A personal view of a failed democracy

I sometimes wonder if it is in becoming a parent, responsible for…

Assange’s Fourteenth Day at the Old Bailey: Elections,…

September 25. Central Criminal Court, London.On this Friday, the Assange trial moved…

Reverse JobKeeper cuts and protect working people, say…

Two days after assailing the Morrison government for inaction on a jobs…

Dean Jones: Life of a Cricketing Entertainer

He was very much one of those cricketers who made the pulse…

Seeking the Post-Corona Sunshine: More Continuity for Post-Fitzgerald…

By Denis Bright  Even Nostradamus himself might be hesitant about predicting the final…

Jobs plan must be a way forward, says…

On the day where the Morrison government’s announced cuts to the JobKeeper…

The ‘Panama Papers’ exposed the greed of the…

By Paul Gregoire  The Panama Papers could have been a massive moment in…

Just because we are governed by clowns it…

1 Yet another scandal surrounding the Liberal Party. A Liberal Party donor…

«
»
Facebook

New poll on religion and the Australian Constitution

By Brian Morris

Changes to the Australian constitution are infrequent. One amendment that many would like to see concerns the head of state, and Australia becoming a republic. But perhaps there’s a more immediate issue that is now supported by 78 per cent of the population, in a new January poll. It relates to a minor constitutional clause that will formally remove the influence of religion from the business of government — an official separation of church and state.

It’s been forty years since the last constitutional amendments — following Gough Whitlam’s dismissal as Prime Minister by Governor General Sir John Kerr, back in 1975. Amendments were made two years later to codify the conventions for filling casual senate vacancies.

That was one of the triggers, sparked by then Premier of Queensland Joh Bjelke-Petersen, which finally led to a major constitutional crisis. ALP Senator Bertie Milliner died suddenly in mid-1975 and instead of the convention to take the PM’s recommended replacement, the Machiavellian Petersen selected Albert Field.

Field was an obscure ALP member hostile to Whitlam who vowed never to vote for his government. The resulting crisis made it necessary to amend the constitution to stablise the mechanisms of parliament.

Today, it could well be said that a similar amendment, and equally simple, is finally needed to codify the constitutional conundrum of religion and how it continues to intrude into the nation’s political and secular domain.

A landmark national survey in January, by independent pollster IPSOS, showed that 78 per cent of the population thought personal religious beliefs should be separated from the business of government. But the most telling result was that 72 per cent also thought the separation of church and state should be more clearly stated in the constitution.

Section 116 of the Australian constitution amounts to just 45 words, in four short clauses. It essentially says the Commonwealth can’t establish a national religion; impose religious observances; prevent the practice of religion; and no religious test can be required for any Commonwealth office.

And there’s ample historical evidence to show that those who framed the constitution intended Australia to be a secular nation — a concept approved by popular referendums in all six colonies leading up to its proclamation in 1901.

Many issues have arisen over recent decades which involve a clash of secular and religious principles but few have required the High Court to test the boundaries of Section 116. Regrettably, for the secular community, those cases that were tested have resulted in very narrow interpretations by the High Court. That is not entirely unexpected as the constitution lacks one final defining clause.

In 1981 Commonwealth funding of religious schools came before the High Court. The justices were unable to rule that it directly contravened any of the four clauses of Section 116. More recently — with two challenges to the National Chaplaincy Program in public schools — the High Court was again unable to rule against chaplains per se. But under a different section of the constitution they were about to declare that federal funding of the Chaplaincy Program was unconstitutional. However, this was quickly circumvented by administrative changes, first by the federal government under Julia Gillard, and later by the States with assistance from the Abbott government.

The Chaplaincy Program continues despite widespread opposition from professional organisations and many community groups who point up the myriad problems with the scheme — including comments from the High Court, to the effect that the program is of no benefit to schoolchildren.

Another clear example of how government and religion become hopelessly entangled was the $20m of taxpayer funds that went to finance the Pope’s World Youth Day in Sydney. You can’t find a more profound illustration that breaches every principle of a secular Australia than parliament handing out millions to Catholic youth for a Papal extravaganza.

So a minor addition or amendment to Section 116 would clearly define Australia as a secular nation. It would allow the High Court to make judgements to uphold unmistakable secular values where religion invades the public realm — chaplains in public schools, one-denominational religious instruction, Christian prayers in parliament, and all those areas where religion has dominated the mindset of so many nations for almost 2000 years.

Such a change would also put on notice federal and state politicians who, in cavalier fashion, impose their own personal religious beliefs rather than comply with the wishes of their electorates. There’s a raft of contemporary social policy issues that demand political action but are thwarted by parliamentarians brandishing religious texts written in the Bronze Age.

This perpetual interference in social and political policy makes a mockery of the shrill cries of Church leaders who claim their voice is being banished from the public square by demonising secular interests.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Christianity’s small but still-powerful hierarchies continue to wield enormous political and media influence — far beyond their congregation strength, which now stands at just 8 per cent of the national population.

So it is no longer surprising that almost 80 per cent of Australians now want outstanding issues on the public agenda to be legalised. Same-sex marriage and voluntary euthanasia are just two that have been interminably blocked on religious grounds.

