More evidence for a secular Australia.
An Advertiser newspaper poll on 29th March 2013 — Good Friday — showed that 70% of the Adelaide public were far from ‘tuned in’ to the biblical meaning of Easter. To the question, “What is most important to you about Easter?”, only 30% referred to the 2000 year old story of Jesus Christ. The survey included 2308 people.
As with many opinion polls people are given an opportunity to recover. The Advertise poll asked “Do you understand and celebrate the Christian meaning of Easter?”, to which 53.2% of respondents said “yes”. Bearing in mind the first question, and 70% thinking Easter was more about a long weekend, eggs and buns, this sudden interest in celebrating the true meaning of Easter seemed rather unlikely.
The 2011 Census showed 22.3% of Australians had “No Religion”, and we know from strong anecdotal evidence over many years that a minimum 35% of the population are “Cultural Christians” — people who either don’t believe, or have never practiced the religion they we taught as a child. Israelis seem to be the most honest when it comes to non-belief, with the Judaism Online magazine quoting 52% of Jews who do not believe in god.
All this adds to the call for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to finally go for accuracy and completely rewrite the section on religious belief for the 2016 Census. Why is it so painful to ask Australians what they really think? At a minimum, the question needs to be, “What religion do you currently practice?”. A useful second question would also be “Do you believe in a particular God or Gods?” We will then have proof positive that Australia has a population that is more than 50% “non-religious”. It is probable that the figure is more like the 70% reflected in the Advertiser’s Easter poll.
Atheism SA Inc. Active atheist assoc., Adelaide South Australia, for atheists, agnostics and non-believers.