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Left behind? Progressive Australians' reluctant to talk religion

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Why is it that the louder a Christian politician talks about their faith the more conservative they seem to be?

Cory Bernardi, who split recently from the Liberal Party, is among those who have come to epitomise the idea of a Christian politician, arguing that Australia is and should remain Christian. One Nation's Pauline Hanson said repeatedly before last year's election that Australia was a "Christian country", although in her maiden speech as a senator she also noted that its government was secular. Bernardi cites the constitution as evidence that Australia is Christian and Nationals senator John Williams wants the Lord's Prayer to be part of the school system.

But there are many more Christian politicians I have been talking to who think very differently.

Recently elected West Australian Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, a former air services officer, says he gets "uncomfortable when people start calling Australia a Christian nation".

"I think the chur…