This landmark IPSOS poll is a stark warning to politicians that it’s time to finally separate the entire process of government from centuries of political influence by the Churches, and their professional lobbyists. And while it will take longer to have that minor clause added to Section 116, the unmistakable intent of those who framed the constitution of 1901 is plain for all to see.

Brian-Morris-0-Head-Shot-150x150About Brian Morris: World travel shaped Brian’s interest in social justice — wealth, poverty and religion in many countries. His book Sacred to Secular is critically acclaimed, including from the Richard Dawkins Foundation. It’s an analysis of Christianity, its origins and the harm it does. It’s a call for Australia to become fully secular. More information about Brian can be found on his website, Plain Reason.

 

96 comments

Login here Register here
  1. Jaquix

    What a breath of fresh air to read this article by Brian Morris. I will get his book and check out his website for more. I have long been angry about the amount of money Australian politicians throw at religious bodies, including tax concessions to churches and their schools (of indoctrination), and the “chaplains” scheme for religious amateurs (but not trained psychologists or counsellors) to get at school children in their precious school time.

  2. John Kelly

    What an outstanding contribution to the cause of the secular state. Who, in parliament, would have the balls to propose a constitutional change that would forever overcome this absurd disregard for the right to be free OF religion.

  3. Sir ScotchMistery

    I think any time we tweet, we should use the hashtag #Victims4Priests if we use LNP, ACL, Abbott…. nahhh bugger that. Use it every chance.

    That will warn the future.

  4. Pingback: Opinion: New poll on religion and the Constitution. 1.2.16 | Plain Reason

  5. mars08

    Frankly I don’t see this as a major step forward. It’s not something which will change the way our ruling class speak and act.

    Far too many politicians in this country are cruel, dishonest bigots despite the established religion the claim to follow…. rather than because of it!!

  6. johnlord2013

    We have a very religious ministry who have made their intentions.

  7. kerri

    Excellent article! The separation of church and state is long overdue and much needed to progress this country forward. There is no room in an innovative and agile Australia for hackneyed, archaic superstitions!

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    Time to re assert that our political system is secular.

  9. Terry2

    Kevin Andrews has asked to be excused from the first week of parliament to attend a ‘prayer breakfast’ in Washington and to address a Conservative think-tank : this after an extensive summer vacation :
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/kevin-andrews-angers-party-whip-with-prayer-breakfast-reason-for-washington-visit-20160129-gmh84y.html

    As somebody noted this morning, this sort of thing would never have been permitted when Peta Credlin was running the country.

  10. David Spry

    Organised religion has always been about power. For more than 1500 years there has been an unholy alliance between the church and rulers. They have see sawed between primacy dependent upon which had more power to legitimise the other.

    Considered in the context of his other conduct, I think it far more likely that the Emperor Constantine’s adoption of Christianity had far more to do with power than with a personal epiphany of moral belief. Never before had there been such a tool to control the masses. Far better than the carrot and stick or the pork barrel, here was the means to confirm and concentrate fear in life and death and offer only one means of possible escape. It provided conformity and obedience and an administrative structure to maintain control. The social imposition of a belief structure is cheaper and more universally effective than engaging in conflict or political persuasion. Obedience also meant that there was less likelihood of free thought or dissent. There was, of course, no place for democracy or equality.

    In modern Australia freedom of religion is a matter for the individual. If people who share similar beliefs wish to come together they can be free to do that also, but their coming together gives their shared beliefs no authority whatsoever over other people or even their own participants. Any interpretation of their belief structure that asserts a right to impose their beliefs upon others is an affront to the rights and freedoms of those others.

    There is no justification for schools operated by religious groups to be given any preference or privilege beyond any other school. No matter what maybe taught in those schools adherence to a religion does not in Australia create a superiority or a right to privilege in people so taught. Politicians who grant them such privilege are dividing Australia and are acting out of unjustifiable prejudice.

    In so many considerations it comes down to where we draw the line. In Australia religion does not justify murder, rape or any form of violence, it does not justify inequality in any of its forms and in fact it does not justify the breaking of any of our laws. The full list would be very long, but the task of where to draw the line is much easier if we start at the other end. What does religion justify? Perhaps the truth is that in the community context it does not justify anything. It is rather a freedom to think and feel in a particular way that can extend to enjoying sharing those thoughts and feelings with others of similar attitude. Beyond that it has no inherent status or authority.

    It may be only a small step, but confirming Australia as constitutionally secular would provide a more solid base for removing religion and religious preference from our governments and would prevent the High Court from fence sitting.

  11. diannaart

    A phrase that has become common among our politicians is use of the term “Judeo-Christian” – apart from being very divisive and exclusive, I would posit that many of these same politicians would’ve, not so long ago, been anti-Semitic. All they wish to do is to try and lend Christianity a longer and by default important history by linking it with Judaism – at the same time deliberately sidestepping the other Abrahamic religion, Islam.

    We don’t need religion to behave like hypocrites but religion sure does make it easy.

