Reverend Dr Michael Bird comments on the ABC’s website (10.1.17) on why we need to change Australia’s political culture so that extremism does not have an opportunity to gain a stronger foothold.
‘We are at risk in Australia of creating a political climate where extremists like Holland’s anti-immigration activist Geert Wilders or Greece’s communist leader Dimitris Koutsoumpas are electable. We must rise to defend our pluralism.
‘Burning anger has, lamentably, become the dominating feature of the Australian political climate.
‘Walking through Melbourne’s Brunswick recently, I noticed Sex Party signs that say “Tax the Church” — trying to create the impression that all churches are contemptible multi-million dollar mega-complexes built on the moral bankruptcy of a televangelist.
‘Meanwhile, Liberal MPs Cory Bernardi and George Christensen are reportedly set to attend a dinner to raise funds for an anti-Islam and anti-immigration group called the Q-Society, whose views can be easily characterised as xenophobic.
‘How did this happen? How did we come to the point where disdain for others was the new normal in Australian politics?’
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