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Major political parties unlikely to act on religious charity loopholes, RSA Webinar told

The major political parties appear unlikely to pursue much-needed reform in the charities sector due to their desire not to ...

Make Anzac Day services secular and welcoming for all, RSA tells government

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the Albanese government to ensure that Christianity does not again dominate the ...

RSA urges supporters to back new bill allowing teleheath for assisted dying

The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging its members and supporters to take action in support of proposed laws that ...

RSA urges Labor MPs to act on discrimination against non-religious people

The Rationalist Society of Australia has asked Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor colleagues in the House of Representatives to address ...

Reform on radar after Air Force review finds ‘conflict’ between faith-based values and Defence values

The Air Force is developing a proposal to introduce non-religious wellbeing officers into its pastoral care and chaplaincy capability, the ...

Councils taking note of human rights implications of prayer rituals

The imposition of religious prayers as part of local government meetings contravenes Victoria's human rights law, according to legal advice ...

RSA calls for election commitment to replace parliament’s prayers in least religious state

The Rationalist Society of Australia has sought a commitment from the four largest parties contesting the Tasmanian election to replace ...

RSA seeks meeting with government to discuss discrimination against non-religious Australians

The Rationalist Society of Australia is seeking a meeting with Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to discuss how the Albanese government will ...

Victorian Opposition will “fiercely oppose” attempt to remove Christian prayers

The Victorian Opposition has vowed to “fiercely oppose” any attempt to remove daily Christian prayer rituals from the state parliament ...

New optimism for disestablishment of church in UK, RSA webinar told

Increased public scrutiny over church-state relations in the United Kingdom is providing hope for disestablishment of the state church, the ...

GPs, psychologists who impose religion on LGBTIQ patients still operating, says Labor MP

Doctors and psychologists who treat LGBTIQ patients with prayers and scripture continue to operate in South Australia, a Labor member ...

Conversion bans must apply in religious settings, RSA tells Tasmanian inquiry

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the Tasmanian government to expand its proposed laws on conversion practices to also ...

Submission to the consultation draft of the Justice Miscellaneous (Conversion Practices) Bill 2024 

This is our submission to the Tasmanian Department of Justice's consultation into the draft Justice Miscellaneous (Conversion Practices) Bill 2024 ...

Atheist leader calls for transparency over work of NSW Faith Affairs Council

The atheist community leader blocked from a position on the New South Wales Faith Affairs Council is calling for transparency ...

One-third of members in Victoria’s upper house boycotting prayer ritual

One-third of the total number of lawmakers in the Victorian Parliament's upper house are boycotting the Christian prayer ritual at ...

RSA urges Productivity Commission to reconsider position on ‘advancing religion’

The federal government should extend equal treatment to organisations promoting non-religious worldviews and create a new charitable purpose for them ...

Submission to the Productivity Commission’s draft report

This is our submission to the Productivity Commission’s draft report in its inquiry on philanthropy. The submission process closes on ...

RSA tells Labor MPs to act on Victorian Parliament’s exclusionary prayer practice

In a push to encourage the Victorian government to deliver on its promise of removing Christian prayers from parliament, the ...

RSA urges Victorian Premier to deliver on promise to remove prayers

The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging secular-minded Victorians to join in calling on the Victorian government to deliver on ...

Exclusive: NSW government to exclude ‘religious counselling’ from gay conversion laws, says faith leader

The New South Wales government has given religious communities a guarantee that its proposed conversion therapy laws will not impact ...

Independent MPs urged to support recommendations for transparency and accountability in charities sector

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged Independent members of the federal parliament to support recommendations aimed at enhancing “public ...

RSA urges new Queensland Premier to act on Religious Instruction

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the newly installed Queensland Premier and his education ministers to move Religious ...

RSA urges religious clerics to advocate expanding NSW faith body to add atheist leader

The Rationalist Society of Australia has asked the newly appointed New South Wales Faith Affairs Council to advocate for the ...

Document raises questions over Army regiment’s participation in church service

The Australian Army has questions to answer about the lawfulness of its religious activities after it appears the Army required ...

Labor MP calls for ban on conversion practices in South Australia

A state Labor member in South Australia is calling on his own government to ban “insidious” gay conversion practices in ...

South Australian government “not considering” religious exemptions issue

The South Australia government appears to have walked away from proposals to amend the state’s Equal Opportunity Act to remove ...

Victorian council ignores concerns about prayer ritual, backs ‘tradition’

A rural Victorian council will continue to require observance of Christian worship in its meetings despite pleas from one councillor ...

UK Armed Forces introduce secular pastoral care roles, as Australian personnel go without

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has officially announced the introduction of new non-religious pastoral care roles into the Armed ...

Media release: Report contradicts religious claims of moral superiority

Religious claims of moral superiority over non-religious people do not stack up, the latest report into religiosity in Australia reveals ...

Perth council says it does “not compel” participation in Christian prayers

The City of Perth council will continue imposing acts of Christian worship at its council meetings after ignoring concerns from ...

Atheist leader warns of ‘extreme’ views of clerics on religious advisory body

The atheist community leader blocked from a position on the New South Wales Faith Affairs Council due to his beliefs ...

Poll shows support for ACT model of pastoral care in schools, opposition to religious hiring

Most Australians back the Australian Capital Territory government’s model of hiring school pastoral support workers directly instead of through third-party ...

Productivity Commission calls for removal of ‘Basic Religious Charities’ category

Pressure will mount on the Albanese government to remove the privileges that apply to religious charities following recommendations from the ...

Atheist leader’s cameo in human rights campaign video follows NSW government’s decision to block him from new body

An atheist leader has featured in a national campaign video vouching for the right to freedom not to have a ...

Petition calls for reform of SRE in New South Wales’ public schools

The parent behind a new petition calling for reform of the Special Religious Education (SRE) program in New South Wales’ ...

Exclusive: Defence review reveals “strong demand” for Navy’s non-religious pastoral care

An official Defence review into the new non-religious pastoral care positions in the Navy’s chaplaincy branch has revealed strong demand ...

New religious lobby group pressures Minns government over gay conversion laws

A powerful multi-faith lobby group launched by New South Wales Premier Chris Minns last month will urge the state’s new ...

Burnie council rejects pleas of non-religious councillors on prayer issue

A Tasmanian council that represents a majority non-religious population has ignored the pleas of two councillors who wanted council to ...

RSA seeks details from Victorian government on plan to replace parliament prayers

The Rationalist Society of Australia has written to the Victorian Attorney-General to ask when the government will deliver on its ...

Christian fellowship group’s ‘operation’ in Defence seeks to counter ‘Satan’s’ desire for secular reform of chaplaincy

A Christian fellowship group which counts high-ranking military personnel among its members has been conducting an “operation” within the Australian ...

Minns government rejects atheist’s application, privileges religious voice

The Minns government will privilege the voice of religious communities and discriminate on the ground of belief in refusing to ...

Army and Air Force left behind as other nations pursue secular reform

Australia’s Army and Air Force could soon become outliers in not providing a secular pastoral care option for their non-religious ...

Atheist head vies for remaining positions as male religious clerics dominate faith advisory body

Twenty people, including the head of an atheist community group, are vying for the final four places on the New ...

Religious chaplains can create ‘safe place’ for LGBTIQ students, says education department

The federal education department says it expects religious chaplains to be able to help “create a safe place” for students ...

Mechanism for constitutional change ‘broken’, RSA webinar told

The mechanism for changing Australia’s “frozen” Constitution is broken and needs to be fixed, the latest RSA Webinar has heard ...

NSW government rules out changes to SRE

New South Wales education minister Prue Car has ruled out any changes to the Special Religious Education (SRE) program, meaning ...

RSA calls for apology over Defence’s treatment of secular reformer

The Rationalist Society of Australia has asked the federal government and the Australian Defence Force to unreservedly apologise to Collin ...

Councillor Victor Franco triumphs in three-year push to remove prayers

Non-religious councillor Victor Franco has triumphed in his three-year effort to remove prayer rituals from formal meetings at the Boroondara ...

Overwhelming majority supports Boroondara proposal to remove prayers from meetings

The Boroondara community in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs has sent a clear message that it wants prayers removed from local government ...

Premier and government ministers back establishment of new faith lobby group in New South Wales

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns and senior members of his government have thrown their support behind the establishment of ...

Human rights commission’s intervention sparks chaplaincy changes at Ambulance Victoria

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) has instructed Ambulance Victoria to reform its hiring policy for chaplaincy ...

Frankston Council preaches inclusion and diversity, but enforces prayer ritual

The Frankston City Council will continue to mandate prayers at the opening of its meetings even though the majority of ...

Religious beliefs “not a consideration” for workers in new student wellbeing program, says ACT government

The ACT government has assured the Rationalist Society of Australia that no religious-based discrimination will take place in the employment ...

Investigation exonerates former top Navy chaplain and advocate of secular reform

A Defence investigation sparked by complaints from a taxpayer-funded committee of religious clerics has exonerated a former top Navy chaplain ...

Submission to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide – Submission No. 2

Dear Commissioners, This is a formal submission by the Rationalist Society of Australia, which is Australia’s oldest freethought organisation promoting ...

Committee’s Pentecostal representative refers to Defence personnel as “sheep” to bring to “fold”

The Pentecostal representative on the taxpayer-funded committee of religious clerics that oversees the Defence Force’s chaplaincy capability has described military ...

ACT Chief Minister notes ‘religious element’ on question of banning circumcision

The Chief Minister of the ACT, Andrew Barr, has told the Rationalist Society of Australia that outlawing circumcision on infant ...

Surge in non-religious Australia unsettling for some media, webinar told

Significant sections of the Australian media are responding to the rapid rise in non-religious identification with concern, defensiveness and fear, ...

Opposition spokesperson spruiks Defence recruiting plan targeting migrants with stronger belief in God

The federal opposition’s spokesperson for Defence personnel, Luke Howarth, has suggested tapping into migrants who have “stronger faith in God” ...

Atheist group seeks position on NSW religious affairs council

An atheist group has nominated for a position on the New South Wales government’s new Faith Affairs Council. The application ...

South Australian Labor MP pledges action on prayer

A Labor member of the South Australian parliament has pledged to support the removal of Christian worship practices from the ...

NSW government requires religious credentials for members of advisory body

The New South Wales Labor government appears to have excluded non-religious citizens on the grounds of belief from a new ...

Education minister backs advocacy group for religious school chaplains

The Albanese government’s education minister Jason Clare has backed the establishment of a new ‘friendship group’ that will promote religious-based ...

Federal Labor MPs help set up group to advance school chaplaincy

A number of Christian federal Labor MPs have helped to establish a parliamentary ‘friendship group’ to advocate for religious-based chaplaincy ...

RSA submission urges education review to commit to secular education

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called for Australian governments to expressly commit to secular government education and take measures ...

New report: Religious discrimination remains a feature of National Student Wellbeing Program

Religious discrimination against youth workers in Australian public schools is a systemic feature of the operation of the new National ...

Concern over chaplains’ religious identities raises “broad tension” for Air Force

A review into the scandal-plagued Air Force Chaplaincy Branch has identified a “broad tension” in being able to reconcile the ...

Minister Keogh says Army troops “not compelled” to join religious services

Army troops were not compelled to participate in a religious service in which a commanding officer led his unit in ...

Insights into different audiences’ rejection of science can inform policy communication, webinar told

Understanding differences in social and personal motivations, and drivers of hesitancy and risk perception, can help policy makers tailor effective ...

Labor state MP warns of religious groups’ threat to abortion access in WA

A Labor MP in the West Australian parliament has warned his state to “never be complacent” about the threat posed ...

South Australian Premier has “no intentions” to address prayer issue

South Australian Labor Premier Peter Malinauskas' office has told the Rationalist Society of Australia that the government has no intention ...

Adelaide mayor champions separation of church and state in inspiring speech

Adelaide’s mayor has launched an inspiring defence of separation of church and state in a speech that heralded the replacement ...

Labor Party re-inserts commitment to ‘secular’ education

The Rationalist Society of Australia welcomes the Labor Party’s decision to re-insert the reference to ‘secular’ public education into its ...

One Nation calls on Minns government to deliver faith advisory body

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party is pressuring the Minns New South Wales government to deliver on its pre-election promise to ...

Labor Party set to ditch support for “secular” public education

Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party is set to formally ditch its support for “secular” public education, having disregarded concerns raised by ...

RSA urges South Australian Premier and parliament to lead on prayer issue

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) has today urged the South Australian Premier and the state parliament to "lead the ...

Providing schools choice of wellbeing officer a ‘great improvement’, says Labor MP

A federal Labor MP has labelled the decision to expand the school chaplaincy program to give schools a choice of ...

Defence’s Pentecostal representative urges church mobilisation through military chaplaincy

Military chaplaincy is an opportunity for Christians to “touch people” who have no connections to churches, says the Australian Christian ...

QLD schools pressuring parents and carers to accept religious chaplains

A number of Queensland public schools are pressuring parents and carers to accept the continuation of religious-based chaplaincy instead of ...

Non-religious councillors told to “suck it up” and observe prayer ritual

The councillor who successfully pushed to have prayer rituals re-imposed as part of formal meetings at the Nillumbik Shire Council ...

Minns government dodges responsibility over teaching of creationism in NSW public schools

The New South Wales government appears to have wiped its hands of any responsibility over the teaching of anti-science content ...

Councillors seek to re-impose religious worship at Nillumbik meetings

Christian councillors at the Nillumbik Shire Council in Victoria will this week seek to re-impose religious worship as part of ...

QLD education department misrepresents nature of school chaplaincy role in survey

The Queensland education department appears to have misrepresented the nature of school chaplaincy roles under the new federally funded National ...

