Shorten's foray into the republic debate unsightly

WOULD-BE PM Bill Shorten has re-opened Australia's republic debate, hoping no doubt to open up division between republican Malcolm Turnbull and monarchist Tony Abbott.

Whether these two politicians take Shorten's bait or not, another PM warned the nation to be "alarmed and alert" to the dangers arising from religious bigotry.

Unfortunately many Australians in the previous republic debate were turned off by the personal hatred directed towards the present head of the Australian nation.

Hatred based upon religion, and the fact that this woman, besides being the constitutional monarch of Australia and so representing all Australians, was also the head of a Christian church to which, the recent Census tells us, one in five of those Australians belong.

Many of those 20% of Australians who follow another church, oppose this monarch as their national leader, yet themselves have a "foreign" monarch as the head of their own religious community.

It was this sort of hypocritical religious bigotry expressed during the last republican campaign which saw the majority of Australians give silent assent to the debate being resumed when the faultless and elderly lady in question was no longer with us.

Bill Shorten has decided otherwise, it seems, and that majority of Australians who belong to neither of these rival churches surely want no part of the ugly sectarian bigotry which arose in the former republic debate and cannot, surely, be very pleased with his actions.

This sort of destructive national division, made for political advantage, is unworthy of a would-be prime minister.

JAMES HILL

Redbank Plains



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