  12. Sen Nearly Ile

    hocus pocus is the rule in America despite the 1st amendment.
    Gary Scott Smith tested the air in America 12 months ago:
    “Being identified as an atheist in the United States today is still such a major political liability that a candidate holding this position probably could not gain a major party’s nomination for president or even the Senate. Only eight members of the current Congress declined to indicate their religious affiliation.”
    Not that long ago, Bush was asked ‘Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists.” “I don’t know that Atheists should be considered as citizens,” Bush declared, “nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
    A secular system is created by religious individuals whose religious rights are sacrosanct. No matter what an amendment says.

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    “Judeo-Christian” Worth Googling meaning and history that phrase. Doesn’t mean what many think?

  14. diannaart

    Can’t remember a Jew ever saying “Judeo-Christian” anything.

  15. corvus boreus

    In recent years, NSW has enjoyed a particularly ludicrous saga of fundie religious bigots trying to protect their socio-political privileges by intrusively pissing upon the rights of others.
    The NSW Education Charter has a dated clause setting aside time for the opportunity of ‘religious education’.
    Previously, the only refusing option for the non-religious was ‘individual study time (ie; left to one’s own devices in the library).
    A proposal was put forward for the option of classes in ‘secular ethics'(aka general societally accepted behavioral decency) to be offered for the denominationally irreligious, and those of faiths/beliefs not covered by available ‘scripture teachers’.
    A curriculum was constructed and vetted for validity anf lack of controversy, and successful trials conducted with positive feedback, and the model was tabled for adoption in NSW public education policy.
    However, an obstacle was encountered. Fred Nile (MLC), NSW Christian Democrats Party leader and a ‘reverend’ in the ‘Festival of Light’, was vehemently opposed to students in public education having the option of taking guided instructive lessons in basic consideration and courtesy towards others. He believes that the only alternative to religious indoctrination should be doodling and dominoes.
    Mr Nile, on the floor of parliament, even claimed a direct link between ‘secular ethics’ with Nazi atrocities, and was subsequently gifted the indulgence of a costly parliamentary inquiry investigating the potential dangers of children taking lessons in ethical behavior.
    Unsurprisingly, the investigatory committee found that the option of ethics classes did not pose a significant danger to the integrity of the social construct or the foundations of educational discipline, so the ethics classes went ahead.
    However, after a subsequent sly little deal, an ‘amendatory provision’ was made so that the option of classes in Ethics was not mentioned on school enrollment forms, but instead ‘special notification’ would only be sent to parents who both listed ‘no religion’ and ticked a box vetoing attendance of RE (scripture lessons).
    https://sustainingcommunity.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/irony-ethics-classes/
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-03/proposed-changes-to-ethics-classes-in-nsw-schools/6516824

  16. Paul Murchie

    i seem to remember that the Chaplaincy Program’s enrollment rate fell to 6% when it was voluntarised – further reason to abolish it in favour of funds going to secular and appropriately qualified Counsellors. the religious can abuse their own progeny in their own time, with their own money and resources – and leave the rest of the People alone !

  17. Paul Murchie

    Brian Morris ( :

    you say that “the constitution lacks one final defining clause [to complete the secularisation of contemporary society in this country]”(sic.), but fail to say what that clause or amendment should be.

  18. mars08

    Ah wait! Oh that ruins everything. How are we treacherous, disloyal lefties supposed to introduce Sharia law after the revolution????

  19. Katrina Logan

    mars08
    “How are we treacherous, disloyal lefties supposed to introduce Sharia law after the revolution????”
    that’s too easy
    You just do it anyway
    Radical Islam does not support Democracy
    Would you like a 1000 youtube links of them telling you so ?

  20. Sen Nearly Ile

    wow, how terrific would it be if nile’s law, of only opting out without being told opting out was an option, was applied to organ donation.

  21. margcal

    About Brian Morris: World travel shaped Brian’s interest in social justice — wealth, poverty and religion in many countries. His book Sacred to Secular is critically acclaimed, including from the Richard Dawkins Foundation. It’s an analysis of Christianity, its origins and the harm it does.

    I’m in favour of the separation of church and state so not quibbling on that account.
    I’m also only too aware of the harm that organised religion and unaffiliated religious fanatics can do and have done.
    But where is the recognition of the good that has also been done in the name of religion? Fair and balanced – in fact or FoxNews style?

    School funding …. I am in favour of all schools being funded “according to need” and all schools should have to provide a prescribed curriculum. If that can be done in a faith based situation, then so be it. Any school that teaches anything inimical to good order in society should be closed immediately.

    Those with no religious faith seem to think that they raise their children without a set of biases and prejudices, unlike their religious counterparts. That is simply not true.

  22. Backyard Bob

    This article is a self-promoting piece of crap. An IPSOS poll that is never linked to but is partly commissioned by Brian’s own organisation and the Rationalist Association of NSW. Yeah, sure. As a co-founder of an atheist organisation I smell a giant intellectual turd.

    I’ll be back to explain why this article fails on numerous levels, aside from the previously mentioned lack of citation of any constitutional clause that would remedy our dire circumstance.

  23. Florence nee Fedup

    I don’t know of any extreme fundamentalist religion that supports democracy. In fact any group or sect for that matter.