Army’s religious parade highlights need for secular reform

The dominant role of Christianity in an Army parade in Adelaide this month highlights the urgent need for secular cultural ...

RSA urges ACT government to extend ‘fundamental principle’ to protect infant boys

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the ACT government to protect non-consenting infant boys from irreversible and usually ...

Councillor’s push to insert Christianity into Indigenous acknowledgement almost succeeds

A Queensland councillor who nearly succeeded in having references to God inserted into his council’s Acknowledgement of Country admitted that ...

LNP politician credits Labor’s Speaker for keeping prayers in parliament

A Liberal National Party member of parliament has credited the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the retention of ...

QLD Local Government Association rejects call to seek legal advice on prayer issue

The Queensland Local Government Association (LGAQ) has rejected suggestions that the inclusion of prayer rituals as part of council meetings ...

Senior Army chaplain critiques colleagues’ response to call for non-religious representation

An Anglican priest and senior member of the Australian Army’s chaplaincy branch has critiqued the institution’s defensive response to public ...

Australians overwhelming support separation of religion and politics, new research shows

The vast majority of Australians support the separation of church and state, and oppose attempts by religious leaders to influence ...

Removing exemption for BRCs would enhance public trust in charities system, webinar told

Small parishes and churches that are exempt from financial reporting to government authorities already report financial information within their own ...

Mayor labels prayer rituals ‘exclusionary’ as council removes practice

The mayor of a council in Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs labelled reciting Christian prayers at the opening of government meetings as ...

Public schoolchildren warned of ‘hellfire’ in New South Wales

Islamic instructors are using New South Wales public school classrooms to teach children about “hellfire” and to warn Muslim children ...

RSA welcomes committee’s recommendation on political advertising laws

The Rationalist Society of Australia welcomes the recommendation by a parliamentary committee for the introduction of federal laws for truth ...

Brisbane mayor calls on Christians to share ‘hope’ to address homelessness

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has suggested to the Christian community that sharing their “hope” from God with the community ...

Charity arrangements fail to meet community expectations, RSA tells inquiry

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the Productivity Commission to recommend the federal government take action on religious exemptions ...

Submission to the Productivity Commission on philanthropy

This is our submission to the Productivity Commission's inquiry on philanthropy. The submission process closed in May. You can find ...

Religious endorsement needed to “confirm faith” of school chaplains in new program

The federal education department says religious endorsement is still required for some workers employed in the new National Student Wellbeing ...

Prayer issue shows parliament has ‘long way to go’ on inclusion, says NSW upper house member

A new member of the New South Wales upper house who has Jewish heritage has questioned the practice of reciting ...

Submission: Boroondara council should embrace genuinely secular governance

This is our submission to the Boroondara City Council in Victoria, as part of the council's public consultation on its ...

RSA questions minister on Army chaplains’ ‘crusader’ emblem

The Rationalist Society of Australia has questioned the Albanese government’s Defence ministers about the appropriateness of some Army personnel wearing ...

Principals call for option to move RI outside class hours in QLD public schools

Declining participation rates in Religious Instruction classes and the overcrowding of the curriculum in Queensland public schools necessitates reform of RI, ...

Media release: Religionists give to their own, shows new volume in ‘Religiosity in Australia’ series

Religious people engage in higher levels of volunteerism and charitable donations than the non-religious but say it is more for ...

State Labor conference sends strong message to QLD government on RI

Members of the Queensland Labor Party have sent a strong message to the Palaszczuk government that they want Religious Instruction ...

Public consultation gives Councillor Franco hope of ending long-running prayer battle

The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging citizens of the Boroondara community and pro-secular Australians to show their support for ...

NSW multiculturalism minister promises “diversity of viewpoints” on faith advisory body

The New South Wales government has pledged to ensure “a diversity of viewpoints” will be represented on its new Faith ...

Labor policy platform drops support for “universal, free, secular” schooling

The federal Labor Party has removed the word ‘secular’ from the section about education in its new draft national policy ...

Defence chaplains’ ‘cognitive biases’ under question at Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide is continuing to probe the role of religious chaplains in the Defence ...

South Australia’s statement on public education omits ‘secular’

Calls for South Australia to recommit to secularism as a foundational principle of public education appear to have fallen on ...

WA primary school finally appoints secular student support worker

A West Australian public primary school whose community led the grassroots push against religious chaplaincy across the state last year ...

NSW upper house member pushes for inquiry on Lord’s Prayer

New South Wales upper house member Abigail Boyd will push for a committee inquiry into the appropriateness of opening the ...

Peak body for councils rejects motion on prayer, but fight to continue in Victoria

The governing body of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has rejected a motion calling on it to intervene in ...

Political champion needed to advance portable public holidays idea

A proposal to change the system of public holidays to better reflect Australia’s increasing cultural diversity and the rise of ...

Queensland state school observes weekly prayer recital

A public primary school in Queensland asks its pupils to observe a prayer ritual each week at a whole-school assembly ...

EXCLUSIVE: Defence bishop urges “missionary” chaplains to resist “compromising” their message

Defence chaplains are “missionaries” and must be strong enough to “resist” pressures to “compromise their message”, according to the Anglican ...

ACT government decision on Catholic hospital welcome news for taxpayers

The ACT government’s decision to takeover a publicly funded Catholic hospital within a matter of weeks is a welcome outcome ...

RSA questions new education minister on religious segregation and teaching of creationism

The Rationalist Society of Australia has sought confirmation from the new Minns government on whether it will continue to segregate ...

RSA asks NSW Premier to address prayer issue in new parliament

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged new Premier Chris Minns to replace Christian worship in the New South Wales ...

Hawkesbury councillors block push to re-introduce prayers

Councillors at Hawkesbury City Council in New South Wales have stood up for the principle of separation of church and ...

Peak body for Victoria’s local governments set to consider directive on prayer

Victoria’s peak body representing local governments will this month deliberate on whether to support a call for all councils across ...

RSA pushes for removal of barriers to abortion services in ACT

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the Barr government to adopt a number of the recommendations by a ...

Government intervention, citizenship keys to combating rising extremism, webinar told

Returning to more interventionist government and revitalising citizenship would help Australia combat the rise of extremist movements, the latest RSA ...

Adelaide Lord Mayor changes practice of reciting prayers aloud

In a stunning move at the opening of last night’s Adelaide City Council meeting, the Lord Mayor, Jane Lomax-Smith, changed ...

Minister’s office argues military ceremonies “remain welcoming to all”

The office of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel minister Matt Keogh says military commemorations such as Anzac Day services “remain ...

RSA raises concerns over military chaplains’ ‘incompatible’ views

The Rationalist Society of Australia has sought answers from Australia’s Defence ministers about publicly expressed views of a number of ...

‘Don’t be intimidated by Christian Lobby campaign on prayers’, RSA tells Adelaide councillors

A mass letter-writing campaign orchestrated by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) could “scare off” councillors at the City of Adelaide ...

RSA calls for review of religious charities’ financial reporting exemptions

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the Albanese government to review laws that exempt religious charities from having ...

RSA urges Labor senator to help push for reform on prayer rituals

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on Labor Senator Fatima Payman to work with her parliamentary colleagues to replace ...

Video of Religious Instruction missionaries “horrified” parents in Queensland

The release of a video in which Religious Instruction (RI) missionaries describe public schools as “mission fields” for “harvesting” children ...

Defence Force removes references to religion in ‘character’ doctrine

The Australian Defence Force’s newly released doctrine on ‘character’ is devoid of express references to Christianity, marking a clear departure ...

RSA points to Adelaide’s non-religious majority to counter Christian campaign on prayers

The Rationalist Society of Australia has reminded councillors at the City of Adelaide that the majority of their citizens are ...

South Australia considering removal of religious exemptions

The South Australian government is considering amendments to the state’s Equal Opportunity Act 1984 to remove religious exemptions for religious ...

Tasmanian government considering abolishing of blasphemy laws

The Tasmanian government is considering reforms to remove blasphemy offences from the state’s law books. In a letter to the ...

Alumni criticise Opus Dei schools’ ‘deplorable behaviour’

A group of former students who raised concerns about Opus Dei schools as part of an ABC investigation say many ...

Gaffney’s bid to remove prayer thwarted as vote in Tassie upper house narrowly falls short

Independent member Mike Gaffney’s bid to remove prayer rituals from the Legislative Council of the Tasmanian Parliament has been thwarted, ...

Creationism ‘common’ in religious instruction materials, webinar told

The teaching of creationism is commonplace within religious instruction programs in Australian public schools, the latest RSA Webinar has heard ...

RSA urges South Australian government to recommit to public education statement

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the South Australia government to re-adopt a previous Labor government’s foundational statement ...

Mike Gaffney’s motion to replace prayer puts Tassie upper house on verge of history

The Tasmanian upper house could become the first house of an Australian state or federal parliament to replace daily prayer ...

NSW minister responds to RSA’s concerns by stressing all citizens have equal opportunity to participate

New South Wales’ multiculturalism minister has asserted that all citizens have opportunities to participate in all aspects of public life, ...

NSW government ignores concerns about teaching of creationism in state schools

The Perrottet government appears to be unconcerned that creationism is being taught in the state’s public schools under the guise ...

Chaplaincy provider removes ‘proselytising’ videos after RSA complaint

A provider of chaplains to public schools in Western Australia has removed videos from the internet that featured its staff ...

Councillor Franco welcomes step towards removing prayers at Boroondara

Non-religious councillor Victor Franco has welcomed the City of Boroondara’s decision to stop reciting prayers at the opening of council ...

‘Time is up’: RSA calls on Queenslanders to make voices heard on RI

The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging Queenslanders to tell the state government that the “time is up” for Religious ...

Victorian Attorney-General stands by commitment to replace parliament’s prayer rituals

Victorian Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes has re-affirmed the Andrews government’s commitment to developing a replacement for the Lord’s Prayer as part ...

Minns says he “trusts” religious organisations as he promotes Labor’s faith council

New South Wales Labor leader Chris Minns has told faith leaders that he “trusts” their organisations while outlining the advantages ...

RSA steps up push for review of Religious Instruction in QLD

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the Queensland government to conduct a proper review of the Religious Instruction ...

RSA seeks answers from NSW government over creationist teaching materials in SRE

The Rationalist Society of Australia has questioned the New South Wales education minister on why the government appears to be ...

New common framework needed to address disadvantage in school system, RSA Webinar hears

Australia’s education system needs a common framework of responsibilities and obligations to ensure that all publicly funded schools are accessible ...

Acting on RI ‘low-hanging fruit’ for QLD government, says secular advocates

Removing the right of religious missionaries to take over classrooms to deliver Religious Instruction in Queensland state schools would not ...

RSA’s submission supports proposed amendments on religious exemptions

The Rationalist Society of Australia has supported proposed amendments to repeal the exemptions from discrimination laws that allow religious schools ...

Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission

This is our submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s public consultation on ‘Religious Education Institutions and Anti-discrimination Laws’. Members ...

Local health district apologises for displaying crucifixes in public hospital

A local health district in Sydney’s west has apologised for displaying Christian crucifixes throughout one of its public facilities. In ...

RSA raises discrimination concerns with Redland Council CEO over prayer practice

The Rationalist Society of Australia has questioned the Chief Executive of Redland City Council in Queensland as to whether the ...

Political advertising laws needed before referendum, says RSA

The upcoming referendum on Indigenous recognition in the Constitution and a Voice to parliament adds urgency to the need for ...

NSW Labor’s promise to privilege religious voice will further marginalise non-religious, says RSA

The New South Wales Labor Party’s proposal to establish a Faith Affairs Council would privilege the voices of religious clerics ...

Circumcision of boys must be medically necessary, says government

The federal government has emphasised that the circumcision of boys must be proved medically necessary to claim Medicare benefits, but ...

RSA applauds the 21 Victorian councillors who have called for change on prayer practices

The Rationalist Society of Australia applauds the leadership of 21 Victorian councillors who have jointly asked the state government to ...

School chaplains are allowed to talk to kids about Jesus and God, video reveals

Representatives of the country’s largest chaplaincy provider have revealed that it is “a myth” that chaplains are not allowed to ...

RSA to push for new student wellbeing program in wake of evaluation

The Rationalist Society of Australia will call on the Albanese government to work with the states and territories to transition ...

Fraser Coast council CEO warns of ‘likely discrimination’ in prayer practice

The chief executive of Fraser Coast Regional Council has warned councillors that the practice of continuing to invite only Christian ...

RSA seeks explanation from Defence clerics for claims in media

The Rationalist Society of Australia is seeking an explanation from a taxpayer-funded committee of religious clerics about how the pastoral ...

How you can help us make an impact in 2023

This is a transcript of the video message from Meredith Doig. Watch the full video below or here on our ...

RSA calls on Andrews government to deliver on commitment to replace prayer ritual

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the re-elected Victorian government to deliver on its promise to replace daily Christian ...

Chaplaincy provider seeks to connect kids to churches, ‘prayer warriors’ enter schools

Promotional videos posted online reveal that a taxpayer-funded chaplaincy provider is using its access to West Australian public schools to ...

Albanese government confirms funding for religious chaplains in schools

The Albanese government will continue to require that many of the pastoral care roles in public schools be performed by ...

RSA calls for NSW Labor to end support for segregation in schools

The Rationalist Society has called on New South Wales Labor to end its support for segregating children along religious lines ...

RSA urges health ministers to stop non-clinical circumcisions

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the Albanese government to put a stop to the non-clinical circumcision of ...

Address ‘institutional conscientious objection’ as part of abortion reforms, RSA tells WA govt

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the West Australian government to stop funding religious hospitals that have gynaecological, obstetrics ...

Submission to the West Australian Department of Health on abortion law reform

This is our submission to the West Australian Department of Health's public consultation period regarding abortion law reform. The consultation ...

