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Oz’s godlessness blamed on aggressive atheists & ‘queers’

Oz’s godlessness blamed on aggressive atheists & ‘queers’

It was widely reported last week that the number of atheists in Australia had increased by an amazing 45 percent in just five years.

Jennifer Oriel, above, a columnist for The Australian, was appalled by the rise, which took place between the Australian census of 2011 and the one in 2016.

Australia was created as a nation under God. Soon, it will fall. In the latest census, only 52 per cent of the population identified as Christian. Atheist groups are celebrating the decline of Christianity and the prospect of a nation without God, while cultural relativists are heralding a brave new world of multiculturalism.

She said that the Atheist Foundation of Australia must shoulder some  the blame for the result because it had campaigned for people to mark “no religion” on the census.

Despite Christianity being the leading religion in Australia, ‘no religion’ was ranked first on the list of possible responses to the religious affiliation question.

She went on:

Across the West, governments are withdrawing funding for Christian groups while activist networks intensify the war of ­attrition against the faithful by means of propaganda and lawsuits. Religious freedom exists in the 21st century West, but the cost imposed on Christians who exercise it can be prohibitive. In the education sector, the media and even the military, there is ­advocacy against Christianity. The anti-Christian position is invari­ably couched in the language of ­diversity, inclusion and minority rights.

The most aggressive displays of intolerance towards Christians sometimes come draped in the rainbow flag. Queer activists have participated in violent protests against advocates for heterosexual marriage. Some have joined with civil liberties groups to deny Christians freedom from PC tyranny by suing small business owners that won’t sanction gay marriage.

More recently, big business has entered the fray by denouncing conservative governments that uphold democratic processes such as the proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage. We used to have a name for a corporate politics that subverts democracy by throwing cash at politicians: fascism.

Oriel’s blather is hidden by a paywall. But there’s a pretty lively debate on her column on the paper’s Facebook page, with people saying things like:

Sorry, but that claim is from America. That country WAS created as a nation under God. Australia was not. It is a secular society and always has been. Freedom of religion is the plank we have always operated on, and that is what is being eroded now. Let’s stop with the misconceptions and the prejudice.

And:

Rubbish, paranoid superstition has no place in our society. Australia has moved on along the path to being a truly secular nation, nothing wrong with that. Religion is still practised freely here, nothing wrong with that either, we just don’t want it as a dominant factor in our lives. Keep it at home, out of schools and government and we’ll all get along fine.

Oriel concludes:

Australian society and the values we cherish are the fruits of a civilisation built on the word of Christ. To state such a truth is to invite ridicule. We are supposed to attribute the virtues of the modern free world largely to science, technology or the Enlightenment. Our righteous anger about the horrific sexual abuse of children by priests increases the temptation to ignore the decline of the church.

But our understandable anger about ­ordained pedophiles and those who shield them should not blind us to the extraordinary promise of Judaeo-Christianity. It has given us inherent human worth, dignity, equality, freedom, secular statehood and liberal democracy.

Enter Bernard Salt, also a columnist for the Australian. In this piece, he writes:

The rise of atheism speaks to a powerful cultural truth about the Australian people. On the one hand it can be argued that we are evolving as a godless and self-centred people more concerned about our quality of life rather than eternal salvation. But it also can be argued that many Australians are turning away from the Christian churches in particular as a consequence of revelations about child abuse by clergy. Indeed there is no doubt some truth in both of these views.

But there is another perspective. And that is that the religious allegiance declared by many in past censuses was meaningless. We ticked the box that said we were Catholic or Anglican or Uniting but this didn’t mean anything. We did not go to church or identify with any particular religious affiliation, not even when we filled out paperwork for hospital day procedures.

Finally there is relief, there is honesty, there is a break with the religious affiliations of our youth and now in this decade the Australian people are finally being set free. In many ways, and without wishing to at all appear disrespectful, this is a cultural awakening of a repressed people, as opposed to an oppressed people, that acknow­ledges where our true values lie.

