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Spuiking for Jesus « Previous | |Next »
August 12, 2007

Spuiking for Jesus is just not pork barrel, is it? The Christian culture, especially the evangelical strand represented by Hillsong, is based on programmed fear about sin, evil and damnation. So it fits snugly with the conservative politics of fear that is designed to engender obedience to traditional authority.

Goldingporkbazrrell.jpg
Matt Golding

But it goes deeper than that. The political discourse today is all about working families as the foundation of political life and that excludes non-working working families, couples without children, single parents and singles. ''Working families" stands for a nuclear family, an overworked mum and dad, both of whom are in the workforce, a couple of young kids earning dollars with part time jobs, living in suburbia, and are hard done by. No one else really matters in this conservative discourse even with Rudd's talk of inclusiveness

That inclusive talk was before the conservative makeover of Rudd to make him the mirror image of Howard who has always talked about " the family". Families are sacred, with family values being bedrock. That means traditional morality or value, Christianity as the source of morality. The decay of community and a common culture in civil society is attributed to the breakdown of Christian family values. Howard's social conservatism is more than personal nostalgia for his 1950s Methodism.

The twist with the Hillsong evangeklcal strand is that you should guilty about making money. God has selected you from the resentful surly horde to be a success. Rich is good. This is the prosperity gospel. those who see aspiring, money making capitalists as bad --like Dante---clearly are bitter old sadists.

Captialism, the ‘hellish thing’, has successfully co-opted evangelism’ into its own ambiguously religious rhetoric. In the process, religiously inflected social conservatism has become firmly enmeshed with right-wing economic thought. However, the two are joined at the hip in that moral strength, as a form of asceticism., means being self-disciplined and self-denying. Otherwise you are weak and self-indulgent, and such moral flabbiness ultimately helps the forces of evil. So welfare is immoral and promote evil because it is seen as working against self-discipline and self-reliance.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:02 AM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

This is making my head hurt.

The new fundamentalist version of the Protestant ethic. Check.

A relatively small bit of the population.

Working families meshes the focus on IR and the focus on the increasingly mythical, but still symbolically powerful idea of the nuclear family. Check.

The two combined? Meltdown.

Aspirational working families I get, but the fundamentalist Hillsong portion of the electorate is pretty tiny isn't it? And they're more than likely Howard devotees regardless, aren't they?

We don't seem to have turned the corner and walked into all out American political culture just yet, I hope.

Lyn,
yes it is the new fundamentalist version of the Protestant ethic. However, I'm not sure that it is relatively small bit of the population, as it is the reworking (not just the darker strand) of Judith Brett's moral (Protestant) middle class.

It is a reworking of the old tradition since it now includes Catholics--witness Tony Abbott and the Liberal Right in NSW. The Catholics were the devil in the 1950s.

That we still have groups of theobabblers in our midst is a tribute to our lack of human progress.

That politicians would try to manipulate those who are already being manipulated by conmen and women who claim to be allied with a mythical Higher Power is disgusting.

Then every human has their price!

7 30 report did a segment on this tonight which was close to the precis offered by Gary.
Their target suburb was somewhere in the northwest of Sydney. These places all looked larger ( and exponentially uglier ) than a row of Medindie mansions.
Yet one presumes the people neck deep in debt paying them off or being repossessed of them, are the "aspirationals", much beloved of by Howard and Costello, newspaper columnists in droves and the ALP Right.
For no better motive than the need to keep up with the Jones's ( or words to that effect from 730 Report ), we are all suposed to fall over in such a fit of pity for these precious little people.
Shove them out into the creek bed of the Todd River with "little children" of a different circumstance: that's what I would do with these spoilt, selfish, yuppie clowns.