‘Potentially billions’ of dollars unreported due to religious charities’ exemption

Evidence given to the Senate estimates hearings last month underscores the need for an inquiry into the operation and scope ...

Principals’ rejection of religious chaplains a blow for school chaplaincy program

Principals of public schools in a local government area of Western Australia have rejected the funding of religious chaplains in ...

Media release: Politicians overestimate power of religion in voting behaviour, says new ‘Religiosity in Australia’ report

Politicians and political parties overestimate the power of religion as a driver of Australians’ voting behaviour, a new report into ...

Remove religious-based barriers to universal reproductive healthcare, RSA tells committee

The public funding of reproductive healthcare services should not remain hostage to religious dogma, the Rationalist Society of Australia has ...

Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs

This is our submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs inquiry into ‘Universal access to reproductive healthcare’.  Members ...

Defence’s ‘go-slow’ approach on reforming chaplaincy to impact personnel, says RSA

The Defence Force’s ‘go-slow’ approach in considering reform of its religious-based chaplaincy model continues to ignore the wellbeing and pastoral ...

School behind push to remove religious requirement faces challenges in choosing secular worker

A West Australian school whose community voted to remove the religious requirement from chaplaincy now faces extra obstacles in employing ...

Reform political advertising laws in the new year, RSA urges government

The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging the Albanese government to prioritise reforming political advertising laws in the new year ...

RSA seeks answers from minister after patient complains of crucifixes in NSW public hospital

The Rationalist Society of Australia is seeking answers from New South Wales health minister Brad Hazzard (pictured) following claims that ...

With the territories’ rights restored, parliament must now address telehealth problem, says RSA

The Rationalist Society of Australia welcomes the federal parliament’s lifting of a 25-year ban on the territories from legalising voluntary ...

Councillors recognise respect for non-religious people and secularism

The need to respect non-religious people and ensure separation of church and state were two of the key arguments behind ...

Albanese govt backs chaplaincy program for five more years, says Christian hire firm

The Albanese government has committed to extending the National School Chaplaincy Program for another five years, according to the head ...

Tasmanian council votes tonight on prayer issue

The Clarence City Council located in the greater Hobart area is tonight scheduled to vote on a proposal to remove ...

Private clinics flouted pandemic rules to circumcise boys, RSA Webinar told

Private clinics that perform unnecessary circumcision on boys flouted the moratorium on elective procedures during the COVID pandemic and passed ...

Media release: RSA calls for South Australian councils to replace prayer rituals with more inclusive, secular practices

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is calling on South Australia’s newly elected councils to act swiftly to replace prayer ...

RSA seeks answers over chaplaincy provider’s breaching of anti-discrimination laws

The Rationalist Society of Australia is seeking answers from the Queensland government about the admission by the state’s largest provider ...

‘Truth in political advertising’ needed to promote rational debate, RSA tells inquiry

Laws prohibiting deceptive and misleading political advertising are urgently needed to promote rational debate and allow voters to make informed ...

Defence official signals possible secular reform to chaplaincy in Army and Air Force

The Army and Air Force could follow Navy’s lead and introduce secular roles to its chaplaincy branch to help meet ...

RSA backs call for the ABS to fix problems with Census question

The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging its members and supporters to support the call for the Australian Bureau of ...

South Australian upper house member says ‘mood for change’ on prayer

South Australian upper house member Robert Simms has told the state parliament there is a growing “mood for change” across ...

Prayer rituals excluding elected representatives and diverse communities, RSA Webinar told

Christian prayer rituals in government institutions are excluding many people and forcing some elected representatives to wait outside while the ...

Acting Premier defends Tasmanian Parliament’s practice of reciting prayers

The Tasmanian Parliament appears set to continue imposing Christian worship at the opening of daily proceedings, despite 50 per cent ...

RSA urges education ministers to put the interests of children ahead of religious lobbyists on chaplaincy

The Rationalist Society of Australia has challenged all of the nation’s education ministers to explain to parents and carers of ...

Former top Navy chaplain advocating for reform ‘forced out’ of Defence Force

A former top Navy chaplain who has been publicly advocating for reform of the religious-based pastoral care and wellbeing support ...

Momentum for change builds as two Victorian councils act on prayer issue

Another two local councils are acting to replace prayer rituals with secular and more inclusive practices to open their meetings, ...

Youth minister’s comments highlight need for McGowan govt to address religious exceptions, says RSA

A West Australian government minister has called out religious organisations for wanting to maintain a legal right to discriminate for ...

Tassie mayor will be ‘judged’ for removing prayer rituals, warns councillor

A Tasmanian mayor who removed prayer rituals from the official proceedings of her council’s meetings has faced a tirade from ...

Senator calls on colleagues to stop referring to voluntary assisted dying as ‘suicide’

The Rationalist Society of Australia welcomes a Labor senator's call for her colleagues to “get the terminology right” in the ...

WA council pulls funding from religious chaplaincy provider

Councillors voiced concerns about religious-based discrimination in the hiring practices of a West Australian chaplaincy provider as the Bayswater council ...

Labor changes opening rituals, but prayers remain in Senate

The Rationalist Society of Australia welcomes the Senate’s decision to change the sequence and wording of its opening daily rituals ...

RSA calls for action on ‘advancing religion’ tax exemption as part of needed reform

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the Albanese government to tackle reform of the charities tax system and the ...

Exclusive: Religious clerics raise “concerns” with Defence chief about former head chaplain’s media appearance

A taxpayer-funded committee of religious clerics has raised “concerns” with the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) about a media ...

School chaplaincy provider hires Christians because they “align with our values”

The head of a chaplaincy provider that receives millions of taxpayers’ dollars to recruit chaplains to work in public schools ...

Groundbreaking vote adds to momentum for change on school chaplaincy

Western Australia’s public school communities have voted resoundingly in favour of governments funding the employment of professional non-clinical student welfare ...

RSA calls on Tasmanian leaders to take bipartisan approach on replacing prayer rituals

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the Tasmanian Premier and Opposition Leader to work in a bipartisan way to ...

Former school chaplain wants removal of third-party providers

A former school chaplain who blew the whistle about the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) earlier this year wants to ...

Labor senator’s “suicide” claim an insult to terminally ill patients and families

A Labor senator’s claim that voluntary assisted dying is “state-sanctioned suicide” is an insult to terminally ill Australians who have ...

All councils should review funding of religious chaplaincy, says RSA

All councils that give funding to religious-based chaplaincy in public schools should review the appropriateness of the practice. The Rationalist ...

Two-week public consultation into school chaplaincy insufficient, says RSA

A two-week public consultation being held as part of an evaluation into the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) is insufficient, ...

Prayer push blocked as council warns of human rights implications

A Victorian council warned that a proposal to introduce Christian prayers to its meetings would raise human rights implications for ...

RSA calls for Victorian pledge to improve access to services in religious hospitals

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the Victorian government to commit to expanding access to abortion services and ...

Real ‘no religion’ figure well above what Census says, RSA Webinar told

Research that suggests over half of all Australians are already not religious adds weight to the need for the Australian ...

RSA welcomes WA commission’s stance on exceptions and treatment of non-religious

The Rationalist Society of Australia welcomes the West Australian government’s commitment to narrowing the ability of religious schools to discriminate ...

WA council gives more than $500k to discriminatory chaplaincy program

Ratepayers in a West Australian local government area have paid more than $500,000 in the past 10 years to fund ...

SA parliament has “no plans” to replace prayer rituals despite surge of non-religious population

The South Australian parliament appears set to continue imposing Christian devotional practices as part of its formal proceedings, even though ...

RSA calls on McGowan government to commit to removing exceptions

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the McGowan government to commit to removing most religious exceptions from its ...

RSA puts Parliamentary Science Office on radar of new pro-science senator

The Rationalist Society of Australia has put the idea of a Parliamentary Science Office firmly on the radar of new ...

RSA welcomes Wagga Wagga council’s decision to replace prayers

The Wagga Wagga City Council has voted in favour of replacing Christian prayers with a moment of reflection to open ...

Petitioners concerned the chaplaincy change doesn’t go far enough

The parents behind a petition calling for the federal government to fund youth workers, not faith-based chaplains, in Australia’s public ...

Take inspiration from ACT Legislative Assembly, RSA urges Canberra’s federal representatives

Federal MPs and senators representing Canberrans should take inspiration from the Australian Capital Territory’s Legislative Assembly and advocate for more ...

RSA urges government to enable telehealth use for assisted dying

The Rationalist Society of Australia has called on the Albanese government to amend federal laws to ensure medical practitioners can ...

Australians can ‘no longer afford to be silent’ on religious interference in public schools, RSA Webinar told

A grassroots mobilisation that embraces secularism is needed to counter increased religious interference in Australia’s public education system, the latest ...

RSA backs Senate President’s comments about need to replace prayer

The Rationalist Society of Australia applauds the new President of the Senate, Sue Lines, for making public her principled stand ...

RSA calls on the Greens to move swiftly on replacing prayer rituals

The Rationalist Society of Australia is calling on the Greens to move swiftly to have prayers replaced with more inclusive ...

RSA urges parliament’s incoming presiding officers to act on prayer issue

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the incoming Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate ...

RSA presses new Defence ministers for answers on chaplaincy model in Defence Force

The Rationalist Society of Australia has queried the new Defence ministers on how they will ensure that Army and Air ...

WA school community wants ‘best person for the job’ for chaplaincy roles

The parents and carers behind a push for the religious requirement to be removed from the chaplaincy roles in their ...

Mayor urges councils, state and federal parliaments to adopt more inclusive opening ritual

A mayor whose council recently replaced Christian prayer recitals with a brief period of reflection at the opening of its ...

WA primary school rejects religious discrimination in chaplaincy program

A West Australian primary school community has voted to remove religious-based discrimination in the hiring practices of school chaplaincy positions ...

Key principles should underpin any new Religious Discrimination Bill

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the new Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, to adopt four key principles to guide the ...

RSA helps put religious exemptions issue back on radar in South Australia

The Rationalist Society of Australia has helped put the issue of religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws on the radar of ...

RSA leads push to build momentum for replacing parliament’s prayer ritual

A new petition is aiming to build enough momentum before the federal parliament resumes to put the issue of Christian ...

Navy pledges to remove ‘theology’ from ads for secular wellbeing role

The Navy will remove references to ‘theology’ as a relevant qualification for new secular wellbeing support roles after the Rationalist ...

Census result should inform resource allocation, says RSA

The surge in people identifying as having no religion in the national census should lead to public resources being more ...

ADF needs to ‘get serious’ about meeting wellbeing needs of personnel, RSA Webinar told

The resistance of Army and Air Force to modernising their religious-based chaplaincy capability is having a detrimental impact on their ...

RSA welcomes ‘good first step’ in reform of school chaplaincy

The Rationalist Society of Australia welcomes the Albanese government’s commitment to allow public schools the option of choosing a secular ...

RSA calls on Minister Clare to reform school chaplaincy program

Restricting welfare and pastoral support roles to religious chaplains undermines secular public schooling and the quality of care provided to ...

Theology degrees ‘inconsistent’ with purpose of Navy roles, says RSA

The Rationalist Society of Australia is seeking an explanation from the Royal Australian Navy’s top brass on why ‘theology’ is listed ...

RSA backs push for new Parliamentary Science Office

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the new Labor government to consider establishing a Parliamentary Science Office that could ...

RSA welcomes minister’s commitment to restore territory rights on assisted dying

The Rationalist Society of Australia welcomes Labor Minister Kristy McBain’s commitment to give the territories the right to legislate for ...

Defence Force’s support model is ‘failing’ service personnel, says RSA

The Australian Defence Force’s religious-based wellbeing and pastoral care model is failing service personnel and negatively affecting mental health outcomes, ...

Submission to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

This is our submission to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.  Members of the public and organisations have ...

Secular reform of the military should be a top priority for the new parliament

Our top priority for the new parliament is to secure for our Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel secular pastoral care ...

Decriminalise cannabis for personal use, RSA urges McGowan government

The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging the Western Australia government to follow through on its 2019 policy pledge to ...

New parliament has an opportunity to shape a truly secular Australia

In April last year, Anthony Albanese said: “I think separation of church and state is important”. And we agree. At ...

Let schools hire student welfare and pastoral care workers directly, RSA tells Labor

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged Labor’s education spokesperson, Tanya Plibersek, to remove the outsourcing arrangements and the inherent ...

Australia’s refugee policy must not discriminate on the basis of religion, says RSA

The Rationalist Society of Australia is calling for clarification from the federal government as to whether it discriminates on the ...

RSA Webinar: Growing risk of ‘free for all’ without reforms to political advertising

The problem of misleading political advertising is at risk of worsening and “becoming a free for all” without new laws ...

New parliament must prioritise restoring right for territories to legislate on assisted dying, says RSA

The new federal parliament must prioritise restoring the right of the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory to introduce voluntary ...

Next government must support the public broadcasters, says RSA

The next government must strengthen the public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS, and defend them from attacks from commercial media ...

DFAT confirms joint diplomatic effort in Nigerian blasphemy case

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is “deeply disturbed” by the use of blasphemy and apostasy laws against non-religious ...

Labor minister MacTiernan confirms she backs replacing prayer ritual

Prominent McGowan government member Alannah MacTiernan will support the removal of Christian prayers from the upper house of the West ...

Election 2022: The reforms our democracy needs

For this federal election, our primary hope is to see that successful political candidates will pursue the reforms that are ...

Gold Coast council’s prayer ritual breaches own ‘inclusion and diversity’ statement

Having exclusively Christian prayers at the opening of Gold Coast council meetings is a direct breach of the council’s own ...

Religious affiliation of top ranks preventing reform to military chaplaincy

The gap in religious affiliation between senior military officers and new recruits is preventing the Australian Defence Force (ADF) from ...

