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76 responses to “Guest post by Rachel Hills: 4 articles I'd like to read about the spill”

  1. Craig Mc

    She’s also our first atheist prime minister, and our first prime minister without children.

    Point of order – Bob Hawke was in fact our first atheist prime minister.

  2. Craig Mc

    She’s also our first atheist prime minister, and our first prime minister without children.

    Point of order – Bob Hawke was in fact our first atheist prime minister.

  3. Luke Walladge

    Craig @ 1,

    On the point of order, I think you’ll find that Whitlam was in fact our first atheist PM (eg, his high school refusing to award him the class prize for ‘Divinity’ on the grounds that although he was the top student, it shouldn’t go to someone who didn’t believe in the subject).

  4. Luke Walladge

    Craig @ 1,

    On the point of order, I think you’ll find that Whitlam was in fact our first atheist PM (eg, his high school refusing to award him the class prize for ‘Divinity’ on the grounds that although he was the top student, it shouldn’t go to someone who didn’t believe in the subject).

  5. Mercurius

    What kinds of articles, blog posts or essays would you like to see written?

    After this week, I would like to see some articles about ducklings, puppies, and fluffy bunnies. Raindrops on roses. And clouds. Clouds would be nice.

    Alternatively, some slash fanfic about the real story behind the spill.

    Just kidding.

    *ducks*

  6. Mercurius

    What kinds of articles, blog posts or essays would you like to see written?

    After this week, I would like to see some articles about ducklings, puppies, and fluffy bunnies. Raindrops on roses. And clouds. Clouds would be nice.

    Alternatively, some slash fanfic about the real story behind the spill.

    Just kidding.

    *ducks*

  7. anthony nolan

    Oh yeah:

    “undergraduate media ethics”

    It is pretty clear that no-one went to those lectures anyway.

  8. anthony nolan

    Oh yeah:

    “undergraduate media ethics”

    It is pretty clear that no-one went to those lectures anyway.

  9. Anthony

    From what I recall of accounts of John Curtin’s life, wasn’t he an atheist also?

  10. Anthony

    From what I recall of accounts of John Curtin’s life, wasn’t he an atheist also?

  11. Luke Walladge

    Anthony @ 5,

    At agnostic at least, rejecting Scullin’s attempts at a deathbed reconciliation with the Catholicism of his youth. But not a confirmed atheist, I don’t think.

  12. Luke Walladge

    Anthony @ 5,

    At agnostic at least, rejecting Scullin’s attempts at a deathbed reconciliation with the Catholicism of his youth. But not a confirmed atheist, I don’t think.

  13. Fran Barlow

    Apparently Gillar is a “non-practising Baptist”. She said ‘so help me god” in taking the oath of office. Clearly not an atheist (sadly), though possibly in favour of increased secularisation, which I suppose fits the “it could have been worse” description.

    Apparently Whitlam as “agnostic”. So was Hawke, after being a congregationalist son of a methodist minister.

  14. Fran Barlow

    Apparently Gillar is a “non-practising Baptist”. She said ‘so help me god” in taking the oath of office. Clearly not an atheist (sadly), though possibly in favour of increased secularisation, which I suppose fits the “it could have been worse” description.

    Apparently Whitlam as “agnostic”. So was Hawke, after being a congregationalist son of a methodist minister.

  15. silkworm

    Gillard is not an atheist. She’s a “non-practising Baptist.”

  16. silkworm

    Gillard is not an atheist. She’s a “non-practising Baptist.”

  17. Luke Walladge

    How silly of me… Gough couldn’t have been an atheist. His belief in himself never wavered.

  18. Luke Walladge

    How silly of me… Gough couldn’t have been an atheist. His belief in himself never wavered.

  19. Craig Mc

    Fran’s right about Hawke – from the man’s own mouth:

    BOB HAWKE: It started when I went to India in 19 end of 52. I went as a delegate to World Christian Youth Conference there and there were all these poverty stricken kids at the gate of this palatial place where we were feeding our face and I just had this struck by this enormous sense of irrelevance of religion to the needs of people and it started to unwind from that point but I’ve not become an atheist, I am an agnostic. I mean I just don’t know and I don’t think one should spend too much time thinking about it m simply because there are so much to be done now in the here and now.

