Joh Bjelke-Petersen

Joh Bjelke-Petersen (1911 – 2005) Premier
While Bjelke-Petersen made no secret of his daily habit of seeking Divine guidance through prayer and reading the Bible, he was frequently in conflict with the leadership of the major Christian churches in Queensland over matters of public policy during his premiership. Yet amid the apparent contradictions between his beliefs and behaviour, Bjelke-Petersen outwardly conformed to many of the canons of orthodox Christianity.


Johannes Bjelke-Petersen was born the son of a Danish, Lutheran pastor in Dannevirke, New Zealand. In 1913 the family moved to Queensland, settling in rich country at Kingaroy, not far from Brisbane. Having contracted polio as a boy, he was rejected for military service. He spent the war years developing his peanut and maize farm and a contract business of aerial spraying and seeding, harvesting and clearing scrub.

Joh Bjelke-Petersen was one of Australia’s most successful politicians, serving as Premier of Queensland from 1968 to 1987. He was always a controversial and colourful figure who exemplified the politics of the “deep north” and became legendary for his political dominance of the state, where he won six consecutive elections, and for his distaste for southern politicians. He laid the groundwork for Queensland’s economic success, often with policies that reflected his strongly-held right-wing views.

Complete article : http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article385070.ece

Bjelke-Petersen made no secret of his daily habit of seeking Divine guidance through prayer and reading the Bible. His statement of personal religious beliefs is consistent with orthodox Christian beliefs, and he made strenuous efforts to attend public worship on Sundays in his local Lutheran church in Kingaroy. How could he have permitted – by omission or commission – the prostitution of the political process to the extent alleged and admitted by witnesses to the Fitzgerald Inquiry in 1987 and 1988?

Moreover, how could a person who adhered to the Christian faith with such self-proclaimed piety and zeal find himself so frequently in conflict with the leadership of the major Christian churches in Queensland over matters of public policy during his premiership? In 1985 he told the visiting Archbishop of Canterbury to go home, and supported remarks by Victorian RSL president Bruce Ruxton that the Nobel Peace Prize winning South African primate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu was “a witchdoctor”.

Yet amid the apparent contradictions between his beliefs and behaviour, Bjelke-Petersen outwardly conformed to many of the canons of orthodox Christianity. A front-page photograph of a victorious Bjelke-Petersen outside the Bethany Lutheran Church on Sunday after elections became as much a stock photograph for editors as a photograph of the winning horse the day after the Melbourne Cup, or newly created knights on New Year’s Day.

Complete article :  http://www.abc.net.au/religion/stories/s1354728.htm

A candle was lit in memory of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen yesterday at a church service in the former Queensland premier’s home town of Kingaroy.  Pastor Lou Pfeiffer told about 60 in St John’s Lutheran Church, where Sir Joh occasionally took services and where Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen once played the organ, that there was a “deep sense of sadness”. He praised the strength of Sir Joh’s faith and told the churchgoers, including Lady Flo and members of the extended Bjelke-Petersen family, that the one-time peanut farmer had set an example worthy of following.   “He allowed God to work in him and through him to accomplish so much,” he said. “Sir Joh’s light continues to burn in heaven where he will live forever in the grace of God.”  Lady Flo arrived red-eyed and clearly upset but her spirits were improved by what she said was a lovely service.  Sir Joh, Queensland premier for a record 19 years, died in hospital in Kingaroy, 150 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, at 6pm on Saturday aged 94. He had advanced supranuclear palsy, similar to Parkinson’s disease, which prevented him from eating or drinking and made breathing extremely difficult.

Complete article :  http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/A-candle-burns-for-Sir-Joh/2005/04/24/1114281448851.html

Refer also :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joh_Bjelke-Petersen

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One Response to Joh Bjelke-Petersen

  1. tony b jones says:

    Two other Lutherans you might consider for your list.
    Ferdinand Von Mueller and Hermann Sasse.

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