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  • Where is the funding for the Atheist Convention Melbourne 2010?

    Appears we are not the only ones that see vast discrepancies in the rights of Australians between those of belief and those that don’t. It appears the government is lagging with responding to atheist requests in regard being treated the same as religious people when it comes to support. Atheists are tax payers (not like religion) and deserve to be at least responded to in their request over funding

    Hats off folks for pointing this out to us, we also call on the government to respond to this blatant distinction between Australians promptly, it’s time religion did not have rights above and beyond anyone else doing the same thing.

    Atheists, non-believers,  unite!

    The Global Atheist Convention 2010 in Melbourne, Australia is expected to be the largest gathering of atheists, rationalists, humanists, sceptics, free thinkers and other like-minded people in Australian history.

    The Atheist Foundation of Australia is running the Convention and applied for government funding months ago – but has not yet received a response. This delay seems excessive and the government appears to be trying to dodge the issue of supporting non-believers, perhaps worried about upsetting the religious organisations they have a mutually beneficial relationship with. In Australia exemptions or concessions apply to religious organisations in relation to income tax, fringe benefits tax, GST, payroll tax, land tax, stamp duties, car registration fees and municipal rates. And let’s not forget the recent Victorian government decision to exempt religious organisations from a range of anti-discrimination laws…another example of one rule for the religious, another for everyone else. This is blatant discrimination.

    To run an event the size of the Global Atheist Convention must cost a lot of money, even though all the speakers have generously donated their time, and the Convention is relying on ticket sales for funding. Consider the millions of government dollars that will help fund the Parliament of World Religions and the $120m the World Youth Day cost Australian tax payers (and let’s not even start on the civil liberty restrictions associated with World Youth Day…) – it’s time the atheists received some of the same support.

    It’s time our “representatives” actually represented us and supported the Global Atheist Convention.

    We are Australian atheists and it’s time the government heard us.

    Please help us by spreading the word – raise this issue on blogs, in conversation and anywhere else the politicians might hear you.

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    17 responses to to “Where is the funding for the Atheist Convention Melbourne 2010?”

    1. In Australia, Atheism is considered by the government as a religion.

      Past High Court rulings in Australia have deemed the government must not discriminate in funding religious organisations.

      So it is all or nothing. The AFA should lobby on the behalf of Australian Atheists for the right to funding.

      Or we do not accept or request funding to direct the attention to the fact Atheism is not a religion…

    2. Where did you get that information? Atheism is not classed as a religion.

      Funding from the Victorian Government is not dependent on whether the AFA are a religion or not. The criteria is whether they have over 1,000 people, with some from overseas and interstate who will be staying hotels and buying food for a number of days from what I know.

      The issue is however, that religious groups get funding, but there has been total avoidance of confronting those with non-belief.

      In other words, there is open slather with those of belief of a god, but total avoidance of those with no belief in a god.

      Both are philosophical positions.

      To distinguish a religion from a non-religion, a religious from a non-religious purpose, and in determining what constitutes a religion for worldly purposes such as relief from taxation, the indicators for government recognition may include:

      * belief in a supernatural being, thing or principle;
      * acceptance of conduct in order to give effect to that belief;
      * ideas that relate to humanity’s nature and place in the universe, and its relation to things supernatural;
      * acceptance that adherents constitute an identifiable group or groups, and
      * participation by adherents in practices believed to have supernatural significance

    3. “In 1983, the High Court of Australia defined religion as a complex of beliefs and practices which point to a set of values and an understanding of the meaning of existence. The ABS 2001 Census Dictionary defines “No Religion” as a category of religion which has sub categories such as agnosticism, atheism, Humanism and rationalism.”

      The state government precedents could be different.

      Can the ‘avoidance of confronting those with non-belief’ be a case for discrimination? Does Victoria have legislation for this issue?

      They provide funding straight away to religious events and not to non-religious events.

      The treatment of “Parliament of the World’s Religions” versus “Global Atheist Convention”.

    4. Yes the ABS tho has to list statistics of those not professing a faith, so puts that in the category of religion.

      The government however does not.

      I think personally the issue is the government does not want to be seen ‘supporting atheism’ and it has people internally just avoiding touching it because of that.

      I will have to contact a mate in the AFA to see if he can find out more.

    5. RT @AllAboutLies Where is the funding for the Atheist Convention Melbourne 2010?

      This comment was originally posted on Twitter

    6. Not quite sure, but from what I have been told, the AFA are waiting patiently, but their members are getting toey not hearing from their reps.

      The event will bring a lot of tourism to victoria, will be an outstanding event bring thousands of people to Melbourne.

