Latest Articles

Media release: RSA calls for an end to religious discrimination in WA school chaplaincy

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is calling on Western Australia’s Education Minister Sue Ellery to put an end to ...
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Commissioner raises concern over religious discrimination in WA school chaplaincy program

The head of Western Australia’s Equal Opportunity Commission has expressed his concern about religious discrimination taking place in the hiring ...
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Letter: RSA calls for proposed inquiry to go beyond Church of Scientology

Today, the Rationalist Society of Australia has written a letter to Andrew Leigh MP, the Labor spokesperson on charities, calling ...
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Christian Right’s agenda has ‘shades of Handmaid’s Tale’, says church leader

The fallout from a controversial conference appears to have widened a schism between conservative and moderate forces in the Christian ...
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Analysis: Why Labor should resist calls to appease ‘religious vote’

The dust had hardly settled on federal Labor’s election loss in May of 2019 before some parliamentary members and former ...
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Media release: Labor should protect women by rejecting ‘disastrous’ bill

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is urging the federal Labor Party to stand up for women at its Special ...
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Labor’s Senator O’Neill seeking a bipartisan approach on Religious Discrimination Bill

Elements within federal Labor are seeking a bipartisan approach with the Morrison government on the Religious Discrimination Bill. Senator Deborah ...
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Religious Discrimination Bill becoming a “more pressing” priority, says Stoker

Introducing the Religious Discrimination Bill to parliament has become a “more pressing” priority for the Morrison government as the country ...
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High school student frustrated

Labor policy platform sends mixed signals on religious schools’ exemptions

In speeches to parliament in late 2018, federal Labor members appeared just as surprised and angered as the public upon ...
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Christensen vows another fight on abortions to remove federal funds

Conservative MP George Christensen has pledged to fight to remove federal funding that goes towards abortions but first has his ...
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Religious Discrimination Bill needed to ‘draw a line in the sand’, says Christensen

Conservative government MP George Christensen is hopeful that new religious discrimination laws can “draw a line in the sand” for ...
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Religious freedom is not under ‘frontal attack’, says former Prime Minister John Howard

  Former Prime Minister John Howard has rejected suggestions that religious freedom is under attack in Australia, warning that such ...
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‘Compromise’ draft of Religious Discrimination Bill is ready, says government MP

The divisive Religious Discrimination Bill could soon be making a comeback to the national political debate, with one senior government ...
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Taking a calculator to morality.

Some, like Barney Zwartz (Senior Fellow of the Centre for Public Christianity), are of the opinion that there can be ...
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From the President – December 2020

Australia has traditionally been wary of mixing religion and politics. Unlike the US, we don’t require our political candidates to ...
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A Shott in the Dark

Recently, a reader wrote to the RSA asking for a critique of the following passage from an essay, by the ...
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On the Indoctrination of Children

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26 (3) says, "Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of ...
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Andrews government ‘turning a blind eye’ to schools discrimination

RSA board member Luke Beck weighs in on the overtly discriminatory National School Chaplaincy program. Source: The Sunday Age, 11 ...
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Why assisted dying opponents don’t mention Switzerland

Blog by Neil Francis Posted on Sunday 4th October 2020 at 4:13am There's a good reason why assisted dying opponents don't ...
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Hiding

Catholics behind-the-scenes 

A friend pointed out to me an opinion piece published this week in MercatorNet that slams Victoria's voluntary assisted dying ...
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How the religious hide their true identity

If you're wondering how religious the organised opposition to voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law reform is, current ructions in Tasmania ...
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Use of Voluntary Assisted Dying by Minors

RSA Fellow Neil Francis shows that the use of VAD by minors does happen in the four countries where it ...
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Be reasonable

“You can’t cancel me”

Helen Pluckrose is fighting against an authoritarian intellectual revolution intolerant of dissent. By ROSEMARY NEILL From Review September 10, 2020 Author Helen ...
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Morrison making religion a critical skill should grate, but there is a silver lining

Like many of the increasing number of non-religious in Australia, I was outraged when I first learned that ‘religion and ...
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Demand for non-religious ‘chaplains’ growing

Humanists Victoria and the ACT Humanist Society (ACTHS) have jointly released initial results from their survey of people’s preferences for ...
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Submission: Cannabis Use in Victoria

Inquiry into the use of Cannabis in Victoria Submission to the Legal and Social Affairs Committee  of the Legislative Council ...
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Submission: NSW Religious Freedoms bill 2020

Joint Select Committee on the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020 Parliament House Sydney  NSW   2000 By ...
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Terminal sedation vs voluntary assisted dying

Terminal sedation and voluntary assisted dying (VAD) are different approaches to the management of the approximately 5% of dying patients ...
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Surging Australian support for VAD includes the religious

A recent article in The Guardian reports that most Queensland churchgoers support voluntary assisted dying (VAD), citing a recent YouGov poll commissioned ...
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New Zealand End-of-Life Choice Referendum

In September 2020, New Zealanders vote in a referendum to approve their End of Life Choice Act. As Australians, we ...
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Do you need God to be good?

A new study by the Pew Center, the Global God Divide, shows large variations across countries when people are asked ...
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Letter to the Editor: It’s Time to Stand Up

The Editor The Age It's Time to Stand Up It is ironic that the conservatives who responded to the much-discussed ...
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JobKeeper payments for priests. Is it unlawful?

Priests receiving payments under the federal government's JobKeeper scheme – and passing on some of those funds to the church ...
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Submission: Inquiry into Implementation of the National Redress Scheme

Committee Secretariat Implementation of the National Redress Scheme By email: redress@aph.gov.au 23 May 2020 Dear Committee, The Rationalist Society is ...
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An illusion of choice

Some parts of the world are beginning to step outside their homes and reintegrate themselves with their communities, guarded by ...
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God give us strength: Morrison’s faith is a national problem

While Scott Morrison’s religiosity is well known, the fact that he’s using it to dictate policy and navigate crisis should ...
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Aussie Freethought Groups Fight Religious Discrimination Bill

Source: The Friendly Atheist In the wake of public consultations around Australia’s shockingly ill-considered religious discrimination bill, groups of concerned Australian ...
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Thinking about thinking helps kids learn. How can we teach critical thinking?

This article was authored by RSA Fellow Peter Ellerton, and originally appeared in The Conversation, 28th January 2020, read it ...
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Opening remarks to the Ruddock Inquiry

The Rationalist Society of Australia is an independent not-for-profit association, founded in 1906. Relevant to this Inquiry are some of ...
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When Queensland pushes back on assisted dying, it ignores violent alternatives

Are Queenslanders happy for the elderly to sleep with a "loaded firearm" beneath their pillow? Source: When Queensland pushes back ...
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11 ways to fix the much-maligned Religious Discrimination Bill

The following article originally appeared in The Big Smoke 23 October 2019. Many groups are opposed to Christian Porter’s bill, ...
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Blatant untruths for political ends

Judy Dent's husband, Bob Dent, was the first person to take advantage of the Northern Territory's Rights of the Terminally Ill ...
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Fire in Frame: to solve climate change, first remove the politics

People typically don't voluntarily jump out of a third storey building unless, of course, it is on fire. Framing of ...
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Submission: On the Religious Discrimination bill, by Luke Beck

Luke Beck is a Fellow of the Rationalist Society of Australia. An Associate Professor at Monash University, Luke specialises in ...
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Submission: On the Religious Discrimination bill, by Stella Thomas

Stella Thomas is an RSA member from South Australia. A parent who has long advocated freedom from religion for her ...
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Submission: Religious Discrimination bill

In August 2019, the federal Attorney-General Christian Porter released a package of bills collectively known as the Religious Freedom Bills: ...
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Kyle Sandilands (Among Others) Gets it Wrong

Sydney ''Shock Jock'' Kyle Sandilands has upset Christians and Muslims by wrongly claiming on air that Jesus’ mother Mary lied ...
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Should RSA tolerate climate change deniers?

