With the rise of The Greens in Australia the religious believer may well be wondering where they will stand in a possible new political order. Up until now the main religious enemies of The Greens seem to come from right wing faith based groups mainly concerned with the seemingly ongoing "moral" issues such as abortion, voluntary euthanasia, gay marriage and opposition to so called "chaplains" in secular public schools.
The rhetoric however has ramped up considerably after last year's federal election when it was apparent that The Greens' electoral successes in both houses had turned a small minority party into a large minority party. This, to some, represents a threat of major proportions well into the future.
In a right-winged rant published in Quadrant magazine earlier this year, Liberal front bencher Kevin Andrews wrote that the Greens "objective involves a radical transformation of the culture that underpins Western civilization."
Their agenda would threaten the "Judeo-Christian/Enlightenment synthesis that upholds the individual," as well as the "the economic system that has resulted in the creation of wealth and prosperity for the most people in human history," according to Andrews.
Andrews goes on to link The Greens with Communism, and after much convoluted logic complete with lost threads and dead ends, he concludes that (the Green movement) "involves the creation of a new pagan belief system, concerned not with the relationship between humans and a creator, but based on a deification of the environment."
This statement, although contradictory and ignorant, virtually says it all. The Greens are an alternate religion encroaching on the turf rightfully held by the established churches.
The word "Pagan" (from the Latin paganus) means "country dweller" and was coined by the early Roman church as an insulting description of non-monotheistic beliefs. Even worse than being a Pagan is the Greens' apparent "denial of a creator" who has been replaced by a belief in some sort of animism. Other intellectual luminaries such as Senator Barnaby Joyce have echoed some of Andrews' ideas.
Catholic Cardinal Pell, mentor to opposition leader Tony Abbot, describes the Greens as "anti-Christian" and (surprisingly for a virginal bachelor) "opposed to the notion of family."
Cardinal Pell goes on: "One wing of the Greens are (sic) like watermelons - green outside and red inside - a number were Stalinists supporting Soviet oppression.
We all accept the necessity of a healthy environment but Green policies are impractical and expensive which will not help the poor. For those who value our present way of life, the Greens are sweet camouflaged poison."
I have to caste my mind back to the ugly days in the 1950s so as to remember a religious leader speaking about a political party in this manner.
None of these accusations and slurs are confirmed by either the Greens' policy or actions. They have spoken out against The Brethren but are enamoured with the Dalai Lama. They have a policy against vilification of any kind and have criticized the policy of funding "chaplains" in secular public schools.
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