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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Costello addresses Hillsong congregation

This is part of a transcript from the ABC's LATELINE program. report Tony Jonesinterviewing The Federal treasurer, Peter Costello.

TONY JONES: Tell me, though: does the spirit move you when you're there or is this just, for you, another political speech in front of an admittedly very enthusiastic crowd?

PETER COSTELLO: No, I find it very uplifting personally to join in the service, the music and the message. It lifts me. I said that tonight - it lifts me, and I hope it lifts everybody else in the auditorium and, judging from their reaction, it does. You've got to bear in mind that people were actually queuing to get into the Superdome tonight, and I would say predominantly young people enjoying music and hearing a preacher preaching mainly from the Bible. That's a good thing in my book.


It's a good thing in my book too. Where are all the disaffected youths, struggling to find their way in the mainstream churches that stifle their spirituality and creativity? At the Hillsong Conference getting "lifted" of course.


Nathan Zamprogno said...

The intersection of faith and politics is a perennial question. One the one hand, I see canny politicians playing to a friendly crowd. On the other hand I see people sharing a gathering with fellow Christians with whom they share similar values. It was interesting to see how Costello steered around the question of Creationism. At least he said that he himself believes in Evolution rather than something sillier like Creationism, but at the same time he was careful not to offend those people who might believe it.

The Sunday program did an exhaustive piece on Hillsong last Sunday and I'm pleased to say I was one of the people interviewed for it. I was only quoted briefly, but the remainder of my interview with Jana Wendt is at my own blog which is at


Stephen said...

I also noticed in the Lateline transcript that Costello steered around the "prosperity gospel" issues as well...

"Well, look, I know that's often said... Personally I didn't hear anybody say that. I know a lot of people who are at this conference who would believe that. Personally, I don't believe that there's any necessary connection.... That's one of the criticisms they make. In my experience, it's pretty unfounded."

On the Creation/Evolution argument, as I read ithe article it came across as one of those classic questions constructted to make Christians look like a bunch of idiots "fundamentalist... doens't belive in evolution...sway over impressionable minds".

Petrhaps in the States these are hot button issues but in Asutalia, the land of the Lotus eaters, the reaction isn't quite the same. TRhe question about sway over imprssionable minds might as well be asked of the DJ's on the ABC's "Yoof" radio network, JJJ.

As I read the situation in general the impact ofreligion on politics in Australia will take a different flavour to the US.

I shall leave it to my co-blogger Tom to explore the issue further.