Sunday, March 31, 2013

Which Australian politicians believe in God?

Do MPs believe in God? Easter, politicians and faith, election,
More than 80 per cent of the federal politicians who responded to a News Ltd survey said they believed in God and would be attending at least one church service this weekend.

In the report by Candace Sutton posted online this afternoon, four politicians 'out' themselves as atheists - three Greens and a Liberal - while a fourth Green politician, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Tas) admitted: 'I am still a journeyman on this one...'

Those who responded to the survey saying they believed in God included:

Australian Senate: Senator Eric Abetz (Lib, Tas), Senator Chris Back (Lib, WA) Senator David Feeney (ALP, Vic) Senator Mark Furner (ALP, Qld), Senator Ian Macdonald (Lib, Qld), Senator Bridget McKenzie (Nat, Vic), Senator Dean Smith (Lib, WA), Senator Ursula Stephens (ALP, NSW), Senator Matt Thistlethwaite (ALP, NSW).

House of Representatives: Karen Andrews (Lib, Qld), Bob Baldwin (Lib, NSW), Jamie Briggs (Lib,SA), Teresa Gambaro (Lib, Qld), Steve Georganas (ALP, SA), Natasha Griggs (CLP, NT), Bob Katter (KAP, Qld), Shayne Neumann (ALP, Qld), Graham Perrett (ALP, Qld), Tanya Plibersek, (ALP, NSW), Michelle Rowland (ALP, NSW), Kevin Rudd (ALP, Qld), Janelle Saffin (ALP, NSW), Bruce Scott (Nat, Qld), Alan Tudge (Lib, Vic), Bert van Manen (Lib, Qld), Maria Vamvakinou (ALP, Vic), Joe Hockey (Lib, NSW).

Don't believe in God: Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens, NSW), Senator Larissa Waters (Greens, Qld), Adam Bandt (Greens, Vic) and Senator Simon Birmingham.

Many Australians would probably relate to (believing) Bob Katter's summary:

'There are plenty of politicians who piously pray in Canberra and go off to Christian breakfasts who are then asked to make a stand for their fellow man on an issue and they turn their backs on Australians who need help.

'I'd rather have an atheist who looks after his mates than someone paying lip service to Christianity."

Read more: Do Australian MPs believe in God?

Meanwhile, as for the rest of Australia, Easter is still a significant spiritual occasion for many and believing in God still rates highly. Another News Ltd report says:

'Although 22.3 per cent of Australians marked on the 2011 Census that they have 'No Religion' - that's up four per cent from the previous Census - the Census also showed that 61.1 per cent of Australians identify as Christian, a decline of two per cent.

"There's certainly still a lot of residual Christian belief in the community, and that shows itself at Easter and Christmas with significant increases in church attendance," says the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Dr Jensen.

Read more: This Easter who cares that Jesus died?

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