Let me understand this. Here we have a prime minister who doesn’t believe in God telling us to read the Bible because it’s the basis of our tradition, society and culture, opposing marriage equality because it’s not part of that tradition (Sky TV interview last Sunday).

A prime minister who employs gay staff but doesn’t consider them her equals. A woman extolling the virtues of one man one woman marriage refusing to marry her long-time live-in lover.

When asked to explain on Sky TV, Gillard hauled out her Bible and pitched for the Christian vote. Cynical or what?

Describing herself as a traditionalist and a conservative, she praised the virtues of the ‘strong Welsh Labor working-class household’ in which she was brought up: politeness, thrift, fortitude, discipline  conveniently omitting the narrow-minded prudishness and prejudice equally typical of that era.

Where the hell did all that come from? It came from Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party, the Australian Christian Lobby and the Australian Christian Values Institute, whose website features Peter and Jenny Stokes (the Salt Shakers), Bill Muehlenberg, and Warwick Marsh, among others.

“Australian values are Christian values. These are the values that made Australia great,” it says, “… reaffirm Australia’s commitment to Judeo-Christian values as the cornerstone of our nation’s prosperity for the common good.”

Compare that with Gillard’s more subtle evocation of Christian heritage: “what comes from the Bible forms an important part of our culture”, we have to pay respect to “the way our society is and the way we got here”, “important things from the past should continue into the present and the future”, “for our culture and heritage marriage has a special status,” and so on, and on.

I wonder what else she has been reading lately.

Could it be the latest report from the Australian Human Rights Commission, which says “hostility towards homosexuals …. remains widespread” and  that there is “great wariness about rights legislation”? (The Age) If so, then how perfectly she dog-whistled for the prejudiced vote.

Imagine for a moment if she had spoken honestly. “It’s not me, reverend,” she pants, tugging her crimson forelock. “Honest, I get the Christian values thing. It’s the Greens who made me do it, with their euthanasia and gay marriage. Vote for me and I’ll save you from them. Don’t worry about the poofs and dykes — they don’t count.”

Maybe not, Julia, but we — and our families and friends and their families and friends — do vote. But not for you and your party while you continue this grovelling to the God squad.

Oh, and Tim? I’d order the top hat and tails now if I were you. She’s obviously decided there are votes in straight weddings.

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