  24. Matters Not

    Katrina Logan when you say

    Radical Islam does not support Democracy

    I agree, and in spades. For ‘Radical Islam’, it’s all about this humanly imagined ‘Allah’ who really ‘knows’. Isn’t it? But you could’ve gone much further and argued (reasonably) that Islam as a religion (forget the radical bit) doesn’t support ‘democracy’ as well. But be brave and argue much further (reasonably) that neither does Fundamentalist Christianity or even Christianity itself as well (in all its forms) when it comes to ‘democracy’. And ‘knowing’. Technically, it’s called ‘epistemology’ at least in philosophical circles.)

    Democracy, which most of the ‘punters’ love and treasure (at the verbal level) proceeds on the assumption (among others) that Jack is as good as his Master when we know that the proverbial ‘Jack’, like me, knows very little when it comes to so many areas of human endeavour.

    On the other hand we have ‘voters’ who ‘believe’ that ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are not human constructs, but something to be handed down from above by those who ‘know’. Sometimes they are called ‘Popes’, ‘Bishops’ or ‘Priests’ or whomever. while at other times they are called Imams (in the Sunni tradition).

    Religions (at best) tolerate democracy but certainly don’t endorse same, by definition. While you and I know Katrina, that ‘democracy’ is all about you and me (and everyone else) taking responsibility for the choices they make (including the choices they don’t make by ignoring same), the average punter wants to blame the ‘other’

    Great insight Katrina. You recognise the complexity of ‘arguments’. Don’t you?
    .

  25. Katrina Logan

    Matters Not
    That was a long winded reply
    If you go back to the original post by Mars08 it was short and sweet .
    I replied in the same manner .
    I addressed the issues Mars08 raised., just to refresh you memory

    “mars08January 31, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Ah wait! Oh that ruins everything. How are we treacherous, disloyal lefties supposed to introduce Sharia law after the revolution????”
    understand ?
    now if you wish , why don’t you address the errors in Mar08s original comment as you have so eloquently explained to me and correct Mars08 in the error of his/her ways ?

  26. Katrina Logan

    Florence nee FedupJanuary 31, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    “I don’t know of any extreme fundamentalist religion that supports democracy. In fact any group or sect for that matter.”
    I guess you need to explain that to Mars08
    “Ah wait! Oh that ruins everything. How are we treacherous, disloyal lefties supposed to introduce Sharia law after the revolution????”

    Then maybe Mars08 will understand why the revolution will never succeed in the first place

  27. Richard Schmidt

    Good luck with gaining a sensible separation clause added to your constitution. We already have one, but it is routinely ignored by the body faithful. Organized religion is not unlike organized gunnery (see the NRA) for pressing their belief system past the point of absurdity.

  28. mark delmege

     ‘Same-sex marriage and voluntary euthanasia are just two that have been interminably blocked on religious grounds’.
    I think it is a mistake to only see opposition to these two issues as being religious. People can reasonably oppose these two notions without being religious. Personally I don’t have a strong objection to them and would be happy to see them accepted – but my thoughts are not important or no more so than others.
    As for funding of religious welfare activities – it should be seen for what it is – ie sops to religious orders and both state and federal governments doll out billions to keep them ‘relevant’ and probably forgive them billions more as tax concessions.
    All the same we should show more tolerance to people of religion – (although I am sans in that regard) and accept that people have other views …. it is the only way we can function as an inclusive society.
    Are we so insecure in our own beliefs that we have to mock others?

  29. corvus boreus

    mars08,
    Please refrain from posting such throwaway sarcastic missives in future as some parties will choose to interpret them literally.

  30. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    As for you, always expanding and expounding beyond a narrow and simple focus, using your polysyllabic diction and convoluted phraseology to describe complex and nuanced concepts.
    This is straya and round here we talk twitter. Get it?

  31. Max Gross (@Max_Gross)

    Three words that even Abbott should understand: TAX. THE. CHURCH.

  32. Katrina Logan

    Matters Not.
    I was wondering whether, after you in depth analysis of the above comment you would care to comment on the following
    Do Democratic Societies Have a Right to Do Wrong?

    Do members of democratic societies have a moral right that others not
    actively prevent them from engaging in wrongdoing? Many political theorists
    think that they do. “It is a feature of democratic government,” Michael Walzer
    writes, “that the people have a right to act wrongly—in much the same way that
    they have a right to act stupidly.”
    1
    Of course, advocates of a democratic right to do
    wrong may believe that the scope of this right is limited. A majority in a demo-
    cratic society, for example, may not have a moral right against being prevented
    from enslaving or arbitrarily disenfranchizing a minority, or if it were to launch a
    wrongful aggressive war against another society.
    2
    But many join Walzer in assert-
    ing that it would be wrong in principle to intervene to prevent some wrongs that
    democratic societies would inflict. This thesis, which we will call the democratic
    right to do wrong thesis

    Gerhard Øverland and Christian Barry

  33. mars08

    Oh good Lord! What have I done? Curse the error of my ways!

  34. Alan Baird

    It’s happened before (for decades) and it’ll happen again: as a current example of grossly trampled church-state-separation conventions, the “priests in schools scheme” will sooner or later provide an example of “kiddy-fiddling” par excellance and despite the damage done to kids, I’ll be listening to the usual crap emanating from the Usual Right (including a sizeable chunk of the ALP) about a few rotten apples ad nauseam. god never seems to intervene despite the damage done. Anything to do with this conspicuous waste of money, time, thought & emotion (Ah’m tockin’ about ‘ligion) should be expunged from the very besmirched hands of government. Any bloody thing.

