Church and State - Do leaders have a right to speak out?

June 21, 2007

Not sure if you read the short opinion piece by Gerard Henderson in the SMH on Tuesday 19th June but it offered welcome support from a secular institute to church leaders who speak out on important issues. George Pell's comments in the recent stem cell debate led to almost hysterical comments from many politicians and community leaders. Henderson makes the point that people can be very selective in whether and when they want church leaders to speak out. He cites Michael Burleigh (2007) who has written that Europe's public culture is dominated by 'sneering secularists' who set the tone for the population. As Henderson also points out, secularists like Richard Dawkins have dominated a great deal of the public space in recent times with their claims. So why shouldn't Christians express their views. Of course this is exactly why CASE exists, to provide opportunities for Christians to express their thoughts on any contemporary issue that they see as important. If you'd like to read more about the relationship between Church and State why not have a look at the 2005 New College Lecture material. In fact you can buy the DVD that includes all the lectures from Andrew Cameron, Kevin Rudd and John Anderson for just $5.

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