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New survey shows majority support for formal separation of church and state

Media Release: The Secular Association of NSW

On 31 January 2023, in the Sydney Morning Herald, the premier of NSW, Dominic Perrottet, was cited as saying:

“What I believe as a Liberal premier of this state … is the separation of church and state.”

On 6-7 February 2023, YouGov undertook a survey on behalf of the Secular Association of NSW. The question was:

Australia has no formal recognition of government and religion. Would you approve or disapprove of a constitutional amendment to formally separate government and religion?

Australia wide, around 53 per cent were in favour of a constitutional amendment to separate government and religion federally, 13 per cent were opposed and 33 per cent didn’t know.

NSW was the state with the highest level of support, with 56 per cent in favour; 10 per cent against; 34 per cent ‘don’t know’.

The 53 per cent national figure makes an interesting contrast to the 39 per cent who said they had no religion in the 2021 Census. It could mean that approximately 15 per cent of religiously committed citizens support separation of church and state.

The secretary of the Secular Association of NSW, Max Wallace, said that Mr Perrottet could make history by being the first state in Australia to formally separate government and religion in its constitution:

“In doing so, Mr Perrottet would be giving voters what they want, confirming that he is true to his word, and not just making a motherhood statement which he knows has general appeal.”

Full survey results available here.


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  1. Phil Pryor

    We will never rid ourselves of the fantasy, myth, illusion, self deception and illogicalities of superstition, religion, fears, phobias and those who are saturated with this. The NSW premier is shaped and soaked in romanist ratbaggery, none of it found in telescopes, microscopes, analyses and test tubes. To avoid evil spirits, burning at stakes, curses, massacres, hell fires, all agonies of the soul, we might start to try getting rid of this retarding and demeaning blottery on civilisation and progress.

  2. Patriciawa

    My long-held creed, so please forgive poetic license! And repeat offence penalty, if necessary!

    I’ve just had an epiphany
    Passing strange for an agnostic
    Whose only daily litany
    Sought help with the Times acrostic.
    I know now that there is a God
    Who hears me and who answers prayers.
    He came here in the shape of Dog
    To cheer me up, relieve my cares.
    He shows me how I should behave,
    To be patient and more cheerful.
    He stays close by, a watchful slave,
    `Cos I’m old and sometimes fearful.
    So thank you, Dog, for being here
    On days I do my wondering why.
    You comfort me — so warm, so near,
    Teaching me to rest, content to die!

  3. Kathryn

    The twisted mix of religion and politics has NO PLACE in a secular, progressive and democratic nation like Australia! It is ESSENTIAL to keep religion OUT of politics! The rigid, ultra-conservative and incredibly misogynistic religious extremism of Catholicism – and every other Christian, Islamic and miscellaneous superstitious, irrational religious belief – has absolutely NO PLACE in the formation of political policies, political decisions and views made for and on behalf of the Australian population which, statistics have shown, is one of the most temporal nations on the planet! Sadly, nobody really believes that the sanctimonious, religious hypocrite, Dom Perrottet, is willing, likely or capable of separating politics from his inherent religious mania and, as such, he will prove to be a dangerous and regressive leader who will – consciously or unconsciously – force his own draconian views onto others and, even worse, turn his narrow, insular view of the world into political policy!

    Such religious mania may be viewed as an “individual right” in this nation but NOT if it is going to influence political decisions that negatively impact on women and others! Catholicism – like so many other religions heavily dominated by sanctimonious “alpha” males – is steeped in misogynism where they believe women are nothing more than “hand maidens” to men. As such, how will such antiquated beliefs impact on our daughters in a nation that prides itself on equality? IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO KEEP RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS and, as such, Australians must ensure that people who maintain extreme religious views are also kept out of political roles where they are in a position of influence or leadership!

    Religious hypocrisy and politics is a dangerous mix which can be defined as simulating qualities in a false pretence of being holy or virtuous. The fact is that hypocrisy is widespread in all domains of life and history has shown that it has played a significant role in bigotry, wars, persecution, church-state relationships and “selective indignation” of so-called “Christians” accusing others of not meeting the strict standards that they sanctimoniously impose on others but which, invariably, they can rarely maintain themselves!

