Ps Danny NalliahNovember 09, 2007 12:00am:

Article by John Masanauskas
WHEN Labor leader Kevin Rudd stepped on to the MCG for a sports policy announcement in September, he got an unexpected question from an Auskick parent looking on.

“Do you believe Jesus is the son of God?” the man asked.

Mr Rudd seemed initially perplexed, but then answered by saying that his status as a regular churchgoer was well-known.

For some religious groups campaigning in the election, that wasn’t good enough.

Pastor Danny Nalliah, head of the conservative Melbourne-based Catch the Fire Ministries, said Mr Rudd should have been more direct.

“It left quite a sour taste, if you can’t be fair dinkum about whether you’re a Christian or not,” he said.

“The question is, are you playing the card now to get the votes or are you really fair dinkum in your Christian work?”.

Mr Nalliah, who fell foul of Victoria’s religious vilification laws over comments about Islam but won his case on appeal, is actively campaigning in the election through churches in 50 cities across the nation.

Catch the Fire Ministries, which has a national database of more than 10,000 names, held a prayer meeting at Parliament House in Canberra last month.

The meeting, which received a message of support from Prime Minister John Howard, included prayers for drought-breaking rain and that God’s will “be fulfilled regarding the federal election on November 24”.

Mr Nalliah strongly supports the Coalition’s re-election, saying Mr Howard and his likely successor Peter Costello are genuine men who can be trusted to uphold religious and moral values and have a good economic record.

He is suspicious about the ALP, especially because half of Labor MPs elected last time did not take an oath on the Bible when sworn into office.

“If you have a party dominated by a secular Left-wing ideology, how could they then accomplish a morally sound agenda, which is Judeo-Christian-based?” Mr Nalliah said.

Mr Nalliah is also concerned about the influence of Labor’s women’s network Emily’s List, which is pro-choice on abortion.

And while Labor has ruled out introducing marriage or civil unions for homosexuals, Catch the Fire is concerned a Rudd government would extend de facto status to gay relationships.

Rival group the Australian Christian Lobby also worries about Labor’s stand on the de facto issue, but is not picking winners.

ACL managing director Jim Wallace said his group couldn’t be compared with the American religious Right, which had a bad political model.

“As a lobby, if you’re going to line up with one side of politics uniquely, then when that side is in you’ll only get half of what you wanted because they know you’ll never vote for the other side anyway,” he said.

“And when the side you didn’t support gets in, they will ignore you.”

This week, the ACL launched a website with the responses of six political parties to 25 questions of interest for Christians.

Mr Wallace, who claims a supporter base of more than 10,000, of whom half are Pentecostals, said the key issues were family and marriage, poverty, abortion, substance abuse and Third World debt.

Mr Wallace said the Greens were the only party not to take part in the survey.

But the Greens have accused the ACL of being a front for the religious Right and said the group refused to put the party’s statement on the website.

Mr Wallace said he was concerned by the high number of Labor MPs who refused the Bible oath, but had no problem with Mr Rudd’s Christian commitment.

“I have no doubt about the personal faith of Mr Rudd or the personal conviction of Mr Howard to Christian values,” he said.

While about two-thirds of the population are Christian, the latest census shows a rise in adherents of some minor religions, mainly because of immigration.

In Victoria, the number of Buddhists rose by 21,000 to 132,634 from 2001 to 2006.

The number of Muslims increased by 17,000 to 109,000 and the Hindu population rose by 18,000 to 42,310.

Former Islamic Council of Victoria president Yasser Soliman said while there was no Muslim vote, many Muslims would be influenced by the Coalition’s policies on terrorism and multiculturalism over its past two terms.

“Muslims are apprehensive about the Coalition because it is seen as divisive in the way it approaches things,” he said.

“The general feeling out there is that Labor may be more inclusive in its leadership than the current Government has been.”

Mr Soliman said Muslims were comfortable with the Christian values expressed by Mr Howard and Mr Rudd.

“If people believe in God, that’s fine, that’s a positive,” he said.

2 Responses to “Bible Belt For Labor Article – Herald Sun – Nov 9th 07”

  1. 1 Philip B(Sydney)

    We are continuing to pray for the return of the Liberal / National Govt.

    All Christians should be praying for renewed strength and wisdom for John Howard and Mark Vaile in the very last week.

    This election result is certainly not decided until Saturday night when the last vote comes in so Aussies continue to pray to our dear and mighty saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, that His team be elected.

    kind wishes
    Sydney (Australia)

  2. 2 Online Debt collection

    If a candidate can’t answer a simple question if they are a Christian or not then in my view they are not a Chistian and they are just faking it.

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