      Come over and enjoy Victoria :)

    7. I'm heading down to the convention from Qld, and looking forward to it. I'll be heading down with about 10 others from our atheist group.

      This isn't about supporting atheism it's about supporting an event that will be bringing money into the state. However if support isn't given when it's given to other 'belief' sectors then it would certainly seem that the government has a bias, and an unconstitutional one. That would make for some great publicity. Perhaps a lead up bus campaign even?

    8. Why is Vic Govt stalling Melb. Atheist Convention’s app for funding when they approved funding for religious convention?

      This comment was originally posted on Twitter

    9. Too bad the proposition for an Australian bus campaign was refused :s

    10. A SEXUALLY explicit illustrated Book of Genesis by the controversial artist, Robert Crumb, which features biblical characters having intercourse and ''gratuitous'' depictions of violence, has been condemned by religious groups.

      read more:

    11. In a 2001 Government report, the committe decided quote: "'the advancement of religion’ should continue as a head of charity. It is clear that a large proportion of the population have a need for spiritual sustenance."

      How does that make sense? What is "spiritual sustenance" anyway? A large proportion of the population also have a very large need for actual defineable mental states such as "happiness". Surely then a business that creates amusing cartoons is a charity?

      I think atheistic organisations should become official tax deductible charities based on one of the other offiical designations of a charity – "the advancement of education". Then we could use some tax payer money to educate society, including educating them about how their money is spent by the govt. Such an organisation could then compete with the Bible society "charity" by handing out free books promoting the wonder and TRUTH of science and reason wherever they are handing out their medieval books of fiction.

    12. If Atheism is not a religion, why all the fuss? I mean 'A' theism means belief in no god so why get all thingy about religion? A catholic can get thingy about protestantism and visy versy, but they are both theist religions

    13. Because if it was a convention of accountants it would be eligible for funding. The fuss is that the only reasoning that the funding was delayed for even an answer is because of the philosophical position it is.
      Get all thingy about religion? Have you read some of the issues presented on the site as to WHY get all thingy about religion? Religion claims rights above and beyond others in our society, just because they believe in a fairy. I'd get just as thingy about astrology if it got tax breaks and an astrologer was funded by our government to teach it in our schools as truth.

    14. Gee Suss, I have a suggestion to help you overcome your 2 dimensional existence (body & soul). Why not spend some time trying to get in touch with your supernatural dimension (spirit) rather than expending all your energy trying to discredit those that have and disuading others from experiencing their complete self? Many more influential and intelligent people have tried and have concluded that what they had riducled is in fact true.

    15. Umm, 2 dimensions? That is flat space, like on a sheet of paper .. do you understand what you are saying sounds silly? You think I am a cartoon character or something?

      It is simply wishful thinking you are doing, an error of reasoning called a logical fallacy.

      There is no evidence at all for a supernatural dimension. Define what a spirit is and it's function for me. You claim truth, well show us your evidence for it, rather than just claim it with airy-fairy words and assertions that it exists. It's empty and shallow rhetoric. There is no driving reason or need for one to exist, nor any evidence that points to there having to be it as an explanation. It is purely a leap to a conclusion based on no evidence.

      For the most part my experience with people claiming 'spirits' or 'souls' or 'everything is connected', their definitions of exactly what that is are either not even thought out and it's just a term for nothing really, or using occams razor we find a lot simpler explanations exist.

      Dunno if you have seen it, really good video just a little off topic on 'open mindedness' and what it means, gotta love QualiaSoup's videos. It will do you a world of good to watch it :

      Until you can explain what 'spirit' means and is, you might as well be saying 'You can't prove sarhgdrfhadrha doesn't exist'

    16. You're a curious being Gee Suss. I think you outsmart yourself with your existentialist rhetoric.

      Firstly, paper is in fact 3 dimensional. Secondly you subscribe to a principle that is attributed to a Franciscan Friar who had faith in the God you refute, and thirdly you suggest I view a video on 'open mindedness'. I'd have thought that having been where you are and now not being there, I was in fact open minded. The irony is I don't have to prove my beliefs to you, I just have to live them.

      "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings". You have the opportunity to be a king. I suggest not wasting it.

    17. lol, christo-zombie :)

      Enjoy your brainwash! reality is fine you should jump on in <span class="idc-smiley"><span style="background-position: -36px 0pt;"><span>;)</span></span></span>

      Other than that, just like your beliefs, a kinda shallow comment with no real meat to it.

      Rather than approach what I am saying, you just post personal attacks, an error of reasoning yet again!


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