Friday 30 May 2014

Poll shows only 5% of Australians want only religious chaplains

The Guardian has published the results of an Essential Poll finding that only 5% of the voting public want only religious chaplains in schools:
Asked which program was most appropriate for the government to fund, only 5% nominated “religious chaplains only”, 17% said secular chaplains only, 37% said both chaplains and social workers and 23% said neither.
The Essential Report breaks down the figures by vote intention, with Greens voters most strongly supporting secular social workers only (41%)
 Which schools program do you think is more appropriate for the Federal Government to fund?

Vote Labor
Vote Lib/Nat
Vote Greens
Vote other
Religious chaplains only
Secular social workers only
Both chaplains and social workers
None of the above
Don’t know
AllOut, a campaigning platform that advocates for LGBT issues, has already received 163,976 signatures in support for a petition calling for the government to give students access to qualified mental health professionals or social workers, rather than anti-gay religious groups.

A national study from LaTrobe University found that young people with religious backgrounds were more likely to experience social exclusion, less likely to feel safe at home, and "
received less support from parents, siblings and teachers when they disclosed their sexuality and they were more likely to report self harm and suicidal thoughts." One teenager in the study explained that he became severely depressed because ‘being Christian made me hate myself.’ Over 80% of LGBT young people experienced verbal abuse or physical assault while at school. Former students of private schools have told of "bullying going unpunished, being sent to counsellors who tried to ‘‘fix’’ their sexuality and being told to keep their sexual identity under wraps by their school leaders".

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Sydney Atheists opposes the 2014 budget's support for the indoctrination of children

Sydney Atheists oppose the 2014 budget on the grounds that it maintains indoctrination at the expense of education.

The Prime Minister and Treasurer have cut back on education funding and uncapped university fees. At the same time they have set aside $245 million to maintain the chaplaincy program. Education Minister Christopher Pyne told Guardian Australia “Counsellors and social workers in schools are really the responsibility of the states and territories,” leaving Sydney Atheists to question what the public benefit is.

Ron Williams would like to know, when the Commonwealth has cut state education and health funding by $80 billion over the next decade, and reneging on the promised money to school children with disabilities. Over $670 million of taxpayers' money has been spent or committed to this political stunt, that now will not have a counselling component.

With Roy Morgan research finding that the number of Australians with no religion has risen to 36.7%, the allocation of public funds to explicitly religious programs has a diminishing benefit, while parents of children with disabilities will continue to struggle.

Sydney Atheists calls on the Commonwealth to allocate the chaplaincy funding to states and let them decide how best to equip our schools with counselling, pastoral care and social worker needs. 

Sunday 18 May 2014

Special event Thursday 28th August
We will meet  from 6.00pm till 7.30pm for our usual social get together. The second part of the evening, however, will feature a special event:

From 7.30pm till about 9.30pm we will have an open committee meeting, to which everyone will be welcome.

The main topic of discussion will be consideration of slogans for:

1/ A billboard, which ideally we hope to place on a major roadway

2/ Bumper stickers

3/ T shirts

4/ Fliers

Everyone is invited to make suggestions for these slogans.

For the billboard, the slogan should be no more than ten words, ideally less. Bumper stickers and T shirts should be no more than six words. Fliers should be less than 40 words.

Please send your suggestions to Steve Marton at . 

In July we will put the suggestions to a vote to identify the five most popular slogans. These will then be discussed on the evening with a vote to determine which are the most suitable.

Please RSVP for the event in the usual way at  There is no admittance fee for our Thursday night functions.

Dinner and drinks, as always, will be available at the venue.

Strattons is a stone throw away from Museum Station, with Town Hall Station close by. There are many bus stops close by. Parking is available at 175 Liverpool Street for $9.00 after 5.00pm.6.00pm till 7.30pm for our usual social get together on this evening. 

Thursday 15 May 2014

2014 Federal Budget

The Abbott government has decided to cut into education, however has maintained funding for indoctrination.

Worse still, it would seem that the Abbott government is even intent on replacing existing secular social workers with chaplains.

Saturday 10 May 2014

UWS Open Forum for 2014
The University of Western Sydney will conduct an Open Forum titled ‘Women in the Muslim World’.

The guest speaker on the night will be:
Professor Karima Bennoune, Professor of International Law at the University of California – Davis School of Law. She is also the author of the forthcoming book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism. Karima has served as a member of the executive council of the American Society of International Law and on the board of directors of Amnesty International US. Currently, she sits on the board of the network of Women Living Under Muslim Laws

The forum will be held on Wednesday 21 May 2014 on the UWS Parramatta South campus, Building EZ, Female Orphan School, West Wing with refreshments at 5.30pm for a 6pm start. 

Please note that this is not a Sydney Atheists sponsored event. We feel, however that many of our members would find this of interest.
Register your attendance here

Friday 9th May talks
A big thanks to our two speakers from Friday night, Michael and Brad. Their talks on two very different regions were very enlightening and entertaining. 
We now have a better understanding of how the Russian Orthodox church has manipulated and been manipulated for power and financial expediency. We also have a rare insight into the thinking and behaviour or various peoples in the Middle East.
Living in Australia, we can so appreciate the freedoms that we have, both to think and do as we please. A great night was had by all who attended.

Ron Williams High Court Challenge

The takings of $114.80 on the night have been donated to the Ron Williams High Court challenge to Federal funding of the Chaplaincy program.

Tuesday 6 May 2014


At this week's talks, all monies collected will be donated to the Ron Williams High Court challenge to Federal Government financing of chaplains in schools.

This Friday the 9th of May will feature a talk about the influence of the Russian Orthodox church on Russian society before, during and after the Communist era. Our second talk called "A heathen in the Kingdom" will discuss life under the administration of various Middle East religious regimes. For more information and to update your RSVP please go to

Saturday 3 May 2014

Abbott expected to ignore Commission of Audit report on Chaplaincy Waste

The Commission of Audit has recommended that the Commonwealth end the chaplaincy program, which has already wasted almost half a billion dollars of tax-payer's money.

In 2011, 96.5% of the chaplains employed under the program were Christian, even though only 64% of Australians identified as Christian. Roy Morgan polling shows that currently only 52.6% of Australians identify as Christian.

Ron Williams has launched a successful challenge to the constitutionality of federal money being spent without the oversight of the parliament. We recommend that our members follow the second High Court challenge to the constitutional validity of chaplaincy, and consider supporting Ron Williams in his challenge.

The National School Chaplaincy Program - Australia's most outrageous political stunt from RonnieWilliams on Vimeo.

Occupy Christ? White House hopeful wants state religion, gays off TV, and CEO pay cap

Darrell Trigg wants to amend the Constitution to end the separation of church and state, and he wants your vote.
The Tennessee engineer officially announced his candidacy for president Wednesday and will run on an explicitly Christian platform – sprinkled with some Occupy Wall Street-style populism.
During a National Day of Prayer event Thursday in his Rogersville, Tenn., hometown, Trigg told about 100 people that he would make Christianity the official religion of the U.S. and require mandatory K-12 Bible lessons for public school students.