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Separation of Church and State

By John Hargreaves - 6 August 2014 29

church-politics-stock

The emergence of the enlightened catch up of the Liberal Party (and hopefully their Coalition Party colleagues, the Nationals) to allow MPs a conscience vote on same sex marriage is very welcome.

When I heard about this about-face, I ruminated on the old question about the separation of Church and State. I think it is really a myth; an old wives tale; but for some, an aspiration.

The idea is that things political are the purview of the parliament and things religious are the purview of the church (read organised religion). A good idea in the theory and not happenin’ in reality.

We think we are so sophisticated in our Australian politics that there actually is a separation between the two. The proponents of the existence of such a state quote the differences between our political system and that of the Middle Eastern States, Malaysia, Indonesia. Note these are all Muslim countries. They quote the movement to install Sharia law as the rule of law in some of these countries.

Yeah, well what about the “In God We Trust” bit in US politics, what about the pervasive religious right in US politics at all levels? But the Americans are right, of course cos they are Christians. Tell that to the US Jews, the US Buddhists and the US Muslims.

And what about the UK, and by extension Australia? Our joint Head of State is also the paramount decision maker in the (Christian) Church of England. How does that work?

We are seeing the melding of church and state in the current Abbott Cabinet. The religious right are imposing their views into the political machinery of Australia. Stories abound about the Catholicism of most senior members of the federal Cabinet. I need not go into them all again.

But be not surprised. It happened before when the feds took away our sovereignty in negating our laws on same sex marriage and when the Andrews Bill struck out the Northern Territory laws permitting medically supervised voluntary euthanasia.
We all thought that when Archbishop Mannix and Bob Santamaria died, the strength of religious interference in politics may have waned. (BTW… who remembers the Santamaria’s Epilogue series on TV, and the work of the National Civic Council in suppressing those commies?)

I see a re-emergence of the coming together of church and state in a closer relationship which is scary.

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Separation of Church and State
1
justsomeaussie 9:51 am
06 Aug 14
#

There is no better example of this issue in the $250 million continued funding for the school chaplaincy program. A program specially design to put specific religious people in secular schools.

A program so brazen as for the government to reject professional mental health service providers such as councillors, social workers and psychologists and instead chose a position where the primary requirement is for someone to hold a specific religious belief.

This is program is nothing more than a church money grab.

Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings so why is the government giving money to churches?

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2
HenryBG 10:04 am
06 Aug 14
#

justsomeaussie said :

Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings so why is the government giving money to churches?

“go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”

Sounds like he was charging to me…just cutting out the middleman (the ATO).

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3
John Hargreaves Ex M 12:59 pm
06 Aug 14
#

HenryBG said :

justsomeaussie said :

Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings so why is the government giving money to churches?

“go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”

Sounds like he was charging to me…just cutting out the middleman (the ATO).

It is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. Joe Hockey take note.

Report this comment

4
dungfungus 1:09 pm
06 Aug 14
#

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

HenryBG said :

justsomeaussie said :

Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings so why is the government giving money to churches?

“go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”

Sounds like he was charging to me…just cutting out the middleman (the ATO).

It is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. Joe Hockey take note.

Do the wealthy Labor politicians (Keating, Hawke, Rudd) have special dispensation to ignore what Joe Hockey has to take note of then?

Report this comment

5
Canberroid 1:11 pm
06 Aug 14
#

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

HenryBG said :

justsomeaussie said :

Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings so why is the government giving money to churches?

“go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”

Sounds like he was charging to me…just cutting out the middleman (the ATO).

It is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. Joe Hockey take note.

I’d rather Joe Hockey keep his personal beliefs and bible scripture separate from his job.

Report this comment

6
Affirmative Action M 2:11 pm
06 Aug 14
#

Mr Hargraves you will no doubt have noted that your comments are usually met with a touch of cynicism.

You seem to have forgotten that Kim Beazley led the charge against the NT’s euthanasia laws.

You seem to have also forgotten that bible basher Rudd & Julia Gillard both had a chance to rescind the chaplaincy program but piked it.

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7
John Hargreaves Ex M 5:15 pm
06 Aug 14
#

Affirmative Action Man said :

Mr Hargraves you will no doubt have noted that your comments are usually met with a touch of cynicism.

You seem to have forgotten that Kim Beazley led the charge against the NT’s euthanasia laws.

You seem to have also forgotten that bible basher Rudd & Julia Gillard both had a chance to rescind the chaplaincy program but piked it.

Oh I haven’t forgotten those at all. I was appalled at the time and remain so. thanks for reminding me. But… they are not in power now and the whole Cabinet then didn’t reek of religious fervour as it does now.

