Images: AP/Joel Carrett

If Scott Morrison, like all previous prime ministers, kept his religious faith to himself and strictly separated from his public role, then there’d be no good cause to say anything about it.

Up until now, he has tiptoed a narrow line, promising that his government’s policies will not be driven by his beliefs, while occasionally putting his religious observance on very public show. Fair enough; it is a tricky balance for any leader and society is accustomed to respecting that.

It wasn’t Morrison who released the video of his speech to the Australian Christian Churches conference on the Gold Coast last week. However, he flew there and back on a government plane at taxpayers’ expense and was explicit that he was speaking as prime minister, not a private citizen. The content of what he said left that unarguable anyway. It is a matter of legitimate public interest to appreciate the full meaning of his words.