The Judeo-Christian values smorgasbord

  (26 January 13)
  by Greg Spearritt

Liberal Senator Cory Bernadi – he of the ‘gay-marriage-may-lead-to-bestiality’ claim – is first on the South Australian Liberal Senate ticket for the 2013 federal election.

Bernadi criticises the government for having “steadfastly refused to stop the flow of illegal arrivals and protect our borders, while rewarding the new arrivals with gift packs of whitegoods and welfare.” He lauds smaller government, lower taxes, the family as “the most important unit of society” and, wait for it… Judeo-Christian values. He's also been an international delegate of the American Legislative Exchange Council and has allegedly received payments from the Heartland Institute for travel and accommodation.

The values Bernadi promotes would include the values, surely, of one Jesus of Nazareth: the same Jesus who is reputed to have said "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26) and who refused a disciple’s request to be given time to bury his father (Matt 8:21-22); the same Jesus who was himself, as an infant, a refugee (Matt 2:13-23) and consistently stood up for outcasts and those in need. Hospitality for the stranger is, of course, a prominent theme in the Old Testament.

I don’t see much in the Bible about the right to bear arms or allow large corporations to make huge profits peddling goods that kill half those who use them as they’re intended to be used. There is quite a bit about honesty (Psalm 51:6, for instance, or Ephesians 4:25 or 1 Peter 3:10-12), which rather calls into question Bernadi’s description of asylum-seekers as “illegal arrivals”.

Perhaps it’s okay to be selective about Judeo-Christian values. You could, for instance, focus on the anti-gay bits without accepting slavery and refusing shellfish. Standing up for honesty and against exacerbating human misery seem a little more core-value, however.



These days, amongst the scholars, you will find that the term "Judeo-Christian" has been replaced by "Abrahamic". This makes it more inclusive and covers Islam and the Muslims.

Posted by David Miller

Please note this post has been amended in the light of an apology from Fairfax media to Cory Bernadi ( following claims made by Fairfax about a failure by Bernadi to declare pecuniary interests. This blog post originally made reference to those claims.

Posted by Greg

I somehow doubt that Bernadi would want to include Islam in his set of cherished values - see, e.g.,

Posted by Greg

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