want God’s kingdom to penetrate the political mountain”5.
The irony is that it has been the slow infiltration of the religious into the Liberal Party that has eroded the trust in government. As the party has become more dominated by the religious, so they have become more conservative and more authoritarian, and will stop at nothing to get their way. This is because the religious nutters like Scott Morrison are not concerned with the future of this nation or what is ethical, but what entrenches the privilege and the power of the religious.