QLD minister signals no change to RI despite Citipointe’s ‘harvesting’ of kids

Queensland’s education minister says her government has no plans to make changes to the Religious Instruction (RI) program despite some ...

RSA calls for veterans’ chaplaincy program to include secular support

A newly proposed chaplaincy program to support Defence veterans must include secular welfare support, says the Rationalist Society of Australia ...

RSA questions Gold Coast mayor over appointment of ‘spiritual advisor’

The Rationalist Society of Australia has written to Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate to urge him to state publicly whether ...

Parents step up election call for changes to school chaplaincy

The parents behind a 20,000-strong petition calling for changes to the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) to include secular youth ...

RSA raises plight of imprisoned Nigerian with Australia’s top diplomat

Australian international diplomacy should include protecting the rights of non-religious people, the Rationalist Society of Australia has told the head ...

Gold Coast Mayor’s new ‘spiritual advisor’ supports fundamentalist ideology

The Gold Coast mayor’s new ratepayer-funded ‘spiritual advisor’ is an adherent of the Christian fundamentalist Seven Mountains Mandate, which seeks ...

QLD parents group calls for inquiry on whether public schools are ‘mission fields’

The Queensland parliament needs to investigate the appropriateness of religious groups using their access to public schools through the Religious ...

RSA Webinar: Preventing extremism requires addressing underlying grievances

Preventing radicalisation and public polarisation in an ‘infodemic’ age requires a thorough examination of underlying societal grievances such as inequality ...

Expert guidance needed for consent curriculum development, says sex education provider

Calls are mounting for experts to play a leading role in the development of the new national curriculum on consent ...

South Australia election: RSA calls for commitment to remove religious exemptions

The major parties contesting this week’s South Australian election should commit to removing harmful religious-based exemptions from the state’s discrimination ...

Draw on expertise in developing consent and relationships program, says RSA

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the nation’s education ministers to turn to experts in developing the new national ...

Media release: RSA calls for end to religious-based discrimination in Tasmanian school roles

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is calling on the Tasmanian government to end religious-based discrimination in the appointment of ...

Statement in solidarity with the people of Ukraine

Like most Australians, we, the members and supporters of the groups listed below, express our solidarity with the people of ...

RSA welcomes national curriculum on consent and relationships

The Rationalist Society of Australia welcomes the decision of Australia’s education ministers to implement a national consent and relationships curriculum ...

RSA Webinar: ‘Patchwork’ of programs failing mental health support in schools

Better coordination of support and more efficient use of funding in schools are needed to address the mental health challenges ...

NSW citizens ‘deserve same access’ to assisted dying, says RSA

The people of New South Wales deserve to have the same access to voluntary assisted dying (VAD) laws as Australians ...

Retired principal launches religious discrimination complaint over chaplaincy

Retired school principal Karen Garn-Jones believes that she is the “perfect candidate” to work as a chaplain in Western Australia’s ...

RSA raises concerns with QLD minister over Citipointe’s involvement in public schools

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the Queensland government to remove Religious Instruction from public schools, concerned that Citipointe ...

RSA invites Attorney-General Cash to join our webinar series to explain Religious Discrimination Bill

The Rationalist Society of Australia has formally invited Attorney-General Michaelia Cash to appear as a guest speaker in a webinar ...

Councillor’s speech draws inspiration from RSA president as opening prayer is removed

The Shoalhaven councillor who successfully moved a motion to have Christian prayers rituals replaced with a more inclusive practice to ...

RSA backs parents’ petition in push for change to school chaplaincy program

The Rationalist Society of Australia has welcomed a petition, driven by parents from across Australia, that calls for changes to ...

Petitioner’s ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ warning inspires widespread opposition to bill

The petitioner who inspired more than 160,000 Australians to voice their opposition to the Religious Discrimination Bill wants politicians to ...

Minor party hopeful of cannabis law reform in Western Australia

A minor party in the West Australian parliament hopes that an inquiry into cannabis will help open the way to ...

Meredith Doig urges Prime Minister to withdraw support for divisive bill

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told the Rationalist Society of Australia that he does not want the debate over the ...

‘Multiple, significant flaws’ in committee’s survey on Religious Discrimination Bill

A survey used by a parliamentary committee to gauge the public’s views about the Religious Discrimination Bill had "multiple, significant ...

Thanks for your support in 2021

A message from Dr Meredith Doig OAM, President of the Rationalist Society of Australia. As we look forward to a ...

Submission: Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021

This is the Rationalist Society of Australia’s submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights into the Religious Discrimination ...

Media release: RSA urges elected representatives to follow Councillor Franco’s lead on prayer issue

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is urging non-religious elected representatives in local councils, state parliaments and federal parliament to ...

Non-religious councillor now refusing to stand for prayer ritual

A non-religious councillor who believes religion should be separate from the business of government is refusing to stand for the ...

RSA calls on Western Australia to move scripture outside class time

The Rationalist Society of Australia has asked the Western Australian government to move Special Religious Education (SRE) out of class ...

RSA calls for Morrison government and Labor to prioritise protecting LGBTIQ students and teachers

The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging the Morrison government and the Labor opposition to join forces to provide protections ...

RSA Webinar: Improvements needed in Victorian assisted dying law

Although Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law is working well, many improvements are needed to make it more accessible to ...

RSA throws support behind open letter addressing Religious Discrimination Bill

The Rationalist Society of Australia is among more than 250 community groups that have signed an open letter calling on ...

School acts after parents reject the teaching of scripture during class time

The Rationalist Society of Australia has welcomed the decision of a school community in Western Australia to remove religious instruction from ...

Senator prefers no Religious Discrimination Bill if government fails to meet religious leaders’ expectations

A conservative government senator has stepped up pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to deliver a Religious Discrimination Bill that ...

WA Premier’s claims on chaplaincy at odds with own government’s policy

Premier Mark McGowan has asserted that school chaplains in Western Australia's public schools do not need to be people of ...

Attorney-General, Australian women don’t want Texas-style abortion laws

Australian women have every reason to be deeply concerned about the Morrison government's imminent Religious Discrimination Bill. This week, Attorney-General ...

RSA Webinar: ‘Religious freedom’ discourse being wielded to discriminate against others

The prevailing 'religious freedom' discourse in Australia is being wielded by hard-Right politicians, 'culture warriors' and the Christian Right to ...

Government’s exclusion of non-religious voices appears to be religious-based discrimination

The Morrison government appears to be discriminating against non-religious Australians by excluding them from the consultation process as part of ...

Exceptions allow for religious bodies to harm the fundamental rights of others in WA

Current exceptions to anti-discrimination laws in Western Australia are allowing religious institutions to harm the fundamental rights and freedoms of ...

Submission: Western Australian Law Reform Commission’s review of the Equal Opportunity Act

This is the Rationalist Society of Australia's submission to the Western Australian Law Reform Commission's review of the state's Equal ...

Vale Rodney Syme

The Rationalist Society of Australia is saddened to hear of the passing of our patron and voluntary assisted dying (VAD) ...

QLD education department questioned over religious-based discrimination in chaplaincy

The Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC) has elevated concerns about religious-based discrimination in the school chaplaincy program with the state's ...

Media release: New report details Australians’ journey with religion from childhood to adulthood

The recent growth in adults walking away from their childhood faith and raising their own children without religion will drive ...

RSA urges Victorian government to commit to secular and qualified youth workers

The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging the Andrews government to commit to providing "secular" and "qualified" youth workers for ...

Put the community’s wishes first on voluntary assisted dying in New South Wales, RSA tells MPs

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is urging its members and supporters in New South Wales to raise their voices ...

Labor minister Alannah MacTiernan indicates support for debating prayer ritual in WA parliament

A senior Labor minister in the McGowan government has opened the door for a challenge to the imposition of Christian ...

Non-religious and pro-secular Australians not “irrelevant” in debate over new bill, says RSA

The Morrison government appears to be ignoring the fastest-growing section of society – the non-religious – and pro-secular Australians while ...

Government senator warns of electoral backlash if bill fails to meet expectations of faith leaders 

A conservative government senator who wants to see positive religious rights enacted into law is warning of electoral backlash if ...

It’s Victoria’s time to ‘right a wrong’ on religious exemptions

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) has applauded Victorian Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes for her government's plan to stop faith-based institutions ...

RSA Webinar: Margaret Simons laments lack of debate on the balance of rights

An "impoverished" public debate on the balancing of individual rights with the duty to protect the wider community during Australia's ...

Prime Minister’s letter may signal effort to dampen religious lobbyists’ expectations for Religious Discrimination Bill 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has informed the Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) that his proposed Religious Discrimination Bill would seek ...

RSA takes up chaplaincy discrimination issue with Queensland minister

The Rationalist Society of Australia is seeking ministerial support from within the Queensland government to see that religious-based discrimination is ...

Teacher Samantha Cairns speaks out about the harm of religious exemptions in religious schools

Teacher Samantha Cairns is no longer fearful about talking about her sexuality as a gay woman. Earlier this month, she ...

Politicians urged to reject demands for ‘institutional conscientious objections’ in QLD assisted dying debate

The Rationalist Society of Australia and advocates for voluntary assisted dying (VAD) in Queensland are urging the state's politicians to ...

Retaining creationist prayer would be a ‘missed opportunity’ for WA parliament to modernise: RSA 

The upper house of the Western Australian parliament appears set to continue with the imposition of a prayer to a ...

Religious exemptions harm and hurt Australians

Today, we're calling on our supporters and other secular-minded Australians to help us raise awareness about how religious exemptions from ...

RSA backs ‘transformative action’ to end violence against Australia’s women

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) has joined with more than 200 community organisations in calling for "transformative action" to ...

‘Open school chaplaincy program to qualified youth workers’, says RSA

A proposal to increase government funding for the school chaplaincy program is being driven by ideology instead of concern for ...

LGBTI rights group warns of unqualified religious counsellors in WA’s public schools

LGBTI rights campaigner and former Senator for Western Australia Brian Greig (pictured) has added his voice to the mounting concerns ...

RSA Webinar: Businesses, investors, governments and individuals have roles to play in tackling climate change

Australians should take inspiration from examples in the business world and in some local and state governments to adopt more ...

RSA urges supporters of voluntary assisted dying to make submissions on territory rights bill

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is urging people who support the right for Australia's territories to legislate for voluntary ...

Submission: Inquiry into the Ensuring Northern Territory Rights Bill 2021

This is the Rationalist Society of Australia's submission to the Senate Standing Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee on the ...

RSA backs principles underpinning Senate bill to protect freedom of expression and the press

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) has expressed support for the principles of protecting freedom of expression and freedom of ...

Submission: Inquiry into the Constitution Alteration (Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press) 2019

This is the Rationalist Society of Australia's submission to the Senate Standing Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee on the ...

Parents and former teachers raise concerns about proselytising in school chaplaincy program

A group of parents and former teachers in Western Australia is concerned that religious chaplains may be using their access ...

RSA seeks clarification from WA government on its inconsistent policy toward chaplaincy roles 

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is seeking clarification from Western Australia's Education Minister Sue Ellery (pictured) on whether the ...

RSA welcomes Dave Sharma’s ‘principled stance’ on proposed Religious Discrimination Bill

The Rationalist Society of Australian (RSA) has written to Liberal Party MP Dave Sharma to congratulate him for taking a ...

Buddhist leader backs Fiona Patten’s push for a more inclusive ritual in Victorian parliament

A leading Buddhist has thrown her support behind Victorian upper house MP Fiona Patten’s push to have a Christian prayer ...

Media release: Prayer to a ‘creator God’ has no place in a modern Western Australian parliament

Now is the time for the upper house of the Western Australian parliament to modernise its procedures by removing an ...

Census21 campaign leader Michael Dove praises ABS for making privacy and confidentiality a focus

More people who are living in conservative religious households and who are fearful of revealing their non-religious identity to family ...

RSA calls on Western Australian councils to stop funding discriminatory chaplaincy roles

Local councils in Western Australia should stop directing ratepayers' money toward funding religious chaplains in public schools, the Rationalist Society ...

‘Act of Christian worship’ to stay as Boroondara Council ignores community plea for change

Boroondara Council has decided to ignore public opinion and continue imposing Christian prayers as part of its meetings. Last night, ...

Challenge to Mildura council’s prayer adds to a growing list of councils facing calls for secular change

A councillor at the Mildura Rural City Council is on a mission to "remove the direct influence of religion" from ...

Boroondara community backs Victor Franco’s call for a more inclusive opening ritual

The push to replace a Christian prayer with a more inclusive opening ritual at Boroondara Council meetings is gathering momentum, ...

Submission: Greater recognition of non-religious Australians needed in national curriculum

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is calling for changes to the proposed national curriculum to include greater recognition of ...

Labor’s concern for religious vote is ‘misguided’, RSA Webinar told

The Labor Party’s attribution of its surprise 2019 federal election loss as being partly due to a disconnect with Christians ...

Christian-only prayer ritual to remain at Shoalhaven after investigation into legality is thwarted 

Shoalhaven councillors have ignored claims of religious-based discrimination in blocking an investigation into the legality of imposing exclusively Christian prayers ...

Buddhist group calls on Shoalhaven council to ‘welcome people of all faiths’

The peak body representing Buddhists in New South Wales has urged the Shoalhaven City Council to reconsider its decision to ...

Submission: ‘The imposition of a compulsory religious ritual is discriminatory’

This is our submission to the Boroondara City Council in Victoria, emailed to the council's Manager of Governance and Legal ...

Kirby urges ‘religious freedom’ advocates to ‘come clean’ on their agenda

Former High Court judge Michael Kirby is calling for the faith-based groups that are driving the push for new ‘religious ...

New South Wales government and opposition ignored evidence on disease testing bill, says RSA

The RSA has criticised the New South Wales government and the Labor opposition for ignoring expert advice and the best ...

