Godless PMs Down Under March 16, 2011Posted by Ian in Religion.
I probably just missed the buzz (if any) about this when Gillard became PM over the ditch but I hadn’t realised she was openly atheistic. Below is an interesting video of her discussing some aspects of this.
It is interesting she never uses the word “atheism” herself but she clearly doesn’t mind the term being used to describe her.
This got me curious about John Key’s religious views. A quick search around the internet revealed this interesting snippet:
He was less than upfront when quizzed about whether he believed in God on Agenda in April.
“That’s an interesting question.
“Do I believe in God? I don’t believe in life after death.”
Asked again he said: “Well I don’t believe in life after death; I don’t know.”
Asked for a third time: “Well if you’re asking me if I’m religious it depends how you define religion.
“I look at religion as doing the right thing; I don’t define that as someone that goes to church necessarily on a Sunday.
“I mean I go to church a lot with the kids, but I wouldn’t describe it as something that I … I’m not a heavy believer; my mother was Jewish which technically makes me Jewish. Yeah, I probably see it in a slightly more relaxed way.” Source
Not believing in a life after death and considering religion as “doing the right thing” suggests to me he is a non-religious person who doesn’t feel comfortable coming out and just saying so. In fact I’d suggest he represents his fellow New Zealanders rather well in that respect – it’s certainly not an unusual position.
It is an interesting sign of the times that religion seems to not play a big part in the lives of the prime ministers down under.