Conservative advocacy group the Australian Christian Lobby has suggested that the re-elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s overt religious commitment had “re-energised religious communities”, helping win seats for the Coalition in last weekend’s federal election.
The Church Times reports, the Lobby’s managing director, Martyn Iles, said that the Prime Minister’s stance, and his support for protecting religious freedom, had given “people of faith a degree of confidence”.
Mr Morrison, who belongs to a Pentecostal church in Sydney, invited the press to film him enthusiastically participating in an Easter Day service during the election campaign.
He has also used religious rhetoric on several occasions, promising to “burn” for all Australians, and declaring his unexpected election victory a “miracle”.
Preliminary analysis suggests that some key seats won by the Coalition included Christian households at a higher level than is the Australian average.
The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, and a Sydney assistant bishop, Dr Michael Stead, have both publicly supported the sacked rugby player Israel Folau. Mr Folau’s four-year contract with Rugby Australia was terminated for a breach of its code of conduct by his saying in public that homosexuals, among others, would go to hell.
Dr Stead said that “if a rugby player can be sacked by doing nothing more than posting on his social-media page what is essentially a summary of the Bible, then it’s a signal to the rest of us that we better keep our mouths shut.”