Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Astonishing indeed

UPDATE: Even Kevin 'me too' Rudd won't have a bar of the cult:
"I believe this is an extremist cult and sect," Mr Rudd told reporters in Adelaide.
"I also believe that it breaks up families, I also believe that there are real problems with the provision of modern education to kids under their system where they, for example, are not given full range of access to information technology."
Cheers, thanks a lot.


J-Ho is astonished - 'astonished', I tells ya! - that some people might be concerned he so readily meets up with senior members of the Exclusive Brethren.

I find it quite astonishing that people think it odd that I have met with a lawful organisation. I do not deny for a moment I have met with members of the Exclusive Brethren, and why not? They're Australian citizens, it's a lawful organisation.
Yes, as are the Australian Coalition for Equality and the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, but they've never managed to get a face-to-face meeting with you in your office, J-man. What gives?

Even if you want to look past the illegality of their dodgy cash dealings or covering up child molestation until such allegations around the EB are proven conclusively, you can't really get past how forbidding your own members to vote is effectively a form of civil disobedience. At best, they're telling their members to rock up on election day just to avoid the fine, then write 'Jesus is my boy' (or whatever takes members' fancy) on the ballot paper; at worst, they're literally holding back their flock from leaving Cult HQ and vote. So what they're doing is either illegal, or a complete repudiation of Australia's democratic system.

And why would a PM want to meet up with an organisation that doesn't even believe in operating within the system of which officially he is head?

Do you think maybe, just maybe, the $270,000 pumped into Howard's 2004 election chest might just have a little something to do with how Howard determines which 'lawful' organisation he will or won't meet up with?

How about their willingness to front the Libs anti-Greens smear campaigns? Strangely political happenings from an organisation that claims 'voting is a political interference with God’s rights', no?

Then of course, there's that pesky Constitutional separation of Church and State thing - you know, how
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 or public trust under the Commonwealth.
Which, admittedly, also ensures the right of the EB to practice all the bizarre, anti-social behaviours it wishes - provided, as the PM is so quick to point out, that they're legal.

The problem, however, is that there's a lot of compelling evidence to suggest they're not. That's why I, at least, am astonished that the prime minister of my country insists on meeting with such a cult.

Or at least, I would be astonished, if I thought the prime minister of my country had any morals, ethics or ability to condemn/support organisations based on their wrongdoings, rather than how much they contribute to their re-election fund.

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