Australia’s Rising Religious Right


Religious Right Groups

Understanding that mind makes reality, one must then understand why belief
is the enemy. Belief systems have often been created to shape the mind into
narrow reality-tunnels that exclude other modes of perception. If you can
control what people believe – as Hitler, Stalin, and other dictators realized –
you have a method of coercion better than a thousand tanks or the death penalty.

– Steve Mizrach (aka Seeker1)

Moses and Ten Commandments

Listed below are links to information we have researched about Religious Right groups in Australia. On the detailed information pages, we include links to these groups’ own websites in order to encourage thinking Australians to visit these sites and critically examine the ideas they are promoting. Many of these groups have close links with each other, and spokespersons for one group often publicly represent another.

These groups all have a common agenda – political lobbying under the banner of “biblical family values”. They oppose abortion, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, prostitution, adult shops, pornography, Islam, embryonic stem cell research and even Harry Potter. They campaign strongly for censorship of material that offends them and they generally believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, including Genesis.

Above Rubies
A virulently anti-feminist group which actively encourages women to ‘submit’ to their menfolk.

Australian Christian Lobby
Formerly the Australian Christian Coalition founded in 1995, this group is based in Canberra and headed by former SAS chief, Brigadier Jim Wallace. Its aims are “to reclaim our society and our government for God and to have the Christian voice heard”. It advocates rules of conduct prescribed by the Bible, as contained in the Ten Commandments and the first five books of the Old Testament.

Australian Family Association
An off-shoot of the Catholic-based National Civic Council founded by Bob Santamaria. Bill Muehlenberg is the main national Spokesperson, but the group also has spokespersons in various States.

Australian Federation for the Family
A relatively low-key group run by Jack and Margaret Sonnemann who came to Australia from the USA in the early 1980s. Maintains close links with US groups.

Australian Festival of Light
A moral reform organisation formed in 1973 by evangelical Protestants who drew their inspiration from Mary Whitehouse’s British FOL. Principal personnel are Fred and Elaine Nile in NSW, and David and Roslyn Phillips in SA.

Catch The Fire Ministries
A small Victorian church associated with the Assemblies of God. Its pastor Danny Nalliah has obtained great notoriety through the publicity about a religious vilification case brought against them by the Islamic Council of Victoria.

Christian Democratic Party
A political party originally formed in 1981 (then named the Call to Australia Party) by Rev. Fred Nile from the Festival of Light. The group has had two members of the NSW Legislative Council for a number of years by exploiting the upper house quota election system at alternate elections.

Creation Ministries International (Australia)
Formerly called Answers in Genesis Ministries, and prior to that the Creation Science Foundation, this group originated in Australia but spread to several other countries including the USA. Its mission is “to bring reformation by restoring the foundations of our faith which are contained in the book of Genesis.”

Democratic Labor Party
The DLP was originally founded in Victoria in 1955 as a conservative Catholic breakaway from the Australian Labor Party. A national political party with close ties to the National Civic Council (NCC).

Endeavour Forum
A small but relatively influential group run by Babette Francis. It was formerly known as “Women Who Want To be Women”. Its objectives are “to counter feminism, defend the unborn and the traditional family.”

Exclusive Brethren
An operating church with political goals which include the election of socially conservative governments and the implementation of policies such as the restriction of abortion and the curtailment of homosexual rights.

Exodus Asia Pacific
A Christian group whose proclaimed purpose is “to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by proclaiming His desire and incredible power to release people from homosexuality.”

Family Councils
These groups exists in several states, the largest and oldest group being in Victoria. They are umbrella organisations, with membership from the usual Religious Right groups but also include some unexpected members such as the Moonies and the Mormons.

Family First Party
A political party which ‘wants to make sure every piece of legislation helps every Australian family reach their potential’. In practice, the FFP promotes a strong Religious Right agenda, including opposition to school sex education, euthanasia and prostitution, and outspoken support for censorship.

Fatherhood Foundation
A recently formed organisation (2002) whose public activities indicate strong Christian fundamentalist tendencies in all matters relating to the family.

Focus on the Family Australia
A group headed by Colin Bunnett that claims to have the objective ‘to reconnect families with the ageless wisdom of Judaeo-Christian values’. It is believed to receive financial support from the much more powerful Focus on the Family (US) headed by Dr James Dobson.

Life Ministries
A small, strongly American-influenced group which cooperates effectively with like-minded organisations, and which has flown the Religious Right’s flag in Western Australia for many years.

Light Educational Ministries
A Canberra-based group which provides materials and promotes a Christian Reconstructionist version of education throughout Australia.

Media Standards Australia
A small WA-based group, formerly called the National Viewers and Listeners Association of Australia. It focuses its attention on attempting to influence the broadcast and other public media to adopt more conservative policies, particularly in relation to sex and violence.

National Alliance of Christian Leaders
A loosely organised grouping of leaders of conservative Christian organisations which aims ‘to facilitate the coming together of Christian organisational leaders, to work together towards shared objectives’.

Right To Life Australia
A large, militant and once powerful organisation whose influence has faded somewhat. Its platform is largely concerned with opposition to abortion and euthanasia.

Salt Shakers
Founded by Peter and Jenny Stokes and located in Melbourne. Peter Stokes also represented the Festival of Light before the Senate Committee inquiring into superannuation entitlements for same sex couples in March 2000.

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