    I do seem to remember Hawke not swearing in on the bible, and it being something unusual at the time. OTOH, I’m probably confusing that with Bill Hayden’s swearing in as GG.

    It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if Whitlam or any number or predecessors were atheists. If India can elect one, anyone can.

  20. Craig Mc

    Fran’s right about Hawke – from the man’s own mouth:

    BOB HAWKE: It started when I went to India in 19 end of 52. I went as a delegate to World Christian Youth Conference there and there were all these poverty stricken kids at the gate of this palatial place where we were feeding our face and I just had this struck by this enormous sense of irrelevance of religion to the needs of people and it started to unwind from that point but I’ve not become an atheist, I am an agnostic. I mean I just don’t know and I don’t think one should spend too much time thinking about it m simply because there are so much to be done now in the here and now.

    I do seem to remember Hawke not swearing in on the bible, and it being something unusual at the time. OTOH, I’m probably confusing that with Bill Hayden’s swearing in as GG.

    It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if Whitlam or any number or predecessors were atheists. If India can elect one, anyone can.

  21. Luke Walladge

    Christopher Hitchens posits that Obama is a closet atheist, or at the very least a deist… due to his incessant quoting of Jefferson and use of Thomas Paine in his Inaugural. As close as the US is going to get, anyway.

  22. Luke Walladge

    Christopher Hitchens posits that Obama is a closet atheist, or at the very least a deist… due to his incessant quoting of Jefferson and use of Thomas Paine in his Inaugural. As close as the US is going to get, anyway.

  23. silkworm

    Gillard is a Christian Zionist, a staunch supporter of Israel. She defended Israel in their 2008-2009 war against Gaza.

  24. silkworm

    Gillard is a Christian Zionist, a staunch supporter of Israel. She defended Israel in their 2008-2009 war against Gaza.

  25. Craig Mc

    Funny, she doesn’t look christian.

    Is anyone who thinks Israel has a right to retaliate against Hamas attacks automatically become a christian zionist?

  26. Craig Mc

    Funny, she doesn’t look christian.

    Is anyone who thinks Israel has a right to retaliate against Hamas attacks automatically become a christian zionist?

  27. Fran Barlow

    Silkworm, one need not be a christian zionist to take the side of Israel. If that were entailed, most of the ruling elite in the western world would be christian zionists. IIRC, the Saudis and Egyptians also constructively backed this assault, but I doubt you could call them christians or zionists.

  28. Fran Barlow

    Silkworm, one need not be a christian zionist to take the side of Israel. If that were entailed, most of the ruling elite in the western world would be christian zionists. IIRC, the Saudis and Egyptians also constructively backed this assault, but I doubt you could call them christians or zionists.

  29. silkworm

    The Jewish lobby in Australia has been courting Gillard for years. She is one of Israel’s staunchest non-Jewish supporters in Australia. She led last year’s 40-person delegation to Israel. When Israel attacks the next Gaza aid flotilla, every country in the world will condemn Israel, including the US, but there will be one exception – Australia – and it will be because of Gillard.

    For some reason Gillard believes Israel can do no wrong, and she has been persuaded of this because of her Christian beliefs. That makes her a Christian Zionist.

  30. silkworm

    The Jewish lobby in Australia has been courting Gillard for years. She is one of Israel’s staunchest non-Jewish supporters in Australia. She led last year’s 40-person delegation to Israel. When Israel attacks the next Gaza aid flotilla, every country in the world will condemn Israel, including the US, but there will be one exception – Australia – and it will be because of Gillard.

    For some reason Gillard believes Israel can do no wrong, and she has been persuaded of this because of her Christian beliefs. That makes her a Christian Zionist.

  31. Luke Walladge

    What are you then silkworm, a Palestinian atheist?

  32. Luke Walladge

    What are you then silkworm, a Palestinian atheist?

