Things American Politicians Will Never Say

The new Prime Minister of Australia says she will not fake her religious belief for the sake of getting votes:

Julia Gillard conceded today that she is not a “religious person” and declared she would not “pretend” to be for the sake of votes.

The Prime Minister appeared caught by surprise this morning during a radio blitz to lift her profile when asked how she would court the Christian vote and whether she believed in God.

“I’m not a religious person,” Ms Gillard told ABC radio.

“I was brought up in the Baptist Church but during my adult life I’ve, you know, found a different path. I’m of course a great respecter of religious beliefs, but they’re not my beliefs.”

“I am not going to pretend a faith I don’t feel. And for people of faith the greatest compliment I could pay to them is to respect their genuinely held beliefs and not to engage in some pretence about mine. I think it’s not the right thing.”

Ms Gillard said she “never thought it was the right thing for me to go through religious rituals for the sake of appearance. I am what I am. And people will judge that”.

“For, you know, people of faith what I would say to them is I grew up in a Christian Church, a Christian background, a Baptist Church, I won prizes for catechism for being able to remember Bible verses. I am steeped in that tradition but I’ve made decisions in my adult life about my own views.”

I would submit that, outside of perhaps a peculiarly secular Congressional District, you will never hear an American politician say something like this, and that the practice of faking religious belief, or at least adherence, is not at all that uncommon among American politicians.

FILED UNDER: Religion, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Anna Tarkov says:

    Closely followed by pretending to be happily married 🙂 Or maybe that should be a sad face… 🙁

  2. RW Rogers says:

    You’re probably right, Doug, although Californians did elect an avowed atheist, Culbert Olsen, to the governorship in 1938.

  3. Brummagem Joe says:

    Give me a break. Most of them fake it.

  4. Ben says:

    There actually is an openly Atheist congressman serving right now, from California: