Secular Party of Australia

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

  • Subscribe

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 61 other followers

  • Follow us!

  • © The Secular Party of Australia Inc., 2011.

Posts Tagged ‘Secular Party of Australia’

Royal Commission terms of reference

Posted by Secular on January 12, 2013

On the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, announced yesterday — this article provides a bit of background and also has a link to the actual terms of reference.

The Conversation provides us with an explainer, and an analysis by the experts. You might find Judy Courtin’s comments of interest in particular. Some here will recall Glen Coulton’s article re the Ellis Defence in Online Opinion. If not, have a read . . . and despair.

While most advocacy groups have been praising the terms of reference one, the Care Leavers of Australia Network (CLAN) has criticised its limits, saying that the limit to sexual abuse only is a mistake in the light of all the other forms of institutional abuse towards children. This seems to be a fair comment, for two reasons. We need to consider that sexual abuse can be used in conjunction with other forms of abuse. Will the Commission be forced to silence victims wishing to put their experiences into context? Furthermore, if such other forms of abuse are not to be considered by this Commission, will those other victims ever have an opportunity to be heard?

Finally, this article posted today gives this Commission its meaning, in its description of the ‘hell house’, a boarding school run by the Salesian brothers between about 1960 and 1990.

Advertisements

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

Jekyll and Hyde: the poor man’s Anti-Discrimination Bill

Posted by Secular on January 1, 2013

by Moira Clarke

The draft legislation for the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 was released towards the end of the year, and was greeted with a good deal of ambivalence. This is not so surprising, since here is a ‘human rights’ bill that endeavours to place even further limitations on free speech, an ‘anti-discrimination’ bill which is a recipe book for how religious institutions can continue to discriminate, a piece of legislation that provides workplace protection for religious people but none whatsoever for those of no faith.

Link to article published in Online Opinion, 2 January 2013


© 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, Religious privilege | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Praise to Almighty Rome

Posted by Secular on December 15, 2012

It didn’t take long.

Article praising a bunch of Catholics praising a Catholic spokesman for saying that, yes, all those cover-ups were not only ‘widespread in the church’ but that he was ‘personally scandalised and disillusioned’.

As whistleblower and NSW Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox tweeted earlier today: ‘ Is “PRAISE” the right word when at the 11th Hr & about to be exposed they plea guilty’.

More contrition, more reform, more ‘healing’. We’ve heard it all before. And yes, this time it could be real, but so what? If it walks like a criminal organisation, and talks like a criminal organisation . . .

Posted in Commentary child abuse | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Shut up and play nice: how the western world is limiting free speech

Posted by Secular on December 12, 2012

One of our Facebook followers alerted us to an article in the Washington Post, which describes how the ‘. . . decline of free speech has come not from any single blow but rather from thousands of paper cuts of well-intentioned exceptions designed to maintain social harmony.’ In particular, it cites a comment by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her speech earlier this year before the United Nations: “Our tolerance must never extend to tolerating religious hatred.” The problem, there, is that we see a very broad interpretation of a once basic word, ‘hatred’.

This article is two months old, but is too valuable to ignore.

Posted in Commentary freedom of expression | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Compass Special: churches on trial

Posted by Secular on December 10, 2012

Screening tomorrow evening, ‘. . . a truly extraordinary 20 year overview that reveals Australia’s shifting attitude to what was once an utterly taboo subject. . .’ This program will be examining the abuse and cover-ups in Australian churches, and presents new research linking child sexual abuse and suicide.

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

Doha climate talks end with a whimper

Posted by Secular on December 9, 2012

Hopes dashed as UN talks in Qatar end with a weakened plan that will fail to address the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, and does not commit to giving any real assistance to poorer nations.

‘Kyoto would have expired at the end of 2012 without an extension. The nations pulling out – Russia, Japan and Canada – say it is meaningless to take on new targets when emerging nations have none. And Washington never ratified the pact.’

Posted in Commentary climate change | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gonski and the Catholic education authorities

Posted by Secular on December 7, 2012

Not 100% in line with our policies, but nevertheless an article offering some very interesting insights into the accountability of the funding arrangements with Catholic education authorities (or rather, lack thereof). Nicholas Reece finds that Catholic school funding is not based on need, with the elite schools getting the lion’s share, and as for attempts to make the system accountable: ‘. . . a recent review of these elite Catholic schools by former Productivity Commission economist and public education advocate Trevor Cobbold found the claims by the Catholic education authorities were “misleading and untrue”.’

Please also refer to our policy on education funding.

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

Secular voices fight to be heard in Egypt

Posted by Secular on December 7, 2012

7 December 2012

Media Release

After the decades long inexorable rise in global Islamism, we may be reaching a turning point. For the first time in a Muslim country, we are now seeing open and specifically secular opposition to an Islamist government. In Egypt, a “unified secular opposition” is voicing its opposition to the imposition of an Islamic constitution.

The stakes are high. Islamic constitutions effectively prohibit secularism and mandate sharia law. Inexplicably, this is just what the post-invasion constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan have done. The inevitable result will be religious oppression, and social and economic disruption and stagnation.

The beliefs of all religions are contradicted by reason and evidence. The privileges granted to religions are thus not justified. In democracies we can say this. In Muslim countries it cannot be said. We should offer our support to those in Egypt fighting for this basic freedom.

John Perkins
President, Secular Party.
PO Box 6004, Melbourne 8008.
Tel 0411 143744

See News item:
http://www.smh.com.au/world/tanks-deploy-outside-egypt-presidential-palace-20121206-2axwt.html


© 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 Islam, Media Releases | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Opting out of religion only way in to ethics

Posted by Secular on December 5, 2012

NSW: With each success in the fight for ethics classes in public schools, the O’Farrell government dreams up a new impediment. Here’s the latest: ‘Parents will not be told of the availability of ethics classes in their school until after they have opted out of special religious education, or scripture, under changes to be adopted by the state government.’ That’s right — not only will you have to opt out of SRE, but the fact that an alternative exists will be a deep, dark secret.

Well, I guess we should all do our best to shout the news from the rooftops!

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

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 »