Alex Hawke; hyocrite, theocrat

By July 30, 2022Australian Politics

Former PM Scott Morrison’s chief ally in the Coalition, Alex Hawke posted the following on Facebook:

“From day one the Albanese Labor Government has launched a major culture war to remove the Lords Prayer from being read in our parliament. For over 120 years a prayer has started every single day of Australia’s parliament. Given we are a majority Christian country and that ,regardless [sic] of your beliefs, our culture has been seasoned by christian values such as helping others, compassion to the vulnerable and fairness, how will Albanese and Labor removing these values from our Parliament make us stronger?”1

An article on this topic appeared in Murdoch’s budgie-cage liner, The Australian, under the heading “Atheist senate chief wants Lord’s Prayer gone”. I don’t know what this article said as I refuse to pay for Murdoch tripe. The strap line said “New Senate president Sue Lines says she does not want to say the prayer, which has been read at the start of each sitting day since 1901.”

Section 116 of the Australian Constitution states that: “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust under the Commonwealth”. While there is no legislation enforcing the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer before each sitting day, there is a ‘practice’ of doing so. This makes in ‘not justiciable’ (i.e. is not capable of being decided by legal principles or by a court of justice). However, if it was covered by legislation, it would be justiciable and likely invalid. Legal precedent has shown that Standing Orders of Parliament are actual laws and this is consistent with the use of the terminology in Section 116 of “any law”2. So reciting the Lord’s Prayer can be removed from parliament and any attempt to enforce its reintroduction would likely be invalid.

Hawke talking about culture wars1 is a hoot, as that has been one of the main tactics of the former government, to try to wedge the Labor Party over some perceived slight against who they like to refer to as the quiet Australians. Culture wars have been part of the strategy of the Coalition ever since John Howard preferred the white blindfold history of Australia to what he referred to as the black armband view. His attitude was that Australian history began in 1788 and it was all heroic struggles against the elements in a harsh continent3. This has led to a constant refrain from the conservatives over the ‘Marxism’ of the school curriculum4.

Culture wars were most prominently manifest in the same-sex marriage ‘debate’, whether there should be an apology to the stolen generation, whether climate change exists, and whether Aboriginals should have land rights, or whether it is acceptable to racially discriminate5. Indeed, there have even been fake culture wars such as the ‘war on christmas’6,7, the ‘nanny state’ and sundry other minor skirmishes. The most recent of these culture war skirmishes was the Katherine Deves affair. She was Morrison’s pick to run for the seat of Warringah, and her views on transgender people were repugnant8. Morrison apparently though that would garner him votes in places other than Warringah.

Hawke’s assertion that “we are a majority Christian country”1  is, if you go by the results of the 2021 census, a lie. In that census, 43.9% of the population identified as Christian9. People like Hawke have never let the facts get in the way of their story; lying is their stock in trade. Indeed, Hawke may have been even wider of the mark than he thought. There is evidence that the people with no religion actually outnumber those with any sort of religion, not just the Christian variety9.

Hawke further states that our “culture has been seasoned by Christian values”1. This is true, and as if to demonstrate it, several churches have now had to apologise for the numerous crimes perpetrated in the name of Christianity, whether it be the sexual abuse of children, the taking of children from their families, or the general mistreatment of Aboriginals10-12.

Following this came Hawke’s most egregious lie. He maintained that those Christian values includes “helping others, compassion to the vulnerable and fairness”1. The former government acted as if its value system was the antithesis of these. For Hawke to say that the removal of the Lord’s Prayer will remove these values from the Parliament is laughable. It is symptomatic of the current Liberal Party that they assert what matters is such performative piety, rather than how they behave.

What I would like to see removed from parliament is the hypocrisy that allows Christians like Hawke to endlessly profess their piety, and claim to be followers of Jesus, when their ethos is one of corruption, bigotry, lying, pork barrelling, petulance, shirking of responsibility, stealing of credit from the creditable, blaming the blameless, and hatred of expertise. Now can be added boundless hypocrisy to this list of appalling behaviours.

Sources

  1. https://www.facebook.com/alexhawkempmitchell
  2. http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UTasLawRw/2008/9.pdf
  3. https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/RP9798/98RP05
  4. https://theconversation.com/why-is-peter-dutton-trying-to-start-another-political-fight-over-the-school-curriculum-187021
  5. https://insidestory.org.au/our-thirty-year-culture-wars/
  6. https://blotreport.com/2017/01/20/war-on-christmas/
  7. https://blotreport.com/2018/12/23/no-war-against-christmas-2018/
  8. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/katherine-deves-defeat-in-warringah-a-stunning-rebuke-of-politics-of-division-advocates-say/6cd2ipzag
  9. https://blotreport.com/2022/06/28/and-so-it-continues/
  10. https://www.anglicanchurchsq.org.au/apologies
  11. https://www.natsicc.org.au/assets/bishops-apology.gif
  12. https://www.case.edu.au/blogs/case-subscription-library/apologising-for-the-past-an-act-of-grace-and-courage

12 Comments

  • Jeremy gerrand says:

    Absolutely magnificent analysis

  • Arthur Baker says:

    The Lord’s Prayer includes these words: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.”. Presumably the god-botherer MPs who favour its retention, including Hawke, listen to those words at the beginning of every day that parliament sits, and may even mumble it to themselves.

