Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists

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Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists

A group for networking and friendship between atheists in the Australian/New Zealand/South Pacific region, and for discussion of political and religious topics relevant to these regions.

Members: 349
Latest Activity: Apr 3

Aussie, Kiwi and South Pacific Atheists

This group is hosted by Richard J and Chrys Stevenson


Another High Court Challenge Against the National School Chaplaincy Program

Website: http://www.highcourtchallenge.com

Breaking News! After successfully challenging the Commonwealth government in the High Court of Australia over funding for the National School Chaplaincy Scheme, Ron Williams is to take them on again.  In an attempt to circumvent the High Court ruling, the government has passed some extremely questionable legislation which tears at the heart of parliamentary democracy and public accountability.  Williams has consulted with his crack legal team and the decision has been made today (Saturday, 7 July) to mount another challenge.

For more information see here:  

http://thatsmyphilosophy.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/its-on-williams-to-return-to-the-high-court-on-chaplaincy-issue/

Mounting a High Court challenge is extremely expensive and Ron Williams is just an average, suburban Dad.  If all of us who care about a secular, democratic Australia can chip in as much as we can, it will help enormously.  Please consider donating at:  

http://www.highcourtchallenge.com/

This is your chance to be a part of making Australian Constitutional history!


Embiggen Books - Your Australian Atheist/Skeptical Bookshop

Embiggen Books, an Australian bookstore devoted to promoting science, philosophy, rationalism and skepticism is now on Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Warren Bonett and Kirsty Bruce of Embiggen are also passionate and active members of the atheist and skeptical communities.

Australian Atheist Issues

For new members, if you want to get a grasp of some of the issues effecting atheists in Australia, you might like to take a look at the Atheist Nexus (Australia) submission on "Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century" made to the Australian Human Rights Commission early last year. It's long, but easy reading, and worth spending some time on. A report, using information compiled from submissions, should be released later this year.

Atheist Meetup Groups - Australia

If you'd like to meet up with some local atheists, there's no better way than joining your local Atheist Meetup, Skeptics, or Freethought Groups:

Adelaide Atheists
Ballarat Atheists
Brisbane Atheists
Canberra Social Skeptics
Melbourne Atheists
Launceston Skeptics
Macarthur Atheists (Macarthur Region, Sydney (NSW)
Perth Atheists
Perth Skeptics
Sunshine Coast Atheists
Sydney Atheists
Sydney Freethinkers
Western Sydney Freethinkers
Wollongong Skeptics Society

Have we missed your meetup group? Just let me know and I'll add it in.

Discussion Forum

Question from a visitor.

Started by Ted E Bear. Last reply by Chrys Stevenson Jan 17, 2013. 6 Replies

Naughty corner for not attending R.E? Yes, this is in NZ folks!!!

Started by Therese Monteath-Carr. Last reply by Blamer on twitter Dec 10, 2012. 3 Replies

Pell v Dawkins: this Monday

Started by Phillip A. Ellis. Last reply by Alice Apr 17, 2012. 3 Replies

Any Hamiltonian skeptics out there?

Started by Leela Moses Nov 16, 2011. 0 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists to add comments!

Comment by Chrys Stevenson on January 1, 2010 at 10:58pm
Please watch this video from the Australian Secular Lobby on the government, media and others' beat-up on the Australian School Chaplaincy Programme. I know the guys at the ASL would appreciate it if you could circulate this widely, rate it, and encourage others to do the same. Let's put a little pressure on here.

Comment by Chrys Stevenson on December 30, 2009 at 1:51am
Welcome Proudmumma! Great to have you aboard.
Comment by Robert Tobin on December 26, 2009 at 5:18am
A New Zealand church has sparked controversy by putting up a billboard featuring Mary and Joseph in bed.

St Matthews is a progressive Christian Church in the heart of Auckland and its Vicar Glynn Cardy wants people to discuss God.

Outside the church is a biblical bed scene; an unsatisfied Mary looking up to the heavens and Joseph in bed beside her looking deflated.

The caption on the billboard reads: "Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow".

The Christmas message upset one man so much he took to it this afternoon with a can of brown paint.

But Vicar Cardy thought it was a great idea.

"We're trying to lampoon the idea of a literal male God who somehow, it's assumed, impregnated Mary," he said.

"Most Christians don't believe that, but the message that the general society hears from the church is this message; they think that they're meant to take it literally.

"We actually think God is about the power of love as shown in Jesus, which is something quite different than a literal man up in the sky."

A local man walking past said he was not offended.

He is one of the estimated 1.5 million atheists in New Zealand. And he was not equipped to answer his grand-daughter's questions.

"She asked me, 'is that Mary?' And I just said 'yeah', that's all I could say," he said.

"As for me, I'm not religious or anything so it doesn't really bother me at the moment."


Outrage

The billboard has upset the Catholic Church and New Zealand lobby group Family First.

Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie says it is not an issue that should be on a billboard.

"Look, we haven't got a problem with the fact that they want a debate around the virgin birth, about sex and religion, we just don't think it's appropriate on a public billboard to be talking about the sexual prowess of God versus the sexual prowess of Joseph," he said.

"That's a debate you have inside the church building, not on a public billboard that families and kids are going to see."

But Vicar Cardy says they could have gone with a much more controversial option - an image of a fluorescent sperm coming down with "joy to the world" on it.

"Actually a lot of people didn't understand that it was connected with Christmas. So it was trying to make the same joke, but it was a bit cruder and so we went away from the crudity," he said.

This afternoon a vandal painted over Mary and Joseph's faces with brown paint.

The Vicar says it is very sad. He had hoped people would see the funny side of the billboard.

It will cost the church $200 for a replacement.


No laughing matter

In Wellington some atheists are also in the bad books with the deeply religious.

Simon Fisher and some of his non-believing mates are planning to put advertisements on buses which say: "There's probably no God now, so stop worrying and enjoy your life".

Similar signs appeared on London trains and buses earlier this year.

Mr Fisher says they are also trying to generate debate.

"We're presenting an alternative. We're saying that it's okay not to believe in God and that you can actually be good without God," he said.

Mr Fisher says he has been inundated with emails and some of them are quite nasty.

"Can I say crazy or more out there emails such as: 'you're going to hell'. But of course it's difficult for me to reply to that because I don't believe in hell, so that's fine," he said.

It appears that the man with the can of brown paint is not the only Kiwi who does not think religion is a laughing matter.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on December 23, 2009 at 1:40am
Check out details of our new Aussie/Kiwi group award for freethought advocacy (above) and in the discussion forum.

Congratulations Sean!
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on December 22, 2009 at 6:11pm
Well said, Kid!
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on December 22, 2009 at 2:50am
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on December 21, 2009 at 5:57pm
I do hope if old George gets cancer, he'll be kind enough not to clog up our already overloaded hospital system but just rely on the power of prayer. How bloody irresponsible!
Comment by Russell Blackford on December 17, 2009 at 6:45pm
I enjoyed doing the program, and I reckon it could easily have been a 2-hour program with the talent that was there and the strong public response.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on December 17, 2009 at 3:54pm
Nexus member, Russell Blackford, will be on Radio National's "Life Matters" programme this morning at 9am speaking about his book, "50 Voices of Disbelief". If you're listening online, remember that the programme is streamed at NSW time, so, in Queensland, for example it will be on just after 8am. It should be on radio at 9am everyone's local time, though.
Comment by Luke on December 15, 2009 at 6:30am
@Kristy Will do :)
 

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