  35. diannaart

    @Katrina Logan

    One point regarding AIMN etiquette

    1. Who am I to tell you such about AIMN etiquette?

    Someone who has been commenting here a very long time, just like Mars08 – therefore, I will give you this tip, if someone says something that is so blatantly Over The Top – before sounding off and making yourself appear a little bit dim, check the person’s posting history for a guide.

    __________________________________________

    Back to topic

    Dear Mr Fred Nile

    If religion is so simply wonderful for everyone – why the need for sneaky, deceitful subterfuge to ensnare little children?

  36. Katrina Logan

    diannaart

    “1. Who am I to tell you such about AIMN etiquette?” exactly !

    So, does “commenting here a very long time” make it OK to pose such a dumb post and not get a response ?
    I find quite a lot of Mars08 comments “so blatantly Over The Top ” , so what are we supposed to do ,
    guess which are serious or what for you to adjudicate ?
    Age and length of time hanging around somewhere don’t surely entitle special benefits, do they ?
    Sometimes diannaart, if it’s rubbish, its rubbish
    Bye for now, I’m off to work, taxes to pay, pensioners to support…………

  37. Michael Taylor

    “Taxes to pay, pensioners to support”.

    I found that to be a nasty little stab.

    Perhaps you’d rather be like some people I know who can’t work because they have to stay home to look after a disabled child.

    If I didn’t appreciate your comment, then imagine how they’d feel. My guess is they’d be appalled at your arrogance.

  38. Katrina Logan

    Michael,
    I think I have been rather subdued .
    I have copped the, “she’s only 18 what we she know” Katrina Logan is a Bogan, she can’t spell” , “right wing moron ” and a raft of others from a select little group that hover here .
    Just skip back to where all this started on this post, a 2 line comment, followed by my short response and the little group set forth .
    I do have pensioners to support.
    The 2 I am currently living with .as the aged pension in Australia is a shocker .

    Now, back to the original Mars08 comment , my response , and the following diatribe , any comment on that ?
    A little bit of single the young fool out for attention , maybe ?

  39. mars08

    Don’t expect me to explain myself, Katrina.

    I’m too busy working. Paying taxes for your schooling, medical care and the roads you use to get to work.

  40. Anonymous One

    “Macintyre suggests it has a lot to do with the general decline in active participation in politics.

    The party Menzies created was a mass party in which branches included people from all walks of life,” he says. But as membership and participation in political parties has declined they’ve become much more vulnerable to the influence wielded by smaller and more ideological sections within them. Religious groups are among those who can take advantage of the vulnerability to exert much more influence than they do in society at large.”

    It would seem we only have ourselves to blame.

    I see no way to arrest the decline in active participation in politics. I think we reached a point where we got enough from unions – where much active participation resided – so did not need them anymore. The modern world of technology and complexity is also one that leads to self-interest and laziness. Many causes such as over-immigration, extended government provision of services, breakdown of family tightness/unity/imposed disciplines, and technology has all resulted in a decline in community level cooperation.

    Our very success is ruining us. The decline of once dominant civilisations shows it often does. Success makes it more difficult to have abrupt adaptive changes, much harder to change course and leads to arrogant leadership.

  41. Anne Seville

    Katrina ? only 18 ?
    Damn she made mince meat out of some of the old duffers
    {and I’m an old duffer }
    You go girl

  42. Michael Taylor

    Katrina, I’m not into he said/she said.

    Given that a number of people here have said that they are pensioners, I thought you were taking a dig at them.

    If I was wrong I apologise.

  43. Michael Taylor

    PS – if you want to argue with older people then go for it. But remember too, that you can learn a lot from them. I’m familiar with most of the ‘old’ regulars here and I can attest that they have wisdom in their years. If an old bugger like me can still learn, then a bright young lady like you has much to gain.

    Sure, this doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. I often don’t either. 😉

  44. cornlegend

    Katrina Logan
    I see you have been accepted into University of Queensland so congratulations and I hope you fly
    I also note you may be living in Terri Butlers electorate and voting for her .
    You have a woman there who is shining in politics and I’m sure you could learn from her .
    I am not real sure why a smart young woman like you would chose the ALA for the Senate thoughbut hey , you did
    Katrina, you are undoubtedly an incredibly bright and articulate young woman
    I wish you would use just a fraction of your obvious ability to stick it right to the rotten LNP . as you and your generation have much to lose if Turnbull gets re elected .
    Don’t take this as an attack, as I too am an old duffer {as someone above mentioned}, but I really would like you on my side in the fight against the LNP and all that is bad that they stand for .

  45. corvus boreus

    There seems to be a songsheet for those championing the prolonging of institutionalized religious privelidge which includes a few phrases that surpass hyperbolic foolishness and stray into the territory of ludicrous oxymorons.
    One purveyor of such patent absurdities is Anthony Fisher, George Pell’s replacement to head the Sydney Catholic archdiocese, who recently described Australia as a ‘warzone’, in which ‘fundamentalist atheists’ were seeking a ‘secular caliphate’.
    I understand that Mr Fisher is merely parroting an idiotic sledge-tag dreamed up by ideologically affiliated and similarly reality challenged bigots in the US bible belt, but his description of a ‘secular caliphate’ clearly indicates that he does not have a clue as to the meaning of at least one of those two terms.

