Opinion

A conservative view of new PM

Scott Morrison was among several MPs from Labor and the Coalition to offer prayers at the annual Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast in Canberra last May. When it came to his turn, he asked the audience to join in praying for farmers suffering in the drought. Within days of becoming PM, Morrison was on the ground in western Queensland.

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I joined the Australian Christian Lobby in mid-2007 and chaired a Meet Your Candidates Forum at Cronulla in Sydney when Morrison was first running for election to federal parliament. He was the most impressive by far and made no secret of his Christian commitment.

In his maiden speech, Morrison continued to give bold witness and declared Australia was not a secular country – it was a free country. Brilliantly expressed, this was a salient message to those trying to push Christianity out of the public square. It is even more relevant as the new PM struggles to restore freedom of speech and freedom of religion in the aftermath of legalising same-sex marriage.

Politics is a brutal game. I know he will value our prayers.

Despite sitting out the marriage campaign, he has now committed to personally take charge of dealing with the consequences of the loss. But getting his divided party to agree will be difficult.

Fifty-two per cent of his colleagues voted with the Greens and Labor against the freedom amendments put forward by senators James Paterson and David Fawcett in the aftermath of the plebiscite.

On asylum-seekers, Morrison has gone down in history as the man who stopped the boats – and the drownings. But he denied former prime minister Julia Gillard her chance by opposing Labor’s Malaysian solution.

Like Steven Bradbury, Morrison skated through the chaos of the failed Peter Dutton coup to take the prize.

Politics is a brutal game. I know he will value our prayers.

Lyle Shelton is a former managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He is now a Queensland Senate candidate for the Conservative Party.

When the future PM sits in your pews.

The PM viewed from the Left.

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