  33. silkworm

    Luke, mind your manners. This thread is about Gillard, not about other posters on this thread.

  34. silkworm

    Luke, mind your manners. This thread is about Gillard, not about other posters on this thread.

  35. Jezery

    What kinds of articles, blog posts or essays would you like to see written?

    Some media coverage of policies rather than personalities would be nice, preferably without the cheer squad and jeer squad from the respective political sides.

    A simple explanation of what is intended, where does it fit in the big picture of our economy and society, who are the winners, who are the losers, what are the other options?

  36. Jezery

    What kinds of articles, blog posts or essays would you like to see written?

    Some media coverage of policies rather than personalities would be nice, preferably without the cheer squad and jeer squad from the respective political sides.

    A simple explanation of what is intended, where does it fit in the big picture of our economy and society, who are the winners, who are the losers, what are the other options?

  37. Mark

    @17 – Actually, silkworm, this thread is meant to be about the matters raised specifically in it, not a general discussion about Gillard.

  38. Mark

    @17 – Actually, silkworm, this thread is meant to be about the matters raised specifically in it, not a general discussion about Gillard.

  39. john

    Curtin, Gorton, Whitlam and Hawke were also atheists.

  40. john

    Curtin, Gorton, Whitlam and Hawke were also atheists.

  41. moz

    I’m still waiting for an analysis that doesn’t just see the world on a left-right continuum. I really want to see where this moves labour on a brown-green axis, partly because that’s my main concern. It’s bad enough seeing The Greens reflected in the prejudices of the poster, but when everyone seems to ignore where the major parties sit on other axes I start to wonder. There really is a way to group disparate positions within the party on the basis of, say, authoritarianism or environmentalism.

    I’m not happy that labour seem to be moving even further to the brown, but no-one seems to be analysing it explicitly as a trend.

  42. moz

    I’m still waiting for an analysis that doesn’t just see the world on a left-right continuum. I really want to see where this moves labour on a brown-green axis, partly because that’s my main concern. It’s bad enough seeing The Greens reflected in the prejudices of the poster, but when everyone seems to ignore where the major parties sit on other axes I start to wonder. There really is a way to group disparate positions within the party on the basis of, say, authoritarianism or environmentalism.

    I’m not happy that labour seem to be moving even further to the brown, but no-one seems to be analysing it explicitly as a trend.

  43. Fran Barlow

    Again, Curtin and Gorton were agnostics rather than atheists

  44. Fran Barlow

    Again, Curtin and Gorton were agnostics rather than atheists

  45. john

    I’m pretty sure I read a biography of Curtin where he said he was an atheist.

  46. john

    I’m pretty sure I read a biography of Curtin where he said he was an atheist.

  47. David Irving (no relation)

    With reference to the imputed atheism of various PMs, it’s interesting that it was unremarked (or at least unremarkable) for Gorton, Whitlam and Hawke. (I don’t know about Curtin, as he died before I was born.)

  48. David Irving (no relation)

    With reference to the imputed atheism of various PMs, it’s interesting that it was unremarked (or at least unremarkable) for Gorton, Whitlam and Hawke. (I don’t know about Curtin, as he died before I was born.)

  49. Nickws

    She’s also our first atheist prime minister

    This atheist politician refused to tell a media questionnaire about religion exactly what she believes, and has her spokesperson inform Wikipedia that she is a ‘non-practicisng Baptist’ who isn’t religious (who uses that formulation?).

    By all means congratulate the woman on her admitted persona, but there’s no need to attribute something like that to her unless she says so.

    Sheesh, the Dawkins types need their little tummies rubbed, don’t they?

    “There’s still time Jack, there’s still time.”—attributed to Joe Sullin, urging Curtin on the wartime PM’s deathbed to return to mother church.

    Didn’t know that about Gorton, but it makes sense.

  50. Nickws

    She’s also our first atheist prime minister

    This atheist politician refused to tell a media questionnaire about religion exactly what she believes, and has her spokesperson inform Wikipedia that she is a ‘non-practicisng Baptist’ who isn’t religious (who uses that formulation?).

