Secular Party of Australia

The Secular Party of Australia stands for separation between church and state.

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Posts Tagged ‘Australian Policital Party’

The future of public education — look to Australia’s past

Posted by Secular on December 5, 2012

Former High Court judge Michael Kirby laments the dismantling of an education system that was always meant to be ‘free, compulsory and secular’.

Posted in Commentary funding | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The wonderful world of woo-woo

Posted by Secular on December 5, 2012

The Annual Convention of the Australian Skeptics was held in Melbourne last weekend, featured James ‘The Amazing’ Randi, and was a great success.

This article by Tory Shepherd sums up the skeptical stance neatly: ‘People die because of dodgy health treatments, people spend billions on rubbish pills… oh, and there’s this whole notion of truth that is generally considered quite important.’

Posted in Commentary alternative medicine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A new future Australian Head of State

Posted by Secular on December 4, 2012

5 December 2012

Media Release

A new royal baby is on the way, it has been announced by the palace. A future king or queen. An occasion for congratulations from Prime Ministers and a media frenzy of news stories about the happy royal couple, no doubt. Good luck and best wishes to them.

Amidst all the sycophantic adulation, however, there is another aspect which is overlooked: unless something changes, the new baby will one day be the Australian Head of State. Rather than choosing our own, our Heads of State are created by an act of British royal copulation.

It that what we really want?

The concept of a hereditary Head of State does not make any more sense than a hereditary carpenter, doctor, lawyer or politician. A new baby is very nice, but bring on the Republic please.


© The Secular Party of Australia Inc., 2011. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and from the Secular Party of Australia is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and to this blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Posted in Media Releases, Republic | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The god intrusion . . . into our schools

Posted by Secular on November 25, 2012

Journalist and ex-teacher Stephen Downes asks why children are subjected to Christian indoctrination in public schools, “tantamount to indoctrination . . . with little or no semblance to good teaching”.

This article is specific to Victoria, but this nonsense is going on in other states too.

Posted in Commentary ethics classes | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Royal Commission update

Posted by Secular on November 20, 2012

‘Cracking the vows of Silence’, an excellent summary on the forthcoming Royal Commission, supplied by @Peter_Fox59: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1127417/cracking-the-vows-of-silence/.

Also posted today, ‘the government is asking the states and stakeholders to provide written feedback by next Monday on the terms of reference and the inquiry’s form and timetable.’

Posted in Commentary child abuse | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Proposed federal discrimination laws do not go far enough

Posted by Secular on November 20, 2012

Good news: ‘Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity would be outlawed nationally under a proposed overhaul of federal discrimination laws.’

But wait . . . ‘An exemption that currently allows faith-based aged-care providers to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity would be removed, but other religious exemptions would continue.’

These are proposed laws, by the way, not yet in force, and so as of writing this piece it is still legal for religious aged-care providers to discriminate!

Worse, there are NO plans to disallow other religious service providers from discriminating!

Meanwhile, the ACL is pleased that ‘the Government had honoured its commitment to retain protections for religious freedom’ (over and above protecting people with inherent characteristics).

In the light of all we’ve been hearing and continue to hear with respect to the Royal Commission, this is sickening.

Posted in Commentary LGBT rights | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Savita had a heartbeat, too

Posted by Secular on November 19, 2012

We previously posted Michael Nugent’s article, reporting on the pointless death of 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar, a Hindu victim of Ireland’s vague and outdated anti-abortion laws.

In this article Karen Kissane writes, “One person’s religious freedom must end where it hurts another’s right to health or happiness – or, as in Halappanavar’s case, the right to life itself. As protesters outside the Irish Parliament last week pointed out, Halappanavar had a heartbeat, too.”

Posted in Commentary women's rights | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Child abuse inquiry exposes deeper questions

Posted by Secular on November 17, 2012

13 November 2012

Media Release

The Prime Minister is to be congratulated on heeding calls for a wide-ranging inquiry into child abuse in religious institutions. To improve the operation of these organisations, it should be made mandatory that all disclosures of criminal activity, whether in a confessional box or elsewhere, be reported to the police. Failure to do so should be a criminal offence. The time for such exemptions for religious bodies has passed.

The inquiry raises a deeper question. Why is it that religious organisations have been able to indulge with impunity in gross abuses for decades? What is it about the nature of society’s attitude towards religion in general that allowed this to occur?

Blame must be attributed to the archaic legal status attached to the advancement of religion as being, of itself, a charitable purpose. It is legally assumed that all religious activities are not merely benign, but beneficial. All the subsidies and tax concessions granted to religious organisations derive from this legal status.

It should by now be obvious that religions are not necessarily beneficial, and indeed can be harmful. Hence their unwarranted charitable status should end. Ethics and morality are better determined on the basis of the universal principles of compassion, honesty, justice and freedom.


© The Secular Party of Australia Inc., 2011. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and from the Secular Party of Australia is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and to this blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Posted in Child abuse, Media Releases, Religious privilege | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s time . . . for a Royal Commission

Posted by Secular on November 17, 2012

12 November 2012

Media Release

Following the latest devastating revelations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, and of the ongoing and systematic campaign of cover-ups by the Catholic Church, the Secular Party of Australia asserts that there is an urgent need for a national Royal Commission into this important issue. We are not convinced that the government of either New South Wales or Victoria is serious in their respective inquiries. Both of these governments are very reluctant to instigate a state Royal Commission with appropriate and wide-ranging terms of reference and full powers. One obvious question is “Why?” Is it possible that although the DLP has only one sitting MP, Peter Kavanagh, in the Victorian Legislative Council, its descendants are still a political force in other parties and governments? The Coalition in NSW springs to mind, with a high proportion of members with Catholic Church affiliation, including the Premier, Barry O’Farrell.

In the New South Wales Commission of Inquiry the focus will be restricted to the police handling and investigation of allegations of cover-ups in the Hunter region only, rather than on the Catholic Church itself, the abuse it has perpetrated on innocent and vulnerable victims, and its covering-up of these offences.

Surely this is where the root of the problem lies. It appears that neither the NSW Commission of Inquiry nor the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry is really serious about getting to the heart of the matter: who knew what about this, when did they know it, and what did they do about it? As yet no victims have been called to give evidence to the Victorian inquiry. At least now the Catholic Church in Victoria has agreed to co-operate with the inquiry and provide access to its own private files on reported cases of abuse. This is a step in the right direction. However it is to be hoped that none of the seriously incriminating material in these files will be withheld, and that none of it has already been destroyed. The NSW Government claims that its inquiry will have all the powers of a Royal Commission. Why then does it not yield to the growing calls for a proper Royal Commission into this appalling affair? Nothing less will satisfy either the victims or the general public


© The Secular Party of Australia Inc., 2011. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and from the Secular Party of Australia is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and to this blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Posted in Child abuse, Media Releases, Religious privilege | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Faith, fervour and free speech

Posted by Secular on November 17, 2012

by Moira Clarke

In the wake of violence in response to the film ‘Innocence of Muslims’, there has been a renewed push for international blasphemy laws at the United Nations. This article by an SPA member presents the case for freedom of speech, explaining that blasphemy laws are abused wherever they are introduced, that hate speech is best countered by more speech, and that freedom is a two-way street.

Link to article published in Online Opinion, 25 September 2012


© The Secular Party of Australia Inc., 2011. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and from the Secular Party of Australia is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and to this blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Posted in External publications, Freedom of expression, Islam | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »