Archive for February, 2011


Religious Right Groups

Understanding that mind makes reality, one must then understand why belief
is the enemy. Belief systems have often been created to shape the mind into
narrow reality-tunnels that exclude other modes of perception. If you can
control what people believe – as Hitler, Stalin, and other dictators realized –
you have a method of coercion better than a thousand tanks or the death penalty.

– Steve Mizrach (aka Seeker1)

Moses and Ten Commandments

Listed below are links to information we have researched about Religious Right groups in Australia. On the detailed information pages, we include links to these groups’ own websites in order to encourage thinking Australians to visit these sites and critically examine the ideas they are promoting. Many of these groups have close links with each other, and spokespersons for one group often publicly represent another.

These groups all have a common agenda – political lobbying under the banner of “biblical family values”. They oppose abortion, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, prostitution, adult shops, pornography, Islam, embryonic stem cell research and even Harry Potter. They campaign strongly for censorship of material that offends them and they generally believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, including Genesis.

Above Rubies
A virulently anti-feminist group which actively encourages women to ‘submit’ to their menfolk.

Australian Christian Lobby
Formerly the Australian Christian Coalition founded in 1995, this group is based in Canberra and headed by former SAS chief, Brigadier Jim Wallace. Its aims are “to reclaim our society and our government for God and to have the Christian voice heard”. It advocates rules of conduct prescribed by the Bible, as contained in the Ten Commandments and the first five books of the Old Testament.

Australian Family Association
An off-shoot of the Catholic-based National Civic Council founded by Bob Santamaria. Bill Muehlenberg is the main national Spokesperson, but the group also has spokespersons in various States.

Australian Federation for the Family
A relatively low-key group run by Jack and Margaret Sonnemann who came to Australia from the USA in the early 1980s. Maintains close links with US groups.

Australian Festival of Light
A moral reform organisation formed in 1973 by evangelical Protestants who drew their inspiration from Mary Whitehouse’s British FOL. Principal personnel are Fred and Elaine Nile in NSW, and David and Roslyn Phillips in SA.

Catch The Fire Ministries
A small Victorian church associated with the Assemblies of God. Its pastor Danny Nalliah has obtained great notoriety through the publicity about a religious vilification case brought against them by the Islamic Council of Victoria.

Christian Democratic Party
A political party originally formed in 1981 (then named the Call to Australia Party) by Rev. Fred Nile from the Festival of Light. The group has had two members of the NSW Legislative Council for a number of years by exploiting the upper house quota election system at alternate elections.

Creation Ministries International (Australia)
Formerly called Answers in Genesis Ministries, and prior to that the Creation Science Foundation, this group originated in Australia but spread to several other countries including the USA. Its mission is “to bring reformation by restoring the foundations of our faith which are contained in the book of Genesis.”

Democratic Labor Party
The DLP was originally founded in Victoria in 1955 as a conservative Catholic breakaway from the Australian Labor Party. A national political party with close ties to the National Civic Council (NCC).

Endeavour Forum
A small but relatively influential group run by Babette Francis. It was formerly known as “Women Who Want To be Women”. Its objectives are “to counter feminism, defend the unborn and the traditional family.”

Exclusive Brethren
An operating church with political goals which include the election of socially conservative governments and the implementation of policies such as the restriction of abortion and the curtailment of homosexual rights.

Exodus Asia Pacific
A Christian group whose proclaimed purpose is “to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by proclaiming His desire and incredible power to release people from homosexuality.”

Family Councils
These groups exists in several states, the largest and oldest group being in Victoria. They are umbrella organisations, with membership from the usual Religious Right groups but also include some unexpected members such as the Moonies and the Mormons.

Family First Party
A political party which ‘wants to make sure every piece of legislation helps every Australian family reach their potential’. In practice, the FFP promotes a strong Religious Right agenda, including opposition to school sex education, euthanasia and prostitution, and outspoken support for censorship.

Fatherhood Foundation
A recently formed organisation (2002) whose public activities indicate strong Christian fundamentalist tendencies in all matters relating to the family.

Focus on the Family Australia
A group headed by Colin Bunnett that claims to have the objective ‘to reconnect families with the ageless wisdom of Judaeo-Christian values’. It is believed to receive financial support from the much more powerful Focus on the Family (US) headed by Dr James Dobson.

Life Ministries
A small, strongly American-influenced group which cooperates effectively with like-minded organisations, and which has flown the Religious Right’s flag in Western Australia for many years.

Light Educational Ministries
A Canberra-based group which provides materials and promotes a Christian Reconstructionist version of education throughout Australia.

Media Standards Australia
A small WA-based group, formerly called the National Viewers and Listeners Association of Australia. It focuses its attention on attempting to influence the broadcast and other public media to adopt more conservative policies, particularly in relation to sex and violence.

National Alliance of Christian Leaders
A loosely organised grouping of leaders of conservative Christian organisations which aims ‘to facilitate the coming together of Christian organisational leaders, to work together towards shared objectives’.

