George Pell spots the Antichrist and she was once a history teacher in Tasmania…

Yes, he’s at it again. Having sussed out a few years back that The Greens are antiChristian, Sydney’s most famous climate scientist and expert on everything, George Pell, stars again in today’s Oz – which won’t let you look unless you cough up the readies or sign on for a trial – or should that be an ordeal? But I, believe it or not, have bought a paper copy – as I do like the Review supplement and Phillip Adams in the colour mag – which also today had a fair enough profile of Greens leader Christine Milne.

However, I will quote George Pell’s sub-Christian rant, noting that the poor man was goaded perhaps as Ms Milne had suggested his church was more interested in money than just about anything else.

“I am loath to help Christine Milne avoid limelight deprivation,” Cardinal Pell told The Weekend Australian. “However, she is not well placed to be lecturing Catholic schools on anything, given the bitter hostility of the Greens to Christians, to Catholic teaching, and all church schools…

“It is particularly regrettable that she parades her Catholic background, which she has comprehensively rejected, despite her efforts to co-opt Pope John Paul II to her bizarre green bandwagon.”

That’s not one of Cardinal Pell’s more Christ-like moments, is it! Perhaps a cartoon from the Jesuit magazine Eureka Street is in order.

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Back in 2010 when George Pell – along with the Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace who has lately been saying oafish things on another matter – outed the Green Antichrist, Father Frank Brennan in Eureka Street offered Why a conscientious Christian could vote for the Greens.

On Sunday His Eminence took up the call in his regular Sunday Telegraph column stating: ‘In 1996 the Green leader Bob Brown coauthored a short book The Greenswith the notorious philosopher Peter Singer (now at Princeton University in USA), who rejects the unique status of humans and supports infanticide, as well as abortion and euthanasia.’

The Cardinal has urged his listeners and readers ‘to examine the policies of the Greens on their website and judge for themselves how thoroughly anti-Christian they are’.

Clearly the Greens will not be gaining the votes or preferences of Pell and Wallace. But was it principled and prudent for them to make this public declaration? Could not a conscientious Christian still vote for the Greens? And are their policies more anti-Christian than those of the major parties?…

Some Christians, myself included, think that the Greens are not classifiable as straight out anti-Christian. While some of their members may be (much like Mark Latham was in the Labor Party), others like Lin Hatfield Dodds have given distinguished public service in their churches for decades.

On some policy issues, I daresay the Greens have a more Christian message than the major parties.

Consider their stand on overseas aid, refugees, stewardship of creation and the environment, public housing, human rights protection, and income management. On all these issues, the Greens are far more in synch with the periodic utterances of most Church leaders than either of the major political parties. The Greens have been the only party to hold back the tide against the race to the bottom in the asylum seeker debate since Kevin Rudd was replaced as Prime Minister.

Admittedly the Greens can afford to be more idealistic on some of these issues because they will never occupy the treasury benches. This idealism appeals to some voters, especially the young. Even some of us hardened older voters see a place for some idealism expressed by minor political parties…

If all the Greens’ policies were truly classifiable as ‘anti-Christian’, I would have no problem with church leaders urging people to vote for another party. But given that some of their policies, and on issues which will be legislated in the next three years, are arguably more Christian than those of the major parties, I think it best that Church leaders maintain a discreet reticence about urging a vote for or against any particular political party.

This is especially the case given that Green preferences are more likely to favour the major party headed by an atheist rather than the one headed by a professed Christian. It would be very regrettable if an attack by Pell and the Christian Lobby on the Greens could be construed as an indirect shot across the bows of the atheist Prime Minister.

Though the Christian Lobby thought its influence significant when the major parties were both headed by professed Christians, there is a need for special sensitivity, judging politicians and parties by their fruits in this pluralistic democratic Australia where quite a number of its thinking voters as well as some of its leading politicians happen to be atheist.

I thought the language of our Cardinal on this occasion unbecoming and unhelpful in the cause of church credibility in the public square. If the Australian Christian Lobby wants to mount such rhetorical election campaigns, all our bishops should maintain a dignified distance and reticence.

See also from July 2012 Those crazy Greens by Dustin Halse.

According to New South Wales ALP General Secretary Sam Dastyari the Greens are ‘extremists not unlike One Nation’. Not to be outdone, Paul Howes, the Australian Workers’ Union National Secretary wrote an opinion article denouncing the Greens as a ‘fringe’ party in pursuit of ‘extremist agendas’….

Former ALP member for Melbourne and finance minister Lindsay Tanner noted in 2010 that the Greens ‘are harvesting growing support from a particular demographic that first emerged as a key part of Labor’s support base in the late 1960s’. Poignantly, he commented that Greens voters are ‘comfortable enough to be able to put aside immediate self-interest when assessing their political options’.

Linking the Greens to One Nation is a sinister and ill-considered claim. The Greens are progressive as opposed to extremist. The party envisions a country that is environmentally, socially and economically responsible. They are the only party of political influence to have a comprehensive set of written and openly accessible policy statements. In many areas they represent mainstream Australian values.

Perhaps the Greens’ moral compass is not as skewed as some in the ALP would have us believe. Indeed, the Greens may be ahead of the curve in appealing to a progressive demographic that has traditionally voted Labor…

I am not a rusted-on supporter of The Greens, I should add, though I have been known to vote for them in the Senate. I was for example annoyed by their scuttling of the compromise carbon trading plan back when Malcolm Turnbull was consequently rolled by Tony Abbott.  But on many an issue they are far more intelligent than George Pell – or Mr Wallace. It should also be noted that Frank Brennan, whose 2010 views I so commend, does also say this in his article.

