Articles: General

Even when the pioneering world-shattering Universal Declaration of Human Rights was being drawn up, the evidence was there. States involved in drafting it were often more interested in preserving their historical customs, religions, power, prejudice and convenience, at the expense of ensuring truly genuine, equal enjoyment by all citizens of the rights that they were advocating. We are part of a political revolution: one that is failing badly throughout the world. To bring about a humanist/human rights revolution much needs to be done.
The US constitution provides for separation of church and state. Their government is restricted from promoting, endorsing or funding groups simply because of their religious beliefs. US citizens are among the most religious people in the world This is based on the principle that whereas preferential treatment of religious beliefs by the state (state accommodation of religion) emphasises difference by treating specific groups differently, separation provides fairness by promoting equal opportunity for all to practice their Beliefs. This separation of church and state enhances the diversity of belief in American life. This is just one of the reasons for having a separation of church and state in Australia.
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ('UDHR') provides that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to practice their religious or other beliefs. This latter right is subject to limitation by government in the interests of public health, security and morals, and protection of the rights of others.
Australian and New Zealand democracy is compromised by religion's place in the government. They share a head of state who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England in England. This article details how the influence of Christianity in government makes Australia and New Zealand soft theocracies, rather than fully realised democracies.
The major opposition to legalising medically assisted dying comes traditionally from religious institutions and individuals. Despite decreasing membership, sustained and ever-growing demand for the legal right to die with dignity, including the right to seek voluntary assisted dying (VAD), churches still retain great influence in the political world.