From the Pastor
The place of Christians and Christian views in public life is confusing. Some saw the censure and sacking of Israel Falou as evidence that Christian’s can no longer express biblical views out loud. Then Australia voted in, to the surprise of many, an overtly Christian prime-minister. One who allows photos of himself worshipping with raised hands in a Pentecostal church.
Sociologist Andrew Singleton of Deakin University has crunched some numbers, and concludes that in Southern Queensland and NSW seats, where there was a big swing against Labor, there were higher than average numbers of Pentecostals.
Western Sydney, traditional Labor country, is very multicultural. In this region the “No” vote in the 2017 SSM (Same sex marriage) ballot was between 55 percent and 70 percent. Multi-cultural people are more likely to be religious, and to hold traditional views of marriage. Across Western Sydney there was an average five percent swing against Labor.
ABC journalist Andrew West concludes Labor lost the confidence of the silent religious block who no longer trust the ALP to honour and make room for their traditional beliefs. Many found themselves forced to choose between Labor and God. And they did not choose Labor.
The heartening news in all of this is that religious people and religious convictions continue to have a significant role to play in public life in Australia. The news is not all doom and gloom for the Christian heritage in the West.