Thursday, 10 February 2011


Some of us are not surprised to find practising Christians amongst the ranks of serving politicians. It has been noted that newly-promoted SA Ministers Jack Snelling and Bernard Finnigan are both from the fold of the Roman Church.
Indeed quite a lot was made in weeks before their elevation of the fact that Snelling had been a strident pro-lifer whilst at Adelaide University (weren't we all)
Surprise, surprise that a Roman catholic should not be a supporter of abortion on demand.
Whilst such an attitude is very much against the spirit of the age, it would seem that we live in a time when it is recognised that not everyone supports abortion and that this does not immediately disqualify them from having views on any other subject
However it was interesting to hear the tail-end of an interview on ABC local radio this week when Matt Abraham asked them both: "Is it true you are both Latin Mass Catholics?"
You could hear the radio audience wonder what all this might be about!
Abraham, himself a practising Catholic, never asks a question without knowing the answer but I found myself wondering if this was of more interest to him than to anyone else.
Snelling did not avoid the question. Finnigan (quite rightly in my opinion) said he didn't think that where he went to Church was anyone's business. I don't quite agree with that statement.
And Abraham to give him his due did say that he thought the fact that this was a manifestly very conservative position. I think he has a point.
Snelling (I think; but it may have been Finnigan) did make some observation that it didn't matter if he was a card-carrying Cranmer Prayer Book Anglican! (Most Roman Catholics are not so aware of Anglicanism) he didn't seem to make the connection that Michael Atkinson who is a frequent caller to his program and a former Labor Attorney General is/was such..indeed I think a 'traditional' Anglican.
I personally think it's OK for people's strongly held personal views whether religious or philosophical to inform their political decision-making. Indeed it would be surprising and hypocritical if it did otherwise.
Should this be trumpeted? Not necessarily. But nor should its disclosure be avoided.

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