    By all means congratulate the woman on her admitted persona, but there’s no need to attribute something like that to her unless she says so.

    Sheesh, the Dawkins types need their little tummies rubbed, don’t they?

    “There’s still time Jack, there’s still time.”—attributed to Joe Sullin, urging Curtin on the wartime PM’s deathbed to return to mother church.

    Didn’t know that about Gorton, but it makes sense.

  51. Fran Barlow

    The Australian Dictionary of Biography simply says Curtin lost his Catholic faith and that he was influenced by Presbyterianism.

  52. Fran Barlow

    The Australian Dictionary of Biography simply says Curtin lost his Catholic faith and that he was influenced by Presbyterianism.

  53. Craig

    If Julia is a non-practicing baptist, does that mean that Kevin was a non-practicing atheist?

  54. Craig

    If Julia is a non-practicing baptist, does that mean that Kevin was a non-practicing atheist?

  55. sublime cowgirl

    she is a ‘non-practicisng Baptist’ who isn’t religious (who uses that formulation?).

    I’ve long been a recovering baptist, actually.

  56. sublime cowgirl

    she is a ‘non-practicisng Baptist’ who isn’t religious (who uses that formulation?).

    I’ve long been a recovering baptist, actually.

  57. josh

    what is a ‘non-practising Baptist’ anyway? Given that denomination’s emphasis on “justification by grace through faith” [ie. and not with works or even necessarily weekly attendance at church], what is there to ‘practice’?

    Back to the point, I’m with Rchael Hills on her list of topics. Another I’d like to see is “how the people who put Fielding into the Senate were allowed anywhere near power ever again”.

  58. josh

    what is a ‘non-practising Baptist’ anyway? Given that denomination’s emphasis on “justification by grace through faith” [ie. and not with works or even necessarily weekly attendance at church], what is there to ‘practice’?

    Back to the point, I’m with Rchael Hills on her list of topics. Another I’d like to see is “how the people who put Fielding into the Senate were allowed anywhere near power ever again”.

  59. Andrew E

    The meeja always ignore the big issues, and here are five:

    1. Gillard is the first student politician since Menzies to become PM. What (if anything) does this mean? Should today’s student pols get all giddy at this, and how do we stop them?

    2. What are our chances of having the PM shut down the whole anti-burqa thing once and for all?

    3. After five victories in the State of Origin, the Queenslanders had to lose something.

    4.

    Kevin Rudd (birthday 21 Sep) Virgo

    astrologycom.com forecasts:

    Wed Jun 23: Miracles Abound
    Whether you’re creative, artistic or a philistine, you’ll be attracted to things that are beautifully designed and exquisitely proportioned today. Get thee to an Art Gallery, or if that’s not your bag, just get out and see the complexity of nature, or the miracle of a child – beauty abounds: you just have to look for it. Positive colours are old brass and tangerine. Lucky numbers are 72 and 2.

    Thu Jun 24: Tree Energy
    Find a way to break out of your usual routine today, Virgo. You may be irritated and frustrated by a person with limited vision, who has some clout. At lunchtime, why not go to your local park and lie down under the biggest tree you can find. Absorb some tree energy. The further away from routine you get, the better it will be. And it’s a great night to celebrate the solstice! It’s St John the Baptist’s Day, so light a fire and dream your dreams. Ideal colours are cerulean blue and burnt sienna. Lucky numbers are 6 and 19.

    Julia Gillard (birthday 29 Sep) Libra

    astrologycom.com forecasts:

    Wed Jun 23: Work Focus
    You may be very focused on your work or on improving your financial situation now. With the Moon in your second house of personal values, you may also be very concerned with metaphysical issues such as personal priorities and expectations. It is important for you to maintain your personal integrity even in the face of temptation. The energy hots up later in the day when your texting finger needs a personal masseur. Ideal colours are terracotta and bronze. Lucky numbers are 11 and 29.

