Fresh on the heels of silly men with moustachless beards wanking on about Jihad and causing tabloid shows to immediately suggest all Muslims feel that way, we have Howard spruiking for Catch The Fire ministries, a Christian organisation who frequently blasts Islam as a great evil to the extent that they got taken to court under vilification laws (which by the way, I don't agree with because it's an attack on free speech).
Costello also wrote letters of support according to the Age article.
I do just love it when pollies attack a particular faith, but see nothing wrong in supporting other twisted versions of religions like Catch The Fire and the Exclusive Brethren (who spent $370,000 on supporting the Howard government in the 2004 election despite the fact their faith doesn't allow them to vote).
You see the difference is Australia was settled by Christians. Well, actually, it wasn't. It was settled by a different ethnic grouping some 50,000 years ago whose animist belief structure was the religion of choice. Okay, it was euro-settled by Christians - not Muslims. Christians who made this country what it is to day - complete with the almost wholesale eradication of native peoples.
Wouldn't Muslims have done the same HM had they transported thousands here and given the natives diseases and poisoned flour and what not? Well, no, considering that Islam was spread mostly through trade and in fact in Indonesia it ended up as a hybrid with the local animist faith there.
But, anyway, the point is this. Separation of church and state is obviously a silly theory that should be abandoned. Because in our past many Australians were practicing Christians (even if it wasn't the 'be nice to people' but 'there goes a Catholic/Protestant let's get them' variety), ergo now we should be entitled to have conservative politicians use it to their political advantage even when they slag off other religions.
Does anyone else feel a drift to the US way of things? ie you find it hard to get elected if every third word isn't Jesus? Least the 2006 election proved that this is not always the case. And even the evangelicals are seeing that the impending environmental changes are not the ones laced with red heifers that they've been hoping for and are actually doing something about it. However, that's not the case of course over here since the Exclusive Brethren hate everything the Greens stand for.