Faith left and right

Thursday 15 December 2005 12:24 PM

I find Senator Fielding's support for the government's Voluntary Student Unionism legislation surprising and profoundly disappointing. In contrast the resulting resurgence of "religious right" conspiracy theories is anything but surprising. Those commentators who prophesied national doom in the wake of the election of a lonely Family First senator, were remarkably silent whilst Senator Fielding voted against the Telstra sale and the IR legislation. We could do without the fundamentalist paranoia myths, trotted out only when the senator's behaviour fits the theory. Before the alarm is next sounded, consider the following: Family First's policies detailed on its website would not make generally pleasant reading for the Prime minister; The presence of a handful of professing Christians on the conservative benches is light years from the influence of Christianity in American society and politics; Historically, as now, the Bible's values of love, compassion and mercy have driven many evangelical Christians to support causes commonly associated with the left of politics, both in action and at the ballot box; Christian faith is found on both sides of politics in Australia and other democratic nations.