The Liberal Party’s end time

By September 25, 2022Australian Politics, Society

Over the last few years, I have written several essays about the takeover of the Liberal Party by religious nutters. The first time this came to my attention was in regard to the Liberal Party in Victoria1. That apparent takeover and the bizarre statement that, if elected to government, the Liberal Party would reintroduce religious instruction in public schools, led to their decline in support such that at the most recent Victorian state election the number of seats they held actually decreased (by about 9), giving the Labor state government an increased majority2.

The second instance was in Western Australia where several local branches of the Liberal Party have been completely taken over by members of Pentecostal churches3. According to friends and former colleagues in Perth, this was one of the reasons the Liberal Party was all but annihilated in the most recent Western Australian state election, being left with only two seats in the 59 seat lower house4. One of the other reasons for the Liberal demise was suspected to be because the Coalition federal government, under Pentecostal Scott Morrison, initially joined Clive Palmer’s legal challenge to Western Australia’s Covid-19 border shutdown5.

Queensland’s amalgamated Liberal National Party (LNP) has slowly and steadily been taken over by the Christian right. This was demonstrated by MPs being given a ‘conscience vote’ on the legalisation of abortion, and when three MPs availed themselves of this opportunity to vote for legalisation, they were condemned by the then party president. The subsequent Queensland state election in late 2020 returned the Labor Party with an increased majority6.

In New South Wales, the religious NSW Reformers group is recruiting christian conservatives to the NSW Liberal Party with a view to controlling the state division. The group has put together a 900 word document entitled Taking Back Our Nation Through Good Government. The metadata for this document suggests it was written by a staff member in a federal ministerial office in 20187. This lurch to the religious right seems to be continuing as the NSW state seat of Willoughby, once held by leading moderate, former premier Gladys Berejiklian was won by Tim James, an acolyte of the ludicrously incompetent former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and a member of the hard religious right of the Liberal Party8,9.

Now there has been another skirmish in the takeover of the Victorian Liberal Party by the religious which demonstrates the newer tactics in use by the religious. This takeover began with stacking of branches by Mormons and other fundamentalists1, but now seems to include more stacking by those of the pentecostal persuasion. 

The Upper House Liberal Member for Eastern Victoria, Cathrine Burnett-Wake was widely expected to be pre-selected to contest the November state election. However, despite being personally endorsed by federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, she was booted from the ticket when Sale’s City Builders Church member Renee Heath won pre-selection10. Like most Liberals, Burnett-Wake is only now alive to the threat posed to the Liberal Party by religious nutters, because it has affected her personally. In her valedictory speech in parliament, she stated that extremism was a danger to democracy and that “we must be vigilant, and we must ensure that our democracy is upheld”. She added: “It is their determination to subvert democracy and the law that makes them unacceptably extreme, … They cannot win mainstream support legitimately and rely on misinformation and cult-like practices to build a following”10. What she means is that these religious nutters will lie to get their way and insinuate themselves into positions of power. They lie mostly by omission. While this is not new, it is becoming more widespread among them. 

Pentecostal pastor Brian Heath of the City Builders Church joined the Victorian Liberal Party in August 2019. He then invited Malaysian pastor Jonathan David, the founder of an international apostolic network that encourages churches to “penetrate” and “conquer” the nation around them in preparation for the second coming. Believe it or not, David told Heath’s congregation: “The next three terms of election [sic] in this nation are very crucial because it’s going to chart the course for the end time”11

Brian Heath is now the vice-president of the Liberal Party’s Morwell branch, and the newly pre-selected candidate for the upper house, Renee Heath, is his daughter. When questioned about her stance on the legalisation of abortion and same-sex marriage, which Heath’s church vehemently opposes, she declined to answer11. The only reason she would decline to answer was because she knows that her answer would likely make it clear she held the same views as her father, and those views are anathema to an increasingly progressive Australia.

I suspect the reason there is so much infiltration of the Liberal Party by religious nutters is because the latter know that the number of those professing to be christian is declining. It is an existential threat to their power and influence, and this takeover is the only way they know to try to protect that power and influence. They will fail because they will continue to form an even smaller and smaller minority than they do now12

The fact that these people believe that the ‘end time’ is coming and is dearly to be wished for, because they, as ‘good’ Pentecostals will be raptured and sucked up to heaven, is disturbing. Firstly, it is disturbing that adult humans could actually believe this drivel, when the numerous predictions of the end time over the last two millennia have proven always to be wrong13.

Secondly, it is disturbing that people who wish for Armageddon want to be in positions of political power, so they can hasten the end time, presumably by buggering up the rollout of vaccines for the next pandemic, ignoring global heating, neglecting to help people made homeless by fire or flood, or by fomenting war with China (this all sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). Thirdly, it is disturbing that these people want to be in positions of political power so they can recriminalise homosexuality, recriminalise prostitution, repeal same-sex marriage, repeal voluntary assisted dying, and legislate their own bigotries.

There may be an added bonus that the takeover by the religious of the Liberal Party will have, and that will be the terminal decline of the Liberal Party, until they reach their own ‘end time’. For them there will be no rapture, just deregistration.




  • Warren says:

    Pagan religions are alive and well. They just live in flasher temples.

    And are these pagans hoping for Putin to press the button?

    My aboriginal mates reckon that the Rainbow Serpent will save us, and I replied that I have more respect for the Dreamtime than any other spiritual belief. And 65,000 year old?

    • admin says:

      Some of these nutters would be quite happy for Putin to press the button, because they are of the opinion that they will be fine, and only the unrepentant sinners and unbelievers (in their god) will be destroyed in the cataclysm that follows. It is an ‘I’m alright Jack’ for fruitcakes. It is about as far away as you can get from what Jesus is reputed to have said. Calling themselves christians is a monumental hypocrisy.

