Because it's not really her best move, is it?
News came out today that our esteemed Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, will be the keynote speaker at this year's Australian Christian Lobby National Conference. Her smiling face shines out from the promotional photo of one of Australia's most backward, hateful and irrelevant lobby groups as if it's a pleasure to be in the same room as people who want bigotry, abstinence and religious discrimination made law. Given that my hope of her simply stepping up onto a lectern and shouting "SORT YOURSELVES OUT, GODDIES!" is likely to be unfulfilled, I've taken the trouble to write Julia's speech for her. For free. You're welcome, Prime Minister.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What an honour it is to be speaking to you here today. As I look out into the sea of wholesome, white faces I would like to pretend for as long as possible that simply by being here I don't publicly support your plans for a fundamentalist Christian nation of married families working together to eradicate the scourge of abortion, homosexuality and the rights of the terminally ill.
In my very demanding role as the Prime Minister of this country, I am aware that I have a major responsibility to manage the war of words that surrounds so many of the important issues we face today. Words are so important to our everyday lives. They give meaning to the things we believe in and value; they give working families a voice; and they make it easy for the media to explain things to people about things.
But some of these words are, regrettably, being misused by those who seek to bring down this great nation; to sully its reputation and to prevent Australia from reaching its true potential as a stalwart defender of the white bread way of life. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss some of these words with you today.
An ‘atheist’ in a political sense, is a woman or man who has recently been thrust into a position of public power who attempts a last-ditch effort to identify with the leftish proportion of her constituency and to distance herself from her predecessor, before pandering to the Christian Right as much as any of those laser-eyed Liberals ever did. This word has been bandied about liberally by those who would have us believe that an ‘atheist’ is somebody who values human reason over supernatural fairy-stories and who has the courage and conviction to inject those values into Australia’s culture and policies.
This word has become so common in the electioneering efforts of politicians of all shapes, sizes, colours and creeds that we’ve come to accept a ‘family’ as a caring and connected group of people who love and support each other, no matter what shape, size, colour or creed. But we as atheists-come-fundamentalist-Christians know that a ‘family’ is so much more than that. You have to work hard to be an Australian family. To work hard at your church marriage, at your full-term pregnancies to your marriage partner; at your heterosexuality; at your white skin and at your religious freedom to tell all other religions that they’re wrong.
You can’t become Prime Minister without knowing something about the way you present yourself to the rest of the world. That’s why, when I stand before you today, I know deep in my heart that I am making the best effort I can to be the Prime Minister all Australians want me to be. Because surely, standing on this stage in front of a minority Christian lobbyist group who would give their first born to have their bigoted Biblical views written into law; and having my smiling face on its website; is part-and-parcel of being an egalitarian, forward-thinking and intelligent representative of the people? It’s just one of the many speaking engagements I give my time and energy to. It doesn’t mean that I’m a marionette in the hands of a group of God-fearing, anachronistic bullies – it just appears that way.
Thank you, and God bless.