Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has slammed Scott Morrison after his controversial speech at a church – and accused the former Liberal leader of making ‘nonsense throwaway conspiracy’ claims.
During a speech at Margaret Court’s Pentecostal Church on Sunday, Mr Morrison said people should put their faith in Christ over ‘fallible governments,’ despite him leading the Australian government just a few months ago.
‘God’s kingdom will come. It’s in his hands. We trust in him. We don’t trust in governments. We don’t trust in the United Nations, thank goodness,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘We don’t trust in all these things, fine as they may be and as important as the role that they play. Believe me, I’ve worked in it and they are important.’
Scott Morrison (pictured speaking to guests on Sunday) said people should put their trust in God and Christ, not governments
Anthony Albanese says Scott Morrison’s comments about not trusting comments ‘astonishing’
Mr Albanese says the comments were appalling from a former national leader.
Speaking on ABC Melbourne radio, Albanese said: ‘I just thought, “wow”. This guy was the prime minister of Australia and had that great honour of leading the government. I found it quite astonishing.
‘It provides some explanation perhaps of why, in my view, he clearly didn’t lead a government that was worthy of the Australian people – he said he doesn’t believe in government.’
‘I find it astonishing that in what must have been, I guess, a moment of frankness, he has said he doesn’t believe in government. I believe that the government does play a role in people’s lives and our living standards,’ he added.
He said Mr Morrison’s comments about the United Nations were ‘nonsense’ and he took offence.
‘And the idea that he’s out there and pressing the United Nations button,’ he said.
‘Again, I mean I have spent the first two months trying to repair our international relations.
‘That sort of nonsense, throwaway conspiracy line about the United Nations, I think isn’t worthy of someone who led Australia.’
Mr Morrison, 54, was given a rockstar welcome at Ms Court’s church after he jetted into Perth on Sunday for the first time since his election loss on May 21.
The ex-PM was a guest speaker at the event, celebrating the 27th birthday of Ms Court’s Victory Life Centre and the installation of its new Perth Prayer tower.
He dismissed the election defeat from the pulpit lectern and said it had not dented his faith.
‘Do you believe if you lose an election that God still loves you and has a plan for you? I do – because I still believe in miracles,’ he told the congregation.
It echoed the speech he gave after his 2019 election win over Labor’s Bill Shorten when he said: ‘I have always believed in miracles’.
The ex-PM focused on mental health for much of his sermon which also railed against government, and discussed his struggles to conceive with wife, Jenny.
‘The mental health strains and stresses and the anxieties that are driven in our society is having a real toll on people. It’s really serious,’ he said.
‘I’m not talking about fear. I’m talking about anxiety. Anxiety is longer lasting. Anxiety can be overwhelming. It can be debilitating, it can be agony.
‘God understands anxiety. God knows that anxiety is part of the human condition.’
But he said religious belief was the solution.
‘There’s one answer,’ he said. ‘God loves you…We cannot allow these anxieties to deny us – that that’s not His plan.
‘That’s Satan’s plan. That’s not His plan – and He has victory over all these things.’
The former prime minister also said people should put their trust in Christ, not governments.
‘We trust in Him,’ he said.
‘We don’t trust in governments. We don’t trust in the United Nations, thank goodness. We don’t trust in all of these things, fine as they might be.
‘Believe me, I’ve worked in it and they are important.
‘But as someone has been in it, if you are putting your faith in those things like I put my faith in the Lord, you are making a mistake.
‘They’re earthly, they are fallible.’
Mr Morrison also revealed how he had shouted at the heavens in New Zealand after 10 courses of IVF had failed him and his wife Jenny as they tried to start a family.
‘It was heartbreaking,’ he said in the sermon.
‘It was awful, so I let God have it.
‘I’m walking through this forest on my own, shouting about how unhappy I was with Him. If people had heard this then they would have locked me up.
‘I poured my heart out to God about how it was impacting Jenny and how we had hoped for this and we were being denied. We felt He had a bigger plan.’
His first daughter Jenny was born some months later on July 2, 2007, he said, adding: ‘God’s got a sense of humour.’
Mr Morrison – sporting his new short and balding hairstyle – appeared in good spirits as he mingled with the guests and thanked ‘Christians around the country’ for their prayers over the past four years.
Mr Morrison also congratulated fellow Christian and professional tennis player Matt Ebden for his men’s doubles win at Wimbledon last week.
In the crowd were several high-profile Liberal Party members including former WA premier Richard Court – brother of Margaret Court’s husband Barry, who is a former WA Liberal Party president.
Ms Court – who celebrated her 80th birthday on Saturday – publicly supported Mr Morrison during his time as prime minister and earlier this year asked her church to pray he would be re-elected.
In a video posted to social media, she asked they come together in prayer for Mr Morrison during the uncertain times and cited the upcoming election.
‘He is a strong Christian, a family man, has good values and morals,’ she said.
‘I thank you Father that Mr Morrison be re-elected 2022, that he has favour and influence on his life to take this nation through these uncharted times, that this nation be known as the Great Southern land of the holy spirit, in Jesus’ name.’
Ms Court found herself in hot water in 2017 after she wrote a letter to Qantas about her disappointment in its support for same-sex marriage.
The former Grand Slam champion said she would no longer fly with the airline over its support.
Ms Court (pictured with her husband Barry) publicly supported Mr Morrison during his time as prime minister and earlier this year asked her church to pray he be re-elected
Ms Court (pictured with her husband) sparked controversy in 2017 after she wrote a letter to Australian airline Qantas about her disappointment in its support for same-sex marriage
Mr Morrison has posted a few pictures on social media as the highly-paid backbencher collects his salary and mows the lawns (pictured)
‘I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same sex marriage,’ she wrote.
‘I believe in marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible. Your statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling.’
Her views on same-sex marriage sparked calls for the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne Park to be renamed – with some suggesting Aboriginal icon Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, who has won seven Grand Slams, as an alternative.
Mr Morrison has been keeping busy since his federal election loss, flying into Seoul last week to make a speech at the Asian Leadership Conference.
The former PM also met former US vice-president Mike Pence as well as Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Mr Morrison spoke of how Australia performed better than most countries when it came to economic and health results during the pandemic.
But he also admitted his government’s response to Covid during 2020 and 2021 came at the cost of his top job.
Mr Morrison took a hefty pay cut when he lost the May election but will still pull in $217,000 a year on a backbencher’s base salary.
Back home, Mr Morrison has kept a low profile, occasionally posting to show off his South Sydney lifestyle – mowing the grass and attending sports games.