In September 2019, the university-backed news website, The Conversation, decided it would no longer tolerate climate change denial comments on ...
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Religious Discrimination bill has problems …

Steve Martin interviews Meredith Doig on ABC Ballarat Steve Martin from ABC Ballarat interviews Meredith Doig on the Religious Discrimination ...
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We Should be Promoting Truth, not Protecting Myth

Last week the Government introduced draft legislation that aims “to eliminate discrimination against persons on the ground of religious belief ...
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Blasphemy Laws

Rationality Rules is a video channel produced by UK-based Stephen Woodford. In this episode, Stephen takes a swipe at countries ...
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Occasional Paper: Religion & Society

The Ruddock Inquiry found there is no great problem with the state of religious freedom in this country. Nevertheless, the ...
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Is there room for religious bigotry in business?

As hard as it is to admit it, exclusion is a part of a multicultural country. Considering we’re all religious ...
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Proposing Weak Naturalism

Original article can be found here: https://infidels.org/kiosk/article/proposing-weak-naturalism-940.html As far as we know, the natural world is all there is. By ...
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Dr Rodney Syme AM

RSA Patron and euthanasia advocate Dr Rodney Syme, who has spent decades lobbying for voluntary assisted dying, has been made ...
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Letter: Freedom of the press in an open society

Hon. Scott Morrison Prime Minister Parliament House Canberra ACT. 7 June 2019 Dear Prime Minister Re: Freedom of the press ...
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Reinvent democracy or face its sure decline

Today is federal election day. I assume almost everyone reading this piece will be voting. In Australia, such voting is ...
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Cancer, and the science of a very human war

The Morrison government announced plans to channel 80 million into Melbournes Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to make its cutting-edge treatment ...
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Inside the Near Meltdown of the #Feminist Tour in Australia

A rowdy crowd, an attempt to suppress the video via a legal threat, and ongoing controversy over the host — ...
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Reading, writing, arithmetic — and religion 

On the ABC's God Forbid program, an exploration of funding for Australian schools: government schools, independent schools and Catholic schools ...
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Petition: Replace the Lord’s Prayer

The Rationalist Society of Australia is calling on Victorians to show their support for replacing the Anglican Lord's Prayer with ...
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How John Lennox distorts the facts

This is article orginally posted in 2014. John Lennox: "Eliminating the Impossible: Can a Scientist believe the Resurrection?" ABC Religion ...
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RSA congratulates Michael and Johan

Exactly 50 years to the day since they first met, former High Court judge Michael Kirby marries his longtime partner ...
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Photograph of Dr Meredith Doig, smiling, wearing red jacket, in front of microphone.

The Canadian Atheist interviews Dr Meredith Doig

Source: Interview with Dr. Meredith Doig, OAM – President, Rationalist Society of Australia | Canadian Atheist Dr. Meredith Doig, OAM ...
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Is religious freedom under threat?

Ruddock recommends a Religious Discrimination Act In response to the passage of equal marriage legislation, the Ruddock Review concluded Australia ...
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MEDIA RELEASE – Rationalist Society on religious freedom review

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LAWS SHOULD BE A SHIELD, NOT A SWORD Today’s Government support for the Ruddock Review into religious freedom ...
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The five rules for civil engagement

There seems to be an extraordinary amount of confusion around these days regarding freedom of speech in our universities and ...
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Government orders states to maintain complaints register for school chaplains

Critics have welcomed changes but say they do not address the fact schools cannot hire secular pastoral care workers. Source: The ...
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Submission: Faith-based schools and discrimination

Legislative exemptions that allow faith-based educational institutions to discriminate against students, teachers and staff Submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References ...
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World Federation of Right to Die Societies

Open Letter to Pope Francis

Geneva, November 2018 OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS In July 2015 the World Federation of Right to Die Societies (WFRtDS) ...
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Do we need laws to protect religious freedom? 

From Radio National: Do we need new laws to protect religious freedom in Australia? Source: The Roundtable - Sunday Extra ...
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RSA Patron Michael Kirby on religious freedoms

Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to release a review of religious freedoms conducted by former Attorney General ...
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my life, my choice

Doctors challenge religionists by providing VAD

RSA Patron Dr Rodney Syme explains why for years he's been challenging the law by helping patients end their lives ...
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The supposed failure of liberal centrism is anything but.

So often nowadays we hear that liberal-centrism has failed and that we need to look to ‘radical, new’ ideas for ...
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Media release: Hillsong a global business empire

Hillsong Church becoming a separate official denomination in its own right and withdrawing from the Australian Christian Churches should be ...
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Confucius Institutes say you must stick with Xi Jinping

Last December, the federal government put four bills before parliament framed to head off foreign interference in this country's institutions ...
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Majority support separating government and religion

Source: 53% of Australians approve of constitutional amendment to separate government and religion – Dr Adrian Beaumont The NSW Rationalists ...
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Bigotry is bad business, so why not let the consumer decide?

Take a drive along any arterial road in Australia and you’re likely to pass dwellings dedicated to various deities with ...
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Letter: to Scott Morrison upon becoming PM

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP Prime Minister Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600.   10 September 2018   Dear Prime Minister, ...
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Catholic Archbishop attacked over ‘misleading’ email on abortion Bill

THE Archdiocese of Brisbane has been slammed for distributing “misleading” information about proposed abortion laws across the southeast, including to ...
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Truck in logging site

Letter: Ensuring Basic Religious Charities are aware of their legal obligations

Dear ACNC, We write regarding Diwan Al Dawla, an unincorporated body registered as a Basic Religious Charity with the ACNC ...
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Rationalists support Leyonhjelm’s libertarian agenda – this time

15 August 2018 Rationalist Society of Australia Inc. Rationalists support Leyonhjelm’s libertarian agenda - this time. The Senate is now ...
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Submission: Reconsidering Standing Order 50 on Parliamentary Prayers

Submission from The Rationalist Society of Australia Written by Hugh Harris, board member, and Dr Meredith Doig, president, of the ...
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Western civilisation: A primer for willing readers

The recent stand-off between the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation and our most prestigious universities is a disturbing symptom ...
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Five principles of freedom of religion

The release of Philip Ruddock’s report to Malcolm Turnbull into the principles that should govern religious freedom in this country ...
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School chaplain program’s $247m budget extension rejected

Source: The Guardian The Australian Education Union has joined a chorus of secular groups in opposing the Coalition’s decision to ...
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Flying Spaghetti Monster to the rescue

RSA President Dr Meredith Doig plays with Tom Ballard on the ABC's comedy channel.  ...
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Paul Monk: On Western Civilization

  Dr Paul Monk is a poet, polymath and highly regarded Australian public intellectual. He has written an extraordinary range of ...
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Women v. Religion: The Case Against Faith … and for Freedom

Book Review, written by Teresa Roberts With a bold title like Women v. Religion: The Case Against Faith… and for ...
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Case Study of Proselytising by the comment tab

Introducing Humanism: Non-Religious Approaches to Life   Humanists UK A review by RSA Member Deb Campbell. This course was a curious ...
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Religious Public Holidays

Discussion has flared up in Australia about what sorts of days should be celebrated and marked with public holiday status ...
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Secular groups call for review of ‘blatantly discriminatory’ school chaplains program

Call comes after push by Luke Howarth and other Coalition MPs to expand the scheme.  Critics say only religious people are ...
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Freethought leaders seek Inquiry into Religious Discrimination

The Australian Human Rights Commission has rejected out of hand a request by multiple freethought groups for an Inquiry into ...
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Religious freedom must not be a green light to discriminate

Source: Sydney Morning Herald (13 March 2018) - Religious freedom must not be a green light to discriminate As it ...
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A barrister’s submission to the Ruddock Inquiry

Dean Stretton is a barrister at the NSW Bar. His submission to the Ruddock Inquiry is a model of clear ...
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2018: drawing a line against prejudice, privilege and power

Source: The Age (8 January 2018) - 2018: a year that draws a line against prejudice, privilege and power ... the religious ...
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my life, my choice

Voluntary assisted dying bill an historic opportunity

The final wish of my grandparents to have power over their own deaths and dying is finally within sight. Source: ...
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Religious ‘leaders’ determined to alienate their flocks

