Australia’s ‘Rebel Reverend’ Goes Viral With Barbed Liberal Messages
He still uses the sign to communicate his beliefs, perhaps with a little less spit and vinegar. Last Sunday, a side of the board read “Keep Goseford nuclear free”, not likely to create much controversy here. However, the other side showed that he still did not desist from throwing a partisan punch: “put the far-right on the list of terror.”
“You get stuck in the vortex,” he said of his time in the spotlight. “People appreciate what you’re saying and you’ve become one of those voices.”
“The middle ground is tough,” he said, leaning back on his chair and revealing the red socks under his black and white garment. “We only listen to the extreme.”
With his short, pointed hair and a tightly trimmed beard, 58-year-old Father Bower has said something about him – another ferocious, if often wildly beloved Australian. He is not afraid to swear, joke about an old hangover or give a sermon barefoot. He is the priest of the house in the Chakravyuh of existence.
He grew up in an agricultural area north of Sydney, adopted and raised by cattle ranchers. His adopted father died when his father, Bower, was 13, and spent most of his teenage years on the ground and working as a butcher. This is a history he has never completely left behind; “The Ethical Omnivore” sits on his office bookshelf with religious texts.
The chaos that was adopted, a fact that he said he had always known but only fully initiated the process in his 20s, inspired him to seek God and the priest.
“It was part of my quest for identity,” he said. “It came with a title and a uniform.”
Many of his parishioners found Father Bower and the church, where he has served as rector for more than two decades, looking at the messages on the outside sign – not by passing on the street, but by spotting them on Facebook.