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Christians turn back on lobby
Australian Christians are being asked to sign a petition stating the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) does not represent their views.
The petition follows widespread outrage and condemnation of the controversial comments made by ACL head, former SAS brigadier Jim Wallace, on ANZAC Day.
The text of the petition, which was signed by over 250 people on the GoPetition website in its first 24 hours, read:
“The Australian Christian Lobby claims to represent the interests of Australian Christians in its operations throughout our federal, state and territory parliaments.
“We believe it is much more influential than it deserves to be, and that it represents only the most conservative Christians in Australia. The Christian political agenda in this diverse country is much more nuanced than the ACL’s agenda.
“We would like our respective governments to spend less time listening to and seeking to appease the ACL.
“We are Australian Christians, and we’d like you to know that the Australian Christian Lobby does not speak for us.
“We believe that its endorsements and policy statements rarely represent a helpful contribution to political dialogue in Australia, and we urge you and your government to listen to a broader cross-section of the Australian Christian community.
“We are much more diverse than the Australian Christian Lobby.”
Petition founder Luke Arms, who tweeted that Wallace’s ANZAC Day comments had been “the final straw”, told the Sydney Star Observer he was a Christian who had come from a conservative faith background.
“But over the last few years I’ve been exploring the idea of how that should play out in politics and seeing how public Christians tend to behave themselves – whether in the Christian Democratic Party or the Australian Christian Lobby or other groups.
“I’ve been generally disappointed with how that works and that’s why I started the petition.
“I’m angry that non-Christians hear what they say and then think that the majority of Christians might think that when there is so much more variety in what Christians think than what they represent.”
Arm said the idea of more progressive Christians setting up their own lobby to represent themselves in the public sphere was very tempting, but could come with its own pitfalls.
“There could be positive things achieved through a lobby group, but I’m just not sure what form that would take,” Arms said.
“But I’d rather see Christians involved in mainstream political groups rather than trying to lobby by themselves or represent themselves through faith based parties or a stand apart lobby group.”
To sign the petition click HERE