Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, answers two questions from the audience regarding atheism.
To me, she represents hope.
oh if there were more like her in the rest of the western world - able to be given a choice at least in the runners in the us, uk, canada and other countries. but so far none - even those who are clearly agnostics fall on the side of 'faith'
Unfortunately, even though she is an atheist, she still represents a political party which leans towards the right. (The opposition is fairly right wing by American standards). Personally I would like to see a left wing party have a real shot at government (The Greens or The Australian Sex Party, if anyone is interested).
Julia is ahead for me because:
1. Julia is an Atheist - I wonder how many more Atheists are in either or all parties, but don't have the guts to come out.
2. She is Female
3. She is not married and living with her boyfriend.
Most politicians would never say they are an Atheist, would never just live with a partner without getting married, and for a female to take on the big boys in a misogynistic setting, takes guts.
Certainly she could/should have done more - I think the three independents are xian, I don't know, but she is stymied by the hung parliament. My personal big disapoingtment is the chaplains going into schools instead of having Ethics and Moral classes, and catering to private schools with bucket loads of money.
Australia is indeed fortunate, what with a Green - Bob Brown, Gay and living with his boyfriend, and Penny Wong, brilliant, smart and Lesbian, who has just adopted a baby with her beautiful partner.
We, in Australia, are very fortunate, how would all the above go in America - does anybody think any of these people would be elected, The fact is, all of these people have been elected, and the alternative is a bloke who is a raving xian, who visits the cardinal to have tea, and Kevin Rudd, who loves to be photographed going to church, every Sunday.
Julia hasn't done everything I would have liked, but it is a fantastic start.
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