When I first heard that Australia had got a new Prime Minister, the first woman to hold that position, I sort of yawned. The idea of a woman leading a nation is simply not remarkable to me; women have been in politics long enough and enough women have demonstrated political ability and nerve that it’s been proven to my satisfaction many times over that women can lead politically as well as men.
But when I found out that she does not believe in God, I sat up and took notice. Better yet, she is forthright and then dismissive about the matter:
She says does not go through religious rituals for the sake of appearance.
“I am not going to pretend a faith I don’t feel,” she said.
“I am what I am and people will judge that.
“For people of faith, I think the greatest compliment I could pay to them is to respect their genuinely held beliefs and not to engage in some pretence about mine.”
“I grew up in the Christian church, a Christian background. I won prizes for catechism, for being able to remember Bible verses. I am steeped in that tradition, but I’ve made decisions in my adult life about my own views.
“I’m worried about the national interest. About doing the right thing by Australians. And I’ll allow people to form their own views about whatever is going to drive their views.”
Prime Minister Gillard attained her office by way of a squabble between two factions of the Labor Party, in which it appeared that she led a movement by the more leftward wing to wrest control of the leadership from the Tony Blair-like market reform Laborites led by the former Prime Minister,
Paul Kevin Rudd. This is not an auspicious beginning to her leadership of her nation; she must now re-unify her own party and turn the government around, because the opposition Tories can point to both tough economic times and disunity within the Labor party when it comes time for elections again. Gillard will have her work cut out for her.
Talk about things that could never happen here.