Nevertheless, like Lazarus, Family First has been revived to fight another day. The catalyst for its revival was a dark day in March 2021 when the South Australian parliament passed the ‘Termination of Pregnancy Bill’—which opened the door for ‘abortion to birth’–with the support of the Liberal Premier.
That was the day former South Australian Member of Parliament (MP) Pastor Andrew Evens knew that an ideology hostile to life, faith, and family had taken hold in both major parties.
What most people don’t realise is that this ideology, which has taken hold of Western elites, has its roots in Marxism.
In their ‘Communist Manifesto’ (1848), Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels advocated for:
• ‘Abolition of marriage’, which they likened to prostitution.
• ‘Abolition of the family’, which they likened to slavery because you can’t be ‘free’ if you are shackled to a spouse or family.
• ‘Free love’ and ‘equal obligation of all to work’. And because the Marxist utopia envisaged no stay-at-home mothers. Marx and Engels advocated obligatory state care of children.
• ‘Abolition of countries and nationality’—in other words, globalism with one world government—insisting, ‘The working men have no country…’.
• ‘Communism’, which they said, ‘abolishes eternal truths, all religion, and all morality…’.
In the 1960s, German student activist and Marxist Rudi Dutschke concluded that direct confrontation with Judeo-Christian culture was futile. Instead, he advocated a patient ‘Long March through the institutions’. By this means, he proposed, Marxists would infiltrate education, the media, government, and the church and ‘work against these established institutions while working within them’.
Sixty years on, I think we can say the Long March has been very successful! Interestingly, French historian and theologian Jacques Ellul, in his 1965 book, ‘Propaganda’, comments:
‘For propaganda to succeed, a society must first have two qualities: it must be both individualistic and a mass society’.
In other words, propaganda works best when it reaches all of society (the mass) as isolated individuals.
However, as Ellul explained, the greatest weapon against propaganda is the small group, where people talk to one another freely outside of government control. According to Ellul, the most effective propaganda-busting small groups are the family and the church, which is precisely why propagandists target these institutions for destruction. The family and the church are under attack in this country like never before, which is precisely why we need a party like Family First in our parliaments: state and federal.
In March 2021, Evans, along with the South Australian former Labor MPs Tom Kenyon (now party Chairman) and Jack Snelling, revived Family First to represent the ‘sensible centre right’ as both major parties lurch left. In May 2022, the board appointed author, activist, and former managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby (2013 to 2018), Mr Lyle Shelton, as National Director.
Speaking on an information night in Melbourne on 20 July, Mr Shelton encouraged concerned families to ‘Take hold of the tools of democracy and get involved’. Lamenting the lack of courage in our parliaments, Mr Shelton confirmed that Family First will ‘raise courageous and principled voices in the parliaments of our nation for family, freedom and faith’. And by faith, Shelton means religious freedom: the right to believe and exercise faith and operate and associate in faith-based institutions without oppressive state interference. Surely this is something all Australian families—not just Christian families—will want to support. For as Shelton reminds us, Biblical pro-liberty, pro-life, and pro-family values are good for “Shalom” or (the peace and well-being of all of society).
As Shelton acknowledged, political and cultural transformation is a long-term project. It took a “Long March” to get here, and it will be a long march back. However, he said, “You influence politics by being there, by showing up.” This is precisely what Family First intends to do.
Family First is currently looking for members, volunteers, and candidates.
Policies are on the website. https://familyfirstparty.org.au/
- Written by Elizabeth Kendal for New Life Aus, 25 July 2022.
- You can read further about Elizabeth’s prayer bulletin here: www.elizabethkendal.com/elizabeth-kendal/