#987 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 2 Nov 2014.
Last weekend the Australian Christian Lobby held its national conference, featuring keynote speeches by Sydney Catholic Archbishop-elect Anthony Fisher and federal Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Mr Shorten had the unenviable task of explaining his support for same sex marriage to an audience committed to a different reality. Mr Shorten’s argument, that we should celebrate diversity and therefore gay marriages, did not impress me. What impressed me was his use of Christian rhetoric.
He began by quoting the introduction to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes. He invoked Ben Chifley’s “light on the hill” (which Chifley borrowed from Jesus). He praised the Christian obligation to “give a helping hand.” He said, “Australia cannot just pass by on the other side of the road.” And he concluded by quoting John Wesley on the Protestant ethic.
If nothing else, it appears Mr Shorten knows the Christian constituency at least as well as his political opponent, Mr Abbott.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.