Saturday, 20 February 2010

Religion and the polls (i)

I am personally pleased that the leaders of both major political parties in the Federal Parliament appear to be serious and practising Christians.
This is a change from the sort of wishy-washy tokenism that we appear to have had (which, by the way, Anglicans are used to) of leaders who say they are Christian but who are at pains to show that they do not have any meaningful attachment. Sadly they have most often called themselves "Anglican" as a sort of establishment stamp. But their analysis of matters religious and how this might affect day to day life is often simplistic and dismissive. John Howard was a classic example of this sort of Anglicanism.
So in comes Ruddy who not only seems to be an Anglican, but seems to know about it, and takes it seriously. He is often pictured going to Church and seemed to even smile when he came out as if he might have actually enjoyed it. Most un-Australian!
My impression of what really happens is that the Canberra gallery knowing where he would be at 10.30 on a Sunday morning habitually lined up for a door-stop outside St John's Church and Kev obliged.
Then the Opposition began to feed into our Australian wariness of anything pious and started suggesting that this was staged and, indeed, not what ordinary Australians do.
I am, of course, pleased that Kev has stuck to his guns. Which is what you would expect if he does indeed take his Christianity seriously.

Tony Abbott, too, has made no secret of the fact that he is a serious Catholic. Though he constantly equivocates (as in the Murdoch press today...."I do not regard myself as a Christian. I regard myself as a politician who just happens to think religion matters.") lest we think some how his Catholicism informs his conscience! I think this is bizarre.
He is, perhaps a little unfairly, constantly asked about the issue of abortion and whether he accepts contemporary social attitude or enforces catholic social teaching. There has of course been reason to explore this since he has made no secret of his anti-abortion stance and the fact that he is clearly at one with Roman Catholic teaching about matters such as the 'morning after pill'. This seems to me to be a much more potentially explosive matter than Rudd's attendance at the Eucharist Sunday by Sunday.

....more coming

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