If God's In The House, Is All Right In The World?
It's Sunday, the Lord's Day, and do you know where our Parilamentary leaders are right now? Sleeping off last night's excesses, did I hear you say? That might be fun, but more likely, they're in church.
As Senator Lyn Allison, leader oF the Australian Democrats, recently pointed out, Christians are dramatically over-represented in Federal Parliament. But Federal Parilament isn't exactly representative of Australian society anyway - too old, too male, too white. The Christians though, are a bit of a worry. Back in the days when Australia was a far more religious country, people generally kept their faith private. Now though, they seem compelled to let everyone know all about it. American influence on Australian culture can be a good or a bad thing, but this seems like a decidedly negative development - the pandering by politicians to the evangelical Christian movement.
A person's faith or the lack of it is their own business. But it's different for politicians. When they start letting their religious beliefs guide the decisions they make that affect us all, then that's no more acceptable in a secular society than for them to be swayed by any other prejudices.
Unlike in America, the Christian influence is not the exclusive domain of the Right. Bob Brown states he believes many Christians will vote Green because of their humanitarian principles. He's probably right - Jesus sure looked like a Greens voter.
I suppose it's not all bad. At least church keeps politicians busy, and out of our hair. If they're in church, it means they're not getting up to anything worse - and we all know politicians have lots of worse tricks.