Letter to the Editor – founding values and the PM

Ray Barraclough (A Progressive Christian Voice Australia) has kindly shared the following:

Dear Member of A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia) inc [APCVA],

I was delighted to discover that I was able to have a letter published in the Monday (3 May) edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.

The issue I addressed in my letter was sparked by responses to a speech that the Australian PM gave to a gathering of his fellow-Pentecostals….

I was responding to the claim that Australia was founded on “Judeo-Christian values”.

I am sure there were a whole mixture of values influencing the framers of The Australian Constitution from Enlightenment-influenced lawyers to a spiritualist Alfred Deakin, and others in between, including Judeo-Christians.. 

My take is that, like the framers of the American Constitution, the chief movers-and-shakers wanted to entrench the separation of Church and State. That is why both the American and the Australian documents refer so very sparingly  (and warily) to any role the state may have in regards to religion.

Anyway, the SMH printed my letter. A copy is printed below.

Best wishes,


PS. I hope that a number of APCVA members could pen letters on important issues to their appropriate media. (And let us know that they have done so.)


Dear Madam/Sir,

If the Australian federation was founded on Judeo-Christian values, as Judith Bond asserts, (Letters, May 12) then two explanations at least are needed.

The federation speedily enacted laws based on white supremacy, namely the ‘white Australia policy’.

While also no mention was made of prior Indigenous occupancy of the country.

And the federation was created through the dispossession of the same Indigenous peoples.

What Christian values shaped the supremacist action and the dispossession?

Christianity served as a chaplain to white supremacist European empires that, for centuries, dispossessed Indigenous people across four continents.



[Rev’d Dr Ray Barraclough]


2 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor – founding values and the PM

  1. Elizabeth Burns

    Well written, it is too easy to make blanket statements without proper knowledge- from all perspectives.

  2. John Ingram

    Well said. The Prime Minister needs to read Dr Meredith Lake’s “The Bible in Australia – A Cultural History” as it sets out the good and the bad that came from the early Europeans in Australia who professed to be Christian, including the enormous harm that was done to Indigenous Australians.

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