As the evening of the 2011 Census draws very near, I thought I’d echo the thoughts of many free thinkers and add my two cents worth to the Religion Question discussion.
Not having seen this years’s census questions (we decided to do ours online this year. It will be interesting to see whether the site stands up with millions of hits over a short period of time!) – we can only assume it will be the same or similar to the last one, which looked like this:
Question: What is the person’s religion?
Answering this question is OPTIONAL.
For example, Salvation Army, Hinduism, Judaism or Humanism.
If no religion, mark last box.
( ) Catholic
( ) Anglican
( ) Uniting Church
( ) Presbyterian
( ) Greek Orthodox
( ) Baptist
( ) Lutheran
( ) Islam
( ) Buddhism
( ) Other – please specify
( ) No religion
My thoughts on the question are simple. You are being asked what RELIGION do you embrace/follow not what you BELIEVE.
If you think there may be a god or a god-force or are unsure – please, please tick NO RELIGION. Whether you were raised Catholic, Anglican, C of E or whatever, if you don’t go to church or believe in a personal god that listens to your prayers and decides who lives/dies and when or you have a strong affinity with one of the religions marked – please tell the truth and tick NO RELIGION.
If you are in two minds you are most likely a good person with morals and values – and that doesn’t mean ‘christian values’, it means human qualities that the majority of us have. Labelling them christian or any other religion-inspired term is meaningless.
Australia needs confirmation that this country is secular. Individuals are free to believe whatever they want, but giving the christian right the ammunition to bellow that ‘AUSTRALIA IS A CHRISTIAN NATION!’ will do no one any good…