By Marion Maddox
Interpreting how Australian leading Minister John Howard has harnessed the conservative social schedule and market-based ideology of yank fundamentalists, this publication argues that Australia's democratic, egalitarian tradition is now below critical attack.
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Extra resources for God Under Howard: The Rise of the Religious Right in Australian Politics
One was Kathy Sullivan, then Liberal Member for Moncrieff. No one could call Sullivan an advocate of homosexual practices. True, she believed in the rights of consenting adults to conduct their sex lives without state interference, but she worried that some material aimed at teenagers amounted to gay proselytising. She refused to sign the petition to the ABC not out of any special affection for the Mardi Gras, but because ‘it is inappropriate for us to dictate to the ABC’. Moreover, when the petition was circulated in the chamber that Wednesday, her impression was that it was presented to signatories as an initiative of the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, a bipartisan prayer and discussion group.
But, Bob recalls, there were always books around the house. H. Carr’s Nationalism and Beyond, even Marx’s Capital. I can’t remember how they got there, but they were there’. Not that indiscriminate reading was encouraged: ‘My mother was quite worried when I once brought home a book called Science and Religion. This raised questions you weren’t meant to ask’. Universities were considered all right, as long as they stuck to vocational training, but the social sciences were suspect: ‘The bestknown humanities figure in those days was [Sydney University Professor of Philosophy] John Anderson, and he was regarded as dangerous, a threat to Christian morals’.
Moreover, when the petition was circulated in the chamber that Wednesday, her impression was that it was presented to signatories as an initiative of the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, a bipartisan prayer and discussion group. 41 The Fellowship, in her view, ‘was never designed for networking’, and associating it with the petition amounted to co-opting its bipartisan standing for party political purposes—in fact, for one sectional interest within one party. The petition’s real message, according to Sullivan, had less to do with the Mardi Gras than with Hewson’s leadership.
God Under Howard: The Rise of the Religious Right in Australian Politics by Marion Maddox