Anglican and Catholic bishops seem to be going out of their way to alienate their constituencies, including in respect of ...
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Religious Freedom Champions Should Be Careful

Religious liberty should not become a Trojan horse for perpetuating certain views. Source: Huffington Post Australia Hugh Harris By invoking ...
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Media release: Call for trial of medically supervised injecting centre

Download Joint Media Release Supporting Trial MSIC In Victoria here ...
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Joint statement supporting a medically supervised injecting centre

Download full Joint Statement supporting a MSIC Trial. Joint statement supporting a medically supervised injecting centre trial in Victoria The Rationalist ...
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Surgery to make intersex children ‘normal’ should be banned

Source: The Conversation Travis Wisdom & Cornelia Koch Questions in the proposed new citizenship test that address family violence, child marriage and ...
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The message in the Census: End Australia’s Christian bias

Australia's religious pluralism makes our nation's tendency to privilege the Christian faith all the more problematic. Source: The Age, The ...
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Warning: Scripture replaced by new type of theism

Source: Warning Scripture replaced by new type of Theism - » The Australian Independent Media Network “Morality cannot be derived ...
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Open Letter to CEO of the Catholic Truth, Justice and Healing Council

This open letter is in response to the “Where to From Here?” speech given by Francis Sullivan, CEO of the ...
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Christianity no longer a central part of Australian life

LAST week, in the lead up to Easter, there were the usual reminders that celebrating Easter proves the influence of ...
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Jacqui Lambie Gets Everyday Aussies. The Turnbull Government Does Not.

Lambie's words were the opposite of what we have come to expect from politicians. They were honest, heartfelt, compassionate, and ...
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Let Ayaan Hirsi Ali speak on Islam

Attempts are being made to stop Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali airing her views critical of Islam in Australia. As an ...
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Submission: Inquiry into Drug Law Reform

Inquiry terms of reference The Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee of the Victorian Parliament is to inquire into: The effectiveness ...
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Islam not an exception in liberal society

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is coming to ­Australia soon to speak about ­reforming traditional Islam and confronting militant Islam. There are ...
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Enforce company tax, don’t browbeat welfare recipients

Tackling global tax avoidance requires long-term vision, but it's what Australia needs, writes former RSA board member Chris Fotinopoulos. Source: Enforce ...
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The danger of being swamped by confident idiots

The Trump phenomenon and the influence of One Nation on local politics highlight how irrational beliefs seem to be shaping ...
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Are you a progressive?

Dave Rubin is a former stand up comedian who now hosts a very successful interview series called The Rubin Report ...
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Dr Meredith Doig, President of the Rationalist Society, receives Medal of the Order of Australia

Dr Meredith Doig, President of the Rationalist Society of Australia, has been admitted to the Medal (OAM) of the Order ...
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Fundamentalist Islam and rise of alt-right go hand-in-hand

One Nation’s second incarnation reflects a global mood of concern with Islamism and jihadism. Pollsters from the major parties have ...
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Scientology Personality Test Postscript – Brisbane

Rationalist board member Hugh Harris continues his search for meaning ... Source: Scientology Personality Test Postscript - Brisbane - Rational ...
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It’s Advance Australia Fair, Not Fair-Skinned

Best enjoy the light and colour that diversity transmits. Source: HuffPo: It's Advance Australia Fair, Not Fair-Skinned A hand-written sign with ...
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Scientology says I have no real reason to live

Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical practitioners who offer treatments for mental illness, Scientology escapes regulation because it offers services ...
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Submission: Senate Committee on the draft of the Same Sex Marriage bill

Select Committee on Same Sex Marriage Parliament House Canberra By email: samesex.marriage.sen@aph.gov.au Submission: to the Senate Select Committee on the ...
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In defence of Santa

By now, the elves are wrapping the toys. The reindeers are running test flights. Santa is busy double-checking Xmas lists, ...
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Let’s encourage religious devotion in the public realm

Australian suburban shopping centres are places where people from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds are free to peruse, shop and dream ...
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Dutton Needs To Sing A Different Tune This Christmas

He is political incorrectness gone mad. Source: Dutton Needs To Sing A Different Tune This Christmas I've heard of Christmas ...
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AMA Position Statement on Voluntary Assisted Dying

In November 2016, the Australian Medical Association, which represents about a third of medicos in this country, updated its Position ...
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Submission: on Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act

Pursuant to the section 7(c) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, on 8 November 2016 the Attorney-General referred ...
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US election: like Rome and Athens, the great republic teeters

The original models for modern constitutional democracies were the republics of Athens and Rome. They failed to keep their constitutions ...
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Letter: Great Offense at Gay Marriage

From time to time we get unsolicited letters relating to one or other of our campaigns or policy stances. This ...
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Permission to josh Muslims would aid understanding, tolerance

The debate about section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act finds its most troubling and sensitive reference point when it ...
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Cyber Reality Check

Paul Monk reviews Oliver Stone's film Snowden and recommends a reality check. Source: Biggest cyber danger: stuff-ups On Wednesday, The Australian led ...
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The Passing of Desmond Ball

As with many of those who die of cancer, the death of Desmond Ball this week did not come as ...
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Malcolm Roberts: defining his nonsense

Angry white men and the movement that's been defined as "Organised Pseudo-legal Commercial Argument" (OPCA). Delusional nonsense, really, but it ...
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Beginning of the End for Bible Classes?

Rationalist Hugh Harris thinks Queensland might beat New South Wales in the race to end proselytising in government schools. Who ...
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Left puts bigotry on a pedestal

What does it mean, these days, when someone says their politics are “left-wing” or “progressive”? Source: Left puts bigotry on ...
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Why walking out on bigots is a bad idea

Sections 18C/D read like they were written by a parent who wants to be seen as stern yet laidback. Source: ...
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Letter: Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Bill

The Hon. Jill Hennessy Minister for Health Victorian Parliament. [space height="30"] 13 September 2016 [space height="30"] Dear Minister,   The ...
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Trying To Silence Unwelcome Views Only Perpetuates Them

Give bigots their right to speak. Source: Trying To Silence Unwelcome Views Only Perpetuates Them If parliament legislates for free ...
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Fearing men in schools will do more harm than good

RSA board member Chris Fotinopoulos urges our finest, gifted men to enter teaching. "Our boys need you more than ever." ...
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Militant Islam threatens liberty

We need to keep clearly in mind the distinctions between race and religion, religion and fanaticism. Islam is a religion ...
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Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion

As a woman and a rationalist, I have found it hard to understand the plight of women who continue to believe ...
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Ancient Philosophy for Modern Life

Philosophy lessons of the ancients relevant to our globalised, information age. Source: Five Books: Jules Evans recommends the best books ...
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Are we asking the wrong questions on Dying With Dignity?

Television producer and performer Andrew Denton has provided us all with some useful and important information about voluntary euthanasia in ...
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Free Speech and 18C: A Rationalist’s Perspective

With conservatives and libertarians leading yet another campaign to degrade racial discrimination protections, Dr Meredith Doig weighs in with an ...
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Abortion from a woman’s perspective

I’VE had two abortions in my life and known many other women who’ve had abortions. None has regretted them; none ...
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Muslims in the West must reject al-Azhar imam’s apostasy views

About six weeks ago, in a televised address during Ramadan, the leading Muslim cleric in Egypt, Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam ...
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On abortion, even God more permissive than our laws

FOUR in five Queenslanders, according to a 2009 Auspoll survey, want to change the archaic 1899 state law which makes ...
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Just Not On Census Night …

In our democracy, religion does pick the pocket of taxpayers. Source: My Neighbour Can Say There Are 20 Gods Or ...
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The Census cares what you believe

Tuesday’s national census can help restore religious freedom, particular if Australians who have ‘no religion’ tick the correct box, writes ...
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Hugh Harris takes on Rev. Michael Jensen

For the many Australians who once identified as Christians but have 'lapsed' in their churchgoing, the Census provides a chance ...
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We should see Islam as a religious, not a racial issue

In the wake of the atrocity in Nice, television presenter Sonia Kruger, like many of us, felt emotionally convulsed. She ...
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Waleed Aly must step up on Muslim free speech at Voltaire Award

