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Rationalist Society plan for a secular Australia

The Rationalist Society of Australia is the oldest freethought group in Australia, promoting reason since 1906.
The RSA has formulated a 'Ten-point plan for a Secular Australia', in connection with the visit of Sean Faircloth to Australia, including to Perth - see below.

The Humanist Society of WA is collaborating with RSA to organise the visit, particularly th ePerth event on April 2.

We think that most Humanists would support the following RSA '10-point plan'.

1) RSA and its allies support a secular, pluralistic and democratic Australia

  • Government policies should be based on evidence, reason and compassion, and protect the human rights of all Australians
  • Everyone should be free to choose and hold their own religious or non-religious worldviews, provided they do not impose such views on others, and provided practices associated with such worldviews do no harm.

Parliaments and Government
2) There must be clear separation between religion and the State
  • All Australian constitutions should be reformed to ensure clear separation between religion and the State, and all references to God removed
  • Religious references in statutory oaths and pledges should be removed, and parliamentary prayers replaced with non-religious observances
  • No laws made by parliaments nor decisions of executive government should privilege or promote religion.

The Law
3) There must be ‘one law for all’, with no recognition of parallel legal systems
  • Religious institutions should not be permitted to exempt themselves from the law of the land. Canon law must not take precedence over Australian law
  • Sharia courts should not be officially recognised
  • There should be mandatory reporting of serious crimes by all professionals, including religious functionaries.

4) Religious organisations must be subject to the same laws as other organisations
  • The ‘advancement of religion’ should be removed from the statutory definition of charity, and religious organisations should not enjoy automatic tax exempt status
  • Religious organisations should be subject to anti-discrimination laws in employment and service provision
  • Government funding to religious organisations such as schools and hospitals should be subject to rigorous accountability to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws and the absence of proselytising.

5) Education must be strictly secular, not promoting any particular religion
  • National and state curricula should include the study of a range of religious and non-religious worldviews, taught by professionally trained teachers
  • Government resources should not be used to support particular religious views, programs of religious instruction, or the employment of religious functionaries in educational settings.

Sex and Sexuality
6) There must be no discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex, sexuality or gender identity
  • Australian governments should not impose a religious bias on the definition of marriage, or on the right to adopt.

7) There must be freedom of reproductive choice, with no religious interference
  • Termination of pregnancy should be decriminalised in all States and Territories
  • Governments should make access to evidence-based sexual and reproductive health information and healthcare services universally available
  • Age-appropriate sex and relationships education should be included in national and state curricula.

8) Healthcare must be available to all regardless of the religious views of the provider
  • Public hospitals must not be allowed to restrict treatment on the basis of religious worldviews
  • Private hospitals must not refuse emergency treatment on the basis of religious worldviews.

9) Children must not suffer because of the religious views of their parents
  • Decisions about children’s healthcare should be based on evidence-based medicine, not the religious worldviews of their parents
  • No organisation, whether religious or not, should be allowed to restrict children’s education or to isolate them within closed communities.

Dying with Dignity
10) When facing the end of life, everyone must be guaranteed control over their own bodies, free from religious interference
  • ‘Advance directives’ should be given legal force
  • Physician-assisted suicide, with appropriate safeguards, should be decriminalised
  • Governments should fund non-religious palliative care services.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Presidents Report October 4, 2013 2:57 PM anonymous
INTRODUCTION TO THE HUMANISTS July 9, 2013 10:14 PM anonymous
President of the Humanist Society of WA April 26, 2013 4:18 PM anonymous
EVENT REPORT: Sean Faircloth Tour April 25, 2013 7:57 PM anonymous
useful web links for Humanists January 30, 2013 2:52 PM anonymous
Rationalist Society plan for a secular Australia January 30, 2013 2:22 PM anonymous
WA Humanists: How are we doing? December 18, 2012 10:09 AM anonymous
Constitution of the Humanist Society of WA January 19, 2013 4:22 PM anonymous
Humanism in brief – a personal view November 15, 2012 12:50 PM anonymous
Bookclub Books - Scheduled and Under Consideration March 12, 2015 10:53 PM anonymous
Explaining and defending Humanism September 10, 2012 9:26 PM anonymous
Constitutional recognition for Aboriginal People August 23, 2012 10:28 PM anonymous

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