Fire alert

Thursday 5 August 2004 5:26 AM

A number of articles in the Age of recent weeks have referred to Treasurer Peter Costello's address to a gathering at Scots Church, Melbourne in May. It has been described as a Pentecostal service, and most recently (Meaghan Shaw, 5/8) as an address to Catch the Fire Ministries. It deserves to be noted that the event referred to was Melbourne's observance of the inaugural "National Day of Thanksgiving". It is true that Pastor Danny Nalliah, President of Catch the Fire Ministries and an Assemblies of God pastor, was instrumental in the establishment of the National Day. He was also the MC at the service. However ministers and people from a wide range of Christian denominations played leading roles in the service, which was attended by a congregation of several hundred from a breadth of Christian traditions, Pentecostal among them. Media reporting on Mr Costello's recent appeals to traditional Christian morality has implied that he is courting the favour only of a narrow, marginal and ultra-conservative Christian constituency. This is inaccurate. Readers should understand that the Treasurer's moral convictions are widely shared among Australian Christians, regardless both of denomination and political preference.