Like Cardinal Pell and Jim Wallace, I part company with the Greens on issues like abortion, stem cell research, same sex marriage and funding for church schools. But on none of these issues will the Greens carry the day given that policy changes in these areas will occur only if they are supported by a majority from both major political parties.

Which goes to show that there are many shades of conservatism too. But one does feel that Frank Brennan would offer a more considered position and a more charitable debate than the two he names there.

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3 thoughts on “George Pell spots the Antichrist and she was once a history teacher in Tasmania…

  1. At its root this article perpetuates a common misunderstanding about Christianity. Christ asks his followers to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” In other words, while the needs of man and consequently issues of social justice are important, the worship and obedience of the Creator and his laws precedes the temporal needs of man. The Greens, mistaken priests like Fr Frank Brennan and other left leaning parties, such as Obama’s Democrats interpret the life of Christ through a socialist lens and so inevitably engage in Utopian politics where mans rights trump what is due to God. In other words the priorities Christ sets down in this passage are inverted. Man becomes his own moral compass rather than following any God-given moral law. Atheistic socialism rejects a God that imposes moral laws and hence endorses unbridled license in the name of liberty. Euthanasia, abortion on demand, homosexuality – in a world without God these things seem perfectly reasonable. This is why the Greens are fundamentally an anti-Christian party. Their agenda is socialist. Socialism excludes God and natural moral law from policy making and the public square. Authority is seen as fundamentally evil, because they reject an authoritarian God. Things like power, tradition, and morality are viewed suspiciously as they are remnants of God.

    Since Vatican II The Church’s agencies are full of people who whilst professing the Catholic faith have imbibed socialist doctrines dressed up as Christianity. This has spread mass confusion among Catholics and Pell and today the current Pope are having to clean up the mess. In the public square too, Christine Milne, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Kristina Keneally, Malcolm Turnbull and countless other Catholic politicians parade their Catholic heritage as if that gave them doctrinal authority. Yet they refuse to acknowledge Church doctrine when it contradicts their personal beliefs and invoke their conscience as the harbinger of truth. Christ founded the Church as the “mainstay and pillar of truth” and also said you are “either for or against me.” They imagine a Jesus of their own making. Not a biblical one. Jesus is not Che Guevara. This is why Christine Milne and Catholics who vote Green are fundamentally betraying Catholic identity.

    • My sympathies are with the Uniting Church, in my less agnostic moments, so that means, I suppose, that I am a hell-bound socialist. I don’t care about “Catholic identity” — especially when it is cast in a light that might regard Franco’s Spain as a place where everything was fit and proper.

      Certainly you seem only too willing to consign some of the most noble spirits we have to outer darkness. And speaking of the Biblical Jesus — and I am very familiar indeed with the New Testament and the tonnes of ink that have gone into trying to establish from a very confused and partial record just what the Biblical Jesus was like — one thing seems obvious. He did not live in a palace or a city state in Rome. I wonder sometimes what he would make of it all.

      My own background is Presbyterian/Calvinist — and I am proud of that still, even if there was also dreadful bigotry involved in that, not least against Catholics. I think it is time we all spat the dummy — literally — and forgot that we ever had anything but fallibility and human uncertainty to rely on. There is no infallible spiritual authority anywhere on this planet and there never has been.

      You of course are entitled to your opinion — or delusion. You can decide which it is.

      I am not so sure about this “authoritarian” God. I have the feeling this is a human construct reflecting our nastiest characteristics. His track record, as expressed in so much Church history and indeed in the Bible (witness the fondness He had in Joshua and Judges for genocidal rages), suggests He just may be a psychopath.

      I just hope, and that is where faith enters, that God really is Love and not a psychopath, and especially that he has more compassion and intelligence than we have so often credited Him with.

  2. Right On! Jesus wasn’t Che Guevara indeed, but he was a social revolutionary, overturning the apple-cart of establishment Judaism and it’s collaboration with the materialist/pagan Romans, The kicking out of the moneylenders in the temple, ‘rendering unto Caesar what was Caesar’s and unto God What is God’s’, ‘you cannot worship both God & Mammon (Money)’. This delineates that the church should focus on spiritual development in the individual that leads the society of humanity to a better world, realising the fruits of the spirit: justice, compassion, mercy, love, equality, equity, freedom etc… God knows we need more of this in the world. This is the ‘kingdom’ within, which God has created us to actualise both individually and in society, so that like we are made in the image of God, so too our society on Earth as (like) it is in Heaven.
    The Church should abstain from politics (the realm of Caesar) as organisational policy. Of course individual believers should engage the affairs of the world, following their God-given conscience. But God is not an authoritarian wrathful tyrant, God is Love, Mercy…
    Jesus was sent by God as messenger to say that we must not bind ourselves to ‘legalism’, literalism, following the letter of the law and losing sight of the animating spirit-Justice, Mercy, Compassion… The Law is a guidance given out of God’s love for the creation and us as part of that, so that we may grow towards our creator. Yes God has given us rights and responsibilities, our responsibility is to be good stewards of this planet, to uphold justice. God is a socialist, we were created for co-operation, equality, peace, society not for competition, inequality, all- against-all & war.

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