25 June 2010

Halleluyah Gillard, who didn't thank God

"So many of us worked so hard and dreamed of this for so long. Julia Gillard is our Prime Minister.

A woman. Like our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, nieces and daughters who still can't help feeling they are not good enough simply by the evidence of the constant sea of suits. Everywhere. On the boards, on the altar, on the bench, on the airwaves, on the telly, on the newsstands and on the ballot."

- Catherine Deveny, Labor rebirth: It's a girl, ABC Drum

Laundry washpowder!
From Liz II down, the gov-gen, prime minister, our federal member of parliament, state premier, state member of parliament—even our local bank manager: they're all women. Even the boss of the big bank that owns our bank is yet another woman, in a suit. Besides, as Kristina Keneally, Sarah Palin, Carly Fiorina and some would say Margaret Thatcher prove, a vagina warming a seat of power is nothing to celebrate, in itself.

A real reason to party
Refreshingly, Gillard didn't mention God once in her first speech as head of the Labor Party, just minutes away before becoming PM. The hijacking of Australian democracy by the Christian right has seemed inexorable since March 1996 when John Howard became Prime Minister. The connection was strengthened by Kevin Rudd's Christian-targeted campaign and his policies in his term of office as PM. This meant that, far from reflecting the bulk of Australians' attitudes, the (now former) PM as well as the present Leader of the Opposition (Tony Abbott, right-wing Catholic, like NSW's Premier Kristina Keneally) have skewed many policies (and overturned legislation) to satisfy a vocal and well-connected minority—from euthanasia to censorship—against strong public opinion. Already, the right-wing Christian lobby is trying to make sure they continue to enjoy over-representation and legislation tailored for them.
Her lack of Christian conviction, however, will be a harder one to rationalise with the Christian lobby which has already urged her to confirm "the values in society that proved attractive to many Christians throughout Australia under Mr Rudd".

She doesn't have to be photographed coming out of church every Sunday to have decent values and she spoke on Thursday about the values which have driven her to this point.
Gillard and Abbott: Now the flirting ends, TVNZ
Hopefully, government with Gillard at the helm will respect democratic values.

"... she took an affirmation yesterday, not an oath, which leads us to think that Gillard, highly unusually for an Australian PM, is no God-botherer."
- Sydney Morning Herald Diary, June 25, 2010

A recent related Medlar Comfits post:
Australia's funniest science prize: The Eureka Ethics Prize and the Vatican

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I made sure I watched video of the swearing in just to see what our new PM would do. As an Attheist I was thrilled to see she made an Afirmation.

Bugger the Christian Right. They cen get stuffed. They have had too much influence in Government. Just pray to "no-god" the Tony "Mad Monk" Abbott never becomes PM. He would have to take his orders from George Cardinal "Go TO Hell" Pell, thus making Pell the actual Prime Minister of this country.