  46. Backyard Bob

    One does wonder who Fisher has in mind for the position of caliph. I mean, I’m not doing much at the moment but it sounds like a whole bunch of work, so, yeah, screw that ….

  47. corvus boreus

    Cornlegend,
    “Incredibly”?

  48. Katrina Logan

    Cornlegend

    I thank you for your civil manner in your comments to me and appreciate your good wishes on my future education .
    I have noticed in the few comments of yours that I have read, you tend to treat people respectfully and with courtesy .
    That being said, if you extend the same to me it will be reciprocated .
    I do not know your full political beliefs , but fear that although we may have similar views on many issues, the trend on here is, unless you agree 100% with the pack mentality on every issue, you are to be shunned, demeaned and abused .
    I have strong personal views on the issues of asylum seekers and on Islam , so, to the pack my views on any other issue become irrelevant to them.
    I will fight against the LNP because it is in my interest an the interest of those close to me to have them voted out .
    I will however be voting ALA in the Senate , so I am sure that is where any close collaboration with you would result in further attacks on myself

    I just noticed, one comment above has taken you to task for using the word “Incredibly”?
    I guess that shows your reputation would be brought into question with any perceived association with me.
    Thanks, and good luck in your political struggles, but me, I think I am forced into the “loner” position

    Mar08
    You can ease up on your working ,you don’t pay for me .
    My dad worked F.I.F.O for years to pay my University fees and we are privately covered with Health Insurance.
    You could work a bit harder though, the roads are atrocious, and could you do something about them if you are financially responsible as you seem to assert

  49. corvus boreus

    Katrina Logan,
    Regarding your aside, I questioned the employment of a florid descriptive, not the credibility of reputation of the poster, with whom, despite substantive differences upon some matters, I have enjoyed some constructive and informative exchanges.
    I hope you have, by now, realized that mars08 offered a disposable line of cheap sarcastic remark, which you, it would seem, mistakenly viewed as a ‘genuine lefty jihadist’, and devoted repeated typographical efforts (with extensive quotation cut and pastes) demanding immediate fixated communal attention and general address of his post. This was neither particularly constructive nor informative, although I did find the quoted par-intro into the Overland thesis worth following up.
    Regarding your accusations of diatribes being directed against you on this discussional thread, my advice is to toughen up, princess. Little harsh was uttered on this page, and if you are going to play extremist politics with the likes of the ALA and (especially) Reclaim Australia, you will likely hear far worse vilification (from both supporters and opponents) than this site has to offer.

    Ps, During work today I not only contributed income tax of a little under $100 (which goes directly into consolidated revenue rather than straight into social welfare), but I also spent my lunch watching a carpet python devour a water dragon.

  50. Katrina Logan

    ” and devoted repeated typographical efforts (with extensive quotation cut and pastes) demanding immediate fixated communal attention and general address of his post.”
    this princess sees that as a lot of fluff and fluster

    “During work today I not only contributed income tax of a little under $100”
    You should have sent it to Mars08 , who it seems is responsible fr funding roads .
    Wouldn’t fix much of a pot hope though

  51. corvus boreus

    Katrina,
    “Selected quote”.
    Brief dismissal.
    “Selected quote”.
    Brief dismissal.
    You should vary your formula.
    Ps, “repeated typographical efforts (with extensive quotation cut and pastes) demanding immediate fixated communal attention and general address of his post. ” means, in twitter, you, many times, said, ‘you should talk to mars and refute his post’

  52. Matters Not

    Be careful corvus boreus, Katrina is the current ‘golden child’. Instead of offering helpful advice, many contributors are simply clapping. And by so doing, simply encouraging intellectual laziness.

    Here’s a few quotes: after you in depth analysis. Hilarious. But there’s more. have a moral right that others not
    actively prevent them from engaging in wrongdoing.
    For shit’s sake. How can one sensibly respond to that type of ‘crap’

    There’s even more. But I won’t rain on the ‘tea party’. But one last one: pot hope though

    Sorry Katrina but those who are patting you on the back are doing you a disservice. In many ways they are preventing you from ‘growing up’.

  53. mars08

    @Katrina… did you also attended a private primary school which rejected all government funding? Do you rely on our armed forces to protect you from those sneaky asylum seekers? Did the company that employed your dad forego government subsidies and avoid using public roads?

    Taxes Katrina. Savvy?

  54. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    I will devote no more space on this thread to stating my personal perceptions regarding the posted foibles of some student extremist, except where they pertain to relevant discussion of the attempts by various religious lobbying bodies to influence and effect the conduct of civil governance to their own benefit.

  55. Matters Not

    to influence and effect

    And let’s not forget the ‘affect’ as well.

  56. Keith Jenkins

    mars08
    What game are you playing, do you think you are the only one to pay taxes ?
    The kid said her father worked F.IF.O so you can rest assured he would have paid his share .
    The kid kicked your arse and the best you can come back with is the fact that you pay taxes ?
    FFS, so do half the country
    I see who needs to grow up here and it ain’t the kid

  57. Backyard Bob

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this discussion thread is already the front runner for the AIMN Weirdest Thread of 2016 award. I seriously cannot see it being surpassed.

