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As Australia becomes less religious, our parliament becomes more so

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.’

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