Catch up on the latest Australian secular news and views with the National Secular Lobby’s Weekend Wrap for 7 August 2022.
We recognise that the right to freedom of religion or belief entails state neutrality in matters of religion. That is, the people should enjoy both freedom of religious belief and practice and freedom from imposed religious doctrine and practice.
Recognition of both the freedom to hold or practice a religion or belief, and freedom from the imposition of religious ideas and practices on others thus raises the need for a secular state; a clear and effective separation of religious influence on state activity, often called ‘separation of church and state’.
We hold that Australia is currently a ‘soft theocracy’; that is, the state favours religious institutions through taxpayer-funded grants, tax exemptions, as well as exceptions to discrimination law, and religious influence in law-making.
Members of Care Leavers of Australia Network protest against the Red Mass outside the Catholic Cathedral in Melbourne 2021. The Red Mass is a religious ritual held each year to bless the start of the legal year. It is attended by many judges, barristers and other legal officers, many wearing wigs and gowns.