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Why The Prime Minister Is Wrong About The Separation Of Church And State In Australia
Max Wallace, sourced from The Secular Party of Australia website: 8 April 2013
On 28 February Democrats’ Senator Allison moved a motion which had as its intention a legislative change towards Australia separating church and state. The Prime Minister responded on 2 March that:
“What the separation of church and state means in this country is that there is no established church .. we don’t have the Anglican Church as the official state religion, that’s what it means.”
He continued that the Democrats motion was:
“… an absurd proposition which shows a total misunderstanding of the nature of the separation of church and state.”
In defining separation of church and state in this way the Prime Minister was echoing the words of Edmund Barton, the man who was to become Australia’s first Prime Minister. In the course of debates about Australian Federation Barton said in 1897:
“The whole mode of government, the whole province of the state is secular. The whole business that is transacted by any community, however deeply Christian, unless it has an established church, unless religion is interwoven expressly and professedly in all its actions – is secular business as distinguished from religious business.”
Papal honour for General Cosgrove
Australian Catholic University, 12th February 2013
Photo Caption: General Peter Cosgrove AC MC, Chancellor of ACU with His Eminence Cardinal George Pell. Photo: Catholic Weekly
The Chancellor of Australian Catholic University (ACU), General Peter Cosgrove, has been bestowed with the Honour of the Knight of the Grand Cross in the Order of St Gregory the Great, by The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
General Cosgrove has been especially selected to receive The Honour of Knight of the Grand Cross in the Order of St Gregory the Great for his distinguished services to the Church in the Archdiocese of Sydney. His Eminence Cardinal George Pell bestowed the honour upon General Cosgrove at a formal ceremony at Cathedral House in Sydney.
Is There a Separation of Church and State in Australia and New Zealand?
Australian Humanist, Max Wallace, publication of the Council of Australian Humanist Societies New Series No. 77 AUTUMN 2005
Australia and New Zealand were settled relatively recently, only about two hundred years ago. Being on the other side of the world and down under we were isolated from the civilizing influences of the best ideas of continental Europe and settled into imitating the culture of our British heritage. That gave us parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, but, I will argue, it did not give us separation of church and state as a matter of course. We thus have flawed democracies.
We did not separate church and state like the Americans and the French perhaps because it never occurred to us to do so. The question is, why it did it never occur to us?
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