Right To Life Australia
A large, militant and once powerful organisation whose influence has faded somewhat. Its platform is largely concerned with opposition to abortion and euthanasia.

Salt Shakers
Founded by Peter and Jenny Stokes and located in Melbourne. Peter Stokes also represented the Festival of Light before the Senate Committee inquiring into superannuation entitlements for same sex couples in March 2000.


Seymour Hersh: Military Branch Being Run By ‘Crusaders’

The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh alleged in a speech in Qatar that key branches of the U.S. military are being led by Christian fundamentalist “crusaders” who are determined to “turn mosques into cathedrals.”

Hersh was speaking at the Doha campus of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service earlier this week. He made the comments while discussing a forthcoming book he is writing. A writer for Foreign Policy magazine attended the event and reported his remarks.

“What I’m really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over,” Hersh said.

He said that the attitude that “pervades” a large portion of the Joint Special Operations Command, which is part of the military’s special forces branch and which has carried out secret missions to kill American targets, is one that supports “[changing] mosques into cathedrals.”

Hersh also said that Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before his tenure as the top general in Afghanistan, as well as his successor and many other JSOC members, “are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.” Blake Hounsell, the reporter for Foreign Policy, speculated that Hersh may have been referring to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a Catholic organization.

“Many of them are members of Opus Dei,” Hersh said. “They do see what they’re doing…it’s a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function.”

He also criticized President Obama, saying, “Just when we needed an angry black man, we didn’t get one.”


A short video clip in which Richard Dawkins talks about evolution (about which he has written great books), and the utter impossibility of arguing rationally with a person who subscribes to religious credulity.


The BBC reports the utterly barbaric death of a 14 year old girl in Bangladesh.

Can you possibly guess why? Yep, no surprise or shock, its what we expect. Just one single word sums it all up … “islam”. (Yes, I’ve not used upper-case, I refuse to do so)

She was accused of having an affair, so a village court consisting of elders and clerics passed the sentence. When challenged, they claim that the punishment was given under Islamic Sharia law. She was sentenced and then given 80 lashes. She was then later admitted to a hospital after the incident and died there six days later.

The authorities have (quite rightly) stepped in, so far four people have been arrested and another 14 are still wanted.

“What sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the name of justice,” Mosammet’s father, Dorbesh Khan, 60, told the BBC.

Here are a couple of links that give you a lot more information about all this. First we have the BBC report on it here, then we also have the Newspaper report in the UK’s Guardian here.

Check out the Guardian page, some of the folks writing comments there have been removed, some of the others still in place are more or less dancing on her grave. These are (as you might expect), the islamic believers doing the, “Oh thats not ‘real’ islam dance that they always do when faced with such incidents. It becomes a “them” and “us” song about how islam is really all about peace and that true muslims would never do this … er no, sorry but you don’t get to play that card … period.

Choosing to believe in a made up supernatural entity and claiming that it has given you a book of bizarre rules for you to impose on others is at the root of all this. The truth is that lots of smart folks do truly believe many weird things, and I’m OK with that. However, the moment you start to impose anything on others you have crossed a line. islam (as do many other beliefs) crosses that line and must be robustly challenged and told, “believe whatever bullshit you like, but you don’t get to dictate to others”. If not, then this is where it will lead you.

When faced with the claim that religion is a forced for good in the world, be skeptical. The evidence does not support that claim.


The BHA (British Humanist Association) has issued a Press Release today regarding the way the UK government has been well and truly stitched up by the catholic church (side note, spelling that in lower case got me tossed off a discussion board the other day for the crime of “disrespect”). As you might (or might not) recall, the Pope (the elderly chap who wears a dress and white hat), came to the UK for a visit last year. So who picks up the bill? Not him apparently, and I’m not sure how he pulled that scam, perhaps by claiming poverty, ah yes that would indeed be a credible argument (not).

Anyway, the new information we now have is that millions has been paid towards the spiralling costs of the Papal visit out of UK government budgets. This was sourced by diverting crucial funds, including cash from foreign aid budgets, that had been designated for helping some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

The BHA Press Release comments …

It is irrational and wrong for government to say that the money was paid to recognise the work that the Catholic Church does overseas as an NGO – questionable in itself – when the money was used to fund the state visit. Most people, including Christians, did not think that the British taxpayer should pay for the Pope’s visit in the first place, and many will be astonished to see the detrimental impact that this illegitimate use of public funds has already made.’

Sigh! … this is one of those moments when I can only utter a long complex collection of well-known anglo-saxon phrases to describe my feelings about all this.

The full BHA Press release can be found by clicking here.

The BBC also has the story here. The good news from the BBC link is that its being challenged by MP’s who are demanding to know why this was done (yea). The UK’s “Independent” newspaper also ran the story here. (double yea). Its important to throw a light on all this and highlight how taxpayer funds are being abused for the benefit of wicked religious cults like this one.