    Perrottet may state that he believes in the separation of church and State but, in reality, as a strict religious conformist, the sense of religious superiority, inherent misogyny and irrational suspicion of other religions is set in stone within the narrow, insular confines of Catholicism and so many other Christian and Islamic religions!

    The Guardian recently had an article that exposed the appalling inherent misogyny embedded in so many Christian and Islamic religions, as so:

    “”The exclusion of women from the priesthood and the sexist notions embedded in religious dogma violate our 21st century principles of equality and social justice. Yet the marginalisation of women in religion has come under surprisingly little scrutiny.

    Anti-discrimination laws in the Sex Discrimination Act mean that organisations in Australia must not discriminate against any individuals based on their gender. But the law allows for special exemptions, such as religious grounds. Under these exemptions, religious organisations are free to refuse to allow women to ordain as clergy.

    Sexism and misogyny are explicitly woven into the dogma and traditions of all mainstream religions. God is personified as male, and his representatives are male. Men are believed to be of higher spiritual authority to women, and many religions do not allow the full ordination of women into the clergy. Some religions disallow women from sitting at the front in their places of worship, and some places of worship refuse entry to women. Religious texts espouse notions of the mental, moral, and spiritual inferiority of women, and religion is used to justify gross forms of gender inequality all around the world.”

    Seriously? Does anyone REALLY believe the sexist BS pushed out by the alpha male heirarchy in so many religions anymore? No wonder so many women are turning their backs on religion! The inherent and insufferable level of misogyny that is steeped within so many male-dominated religions (Christianity, Islam et al) goes against the basic rights of all women and against every law regarding the fair and equitable treatment of people – especially women who have always been the subject of exclusion, subjugation and treated like second-class citizens in religions that falsely preach “equality” for EVERYONE unless, of course, they have a uterus!

    Such draconian, archaic and unfair levels of male domination and misogyny – so ingrained in so many religions where men have set themselves up as judge and jury over women – MUST be stamped out of religious dogma! For the sake of their daughters, women should turn their backs on such religions that revel in the male dominance of women and espouse misogyny. It is the 21st Century and this inherent misogyny CAN NO LONGER BE TOLERATED!

  4. Canguro

    Spoken with your usual blunt and honest perspective, Kathryn. Well done! It’s a curious thing, this pervasive misogyny that permeates so much of religious faith; the seemingly simple fact that all humans on earth, JC included, arrived on the planet via a short journey through a female’s birth canal, caesarian deliveries notwithstanding; ergo, all of us are therefore indebted, for the term of our existence, to the female – mother – who gave birth to us. And yet so much of the male quotient of humankind thinks it is entirely appropriate to devote a large portion of their waking existence to the denigration, humiliation, persecution, criticism, prosecution, abuse, mansplaining, gaslighting, belittling and more, of their female counterparts.

    You mentioned Catholicism as a culprit, along with other religions… it’s a fair bet that one could assert that almost any religion in existence today, by virtue of it existing and by virtue of its attractiveness to both men & women; that those men would feel a natural superiority to women, and the women feel that the men were, in fact superior to them, a sort of unnatural submissiveness that arises out of their being within that environment in the first place.

    Misogyny is, of course, not only confined to religious types. Given the capacity of the human mind to believe anything, given the right circumstances, I’d argue that for a large number of the males on this planet, that fact that they are the active partner in sexual activity and their female partners are the submissive also lends itself to the acceptance of an attitude that speaks of them being the dominant, the superior, and the female the inferior in that situation. So much of the domain of attitude, in the psychological sense, seems to have that binary nature; right & wrong, good & evil, us & them, you & me and so on, and all with valuation attached, and given the predominance of our ego-base and defended psychological constructs, we’re rarely going to say we’re in the wrong and the other is correct. It’s a common observation that humans will defend a wrong idea to its, and their, death. And in that vein, it’s probably unlikely that rusted-on misogynists undergo a Saulian conversion in their attitudes, Alf Garnetts & Archie Bunkers to the end.

