Ps Danny NalliahThe Hon. Prime Minister John HowardMisha Schubert
November 1, 2007

PRIME Minister John Howard has condemned the League of Rights as “a bit anti-Semitic”, but refused to cut ties with an evangelical pastor who has accepted a platform from the far right-wing group.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd also sidestepped the issue of government access for the pastor, warning only that people should be “very, very wary” of dealings with the “grossly anti-Semitic organisation”.

Danny Nalliah, head of Melbourne-based Catch the Fire Ministries, last night reaffirmed he would address the league again, despite criticism from Jewish leaders that his actions had conferred legitimacy on the group.

“I would not change my view. I stand by it,” Pastor Nalliah told The Age. “I am a Christian minister — my task is to go after the sinner, not cast away the sinner. There is no one beyond redemption.”

The Australian League of Rights, founded by Eric Butler in 1960, insists the Holocaust — in which millions of Jewish people were murdered by the Nazi regime — did not happen.

In light of Pastor Nalliah’s reaffirmation last night, at least one Jewish leader urged political leaders to distance themselves from him.

Grahame Leonard, president of the executive council of Australian Jewry, said the pastor’s stated intentions were “at best, naive” given the league’s bigoted views.

“We would urge all our politicians to publicly distance themselves from the pastor and his views,” he said.

Other Jewish groups also slammed the pastor’s views as misguided — but refused to criticise political leaders during an election campaign.

Pastor Nalliah spoke to a league meeting in Albury in October 2005, as he was being prosecuted under religious vilification laws over comments about Muslims. The case was eventually settled at mediation.

The evangelical church leader has been granted high-level access to government. He told followers he had held one-on-one meetings with Treasurer Peter Costello on August 9 and Prime Minister Mr Howard the next day, after God told him to “prophetically prepare” Mr Costello as the future prime minister.

The Treasurer has defended Pastor Nalliah in the past. On Tuesday his office issued a statement condemning the league, but refused to say if he would continue to meet the pastor. His office did not return calls on the issue yesterday.

Mr Howard condemned the League of Rights as anti-Semitic, but did not criticise Pastor Nalliah for addressing the group. He did not say if he would cut ties with Catch the Fire, nor did he rule out meeting Pastor Nalliah again.

“I abhor the League of Rights. One of the central planks of the League of Rights is that they’ve been a bit anti-Semitic. Well, everybody knows I have a very strong position on that,” Mr Howard said.

Last night, Catch the Fire issued a statement saying it would “not knowingly support or endorse any organisation which promotes such hatred (of others for their religious beliefs)”.

With BEN DOHERTY, BRENDAN NICHOLSON, LARISSA DUBECKI and PETER KER


6 Responses to “Article Featured in The Age Newspaper, 1st November 2007 “Howard Keeps Link to Controversial Pastor””

  1. 1 Office 2

    Heavenly Father, I thank You that You brought this to a Christian’s attention so that we could pray for the salvation of Misha Schubert. Lord with all the compassion of Jesus Christ I ask that You send a ministering angel to minister salvation to Misha. Father we claim her for the kingdom and ask Father that Your love would overtake her and bring her to her knees to worship and adore You with all her heart soul and mind. I ask that You would do abundantly more than we could ever hope or ask for, that You would save her family and friends as well. Use her for Your kingdom Father, give her a unique gift to spread the Word, and as she writes the words let Your Spirit be in them. Let Jesus be the focus of her life from the day she receives Him as Lord and Saviour.

    I ask this in Jesus name, amen.

  2. 2 Phil (Sydney)

    Dear Catch the Fire Ministries

    We continue to admire your courage Pastor Danny to speak the truth while sections of the Media try to label you and fit you into a radical, bigoted, narrow minded mould.

    The Bible says “Wide is the road to destruction but narrow is the road to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom”

    May Jesus Christ continue to bless you and the whole team at Catch the Fire Ministries. Truly your are “Salt of the Earth”

    Our prayers and thanks
    Don’t give up!
    Speak the Truth to all men and women

    blessings
    Phil (Sydney)

  3. 3 PRODOS

    I am an atheist.

    I support Danny Nalliah and consider him to be a great Australian and a good man.

    My most recent blog item on this can be read @

    http://prodos.thinkertothinker.com/?p=391

    Misha Schubert’ article in The Age mentions that:

    “[Danny] … was being prosecuted under religious vilification laws over comments about Muslims.”

    And that:

    “The case was eventually settled at mediation.”

    What he neglected to mention, however, was that Justice Nettle of The Court of Appeal (Supreme Court) of Victoria, when ruling to allow the Appeal against VCAT’s finding against Catch The Fire, found that VCAT’s judgement by Judge Higgins was highly flawed on both its interpretation of Law and its claims to what VCAT had treated as facts.

    Justice Nettle utterly DECIMATED the VCAT judgement and showed it to be riddled with factual and legal errors, misunderstanding, and misrepresentation.

    In effect he exposed the persecution of Catch The Fire Mnistries – courtesy of Victoria’s Blasphemy Laws and the Islamic Council of Victoria – as a total farce.

    See for yourself:
    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSCA/2006/284.html

    Australians owe Danny Nalliah and Danny Scot, and the Christians of Australia (especially individuals like Jenny Stokes of SaltShakers.org) an enormous debt of gratitude for defending our Free Speech.

    Best Wishes,

    PRODOS

  4. 4 Office 2

    Praise Jesus for His Voice coming through loud and clear. CTFM is a sharp arrow in the hand of the Lord! Regards,Sister in Christ, Geelong.

  5. 5 PRODOS

    Good morning.

    My interview with Danny Nalliah (“Why did Danny do it?”),
    discussing his October 2005 talk at the League of Rights is available @

    http://prodos.thinkertothinker.com/?p=393

    Best Wishes,

    PRODOS

  6. 6 Office 2

    read with interest the article by Prodos

    on Friday morning Tim Costollo of World Vision was being interviewed by John Fae

    John asked him about Danny speaking at the Leage of Rights, Tim said it was not a good idea.

    I was annoyed and later rung World vision for them to put a note on Tim’s desk, expressing my disfatisation of one Christian ministry critising another Christian ministry.

    I asked the receptionist to write

    WWJD.

    did she know what WWJD meant? NO What would Jesus do?

    Jesus was know as the friend of sinners and tax collectors. his reason, it is not the well who need a doctor, but the sick.

    When you hear the name of Tim Costello, you connect it with World Vision and caring for others, when you hear the name Danny Nathalea, one thinks of the racial villification act and of someone who very publically speaks the name and cause of Jesus.

    Leage ofRights is sick and needs a doctor. Danny goes in as the doctor, preaaching the name of Jesus

    the receptionist said she would pass on the messsage as they welcome feedback

    Thanks Danny

    Denis
    missed friday nights prayer meeting, but went to Canberra. Was glad we did.

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