Former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison delivered a sermon at the notorious anti-LGBTQ+ church founded by Margaret Court.
Morrison, who was prime minister until his Liberal-National Coalition lost its majority to Labor in the May 2022 election, spoke at the Victory Life Centre Church in Perth on Sunday (17 July).
The church was founded by tennis-player-turned-pastor Margaret Court, who has previously said that transgender youths are the work of “the devil” and that Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua’s baby – who has two mothers – shouldn’t be “deprived of her father”.
She created the church in 1995 after retiring from tennis and immediately began to share her anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments in sermons. A number of the church’s events consist of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and dog whistles, including likening gay people to Hitler.
It infamously opened a consulate in Australia for the African republic of Burundi, which has been accused of crimes against humanity. The office was approved by the Australian federal government while Morrison was still in power.
During his sermon, Scott Morrison claimed to believe in miracles, saying: “Do you believe that if you lose an election that God still loves you and has a plan for you? I do. Because I still believe in miracles.”
Margaret Court replied saying that God had a “plan” for the former prime minister to “take back this nation to be a Christian nation”.
The former athlete is one of Morrison’s biggest supporters, and said she prayed for him to be re-elected because he is a “strong Christian, a family man, has good values and morals”.
Elsewhere, Morrison described anxiety as “Satan’s plan” that should be dealt with by the “oil of God.”
“All of this anxiousness, all of this anxiety… all of this feeling about the bills that are pouring in, all of this feeling about the anxiety, and then the oil of God, the ointment of God, comes on this situation and releases you if you will have it, and receive his gift,” he said.
“We cannot allow these anxieties to deny us that. That’s not his plan, that’s Satan’s plan.”
Of course, it was Morrison who caused anxiety in the LGBTQ+ community during his time as Australian prime minister.
A number of bills he backed during his tenure – including one that would make it easier for athletic organisations and clubs to exclude trans people from sports – were labelled as “cruel and divisive” by many of his critics.
Morrison also pushed the Religious Discrimination Bill as part of his election campaign this year.
This proposed legislation, which was shelved in February, would have outlawed discrimination on the basis of a person’s religious belief. Many MPs and LGBTQ+ advocates worried that it would allow for discrimination against queer youths.
Liberal Party MP Bridget Archer was among those who said that the bill could “risk lives.”
“After so much progress, how did we get back to a place where we ignore the harm we place on children when we tell them they are ‘other,’ ‘less than’ and do not deserve [the] rights and protections afforded to others?” Archer asked parliament.
Morrison lost to Labor’s Anthony Albanese earlier this year on 22 May, 2022.
According to Star Observer, the Church has allegedly been paid around $1,000,000 from the Morrison government, with $500,000 to build a new tower of prayer and $500,000 more in JobKeeper payments.
They have since released a statement on their website saying that “this statement is untrue and we want to make our church and the wider community aware that we have not received any funding from the Morrison Government for the Perth Prayer Tower.”
Court celebrated her 80th birthday during Sunday’s sermon, as well as the 27th anniversary of her church.