  5. Terence Mills

    Upon taking the Chair of the House each day, and a quorum of Members being present , the Speaker makes an acknowledgement of country in the following terms:

    I acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples who are the traditional custodians of the Canberra area and pay respect to the elders, past and present, of all Australia’s Indigenous peoples.

    The Speaker then reads the following prayers:

    Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to vouch safe Thy blessing upon this Parliament. Direct and prosper our deliberations to the advancement of Thy glory, and the true welfare of the people of Australia.

    Our Father, which art in Heaven: Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

    Here’s a suggestion : let’s drop the acknowledgement of country and the prayers and for those who want to participate in ritual organise their prayers in private rooms – smoking ceremonies in the yard with OH&S protocols – after all, we have in our parliament Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus plus others who do not conform to a christian or any other deity.

    There are also quite a few christians who don’t like the use of Father or He when talking about a non-binary deity.

    So, let’s be done with all of it.

  6. Douglas Pritchard

    At the start of a series of lectures looking at USA/China relations locally we were told of the importance of religion.
    In USA (and a lot of Western Nations) it is imperative for any candidate seeking election to have some form of faith.
    Preferably it should be Catholic, C of E, Jewish etc, but the Muslim would be ok depending on location.
    Dont even attempt election without faith in some sort of God.
    In contrast China requires Communist Party membership, and religious faith is seen as a bit loony.
    They actively try to stamp out religious faith.
    Strangely enough the church is important to Russians, and Putin relies on the Orthodox Church to support his ding dong
    Personally, I think those strongly influenced by the sky god should be counseled, and given work, which does not make decisions which affect society as a whole

  7. GL

    Words fail me on this ongoing travesty of reworking stories to not upset children who might become traumatised without having to use swear words. “Sensivity writers”?

    What’s next: Snow White (drugs and racist?) not being kissed by Prince Charming because that could construed as sexual assault. The evil queen is a poisoner and psychopath? The seven male dwarfs, not very representative is it, might have lascivious thoughts.
    Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Goldilocks is breaking and entering and stealing food, therefore performing a criminal act. The bears can be changed to people because bears are scary (and on cocaine) and might attack the trespasser?

    The origins of the now current version of the tale –

    The real concern is more the self appointed “moral” guardians (arseholes sounds better) who are foisting their warped and twisted views onto the world at large under the banner of protecting children from all forms of what they perceive as harmful and traumatising. Utter madness.

  8. Stephen S

    What a joke. As if. The more the christians decline in absolute numbers, the more their federal-state freebies and concessions increase. Federal government now devotes an insane $15b a year to boost the discriminatory church schools and handicap national schooling outcomes. This unlovely political settlement has 100% support from all main parties. The Wizard of Wollstonecraft can die content. George Pell already did.

  9. Canguro

    Douglas Pritchard, re. the CCP and their ‘actively [trying] to stamp out religious faith’, not quite true. Granted, the party is officially atheist. Nevertheless, a small percentage of Chinese are actively religious, around ~14%, almost 200 million!

    From the linked Wiki page, “Despite limitations on certain forms of religious expression and assembly, religion is not banned, and religious freedom is nominally protected under the Chinese constitution. Among the general Chinese population, there are a wide variety of religious practices. The Chinese government’s attitude to religion is one of skepticism and non-promotion.”

    Having travelled extensively within China in the nearly five years spent in that country, I witnessed many examples of religious activity; Buddhism, Daoism (Taoism), Islam, along with a smattering of Christianity. Temples abound, as do mosques and churches. All are visited by millions of worshippers.