He adds:

The rise of godlessness, for that is what it is, has found resonance in every part of the nation and across all age groups. The number of atheists 65 and older (600,000) is double the number at the beginning of the decade. It’s not just the young and the healthy who are turning away from the Almighty; it’s ageing, fast-fading, baby boomers who increasingly are mindful of what may, or what may not, lie beyond the great abyss.

The only way to fully explain the strength of the rise of this heathenism is that for many this is a philosophical realisation that at our core we are not believers, let alone true believers.

If ever there were a place on the Australian continent that might attract the freethinking and the godless it would be Byron Bay in NSW, right? And you would indeed be right. At the 2016 census just 44 per cent of Byron’s population were believers, down from 59 per cent just five years earlier. Byron’s believers are losing market share at a rate of almost three percentage points a year. At this rate by 2030 Byron will be completely and utterly godless.

23 responses to “Oz’s godlessness blamed on aggressive atheists & ‘queers’”

  1. gedediah says:

    Hooray. Lots of encouraging stats there.

  2. lonbo says:

    Hooray some more. The survival of our species depends on the dissolution of superstition based institutions. Godlessness is good, all the time….

  3. barriejohn says:

    Despite Christianity being the leading religion in Australia, ‘no religion’ was ranked first on the list of possible responses to the religious affiliation question.

    And how very inconsiderate of those wicked atheists to tick that box rather than lie, and claim to follow the “leading religion of Australia”(she makes it sound like following a football team!). I see that she’s soon talking about money again; is that “bountiful” god of theirs completely unable to provide the wherewithal for their ambitious schemes? They know, don’t they, that if they can’t indoctrinate the upcoming generation they’re finished, and that’s what’s playing on their minds.

  4. Angela_K says:

    “Godlessness blamed on aggressive atheists and queers” I suggest they should be applauded for getting people off the god drug. It seems to be part and parcel of being religious, that is to moan, whine and play the victim card; they could of course ask their god to intervene as they often do when talking to their hands, without result.

  5. Paul says:

    Aren’t they due a flood or a massive fire or drought soon?
    Something else to blame on being godless and all those queers buggering everything up.

  6. Spyke says:

    “Australia was created as a nation under God”.
    Hello. Really. I don’t think so. Just as the USA is not “One Nation under God”.

    A large portion of Americans may say “In god we trust” but don’t forget that the USA elected both Trump and George Dubblya Bush and that is a reliable gauge against which to calibrate a large portion of Americans as rather credulous and vacant.

    Its the internet, facilitating the free and easy transfer of facts and data, that has been the ruin of organised religion. Religions are dying, even in places where people are forced on pain of death to say they believe. The force of numbers will certainly kill of religion. Lets hope that time is not too far away.

  7. Spyke says:

    Sorry OT
    Charlie Gard: Pope and Trump offer parents support – BBC News
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40479074
    But this is yet another prime example of the Pious and Spin Doctors using the misfortune of others as raw materials for advancement of the image and credibility. Disgraceful.

    OK Pope donate a shed load of money, provide a private ambulance jet, scoop the poor child and his parents to the best hospital in the USA and Donald foot the bill for the very very best in treatment. Now if you don’t then the conclusion is clear. You are using people in distress for your own specious agenda.

  8. David Anderson says:

    Spyke; Yeah, I’m pretty sure that Australia, the American continent and other places were all there before the christians arrived with their poisons of disease and religion.

  9. Stonyground says:

    “Australian society and the values we cherish are the fruits of a civilisation built on the word of Christ. To state such a truth is to invite ridicule.”

    Not ridicule, people just point out that it isn’t true.

    “We are supposed to attribute the virtues of the modern free world largely to science, technology or the Enlightenment.”

    That is because the virtues of the modern free world are largely due to science, technology and the enlightenment.

    As for the poor Christians being “persecuted” by the gays, well cry me a river. The Christians persecuted the gays for centuries and are now bleating because they are no longer allowed to.

