Saturday, July 31, 2010

Even Atheists Pray?

Julia Gillard, current Australian Prime Minister, is an atheist, and under a bit of attack from archbishops (I understand she has not been sleeping well at nights because of the attacks, and was recently seen quaking in her boots when she saw two crosses like this "++"). But this does not mean she is not a praying person. Speaking about her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, and his dramatic rush to hospital for gall bladder treatment, Julia Gillard said,

"we’re all hoping, wishing, praying for a speedy recovery."

Being a Kiwi I recognise that Australia is a different country. Not only are their animals different to ours, so are their atheists.

Light touches of humour lace this post ...


Anonymous said...

Different from America too. America was started by people who left England for the sake of their convictions, Australia was started by people who left England because of their convictions.
There are no atheists in NZ: they are self-made men who worship their Creator. Or is that just Aucklanders?
Al M.

John Sandeman said...

err no. Peter Jensen's sermon on Atheism was given months before Julia Gillard became Prime Minister.

Peter Carrell said...

Yes, John, ++Peter is one of the more far-sighted archbishops I have met :)

Anonymous said...

Peter, maybe the difference is also in the use of language. Kiwis, the church included, often present themselves far grander than they actually are. Maybe you yourself regularly use the royal plural and so cannot recognise a prime minister speaking in the plural actually does mean the plural - her party, parliament, the nation.


Peter Carrell said...

You are right, Alison. We are an insufficiently humble people, not also knowing our place in the grand scheme of things.

Andrew Reid said...

At least she doesn't worship sheep :)

Seriously, most Australian Christian leaders respect a PM who is honest about their religious convictions. Many of them spoke against a number of John Howard's policies (e.g. Iraq, workplace reform, refugees), despite his Christian commitment. I don't think you can lump Julia Gillard in with the "new atheists" like Dawkins. She's actually very close to Kevin Rudd on most issues.
With the "prayer", it's interesting how religious language has snuck back in to the Australian national scene since the mid 90s. Never would have happened under Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke or Keating.