Our systems of law and government are based on Christian values and beliefs. ABC News There is no denying that Australia is a Western, liberal democracy where Christianity is the major religion and where Islamic terrorism represents a significant threat, writes Kevin Donnelly. A year-old charged with planning an attack involving home made bombs in Melbourne ; an Islamic school in Adelaide sacking a moderate teacherscrapping its music program and putting a stop to singing of the national anthem; and an Islamic school allegedly banning girls from running. When you add the fact that approximately 90 Australians are fighting in Syria and Iraq on the side of terrorist organisations like Islamic State, as well as incidents like the Bali bombings and the plan to attack the Holsworthy army barracks in Sydneyand it's clear we are facing a clear and present danger.
Messenger Australia is often described as a secular country.
What does it mean to be secular? Is permitting halal certificationthe wearing of Islamic headscarvesreligious chaplains in state schools or political lobbying by religious organisations inconsistent with a secular Australia?
Three forms of secularism In his book A Secular AgeCanadian philosopher Charles Taylor identified three different forms of secularism. First, secularism can mean the complete removal of God and religion from the public sphere.
France has this version of secularism. Children attending government-funded schools in France are prohibited from wearing overt religious symbols — as are public officials. This form of secularism does not necessarily mean a decrease in religious belief by the population.
Instead, religion is simply removed to the private sphere. The state can be secular while its population is religious. In this version, there is a measurable reduction in religious belief and practice.
This may occur even where the state still supports religion. Taylor argues this has already taken place in much of Western Europe. For example, in the United Kingdom a significant proportion of the population identify with having no religion, despite the Church of England still being the established church.
In this version the people are atheist while the state may be religious. Religion is not removed from the public sphere; rather it is just once voice among many, include those with no religion. As a result, a state may have a relatively high level of interaction with religion and still be considered secular so long as the state does not endorse one religion to the exclusion of other points of view.
Countries that conform with this form of secularism may also be described as religiously plural. Ultimately, whether or not you consider Australia to be secular will depend on the definition of secularism you use. Section of the Australian Constitution provides that: The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
As a result, the federal government cannot establish a state church.
However, the state does interact with religion. For example, the federal government funds schools run by religious organisations and recognises marriages conducted by religious celebrants. In the Census Australia is a secular country. But it is not one where the majority of the population has turned their backs on religion, even if the numbers doing so are increasing with each census.
Nor is Australia a country where the state has no interaction with religion. Secularism in Australia means no state church. It means giving people a choice between belief and un-belief. It means religious leaders may lobby for their point of view but so too may leaders of atheist, humanist and rationalist organisations.
Australia is still secular, but it has a form of secularism where religion is allowed in the public sphere.
As long as religion remains one voice among many and one option among many Australia will remain a secular country. For those who support this position the only way in which a country can truly live up to the ideals of secularism is if religion is completely separated from the state and as a consequence removed almost completely from the public sphere.
Those who take this position are not wrong; this is one possible meaning of secularism. However, it is not the only meaning. The definition of secularism you choose will ultimately determine your answer to the question: Is Australia a secular country?Australia is a very dry, thinly populated country.
Very few coastal areas receive enough rainfall to support a large population. The largest group of Australian people live in two large cities, Sydney and Melbourne.
The vast interior is mainly desert or grassland and there are very few settlements. Australia is a christian country essay Australia is a christian country essay smaller and smaller circles analysis essay induktiver beweis beispiel essay generation research paper madame pavoshko critique essay thomas cole distant view of niagara falls analysis essay lalla essaydi bullets company essayons bionics companies describe a shopping.
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