  10. Stuart H. says:

    Christians in Australia certainly know a thing or two about persecution, and turning other people’s misfortune into hard cash. We still don’t know how much the Catholic church made selling kids from their orphanages for Australian slave labour up until at least the 1960’s for example.

  11. Cali Ron says:

    “One Nation, under God”. Translation: One nation under the influence of religion, deceived and deluded into giving up their personal freedom to it.

    This American bows to no god or representative of said, for there is no god and I’m certainly not under one.

  12. DOM says:

    Finally, looks like my grand children will grow up in a godless country!

  13. Bob says:

    Australia remains a religious country, with 60% of our population reporting a religious affiliation. However, the proportion of people reporting no religion, including people with secular and other spiritual beliefs, increased to 30% in 2016 – up from 22% five years ago.

    The current state of the nation’s faith breaks along age lines. Older people keep their faith. Younger people tend to report ‘no religion’. This response was most common among younger people, with 39% of those aged 18 to 34 reporting no religious affiliation.

    Part of the decline in religious affiliation is a general move away from the traditional Christian denominations. Nevertheless, 52% reported an affiliation with a Christian religion – predominantly Catholic (23%) and Anglican (13%). New South Wales and Queensland remain the most Christian states, but there is an overall decline in the percentage of Australians reporting their faith as Christian.

    About 8.2% of us reported a religion other than Christianity, with Islam (2.6%) and Buddhism (2.4%) the most common.

  14. StephenJP says:

    Godwin’s Law works for written as well as electronic media. Once Oriel evoked “fascism” she automatically lost the argument.

    Well done Oz. I look forward to the day when religion in the UK becomes a hobby, like birdwatching or Morris dancing, for consenting adults in private. Maybe you’ll beat us to it.

  15. RussellW says:

    Probably Bernard Salt has a point, the census result is as much caused by a rise in honesty as a dramatic increase in atheism. It’s now not so dangerous for people to ‘out themselves’ as atheists. We will never now how many people in the past weren’t believers but who couldn’t confess their lack of faith because of the risk of persecution.

  16. Cali Ron says:

    In America I’d guess that at least half of Catholics are not practicing and only attend church on Xmas and Easter. Probably about the same for other denominations. A lot of those evangelicals spend way more time drinking at the bar than praying at church. Christian hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  17. Robster says:

    Headless chooks in silly hats galloping about in a frenzy wondering where the people went! That describes the churches in Australia. Reduced to a minority, mind you 52% Jesus is a wee majority, the best figure is the about 8% that attend a religious facility once a month or more, monthly attendance seems to be Bureau of Statistics measure of piety.

  18. 1859 says:

    If Ms Oriel thinks that what is happening in Oz with regard to religious belief is ‘fascism’, she should really go back to school and learn the real meaning of the word. Because what is happening in Ozzie is probably the complete opposite of fascism. And if her statistics are correct and not exaggerated them I for one will celebrate them and raise a glass of Ozzie wine to their emancipation!

  19. Maggie says:

    Perhaps there will be new freshly minted Atheist faces at the Global Atheist Forum in Melbourne next year.

  20. Spyke says:

    Cardinal George Pell. Enough said I think.

  21. CoastalMaineBird says:

    “Despite Christianity being the leading religion in Australia, ‘no religion’ was ranked first on the list of possible responses to the religious affiliation question.”
    And who knows how many christians mistakenly checked the first box without reading it, because of course christianity should be first on the list.

    if they had put “tomato worship” as the first box, would all the christians be hoodwinked by that, as well ?

    These folks don’t really think their arguments through…

  22. John the Drunkard says:

    Apparently, the American kooks have succeeded in convincing SOME Australians that the ‘under god’ trope is part of the founding sentiments of the state.

    Which is nonsense. The Constitution is a secular document, no matter how often the ex-Confederates whinge otherwise. And…by the way, the CONFEDERATE Constitution DID include specifically Xtian language.