16 February 2004

PM's political plea to church

In a pre-emptive strike this election year, Prime Minister John Howard has asked church leaders not to favour political parties.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said today Mr Howard had accused some church leaders of indulging in 'partisan' politics which was offending and dividing congregations.

'I think church leaders should speak out on moral issues but there is a problem with that justification being actively translated into sounding very partisan,' Mr Howard told the Telegraph.

'I don't deny the right of any church leader to talk about anything.

'But I think, from the point of view of the unity of the church, it stresses and strains when the only time they hear from their leaders is when they are talking about issues that are bound to divide their congregations.'

Boldface mine. This is getting almost as weird as the super decision. The churches are unlikely to pay much attention (nor should they) and the statement just makes the Man of Steel look like his political touch is getting a little rusty.

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