Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

What do John Howard, Tony Blair, and George W. Bush have in common?

Answer: they are all overtly religious. And at least two of them--I don’t know about Blair--are reviled by the religious Left in their countries. I wrote about Bush and the religious Left here. You can find a somewhat critical review of Marion Maddox’s God Under Howard here.

Here’s an example of the publisher’s puffery:

How has American-style evangelicalism become so prominent in secular Australia? Why are abortion, creationism and family values now on the political agenda? Why is religion no longer a private matter for public figures?

In God Under Howard Marion Maddox explains how John Howard has harnessed the conservative social agenda and market-based ideology of American fundamentalists in order to stay in power. As a result, she argues that Australia’s democratic, egalitarian culture is now under serious assault.

Here are the more modulated tones of the review:

The radical Right in Australia just doesn’t stack up as the sinister, US-style force Maddox depicts. The chapter titled The Politics of Death charts the success of the anti-euthanasia push, which she characterises as "the staged unfolding of the next act in the Right’s carefully scripted culture wars". She seems furious that committed Christians within Australian politics are treading carefully and strategically, downplaying their fervency with often-legitimate appeals to natural law. But are they not entitled to a sound political strategy? Regardless, the 1997 Euthanasia No campaign was not a Coalition conspiracy, being co-ordinated by, among others, Tony Burke, a NSW Labor Right MP. To be just, the culture wars are not being waged only by the social conservatives.

Interesting....

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