For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 20 Oct 2013.
As the latest newsletter from Family Voice Australia points out, the commissioning of incoming Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his ministerial team was rather different from the September 2010 and June 2013 ceremonies.
In 2010, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and most of her ministers declined the traditional practice of holding a Christian Bible as they took their oaths of office. And, while a Bible returned for Kevin Rudd in 2013, it was declined by the majority of his ministers.
In contrast, last month, several members of Tony Abbott’s ministry stood before Governor-General Quentin Bryce to make their promises carrying their own Bibles, and invoked God’s help as they carry out their official duties.
Perhaps this is redolent of a wider cultural change in Canberra. As my own federal member, Liberal MP Philip Ruddock, observed, “The thing that surprised me most [during the recent five-week Australian federal election campaign] was to never once have heard a profanity.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.