Friday, 26 December 2008

Separation of Church and State

In America, the separation of Church and State was made law by the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution.

This is why they don't have prayer in State schools and why they don't have prayer in Congress or the Senate. In Australia, we also have an Establishment clause in our Constitution that separates Church and State:

116. The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

The problem is that in Australia the law hasn't been enforced. So we have not merely prayer, but enforced scripture periods in State schools, and compulsory Christian prayer in Parliament. As well as highly illegal activities like donations of hundreds of millions of  dollars from the Federal government to the Catholic Church, but to no other non-profit organisation.
It would be interesting to see the Secular Party challenge breaches of this part of the Australian Consititution in court.

Originally posted by Ian Woolf

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