The Friday before the prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, appeared at Hillsong conference 2019’s opening night, The Saturday Paper had asked for an article on his faith affects his politics. I spent a gruelling weekend watching the man who holds the highest office in my country speak like an evangelical. Because he is one. He’s a preacher and he’s a good one, too. He comes across as confident, believing in what he says, that he is about fairness and prosperity, because according to him he is.
The prime minister believes what he says. Pentecostalism relies on emotions. The conversion experience is an emotion-based one, which is why it’s pointless trying to deprogram your fundie friends with intellectual arguments. The emotions they’ve felt are much stronger and more convincing for them. While that emotional need is still being fed by way of involvement with the original supplier, facts will never overtake feelings. Only when the feelings are challenged, even if they extend to feelings of intellectual superiority, but more often issues such as social justice not being practised, or people being bullied, will a fundie reconsider. Or, as in the case with other closed systems like family and intimate partner violence, if that emotional supply is cut off, even if it has been abusive, that’s the only other time the individual involved will have a chance to think clearly.
So when Scott Morrison gets weepy about his children, it’s because he believes they’re miracles, and that it’s a supernatural event that they exist. His wife, Jenny, and he tried for 14 years before their first miracle turned up. Now even though up to 30% of women who’ve had IVF treatment go on to conceive naturally, those kids are heaven sent. No pressure there for them.
I believe when he gets emotional he’s being sincere. It’s when it touches on matters of faith that the PM gets a bit teary. It’s uncertain emotion. No control. All up to God.
The Hillsongers I’d spoken to told me that Morrison was not connected to them much because of his ruthless dealings with asylum seekers when he was Immigration Minister. I was told, “His policies do not reflect those of our church. You don’t see him wearing our CHOOSE EMPATHY shirts.”
Then a few hours after I submitted a piece discussing the similarities but also distances between Morrison’s ACC church and Hillsong, he stood on stage with Global Brian, both proud as punch to see each other. He hadn’t attended since ANZAC DAY 2014 on stage, as then PM Tony Writes Support Letters for Convicted Child Molesters Abbott’s rep, with Catholic Tones being beamed in to speak.
It hadn’t gone down well, and the younger mob in Hillsong’s ever changing and ever youthful demographic said no to the man they did not see as their kind of Christian. The Hillsong marketing team took note, and he wasn’t seen for 5 years. and 6 hours after I thought I could rip up my notes.
Then it all fell so clearly into place. His appearance at Planetshakers church in Melbourne last October was not a coincidence. The warmth between Global Brian and PM Morrison was evident. They’ve been in touch since 2014 for sure. GB has actual endless resources and people willing to do anything for the Cause. Most Labor members just don’t have the push of God’s will breathing down their neck. While Mr Morrison toured the nation’s ACC and Hillsong related churches, Global Brian, who’d been chuffed to hear his name in Morrison’s maiden speech, had most likely gone to work since Morrison grabbed the leadership back in August.
Between them, with God’s infinite resources, the Liberals had a rich support base quietly carrying the along. Now safely re-elected, they don’t have to pretend anymore.. They’re not just in bed together, Hillsong and the PM, they’re married. This is totally just the beginning of a push towards a Hillsong theocracy. It may not happen, but they’re sure as hell going to have a red hot go.
The Liberal party has now got all the money they need behind them in the tithes and offerings that are tax free. Prosperity nation, here we come
Don’t be surprised when Morrison is re elected. Trying to tell ya, this is how these people work.
He’s learned the winning motivational speech techniques from some of the most successful pastors out there, first hand by the looks of things.
The language is fascinating. Morrison is beholden to the church and his pastors’ interpretations of everything. And a bit of numerology. It’s pure Pentecostalism and it’s heartfelt.
Except for the farmers. Both times I saw the PM pray on stage, he added the farmers on at the end, like he forgot the National Party' was part of this too. Just believe me that you should believe him. He means what he says when he says he’s a believer. But who he’s believing in is not yet clear.
This footage looks a lot like he believes in what Global Brian believes in which is Hillsong. And Global Brian.