On August 11, 2007, Nalliah announced that the Lord had spoken to him and that he "could boldly declare that Prime Minister John Howard will be re-elected in the November election".
For the Australian religious right the election campaign began earlier with the National Day of Thanksgiving. The Australian Christian Lobby then mobilised both politicians and people in the pews, to a television extravaganza in August. This was then followed by the Fatherhood Foundation's September "National Strategic Summit on Marriage, Family and Fatherhood" in the Great Hall, in Parliament House.
And then came the prophet Nalliah.
As the prophet Samuel, according to Nalliah, was sent to anoint Daniel as the future king of Israel, so the Lord directed him "to spend time with Prime Minister John Howard and Peter Costello". The Lord God, as Nalliah records it, "gave me a clear prophetic word for both of them … I'm not at liberty to share the details of these private encounters", however, "John Howard will be elected and pass the leadership on to Peter Costello sometime after". Just why the Lord did not provide the details of the timing of this handover is not clear.
To convince any doubters of this prophetic call, Nalliah then issued a further word. As with the prophets of old, he said he had been "stoned many times, spat at and hit with eggs ... I have seen many blind, deaf, dumb and crippled people receive their healing ... in addition to many others with various sicknesses including a dead girl came back to life as I laid hands on them". Then came the all out attack on the ALP. Labour politicians were denounced because "they refused to touch the Bible"; they "fully support homosexuality"; Julia Gillard is charged with being involved with Emily's List, "a pro choice group"; and finally as 70 per cent of ALP members are left wingers, and left wing ideologies are anti Christian, so 70 per cent of them are anti Christian!
Catch the Fire Ministries then circulated in early October, a major statement declaring that John Howard was a champion for Israel. For the religious right the events in the Middle East need to be monitored carefully, for such events will herald the return of the Messiah and eternal damnation for those who do not believe, including those Jews who do reject the Messiah.
The final act in this prophetic judgment will take place, again in the Great Hall of Parliament House on October 22. Here the Prime Minister will deliver a message and those gathered, will "pray that those elected will fulfill God's power and purpose for our nation's destiny and future generations in this Great South Land of the Holy Spirit". This gathering of "many federal government and Christian leaders from across our nation", was planned during the meeting with the Prime Minister on August 10.
It's a disturbing and disconcerting commentary on both, Australian church life and political parties, how a few well organised, creative and well resourced individuals can so shape and influence the relationship between religion and politics.
Some 18 organisations are backing Nalliah's prophecy. More than half of them are directed and organised by individuals. One person has founded, directed and organised the Fatherhood Foundation, Australian Christian Values Institute and the National Prayer Council. Some are the same organisation with different names, for example, Catch the Fire Ministries and Rise Up Australia.
Both, The Cause Australia and The Call Australia, while having their origins in the USA, are directly related to each other. Some are shadowy organisations, such as the Children's Prayer Network, with little information available other than their vision "to disciplining and training children to take their place ... as part of the army He is raising up". Many appear to be related to the Assemblies of God, the President of which is Brian Houston from Hillsong, and a number of the directors are linked with political parties.
Fred Nile,a Christian Democratic Party representative in the New South Wales Parliament, for example, is the founder of another of the prophecy's supporters, the Australian Christian Nation Association, and Nalliah was a Family First candidate.
They are able to exist with virtually no scrutiny from either mainline denominations or the media. When the founder and CEO of the Australian Christian Lobby appeared on the ABC's Lateline there were no questions about the organisation or it's financing.
Finally, the organising capacity of the religious right, its ability to appropriate Federal Parliamentary space and resources, the synergy between its agenda (sex and family) and conservative policies, and its access to financial resources leaves the mainline churches out manoeuvred and marginalised.
While religion might be the core of democracy, as Walt Whitman once wrote, there are some peculiar religious elements stirring Australian democracy.