Scott Morrison, Religious Freedom PM & Minister for Everything

religious freedom pm minister for everything
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During his lamentable tenure as Australian PM, Scott Morrison echoed far-right strongmen around the world. A cynical embrace of religion, the demonisation of LGBTQIA+ communities, and inept governance combined with an unrelenting reliance on spin and deflection. Australia’s Religious Freedom PM and Minister for Everything.

We could call the former PM Trumpian, Putin-lite, Bolsanaro-mild, Son of Johnson, or Aussie Xi. Whichever… this was a leader determined to centralise power unto himself and make the country over in his own image.

And his political cronies and a compliant press allowed him full latitude. After he won the unwinnable 2019 election, his apostles celebrated the anointed one as a new Messiah. Sure, they now echo everything his detractors said all along. But when it mattered, they stayed quiet.

In the last few days, his former disciples act as though his failings come as a revelation. Because it only matters when it affects them. They didn’t care when the Religious Freedom PM joined the pile-on on the LGBTQIA+ communities by far-right bigots seeking revenge for their marriage equality loss through religious discrimination legislation.

Buckets of shit

Witness former Senator Fierravanti-Wells. The notoriously anti-LGBTQIA+ senator shared nothing of her misgivings about Scotty until he effectively ended her political career. Then, she couldn’t find enough buckets of shit to empty on his head.

And what of the in-the-loop Murdoch journalists who stayed quiet about the Prime Minister’s ministerial power grab until it no longer mattered?

As Mad F_cking Witches point out, the partner of the Nationals’ Senate leader, and his co-author, sat on the information of Scotty’s numerous secret portfolios.

The Minister for Everything

We now know Morrison appointed himself to more portfolios than he could remember. He excuses his power grab as justified by the pandemic.

Yet the one action he took under those powers had nothing to do with the pandemic. It was to kill off a gas project that threatened the Liberal vote in crucial Sydney electorates.

(And he says nothing about why, if there was nothing wrong with the self-appointments, he kept them secret — even from his own Cabinet.)

Morrison also heaps plaudits on his own ‘leadership’ during the pandemic despite the state premiers shouldering most of that burden. Australia’s premiers, whatever their political persuasion, kept us safe in the face of unrelenting vilification — much of it from Morrison’s political and media acolytes.

The Religious Freedom PM

The Religious Freedom PM once described himself as called to do God’s work.

And Lordy-lord! He never let us forget that.

While secretly appointing himself to multiple portfolios, Morrison also appeared to usurp the Queen’s role as Defender of the Faith.

Far-right political strongmen delight in the performative embrace of religion. Their holier-than-thou schtick consists of flaunting the deity at their side while ignoring less convenient aspects of their professed beliefs.

And we need only look to the examples of Trump, Putin, Bolsonaro, Orbán, Erdoğan, and Museveni to see far-right strongmen using the demonisation of LGBTQIA+ communities to distract voters from the real substantive issues that actually affect their lives.

Morrison’s personal choice of Katherine Deves as Liberal candidate for Warringah illustrated his indifference to the consequences to LGBTQIA+ people of his pandering to the worst instincts of bigots.

‘Right on the money’, he said of a candidate who described herself as ‘triggered’ by the Rainbow Flag and compared trans activists to Nazi trains transporting Jews to concentration camps.

One step forward, two steps back

Religious bigots crafted a narrative following their defeat over marriage equality that people of faith consequently required further protection. In other words, LGBTQIA+ people could not be allowed equality in one area without sacrificing it in another.

Take one step forward — but another two back.

The religious freedom debate is a contrived and nonsensical beat-up.

How does Australia not enjoy religious freedom? What church is banned? Who in this country cannot practice their faith openly? Where is the congregation prohibited from registering a church, sidestepping normal tax obligations and seeking lucrative government funding for their good deeds? And currently avoiding anti-discrimination obligations incumbent on other organisations.

Is not one of Australia’s foremost religious leaders — Morrison’s former mentor, no less — sitting out the days before his trial for concealing historic child sex abuse in a luxurious California mansion?

It’s good that Morrison is stubbornly resisting calls for his resignation. Because as long as he remains on those opposition benches, he’s a reminder that his fellow Liberals and Nationals were complicit in his bastardy. They couldn’t care less about us as long as they retained power. Morrison’s resignation today would have allowed them to weasel out of that association.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at

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