  58. mars08

    Did i say i was the only one paying taxes? Did i complain about paying taxes? Did i assert that her dad did not pay taxes? What on earth are you on about Keith? As far as my arse being kicked… I wasn’t even aware that she has given it a shot!

    God luv ya Keith… I guess you mean well.

  59. Anne Seville

    corvus boreus

    If you want to see with this topic went off track, don’t blame Katrina
    It was this idiotic statement and it deserved the rubbishing it got

    “mars08January 31, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Ah wait! Oh that ruins everything. How are we treacherous, disloyal lefties supposed to introduce Sharia law after the revolution????”

  60. Matters Not

    Great post Keith Jenkins. (For reasons, I suspect, you’ll never understand).

    You’ve made me realise the problems we have.

    And to be honest I don’t have any solutions as to how we address same.

    Personally, I blame the education system. Too much emphasis on whatever ..

  61. Anne Seville

    Mars8
    Keith jenkins picked it right
    do you deny making these little forays or was it the Easter Bunny
    “I’m too busy working. Paying taxes for your schooling, medical care and the roads you use to get to work

    @Katrina… did you also attended a private primary school which rejected all government funding? Do you rely on our armed forces to protect you from those sneaky asylum seekers? Did the company that employed your dad forego government subsidies and avoid using public roads?

    Taxes Katrina. Savvy?”

    You stuffed up big time, wear it !!

  62. Mick Byron

    mars08
    Its a good thing you use a non de plume, you surely wouldn’t want anyone to know your real name with the goose you’re making of yourself

  63. Backyard Bob

    I can understand why Keith has a natural affinity for Katrina. They both have an unusual and most curious habit of inserting a space before the closing punctuation in sentences. That can be a bonding thing.

  64. Backyard Bob

    Wow, so many posters; so little punctuation.

  65. Matters Not

    mars08, you have my sympathies..

    FFS, clearly I live in a different ‘intellectual’ world than ‘Mick’, ‘Anne’ and the like.

    You know about being ‘gooses’ and the like.

    As for the: “unusual and most curious habit of inserting a space before the closing punctuation in sentences”.

    A mere cypher?

  66. mars08

    Strangers in the night…

    Buenas noches amigos, y que tengas dulce sueños.

  67. mars08

    Oh wait! I do not use a “non de plume”. I don’t even know what that is….!

  68. Roswell

    Bob, I have a sneaking suspicion that a large number of people here are the same person. Too many coincidences. Too many similarities.

  69. Backyard Bob

    Roswell,

    I would have said it’s way beyond suspicion, but it’s not for me to accuse. Besides I’m kinda enjoying it in a really odd way. This is pure entertainment.

  70. Roswell

    Now that you’ve mentioned it, Bob, it is rather obvious.

  71. John Maycock

    Roswell, aren’t you a moderator ?
    You would have access to peoples emails, names, ip addresses etc so check it out and put a stop to it if you think something strange is happening and if not just get over it

  72. Matters Not

    I am me! Je suis moi. Or perhaps я – это я. Or maybe Είμαι εγώ

    But to me it matters not. It’s all about the ‘ideas’. The advancement of same. The discussion of same. And so it goes.

  73. Roswell

    Why should you be so concerned at what my suspicions are?

  74. Roswell

    Besides, did I say they were doing anything wrong?

    I have suspicions. If you don’t like it – to use your words – get over it.

  75. John Maycock

    Well 10 of the last 11 comments have been about it and you are fanning the alleged conspiracy when you could stop it dead .
    Should I have just agreed with you and toed the line

  76. mark delmege

    where are peaky blinders when you need them?

  77. Roswell

    Do you really think I’d bother?

  78. cornlegend

    Backyard Bob
    “They both have an unusual and most curious habit of inserting a space before the closing punctuation in sentences. ”
    Actually, I do that too, a bloody habit I picked up years ago
    Should i change my name to Keith or Katrina, or just buy a wig ?

  79. corvus boreus

    Anne Seville,
    I noted that line of sarcastic comment by Mars 08, and devoted the space and attention it deserved; a single line asking him to refrain from using such confusion causing (and potentially offensive) sarcasm in future.
    Now, did you wish to add anything about the title topic of the thread, namely religion and it’s influence upon politics?

  80. corvus boreus

    A casual aside upon basic rules of general punctuation.
    When writing sentences, after the insertion of any appropriate clauses, one should immediately close the remark with an appropriate punctuation mark. Leave a single space, then begin the next sentence.
    Finish, pause, continue. Clear? Alright!

  81. mars08

    @corvus boreus

    If I’m got to stop doing “potentially offensive”… what’s the point of even commenting?

  82. diannaart

    Hmmmm ‘coincidence’ ? . ? . ?

    Is it likely that John Maycock, Katrina, Anne Seville have identical methods of punctuation and layout of commentary ? ? ?

    Cornie – you are the coincidence.

    I happen to agree that Backyard Bob has shown the most excellent sleuthing skills.

