PM slams ‘evil’ social media
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has again lashed the misuse of social media and called out identity politics during a passionate speech at a dinner on Thursday night.
Mr Morrison was giving an address at the United Israel Appeal Dinner in Randwick when he doubled down on his criticism of identity politics and social media.
It comes after footage of the Prime Minister speaking at a national Christian convention on the Gold Coast last week was circulated online, where Mr Morrison called the misuse of social media "the work of the devil".
On Thursday night, Mr Morrison told guests "social and moral corrosion" was "caused by the misuse of social media, and the abuse that occurs" on such platforms.
"I would say it also includes the growing tendency to commodify human beings through identity politics," he said.
"We must never surrender the truth that the experience and value of every human being is unique and personal.
"You are more, we are more, individually, more than the things others try to identify us by, you by, in this age of identity politics.
"You are more than your gender, you are more than your race, you are more than your sexuality, you are more than your ethnicity, you are more than your religion, your language group, your age."
Mr Morrison said all of these attributes contributed to the "incredible diversity" of Australian society, but they were not the essence of our humanity.
"When we reduce ourselves to a collection of attributes, or divide ourselves, even worse, on this basis, we can lose sight of who we actually are as individual human beings - in all our complexity, in all our wholeness and in all our wonder," the Prime Minister said.
"Throughout history, we've seen what happens when people are defined solely by the group they belong to, or an attribute they have, or an identity they possess."
He said the Jewish community understood that better than any other in the world.
Community was the major theme throughout Mr Morrison's speech at the appeal dinner on Thursday night, where he paid tribute to many outstanding Jewish Australians, including his "dear friend" and colleague, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
"Good citizens, good neighbours and good friends, who understand through their own faith and history and sufferings that life is not what you accumulate but what you give, what you contribute," he said.
"In my church, we talk about blessed to be a blessing and that is what you're doing here tonight.
"So being among you tonight, I'm deeply honoured to be here, I'm deeply grateful for your contribution to our nation."
Mr Morrison, a Pentecostal Christian, who is deeply religious, said he and his wife Jenny had been called upon to do God's work in his speech at the Australian Christian Churches conference last week.
In the address, which was published by a secular group online, the Prime Minister also said social media could be used by "the evil one" to undermine society and revealed he would "lay hands" on Australians he met at disaster relief centres.
Laying of hands is a practice performed in some Pentecostal churches to support prayers of healing.
"I've been in evacuation centres where people thought I was just giving someone a hug and I was praying, and putting my hands on people," he told the conference about a recent visit the Pilbara after Cyclone Serjoa.
"Laying hands on them and praying in various situations."
Mr Morrison is Australia's first Pentecostal prime minister and the denomination has grown in popularity despite only 1.1 per cent of Australians identifying with it.
Originally published as PM slams 'evil' social media