Report portrays community in the ‘throes of substantial change’

This foreword appears in the ‘Religiosity in Australia’ report. When I was invited to become a patron of the Rationalist ...

Neil Francis: ‘Religiosity in Australia’ report can improve our national conversations

RSA Fellow Neil Francis is hopeful that his groundbreaking report on religion and religiosity in Australia will help improve the ...

Media Release: New report reveals support for religion in Australia grossly misrepresented

A new report “Religiosity in Australia—Personal faith according to the numbers” has revealed that the level of support for religion in ...

RSA seeks meeting with Attorney-General as concerns mount over Religious Discrimination Bill

The Rationalist Society of Australia has written to Attorney-General Michaelia Cash seeking a meeting to discuss the Religious Discrimination Bill, ...

Q&A with Rodney Syme: ‘A sense of vindication for years of struggle’

Bearing witness to so much progress in the voluntary assisted dying (VAD) policy space in recent years has delivered “a ...

Councillor Franco urges the public to back his push for a more inclusive Boroondara Council 

Councillor Victor Franco is calling on the public to help him replace exclusionary Christian prayers with something more inclusive to ...

Government quiet on who it has consulted on new version of Religious Discrimination Bill 

A Labor senator has accused the Morrison government of a ‘cover-up’ for failing to disclose details of the groups it ...

Victorian councillor hits back at imposed ‘acts of Christian worship’

A Victorian council is imposing “acts of Christian worship” on councillors through the recital of an opening prayer at meetings, ...

The key lessons from Mike Gaffney’s journey to legalising voluntary assisted dying in Tasmania

When Mike Gaffney took on the task of leading the effort to legalise voluntary assisted dying (VAD) in Tasmania, he ...

Council set to investigate legality of imposing Christian-only prayer

A New South Wales council will investigate the legality of opening its formal meetings with Christian prayers after complaints from ...

Advocate calls for community ‘push’ to make assisted dying law a reality in Queensland

One final push is needed from the public to help get voluntary assisted dying (VAD) over the line in Queensland ...

New study shows a surge in support for assisted dying among religious Australians

When Michael Dowling, a minister in the Uniting Church of South Australia, speaks in favour of voluntary assisted dying (VAD) ...

Religious freedom at stake as Buddhist councillor inquires into legality of Christian-only prayer ritual

A councillor who was blocked from reciting a Buddhist prayer to open her local council meeting has launched a new ...

Stuckey urges MPs to listen to their electorates on Queensland’s assisted dying bill

Former Liberal-National Party member of parliament Jann Stuckey is urging Queensland’s politicians to listen to the views of their electorates ...

Christian pro-assisted dying group calls out opponents’ emotive language

A Christian group that supports voluntary assisted dying (VAD) being made available for terminally ill people is urging religious organisations ...

Ex-Christian delivers powerful social media message to help others overcome religious trauma

Michael Bones, a former Pentecostal Christian, is using social media to encourage others to share their personal stories of the ...

Media release: Parliamentary review needed into National School Chaplaincy Program, says RSA

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is calling for a comprehensive parliamentary review into the federal funding of the flawed ...

Christian Right rallies behind Christensen’s push for ‘parting shot’ with abortion bill

Even if Nationals MP George Christensen misses out on pushing his abortion agenda through parliament before he steps down at ...

Non-religious youth worker calls for an end to discrimination in school chaplain program

When Juliette Armstrong’s contract as a school chaplain ended and she went searching online for a new role, she kept ...

Religious-based discrimination in school chaplaincy program sending ‘wrong message’

The Morrison government is spending millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money each year on a chaplaincy program that is discriminating ...

Our policy wishlist for the McGowan government

With the Western Australian Labor government returning to parliamentary work this week after receiving an overwhelming endorsement at the March ...

Cops call for proper review into role of chaplains in NSW Police

A survey of New South Wales police men and women into the effectiveness of religious chaplaincy in the state’s force ...

Accessibility to support ‘a big issue’ for ADF personnel, says former chaplain

Collin Acton’s proposal for a new secular wellbeing support capability in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) would break down the ...

Former top Navy chaplain calls for secular change across Defence Force

The former head of chaplaincy for the Navy believes the Australian Defence Force (ADF) must now consider replacing the chaplaincy ...

Media release: RSA calls for an end to religious discrimination in WA school chaplaincy

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is calling on Western Australia’s Education Minister Sue Ellery to put an end to ...

Commissioner raises concern over religious discrimination in WA school chaplaincy program

The head of Western Australia’s Equal Opportunity Commission has expressed his concern about religious discrimination taking place in the hiring ...

Letter: RSA calls for proposed inquiry to go beyond Church of Scientology

Today, the Rationalist Society of Australia has written a letter to Andrew Leigh MP, the Labor spokesperson on charities, calling ...

Christian Right’s agenda has ‘shades of Handmaid’s Tale’, says church leader

The fallout from a controversial conference appears to have widened a schism between conservative and moderate forces in the Christian ...

Analysis: Why Labor should resist calls to appease ‘religious vote’

The dust had hardly settled on federal Labor’s election loss in May of 2019 before some parliamentary members and former ...

Media release: Labor should protect women by rejecting ‘disastrous’ bill

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is urging the federal Labor Party to stand up for women at its Special ...

Labor’s Senator O’Neill seeking a bipartisan approach on Religious Discrimination Bill

Elements within federal Labor are seeking a bipartisan approach with the Morrison government on the Religious Discrimination Bill. Senator Deborah ...

Religious Discrimination Bill becoming a “more pressing” priority, says Stoker

Introducing the Religious Discrimination Bill to parliament has become a “more pressing” priority for the Morrison government as the country ...

Labor policy platform sends mixed signals on religious schools’ exemptions

In speeches to parliament in late 2018, federal Labor members appeared just as surprised and angered as the public upon ...

Christensen vows another fight on abortions to remove federal funds

Conservative MP George Christensen has pledged to fight to remove federal funding that goes towards abortions but first has his ...

Religious Discrimination Bill needed to ‘draw a line in the sand’, says Christensen

Conservative government MP George Christensen is hopeful that new religious discrimination laws can “draw a line in the sand” for ...

Religious freedom is not under ‘frontal attack’, says former Prime Minister John Howard

  Former Prime Minister John Howard has rejected suggestions that religious freedom is under attack in Australia, warning that such ...

‘Compromise’ draft of Religious Discrimination Bill is ready, says government MP

The divisive Religious Discrimination Bill could soon be making a comeback to the national political debate, with one senior government ...

Taking a calculator to morality.

Some, like Barney Zwartz (Senior Fellow of the Centre for Public Christianity), are of the opinion that there can be ...

From the President – December 2020

Australia has traditionally been wary of mixing religion and politics. Unlike the US, we don’t require our political candidates to ...

A Shott in the Dark

Recently, a reader wrote to the RSA asking for a critique of the following passage from an essay, by the ...

On the indoctrination of children

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26 (3) says, "Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of ...

The Age: Andrews government ‘turning a blind eye’ to schools discrimination

By Luke Beck, RSA board member The Andrews government faces a clash in State Parliament this week over claims it ...

Why assisted dying opponents don’t mention Switzerland

Blog by Neil Francis, Sunday 4 October 2020 Supposed Dutch suicide contagion from assisted dying Recently, Dr Theo Boer, an Assistant ...

Catholics behind-the-scenes 

A friend pointed out to me an opinion piece published this week in MercatorNet that slams Victoria's voluntary assisted dying ...

How the religious hide their true identity

If you're wondering how religious the organised opposition to voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law reform is, current ructions in Tasmania ...

Use of voluntary assisted dying by minors

RSA Fellow Neil Francis shows that the use of VAD by minors does happen in the four countries where it ...

The Australian: “You can’t cancel me”

By Helen Pluckrose Helen Pluckrose describes herself as a secular liberal humanist, dog lover, mother, food masher and — more ...

Morrison making religion a critical skill should grate, but there is a silver lining

Like many of the increasing number of non-religious in Australia, I was outraged when I first learned that ‘religion and ...

Demand for non-religious ‘chaplains’ growing

Humanists Victoria and the ACT Humanist Society (ACTHS) have jointly released initial results from their survey of people’s preferences for ...

Submission: Cannabis use in Victoria

This is a submission to the Legislative Council of Victoria's inquiry into the use of cannabis in Victoria. It was ...

Submission: NSW Religious Freedoms bill 2020

Joint Select Committee on the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020 Parliament House Sydney  NSW   2000 By ...

Terminal sedation vs voluntary assisted dying

Terminal sedation and voluntary assisted dying (VAD) are different approaches to the management of the approximately 5% of dying patients ...

Surging Australian support for VAD includes the religious

A recent article in The Guardian reports that most Queensland churchgoers support voluntary assisted dying (VAD), citing a recent YouGov poll commissioned ...

New Zealand end-of-life choice referendum

In September 2020, New Zealanders vote in a referendum to approve their End of Life Choice Act. As Australians, we ...

Do you need God to be good?

A new study by the Pew Center, the Global God Divide, shows large variations across countries when people are asked ...

Letter to the Editor: It’s Time to Stand Up

The Editor The Age It's Time to Stand Up It is ironic that the conservatives who responded to the much-discussed ...

JobKeeper payments for priests. Is it unlawful?

Priests receiving payments under the federal government's JobKeeper scheme – and passing on some of those funds to the church ...

Submission: Inquiry into Implementation of the National Redress Scheme

Committee Secretariat Implementation of the National Redress Scheme By email: redress@aph.gov.au 23 May 2020 Dear Committee, The Rationalist Society is ...

An illusion of choice

Some parts of the world are beginning to step outside their homes and reintegrate themselves with their communities, guarded by ...

The Big Smoke: God give us strength – Morrison’s faith is a national problem

By Meredih Doig, The Big Smoke, 2 April 2020 While Scott Morrison’s religiosity is well known, the fact that he’s ...

Aussie Freethought Groups Fight Religious Discrimination Bill

By The Friendly Atheist In the wake of public consultations around Australia’s shockingly ill-considered religious discrimination bill, groups of concerned Australian ...

Thinking about thinking helps kids learn. How can we teach critical thinking?

This article was authored by RSA Fellow Peter Ellerton, and originally appeared in The Conversation, 28th January 2020, read it ...

Opening remarks to the Ruddock Inquiry

The Rationalist Society of Australia is an independent not-for-profit association, founded in 1906. Relevant to this Inquiry are some of ...

When Queensland pushes back on assisted dying, it ignores violent alternatives

By Chris Fotinopoulos, Brisbane Times Are Queenslanders happy for the elderly to sleep with a "loaded firearm" beneath their pillow? ...

11 ways to fix the much-maligned Religious Discrimination Bill

By Meredith Doig, in The Big Smoke Many groups are opposed to Christian Porter’s bill, particularly LGBTI groups, but also ...

Blatant untruths for political ends

Judy Dent's husband, Bob Dent, was the first person to take advantage of the Northern Territory's Rights of the Terminally Ill ...

Fire in Frame: to solve climate change, first remove the politics

People typically don't voluntarily jump out of a third storey building unless, of course, it is on fire. Framing of ...

Submission: On the Religious Discrimination bill, by Luke Beck

Luke Beck is a Fellow of the Rationalist Society of Australia. An Associate Professor at Monash University, Luke specialises in ...

Submission: On the Religious Discrimination bill, by Stella Thomas

Stella Thomas is an RSA member from South Australia. A parent who has long advocated freedom from religion for her ...

Submission: Religious Discrimination bill

In August 2019, the federal Attorney-General Christian Porter released a package of bills collectively known as the Religious Freedom Bills: ...

Kyle Sandilands (Among Others) Gets it Wrong

Sydney ''Shock Jock'' Kyle Sandilands has upset Christians and Muslims by wrongly claiming on air that Jesus’ mother Mary lied ...

Should RSA tolerate climate change deniers?

In September 2019, the university-backed news website, The Conversation, decided it would no longer tolerate climate change denial comments on ...

Religious Discrimination bill has problems …

Steve Martin interviews Meredith Doig on ABC Ballarat Steve Martin from ABC Ballarat interviews Meredith Doig on the Religious Discrimination ...

We Should be Promoting Truth, not Protecting Myth

Last week the Government introduced draft legislation that aims “to eliminate discrimination against persons on the ground of religious belief ...

Blasphemy Laws

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbXs9vzEeHU Rationality Rules is a video channel produced by UK-based Stephen Woodford. In this episode, Stephen takes a swipe at ...

Occasional Paper: Religion & Society

The Ruddock Inquiry found there is no great problem with the state of religious freedom in this country. Nevertheless, the ...

Is there room for religious bigotry in business?

As hard as it is to admit it, exclusion is a part of a multicultural country. Considering we’re all religious ...

Proposing Weak Naturalism

Original article can be found here: https://infidels.org/kiosk/article/proposing-weak-naturalism-940.html As far as we know, the natural world is all there is. By ...

Dr Rodney Syme AM

RSA Patron and euthanasia advocate Dr Rodney Syme, who has spent decades lobbying for voluntary assisted dying, has been made ...

Letter: Freedom of the press in an open society

Hon. Scott Morrison Prime Minister Parliament House Canberra ACT. 7 June 2019 Dear Prime Minister Re: Freedom of the press ...

Reinvent democracy or face its sure decline

By Paul Monk, in The Australian Today is federal election day. I assume almost everyone reading this piece will be ...

Cancer, and the science of a very human war

By Paul Monk, in The Australian The Morrison government announced plans to channel 80 million into Melbourne's Peter MacCallum Cancer ...

New York Magazine: Inside the Near Meltdown of the #Feminist tour in Australia

A rowdy crowd, an attempt to suppress the video via a legal threat, and ongoing controversy over the host — ...

