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Old 10th February 2017, 04:20 PM
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Default Media Release: It Could Happen Here. Donít Let It.


There's a lot going on during Donald Trump's presidencyÖ as you may have noticed.

One development that may have slipped your notice is his determination to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which restricts religions and certain not-for-profits from endorsing political candidates or political campaigning. The amendment reinforces the separation between church and state; repealing it is a direct attack on that fundamental democratic principle.

But of course, we don't have a "Trump" in Australia. It couldn't happen here, right? Wrong.

We have the recent spectacle of the City of Casey voting to extend "chaplaincy" into their shopping malls and community groups, indicating a conservative Christian agenda.

There's the upsurge in right-wing parties that generally have religious underpinnings and agendas, Cory Bernardi's being the latest example Ė and one that is specifically modelled on the rise of Trump.

And we just had the National Prayer Breakfast for returning parliamentarians yet again, perpetuating the dangerous myth that one can't be a successful politician in a secular democracy without asking for help from an imagined supernatural guide.

Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) President Kylie Sturgess said:
"The trend of questioning, speaking out and even taking to the streets and to the ballot box for the rights of women, science, secularism and free speech cannot be dismissed as "someone else's issues, someone else's problems".

If anything, it's demonstrating that everyone can take a stand and show solidarity for our secular and democratic rights Ė because as history has shown us then and now, you can easily lose those rights unless you speak up for them and even fight for them."

The AFA calls on politicians to remind themselves that Australia was specifically set up as a secular democracy, and that when one wants to serve our country in a political role, this means that personal religious beliefs should be left at home.


Kylie Sturgess

President
Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 3582
Parramatta NSW 2124
Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: president@atheistfoundation.org.au
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  #2  
Old 10th February 2017, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: It Could Happen Here. Donít Let It.

That City of Casey story I found in The Age is crazy.
We have the odd street preacher here that I hold to task given the opportunity.
But sanctioned mall chaplains, that's nuts. Any chance they can get to get onto children while the parents stand by, not really knowing, but thinking oh that's nice.
The more vocal atheists the better. One can not stand by knowing it's nonsense and doing nothing. Don't expect everyone to know it's nonsense. Atheists are fighting against 2000 years of pro religious BS propaganda. Don't underestimate it's hold on the non church going average person.
While this is a supposed new bible belt of Melbourne my concern and focus is not on the devout christians but those who are sold that Christianity is a good thing or at the very least not a bad thing. Well, it's actually a cancer on society. From experience a lot more can be gained by talking to a hundred fence sitters that a handful of religious nutters.

You are right, it can happen here and atheists need to jump on those tentacles that seek to poison everyones mind.
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Old 10th February 2017, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: It Could Happen Here. Donít Let It.

And if god is so self-evidently true, then why does he need so much help?

Seems to me the more effort religious folks put into getting their theistic paradise on Earth established, the worse it all gets. Because there are many, many gods, all claimed to be true, but only by the believers of that god.
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Old 10th February 2017, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: It Could Happen Here. Donít Let It.

Quote:
Darwinsbulldog said View Post
And if god is so self-evidently true, then why does he need so much help?

Seems to me the more effort religious folks put into getting their theistic paradise on Earth established, the worse it all gets. Because there are many, many gods, all claimed to be true, but only by the believers of that god.
The christian theistic paradise ends with the destruction of humanity. From their 'word' this is supposed to be a glorious day.
Don't be surprised the more power they get the closer humanity is to being flushed down the toilet. Every bible believing christian has their finger on the button.
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Old 10th February 2017, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: It Could Happen Here. Donít Let It.

I was wondering about this, actually.

Specifically, the various laws and statutes regarding Church/State separation and related topics here in Aus. I know far more about the subject with regards the US, which doesn't serve our purposes.

Can we get a legal mind or two in here to discuss this stuff? We need to dispense knowledge if we're to combat this foolishness.

If we can get a legal mind or two to contribute, I'd like to propose a new podcast modelled on Opening Arguments, but specifically devoted to Australian law. It would be a good way to distribute information regarding the challenges we face and the appropriate interpretations of the legal issues and approaches involved.

Yeah, I know. I'm normally the comic relief and not worth taking seriously. But I'm taking this shit more seriously than I ever have before, and I'm willing to step the fuck up.

So. Thoughts? I know we have more than one legal mind in our ranks.

Edit: Maybe I should make this its own thread.
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Old 10th February 2017, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: It Could Happen Here. Donít Let It.

I agree GM. I suspect we have weaker church state separation structures than the US. Thankfully we're not as religious as a nation but I would very much like to know our legal and constitutional reading on this.

I guess I'll attempt some research, I fear what I won't find though.
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Old 10th February 2017, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: It Could Happen Here. Donít Let It.

Trump has proven one very important fact about the law - it only works because we say it does.

It is as fragile as it is allowed to be.

He can do what he wants if those in the positions with the power to stop him, for whatever reason, do not exercise that power.

It is the same here.

The US constitution and the Australian Constitution are very different documents - theirs defines a nation, ours is, simply, a power-sharing agreement, designed to limit the power of the Commonwealth over the jealous States that agreed to make it. The High Court have shifted the balance of power over the years, but it still only works because people are prepared to say it does.
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Old 10th February 2017, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: It Could Happen Here. Donít Let It.

Noting I didn't really answer the question - The Constitution, basically, says the Commonwealth cannot make laws about religion - that doesn't mean the states can't.

But then the states have Constitution which say similar things. But then Trump turns up and says it isn't about religion, or necessarily nation, it's about security... and things get twisted.
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