New speakers announced for panel on religion & politics

While the godless may vary in the degree to which they view religion as a pernicious force in the lives of individuals, the hackles of unbelievers are almost unanimously raised when the issue of the influence of religious beliefs on political decision-making comes up. The fascinating, complex, and often frustrating interaction of sacred and secular factions in the political arena is a subject that demands discussion, and the Global Atheist Convention is proud to present a unique opportunity to watch a panel of intelligent and well-informed speakers contribute their two cents worth to the public debate.

Addressing the subject of the intersection of politics and religion, our distinguished panelists will include Fiona Patten,  leader of the Australian Sex Party;  Marion Maddox, author, academic and political commentator; Dick Gross, journalist, author and atheist blogger for the National Times; and Colleen Hartland, Victorian Greens MLC. Moderated by ABC Radio veteran Derek Guille, it is sure to be a thought-provoking experience, a highlight of the convention programme, and yet another very good reason to be at the 2012 Global Atheist Convention in April.

2 Responses to New speakers announced for panel on religion & politics

  1. Dierk von Behrens says:

    Australian Census needs reform

    The question on religion (Question 19) in the 2011 Australian Census was unsatisfactory for a range of reasons as outlined on the web-site of the Council of Australian Humanists: http://www.humanist.org.au. The question was skewed and will overstate the extent of religious affiliation. This can be readily seen if we compare the results with those for our Southern neighbour: We could and should learn from New Zealand: http://openparachute.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/non-religious-in-australia-and-new-zealand/

    In both the 2006 and 2011 census, instead of asking, ‘What is your religion?’ with the first option being ‘No religion’ as New Zealand does, all the immediately following options to the question: ‘What is the person’s religion?’ are alleged religions. This turns question 19 into an apparently closed one that funnels people into giving a religious response, even if they don’t go to a church, a temple, a synagogue or a mosque. Admittedly, the option of answering ‘No religion’ is still present, but it is hidden under a very large array of 36 blank boxes in which people are encouraged to describe their: “‘Other’ – please specify as SALVATION ARMY, HINDUISM, JUDAISM, HUMANISM “.

    To list HUMANISM under examples of ‘Other’ following the question ‘What is the persons religion?’ is downright misleading. Though, historically, there have been movements termed Christian and Islamic humanism, Humanism in Australia is a fully secular movement. Unlike the roughly $30 billion annual tax concessions enjoyed by Australia’s religions, Humanism does not have tax free status nor is it recognised as a religion by the Australian judiciary. For this reason organised Humanists in Australia have encouraged their members to look for and complete the ‘No religion’ box.

  2. thich quang ba says:

    On “Foreign Correspondent” tonight, Sat 10/3/2012, Italian progressive politicans and officials have started considered to tax ‘churches businesses” [no body knows how rich they are, how many assets they have, in Rome alone, they own every second tourist hotels, but invading tax in figures of billions of Euro; unfaiorbusiness contribute to unemployment, economic down turn, etc... but no any past Governments was brave enough to touch RC]

    Can one of your panelists/experts/ speakers tell us about this similar problems in Australia, USA, and other countries??

    Any book, paper have investigated about these matters???? Why politicans are afraid of churches, including all US Presidential candidates???? Can Phillip Adams or some one else help by informing us real reasons? Can churches in Australia, alone or together, turn down, attack, take on an elected Government ? Can secular Australian Parliaments pass laws that reflect majority / popularity [50% + 1 voters, or 76 Lower House MPs] convictions, belief, motivations, good-will, etc. even if it’s contradict with certain Biblical theory or Churches’ dogma/ instructions ???

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