‘Diversity’ is a kind of magical word that is summoned by the political class in place of an actual argument, as if rhapsodising about diversity renders the need for evidence, logic, or reason obsolete.
And so it was that new Australian Senate President Sue Lines said this week that she wanted the long-standing tradition of starting each sitting day with the Lord’s Prayer dumped because (insert drum roll here) ‘diversity’.
Oh, and she’s an atheist.
But you’d be wrong to think her desire to change a century-old tradition reflecting the cultural heritage of the nation has anything to do with her personal antipathy towards the Christian faith.
No, it’s diversity that’s the problem.
The Labor senator told journalists:
‘On the one hand we’ve had almost every parliamentary leader applaud the diversity of the Parliament and so if we are genuine about the diversity of the Parliament we cannot continue to say a Christian prayer to open the day.’
Right. Well, that’s that then. Parliament is diverse and everyone applauds the diversity and if we’re serious about the diversity then the Christian prayer needs to go.
I think, though one cannot be certain, that Ms Lines meant to say not all the parliamentarians were Christians and therefore the Lord’s Prayer was unrepresentative of such a diverse group.
We will never know if that is what she meant since Ms Lines was not also campaigning for the even less representative Welcome to Country and Indigenous smoking ceremony to be dumped.
This is one of those situations where you cannot have it both ways.
You cannot argue that because there are only a few Christian parliamentarians the Lord’s Prayer must be dumped, and in the very next breath argue that because there are a few Indigenous parliamentarians, a smoking ceremony is essential.
There may well be a number of parliamentarians who do not believe in the Christian God, but there are even fewer parliamentarians who believe devoutly in the spiritual practice of burning leaves outside Parliament House.
Why is one form of spirituality appropriate while the other is not?
Whatever you think of Christianity or Aboriginal Dreamtime, the new religion is Woke hypocrisy.
Can you imagine the uproar if Ms Lines had suggested the Welcome to Country or the smoking ceremony were divisive? And can you imagine the outrage if she added, for good measure, that because she was not Indigenous she should not have to endure them?
She would be derided as a racist and denounced by everybody.
But when she suggested the Lord’s Prayer was divisive and that because she was an atheist she should not have to endure it, everybody nodded approvingly and mumbled, ‘She’s got a point. If we don’t ditch the Christian prayer where will the diversity be?’
Abandoning the Lord’s Prayer does not create diversity, and it is certainly not enlightened. Rather, it pretends that our Westminster system of government and common law arose out of nowhere when, in fact, it was largely influenced by the Bible.
And I’m not sure how ignoring almost half the population – who stubbornly identify as Christian – supports the argument about creating inclusion.
It was Tuesday when Prime Minister Albanese, standing outside a church, told journalists:
‘I respect people of faith. That’s something I have always done. And something that my government will do as well.’
The very next day, Mr Albanese’s right-hand woman in the Senate was telling journalists that the abolition of the Lord’s Prayer was ‘certainly on the agenda’.
But remember, this was not about disrespecting people of faith. This was about diversity, as if merely uttering the word erased all contradictions.
More worrying than the Lord’s Prayer is the growing trend among this generation of politicians who enjoy the status and perks of Parliament while doing all they can to debase it.
Greens leader Adam Bandt is embarrassed by the Australian flag.
Mr Bandt’s Greens colleague Senator Lydia Thorpe insists the Parliament, of which she is a part, is a legacy of the colonial project and therefore illegitimate.
And now Ms Lines, who has been Senate President for five minutes, wants to ditch the Lord’s Prayer which has been read in the upper and lower houses since 1901.
It increasingly seems that our political class want only to divide us while imposing their personal fetishes on the nation, all the while casting a spell – with chants of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ and ‘tolerance’ – that causes logic and reason to melt away.
It may just be that we need prayer more than ever in this new Parliament!
You can follow James on Twitter. You can order his new book Notes from Woketopia here.
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