Rudderless Leaders

A culture cannot be maintained without the underpinning of religion



Recently the Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies hosted Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor of The Australian newspaper, who spoke to a capacity crowd on Christianity’s Contribution to Western Civilization. Greg is a good friend to the Dawson Centre; he has visited on earlier occasions and always deservedly draws a large audience, for he combines great personal charm with a vast knowledge of international affairs — as one would expect from a man who has had 30 years in that senior role at a major newspaper. You can watch his talk on the Dawson Centre YouTube channel.

I took away a number of useful insights from Greg’s talk. He was asked why, by and large, politicians are not responsive to the wishes of the silent majority, yet appear so in thrall to wokery. He replied that “politics is downstream from culture and culture is downstream from religion.” If Dawson is right, a human culture cannot exist at all without the underpinning of religion, so in the context of Australian society (only 44% of our people are now even nominally Christian) religion as a guiding force has almost disappeared, the culture is in a state of collapse, and most politicians are effectively rudderless. If this is true, your mainstream polly may not necessarily believe all the nonsense that has emerged from wokery, but has nothing else to put in its place. A famous remark attributed to Chesterton puts this neatly: “When man ceases to worship God he does not worship nothing but worships everything.”


David Daintree was President of Campion College (Australia’s only Catholic liberal arts college) from 2008 to 2012. In 2013 he founded and is now Director of the Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies, under the patronage of the Archbishop of Hobart.

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