The value of religious volunteers in political campaigns

The [Bible in State School] League’s campaign [a referendum in 1910 for Biblical instruction in government schools] was not restricted to prayers and sermons. The Protestant religious newspaper, The Australian Christian World, was one of the forums the League used to communicate to its supporters, publishing detailed instructions for the week leading up to the poll and the day of the Referendum.

As previously mentioned, the first instruction was to pray on 10 April. Then volunteers were encouraged to complete house to house canvassing, distribute ‘How to Vote’ papers, erect posters, meet to make arrangements for the day of the Referendum, organise transport for voters who needed it and to collect funds. The use of technology in the League’s campaign is evident in these instructions. Volunteers were requested to send reports to the organising secretary by telegram and use this means to request more ‘How to Vote’ cards if they were needed.

[The referendum was won, and Biblical instruction went ahead.]

Quote source

Perkins, Y, (2010). Queensland’s Bible in State Schools Referendum 1910: A Case Study of Democracy. [BA thesis, University of Sydney], pp. 28-29


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