    And this really is AIMN Weirdest Thread of 2016

    and it’s only February,

  83. cornlegend

    diannaart
    I’ve been doing it since I helped drive the first nail into the ARK 😀
    I think it is catching though , cause people I correspond with, a couple of them have picked up my habit
    I just checked, damn I was doing it way back in the days of Political Sword, Cafe Whispers and on Truthys .
    Too bloody old to change now, so the grammar nazis will have to live with it , {and the spelling errors ]
    I’m too old to bother about that, nore interested celebrating if i wake up and still breathing each day !

  84. diannaart

    cornlegend

    Highly contagious then . Hmmm ?

    😀

  85. cornlegend

    diannaart
    damn, you caught it { Hmmm ?}
    sorry :-{

  86. diannaart

    Now, I’ll have to be quarantined .

  87. corvus boreus

    mars08,
    I”ll restate that as me preferring you didn’t post any more of such sarcastic parody rather than asking you to desist, but fact is, one snide aside from mars regarding ‘lefty sharia revolution’ was enough to be latched onto and given literal credence, then persistently cited as a main means for derailment of the discussion by the ‘reclaim straya reps’.
    There’s been shit all on-topic chatter or links to learning since.
    In the end, though, that’s only my opinion, and they are your words to choose and use as you please.

  88. mars08

    Frankly cb… and with due respect…. NO!!!

    I will not be silenced or intimidated by a bunch of vapid, wilfully ignorant, faux outraged, dishonest, disingenuous, trite, incessant, tedious tools.

    If they want to take my obvious sarcasm literally, then so be it. If they want to screech their contrived displeasure about my supposed personal insults, so be it.

    I’m not going to let those precious darlings censor me in THIS forum. If they insist on finding a way to interpret my comments offensive, they can suck it up… or leave.

    As for their screeching causing discussions to be derailed, I won’t cop the blame for that. It takes participation by all parties for that to happen. It requires that their whinging be given some credibility.

    Here’s a thought… if you believe that i have really made an insulting, dishonest or tasteless comment… just call me on it. Otherwise let’s all show some solidarity and ignore the tossers who just come here to disrupt and cause friction.

  89. mark delmege

    I must admit my first thought was to react to the calling of sharia types as lefty but no one should be that stupid. But then Pavlovian responses here are common and I’m sure I have done it myself. There is of course another here who uses sarcasm in most posts as a writer so I guess sarcasm is a legitimate tool on here.
    Now about those Peaky Blinders – they made Monday night TV worthwhile.

  90. mars08

    @mark delmege… it’s not just stupidity that causes some people to be offended by some sledgehammer sarcasm. There are also those characters who make a big effort in choosing to be outraged… just so they can disrupt the discussion with their insincere, contrived cries for an apology.

  91. Katrina Logan

    Rosswell or Michael
    I note that now I am supposed to be dual personalities .
    diannaart
    “Is it likely that John Maycock, Katrina, Anne Seville have identical methods of punctuation and layout of commentary ? ? ? .”
    as you will note, the person making the assumptions does exactly what these so called dual personalities do.
    Now let me state quite categorically,I post under my own name and say what my opinion is .
    Why would I need to hide behind another identity?
    Tonight, as is our practise, friends from Anonymous and I will be doxxing mad Muslims linked to ISIS .
    I would do some doxxing of all who have participated in this thread and provide addresses ph, numbers ISP providors and IP addies
    and bank details if they are fool enough to have them on their HD.
    Doing some white hat Michael, there are some vulnerabilities here on the AIMN that you might like your techies to address
    The offer is open, if you want this “false identity” issue put to rest
    p.s. just for the sake of it I logged in from Uzbekistan today

  92. The AIM Network

    Katrina, if you would like to talk to us about these vulnerabilities then you are welcome to email us via the ‘Contact Us’ facility at the top of the page.

  93. diannaart

    @Katrina Logan

    “Is it likely that John Maycock, Katrina, Anne Seville have identical methods of punctuation and layout of commentary ? ? ? .” as you will note, the person making the assumptions does exactly what these so called dual personalities do.

    The “person’ – yours truly, making the assumptions was deliberately making a point.

    I chose to do my punctuation the same way as you, John Maycock and Anne Seville, quite deliberately, to mock, AKA as sarcasm or even irony.

    Freedom of Irony for all!!!!!

    Mars08 – I’m with you.

  94. The AIM Network

    “. . . if you want this “false identity” issue put to rest”.

    Actually, Katrina, no one gives a damn about false identities so there’s no need to even mention it.

    Besides, who am I to talk? About eight people post comments as ‘The AIM Network’.

  95. randalstella

    Excuse me.
    Is it not about false multiple identities coming from one person, mocking up a discussion, faking a weight of opinion against genuine single identity posters? Is that OK?
    It might be hard to eliminate it. But that is not the point.
    I assume that AIMN is not in favour of it. I assume that because obviously it could sabotage discussion and the willingness of people to contribute.

    I know of another ‘independent’ site where there is one opinion allowed, repeated any number of times, especially by braying galoots.
    AIMN should try all it can not to turn out like that.

  96. Meg Em

    Christianity is the largest Australian religion according to the national census. In the 2011 Census, 61.1% of Australians were listed as Christian. Australia has no official state religion and the Australian Constitution protects freedom of religion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: