In this piece by Michelle Grattan we hear how outraged various opposition pollies are at the banning of the practice of handing out bibles at citizenship ceremonies. Tasmanian Liberal senator Guy Barnett was quoted as telling the Coalition party room that this was:
”political correctness gone mad. There should be freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”
I beg to differ. I want freedom FROM religion – specifically its unwanted influence on children, its unwanted drain on our taxes, its undue privilege, and especially for its ignorance of reality and reason. Freedom OF religion is fine – by all means once you become a citizen if you want a bible, the works of L. Ron Hubbard, or any equivalent work of fiction, then you should have it, but let’s not thrust one brand of religion at new migrants and pretend that its on the grounds of freedom or equity.
Barnett also called the measure “an extremist US approach to the separation of church and state”. I’m sorry, what is it about ‘separation’ that you don’t understand? Something’s either separate or not – is he advocating that church should only be a bit separate to state? In my mind, the two should not even be mentioned in the same breath. The State is a necessary construct for a society to live and prosper; the church is a pass-time for some. Next he’ll be wanting a separation of Football and State, but that would really be intolerable.
Several notables have popped a cork over this issue, as they see the inevitable erosion of the power and influence of the church over the flock. Oh dear, one more opportunity to commence the brain-washing has been lost. Add that to the success of ethics classes in schools, and the new fight being taken up regarding the forcing of chaplaincy programs on state schools, and we have had a good year for rational thinking.
This has led me to wonder why it is that all the noise is coming from the right of politics? What is it about the conservative politicians and religion? I’m cooking up a piece on this very topic, and would be grateful for any insights readers may have.