By Spencer D Gear PhD
This article was first published as ‘Sleeper cells and Australian election victory’ in On Line Opinion (21 May 2019).
The Prime Minister gave credit to ‘quiet Australians‘ for his shock election victory on 18 May 2019. Pollsters predicted a Labor win. They got it wrong – very wrong.
Who could the ‘quiet Australians’ be? I’m not thinking of the ones mentioned by Morrison: Those with hopes of getting jobs, apprenticeships, and starting businesses. There are those with personal aspirations to form a family, buy a house, labour to provide for kids, and to save for retirement.
They sure were ones who spoke at the ballot box, after viewing the policies of the two major parties.
The forgotten quiet ones
Remember Morrison’s statements about dealing with the drought? He was in Albury, the birth place of the Liberal Party in September 2018, addressing the Liberal Party: ‘I do pray for that rain. And I’d encourage others who believe in the power of prayer to pray for that rain and to pray for our farmers. Please do that’. Were these among the quiet ones?
Was it a ‘miracle’?
Morrison said he ‘always believed in miracles‘ as he gave his victory speech at Liberal HQ on the evening of 18 May 2019. He added: ‘I would like to wish [Bill Shorten] and Chloe, and his family all the best, and God’s blessing’, concluding with, ‘We are an amazing country of amazing people. God bless Australia’.
Was it a ‘miracle‘ win, as ScoMo labelled it?
Yes it was in this sense: ‘A remarkable event or development that brings very welcome consequences’ for the Coalition government (Oxford English Dictionary). However, I don’t see it as ‘an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency’ (OED) like Jesus’ resurrection.
The God factor was included in ScoMo’s blessing on the Shorten couple and exhorting God to bless Australia? Do we deserve blessing or his chastisement?
The sleeper cells I’m thinking of were not highlighted in the mass media coverage. They weren’t mentioned in what I heard and read after the voting.
God’s people, some of them elderly, distributed leaflets house-to-house about Labor’s extreme abortion agenda in public hospitals. I know of a couple in their 70s who did this and thought it might be a waste of time. It wasn’t.
The call to prayer
One not-so-quiet Australian was tennis great and pastor of Victory Life Centre, Perth, Margaret Court. In addition to praying through the election campaign period, Margaret and other Christian leaders called Australians to:
(photo courtesy Blue Mountains Gazette)
…gather in praise and worship on the evening of Friday 17 May, on the eve of our election day. Encourage the people in your networks to get together and hold a combined church praise and worship night to declare that God is on the throne in our nation. ‘Your Kingdom Come! Your will be done by us in Australia, as in heaven’.
She previously wrote to ScoMo:
God impressed on my heart – that once the election date was announced, we should stand together and call 21 days of Pray[er] & Fasting. Through the Bible, Prayer and Fasting has (sic) impacted the course of history and adjusted the spiritual course of Nations. I’m reminded of – ‘If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land’ (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Let our united prayer be: ‘Thank you Father that the righteous rule in our Nation of Australia, in Jesus Name. Amen’.
On 15 April 2019, the Australian Prayer Network began 30 days of prayer for the nation and the 2019 election. This prayer included ‘asking God’s forgiveness for where we have in the past failed to collectively pray for our national leaders and Government’.
These are some of the ‘quiet Australians’ who were praying and acting behind the scene, seeking God’s action for his intervention in the government of the nation.
Freedom of religion
The agenda of the ALP and the Greens threatened freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Only 5 days out from the election, The Catholic Weekly, warned: ‘ALP-Greens win would be a disaster for Catholics‘. Why?
The ALP policy pamphlet A Fair Go for LGBTIQ Australianssigned by Bill Shorten does not equivocate when it states ‘A Shorten Labor Government will amend the Sex Discrimination Act to remove the exemptions that permit religious schools to discriminate against students and staff on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity’….
There is also no doubt what the Greens Party intends to do if it forms an alliance with an incoming ALP Government. Its policy also denies religious freedom when it states, ‘The Greens will protect LGBTIQ+ rights in law, through a Charter of Rights and by legislating to remove religious exemptions in federal and state anti-discrimination laws’.
After the election, this led The Age (20 May 2019) to report that ‘Christian leaders say religious freedom was among factors that influenced voters‘.
Before the election (8 May), Martyn Isles, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) confirmed the:
(image courtesy Eternity News)
…ALP’s legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus [stated] a Shorten government would remove important legal protections for religious schools.
‘This is out of step with what Tanya Plibersek said last week when she seemed to show a willingness to support religious schools’ right to teach their values, and employ staff that faithfully represent those values,’ commented Mr Iles. ‘Religious freedom for schools remains a critical issue for millions of Australians, and so far, it has been sidelined from the election campaign’, he stated.
Labor and the Greens should have seen this coming. They were warned before the election, ‘Parents of Christian school students urged to vote for religious freedom‘. SBS reported 329 Christian schools had sent a pamphlet to parents whose children attended those schools. Mark Spencer, Christian Schools Australia national executive officer, told SBS News, ‘We have to be very careful, we’ve provided the policy information and it’s really up to parents to work out which parties are going to protect their values’.
Mr Spencer said this was an unprecedented move and ‘we have certainly ramped it up a lot because this issue is so important to us’.
SBS reported on the alarm by Christian schools last year of proposed change ‘to the Sex Discrimination Act to prevent religious schools being able to expel students or sack staff on the basis of their sexuality’.
If ‘millions of Australians’ were concerned about this, the ALP and the Greens should have seen it coming and so deserve to lose because of policies that discriminated against religious values.
Who brings a government to power?
In the New Testament, Romans 13:1 states ‘Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God’.
It is God who raises governments and tears others down. If the values of governments clash with God’s law, Christians need to pursue what Peter and the apostles did: ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority’ (Acts 5:29).
These could be some of the sleeper cell issues that led to defeat in Labor’s unlosable election.
Copyright © 2019 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 May 2019.