Flat White

The strange Tassie death cult

7 September 2021

3:14 PM

7 September 2021

3:14 PM

Death Cult: “A fringe religious group that is obsessed with death.” Or, if you prefer, the Tasmanian Greens.

With just two members in the 25-seat lower house, the Greens certainly qualify as “fringe” and are — though only by the barest of margins — a “group”.

It might be unfair to say they are “obsessed” with death, but their passion for terminating pregnancies and their enthusiasm for euthanasia certainly border on obsession. 

The never-say-die (it’s ‘End of Life Choices’ thank you very much) Greens managed to legalise euthanasia after bills were tabled and killed off in 2009 and in 2013 and in 2017 before finally being accepted in 2020.

And to complete the death cult trifecta, Tasmanian Greens Leader Cassy O’Connor describes herself as “Catholic school educated”. 

So, she is religious. At least in the sense that she seems to have gotten just enough Christianity at school to inoculate her against the real thing.

But O’Connor would have you believe it’s not the pro-abortion, pro-death-on-demand Greens who are the fringe religious group obsessed with expiration.

Oh no.

According to O’Connor, it’s the pro-life Christians who glory in death.

And if you don’t think that makes much sense, you should try reading the Greens economic policy — but I digress.

Now before you accuse the evangelist of inclusion and tolerance of being anti-Christian — as Liberal member Felix Ellis did last week – you must realise that O’Connor didn’t mean all Christians. 

“It’s important to make a distinction between Pentecostal fundamentalism and Christianity more broadly,” she told the parliament. 

In other words, she is broadly inclusive. It’s only specifically that she is bigoted. 

“What I said about Pentecostalism is true. It is a death cult,” she said in parliament last Wednesday.

So what is it about Pentecostals that would have a member of Parliament deride them as a death cult? 

Pentecostals are hardly ‘fringe’.  There are well over a thousand Pentecostal churches in Australia. It must kill O’Connor to know that just one of them – in Sydney’s West — attracts more members every Sunday than the Greens have members nationally. 

And in terms of attendance, there are more Pentecostals in church every Sunday than there are Anglican, Baptist or Uniting Church members.

Ah, but Pentecostals teach about “the imminent end of the world”, warned O’Connor, who is herself always banging on about how fossil fuels will bring about the imminent end of the world.

The Greens have been saying “we only have x number of years before we are all doomed” for so long now that I honestly can’t remember whether the world ended last year or if it was a bit before that.

Luckily the Catholic education system comprises low fee schools, so it wasn’t the end of the world for O’Connor’s parents to send enrol their daughter, only for her to graduate with almost zero knowledge about the Christian faith she claims to respect.

Firstly, Christians do not believe in the imminent end of the world, because the Greens winning power is not imminent.

Christians do believe in the imminent return of Jesus, but to renew the world, not to end it.

The Greens, who so love renewables, should shout with the writer of the book of Revelation, “Come Lord Jesus, come!”

The return of Jesus is not a uniquely Pentecostal teaching either.

Catholics believe it. Baptists believe it. Even the old ladies collecting money for the Salvation Army believe it. And no homeless person fed and sheltered by the Salvos ever called them a death cult.

“Thank God for the Salvos,” is what those in need say.

If unborn babies could speak, they wouldn’t be saying “Thank God for the Greens”.

So if Pentecostal beliefs are mainstream Christian beliefs, and if Pentecostals don’t believe in the end of the world but in the world being made new, and if Pentecostals are pro-life rather than pro-death … tell me again, O’Conner, why you went and labelled Pentecostals a death cult?

Wait. What? 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is Pentecostal?

And Morrison, while agreeing we need to reduce emissions, doesn’t support your radical action on climate change? Action that would destroy our domestic economy whilst making less difference to global temperatures than a snowflake would make to hell?

Suddenly O’Conner’s “death cult” remark is sounding less like a good faith theological critique and a lot more like a grubby partisan smear made for cynical political advantage.

“The Prime Minister’s Pentecostal belief in an imminent end of the world is, I believe, part of why he’s refusing to take action on climate,” O’Conner told Parliament.

No O’Conner. The Prime Minister doesn’t need religion to know the Greens policy on climate would be lethal to power prices as well as killing off jobs.

He knows an actual death cult when he sees one.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments