On January 7 1980, Rev Fred Nile announced an advertising campaign based on a rewriting of the 10 Commandments. Meanwhile, he continued to seek election, determined to inflict his own particular brand of Religious Freddom on the citizens of Australia.
Fred launched the advertising campaign as the national coordinator of the Festival of Light. Formed in Adelaide in 1973, the organisation rose to prominence following the appointment of His Fredness as full-time director the next year.
The 10 Commandments advertising campaign consisted of thirty second radio and television spots in addition to roadside billboards. His Fredgisty declared the campaign was based on a rewriting of the commandments to “contemporary language for the man in the street.
“‘Thou shalt’, for instance, is replaced by ‘You shall’.”
Despite His Niliness’s obsession with Mardi Gras, there was no 11th commandment.
“Thou shalt not wear spangled g-strings on Oxford Street.”
Nor did the advertising truly reflect the contemporary language of the man in the street. Adultery continued to get a mention despite the word’s lack of common usage. Men in the street were unlikely to ask a mate, “Excuse me, my good man, did you have an adulterous relationship with my wife?”
More likely: “Did you f_ck my missus, you filthy bastard?”
In 1981, following numerous attempts at election to the Federal Senate, Rev Fred Nile finally won election to the NSW upper house. In November 1981, he organised a protest outside Parliament House in Sydney against moves to decriminalise homosexuality.
He described same-sex lovemaking as “one of the oldest sins known to man.”
Over the years, he refined his message to counter claims that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. In 1985, he told students that Jesus never brought up the subject because it was so ‘filthy and dirty’. And he latched onto the latest slogan direct from the US.
“God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
Festival of Light and stabbing homosexuals
The now much forgotten Festival of Light (FOL) performed a similar role to the Australian Christian Lobby in those days. Sanctimonious, hectoring, and obsessed with homosexuality.
By the time of the 1981 debate over decriminalising homosexuality, the FOL had stopped distributing the cassette tape called Victimless Crime Debate. The Tribune quoted barrister Janet Coombs of the FOL saying on the tape, “Presently, to seek someone’s consent for an act of sodomy is itself criminal. And the person who you ask is entitled to punch you, or if they’re really terrified, knife you.”
The Tribune also quoted Janet Coombs from an earlier FOL leaflet complaining decriminalisation would mean a man could no longer punch another for an ‘immoral suggestion”.
“This is a defence frequently raised to charges of assault and murder. Provocation of this type at present at least reduces murder to manslaughter and can reduce murder to self-defence… I want to retain the defence of provocation. My clients need it.”
In 2021, the Pope made Janet Coombs, the first woman appointed to the NSW bar, a Dame of the Order of St Gregory the Great.
Rev Fred Nile continues to fight to maintain control of the Christian Democrat Party. He previously backtracked on his promise to bequeath his seat in the NSW Upper House to Lyle Shelton. And he continues his neverending crusade for Religious Freddom.
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