On July 23, Waleed Aly will be presented with the Voltaire Award for free speech from Liberty Victoria. It would ...
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Connect religious instruction says vampires fake but Bible is fact

Connect religious instruction outlines the contest for kid's souls. Source: Connect religious instruction says vampires fake but Bible is fact ...
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Why I’m Running For The Australian Sex Party

I'm standing for the Senate in the upcoming Federal election; not for one of the major parties, but for the ...
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Hunting Little Souls: The Vampires of Religious Instruction

The religious right have had plenty of say on Safe Schools. Their response is strangely muted when it comes to religious instruction ...
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Media Release: Christians now in minority in Australia

 A new poll shows that 45% of Australians now say they are not religious and less than half say they ...
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The social cost of religious freedom

Conservative religious groups need to respect views on sexuality that run counter to their own, just as they demand the ...
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Sex Party’s ‘truly spectacular’ would-be senator Meredith Doig unveiled at clothing-optional launch

Brunswick Street bar on site of a sly grog shop was an ideal venue, but party to kickstart senate campaign ...
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Horrifying Scripture classes planned for Qld schools

This semester's planned religious instruction classes ask 10-year-old's to act out a beheading. Source: The horrifying religious instruction classes planned ...
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The Church and its weakening grip over Telstra and taxes

Whether it's pressuring Telstra over same-sex marriage or receiving tax breaks, organised religion has enjoyed a fair amount of power ...
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churches exempt from many taxes

Australians against giving religions tax free status

A new poll by market research firm Ipsos has found that only 19.5 per cent of Australians are in favour ...
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churches exempt from many taxes

Media Release: Australians oppose religions’ tax free status

A poll by market research firm Ipsos has found that only 19.5 per cent of Australians are in favour of ...
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Queensland law should reflect public support for abortion

Queensland law should reflect public support for abortion. Source: Queensland law should reflect public support for abortion Nearly one in ...
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Law should reflect support for abortion

It's hard to believe terminating pregnancy remains a crime. Source: Law should reflect support for abortion Nearly one in three ...
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Tax on religious organisations

Australians are strongly opposed to the tax-exempt status of religious organisations. Source: Tax on religious organisations According to a poll ...
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Religion’s tax break is a cross we shouldn’t have to bear

Religious groups are not taxable. No wonder there’s no transparency in how their billions of dollars are spent. Source: Religion's ...
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End The Safe Schools Hysteria

As the Turnbull Government guts an anti-bullying program in our schools, Hugh Harris wonders why no-one is focussed on a ...
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churches exempt from many taxes

Religion continues its free ride without our blessing 

The majority of Australians say church and state should be separate, yet religion continues to be privileged in our society ...
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The Resurrection of Jesus: Explaining the Historical Facts

Christianity stands or falls on the historical events surrounding the first Easter. If there was no resurrection then the Christian ...
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Religious Instruction in Queensland schools is discriminatory

When I found out my eight-year-old had been taught at school that there's no God, I was shocked. Source: Religious ...
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my life, my choice

Duty and Courage

The Editor, The Age Dear Sir, Progress in human affairs has always been achieved by the courageous. Think Martin Luther ...
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John Howard’s Christian Right Feels Silenced, And They’re Telling Anyone Who’ll Listen

Hugh Harris takes up the former Prime Minister’s latest intervention into the debate around religion and politics. Source: John Howard’s ...
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SRI is inane, but comparative religion is impotent

Only a faith that moves can re-energise the cultural vitality of Christianity in a post-Christian climate. Fluffy values with a ...
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Moving “No Religion” 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will change the census form to put the 'no religion' option at the top of ...
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The war over “no religion” on the 2016 Australian Census

Next year's census has been reformatted. Some think it will provide a more accurate snapshot of Australia’s religious make-up; others ...
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Census change: Is Australia losing its religion?

Next year's Census has a very subtle edit that may completely change the way Australia sees itself and have drastic ...
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Business leader in new position as Sex Party candidate

Meredith Doig has extensive experience on corporate boards, university councils and federal government advisory groups. All of which makes her ...
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Progressive voters flock to Sex Party

RATIONALIST Society of Australia president Meredith Doig has her sights set on attracting progressive voters at the Polwarth by-election. Source: ...
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Billboards ridiculing aspects of Christianity and Islam rejected

BILLBOARDS ridiculing Christian communion wafers and asking if people can flush the Koran down the toilet have been rejected by ...
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Religion in Schools – Sunday Nights – (ABC)

Controversy over special religious education or instruction in schools is boiling over again. Are kids getting the right kind of ...
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Slurs Are A Poor Counterfeit For Reason

There's a subtle but crucial difference between respecting the beliefs of others, and respecting their right to hold those beliefs ...
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Confessions of a state school traitor

Teachers are abandoning their state school because the state school sector has abandoned them. I know, because I am one ...
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Let Them Stay

9 February 2016 The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600 Dear Prime Minister As you are aware, ...
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churches exempt from many taxes

Only The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Know Why Advancing Religion Is Still Tax-Free

Jesus was quite clear on the question of tax, famously advising the Jews to render unto Caesar the things that ...
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No More Tax Loopholes: It’s Time For Faith Groups And Religions To Render Unto Caesar

The perk of ‘tax-free status’ should be reserved for charities which provide unambiguous benefits, writes Hugh Harris in New Matilda ...
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Only the ghosts of Christmas past know why advancing religion is still tax free

Jesus was quite clear on the question of tax, famously advising the Jews to render unto Caesar the things that ...
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Religious Freedom Protects Same-Sex Couples Too

Balancing freedom is no mean feat, but it doesn’t come about by prioritising religious beliefs over others, writes RSA board ...
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Enlightenment – that is what Islam truly needs

The kind of reformation that Islam needs is one that frees it from the medieval traditions and muddled histories that ...
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An Evening with Maajid Nawaz

“If liberalism is to mean anything at all, it is duty bound to support without hesitation the dissenting individual over ...
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The right to die at home

RSA board member Chris Fotinopoulos reflects on where we might want to die. Source: The right to die at home ...
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Victoria leads the way …

Education Minister James Merlino has issued a Ministerial Direction (MD 145) to implement the Victorian Government's policy of removing Special ...
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Petition: remove “advancement of religion” as a charitable purpose

It's about time we got rid of the anachronistic idea that advancing religion is a "charitable act". It's not, and it ...
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my life, my choice

“Damn you to hell, Kevin Andrews”

John Baylis of Darwin suffered from motor neuron disease, a progressive condition involving degeneration and wasting of the muscles. He died ...
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The Diary of John Baylis

83 year old Darwin man John Baylis died from the ravages of Motor Neuron Disease on 5th March 2015.  This ...
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RSA supports women’s right to choose

The RSA has joined with 40 other organistions supporting a continuation of women's right to freely and safely choose an ...
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Maori ritual and Christian indoctrination in New Zealand

I am a life member, past president, and now Trustee of the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists in ...
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Freedom of Belief and Gay Marriage

This article is based on arguments presented in the Rationalist Society of Australia submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission ...
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Palliative Care: Rhetoric and Reality

THE following address was given by Dr Rodney Syme, Vice President of Dying With Dignity Victoria, to the 2015 Annual ...
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Photo of two hands clasped together

Euthanasia ban is an attack on human dignity

Chris Fotinopoulos believes dignified dying requires fewer restrictions on individual autonomy in end of life care. Australia’s persistent anti-euthanasia stance is ...
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Submission: Religious Freedom Roundtable

Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission Religious Freedom Roundtable 25 September 2015 Introduction The Rational Society of Australia (RSA) ...
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God forbidden: a win for secularism in state schools

The Victorian state government has shown the foresight and courage to rid schools of an insidious evangelical influence, writes RSA ...
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Media Release: Census moves to reduce religious bias

MEDIA RELEASE 26 August 2015 ABS moves to redress perception of religious bias "Australia's status as a secular country has ...
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“The Process” – a new play about asylum-seeker processing

Among other things, RSA's President Emeritus Ian Robinson is a philosopher and playwright, and his new play, The Process, is touring ...
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my life, my choice

Submission: End of Life Choices

Submission to the Victorian Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee on End of Life Choices The Rationalist Society of Australia ...
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Victorian Government takes the lead on religion in schools

The Rationalist Society today applauds the Victorian Government’s announcement that it will introduce new curriculum to teach Victorian students about ...
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Politics, religion and public accountability — taking the next step . . .

