Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists

Information

Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists

A group for networking and friendship between atheists in the Australian/New Zealand/South Pacific region, and for discussion of political and religious topics relevant to these regions.

Members: 344
Latest Activity: Aug 16

Aussie, Kiwi and South Pacific Atheists

This group is hosted by Richard J and Chrys Stevenson


Another High Court Challenge Against the National School Chaplaincy Program

Website: http://www.highcourtchallenge.com

Breaking News! After successfully challenging the Commonwealth government in the High Court of Australia over funding for the National School Chaplaincy Scheme, Ron Williams is to take them on again.  In an attempt to circumvent the High Court ruling, the government has passed some extremely questionable legislation which tears at the heart of parliamentary democracy and public accountability.  Williams has consulted with his crack legal team and the decision has been made today (Saturday, 7 July) to mount another challenge.

For more information see here:  

http://thatsmyphilosophy.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/its-on-williams-to-return-to-the-high-court-on-chaplaincy-issue/

Mounting a High Court challenge is extremely expensive and Ron Williams is just an average, suburban Dad.  If all of us who care about a secular, democratic Australia can chip in as much as we can, it will help enormously.  Please consider donating at:  

http://www.highcourtchallenge.com/

This is your chance to be a part of making Australian Constitutional history!


Embiggen Books - Your Australian Atheist/Skeptical Bookshop

Embiggen Books, an Australian bookstore devoted to promoting science, philosophy, rationalism and skepticism is now on Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Warren Bonett and Kirsty Bruce of Embiggen are also passionate and active members of the atheist and skeptical communities.

Australian Atheist Issues

For new members, if you want to get a grasp of some of the issues effecting atheists in Australia, you might like to take a look at the Atheist Nexus (Australia) submission on "Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century" made to the Australian Human Rights Commission early last year. It's long, but easy reading, and worth spending some time on. A report, using information compiled from submissions, should be released later this year.

Atheist Meetup Groups - Australia

If you'd like to meet up with some local atheists, there's no better way than joining your local Atheist Meetup, Skeptics, or Freethought Groups:

Adelaide Atheists
Ballarat Atheists
Brisbane Atheists
Canberra Social Skeptics
Melbourne Atheists
Launceston Skeptics
Macarthur Atheists (Macarthur Region, Sydney (NSW)
Perth Atheists
Perth Skeptics
Sunshine Coast Atheists
Sydney Atheists
Sydney Freethinkers
Western Sydney Freethinkers
Wollongong Skeptics Society

Have we missed your meetup group? Just let me know and I'll add it in.

Discussion Forum

Question from a visitor.

Started by Ted E Bear. Last reply by Chrys Stevenson Jan 17, 2013. 6 Replies

Naughty corner for not attending R.E? Yes, this is in NZ folks!!!

Started by Therese Monteath-Carr. Last reply by Blamer on twitter Dec 10, 2012. 3 Replies

Pell v Dawkins: this Monday

Started by Phillip A. Ellis. Last reply by Alice Apr 17, 2012. 3 Replies

Any Hamiltonian skeptics out there?

Started by Leela Moses Nov 16, 2011. 0 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment

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Comment by Chrys Stevenson on November 25, 2009 at 4:46pm
As I understand it, the Convention committee was directed to apply through the Victorian Multicultural Commission. That seems very strange to me, but that was what they were told to do, and so that's what they did. They applied 5 months ago and have been strung along all this time, now to be told 'well your convention is so well advanced now, you don't need funding'.
Comment by Doug on November 25, 2009 at 4:42pm
Some time ago I contacted the Victorian Government tourism dept to ask about the funding for the conference. I was told that they did not fund business run conferences.

Is the conference a business or not for profit ?
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on November 25, 2009 at 3:45pm
We really have to make a BIG noise about this guys! Thanks for your help.
Comment by Martin Pribble on November 25, 2009 at 3:35pm
This has been tweeted, and I will RT throughout the day. BUT having said that, I would expect no more/less from our government.

Sad.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on November 25, 2009 at 3:33pm
Hi Andrew - it is the Parliament of the World's Religions convention to be held in Melbourne at the SAME venue as the Global Atheist Convention which has attracted $2.5 million in funding. Funding is provided to these kind of conventions to help them attract interstate and overseas visitors to Australia and Victoria.

The Global Atheist Convention has been widely publicized throughout Australia and the world and involves an amazing line-up of international speakers. It is every bit as deserving of funding as the Parliament of the World's Religions convention and yet has been given none.

Similarly, Kevin Rudd has agreed to speak at the Australian Christian Lobby conference this month, but has not had the courtesy to reply to an invitation to speak at the Global Atheist Convention.

It seems the Labor governments have a clear policy of discrimination against the non-religious. I hope they realize that while they kowtow to the religious right, they are hemorrhaging voters from the left!
Comment by Andrew Skegg on November 25, 2009 at 3:22pm
Hi Kristy,

I note your email this morning bemoaning the fact the Atheist Convention has not attracted government funding whilst the Catholic World Youth Day received $2.5 million.

Unfortunately, since the Lateran Treaty in 1929 the Vatican has been an independent State - and we all know this is valid since Pope Pius IX declared himself infallible (oh, and invented the immaculate conception of Mary). As such, visits from the head of this religion is also considered a visit of the Head of State.

Perhaps we should declare atheism a religion, apply for tax exception status, nominate a leader, create our own State, and notify the Government we will be visiting?

It's sad, but true :(
Comment by PGS on November 21, 2009 at 7:59pm
I'm not sure ho effective online petitions are, but here's one you can sign to show your support for Nick Xenophon's senate inquiry.

http://www.gopetition.com.au/online/32251.html
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on November 21, 2009 at 1:51am
Here is the unedited version of Doug's letter. As you can see, he did not refer only to 'fringe' religions. They cut the guts out of it:

""Thank you Senator Nick Xenophon for speaking out on crack pot religions that claim tax benefits and at the same time cause damage to vulnerable people.

I think it is time for an government investigation possibly even a royal commission into the practices of fringe religious organizations.

While I am all for freedom of religion ( and freedom from religion if people choose ) there must be controls placed on the secretive activities carried out by some groups in the name of religious beliefs.

I have heard many anecdotal stories from the ex members of fringe churches and religious groups of systematic child mental, physical and sexual abuse hidden by a never speak to outsiders policy.

I have also heard first hand stories of people suffering from diagnosed mental illnesses who have been recruited by various fundamentalist churches and removed from their medical care and medications to undergo "Exorcism from demon possession"

To think that things like this are happening in Australia in the 21st century is beyond belief, to think these organizations get tax benefits from our Government and our taxes is unbelievable."
Comment by Russell Blackford on November 20, 2009 at 8:16pm
I made a comment there, but it hasn't yet appeared.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on November 20, 2009 at 6:54pm
Russell, I understand that Doug's letter was heavily edited - it may have skewed his meaning somewhat.
 

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