Reading, writing, arithmetic — and religion 

On the ABC's God Forbid program, an exploration of funding for Australian schools: government schools, independent schools and Catholic schools ...

Petition: Replace the Lord’s Prayer

The Rationalist Society of Australia is calling on Victorians to show their support for replacing the Anglican Lord's Prayer with ...

How John Lennox distorts the facts

This is article orginally posted in 2014. John Lennox: "Eliminating the Impossible: Can a Scientist believe the Resurrection?" ABC Religion ...

RSA congratulates Michael and Johan

Exactly 50 years to the day since they first met, former High Court judge Michael Kirby marries his longtime partner ...

The Canadian Atheist interviews Dr Meredith Doig

Source: Interview with Dr. Meredith Doig, OAM – President, Rationalist Society of Australia | Canadian Atheist Dr. Meredith Doig, OAM ...

Is religious freedom under threat?

  In response to the passage of equal marriage legislation, the Ruddock Review concluded Australia needs a religious discrimination act ...

MEDIA RELEASE – Rationalist Society on religious freedom review

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LAWS SHOULD BE A SHIELD, NOT A SWORD Today’s Government support for the Ruddock Review into religious freedom ...

The five rules for civil engagement

By Paul Monk, in The Australian There seems to be an extraordinary amount of confusion around these days regarding freedom ...

The Guardian: Government orders states to maintain complaints register for school chaplains

By Paul Karp, 1 December 2018, The Guardian The commonwealth government has moved to add safeguards to the controversial chaplains ...

Submission: Faith-based schools and discrimination

Legislative exemptions that allow faith-based educational institutions to discriminate against students, teachers and staff Submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References ...
World Federation of Right to Die Societies

Open Letter to Pope Francis

Geneva, November 2018 OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS In July 2015 the World Federation of Right to Die Societies (WFRtDS) ...

Do we need laws to protect religious freedom? 

From Radio National: Do we need new laws to protect religious freedom in Australia? Source: The Roundtable - Sunday Extra ...

RSA Patron Michael Kirby on religious freedoms

Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to release a review of religious freedoms conducted by former Attorney General ...

Doctors challenge religionists by providing VAD

RSA Patron Dr Rodney Syme explains why for years he's been challenging the law by helping patients end their lives ...
Photograph of Mark Fabian

The supposed failure of liberal centrism is anything but.

So often nowadays we hear that liberal-centrism has failed and that we need to look to ‘radical, new’ ideas for ...

Media release: Hillsong a global business empire

Hillsong Church becoming a separate official denomination in its own right and withdrawing from the Australian Christian Churches should be ...

Confucius Institutes say you must stick with Xi Jinping

By Paul Monk, in The Australian Last December, the federal government put four bills before parliament framed to head off ...

Majority support separating government and religion

Source: 53% of Australians approve of constitutional amendment to separate government and religion – Dr Adrian Beaumont The NSW Rationalists ...

Bigotry is bad business, so why not let the consumer decide?

Take a drive along any arterial road in Australia and you’re likely to pass dwellings dedicated to various deities with ...

Letter: to Scott Morrison upon becoming PM

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP Prime Minister Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600. 10 September 2018 Dear Prime Minister, The Rationalist ...

The Courier Mail: Catholic Archbishop attacked over ‘misleading’ email on abortion Bill

By The Courier Mail The Archdiocese of Brisbane has been slammed for distributing “misleading” information about proposed abortion laws across ...

Letter: Ensuring Basic Religious Charities are aware of their legal obligations

Dear ACNC, We write regarding Diwan Al Dawla, an unincorporated body registered as a Basic Religious Charity with the ACNC ...

Rationalists support Leyonhjelm’s libertarian agenda – this time

15 August 2018 Rationalist Society of Australia Inc. Rationalists support Leyonhjelm’s libertarian agenda - this time. The Senate is now ...

Submission: Reconsidering Standing Order 50 on Parliamentary Prayers

This is a submission by the Rationalist Society of Australia, written by board member Hugh Harris and president Meredith Doig.  ...

Western civilisation: A primer for willing readers

By Paul Monk, in The Australian The recent stand-off between the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation and our most prestigious ...

Five principles of freedom of religion

The release of Philip Ruddock’s report to Malcolm Turnbull into the principles that should govern religious freedom in this country ...

The Guardian: School chaplain program’s $247m budget extension rejected

By Paul Karp, The Guardian The Australian Education Union has joined a chorus of secular groups in opposing the Coalition’s ...

Flying Spaghetti Monster to the rescue

RSA President Dr Meredith Doig plays with Tom Ballard on the ABC's comedy channel.  ...
Photo of Dr Paul Monk

Paul Monk: On Western Civilization

  Dr Paul Monk is a poet, polymath and highly regarded Australian public intellectual. He has written an extraordinary range of ...

Women v. Religion: The Case Against Faith … and for Freedom

Book Review, written by Teresa Roberts With a bold title like Women v. Religion: The Case Against Faith… and for ...

Case Study of Proselytising by the comment tab

Introducing Humanism: Non-Religious Approaches to Life   Humanists UK A review by RSA Member Deb Campbell. This course was a curious ...

Religious Public Holidays

Discussion has flared up in Australia about what sorts of days should be celebrated and marked with public holiday status ...

Secular groups call for review of ‘blatantly discriminatory’ school chaplains program

By The Guardian A group of humanist societies has demanded that the Australian Human Rights Commission review the $60m-a-year school ...

Freethought leaders seek Inquiry into Religious Discrimination

The Australian Human Rights Commission has rejected out of hand a request by multiple freethought groups for an Inquiry into ...

Religious freedom must not be a green light to discriminate

By Hugh Harris, in the Sydney Morning Herald As it ponders the role of religious freedom in Australia, the Religious ...

A barrister’s submission to the Ruddock Inquiry

Dean Stretton is a barrister at the NSW Bar. His submission to the Ruddock Inquiry is a model of clear ...

2018: drawing a line against prejudice, privilege and power

By Tosca Lloyd, in The Age On Wednesday, Fairfax reported that submissions made to the inquiry into "religious freedoms", chaired ...

Voluntary assisted dying bill an historic opportunity

By Tosca Lloyd, in the Sydney Morning Herald This week, Victorian MPs will consider legislation that will accord a small ...

Religious ‘leaders’ determined to alienate their flocks

Anglican and Catholic bishops seem to be going out of their way to alienate their constituencies, including in respect of ...

Religious Freedom Champions Should Be Careful

Religious liberty should not become a Trojan horse for perpetuating certain views. Source: Huffington Post Australia Hugh Harris By invoking ...

Media release: Call for trial of medically supervised injecting centre

Download Joint Media Release Supporting Trial MSIC In Victoria here ...

Joint statement supporting a medically supervised injecting centre

Download full Joint Statement supporting a MSIC Trial. Joint statement supporting a medically supervised injecting centre trial in Victoria The Rationalist ...

Surgery to make intersex children ‘normal’ should be banned

Source: The Conversation Travis Wisdom & Cornelia Koch Questions in the proposed new citizenship test that address family violence, child marriage and ...

SMH: The message in the Census – End Australia’s Christian bias

By Tosca Lloyd, Executive Officer of the Rationalist Society of Australia To those advocating for a more secular Australia, Tuesday's ...

Warning: Scripture replaced by new type of theism

Source: Warning Scripture replaced by new type of Theism - » The Australian Independent Media Network “Morality cannot be derived ...

Open Letter to CEO of the Catholic Truth, Justice and Healing Council

This open letter is in response to the “Where to From Here?” speech given by Francis Sullivan, CEO of the ...

Christianity no longer a central part of Australian life

LAST week, in the lead up to Easter, there were the usual reminders that celebrating Easter proves the influence of ...

Jacqui Lambie Gets Everyday Aussies. The Turnbull Government Does Not.

Lambie's words were the opposite of what we have come to expect from politicians. They were honest, heartfelt, compassionate, and ...

Let Ayaan Hirsi Ali speak on Islam

Attempts are being made to stop Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali airing her views critical of Islam in Australia. As an ...

Submission: Inquiry into Drug Law Reform

Inquiry terms of reference The Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee of the Victorian Parliament is to inquire into: The effectiveness ...

Islam not an exception in liberal society

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is coming to ­Australia soon to speak about ­reforming traditional Islam and confronting militant Islam. There are ...

Enforce company tax, don’t browbeat welfare recipients

Tackling global tax avoidance requires long-term vision, but it's what Australia needs, writes former RSA board member Chris Fotinopoulos. Source: Enforce ...

The danger of being swamped by confident idiots

The Trump phenomenon and the influence of One Nation on local politics highlight how irrational beliefs seem to be shaping ...

Are you a progressive?

Dave Rubin is a former stand up comedian who now hosts a very successful interview series called The Rubin Report ...

Dr Meredith Doig, President of the Rationalist Society, receives Medal of the Order of Australia

Dr Meredith Doig, President of the Rationalist Society of Australia, has been admitted to the Medal (OAM) of the Order ...

Fundamentalist Islam and rise of alt-right go hand-in-hand

One Nation’s second incarnation reflects a global mood of concern with Islamism and jihadism. Pollsters from the major parties have ...

Scientology Personality Test Postscript – Brisbane

Rationalist board member Hugh Harris continues his search for meaning ... Source: Scientology Personality Test Postscript - Brisbane - Rational ...

It’s Advance Australia Fair, Not Fair-Skinned

Best enjoy the light and colour that diversity transmits. Source: HuffPo: It's Advance Australia Fair, Not Fair-Skinned A hand-written sign with ...

Scientology says I have no real reason to live

Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical practitioners who offer treatments for mental illness, Scientology escapes regulation because it offers services ...

Submission: Senate Committee on the draft of the Same Sex Marriage bill

Select Committee on Same Sex Marriage Parliament House Canberra By email: samesex.marriage.sen@aph.gov.au Submission: to the Senate Select Committee on the ...

In defence of Santa

By now, the elves are wrapping the toys. The reindeers are running test flights. Santa is busy double-checking Xmas lists, ...

Let’s encourage religious devotion in the public realm

Australian suburban shopping centres are places where people from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds are free to peruse, shop and dream ...

Dutton Needs To Sing A Different Tune This Christmas

He is political incorrectness gone mad. Source: Dutton Needs To Sing A Different Tune This Christmas I've heard of Christmas ...

AMA Position Statement on Voluntary Assisted Dying

In November 2016, the Australian Medical Association, which represents about a third of medicos in this country, updated its Position ...

Submission: on Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act

Pursuant to the section 7(c) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, on 8 November 2016 the Attorney-General referred ...

US election: like Rome and Athens, the great republic teeters

The original models for modern constitutional democracies were the republics of Athens and Rome. They failed to keep their constitutions ...

Letter: Great Offense at Gay Marriage

From time to time we get unsolicited letters relating to one or other of our campaigns or policy stances. This ...

Permission to josh Muslims would aid understanding, tolerance

The debate about section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act finds its most troubling and sensitive reference point when it ...

Cyber Reality Check

Paul Monk reviews Oliver Stone's film Snowden and recommends a reality check. Source: Biggest cyber danger: stuff-ups On Wednesday, The Australian led ...

The Passing of Desmond Ball

As with many of those who die of cancer, the death of Desmond Ball this week did not come as ...

Malcolm Roberts: defining his nonsense

Angry white men and the movement that's been defined as "Organised Pseudo-legal Commercial Argument" (OPCA). Delusional nonsense, really, but it ...

Beginning of the End for Bible Classes?

Rationalist Hugh Harris thinks Queensland might beat New South Wales in the race to end proselytising in government schools. Who ...

Left puts bigotry on a pedestal

What does it mean, these days, when someone says their politics are “left-wing” or “progressive”? Source: Left puts bigotry on ...

Why walking out on bigots is a bad idea

Sections 18C/D read like they were written by a parent who wants to be seen as stern yet laidback. Source: ...

Letter: Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Bill

The Hon. Jill Hennessy Minister for Health Victorian Parliament. [space height="30"] 13 September 2016 [space height="30"] Dear Minister,   The ...

Trying To Silence Unwelcome Views Only Perpetuates Them

Give bigots their right to speak. Source: Trying To Silence Unwelcome Views Only Perpetuates Them If parliament legislates for free ...

Fearing men in schools will do more harm than good

RSA board member Chris Fotinopoulos urges our finest, gifted men to enter teaching. "Our boys need you more than ever." ...

Militant Islam threatens liberty

We need to keep clearly in mind the distinctions between race and religion, religion and fanaticism. Islam is a religion ...

Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion

As a woman and a rationalist, I have found it hard to understand the plight of women who continue to believe ...

Ancient Philosophy for Modern Life

Philosophy lessons of the ancients relevant to our globalised, information age. Source: Five Books: Jules Evans recommends the best books ...

Are we asking the wrong questions on Dying With Dignity?

Television producer and performer Andrew Denton has provided us all with some useful and important information about voluntary euthanasia in ...

Free Speech and 18C: A Rationalist’s Perspective

With conservatives and libertarians leading yet another campaign to degrade racial discrimination protections, Dr Meredith Doig weighs in with an ...

Abortion from a woman’s perspective

I’VE had two abortions in my life and known many other women who’ve had abortions. None has regretted them; none ...

Muslims in the West must reject al-Azhar imam’s apostasy views

About six weeks ago, in a televised address during Ramadan, the leading Muslim cleric in Egypt, Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam ...

On abortion, even God more permissive than our laws

FOUR in five Queenslanders, according to a 2009 Auspoll survey, want to change the archaic 1899 state law which makes ...

Just Not On Census Night …

In our democracy, religion does pick the pocket of taxpayers. Source: My Neighbour Can Say There Are 20 Gods Or ...

The Census cares what you believe

Tuesday’s national census can help restore religious freedom, particular if Australians who have ‘no religion’ tick the correct box, writes ...

