In the first of a series of articles in The Conversation, Jonathan James writes (21.8.17) that, in a nation labelled secular, many of our elected representatives have strong religious ties, and this affects the way that the country is run.
‘Even though the 2016 Census revealed that more than 30% of the Australian population identify as having “no religion” – a label that overtook the Catholic faith figure – Christianity’s effect on Australian politics is far from waning.
‘Surprisingly, Christians currently number more than 40% of the Coalition government and about 30% of the Labor opposition. This is high for a nation labelled “secular”.
‘… The “secularisation” of Australia seems to be counterbalanced by a strong, Christian political foundation. Arguably, politicians are generally motivated by pragmatism, however, faith’s place in Australian politics invites further investigation.
‘As Australia becomes less religious, paradoxically, Christianity seems to be flourishing in both the Coalition government and the Labor Party. Thus, politicians are influencing the nation in particularly interesting ways.’
- As Australia becomes less religious, our parliament becomes more so »
- Official prayers in federal parliament are divisive and unconstitutional, and should be scrapped »
- The great divide where religious beliefs and the law meet »
- To pray or not to pray: Qld leaders reveal stance on prayers before Parliament »
- Yes, religion plays a more prominent role in politics. But ‘secular Australia’ has always been a myth »
- Fighting the good fight »
- Has Australia lost its religion, or merely its affection for institutions? »
- A ‘Christian nation’ no longer: why Australia’s religious right loses policy battles even when it wins elections »
- Did the Morrison government change the relationship between religion and politics in Australia? »