Freedom and democracy evolved under the positive influence of Christian ideas over centuries. Today secular elites think it is open season on Christianity. They don't realise they are chopping away at the roots of what has made our society so good.

History shows that faith and freedom are intrinsically linked. The Ten Commandment became the basis of the western legal system and Christian ideas of checks and balances on power lace our parliamentary system. Church and state should of course be separate but that has never meant that public policy ideas based on a religious foundation should be banished from the public square.

It is worth having a national conversation about which philosophical base is replacing our Judeo-Christian under-pinning and whether or not this will be better or worse for our future.

Even Sir Robert Menzies, our longest serving Prime Minister, recognized the importance of faith.

“The most important thing in the world, may I say for myself, is man’s relation to his maker: his relation to the divine and spiritual law,” he said.

In his best-selling autobiography Lazarus Rising, John Howard described a large measure of his philosophical approach to government.

“I would never shrink from the belief that Australia had been molded by the Judeo-Christian ethic, and that this was an asset worth preserving.”

The last word goes to John Adam, the first vice-president of the United States and their second president. He summed up the view of so many of the American founding fathers when he said:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

The same is true of Australia’s system of government. If we lose faith and the virtue it instills in people, we lose a citizenry that is able to take personal responsibility through self-government. When that happens, big government steps in and freedom diminishes.