Monday, 6 August 2007

Howard and Rudd – Christian Confidential

John Howard and Kevin Rudd will be using a webcast to address voters this week, but only Christian Voters.

In a message tailored for Christian audiences alone, Howard and Rudd will lay forth their positions on a number of issues. To access to the webcast your church as to register here by noon tomorrow: http://www.australiavotes.org/index.php

But what if you are not in a church, or like me, not a Christian?

Has my relevance slipped because I am not a Christian – am I no longer interested in what they have to say about issues that are important to one segment on the population?

I’d suggest that I am very interested and as part of a democratic process I am appalled to see access to the presentation limited to only the members of “The Club”.

Sure, the media have access and will report on the webcasts – but I’d like the unfiltered, unspun version, straight from the horses’ mouths.

I support the concept of speaking with a message for a particular group and I think it is important for Christians to hear the positions of political leaders on matter that are important to them – but excluding the non-Christian population sends a message that somehow they are perhaps less worthy to participate in the discussions that are likely to centre on moral and ethical as well as religious (Christian) issues.

The event has been organised by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and is being held at the National Press Club – strange then that at an event of this importance the content should be restricted ‘to Christians only’.

ACL seeks to drive policy change to support the Christian viewpoint – which is fair enough since that is what they are founded to do, but for a broader impact why not make the webcast available to every Australian?

If I were one of the supporters of ACL I’d be asking why the opportunity to witness to non-Christian Australians was being lost – or perhaps they think we’ll misconstrue the message?

I wonder if the restriction of access to churches only was something that came from ACL – or was a request of the political parties involved in the webcast?

On the website for the broadcast they have an FAQ section. One of the questions is in fact:

Q. I am not a Christian or member of any church, can I watch the webcast?

A. Unfortunately, Mr Howard and Mr Rudd will be specifically addressing the Christian voter and only churches and Christian organisations will be able to register for the webcast. However, media will have the opportunity to attend the Canberra event and will be freely available to report on the speeches.



Okaaaay – specifically addressing the Christian Voter? When our political leaders speak, they are always potentially speaking to the whole country and while I am happy, nay ecstatic that they address specific segments, that address should be equally available to all whenever possible – I would understand an attendance restriction if it were in a venue that could only hold a few people – but this is being broadcast on the web.

Not Happy, John.

And Kevin.

And especially ACL.

Am I just being Unreasonable?

Rant over – back to your scrapping!

8 comments:

Lissy said...

All seems a bit strange...one would think that anything they have to say as political leaders should have relevance to all Australian...are they going to do broadcasts for other groups too???

scrappinshawnni said...

Just found your blog....This could be a wonderfully interesting ride. Keep Posting Widower!:)

Tara said...

I think it is a bit odd... perhaps they're not going to be able to keep track of all their 'tales' while speaking to too many different groups at once. :)

Sharon said...

As a regular stalker of your blog (as in 'surely he's written something witty and entertaining today - pleeeeeaaaase!), I am interested by todays post. Well, I would be interested even if I wasnt a regular stalker, but I digress.

I was interested to see an advert for this 'talk' in my church bulletin on Sunday. I was surprised that they would take the time to address Christians or any other group. I guess they realise we are a large voting group (as in ' I fish and I vote') and perhaps we do have some concerns that non-christan people may not be interested in. However, as you say, if I were non-christian, as a voter, I would be interested to know what this 'secret message' contained.

I suggest to you that if youre interested, I cant see any reasonable Christian church turning you away. Most of the ones I have attended (more than once, anyway) would be happy to see you cross the threashold, even if it is just once :-)

I hope you do go beacause it would be ineresting to hear what you have to say about it.

Keep blogging!

Anne said...

I was just wondering if you removed the word "Christians" and replaced it with teachers, or nurses, or plumbers, coffee drinkers or scrapbookers, would non-teachers/nurses/plumbers/coffee drinkers or scrapbookers be offended that it wasn't specifically for them? If the Teachers' Federation invited Howard and Rudd to address teachers across the country to discuss issues that might pertain specifically to teachers - like performance pay, class sizes etc - I wouldn't anticipate that non-teachers would be offended, or indeed would want to attend.
This is a long way of saying I didn't have a problem with it :)

"Grendel" said...

Anne,

That is a good point, but the comparison is not quite there - it is more like if they spoke only to private school teachers rather than all teachers, or creative memories scrappers, rather than all scrappers. If that had been done then public school teachers would have been demanding similar access - as would all other scrappers. What the leaders have done is speak directly to the members of one religious group - as a group through an organisation that restricted access to the message - even though the method of dissemination was one where universal access could have been provided.

Both leaders also indicated that they would only speak like this to Christians, and not to other groups.

As I stated in my post - I am happy for them to speak with a message for a particular group, but there was much broader interest in what was going to be said and the way it was done his much of what was said from the general population.

Sharon's suggestion of crossing the threshold of a church was good, but on the night in question I was at home looking after the boys - it was being webcast and I could have watched it at home - but I wasn't allowed to.

I did hear that John Howard referred to "a virulent strain of atheism" and I can't say that being referred to in terms applied usually to a disease would endear any undecided atheists to the PM.

Binxcat1 said...

"Curiouser and curiouser!", cried Alice (she was so much suprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English)!!!! mmmmmmmm... not exactly furthering the cause of equality and tolerance for all are they? but don't worry I am SURE the media will report in a non biased and informative fashion... oh that's right... thought I'd slipped Through the Looking Glass for a moment there... bizarre

"Grendel" said...

Sadly the media reported on very little of the entire event and covered only the main points - none of the more controversial comments made it into the press.