Christianity is the greatest shaper of Australia, says John Howard
Should the influence of Christian values be consigned to the history books? This was the question posed to former Prime Minister John Howard by Eternity recently.
In a wide-ranging response, Howard stood firm on his credentials as a person of faith himself, while recognising that arguments today had to be made that appealed to the whole community, not just to those who shared a Christian worldview.
Identifying Judaeo-Christian values as the “greatest shaper, morally and ethically, of today’s Australia”, Howard argued that while we owe much to such institutions as the United Nations and documents like our constitution, we can trace much of what we value back to the teachings of Jesus. For instance, the appropriate separation of church and state, where he made it clear: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
“The notion,” Howard said, “that Christian influence and values should be consigned to history books is a nonsense. Australians should be aware that there are some who would drive Christian religion out of the public space. For instance, attempts made by some state governments, especially in Victoria, to make it almost impossible to have religious instruction in state schools –although technically allowed but made practically very difficult – is an offensive manifestation of an anti-religious streak in some sections of government around Australia, and it ought not be taken lightly.
John Howard ‘The Art of Persuasion’ – David Furse-Roberts
Today there are those who hunger for a return of a John Howard-like era; the days when there was a steady hand at the tiller unlike the prime ministerial revolving door of recent years. “John Howard was prime minister for over 10 years and led a very stable government and people yearn for that continuity and stability in our national leadership,” David reported.
On a spiritual note John Howard was raised a Methodist but identified with Anglicanism later on in life.
“His faith certainly had an impact on his worldview and although he was quiet about it, it was an earnest faith and it certainly shaped his understanding.”
“He was also very supportive of faith-based charities such as Wesley Mission and the Salvation Army who were a key plank of his social welfare reform.”
David also mentioned Howard’s education policy and its intention to expand faith-based schools.
“He also spoke with reverence for Australia’s Judeo-Christian inheritance when he spoke about Australia’s history and national identity.”
John Howard – Wikipedia
The religious beliefs of Australia’s prime ministers
See also: A tribute to marriage
John Howard and Janette Howard
Leave a Reply, comments are welcome.