Voting Labor will not help feed poor: Abbott
Health Minister Tony Abbott, a prominent Catholic, has accused Labor leader Kevin Rudd of trying to "commandeer God for political purposes", telling a Melbourne conference that Jesus did not say "that the best way to feed the hungry ... was to vote Labor".
Mr Abbott also said that the Australian Labor Party is beset by religious tensions with non-Christian members uncomfortable at the way Labor leader Kevin Rudd has been pushing his faith, the Age reports.
"There are enormous tensions inside the Labor Party on this whole question on faith in politics," Mr Abbott told reporters outside the Young Liberals Conference in Melbourne.
"They fear he might want to put something of that religiosity into political practice."
"(Mr Rudd) chose to say that, from a Christian perspective, the policies of the Howard government are an abomination, (so) he can hardy complain when members of the government respond," Mr Abbott said.
"My complaint is against Rudd accusing others of using religion for political purposes when he is blatantly doing so himself."
Mr Abbott told the Age that while he did not doubt Mr Rudd's commitment to Christianity in private, in public his actions came across as those of a very calculating politicians.
Religion dividing Labor, Abbott says (The Age, 29/1/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Kevin Rudd website
God "not wholly owned" by any political party: Rudd (CathNews, 1/11/06)
Abbott trashes Rudd criticism of "un-Christian" coalition (CathNews, 31/10/06)
Canberra Archbishop praises Rudd's Christian essay (CathNews, 3/10/06)
Imagine politics without Christians: Abbott tells critics (CathNews, 29/8/06)
Parliamentarians to debate Christian contribution (CathNews, 4/8/06)
Rudd says Church must influence politics (CathNews, 29/8/05)
Coleridge plans to "stir up some energy" in Canberra (CathNews, 27/6/06)
29 Jan 2007