Blaze expresses support for the objectives of Atheism SA to the LGBTI community, and reflects our support for a raft of social policy issues, including marriage equality.
A new organisation challenging the influence of religion on secular society has been launched in South Australia.
“Two central factors were the catalyst for giving voice to Adelaide’s real silent majority: that vast community who don’t believe in God, or practice any form of religion,” says Brian Morris, president of the newly-formed Atheism SA Inc.
“Non-believers of all shades have passively sat back for far too long while minority groups of religious fundamentalists have dominated the political debate on a swathe of important social-policy issues,” Morris says. “It’s been more than 40 years since the national body, the Atheist Foundation of Australia, first started in South Australia, and while there are various ‘social groups’, there have been no other genuine ‘active’ organisations.”
Morris says Atheism SA will represent those who have a non-religious stance on a variety of current issues – a list that includes teaching ethics classes in all schools, replacing school chaplains with professional counsellors, ending the annual $31 billion “tax and grant rort” by religious businesses, and support for freedom of choice on such important and personal issues as marriage equality and voluntary euthanasia.
The issue of same-sex marriage is an area Atheism SA is interested in, Morris says, because he believes the only real objections to marriage equality are dictated by religious belief, not logic.
He says irrespective of whether policy was a state or federal domain, South Australians “need to be heard”: “Our aim is to impact on a raft of progressive legislation that, due to the political influence of church hierarchies, is constantly misrepresented to the general public, and consistently blocked by parliament.”
A new website has been launched — atheismsa.org — which is the focal point for the organisation’s activities.
Morris says all those interested in secular issues are welcome to contribute ideas and information, to write articles for the website and to participate in scheduled activities. People of faith are also encouraged to make comment on website content.
“We will also host monthly Open Forums with films and prominent speakers. Through the website, people will suggest issues they wish to discuss – or take action on – and keep track of events organised by ASA.
“Religion is no longer a sacred cow, it needs to be challenged openly and responsibly. The social and political ramifications are far too serious to allow Bronze Age dogma to hold sway, as it has for the past 2,000 years.
“With the wave of new critical thinkers like Dr Richard Dawkins, Professor Lawrence Krauss, et al, atheism has a clear and respectable voice that confronts religious myths and doctrines which undermine science, health and education.”