Paging Brett McS

I need some good news. Is Abbott prime minister yet?

I just ran across this piece which made me nostalgic for John Howard. The background is the video at the link where the current Aussie PM plays scripture scholar with a Protestant minister who asks him how he can call himself a Christian and support gay marriage. I have kind of mixed feelings about the video. On the one hand, I don't think the pastor asked a very effective question; the answer was absolutely to be anticipated and positively invites precisely the response it drew -- and actually advances the view that only religious conviction could cause one to oppose same-sex marriage. This allows the PM to pretend he's a scripture scholar, which is a distraction from the point. On the other hand, the PM drips condescension and derision, and given he's suddenly adopted gay marriage as a cause to save his candidacy, it's as gross an instance of pandering as you'll find.

But it serves the purpose of allowing John Howard to enter as palate cleanser. In a shopping mall stumping for his party (and how cool is it that he was doing an old-fashioned stump appearance?) he was asked about gay marriage and said
"...if you're asking my view … I think this whole argument that it's marriage equality is nonsense," he said...."The present (situation) doesn't discriminate against people, it just recognises not only a long-standing attitude and custom but also recognises that anything we can do to preserve current notions of marriage are more likely on balance to provide the best environment for raising children."
Thank you. Was that so hard? All Conservative politicians watch and repeat. Common sense, about the children, no one's imposing any religion on anyone. If you are a politician (and not a preacher) and you start debating religious tenets, you are out on a limb.

Update: Brett McS comes through:  See above.