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← Australia's blurred separation between church and state

Macropus's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Macropus

In 2001, Australian politics took a rightward turn and in 2006 the conservative Howard government decided that the state should pay for religion in public schools. Thus was born the National School Chaplaincy Programme. There are almost 3,000 such chaplains in Australian public schools, and the programme is expanding under the Labor government.

Both the Conservative (ironically called "Liberal" here) and Labor parties in Australia are dominated by their Christian (largely Catholic) right wings and matters of church - state separation are going from bad to worse.

We actually have a Prime Minister who is open about her atheism but toes the conservative line at every opportunity. She has announced her intention to vote against gay marriage in parliament later this year. She is opposed to the introduction of voluntary euthanasia and the removal of tax exemptions for religions. She supports the public school chaplaincy programme introduced by her conservative opponents.

This is what it is to have an atheist head of government who is terrified of offending religion. Granted, she's on a political knife-edge with a tiny majority, but she knows she will lose the next election anyway, and should be supporting these long-overdue reforms. At least she would have something to show for six otherwise undistinguished years in government.

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 04:58:41 UTC | #938286