The future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
Australia can pride itself on adhering mainly to the secular democratic ideal. Consequently, it has embraced pluralism, which in turn has produced a cooperative society, the envy of many nations. It has not experienced violence because of religious difference even though in the past, sectarianism did create a wedge between religions.
The changing demographic of Australia has happened relatively quickly and governments need to respond with like-speed if we are not to slip back into a segregated system, worse than experienced and akin to many existing countries. The present and predicted population will contain a greater number of sects and religions with which to contend.
The fastest growing proportion and the largest sector of the population, bigger than any single religion, is the unchurched. It is missing out on government aid, in favour of lavishing vast sums of money by rate exemptions, grants, subsidies and special privileges delivered mainly to the various Christian religions. The ignoring of secular political wishes is because of religious dignitaries manipulate various parliaments, which willingly accede to their demands.
Such benefits originated when Christianity was an important social glue of life. It was at a time when Churches were struggling to exist financially. The situation has changed and the main churches, due to our forebear’s generosity, are now immensely wealthy. From near 100% of people attending church weekly, now, only 10% attend regularly. Sixty five percent of the population state they have some kind of religious affiliation. The actual or nominal figure is unknown. Commonsense and viewing places of worship on any day of the week indicates nominal is higher than promoted.
There is desperate need for a revaluation of financial support given to religions, especially if utilized in the indoctrinating of children in learning ‘what to think’ instead of ‘how to think’.
There is a pressing case in a multi-religion and no religion society to halt the exclusively Christian prayer rituals beginning parliamentary sessions.
It is time to stop taxation, rate benefits and subsidies for religions at the cost to all taxpayers.
It is time to recognise that some religions work against accepted science by indoctrinating students with anti-scientific propaganda.
It is time to realise the social divisiveness and bigotry caused by religions.
It is time to dissemble the ill-thought out federal chaplaincy program as a matter of urgency as it is discriminatory and prone to proselyting abuse by zealots.
It is time to remove ‘religious education’ in state schools.
It is time to acknowledge that it is the role of parents (sic) and not government to indoctrinate children into a particular religion. Parents wishing to indoctrinate their children must do so at their expense, not all taxpayers.
It is the appropriate moment in history to include in the Australian Constitution, the phrase: ‘separation of church and state’.
Presently, there exists a bias towards supporting religions. The effect is the disenfranchisement of the non-religious. The world has changed and progressive governance must alter accordingly.