Australian Christian Lobby And Their COVID Freedom Straw Man

This morning it was bought to my attention the Australian Christian Lobby has started a campaign calling for an end to “lockdowns and restrictions”, citing the premise that Australians have a right to live “free of fear”.

From the website:

“COVID-19 is not going anywhere, and we cannot live with lockdowns and restrictions forever. We are delaying the inevitable and adding to the cost unthinkably.

“We are wreaking destruction on lives, children, livelihoods, the economy, and the future. We need to stand against fear and open up our country no later than once those who wish to be, are vaccinated, without coercion.

“Someone needs to start pushing the freedom conversation – if leaders won’t then it’s up to us.

“Look at the state of our nation…

– 3,345 suicidal people called LifeLine in a single day recently
– We are not living – or even leaving the house – for fear of dying
– Compassion is dead, with wedding plans put on hold and callous disregard for those mourning and separated from loved ones
– Countless small businesses are finished, each representing people’s livelihoods
– We are giving up total authoritarian power to state governments
Our children simply won’t be able to pay back the debt

“Fear is ruling the day. But Christians should lead the way in calling for our freedoms to be restored –because fear of death is a condition from which Christ has freed us.

“Please email your Premier or Chief Minister and your State MP today. Tell them that with voluntary vaccination – no coercion – all lockdowns and restrictions must end.

“Freedom and livelihoods must be restored. We cannot live in fear anymore! ”

Where do we even start with this???

“We are delaying the inevitable.” What is this “inevitable” they’re alluding to? A society riddled with COVID? One has to ask if this isn’t linked to an apocalyptic mindset, whereby many Christians believe their role in society is to hasten the return of Christ, and plunge the world into Armageddon.

“We need to stand against fear and open up our country no later than once those who wish to be, are vaccinated, without coercion.” No one is being coerced. Vaccinations are not mandated or compulsory. It’s been made clear by health authorities lockdowns and restrictions will be relaxed once we reach the maximum level of vaccinations per population possible, non-compliance nothwithstanding. This statement by the ACL is a straw man argument, and is fear mongering.

“Fear is ruling the day. But Christians should lead the way in calling for our freedoms to be restored – because fear of death is a condition from which Christ has freed us.”

This is a tricky play on words, and a flawed theology. Whilst Christ may free Christians from the fear of death by promising a life after death, Christians are not free from experiencing actual death by disease, old age or misfortune. No one has taken away Christians freedom to believe they will live on in heaven when they die. No one has said Christians will now die when they weren’t dying before. Christians are still as free as ever to believe anything they like about death, heaven, disease, healing and fear, but the fact remains, if they get COVID, they’re as likely to get sick and die as anyone else.

Nobody needs to tell me livelihoods are being impacted. I lost my business due to the impacts of COVID and am still paying off the debts accrued in the last few months of trading in my shop. Do I want lockdowns to end? Who doesn’t? But when I had my shop, the last thing I wanted was to be responsible for someone being exposed to COVID on my premises. The costs to me of last years lockdowns and restrictions emotionally, mentally and financially were catastrophic, but am I calling for an end to hem this time around. Abso-fucking-lutely not.

The Australian Christian Lobby has created a menace just to have something to get hot and bothered about. Persecution complex amongst these kinds of Christian organisations is not rare, but this particular kind of victim narrative is something really special. Australian Christian Churches and their ilk are not being singled out, oppressed or asked to relinquish their freedoms. They are not being persecuted or suffering anything anyone else isn’t.

It may well be they have freedom from fear of death – although in my experience, evangelical Christians are largely quite hysterical when it comes to avoiding it – but the ACL and those they speak for are simply not free from the consequences of dicing with it, any more than anyone else in possession of a human body. This kind of pseudo-spiritual garble must stop.

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