Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 3 Feb 2013.
One year ago, U.S. President Barack Obama made his third appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., startling some veteran pundits by pointing out that the challenges his nation faced required strong values as much as smart policies, and linking his economic and foreign policies to his Christian faith.
Mr Obama said that while personal religious beliefs alone should not dictate a politician’s decisions, leaders should not abandon their faith entirely when they take public office.
He said, “If we leave our values at the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries and allowed us to become somewhat more perfect a union.”
Which is why many Australians will take careful note of the different value systems and ethical touchstones appealed to by politicians, and evident in their decisions, as this eight-month federal election gets underway.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.