In drought-stricken Australia, the Prime Minister recently announced that soon our government may have to take drastic measures, to deny irrigation water to a huge region of the country which has been called the nation’s food-bowl. Many towns in this region are already in desperate situations.
Following this statement, the P M then called on everyone to pray for rain. This kind of statement may be common-place in other countries, but it is rare in Australia for a political leader to call people to prayer.
As a result, Centre for Christian Ethics, at Morling College in Sydney, has devoted its newsletter ‘Soundings’ (edited by Rod Benson) to this theme.
Here I reproduce that letter: first, because I think some excellent thinking is expressed in it, and secondly because I think it is well worth thinking about the political interface between public policy and our individual religious and moral commitments. Too easily, the latter are seen as private matters. But here they come together. It is quite proper for us to be religiously concerned about the drought. But is that just a matter of praying for rain, when we are in hard times?