Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Last week, Duncan and I went to his boss's house for Bible study.  While we were waiting for the other group members to arrive, we sat down with Duncan's boss and his wife who were watching At Home With Julia.

For the benefit of international readers and those who have not heard of the show (though it's hard not to if you live in Australia), At Home With Julia is a spoof of the life of current Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and her partner, Tim Mathieson.  The show also features a number of well known Australian political figures.

I thoroughly enjoyed the five minutes I did get to watch.  While Julia Gillard's mannerisms are exaggerated, it was still quite funny.  Not laugh out loud funny, but amusing all the same.  I made plans to watch the next episode.

But when Bible study finished that night, I felt somewhat differently.  Our Bible study group has been using a series called The Truth Project which explores foundational Christian beliefs, but in a really unique way.  Last week we looked at God's relation to governments - that while they have the potential to do much evil, they have been instituted as God's representatives and we are to honour them.  The presenter quoted Romans 13:1-7 and it was then I felt convicted that I shouldn't watch At Home With Julia anymore.  When Duncan and I got home that night, I told him that I felt convicted and challenged based on what we had been learning, and he said, "Yeah I was thinking the same."

You see, that while Julia Gillard may have some amusing quirks and she is not the leader that I voted for, I still need to honour her.  She makes many decisions that I don't agree with, but she has been placed in her role by God.  She may find the show about herself to be absolutely hilarious, I don't know, but I think for me to watch it would be disrespectful.  We Aussies live in a culture that loves to poke fun at anyone important.  We kind of expect it, but that doesn't always make it right.  If I was an important leader, I'm not sure I would want a show like that made about me.  The ladies at tennis were talking about it yesterday and one said she was surprised the ABC even let it go to air.

I think Aussies can learn a lot from our overseas friends.  When I lived in Perth I met many international students who were shocked that we mock our leaders and refer to them by their first names.  I think we can still have a sense of humour, but learn from our overseas friends about showing respect - NOT like those countries who have a big picture of their dictator in the middle of the city or make it a crime to criticise the government at all.  Despite what we may think, Julia Gillard is not on the same level as us.  She is our leader whether we like it or not.

But the whole point is not about honouring Julia Gillard - it's about honouring God.

Some people may be able to watch this show in good conscience.  I cannot.

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