Politics and religion are both in a state of flux -- a bell tolls loudly with a call for accountability ...
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A tale of two cutting cultures

President Obama recently toured Kenya and gave a powerful speech in which he labelled female genital mutilation a bad tradition ...
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Eric Abetz and the Case for Same-Sex Marriage

Not once in his flawed jeremiad The fight for same-sex marriage in Australia is far from over does Eric Abetz refer to ...
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Science and Society – Do we have a problem?

RSA Member David Thurley speaks of the growing problem of science denialism in society. He has given this speech to ...
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This is why you will lose your argument

So the Great Barrier Reef has not been listed as endangered by UNESCO. And same-sex marriage is high on the ...
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Submission: Australian Citizenship

The Rationalist Society (RSA) is Australia’s oldest free-thought organisation, established in 1906. Over the past 100 years or so, the ...
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Sacred to Secular: a new work on Australian secularism

New books that drive home the need for secular change add welcome momentum to the rising groundswell of public discontent ...
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Letters: Minister for Multicultural Affairs rejects multicultural prayers

In a series of letters that would make a good "Yes Minister" episode, our request to the Victorian Minister for Multicultural ...
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The Carson Report

The RSA and Fairness in Religions in School recently ​commissioned a report, Carson 2015 Review, by professional sexuality educator Deanne Carson on material currently ...
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Why Prayers in Parliament Should Stop

RECITING a Christian prayer before Parliament breaches the secular principle of separation between Church and State, offends the spirit of section ...
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An alternative to Prayers before Parliament

"We come here today to do the business of governing. Members of this Parliament have pledged to improve the quality ...
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Submission: Adoption by same-sex couples under Victorian law 

In March 2015, the Victorian Government initiated a review to consider changing the law to permit adoption of children by ...
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Faith that is not justified?

Are our daily lives filled with faith that may be unjustified, as asserted by Barney Zwartz, Senior Fellow with the ...
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Can an Atheist Have a Religious Experience?

The following article was first aired (in abridged form) at the 63rd Rationalist Society conference in April 2000 at Box ...
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Book review. Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience

Many years ago, I acquired a book called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. It sat ...
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Time to think with our head

IN 1999 the Australian people rejected a constitutional amendment to establish a Republic. The continuing debate about replacing the hereditary ...
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Choice is central to dying with dignity.

Dying with dignity campaigner, Peter Short, died late last year on his own terms and in control, but he did ...
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Rising anger over Scripture in NSW

This week, two radio programs addressing the increasingly vexed question of whether secular government schools should allow the teaching of ...
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school cross

Letter: to James Merlino from Rev Dr John Bodycomb

The following letter was prompted by our article in the Fairfax media on 16 Jan 2015. It's from Rev. Dr ...
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Religious instruction has no place in the education state

The promise from our new Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, to make Victoria the "education state" is both welcome and timely ...
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Badmouthing god: blasphemy and freedom of expression

THE trouble with freedom of expression is that it applies to our enemies as well as our friends. We have to grant it to ...
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On Secular Humanism being a Religion

IN 2006, the Rationalist Society joined with the Council of Australian Humanist Societies and the Australian National Secular Association to ...
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Freedom of expression a sacred value

Let us proclaim and defend Western values

IN the face of the Charlie Hebdo murders, by religious fanatics, let us proclaim and defend the best of Western civilization's ...
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my life, my choice

Vale Peter Short: Rodney Syme reflects on a life well lived

Shakespeare had Mark Anthony say “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”.  Well, I come to praise Peter Short, ...
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Freedom of expression a sacred value

Letter: on Terrorism and Freedom

In his seminal essay "Religion and Respect" Cambridge Professor of Philosophy Simon Blackburn ventures a secular definition of the sacred: ...
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churches exempt from many taxes

Religious tax privileges

IN 2004 the Rationalist Society of Australia commissioned Victoria University Graduate School of Business to investigate religious tax privileges. Their findings ...
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Blasphemy, Insult and Freedom of Speech (a reaction)

Graeme Lindenmayer is a member of the RSA and retired engineer with a continuing interest in science, philosophy and religion ...
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Blasphemy, Insult and Freedom of Speech

The IQ2 video here - "God and his Prophets Should be Protected from Insult" - pits two extremely articulate speakers - Uthman ...
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The truth about Jesus

Sifting through what little evidence there is about the origins of Christianity... The truth about Jesus is that we just ...
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Religion and Politics: opportunity or threat?

This article was first presented at the "Separating Church and State" Conference in Melbourne, June 2006. The conference was supported ...
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Finding common ground between faith and freethought … ?

Over the past year or so, a number of us within the freethought movement have reached out to the "interfaith" ...
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Political candidates reject Special Religious Instruction

ONE area of the political debate that has not received much attention in the Victorian state election campaign so far is ...
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Religion, the State and the Law

CHURCH leaders have often expressed views on matters that many people would regard as 'political', that is, as matter of public ...
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Church and State

Same difference? A comparison of the ‘Establishment Clause’ in the Australian and United States constitutions

This article was first presented by Professor Helen Irving at the "Separating Church and State: Keeping God out of Government" ...
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Atheistic Morality

Introduction Here I conclude my critique of the major arguments raised by John Lennox at the "Cosmic Chemistry?" public lecture ...
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How an approach to science helps define the political centre

There was a bit of talk over the last election cycle, expressed in the usual language of political left and ...
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my life, my choice

Medicine, morality and magnanimity in death

Three stories show there is a civilised way to bring about a dignified death through voluntary euthanasia. Source: Medicine, morality ...
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How to spend your dying days with dignity…

Peter Short talks with Fiona Patten about the Sex Party's policy on Dying with Dignity, and being a civil libertarian ...
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Want to try practical philosophy?

The fastest growing trend in applied philosophy might just be "New Stoicism".  What is this?  New Stoicism is based on the ...
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No Atheist should stand alone in the streets!

The Rationalist Society of Australia warmly welcomes the Association of Atheism of Turkey to the international community of freethinking.  Among ...
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Liberals betray education by funding religious proselytising

IN Victoria, the Napthine Liberals’ decision to increase funding of ACCESS Ministries to $2 million from $135,000 ignores growing concerns ...
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Teaching religion or teaching about religion?

This article was first published in Winter issue of The Australian Rationalist, June 2013. Anna Halafoff is a research fellow ...
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Submission: Rights and Responsibilities

The Rationalist Society (RSA) is Australia’s oldest free-thought organisation, established in 1906. Over the past 100 years or so, the ...
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Proving Jesus didn’t exist is a logical fallacy

By Brian Morris, Director of Plain Reason WITH new credible evidence that Christianity's founder was at best an ordinary Judean, and ...
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National Curriculum Review: religion, belief systems and values

The Donnelly/Wiltshire Review of the National Curriculum was released in October 2014. Below is a section of the Report called "The ...
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my life, my choice

Do the young and depressed have the right to suicide?

To the Editor, The Australian. Do the young and depressed have the right to suicide? (Australian 11 Oct). Wrong question. We ...
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The Evils of Atheism

Introduction HERE I continue my critique of the major arguments presented by John Lennox at the recent "Cosmic Chemistry?" public lecture ...
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Yes, it’s rational to vote Sex!

