Religious extremism continues to cause concern in NSW – and Liberal MLC
David Clark’s recent appearance at a North Shore electorate conference
meeting has done nothing to assuage community concerns.
Clark, the nominal head of the NSW Liberal religious Right, preached
jihad in a speech which left senior party figures worried that the man
has no ability to make the compromises needed for political success.
This wasn’t a gathering of doctors’ wives. The audience consisted
mainly of long-time Liberal heavyweights. Attendees have described
Clark’s speech and attitudes as “appalling” and “simply woeful.”
It was clear to everyone present that Clark’s jihad runs on a “if
you’re not with us, you’re against us” basis. Anyone who refuses to
accept their agenda – particularly those he described as “humanists,
secularists or non-religious” is classified as enemies.
Clark doesn’t get it. He’s on a suicide mission. When it was pointed
out to Clark what happened when his approach was tried in the Labor
Party in the fifties, he was unable to adequately answer. Clark is yet
to refute the argument that most voters don’t like proselytising, that
voters don’t believe religion should play too strong a role in
politics, and that taking this track risks dividing the Liberal Party and
diminishing its chances of electoral success.