The Australian Census shows that
The Australian Census shows that "no religion” is more popular than any single denomination in the country at 30.1%, overtaking Catholicism at 22.6%. Purestock

Daddy-O: I'm the reason Australia is losing its religion

AUSTRALIA is losing its religion and I'm partly to blame.

I never had a religion to lose. When I would ask my parents "what are we", my parents would tell us to just pick one - Church of England, Anglican, Uniting Church, whatever. They're all roughly the same. I still sat through religious classes taken by the local reverend, now real estate agent.

If my daughter is anything like me, my parents and her mother's family, she probably won't be religious either.

Thanks to the census this week, we learned that "no religion" is more popular than any single denomination in the country at 30.1%, overtaking Catholicism, which now sits at 22.6%.

Once you combine a bunch of those different churches together under a single banner though, there would be three irreligious folks and five Christians.

If those rates keep up, non-religious Aussies will overtake the Christians by Census 2046, with 40% to 35%.

I'm also not scared of Australia descending into a godless cesspool. Non-religious doesn't mean atheist. Plenty of people believe in a higher power, perhaps even follow a holy book, but don't believe in the churches, mosques or synagogues. Plus, atheists aren't exactly frightening to me.

If the trends roll on, my girl will grow up in a country where the church's power in society is weakening.

With one-third of Australians no longer religious, we need to ask why so many politicians still pass or reject laws based not on evidence but solely on religious grounds.

Why is abortion still illegal in Queensland, relying on a law from 1899? Christian blasphemy laws remain in every state and territory aside from Queensland and Western Australia.

Gay marriage is still a political football even as Ireland and the United States - two of the most fervently Christian nations on Earth - succumb to good sense.

If non-religious numbers keep rising, so will the pressure on politicians to make laws and rules for the good of everyone, without the tinting that comes from organised religion.

And in 2046, no one will be surprised if my daughter ticks "non-religious" on the census.

Email Owen Jacques or follow him on Facebook. or Twitter



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