    Thu Jun 24: Open Up
    The adventurous Moon in optimistic Sagittarius and your third house of communication helps you to open up more. By the end of the day you may get news from afar, from an educational institution, or concerning a legal issue that will change your plans for tomorrow. Try to be flexible. As it is the solsticial feast of St John the Baptist, light a bonfire and enjoy some friendly fun with neighbours and family. Propitious colours are pale yellow and bottle green. Lucky numbers are 5 and 14.

    5. Errata, p. 58: A flaw was discovered in the algorithm used to process Newspoll results today. It seems that the ALP should have had a base vote of 52.8%. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  60. Andrew E

    The meeja always ignore the big issues, and here are five:

    1. Gillard is the first student politician since Menzies to become PM. What (if anything) does this mean? Should today’s student pols get all giddy at this, and how do we stop them?

    2. What are our chances of having the PM shut down the whole anti-burqa thing once and for all?

    3. After five victories in the State of Origin, the Queenslanders had to lose something.

    4.

    Kevin Rudd (birthday 21 Sep) Virgo

    astrologycom.com forecasts:

    Wed Jun 23: Miracles Abound
    Whether you’re creative, artistic or a philistine, you’ll be attracted to things that are beautifully designed and exquisitely proportioned today. Get thee to an Art Gallery, or if that’s not your bag, just get out and see the complexity of nature, or the miracle of a child – beauty abounds: you just have to look for it. Positive colours are old brass and tangerine. Lucky numbers are 72 and 2.

    Thu Jun 24: Tree Energy
    Find a way to break out of your usual routine today, Virgo. You may be irritated and frustrated by a person with limited vision, who has some clout. At lunchtime, why not go to your local park and lie down under the biggest tree you can find. Absorb some tree energy. The further away from routine you get, the better it will be. And it’s a great night to celebrate the solstice! It’s St John the Baptist’s Day, so light a fire and dream your dreams. Ideal colours are cerulean blue and burnt sienna. Lucky numbers are 6 and 19.

    Julia Gillard (birthday 29 Sep) Libra

    astrologycom.com forecasts:

    Wed Jun 23: Work Focus
    You may be very focused on your work or on improving your financial situation now. With the Moon in your second house of personal values, you may also be very concerned with metaphysical issues such as personal priorities and expectations. It is important for you to maintain your personal integrity even in the face of temptation. The energy hots up later in the day when your texting finger needs a personal masseur. Ideal colours are terracotta and bronze. Lucky numbers are 11 and 29.

    Thu Jun 24: Open Up
    The adventurous Moon in optimistic Sagittarius and your third house of communication helps you to open up more. By the end of the day you may get news from afar, from an educational institution, or concerning a legal issue that will change your plans for tomorrow. Try to be flexible. As it is the solsticial feast of St John the Baptist, light a bonfire and enjoy some friendly fun with neighbours and family. Propitious colours are pale yellow and bottle green. Lucky numbers are 5 and 14.

    5. Errata, p. 58: A flaw was discovered in the algorithm used to process Newspoll results today. It seems that the ALP should have had a base vote of 52.8%. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  61. Sam

    We know have both a PM and leader of the opposition who were born in the pommyland. This must be first time in 90 years.

  62. Sam

    We know have both a PM and leader of the opposition who were born in the pommyland. This must be first time in 90 years.

  63. paul walter

    Firstly, Silkworm’s comment, #15, echoed my thoughts on that mid eastern sympathies and future paths for foreign policy
    But the thread is supposed to be about what you’d like to find out, the truth behind the events of a couple of a days ago.
    I’d like to know who actually would have voted for who, in a bllot.
    I’d like to know more about Lindsay Tanner’s resignation and the role of unnamed players in the background who were doing their dirty work thru proxies. Also what the MSM knew, what it disclosed against what it evaded including and how the spin as things eventuated, was decided on.
    I’d like to know if people really think if Rudd hasn’t a future in politics, even if now he seems in the wilderness.
    NO future?
    Rudd is not hated. He has been undone by inexperience, not venality. If its true that his own rudeness has upset people, he will now know what its like to be treated rudely and be less excluding if a next time turns up than this time.
    With the getting of wisdom, Rudd could make a happy person and fine PM one day. This only comes with painful experience and fortitude in adversity.