Hugh Harris takes on Rev. Michael Jensen

For the many Australians who once identified as Christians but have 'lapsed' in their churchgoing, the Census provides a chance ...

We should see Islam as a religious, not a racial issue

In the wake of the atrocity in Nice, television presenter Sonia Kruger, like many of us, felt emotionally convulsed. She ...

Waleed Aly must step up on Muslim free speech at Voltaire Award

On July 23, Waleed Aly will be presented with the Voltaire Award for free speech from Liberty Victoria. It would ...

Connect religious instruction says vampires fake but Bible is fact

Connect religious instruction outlines the contest for kid's souls. Source: Connect religious instruction says vampires fake but Bible is fact ...

Why I’m Running For The Australian Sex Party

I'm standing for the Senate in the upcoming Federal election; not for one of the major parties, but for the ...

Hunting Little Souls: The Vampires of Religious Instruction

The religious right have had plenty of say on Safe Schools. Their response is strangely muted when it comes to religious instruction ...

Media Release: Christians now in minority in Australia

 A new poll shows that 45% of Australians now say they are not religious and less than half say they ...

The social cost of religious freedom

Conservative religious groups need to respect views on sexuality that run counter to their own, just as they demand the ...

SMH: Sex Party’s ‘truly spectacular’ would-be senator Meredith Doig unveiled at clothing-optional launch

By Konrad Marshall, Sydney Morning Herald We're not in Spring Street anymore. The rumble of trams is here, along with ...

Horrifying Scripture classes planned for Qld schools

This semester's planned religious instruction classes ask 10-year-old's to act out a beheading. Source: The horrifying religious instruction classes planned ...

The Church and its weakening grip over Telstra and taxes

Whether it's pressuring Telstra over same-sex marriage or receiving tax breaks, organised religion has enjoyed a fair amount of power ...

Australians against giving religions tax free status

A new poll by market research firm Ipsos has found that only 19.5 per cent of Australians are in favour ...

Media Release: Australians oppose religions’ tax free status

A poll by market research firm Ipsos has found that only 19.5 per cent of Australians are in favour of ...

Queensland law should reflect public support for abortion

Queensland law should reflect public support for abortion. Source: Queensland law should reflect public support for abortion Nearly one in ...

Law should reflect support for abortion

It's hard to believe terminating pregnancy remains a crime. Source: Law should reflect support for abortion Nearly one in three ...

Tax on religious organisations

Australians are strongly opposed to the tax-exempt status of religious organisations. Source: Tax on religious organisations According to a poll ...

Religion’s tax break is a cross we shouldn’t have to bear

Religious groups are not taxable. No wonder there’s no transparency in how their billions of dollars are spent. Source: Religion's ...

End The Safe Schools Hysteria

As the Turnbull Government guts an anti-bullying program in our schools, Hugh Harris wonders why no-one is focussed on a ...

Religion continues its free ride without our blessing 

The majority of Australians say church and state should be separate, yet religion continues to be privileged in our society ...

The Resurrection of Jesus: Explaining the Historical Facts

Christianity stands or falls on the historical events surrounding the first Easter. If there was no resurrection then the Christian ...

Religious Instruction in Queensland schools is discriminatory

When I found out my eight-year-old had been taught at school that there's no God, I was shocked. Source: Religious ...

Duty and Courage

The Editor, The Age Dear Sir, Progress in human affairs has always been achieved by the courageous. Think Martin Luther ...

John Howard’s Christian Right Feels Silenced, And They’re Telling Anyone Who’ll Listen

Hugh Harris takes up the former Prime Minister’s latest intervention into the debate around religion and politics. Source: John Howard’s ...

SRI is inane, but comparative religion is impotent

Only a faith that moves can re-energise the cultural vitality of Christianity in a post-Christian climate. Fluffy values with a ...

Moving “No Religion” 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will change the census form to put the 'no religion' option at the top of ...

The war over “no religion” on the 2016 Australian Census

Next year's census has been reformatted. Some think it will provide a more accurate snapshot of Australia’s religious make-up; others ...

Census change: Is Australia losing its religion?

Next year's Census has a very subtle edit that may completely change the way Australia sees itself and have drastic ...

Business leader in new position as Sex Party candidate

Meredith Doig has extensive experience on corporate boards, university councils and federal government advisory groups. All of which makes her ...

Progressive voters flock to Sex Party

RATIONALIST Society of Australia president Meredith Doig has her sights set on attracting progressive voters at the Polwarth by-election. Source: ...

Billboards ridiculing aspects of Christianity and Islam rejected

BILLBOARDS ridiculing Christian communion wafers and asking if people can flush the Koran down the toilet have been rejected by ...

Religion in Schools – Sunday Nights – (ABC)

Controversy over special religious education or instruction in schools is boiling over again. Are kids getting the right kind of ...

Slurs Are A Poor Counterfeit For Reason

There's a subtle but crucial difference between respecting the beliefs of others, and respecting their right to hold those beliefs ...

Confessions of a state school traitor

Teachers are abandoning their state school because the state school sector has abandoned them. I know, because I am one ...

Let Them Stay

9 February 2016 The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600 Dear Prime Minister As you are aware, ...

No More Tax Loopholes: It’s Time For Faith Groups And Religions To Render Unto Caesar

The perk of ‘tax-free status’ should be reserved for charities which provide unambiguous benefits, writes Hugh Harris in New Matilda ...

Only the ghosts of Christmas past know why advancing religion is still tax free

Jesus was quite clear on the question of tax, famously advising the Jews to render unto Caesar the things that ...

Religious Freedom Protects Same-Sex Couples Too

Balancing freedom is no mean feat, but it doesn’t come about by prioritising religious beliefs over others, writes RSA board ...

Enlightenment – that is what Islam truly needs

The kind of reformation that Islam needs is one that frees it from the medieval traditions and muddled histories that ...

An Evening with Maajid Nawaz

“If liberalism is to mean anything at all, it is duty bound to support without hesitation the dissenting individual over ...

The right to die at home

RSA board member Chris Fotinopoulos reflects on where we might want to die. Source: The right to die at home ...

Victoria leads the way …

Education Minister James Merlino has issued a Ministerial Direction (MD 145) to implement the Victorian Government's policy of removing Special ...

“Damn you to hell, Kevin Andrews”

John Baylis of Darwin suffered from motor neuron disease, a progressive condition involving degeneration and wasting of the muscles. He died ...

The Diary of John Baylis

83 year old Darwin man John Baylis died from the ravages of Motor Neuron Disease on 5th March 2015.  This ...

RSA supports women’s right to choose

The RSA has joined with 40 other organistions supporting a continuation of women's right to freely and safely choose an ...

Maori ritual and Christian indoctrination in New Zealand

I am a life member, past president, and now Trustee of the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists in ...

Freedom of Belief and Gay Marriage

This article is based on arguments presented in the Rationalist Society of Australia submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission ...

Palliative Care: Rhetoric and Reality

THE following address was given by Dr Rodney Syme, Vice President of Dying With Dignity Victoria, to the 2015 Annual ...

Euthanasia ban is an attack on human dignity

Chris Fotinopoulos believes dignified dying requires fewer restrictions on individual autonomy in end of life care. Australia’s persistent anti-euthanasia stance is ...

Submission: Religious Freedom Roundtable

Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission Religious Freedom Roundtable 25 September 2015 Introduction The Rational Society of Australia (RSA) ...

God forbidden: a win for secularism in state schools

The Victorian state government has shown the foresight and courage to rid schools of an insidious evangelical influence, writes RSA ...

Media Release: Census moves to reduce religious bias

MEDIA RELEASE 26 August 2015 ABS moves to redress perception of religious bias "Australia's status as a secular country has ...

“The Process” – a new play about asylum-seeker processing

Among other things, RSA's President Emeritus Ian Robinson is a philosopher and playwright, and his new play, The Process, is touring ...

Submission: End of Life Choices

Submission to the Victorian Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee on End of Life Choices The Rationalist Society of Australia ...

Victorian Government takes the lead on religion in schools

The Rationalist Society today applauds the Victorian Government’s announcement that it will introduce new curriculum to teach Victorian students about ...

Politics, religion and public accountability — taking the next step . . .

Politics and religion are both in a state of flux -- a bell tolls loudly with a call for accountability ...

A tale of two cutting cultures

President Obama recently toured Kenya and gave a powerful speech in which he labelled female genital mutilation a bad tradition ...

Eric Abetz and the Case for Same-Sex Marriage

Not once in his flawed jeremiad The fight for same-sex marriage in Australia is far from over does Eric Abetz refer to ...

Science and society – Do we have a problem?

RSA Member David Thurley speaks of the growing problem of science denialism in society. He has given this speech to ...

This is why you will lose your argument

So the Great Barrier Reef has not been listed as endangered by UNESCO. And same-sex marriage is high on the ...

Submission: Australian Citizenship

The Rationalist Society (RSA) is Australia’s oldest free-thought organisation, established in 1906. Over the past 100 years or so, the ...

Sacred to Secular: a new work on Australian secularism

New books that drive home the need for secular change add welcome momentum to the rising groundswell of public discontent ...

Letters: Minister for Multicultural Affairs rejects multicultural prayers

In a series of letters that would make a good "Yes Minister" episode, our request to the Victorian Minister for Multicultural ...

The Carson Report

The RSA and Fairness in Religions in School recently ​commissioned a report, Carson 2015 Review, by professional sexuality educator Deanne Carson on material ...

Why Prayers in Parliament Should Stop

RECITING a Christian prayer before Parliament breaches the secular principle of separation between Church and State, offends the spirit of ...

An alternative to Prayers before Parliament

"We come here today to do the business of governing. Members of this Parliament have pledged to improve the quality ...

Submission: Adoption by same-sex couples under Victorian law 

In March 2015, the Victorian Government initiated a review to consider changing the law to permit adoption of children by ...

Faith that is not justified?

Are our daily lives filled with faith that may be unjustified, as asserted by Barney Zwartz, Senior Fellow with the ...

Can an Atheist Have a Religious Experience?

The following article was first aired (in abridged form) at the 63rd Rationalist Society conference in April 2000 at Box ...

Book review. Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience

Many years ago, I acquired a book called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. It sat ...

Time to think with our head

IN 1999 the Australian people rejected a constitutional amendment to establish a Republic. The continuing debate about replacing the hereditary ...

Choice is central to dying with dignity.

Dying with dignity campaigner, Peter Short, died late last year on his own terms and in control, but he did ...

Rising anger over Scripture in NSW

This week, two radio programs addressing the increasingly vexed question of whether secular government schools should allow the teaching of ...

Letter: to James Merlino from Rev Dr John Bodycomb

The following letter was prompted by our article in the Fairfax media on 16 Jan 2015. It's from Rev. Dr ...

Religious instruction has no place in the education state

The promise from our new Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, to make Victoria the "education state" is both welcome and timely ...

Badmouthing god: blasphemy and freedom of expression

THE trouble with freedom of expression is that it applies to our enemies as well as our friends. We have to grant it to ...

On Secular Humanism being a Religion

IN 2006, the Rationalist Society joined with the Council of Australian Humanist Societies and the Australian National Secular Association to ...

Let us proclaim and defend Western values

IN the face of the Charlie Hebdo murders, by religious fanatics, let us proclaim and defend the best of Western civilization's ...

Vale Peter Short: Rodney Syme reflects on a life well lived

Shakespeare had Mark Anthony say “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”.  Well, I come to praise Peter Short, ...

Letter: on Terrorism and Freedom

In his seminal essay "Religion and Respect" Cambridge Professor of Philosophy Simon Blackburn ventures a secular definition of the sacred: ...

Religious tax privileges

IN 2004 the Rationalist Society of Australia commissioned Victoria University Graduate School of Business to investigate religious tax privileges. Their ...

Blasphemy, Insult and Freedom of Speech (a reaction)

Graeme Lindenmayer is a member of the RSA and retired engineer with a continuing interest in science, philosophy and religion ...

Blasphemy, Insult and Freedom of Speech

The IQ2 video here - "God and his Prophets Should be Protected from Insult" - pits two extremely articulate speakers - Uthman ...

The truth about Jesus

Sifting through what little evidence there is about the origins of Christianity... The truth about Jesus is that we just ...

Religion and Politics: opportunity or threat?

This article was first presented at the "Separating Church and State" Conference in Melbourne, June 2006. The conference was supported ...

Finding common ground between faith and freethought … ?

Over the past year or so, a number of us within the freethought movement have reached out to the "interfaith" ...

Political candidates reject Special Religious Instruction

ONE area of the political debate that has not received much attention in the Victorian state election campaign so far is ...

Religion, the State and the Law

CHURCH leaders have often expressed views on matters that many people would regard as 'political', that is, as matter of ...

Same difference? A comparison of the ‘Establishment Clause’ in the Australian and United States constitutions

This article was first presented by Professor Helen Irving at the "Separating Church and State: Keeping God out of Government" ...

Atheistic Morality

Introduction Here I conclude my critique of the major arguments raised by John Lennox at the "Cosmic Chemistry?" public lecture ...

How an approach to science helps define the political centre

There was a bit of talk over the last election cycle, expressed in the usual language of political left and ...

Medicine, morality and magnanimity in death

Three stories show there is a civilised way to bring about a dignified death through voluntary euthanasia. Source: Medicine, morality ...

How to spend your dying days with dignity…

Peter Short talks with Fiona Patten about the Sex Party's policy on Dying with Dignity, and being a civil libertarian ...

Want to try practical philosophy?

The fastest growing trend in applied philosophy might just be "New Stoicism".  What is this?  New Stoicism is based on the ...

No Atheist should stand alone in the streets!

The Rationalist Society of Australia warmly welcomes the Association of Atheism of Turkey to the international community of freethinking.  Among ...