    Btw, the CCP has around 96 million members; a drop in the ocean cf. the total population, and membership is not mandatory for the population at large. To the contrary, party membership is utilised in a pragmatic sense by those who seek to ingratiate themselves at some level; local, regional, national, where membership becomes a meal ticket to a cushy sinecure within the party system, and as a broader generalisation, most Chinese are not enamored with the CCP – it’s tolerated because it’s a powerhouse in control, but recognised to be a structure that has enabled fiefdoms, corruption, kleptocracy & autocracy.

  10. Terence Mills


    I agree with you, you need to actually be on the ground to get a feel for what is happening.

    When I visited China (pre Covid) I travelled in regional areas including the Xinjiang region which has the largest Muslim population ; around 50% of the people there are Muslim. I didn’t observe any discrimination and I think I would have if it had been a feature of that region, after all the Muslin community are distinctive in dress and religious adherence.

    Buddhism, Taoism are quite popular and there are also Christian believers (both Catholic and Protestant).

    From my observation Chinese citizens have freedom of religious belief. With such a large and diverse population I guess it’s a question of live and let live.

  11. Douglas Pritchard

    It would be pointless to hold a conversation with someone clearly self abusing.
    You would know that only a portion of the persons brain was engaged with the subject under consideration.
    Isnt that precisely what a person with faith is doing. The best part of 99% of our leaders.
    Yet, it seems that faith (in the unknown) is a prerequisite to holding a responsible role in societies throughout this globe?
    Further we foster their belief by granting them tax free status.
    Beyond the reach of head shrinkers, and held up as being worthy.
    We cant blame anyone but ourselves, and we seem deeply emeshed in the whole culture.

  12. leefe

    “Snow White (drugs and racist?) not being kissed by Prince Charming because that could construed as sexual assault.”

    You’ve obviously never read the original story. The well-known kiss version is a heavily bowdlerised rewriting. *

    And yes, even the kiss is, technically, sexual assault. She’s unconscious, unable to consent or even react. So keep your bloody hands – and lips, and other bodily parts – to yourself.

    ETA: * Actually, I’m thinking of Sleeping Beauty. Same difference.

  13. GL


    What are you going to do when the rabid moral guardians start moving onto other writers like Dickens, Tolstoy, Wells, Mary Ann Evans, Jane Austen, The Brontes, Homer, and the myriad of other authors throughout history all in the name of protecting children’s sensitivity by wrapping them in a blanket of ignorance to a rich past of the written word?

    I was being trying to be sarcastic and facetious but I seemed to failed apparently. And, yes, I have read the Brothers Grimm but was leaning towards the rehashed nicer and cuter versions of Snow White.

  14. Bertrand

    A lot of things get thrown under the bus of political correctness over time. It’s part of the devolution into a quagmire of ignorance, a process best avoided if possible. If moralistic regressives had their way, society would dissolve into unpoetic blandness.
    In modern terms, you will own nothing and be happy.
    But sometimes things backfire as a self-righting process.
    Look at what became of the story of Italy’s Saint Valentine. Today people give flowers or chocolates to demonstrate their love. The original Valentine gave his life to send a message that his love and faith could not be compromised. On the 14th Feb 270 he was beaten, stoned, and beheaded by the Italian State (Mafia?). That silenced him! But the future would know his story.
    Love 1, regressive idiots 0.
    I don’t see how morals can be removed from the State without removing people from the decision-making of the State.
    And what is a decision-making process without people? AI

  15. leefe


    “What are you going to do when the rabid moral guardians start moving onto other writers like Dickens, Tolstoy, Wells, Mary Ann Evans, Jane Austen, The Brontes, Homer, and the myriad of other authors throughout history all in the name of protecting children’s sensitivity … ”

    It’s already happening, but it isn’t the “wokeists” doing it. It’s the white-supremacist, rabid RRWNJs. Look at what’s going on in Florida.

  16. Clakka

    Ha ha ha haaar. “Sure Dom! How are the folks going in Opus Dei?” What a load of conniving BS.

    The dance of the Chimpanzees of sophistry. Always a circular serving imperative; religion, sex, politics and crime. And never shall they part company.

    Nevertheless it would be great to get the skybox hocus-pocus out of our statutes.

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