Last year the RSA did a "Secular Scorecard" in the lead-up to the Federal election - see here. Unsurprisingly the ...
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Secularism’s balancing act

Achieving the right balance between religious beliefs and the state is not proving easy anywhere in the world. Ask most ...
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The Evolution of Scientific Funding

Understanding the funding of science may be scientists' greatest challenge. AFTER a lifetime in Science, my enthusiasm and fascination for biology ...
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Australian Imams reject ISIS Claims and Violence

Just as the Australian media failed to publish the Open Letter to al-Baghdadi from 126 Muslim scholars that refutes ISIS, ...
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Special Religious Education in NSW Public Schools

Human Rights Advocacy Australia joins the RSA in tackling the insidious nature of religious zealotry in Australia's public schools ...
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Killing Public Education: Indoctrination vs Education

Our current education situation is, quite frankly, unsustainable.  As a society, we cannot afford to maintain two parallel education systems ...
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Why the West Must Defend Freedom of Speech

Our changing world Our human rights and freedoms are now recognised as the basis of Western secular society. It wasn't ...
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Muslim Scholars Refute ISIS

More than a hundred Muslim scholars and leaders from around the world released an open letter addressed to Islamic State ...
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Christian Contributions to Society

During August 2014, Oxford Professor of mathematics John Lennox delivered a series of lectures in Australia on "Science and Faith in ...
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Secular Spirituality

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (2008) claims a place for spiritual wellbeing in education for all ...
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WA Humanists celebrate a year of achievements

Congratulations to the Humanist Society of WA for a busy and successful year. Here is what they've achieved, using the 10 ...
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The Rational Intelligibility of the Universe

Introduction Here I continue my critique of the major arguments raised by John Lennox at the recent "Cosmic Chemistry?" public ...
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Victorian Govt should not accept tainted money …

Martin Dixon Minister for Education Victorian Parliament Spring St MELBOURNE 3002. By email: martin.dixon@parliament.vic.gov.au Copy: Daniel Andrews 1 September 2014 ...
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Minister Dixon: when will you fix the mess that is SRI?

Hon. Martin Dixon Minister for Education Victorian Parliament Spring St Melbourne, Vic. 3002 By email: martin.dixon@parliament.vic.gov.au Copy: Richard Bolt; Carol ...
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Mr Merlino, will you stand up for parents over SRI?

Hon. James Merlino, MP Shadow Minister for Education Parliament House Spring St Melbourne, Vic. 3002 By email: james.merlino@parliament.vic.gov.au Copy: Daniel ...
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Background Briefing investigates ACCESS Ministries

The ABC's flagship radio program Background Briefing investigates ACCESS Ministries and the Special Religious Instruction mess in Victoria. More than ...
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Explaining Language and Thought Naturalistically

During August 2014, Oxford Professor of mathematics John Lennox delivered a series of lectures in Australia on "Science and Faith in ...
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The Betrayal of Sri Lanka

Former Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Bruce Haigh, argues that those who want to return Sri Lankan asylum seekers ...
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my life, my choice

Submission: Dying with Dignity Bill 2014

Committee Secretary Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 21 August 2014 Submission ...
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Presentation: The History of Ethics

On 21 August 2014, RSA President Dr Meredith Doig made a presentation to the Central Victorian Atheists and Freethinkers on ...
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Rationalism and the Meaning of Life

As Editor of the Australian Rationalist and later as President of the Rationalist Society of Australia I was often called ...
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Update on the Religion Question

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has confirmed the "Religion Question" in the 2016 census will very likely be changed. A ...
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The origins of modern science and Christianity

During August 2014, Oxford Professor of mathematics John Lennox delivered a series of lectures in Australia on "Science and Faith in ...
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my life, my choice

Submission: “We are not mindless human beings …”

Submission by RSA Member Rex Williams to the Dying with Dignity bill: "Any person has a right to decide when ...
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New coalition of faith and freethought

IN October 2012, the RSA joined with a representative of the Uniting Church to make a submission to the Victorian ...
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Submission: The Religion Question

The RSA, in consultation with a number of other freethought groups, has made a submission to the Australian Bureau of ...
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European Union Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief

On 24 June 2013 the European Union adopted Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief. I. Introduction ...
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What Lies Ahead?

When I was at secondary school, my English class studied a collection of essays, one of which analysed the methods ...
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2016 Census – change is a’coming?

Rumour has it the Australian Bureau of Statistics is trialling a change to the way the census question on religion ...
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The reasonableness of suicide

When is it 'reasonable' to choose to end one's life? The ancient Stoics thought it reasonable if circumstances prevented a ...
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Letter: On abortion

Dear Prime Minister,   As a woman in her 60s who for various reasons has experienced two abortions, I have ...
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God save me from those who think I’m lost

The fight over religious instruction in state schools is not over whether there is a god but the right of ...
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Wisdom – a short guide

The Philosophers' Mail is an interesting initiative: an attempt to make the arcane relevant to contemporary life. In this piece, ...
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Presentation: Reason vs Emotion: key drivers in the history of moral progress

Reason vs Emotion: key drivers in the history of moral progress By Dr Meredith Doig President, Rationalist Society of Australia ...
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Does Time have a Future?

Issue 93 of the "Australian Rationalist" (Winter 2014) has just been released and can be found at newsagencies around Australia ...
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Is your favourite group a shark or a dolphin?

In a pluralist society there's many shades and hues of stakeholder groups. Here's one way to think of them. Is ...
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Removing SRI from your school: A “How To” guide

Thanks to Jacqui Tomlins for this particularly useful guide. Raise awareness - inform parents about what SRI is really about ...
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High Court upholds Challenge to Chaplaincy Program

Thursday 19 June 2014 The High Court has upheld the second Williams challenge to the constitutionality of the National Chaplaincy ...
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New push for Dying with Dignity

Peter Short is dying of a terrible form of cancer. And still, legislators in this country refuse to allow him ...
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Survey of Religion in South Australian schools

Brian Morris is a professional journalist and director of "Plain Reason" in South Australia. In April 2014 he approached the ...
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“A Current Affair” blasts ACCESS Ministries

Channel 9's ACA blasted ACCESS Ministries for their evangelistic tactics in Australian schools - see the video segment here. It ...
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The “Reason Project” – a new RSA initiative

The RSA has formed a small team to develop a new idea, tentatively called the Reason Project. Reason and Reasoning: Critical ...
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RSA Committee agrees to support Young Australian Skeptics

The RSA Committee has agreed to support the Young Australian Skeptics for two years. President Meredith Doig said, "This is ...
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Young people turned on to Science

Two thousand (mostly) young people filed into the Melbourne Convention Centre on the evening of Friday 6 June to listen ...
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Minister confirms that “may” = “must”

Minister of Education Martin Dixon announces the long awaited Ministerial Direction on SRI.  Confusingly, claims on the one hand that "Principals ...
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Dr Rodney Syme: champion of human rights

Frustrated by lack of action by Parliamentarians in acknowledging the wishes of their electors re the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia, ...
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Investment and cognitive bias

Cognitive fallacies can damage that most iconic of self-interested activities: investing ...
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Peter Ellerton on Brandis’s logical fallacies

RSA committee member Peter Ellerton explains why Australia's top lawmaker has got it wrong. Brandis complains that "climate change denialists ...
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On Reason and Reasoning

Brilliant new video on Reason by Steven Pinker and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein - http://on.ted.com/g06r5 ...
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Marion Maddox goes head-to-head with Justine Toh

Justine Toh is a very articulate Senior Research Fellow from the Centre for Public Christianity; Marion Maddox has just written ...
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Vic Education Dept distances itself from ACCESS Ministries

Principals at Victorian primary schools are getting caught between a rock and a hard place. ACCESS Ministries wrote to Victorian ...
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Submission: Review of the National Curriculum

Why a national curriculum? The national curriculum arose ostensibly in response to those Australians whose jobs took them to different ...
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Letter: To Bill Nye, apologising about Ken Ham

Dear Bill,                                                                                              Sunday 2nd Feb 2014 We’re sorry. We’re really sorry. We know how you American rationalists think of us Aussies ...
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Where is the proof in pseudoscience?

RSA committee member Peter Ellerton explains what constitutes knowledge - put simply, it's when it's so 'settled' that it's used ...
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The Big Questions: God & God: All That Matters

This book review was first published in Philosophy Now. A publisher who wants to bring out a book about God ...
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What you think is right may actually be wrong

RSA Committee member Peter Ellerton explains that how we think we think is not actually how we think ...
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Child Evangelists in Australia

Graham McDonald is an Australian evangelist who teaches that: all children indulge in sin and that sin "must be punished" heaven is ...
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Should we teach more religion in schools?

