Pentecostal Christian’s are on the march and attacking various Labor administrations around the nation. They claim to represent the silent majority and target sitting politicians; almost always progressive, usually from the Green or Labor parties. Perhaps emboldened by US President Trump and his electoral success they seek to take advantage of the disconnect between people and those in power in Australia. Of course, that ignores the political reality of the failure of the Republican party to select a candidate that represents the best interests of the GOP rather than the interloper and braggard Trump clearly is.

These crusaders cannot easily be dismissed as religious nutters, though some are, quoting the Bible adnauseum as though no one else has the intellectual ability to read and decide for themselves. They are churchy, pro-life, against abortion, same-sex marriage and moves to legalise assisted suicide. They claim to be cashed up, one Queensland groups state that they have “lots of money” and have allocated almost $200,000 to target marginal seas in a bid to oust the Palaszczuk government.

According to the Courier Mail Cherish Life has already printed 500,000 pamphlets and will run television ads. It has set up a provocative website where it targets individual ALP members (www.laborlast.org.au) and will target over two dozen seats on margins up to 5 per cent.

In Canberra there are also candidates running for office more designed to damage Labor than win a seat for an individual. The 25 seat ACT Assembly is also having an election in October and a few thousand votes would see the Barr administration defeated. As an openly gay leader of Labor Barr is often targeted more for his sexual orientation than the level of debt his government has run up in recent years. The Liberal party runs on the theme of rising cost of living expenses to the average voter but not mentioning that many conservative political staffers live lifestyles exactly like Barr but are smart enough not to publicly comment on abortion, gay rights or assisted suicide.

According to the national capital based Australian Christian Lobby they have,
• Influenced the federal Labor Party to back away from plans to criminalise parents who affirm the biological sex of their gender-confused children.
• Successfully lobbied the Coalition government to spend more time thinking about how to uphold religious freedom and the unique ethos of Christian schools
• Supported the legal defence of dozens of Christians in trouble with the law for living out their faith.
• Informed voters about the truth in a way that shifted over one million votes in the Marriage Postal Survey from ‘yes’ or ‘undecided’ to a clear ‘NO’.
• Stopped legislation to implement euthanasia or assisted suicide in the territories (NT and ACT) so that life was upheld and vulnerable people were protected.
• Lobbied government for policy on strong border protection combined with a generous refugee intake.

The lobby group receive little funding, mainly they are funded by private donations. Almost no corporate or government money has been provided and they state they are a grassroots organisation with thousands of followers. They generate reasonable media coverage and have a skilled communications CEO, but does this influence enough voters to cast a ballot for someone they don’t know based entirely on a religious position rather than say an economic one.

The questions will be tested this October to see if all the lobbying to defeat Labor by church groups and their acolytes succeeds but in a COVID-19 election voters may simply return governments without engaging in other social issues.