The Culture War Won’t Be Won From the Back Foot

Over the weekend I attended the Church and State Summit in Brisbane, Queensland. I’d been eager to attend after being profoundly impacted by the one held in 2019. This year’s was all I’d been hoping for and more.

Among the world-class speakers were Cardinal George Pell live-streamed all the way from Rome; Senator Matt Canavan and Federal MP George Christensen; and Karl Faase from the Aussie documentary Jesus the Game Changer.

My favourite speakers had to be Dr. Stephen Chavura who addressed the cultural hot potato of Critical Race Theory; and both Wendy Francis and Martyn Iles from the Australian Christian Lobby. Dave Pellowe, who hosted the event and spoke brilliantly on the first night, did a stellar job at assembling this all-star cast. (You can see the entire event for $20 at this link).

Perhaps the greatest message I took away from the weekend — and the final Q&A panel in particular — was the imperative for us to be on the front foot in our stand for Judeo-Christian values in Australia.

One fair criticism made of our “tribe” is that we tend to be reactive to the events going on around us, instead of being proactive. Too often, we wait for the evangelists of wokeism to draft horrific legislation in sugar-sweet language, and then we struggle to mount enough opposition to keep these bills at bay.

This language of “progressives” and “conservatives” is perhaps part of the problem. It makes it sound as though one side is committed to progress and the rest of us are working to hold that progress back.

In truth, people of every political persuasion are interested in progress. But as followers of Jesus, we believe that the principles of Scripture, tested and refined through centuries of Western history, provide the best light to continue guiding our societies forward.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen two brilliant pieces of legislation proposed that can help us better understand this principle — legislation that deserves our wholehearted support.

The first is Mark Latham’s Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 in NSW. This bill would prevent teachers and all school staff from teaching gender fluidity to children. It rests on the idea that parents are the ones best placed to shape the values, beliefs and worldview of their children—not the state.

You can contact the members of the NSW Legislative Council to express your support for this bill.

The second is George Christensen’s Human Rights (Children Born Alive Protection) Bill 2021. Recognising the hundreds of Australian babies who are born during failed abortion procedures but who are then left to die in hospitals and abortion clinics, this bill would mandate care for them like any other baby born alive.

Visit George Christensen’s website to affirm your support of this draft legislation. Even better, get in touch with Prime Minister Scott Morrison by email or phone (02 6277 7700) and ask him to support the bill.

If we keep waiting to respond to bad laws, we will remain on the back foot. But if we support our elected representatives as they advance good legislation, we will have far more success in protecting life, religious freedom, and marriage and family — for the benefit of all Australians.

By |2021-03-02T15:33:43+11:00March 2nd, 2021|Australia, Faith, Freedom, Leadership|4 Comments

About the Author:

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Features Editor. He also works as a primary school teacher and a freelance writer. He blogs at Cross + Culture and is a regular contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce, among other online publications.

Kurt has published a book, Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West?, with rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society.

He has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same.

Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years on a remote island in Indonesia, is fluent in several Indonesian languages, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel.


  1. Yvonne Walker March 3, 2021 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Thanks for this wake up call God bless

  2. Peter Killin March 3, 2021 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Kurt, you correctly urge Christians to support good candidates; from the “front foot” such as MP’s Mark and George above.

    This support is critically important, not only when they present good Bills into parliament, but also in;
    1.) the period leading up to each election as well as;
    2.) standing in support at polling booths on election day.

    But there is also an even greater opportunity for Christians to operate Upstream in the whole process and be involved in the actual pre-selection of good (and Christian!) candidates. This is a foundational point where “…we will have far more success in protecting life, religious freedom, and marriage and family — for the benefit of all Australians.”

    And that is as a member of a political party. Creating change from the inside.

    This is truly, being on the “front foot.”

  3. Pauline Barker March 3, 2021 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    I also believe Christians need to stand up and be counted instead of leaving it up to the few. You do a great job at the Canberra Declaration with the information you send out.

  4. Stan March 7, 2021 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Thanks Kurt, keep it up

Leave A Comment