lyle.allan's blog

Religion and the US Presidential Election

The inspiration for today’s address comes from a nine-year-old front page of The Bulletin, the now defunct news magazine that closed down in 2008, less than three years after the death of its benefactor Kerry Packer. The front page referred to our 2007 federal election. It read GOD’S VOTE. John Howard and Kevin Rudd are desperate for the religious vote. Inside were comments by representatives of a number of religious organisations. Not in any order these were Catholic, Buddhist, Pentecostal, Islam, Lutheran, Hindu, Jewish, Presbyterian, Uniting and Anglican. The religious influence on Australian politics has spawned several books, the most famous being God Under Howard by Marion Maddox, who teaches at Macquarie University. We’ve even had religious or quasi-religious political parties. I won’t list these as our talk today is basically about the United States, which has a different political system but, like in Australia, religion is an important factor in the minds of many voters. One point of interest is the fact that the The Bulletin article, written by Roy Eccleston, invited comments from representatives of four non-Christian religions. In the United States this would be very unusual.

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