Tony Abbot, leader of Australia’s admirably blunt “Liberal-National Opposition Coalition,” apparently takes his name as seriously as Chris Christie; in direct opposition to Australian Prime minister Kevin Rudd, his position is that gay marriage equality is “the fashion of the moment.” A pretty LONG moment as it turns out.
Rudd, apparently familiar with history, believes otherwise, though. Once in opposition to gay marriage himself, and then on the fence, Rudd has fairly recently had a change of heart on the matter. This put him on the sour side of conservative Christian voters who felt that Rudd was merely blowing with the social wind of special interests. This disillusionment came to a head when (during a live Q&A session on ABC) Pastor Matt Prater’s confronted him on the matter.
Said Rudd: “I do not believe that people, when they are born, choose their sexuality. They are gay, if they are born gay. And therefore, the idea that this is an abnormal condition is just wrong.”
“If you call yourself a Christian,” Prater asked, “why don’t you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?” Likely, he was referring to this passage from Matthew 19:4-5: “‘At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
Now, Rudd could have hit the Holy Man with his obvious and very Christian removal of scripture from context. What was the verse right before that again? Oh, yeah: “Some Pharisees came to Jesus to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” So, was Jesus talking about homosexuality? No, he wasn’t; he was talking about DIVORCE. Which, at the moment, is legal in Australia.
If Rudd had wanted to, he could have taken that a step further by mentioning that Jesus said precisely *….crickets…crickets…* about homosexuality. Which, according to Westboro Baptist, is the worst thing you could possibly do. In fact, the only place homosexuality is even mentioned in the CHRISTIAN New Testament (you know…the book that defines the religion) is when Paul refers to a passage in Romans…the purpose of which was to remind Christians living in Rome that nobody has the right to judge, because nobody is righteous.
But, Rudd avoided the usual diversions, took the high road, and in pithily Australian fashion shot straight to the core of the issue:
[box type=”shadow”]”Well mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition. Because St Paul said in the New Testament, ‘slaves be obedient to your masters.’ And therefore we should have all fought for the Confederacy in the US Civil War.”[/box]
[box type=”shadow”]”The fundamental principle of the New Testament was universal love. If we get obsessed with a particular definition of that through a form of sexuality, then I think we are missing the centrality of what the Gospel… is all about.”[/box]
Failing to give any kind of theological rebuttal, the Pastor himself got right to the core of the issue he had in mind, reminding Rudd that christian voters were upset with Rudd for “chopping and changing [his] beliefs just to get a popular vote”.
But Rudd wouldn’t be swayed by politics, stating that he came by his decision after many years of reflection based on “informed conscience and Christian conscience.”
Prater didn’t have much to say to that.
Seems that Australia’s “Christian” leaders are more comfortable discussing politics than anything Jesus Christ actually said. Ugh. Heathens. How dare they.
Watch the exchange here: