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Kevin Donnelly: Is this Dan’s tipping point?

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Thorburn spent just 24 hours as CEO of Essendon before being told to choose between his CEO position and an Anglican church that believes in the sinful nature of homosexual acts and the grave evil of abortion. Photo: Daniel Anthony/Unsplash
Thorburn spent just 24 hours as CEO of Essendon before being told to choose between his CEO position and an Anglican church that believes in the sinful nature of homosexual acts and the grave evil of abortion. Photo: Daniel Anthony/Unsplash

In the career of every political leader there comes a tipping point where voters suddenly realise the politician no longer deserves their support. In 1992 Paul Keating reneged on his promised L-A-W tax cuts, losing the confidence of voters.

In 1993 one of the reasons John Hewson lost the forthcoming election was because he failed to stipulate the impact of the proposed GST on a cake. During the 2004 federal election it was when Mark Latham shook hands with John Howard in what appeared to be an aggressive and overbearing way.

Latham went on to lose what was an election to win. Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews’ denunciation of the ex-NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn’s Christian beliefs and the subsequent interview where he boasted about his Christian beliefs is yet another example.

“I’m a Catholic. I send my kids to Catholic schools. My faith is important to me …”

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In response to Thorburn being pressured to resign as Essendon’s CEO because of what was said years ago by a pastor associated with his church, Premier Andrews condemned Christians like Thorburn as homophobic and intolerant bigots. In a subsequent interview – in an attempt to soften his original vitriolic attack – Andrews proclaimed he was a committed Catholic.

The Premier said: “I’m a Catholic. I send my kids to Catholic schools. My faith is important to me and guides me every day (and there’s) a long, long list of things that I’m guided in that work by my faith, my upbringing, and the values that are central to that”.

Such hypocrisy beggars belief. On one hand the Premier condemns Thorburn’s church for being homophobic and intolerant, and by association other Christians and the Catholic Church, while at the same time presenting himself as a committed Catholic.

If the Premier truly was a Catholic, he would know while the Church is opposed to homosexuality it welcomes every individual as all are made in God’s image. The Don’t Mess With Marriage booklet distributed to schools during the same-sex marriage debate proves how welcoming the Church is.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews. Photo: Asia Society/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews. Photo: Asia Society/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

The booklet states in relation to homosexuals: “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.

While the Church supports heterosexuality, to argue it is homophobic is not true.

Additional evidence of the Premier’s hypocrisy when arguing he is a faithful Catholic is the reality, under his government, that Victoria has legislated some of the most extreme and draconian laws undermining the Church’s teachings and freedom of religion.

“… the Premier and his government have enacted some of Australia’s most radical legislation leading to what amounts to abortion on demand and state-sanctioned killing of the old and infirm.”

Priests who counsel children against embarking on taking puberty blockers to transition and Christian parents warning their children of the dangers of radial gender ideology face imprisonment and fines.

In opposition to the Church’s teaching about abortion and euthanasia, the Premier and his government have enacted some of Australia’s most radical legislation leading to what amounts to abortion on demand and state-sanctioned killing of the old and infirm.

Materials associated with the neo-Marxist inspired Safe Schools program based on radical gender theory, where primary children are taught boys can be girls and girls can be boys and not to use gender-specific words and pronouns, are widely circulated across schools.

The-then NAB Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Andrew Thorburn addresses the NAB’s 2018 AGM. He survived just 24 hours as CEO of AFL club Essendon before being forced to resign for his faith. Photo: AAP Image/Ellen Smith
The-then NAB Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Andrew Thorburn addresses the NAB’s 2018 AGM. He survived just 24 hours as CEO of AFL club Essendon before being forced to resign for his faith. Photo: AAP Image/Ellen Smith

Being a long term member of the ALP’s Socialist Left also suggests the Premier’s recent public conversion to the Christian faith has more to do with not upsetting the 2.65 million citizens across Victoria identifying as Christian.

Many of those who will be voting in the November election in outer suburban electorates, already angry about the Premier’s draconian, unjustified and financial ruinous Covid-19 lockdown laws, are Christians whose children attend low fee-paying Catholic and evangelical schools.

At the same time the Premier kowtows to the inner city, woke, almond-milk latte voters to stop seats falling to the Greens Party, he also has to appear as a man of faith in order not to alienate the Christian vote.

Vilifying Thorburn and Christians has also led to religious leaders questioning his judgement. Melbourne’s Catholic Archbishop Peter Comensoli argues Thorburn was unjustly treated and Premier Andrew’s comments unfairly stigmatise those of religious faith.

“Last week’s events prove that behind the mask is a Machiavellian politician consumed with a thirst for power.”

The Islamic Council of Victoria vice-president Adel Salman suggests it’s wrong to criticise views “that run contrary to the prevailing agenda on sexuality and gender identity”.

Dr Freier, the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, has also expressed concerns about Premier Andrews’ actions.

During his term as Premier Daniel Andrews has proven to be a consummate political operator, media performer and a master of how he presents himself to the public, always appearing genuine, concerned and only interested in doing his best to serve others.

Last week’s events prove that behind the mask is a Machiavellian politician consumed with a thirst for power. Attacking Christianity while professing to be a Catholic might well be Andrew’s tipping point.

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