  • Helene Walkowsky OFS says:

    Has anybody ever made a study of the reason why so many people seriously believe in such religious hogwash? If we could understand what motivates them we might be able to adjust our counter arguments and make some of these deluded people see in what unbiblical nonsense they are taught to believe.
    They derive their mistaken ideas from Revelation, the last book of the Bible. Revelation is not a prediction for our time. It was written for the people of that time. . People could understand the warning in that language which we don’t use anymore to make things clear. It is incredible how many Bible verses are dangerously misinterpreted,and then used for political power by the likes of Morrison., which seriously endangers the country. We have to make sure that they don’t bet a chance to grab power again. It will be the death of our democracy.

    • admin says:

      The way christianity has gone in recent years is that it has become a vehicle to attempt to gain political power to try to protect their privilege. All that Jesus stuff just gets in the way. Love they neighbour? Not if hatred of them can be used for political advantage. Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven? Not if you are a stupendously wealthy pastor or if the rich man donates to the political party you have taken over. It has become all about money, power and privilege.
      As for why people believe such drivel; some time ago, I read a book (Why people believe weird things) by Michael Shermer but it was, I seem to remember, mostly about superstition and pseudoscience. I suspect the same thing in part applies to religion, with a bit of ‘tradition’, ‘doing what my parents did’, and a feeling of comfort in the belief that ‘daddy will look after me’ thrown in.

  • Jim says:

    The sad part about all this is that we will wind up with very incompetent and out of touch opposition parties. This does not bode well for the democratic system–the present situation in Western Australia is farcical with the opposition not having any serious hope of keeping the government in check. Both the Western Australian and Victorian premiers showed some dictatorial tendencies during the height of the Covid problems.

    • admin says:

      Something else will pop up. The UAP died in the arse in the early 1940s and the Liberal Party of Menzies (not the Howard monstrosity) was created out of the ashes of the UAP. I agree that hubris is a major problem for politicians, when they face no serious opposition. However, I suspect that McGowan and Andrews have a bit more nous than that, but we will see. However the stuff about ‘dictatorial tendencies’ is straight out of the Murdoch playbook, and is equine ordure. People were dying in their hundreds, and their ‘dictatorial tendencies’ saved lives.

  • Jon says:

    Agree with Jim, but hopefully more Australians will see that “teal” and other independents are actually significantly better for the nation than party hacks in most cases.

    Am off for a short trip but when I get time I’ll see if I can find the article about the ACL’s annual meeting where essentially the same comments about taking control of government via infiltration of the conservative parties were made. Links and references appeared in a previous Blot article iirc.

    I doubt they will succeed any better than other extreme religious hypocrites in this country (unlike, for example the USA where “religious” hypocrisy and cultism thrives), but the comments of the ACL’s “leaders” were particularly egregious and threatening. The mainstream media OUGHT to expose them but for some reason they are oblivious.

  • Russell says:

    Interesting surname that the the ACL leader has. Its anagram leads directly to the word LIES. How appropriate for Martin’s beloved God to choose as Martin’s daddy, a man with such an easily (and suitable) re-arranged name. Religions rely mostly on a huge matrix of highly imaginative, opaque, mysterious, not to mention unproven, historical assertions and moral nostrums, many of which are being shown in our age to be little more than crafty LIES told to the (often ignorant, unreflecting) mass of a given nation/culture, in order for a ruling class or an alliance of the powerful, to exert great social and mental control over those same people.

    • admin says:

      I hadn’t twigged to the anagram. I occasionally see some drivel put out by religious nutters in the US and I find it astonishing that some people believe what these nutters say. However, some of these supposed items are so bizarre, I suspect they may be satire. It is so hard to tell which is which these days.

  • Mark Dougall says:

    I am going to set up an alternative viewpoint. To many observers it may seem that the Liberal Party’s lurch to the let’s tell everyone what to do heavenly bastard right, as opposed to the let’s gobble up everything because we are entrepreneurial wankers right, is unimportant. However I am not so confident that the heavenly movement is completely without hope of future electoral success , here, or elsewhere. It is well documented that IQ levels throughout the world, but even more markedly in developed nations, are on a rapid descent. Given this intellectual decline I think it is possible that there will be more, rather than fewer (or less, Arthur will tell me the answer) sky fairy obsessed weirdos infecting our polity.

    • admin says:

      While IQ scores have been declining for quite a while, so has religiosity. I think the latter is the key to the Liberal Party’s terminal decline. People (irrespective of IQ) seem to have realised that the religious nutters want to tell them how to live, and they don’t like it.

      • Mark Dougall says:

        You, my friend, are an optimist, at least with this. You may be right. I really don’t know. I do think, however, that many religious people actually think that the people telling them how to live are the irreligious. I agree with your sentiment. It is just that I am unwilling, yet, to think that the foul stench of far right religious nastiness has been vanquished.

        • admin says:

          I only tend to be an optimist when the data and the trends suggest I should be. I think the decline in religion is something that has been happening for a few decades now, and all sorts of surveys, censuses and opinion polls from all around the world suggest that it is a constant trend, and that the lack of religiosity is even more pronounced in the young. It is why the religious nutters have been so vocal and so insistent on shovelling money to religious schools, installing religious chaplains in state schools, attempting to pass legislation entrenching their privilege and their bigotries and all sorts of other wacky things. It is why they have started to become more political; their privilege is at risk, and they are terrified at the prospect of becoming irrelevant.

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