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8
John Hargreaves Ex M 5:21 pm
06 Aug 14
#

dungfungus said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

HenryBG said :

justsomeaussie said :

justsomeaussie said :

Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings so why is the government giving money to churches?

“go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”

Sounds like he was charging to me…just cutting out the middleman (the ATO).

It is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. Joe Hockey take note.

Do the wealthy Labor politicians (Keating, Hawke, Rudd) have special dispensation to ignore what Joe Hockey has to take note of then?

Nuh… I’m fine though!

Me too!

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

HenryBG said :

justsomeaussie said :

justsomeaussie said :

Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings so why is the government giving money to churches?

“go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”

Sounds like he was charging to me…just cutting out the middleman (the ATO).

It is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. Joe Hockey take note.

I’d rather Joe Hockey keep his personal beliefs and bible scripture separate from his job.

and Tony Abbott, and Kevin Andrews, and Christopher Pyne, and Julie Bishop, and the rest….

Report this comment

9
HiddenDragon 6:06 pm
06 Aug 14
#

And all of that without mentioning the Split and the DLP (with which some Labor Senators may well be voting on a same sex marriage bill) – well done!

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10
justin heywood 7:37 pm
06 Aug 14
#

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

….Stories abound about the Catholicism of most senior members of the federal Cabinet.

……

What? They’re Catholic? You don’t say? I’m pretty sure that there are Catholics in all the parties John. And I’m also sure that most members are influenced by their beliefs.

Stories abound about you too John, but if your own beliefs influenced decisions that you made, then that’s as it should be.

I see a re-emergence of the coming together of church and state in a closer relationship which is scary

Well I see a political environment emerging where barefaced bigotry is OK, as long as you have the correct enemy. Ask yourself:
If Abbott was a Muslim, would you be making this post?
If Abbott was a Labor member, would you be making this post?

I don’t think you would.

Report this comment

11
bundah 8:09 pm
06 Aug 14
#

It may be the 21st century but it’s bleedin obvious that many are still entrenched in dark ages thinking. Obviously God has his fingers in everything, especially politics!

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12
Masquara 8:18 pm
06 Aug 14
#

John Hargreaves, you have lost it. Julie Bishop is actually pro choice. She is no “Catholic”!

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13
Steven Bailey 9:19 pm
06 Aug 14
#

Affirmative Action Man said :

Mr Hargraves you will no doubt have noted that your comments are usually met with a touch of cynicism.

You seem to have forgotten that Kim Beazley led the charge against the NT’s euthanasia laws.

You seem to have also forgotten that bible basher Rudd & Julia Gillard both had a chance to rescind the chaplaincy program but piked it.

I don’t think John has forgotten anything. He’s just telling you what he believes.

Report this comment

14
dungfungus 9:24 pm
06 Aug 14
#

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

HenryBG said :

justsomeaussie said :

justsomeaussie said :

Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings so why is the government giving money to churches?

“go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”

Sounds like he was charging to me…just cutting out the middleman (the ATO).

It is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. Joe Hockey take note.

Do the wealthy Labor politicians (Keating, Hawke, Rudd) have special dispensation to ignore what Joe Hockey has to take note of then?

Nuh… I’m fine though!

Me too!

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

HenryBG said :

justsomeaussie said :

justsomeaussie said :

Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings so why is the government giving money to churches?

“go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”

Sounds like he was charging to me…just cutting out the middleman (the ATO).

It is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. Joe Hockey take note.

I’d rather Joe Hockey keep his personal beliefs and bible scripture separate from his job.

and Tony Abbott, and Kevin Andrews, and Christopher Pyne, and Julie Bishop, and the rest….

justin heywood said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

….Stories abound about the Catholicism of most senior members of the federal Cabinet.

……

What? They’re Catholic? You don’t say? I’m pretty sure that there are Catholics in all the parties John. And I’m also sure that most members are influenced by their beliefs.

Stories abound about you too John, but if your own beliefs influenced decisions that you made, then that’s as it should be.

I see a re-emergence of the coming together of church and state in a closer relationship which is scary

Well I see a political environment emerging where barefaced bigotry is OK, as long as you have the correct enemy. Ask yourself:
If Abbott was a Muslim, would you be making this post?
If Abbott was a Labor member, would you be making this post?

I don’t think you would.

“….Stories abound about the Catholicism of most senior members of the federal Cabinet. ”
In the previous Labor government/s, stories were abound about the unionism of most senior members of the federal cabinet……
Every political party has its distinctive doctrines. I am comfortable with Catholics. Not so with unionists.

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15
Steven Bailey 9:42 pm
06 Aug 14
#

I agree with you John. I too see a re-emergence of church and State. I also see an emergance of a new Progressive force designed to counter the anti-democratic influences on Australia’s polity. As a politician, I admired you. We are creating a broad church – join us, you’re more than welcome.

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