History and Origins of Flinders University Secular Society:
The spark for the formation of Flinders University Secular Society was a speech by Jason Ball at the 2012 Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, where our founder was inspired to start a secular club at Flinders Uni to help freethinking students, graduates, staff and friends connect and progress the secular agenda on campus and in the wider community.
The inaugural general meeting of the society took place on 30/8/2012 at the Flagstaff Hotel, near Flinders University. 6 people attended the first meeting and formed the first committee. Shortly after, the society was officially affiliated with Flinders University. Several Secular Schooners were enjoyed by all.
What do we do:
Mostly, sit around drinking Secular Schooners (or beer or cider) and discussing the latest book we read (usually Hitchens, Hirsi Ali or Dawkins) or documentary we watched (usually deGrasse Tyson, Attenborough or Theroux). Sometimes we get active and support a secular cause such as supporting Cr. Doriana Coppola’s bid to remove prayers before council meetings. We have also sent several hundred dollars to Kasese Humanist School in Uganda. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for our activities.
What is secularism?
Secularism can be described as the separation of religion and government. Other definitions include ‘separation of church and state’ or ‘separation of religion and politics’.
Secularism recognises that the world is multicultural and comprises many faiths. There are also many who have no faith in any gods or goddesses. Because no one religion or system of beliefs is superior, adherents of all kinds should have the liberty to worship and celebrate their faith, so long as they do not infringe upon others in any way.
Secularism supports the advancement of science, moral philosophy, human rights, and civil liberties. Democracy and secularism go together well in achieving a society that guarantees justice for all.
Who can join us?
We invite all who support secularism to join us – Pastafarian, Atheist, Christian, Agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, Pagan…all are welcome.
Why do we need a Secular Society?
It has often been asked: “Why do you need to promote Secularism? Dosen’t Australia have a separation of church and state?” Answer = No. Australia is in fact a ‘soft theocracy‘.
Although the Australian Constitution (Section 116) states: “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.”
This has been interpreted by lawmakers (The Dog’s Case, 1981) in this way:
“[Section 116] cannot readily be viewed as the repository of some broad statement of the principle concerning the separation of church and state from which may be distilled the detailed consequences of such separation.”
Thus, Australia has no constitutional separation of church and state.
Prayers are said before parliament to a certain dominant religion’s god. Our monarch is the head of one of the largest religions in the world. Australian taxpayers are forced to support religions activities (World Catholic Youth Day – $$$ Millions), churches receive tax concessions. Three christian crosses, St George, St Andrew and St Patrick feature in the Union Jack in the corner of our flag, and by far the worst:
Australian children are indoctrinated into religion by chaplains in schools.
CEO of christian group Access Ministries had this to say:
“In Australia, we have a God-given open door to children and young people with the Gospel, our federal and state governments allow us to take the Christian faith into our schools and share it. We need to go and make disciples“.
Here are some further examples of the need to campaign for Secularism in Australia.