  64. paul walter

    Firstly, Silkworm’s comment, #15, echoed my thoughts on that mid eastern sympathies and future paths for foreign policy
    But the thread is supposed to be about what you’d like to find out, the truth behind the events of a couple of a days ago.
    I’d like to know who actually would have voted for who, in a bllot.
    I’d like to know more about Lindsay Tanner’s resignation and the role of unnamed players in the background who were doing their dirty work thru proxies. Also what the MSM knew, what it disclosed against what it evaded including and how the spin as things eventuated, was decided on.
    I’d like to know if people really think if Rudd hasn’t a future in politics, even if now he seems in the wilderness.
    NO future?
    Rudd is not hated. He has been undone by inexperience, not venality. If its true that his own rudeness has upset people, he will now know what its like to be treated rudely and be less excluding if a next time turns up than this time.
    With the getting of wisdom, Rudd could make a happy person and fine PM one day. This only comes with painful experience and fortitude in adversity.

  65. Liam

    Whitlam’s famous self-description of his beliefs was that he was a “fellow traveller with Christianity”. Not one of the faithful, but not an atheist by any stretch either.

  66. Liam

    Whitlam’s famous self-description of his beliefs was that he was a “fellow traveller with Christianity”. Not one of the faithful, but not an atheist by any stretch either.

  67. Andrew E

    [email protected]: The first time, as I’ve said elsewhere, since Hughes and Cook in 1915.

  68. Andrew E

    [email protected]: The first time, as I’ve said elsewhere, since Hughes and Cook in 1915.

  69. Kevin Rennie

    My Labor oldtimer view touched on some of this. You can find my articles here or here. Still feeling post-Kevin trauma!

  70. Kevin Rennie

    My Labor oldtimer view touched on some of this. You can find my articles here or here. Still feeling post-Kevin trauma!

  71. Pavlov's Cat

    With reference to the imputed atheism of various PMs, it’s interesting that it was unremarked (or at least unremarkable) for Gorton, Whitlam and Hawke. (I don’t know about Curtin, as he died before I was born.)

    David, exactly. I find it very bloody disturbing that people think it matters, or that it even gets a mention — yet another sign of creeping international religious fundamentalism. Last I looked this was supposed to be a secular country. Gah.

  72. Pavlov's Cat

    With reference to the imputed atheism of various PMs, it’s interesting that it was unremarked (or at least unremarkable) for Gorton, Whitlam and Hawke. (I don’t know about Curtin, as he died before I was born.)

    David, exactly. I find it very bloody disturbing that people think it matters, or that it even gets a mention — yet another sign of creeping international religious fundamentalism. Last I looked this was supposed to be a secular country. Gah.

  73. silkworm

    I find it very bloody disturbing that people think it matters, or that it even gets a mention — yet another sign of creeping international religious fundamentalism. Last I looked this was supposed to be a secular country.

    You appear to have a warped view of secularism. As a secularist, I find it imperative that our new PM’s religious views be examined to see whether they will have any impact on her policy making. As I have already pointed out, her Christian views may have made her sympathetic to the Zionist cause.

  74. silkworm

    I find it very bloody disturbing that people think it matters, or that it even gets a mention — yet another sign of creeping international religious fundamentalism. Last I looked this was supposed to be a secular country.

    You appear to have a warped view of secularism. As a secularist, I find it imperative that our new PM’s religious views be examined to see whether they will have any impact on her policy making. As I have already pointed out, her Christian views may have made her sympathetic to the Zionist cause.

  75. feral sparrowhawk

    Anderw E – Bob Hawke was president of the UWA Guild. While I doubt there were factions in the modern sense at the time, he was presumably as much of a student politician as Menzies.

  76. feral sparrowhawk

    Anderw E – Bob Hawke was president of the UWA Guild. While I doubt there were factions in the modern sense at the time, he was presumably as much of a student politician as Menzies.