Abbott Government Education Minister Christopher Pyne has announced a review of the national curriculum, claiming “concerns have been raised about ...
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Welcome to the Education Culture Wars

The Rationalist Society supports Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Belief. But freedom implies informed choice. If someone is not ...
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RSA: religious indoctrination not on but GRE welcome

RSA President Dr Meredith Doig welcomed more general religious education in Australian schools today but warned that indoctrination, in the ...
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Honesty and Ethics Rating of Clergy Slides to New Low

Americans' rating of the honesty and ethics of the clergy has fallen to 47%, the first time this rating has ...
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Growing numbers of Australians non-religious

The Australian Bureau of Statistics analyse the "Religion" question in the 2011 census.  Australian Social Trends, Nov 2013 ...
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How to become a ‘professional human being’

A growing international movement is inviting young children to philosophise in primary schools in the USA, the UK and elsewhere – but Australia ...
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Climate change kills people – just how bad is that?

John Broome is an Oxford philosopher and a lead author of the International Panel on Climate Change report.  In this ...
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‘Ex-Gay’ Counselling: It’s Happening In Australian Schools

The Global Mail writer Luke Williams exposes the superstition and bigotry of some Christian schools in Australia in ‘Ex-Gay’ Counselling: It’s ...
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The myth of the mandate

Prime Minister Tony Abbott seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that he has a “mandate” for all the policies ...
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The War Against Christians?

Barney Zwartz, The Age's Religion Editor, on the "war against Christianity": Age of intolerance: the war on religion. But being religious ...
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The Case for Secularism: a Neutral State in an Open Society

By Julian Baggini, British philosopher Consider the following statement from a Bishop of the Church of England: British society is ...
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Secularism and Constitutionalism: The Legacy of George Higinbotham

The following article is the inaugural Higinbotham Lecture delivered by the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG to the RMIT Law ...
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Presentation: The Pleasure of Understanding

Back in January this year I woke up one morning and trying to get out of bed, realised I couldn’t ...
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What Atheism Means to Me and What It Does Not Mean

Talk given to the Atheist Society, Melbourne, on 10 July 2012 The main reason for this talk is that atheism ...
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On Secularism in Australia: response to a Year 12 student

The RSA  received a request for information from an HSC student at a Christian School in NSW.  She is taking ...
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Australia ranks at the bottom for social justice, but better than the US

In a 2011 report by the OECD, Australia ranks in the bottom five countries for overall poverty prevention, senior citizen ...
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Media Release: Measuring political bias

Media Release 26 August 2013 One area of the political debate that does not receive much attention during election campaigns ...
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Evangelicals recruiting for Jesus

Here in Australia, evangelicals are out seeking people to impose their Christian worldview on young children. Check out this recruiting ...
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Belgium: State funding to be withdrawn from religious schools that fail to teach mandatory curriculum

In Belgium all schools, including private schools, must teach their agreed national curriculum or have their funding removed.Let's see if Australian ...
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NZ state schools drop religious instruction

In New Zealand, Rationalist David Hines surveyed government schools and found that fewer are conducting religious instruction classes - see ...
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Steven Pinker on Science and the Humanities

In this four page article, Steven Pinker explores what science is and what it is not:  "... science is of a ...
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Values in a democractic society

Conservative religionists like to claim there is an alarming 'values deficit' in our schools.  Not so.  I just came across ...
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A Guide to Moral Decision Making

Chris MacDonald is a Canada-based philosopher.  Here he sets out practical guide on how to choose when faced with a ...
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Uniting Church challenges Access Ministries SRI syllabus

At last, one of the religious organisations that are members of ACCESS Ministries has spoken out against the 'biblical literalism' ...
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One Law for All: campaigning against sharia and religious laws

Lecture to Conway Hall Ethical Society by Anne Marie Waters 9 June 2013 The official number of sharia tribunals and councils ...
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Malcolm Fraser on refugees

Malcolm Fraser has form on handling refugees.  He did it successfully at the end of the Vietnamese war.  Here he ...
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A Brief History of Humankind

Maybe you've not yet heard about "Coursera".  This is a series of courses available online and free to anyone who has a ...
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Asylum seekers: effective policy is based on evidence, not emotion

Asylum seekers: effective policy is based on evidence, not emotion ...
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Raising scientific literacy

RSA Committee member Peter Ellerton supports a project by a group of enterprising young people in Queensland to get science ...
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Six academics review Rudd’s new asylum seeker policy

Six academics on The Conversation review Rudd's new asylum seeker policy: No more asylum in Australia for those arriving by boat: ...
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school cross

Scientific ignorance: our governments complicit

Our governments are complicit in perpetuating scientific ignorance. Parkes Christian School gets 78% of its recurrent funding from Federal and State ...
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Huge Dignity in Dying

A beautiful story of one woman's rational decision to maintain control over her own body and mind. Rational suicide: Beverley ...
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Tactics in the war against secularism

One of the main tactics used by evangelicals is to challenge the boundaries of secularism in the courts. On Tuesday ...
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What does it take to be an activist?

Clive Hamilton, now Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University and previously head of the Australia Institute, writes in ...
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An ethical education: why Gonski is a moral issue

Julian Savulescu writes in The Conversation about education funding as an ethical issue - not about ethics education. An ethical ...
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Muslims engage in quest to understand evolution

Muslims engage in quest to understand evolution | Science | guardian.co.uk ...
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Big History

David Christian is leaving a legacy to his grandchildren - and all his grandchildren's friends. It's the understanding of where ...
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The tide rolls on … the history of gay marriage

The tide rolls on ... the history of gay marriage BBC News - Gay marriage around the world ...
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Withdrawing treatment from premature babies – when doctors and parents disagree

Call for Australia to clarify the law sooner rather than later Withdrawing treatment from premature babies – when doctors and parents ...
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Tasmania bases voluntary euthanasia proposal on evidence

As our manifesto for a Secular Australia says, physician-assisted suicide, with appropriate safeguards, should be decriminalised. Tasmania could lead the ...
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On US campuses, the unstoppable secular crusades

Students on American college campuses are fighting back, breaking down the scary face of atheism Are Atheists The New Campus ...
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This is what happens without secularism

Furious debate as teachers at Islamic College of SA's West Croydon campus ordered to wear hijab or face sack | ...
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The ‘perfect injustice’: Australian corruption.

The 'perfect injustice': is Australia more corrupt than we think? Corruption is pervasive, diverse and present in almost all areas ...
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The horror of superstitution

It’s 2013, And They’re Burning ‘Witches’  ...
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Why we need “One Law for All”

Among other things, the problem with the Catholic Church is that it has set itself up to be beyond the ...
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Letter: The right to choose

Beverley Broadbent is my hero. Her "rational suicide" (The Age, 2/4/13) was a beacon for those of us who passionately ...
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Philosophy under attack

Patrick Stokes of Deakin University on the boundary between science and philosophy Philosophy under attack: Lawrence Krauss and the new ...
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Keeping ignorance and extremism out of public schools

Cathy Byrne  argues for the crucial role of teacher unions in combatting the rise of religious fundamentalism in schools Keeping ...
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Navigating the grey zone in end-of-life care for children

Dominic Wilkinson, Associate Professor of Neonatal Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Adelaide, provides a thoughtful analysis of the ...
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Orwellian climate double-speak dominating discussion

Andrew Glikson discusses why the Greens split from the Labor Party and why it's important Orwellian climate double-speak dominating discussion ...
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Wind turbine syndrome is spread by scaremongers

The Conversation debunks another myth. New study: wind turbine syndrome is spread by scaremongers ...
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Media Release: Visitor Urges Australians to Reclaim Secular Heritage

Media Release 21 March 2013 A campaign is underway to return Australia to its former status as a genuinely secular ...
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It takes a Tory…

As is often the case, it seems only a conservative government can introduce controversial progressive policies. In the UK, David ...
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Yet another attempt to explain suffering

For many years, Melbourne-based Nigel Sinnott has provided an invaluable service to the free-thought community by reading The Age on ...
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Submission: Consolidation of Anti-­Discrimination Laws

RSA generally welcomes the consolidation of the existing laws into a single Act to ensure the simpler and more consistent ...
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Exempting religious organisations “undermines faith”

[gdl_gallery title="gallery1" width="250" height="250" ] It's been said elsewhere but we'll say it again: the Australian Christian Lobby does not ...
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Have you been counted in Atheist Census?