    And yet that cohort includes the perpetrators of the illegal Robodebt, arguably the most virulent and unwarranted “trespass” (read: attack) against innocent Australian citizens in living memory. Do they request forgiveness for that? They might, but only if they admitted it was a trespass, which they seem not to want to do. Did they forgive Robodebt’s hapless and innocent victims, some of whom committed suicide when faced with the relentless attack mounted against them? Not noticeably. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming to cancel the so-called debts when a court forced them to do so. Forgiveness wasn’t even in their vocabulary, and seemingly still isn’t.

    Hypocrisy barely comes close to describing what happened in that disgraceful saga. The forthcoming Royal Commission will be interesting to watch, since its target is clearly Morrison, whose sticky little fingerprints are all over Robodebt.

    • admin says:

      Arthur,
      I agree. Hypocrisy has become so endemic in Australian politics, that the word has lost its bite.

  • Russell says:

    Alex Hawke, the one with slitty eyes for any opportunity to advance his creepy self higher up the ladder of political fortune, is a buddy of our former Prime Munster, that duplicitous, repulsive phoney whose name it pains anyone decent to mention. Like seeks like, they say. Just as for so many of his so-called Christian ilk, religion is a disguise, a convenient ruse by which he attempts to look ethical. But our little pal Hawkey has a certain history which many others know is unsavoury. Even given that, rat cunning may well see this character rise further in the Liberal ranks. After all, Angus Taylor is a lowlife, yet see where he sits now! To watch the Taylor thing spouting his weak accusative nonsense against Labor is simultaneously sickening and hilarious. The unmitigated gall of these Liberal dregs!

    • admin says:

      Russell,
      The appalling thing about people like Morrison and Hawke is that they think they are god’s favoured people and that they can do no wrong. That is what makes them doubly disgusting.

  • Jon says:

    “Our culture has been seasoned by christian values such as helping others, compassion to the vulnerable and fairness”. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Both gobsmacking and Godsmacking. As I’ve suggested before – there is a special place reserved in Hell (or at least life in Purgatory) for “Christian” hypocrites like these. If you haven’t heard of Purgatory it’s like a prison farm, while Hell is solitary for life (or death in this case).

    Hawke, a Morrison toady, is just another typical conservative religious charlatan/pharisee. He is a rather cheap and poor copy of his adored former leader though, and has yet to hone his “Christian” hypocrisy to the level that Morrison has. I’m no christian scholar but I’ve read a few articles which point out that Jesus condemned precisely the sort of public piety Hawke, Morrison et al practise.

    Can’t remember who it was talking on ABC radio last week but she made the observation that after nearly a decade in the doldrums it was heartening to see the new government actually doing things. As she said: “because surely you enter politics to make a difference and get things done for the people.” Telling. Just one of many epitaphs which could be put on the putrid stain on decency, fairness and honesty the Morrison and his minions leave as their legacy.

    • admin says:

      Jon,
      The funny thing is that the Coalition government was emplaced precisely to do what they did, which was nothing. The plutocracy likes things just the way they are; to keep the public funds flowing to private industry.

      • Jon says:

        The conservatives’ abilities to distill and act on repairing the problems of the day know no bounds.
        Nationals MP Pat Conaghan:
        “Some may say that it’s [a lack of tie] a minor matter to not comply with the dress standard [the target of Conaghan’s bile was in fact complying with the “standard”] but what it says to many, including me, is that there is little respect for the tradition and history of our parliament.”

        Apparently not wearing a tie offends the [past] high standards of parliament but lying, corruption, abuse of power, abject laziness, abuse of staff, lack of morals and ethics do not. Onya Pattie, you’re a wonderful example of modern National political standards and quality. A credit to those who, no doubt blindly, voted for you.

        • admin says:

          Jon,
          They seem to forever have their eye upon the hole and not upon the doughnut. For them it is all about appearances not content.

          • Jon says:

            Not sure why most contemporary conservative politicians (both males and females, with few exceptions) are so lacking (as are quite a few on the left it must be said). Is it personal incompetence? Arrogance? Laziness? Lack of spine or personal standards? Party-induced feebleness? Or simply entitled smugness mixed with ideological blindness? Perhaps it was ever the case but the scrutiny they’re now under puts the spotlight on their inadequacies and hypocrisies? Nope, I think they’re FAR worse than their predecessors.

          • admin says:

            Jon,
            I try to remember some of the people in conservative politics from my younger years and I seem to remember them not being as venal or as incompetent as the current crop. Howard was a bastard who was only concerned with getting re-elected, and it was he who first started using the dog whistle to garner the votes of the racist bastards in the general populace. Abbott was a moron, who struggled to have a coherent thought, let alone enunciate one. Turnbull was hamstrung by his idiot right. Morrison was the worst PM I have ever seen, and I almost remember as far back as Menzies. Whether it is because modern politicians have never lived through hard times (Depression, WW2) and have simply had it too easy, or whether these days politics simply attracts the wrong sort of person because standards of probity have slipped, I wish I knew. I suspect it is the latter, but wouldn’t bet $5 on it. Hopefully, a decent ICAC will dissuade the lazy, vacuous, venal scum from seeing politics as a sinecure.

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