Liberals betray education by funding religious proselytising

IN Victoria, the Napthine Liberals’ decision to increase funding of ACCESS Ministries to $2 million from $135,000 ignores growing concerns ...

Teaching religion or teaching about religion?

This article was first published in Winter issue of The Australian Rationalist, June 2013. Anna Halafoff is a research fellow ...

Submission: Rights and Responsibilities

The Rationalist Society (RSA) is Australia’s oldest free-thought organisation, established in 1906. Over the past 100 years or so, the ...

Proving Jesus didn’t exist is a logical fallacy

By Brian Morris, Director of Plain Reason WITH new credible evidence that Christianity's founder was at best an ordinary Judean, and ...

National Curriculum Review: religion, belief systems and values

The Donnelly/Wiltshire Review of the National Curriculum was released in October 2014. Below is a section of the Report called "The ...

Do the young and depressed have the right to suicide?

To the Editor, The Australian. Do the young and depressed have the right to suicide? (Australian 11 Oct). Wrong question. We ...

The Evils of Atheism

Introduction HERE I continue my critique of the major arguments presented by John Lennox at the recent "Cosmic Chemistry?" public lecture ...

Yes, it’s rational to vote Sex!

Last year the RSA did a "Secular Scorecard" in the lead-up to the Federal election - see here. Unsurprisingly the ...

Secularism’s balancing act

Achieving the right balance between religious beliefs and the state is not proving easy anywhere in the world. Ask most ...

The evolution of scientific funding

Understanding the funding of science may be scientists' greatest challenge. AFTER a lifetime in Science, my enthusiasm and fascination for biology ...

Australian Imams reject ISIS Claims and Violence

Just as the Australian media failed to publish the Open Letter to al-Baghdadi from 126 Muslim scholars that refutes ISIS, ...

Special Religious Education in NSW Public Schools

Human Rights Advocacy Australia joins the RSA in tackling the insidious nature of religious zealotry in Australia's public schools ...

Killing Public Education: Indoctrination vs Education

Our current education situation is, quite frankly, unsustainable.  As a society, we cannot afford to maintain two parallel education systems ...

Why the West Must Defend Freedom of Speech

Our changing world Our human rights and freedoms are now recognised as the basis of Western secular society. It wasn't ...

Muslim Scholars Refute ISIS

More than a hundred Muslim scholars and leaders from around the world released an open letter addressed to Islamic State ...

Christian Contributions to Society

During August 2014, Oxford Professor of mathematics John Lennox delivered a series of lectures in Australia on "Science and Faith in ...

Secular Spirituality

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (2008) claims a place for spiritual wellbeing in education for all ...

WA Humanists celebrate a year of achievements

Congratulations to the Humanist Society of WA for a busy and successful year. Here is what they've achieved, using the 10 ...

The Rational Intelligibility of the Universe

Introduction Here I continue my critique of the major arguments raised by John Lennox at the recent "Cosmic Chemistry?" public ...

Victorian Govt should not accept tainted money …

Martin Dixon Minister for Education Victorian Parliament Spring St MELBOURNE 3002. By email: martin.dixon@parliament.vic.gov.au Copy: Daniel Andrews 1 September 2014 ...

Minister Dixon: when will you fix the mess that is SRI?

Hon. Martin Dixon Minister for Education Victorian Parliament Spring St Melbourne, Vic. 3002 By email: martin.dixon@parliament.vic.gov.au Copy: Richard Bolt; Carol ...

Mr Merlino, will you stand up for parents over SRI?

Hon. James Merlino, MP Shadow Minister for Education Parliament House Spring St Melbourne, Vic. 3002 By email: james.merlino@parliament.vic.gov.au Copy: Daniel ...

Background Briefing investigates ACCESS Ministries

The ABC's flagship radio program Background Briefing investigates ACCESS Ministries and the Special Religious Instruction mess in Victoria. More than ...

Explaining Language and Thought Naturalistically

During August 2014, Oxford Professor of mathematics John Lennox delivered a series of lectures in Australia on "Science and Faith in ...

The Betrayal of Sri Lanka

Former Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Bruce Haigh, argues that those who want to return Sri Lankan asylum seekers ...

Submission: Dying with Dignity Bill 2014

Committee Secretary Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 21 August 2014 Submission ...

Presentation: The History of Ethics

On 21 August 2014, RSA President Dr Meredith Doig made a presentation to the Central Victorian Atheists and Freethinkers on ...

Rationalism and the Meaning of Life

As Editor of the Australian Rationalist and later as President of the Rationalist Society of Australia I was often called ...

Update on the religion question

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has confirmed the "Religion Question" in the 2016 census will very likely be changed. A ...

The origins of modern science and Christianity

During August 2014, Oxford Professor of mathematics John Lennox delivered a series of lectures in Australia on "Science and Faith in ...

Submission: “We are not mindless human beings …”

Submission by RSA Member Rex Williams to the Dying with Dignity bill: "Any person has a right to decide when ...

New coalition of faith and freethought

IN October 2012, the RSA joined with a representative of the Uniting Church to make a submission to the Victorian ...

Submission: The religion question

The RSA, in consultation with a number of other freethought groups, has made a submission to the Australian Bureau of ...

European Union Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief

On 24 June 2013 the European Union adopted Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief. I. Introduction ...

What lies ahead?

When I was at secondary school, my English class studied a collection of essays, one of which analysed the methods ...

2016 Census – change is a’coming?

Rumour has it the Australian Bureau of Statistics is trialling a change to the way the census question on religion ...

The reasonableness of suicide

When is it 'reasonable' to choose to end one's life? The ancient Stoics thought it reasonable if circumstances prevented a ...

Letter: On abortion

Dear Prime Minister,   As a woman in her 60s who for various reasons has experienced two abortions, I have ...

God save me from those who think I’m lost

The fight over religious instruction in state schools is not over whether there is a god but the right of ...

Wisdom – a short guide

The Philosophers' Mail is an interesting initiative: an attempt to make the arcane relevant to contemporary life. In this piece, ...

Presentation: Reason vs Emotion: key drivers in the history of moral progress

Reason vs Emotion: key drivers in the history of moral progress By Dr Meredith Doig President, Rationalist Society of Australia ...

Does Time have a Future?

Issue 93 of the "Australian Rationalist" (Winter 2014) has just been released and can be found at newsagencies around Australia ...

Is your favourite group a shark or a dolphin?

In a pluralist society there's many shades and hues of stakeholder groups. Here's one way to think of them. Is ...

Removing SRI from your school: A “How To” guide

Thanks to Jacqui Tomlins for this particularly useful guide. Raise awareness - inform parents about what SRI is really about ...

High Court upholds Challenge to Chaplaincy Program

Thursday 19 June 2014 The High Court has upheld the second Williams challenge to the constitutionality of the National Chaplaincy ...

New push for Dying with Dignity

Peter Short is dying of a terrible form of cancer. And still, legislators in this country refuse to allow him ...

Survey of Religion in South Australian schools

Brian Morris is a professional journalist and director of "Plain Reason" in South Australia. In April 2014 he approached the ...

“A Current Affair” blasts ACCESS Ministries

Channel 9's ACA blasted ACCESS Ministries for their evangelistic tactics in Australian schools - see the video segment here.  It ...

The “Reason Project” – a new RSA initiative

The RSA has formed a small team to develop a new idea, tentatively called the Reason Project. Reason and Reasoning: Critical ...

RSA Committee agrees to support Young Australian Skeptics

The RSA Committee has agreed to support the Young Australian Skeptics for two years. President Meredith Doig said, "This is ...

Young people turned on to Science

Two thousand (mostly) young people filed into the Melbourne Convention Centre on the evening of Friday 6 June to listen ...

Minister confirms that “may” = “must”

Minister of Education Martin Dixon announces the long awaited Ministerial Direction on SRI.  Confusingly, claims on the one hand that "Principals ...

Dr Rodney Syme: champion of human rights

Frustrated by lack of action by Parliamentarians in acknowledging the wishes of their electors re the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia, ...

Investment and cognitive bias

Cognitive fallacies can damage that most iconic of self-interested activities: investing ...

Peter Ellerton on Brandis’s logical fallacies

RSA committee member Peter Ellerton explains why Australia's top lawmaker has got it wrong. Brandis complains that "climate change denialists ...

On Reason and Reasoning

Brilliant new video on Reason by Steven Pinker and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein - http://on.ted.com/g06r5 ...

Marion Maddox goes head-to-head with Justine Toh

Justine Toh is a very articulate Senior Research Fellow from the Centre for Public Christianity; Marion Maddox has just written ...

Vic Education Dept distances itself from ACCESS Ministries

Principals at Victorian primary schools are getting caught between a rock and a hard place. ACCESS Ministries wrote to Victorian ...

Submission: Review of the National Curriculum

Why a national curriculum? The national curriculum arose ostensibly in response to those Australians whose jobs took them to different ...

Letter: To Bill Nye, apologising about Ken Ham

Dear Bill,                                                                                              Sunday 2nd Feb 2014 We’re sorry. We’re really sorry. We know how you American rationalists think of us Aussies ...

Where is the proof in pseudoscience?

RSA committee member Peter Ellerton explains what constitutes knowledge - put simply, it's when it's so 'settled' that it's used ...

The Big Questions: God & God: All That Matters

This book review was first published in Philosophy Now. A publisher who wants to bring out a book about God ...

What you think is right may actually be wrong

RSA Committee member Peter Ellerton explains that how we think we think is not actually how we think ...

Child Evangelists in Australia

Graham McDonald is an Australian evangelist who teaches that: all children indulge in sin and that sin "must be punished" heaven is ...

Should we teach more religion in schools?

Abbott Government Education Minister Christopher Pyne has announced a review of the national curriculum, claiming “concerns have been raised about ...

Welcome to the Education Culture Wars

The Rationalist Society supports Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Belief. But freedom implies informed choice. If someone is not ...

RSA: religious indoctrination not on but GRE welcome

RSA President Dr Meredith Doig welcomed more general religious education in Australian schools today but warned that indoctrination, in the ...

Honesty and Ethics Rating of Clergy Slides to New Low

Americans' rating of the honesty and ethics of the clergy has fallen to 47%, the first time this rating has ...

Growing numbers of Australians non-religious

The Australian Bureau of Statistics analyse the "Religion" question in the 2011 census.  Australian Social Trends, Nov 2013 ...

How to become a ‘professional human being’

A growing international movement is inviting young children to philosophise in primary schools in the USA, the UK and elsewhere – but Australia ...

Climate change kills people – just how bad is that?

John Broome is an Oxford philosopher and a lead author of the International Panel on Climate Change report.  In this ...

‘Ex-Gay’ Counselling: It’s Happening In Australian Schools

The Global Mail writer Luke Williams exposes the superstition and bigotry of some Christian schools in Australia in ‘Ex-Gay’ Counselling: It’s ...

The myth of the mandate

Prime Minister Tony Abbott seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that he has a “mandate” for all the policies ...

The War Against Christians?

Barney Zwartz, The Age's Religion Editor, on the "war against Christianity": Age of intolerance: the war on religion. But being religious ...

The Case for Secularism: a Neutral State in an Open Society

By Julian Baggini, British philosopher Consider the following statement from a Bishop of the Church of England: British society is ...

Secularism and Constitutionalism: The Legacy of George Higinbotham

The following article is the inaugural Higinbotham Lecture delivered by the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG to the RMIT Law ...

Presentation: The Pleasure of Understanding

Back in January this year I woke up one morning and trying to get out of bed, realised I couldn’t ...

What Atheism Means to Me and What It Does Not Mean

Talk given to the Atheist Society, Melbourne, on 10 July 2012 The main reason for this talk is that atheism ...

On Secularism in Australia: response to a Year 12 student

The RSA  received a request for information from an HSC student at a Christian School in NSW.  She is taking ...

Australia ranks at the bottom for social justice, but better than the US

In a 2011 report by the OECD, Australia ranks in the bottom five countries for overall poverty prevention, senior citizen ...

Media Release: Measuring political bias

Media Release 26 August 2013 One area of the political debate that does not receive much attention during election campaigns ...

Evangelicals recruiting for Jesus

Here in Australia, evangelicals are out seeking people to impose their Christian worldview on young children. Check out this recruiting ...

Belgium: State funding to be withdrawn from religious schools that fail to teach mandatory curriculum

In Belgium all schools, including private schools, must teach their agreed national curriculum or have their funding removed.Let's see if Australian ...

NZ state schools drop religious instruction

In New Zealand, Rationalist David Hines surveyed government schools and found that fewer are conducting religious instruction classes - see ...

Steven Pinker on science and the humanities

In this four page article, Steven Pinker explores what science is and what it is not:  "... science is of a ...

Values in a democractic society

Conservative religionists like to claim there is an alarming 'values deficit' in our schools.  Not so.  I just came across ...

A Guide to Moral Decision Making

Chris MacDonald is a Canada-based philosopher.  Here he sets out practical guide on how to choose when faced with a ...

Uniting Church challenges Access Ministries SRI syllabus

At last, one of the religious organisations that are members of ACCESS Ministries has spoken out against the 'biblical literalism' ...

One Law for All: campaigning against sharia and religious laws

Lecture to Conway Hall Ethical Society by Anne Marie Waters 9 June 2013 The official number of sharia tribunals and councils ...

Malcolm Fraser on refugees

Malcolm Fraser has form on handling refugees.  He did it successfully at the end of the Vietnamese war.  Here he ...

A Brief History of Humankind

Maybe you've not yet heard about "Coursera".  This is a series of courses available online and free to anyone who has a ...

Asylum seekers: effective policy is based on evidence, not emotion

Asylum seekers: effective policy is based on evidence, not emotion. Photo by Julie Ricard on Unsplash ...