Monday, August 6, 2007

Howard and Rudd – Christian Confidential

John Howard and Kevin Rudd will be using a webcast to address voters this week, but only Christian Voters.

In a message tailored for Christian audiences alone, Howard and Rudd will lay forth their positions on a number of issues. To access to the webcast your church as to register here by noon tomorrow:

But what if you are not in a church, or like me, not a Christian?

Has my relevance slipped because I am not a Christian – am I no longer interested in what they have to say about issues that are important to one segment on the population?

I’d suggest that I am very interested and as part of a democratic process I am appalled to see access to the presentation limited to only the members of “The Club”.

Sure, the media have access and will report on the webcasts – but I’d like the unfiltered, unspun version, straight from the horses’ mouths.

I support the concept of speaking with a message for a particular group and I think it is important for Christians to hear the positions of political leaders on matter that are important to them – but excluding the non-Christian population sends a message that somehow they are perhaps less worthy to participate in the discussions that are likely to centre on moral and ethical as well as religious (Christian) issues.

The event has been organised by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and is being held at the National Press Club – strange then that at an event of this importance the content should be restricted ‘to Christians only’.

ACL seeks to drive policy change to support the Christian viewpoint – which is fair enough since that is what they are founded to do, but for a broader impact why not make the webcast available to every Australian?

If I were one of the supporters of ACL I’d be asking why the opportunity to witness to non-Christian Australians was being lost – or perhaps they think we’ll misconstrue the message?

I wonder if the restriction of access to churches only was something that came from ACL – or was a request of the political parties involved in the webcast?

On the website for the broadcast they have an FAQ section. One of the questions is in fact:
Q. I am not a Christian or member of any church, can I watch the webcast?

A. Unfortunately, Mr Howard and Mr Rudd will be specifically addressing the Christian voter and only churches and Christian organisations will be able to register for the webcast. However, media will have the opportunity to attend the Canberra event and will be freely available to report on the speeches.

Okaaaay – specifically addressing the Christian Voter? When our political leaders speak, they are always potentially speaking to the whole country and while I am happy, nay ecstatic that they address specific segments, that address should be equally available to all whenever possible – I would understand an attendance restriction if it were in a venue that could only hold a few people – but this is being broadcast on the web.

Not Happy, John.

And Kevin.

And especially ACL.

Am I just being unreasonable?

Rant over – back to your coffee!