Atheist Census is a global project to count and capture a picture of the world's atheists - we're building up ...
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Media Release: ACT Chief Minister Strikes a Blow for Equality

Media Release 6 January 2013 The decision by ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher to decline an invitation to attend a ...
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Atheist Census gets attacked!

[gdl_gallery title="gallery1" width="200" height="150" ] The Atheist Alliance International has just launched a worthy project to count and capture a picture ...
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Economic Irrationalism Exposed

How two Australian women held the grubby world of high finance to account in this excellent article in the Global ...
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Shutting the school gate on God: a teacher’s view

A teacher at a state high school in Victoria relates the problems faced by schools wanting to do the best ...
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Past Vice President’s New Book

By all accounts, the new book on 'Social Humanism' by Brian Ellis (ex RSA Vice President) is a must read ...
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Vale Jack Smart

J.J.C. "Jack" Smart AC, died on 6 October 2012. The following message will be taken to his funeral on Monday ...
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Towards avoiding confirmation bias – a clever new tool

In The Skeptic magazine of September 2012, there's an article on the development of a clever little tool that helps ...
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Another ‘astro-turf’ organisation exposed

Great piece of investigative journalism on who's behind the opposition to wind power from Mike Seccombe in the Global Mail ...
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Sean Faircloth and the Innocence of Muslims video

Amid the furore over the ludicrous backyard video clip called "The Innocence of Muslims", Sean Faircloth points out some uncomfortable ...
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Why we still need good journalists

This is why we still need professionally trained journalists.  Alan Austin in the Global Mail offers an excellent analysis of ...
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From a wheelchair-bound perspective, thank God I’m an atheist

This intensely personal reflection from Holly Warland, a wheelchair-bound person who has had more reason than most to ponder the ...
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Beware the Tea Party imports

He’s not just a homophobic, Islamophobic, climate-change denying South Australian senator, he’s an ideological entrepreneur, importing the Tea Party’s ‘astroturf’ ...
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Conspiracy theorists claim stealth takeover by bankers

Here's yet another example of how conspiracy theorists characterise rational responses to global warming and global inequality as power plays ...
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A celebration of scientific sense

It's 50 years since publication of Rachel Carson's world-changing "Silent Spring", a book that inspired the birth of the environmental movement ...
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From New Zealand: resisting the evangelists

Journalist Alison McCulloch from the Bay of Plenty Times newspaper in New Zealand does a good job raising awareness about ...
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The Road Less Travelled

On Monday 16 April 2012, the day after the fabulous Global Atheist Convention, we brought together three fiercely articulate freethinkers ...
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Taxing the truth: why we must not let Abbott’s dogmas lie

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott constantly accuses the Prime Minister of ''lying'' when she made a commitment before the last election ...
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NSCP High Court Decision

The High Court decision on the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) will be a pyrrhic victory for those seeking freedom ...
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What’s going on at VCAT?

By Dr Meredith Doig, RSA President The day before the case started, ACCESS Ministries, the Christian organisation that provides 96% ...
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Religion and Belief Systems in Australia post 1945

In 2012 a year 11 student at a Sydney Catholic school wrote to the Rationalist Society of Australia requesting answers to ...
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Letter: Secular Education in Victoria

Hon. Martin Dixon Minister for Education Parliament of Victoria February 2012 Dear Minister,Like an increasing number of Victorian parents, the ...
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Submission: On the Definition of Charity

Advancement of Religion should no longer be considered a Charitable Purpose It is time in the 21st century to remove ...
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Religion and Education in Australian Schools

An update to RSA members from president Dr. Meredith Doig Friday, 18 November, 2011   Many RSA members have no ...
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Census August 2011

The Background The coming Census in Australia is an important chance to make sure your interests are met in decision-making ...
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Letter: to Chair of ACARA re ACCESS Ministries curriculum

Dr Barry McGaw Chair, ACARA Level 10, 255 Pitt St Sydney, NSW 2000 Monday 30th May 2011 Dear Barry, Re: ...
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Online advertising boycott over gay marriage attack wrong

Two major advertisers, ANZ and IBM, have been persuaded to quit Online Opinion; advertising revenue has mysteriously dropped to a ...
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Media Release: Churches Rebuked over Attack on Government

Media Release 24 November 2010 The Rationalist Society of Australia today expressed shock and dismay at the vicious attack by ...
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Media Release: Pike Stands Accused

Media Release 13 November 2010 Embattled Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike today came under fire from another direction – she ...
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Media Release: Dangerous School Chaplains Scheme

5th September 2010 Intervention sought on `dangerous’ school chaplains scheme The Rationalist Society of Australia [RSA] today called upon the ...
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In Defence of the Secular State

Toleration of anti-religious speech, equal rights for homosexual couples, the application of anti-discrimination employment law to religious associations, the moral ...
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Letter: Rationalists Applaud the PM’s Refreshing Honesty

Dear Prime Minister, The Rationalist Society of Australia is very pleased to hear your refreshingly honest views about the role ...
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Submission: National School Chaplaincy Program

Rationalists remind the Government that education in government schools is meant to be secular; that lay religious persons are not ...
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Assuring Secularism in Victorian Government Schools

A Submission to the Victorian Government May 2010 Background In 1872 the Victorian Education Act prescribed free secular education during ...
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Letter: to NSW Minister for Education re Ethics Classes Trial

The Hon. Verity Firth Minister for Education Parliament House Sydney. 20th April 2010 Dear Minister, Re: Ethics trial Firstly on ...
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Presentation: On Death and Dying

The Value of Life and the Value of Death:  A Humanist Perspective. A contribution by Rationalist Society Committee member Lyn ...
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In Praise of Secular Education

The Hon. Michael Kirby gives a speech "In Praise of Secular Education" - click here ...
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Letter: to Chancellor of ACU re Craven’s craven attack

On 4th Nov 2009, The Age newspaper published an extraordinary outburst by Greg Craven, entitled "A plague of atheists has ...
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Media Release: Chaplaincy Program

In November 2009, the Federal Government funded an extension to its controversial Chaplaincy Program. The RSA strongly objects to this ...
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Letter: to Minister Gillard re the Chaplaincy Program

In November 2009, the Federal Government announced an extension of its controversial Chaplaincy Program of funding for religious people in ...
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Media Release: $42M Chaplaincy Program excludes most schools

Media Release 24 November 2009 The Federal Government has been urged to revamp its $42.8 million chaplains-in-schools program because of ...
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Submission: Religion and Belief in the 21st Century

In 2008, the Australian Human Rights Commission held an inquiry into "Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century".  ...
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6 Facts You Need to Know About Steiner Education

Steiner education has established itself in the Victorian education system, but information provided school administrations, current and prospective parents and ...
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Media Release: Freedom of religion only with freedom of choice

1 February 2009 The Rationalist Society of Australia has made an important submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into ...
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Media Release: Rationalists Condemn Advertising Ban

Media Release 26 November 2008 A ban on an advertising atheism was today described as a gross infringement of free speech ...
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churches exempt from many taxes

Submission: Australia’s Future Tax System

Inquiry into Australia’s Future Tax System Submission by the Rationalist Society of Australia Inc. 16 October 2008 The Rationalist Society ...
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Media Release: World Youth Day – Not!

Media Release 3 July 2008 “The degree of public support for the sectarian and deceptively entitled ‘World Youth Day’ is ...
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Media Release: On Funding School Chaplains

Media Release 27 October 2006 The Rationalist Society of Australia agrees with those federal politicians who are promoting the teaching ...
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