The fifth day of Christmas is dedicated to the martyr, Thomas a Beckett. When I was studying for my HSC in 1970, Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot was one of the set texts on the theme of Authority and the Individual.
The tension between politics and religion has been one of the formative features of the Westminster model of Government that we have inherited.Our history has been played out in the theatre of controversy between the interests of the Sate and the Church.
Some of my earliest memories of this conflict was learning that the Irish Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix stood in public opposition to the conscription of young men to the First World War by the Government of Billy Hughes.