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  • Say Yes! to an Ethics-based Complement to Scripture in NSW Schools

    Did you know that NSW school students whose parents make a conscientious decision to opt them out of Special Religious Education are prohibited from any other form of instruction during this period?

    To support equal opportunity and fair choice for all students in the NSW public education system, please consider signing this petition by the St James Ethics Centre and the NSW Federation of P&C Associations:


    ► An ethics-based complement to Scripture in NSW primary schools

    ► Is This The Dumbest Education Policy In Australia? |

    ► Almighty row over ethics class in schools | SMH

  • Girl suspended from Catholic school for raising money for cancer research

    Her father is dying of leukemia and has months to live, so Emily Pridham, 15 decided she would deal with this by being active and raising money via shaving her hair short.

    Her fellow students were really supportive she said, but the Catholic school, Mount Alvernia College has suspended her for breaching uniform code.

    How absolutely ridiculous is that? What kind of moral views allow this to happen?

    Her mum backs her 100%, and so do we. This is an important thing for her, a coping mechanism and she has been left high and dry by the school community which forms her growing years. This is just a tragedy for her, something she will never forget.

    You can contact the school here, and ask them yourself as to what is going on with this :

    Mt Alvernia College
    82 Cremorne Rd
    Kedron   4031

    Phone: (07) 3357 6000
    Fax:    (07) 3857 2231

    What’s up with catholics recently? (well .. recently is not really the right word …)

  • Australian Catholic University – Greg Craven’s theist hissy fit, poor diddums

    Poor Greg Craven, the Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University, he posted an article in The Age as he thinks atheists are attacking catholics because they question his beliefs.

    Michael Brull followed it up with ‘The New Crybaby Theists’ a great article pointing out just how stupidly hypocritical the article was.

    Finding issue with major flaws in theistic arguments is taken by these ‘precious’ apologists as personal attacks and they respond with name calling and cries of offense, classic ad hominem attacks instead of approaching the ideas and debating the opinion. I know heaps of religious people and we have seen a number on the site here that are willing to discuss reasonably major differences without taking personal slight, yet here we have the Vice Chancellor of a Catholic University acting like a petulant child.

    Let’s have a look at his Catholic University ‘Mission’ shall we? Some of the points there I think Mr Craven should read again in a not-so-biased way are :

    • a continuing dialogue between faith and reason – represented, for example, by the dialogue between philosophy and science;
    • respect for truth in all its forms and collaboration in seeking it through all the disciplines;
    • promotion of the common good, and the dignity of the human person;
    • collaboration of all our staff and students, whatever their beliefs, in the interests of a more decent and humane society;
    • the promotion of teaching and research in ways that most serve the mission of the University;
    • respect for academic freedom.

    Well I only left out one line out of the whole mission points, and that was the first; ‘following the way of Christ and commitment to Christian values’. Even that I am sure other more reasoned christians would gladly debate with him.

    .. but be careful. Diddums might call you names and claim you are attacking him if you try to debate any of his beliefs. It’s alright one way, but don’t oppress the poor thing by stating what you think!!

    Greg Craven poor diddums

    It’s heartening to see that this type of bigotry is bringing more and more non-believers out, to openly call themselves atheist and tackle the privilege that religion asks of anyone not of their faith

    I find the responses to both this article and to Greg Craven’s immensely heartening because they signal to me there’s a huge number of committed, thoughtful and motivated non-believers out there.

    Traditionally I’ve always kept my thoughts to myself, partly to avoid awkward confrontations but mostly because they are exactly that – my thoughts. Now I feel emboldened to share and debate and refine my views.

    So thanks Greg Craven for bringing so many atheists together, discussing and openly debating, which is as it should be.

    Michael – November 05, 2009, 3:24PM

    There’s many other great quotes on both the articles, I suggest you have a good read of some of them, and keep open minded

    NO ONE would be bothered by the Catholic Church if it insisted that only Catholics followed its precepts. But in the past year alone, it pushed to influence Parliament to support discrimination against non-Catholics, argued in favour of prolonging the untreatable suffering of non-Catholics who are dying and opposed reproductive health for non-Catholic women. The more sinister aspects of its health policy have been discussed in The Age this week. The Catholic Church is a wealthy, non-tax-paying organisation that receives huge government funding for the provision of social services to all Victorians. For these reasons, what it stands for – unsavoury history, policy directions from a non-human and continued efforts to re-establish medieval Christendom with secular funding – should be scrutinised.

    Janine Truter, The Basin

  • Postcards to say something: 021 – Day Of The Dead


    I buried my Stepfather today. He was more of a dad to me than the gene donor.

    He was not a learned man, although he was more than brilliant in practical ways. Bush mechanicking and skill with even difficult animals were just two of the things that, like his ears, stuck out.

    We had to try a little harder to get along together than is the case for blood-relatives (I’ll excuse my father from this particular comparison), but I thought I knew the man.

    His entry into christianity was gradual, as this man had a low tolerance for bullshit. He was apparently scared into the flock by some of that alarmist material Stan Deyo was putting out in the late 70s.

    The man I knew was kind. Not a soft touch, and guaranteed to give the “pretend-looking-for-work” bloke some actual hard work to do, but a fair reward at the end. Of course, association with church people influenced him over the years.

    I haven’t had a lot of contact with the old man since my mother died. He went to stay with the sister I can’t stand, and I gather he attends her church in the relatively-affluent suburb where she and her unpleasant husband live.

    I don’t know what sort of tolerance and charity Affluent Jeebus teaches, being of the sort who thought, even when a believer, that the whole Jesus thing was more about the unempowered.

    Still, when the only email I get from him in months is all BIG RED LETTERS, saying:

    Good Day and welcome to a brand new edition of :


    And here’s your game show host…here’s KEVVVIIINNN !!!

    Today’s program features another chance to take part in our exciting competition:

    Hop on a boat

    And win


    We’ve already given away hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of dream homes, courtesy of our sponsor,

    The Australian Taxpayer.

    And don’t forget, we’re now the fastest growing game on the planet.

    Anyone can play, provided they don’t already hold a valid Australian Passport, and you only need one word of English:


    Prizes include all-expenses-paid accommodation, cash benefits starting at $800 a week and a chance to earn thousands more begging, mugging and accosting drivers at traffic lights.

    This competition is open to everyone,
    buy a ticket to Indonesia

    And catch the first available boat.

    No application ever refused – reasonable or unreasonable.

    All you have to do is destroy all your papers or burn your boat once you

    Enter Australian waters and remember the magic password:


    A few years ago, 140 members of the Taliban family from Afghanistan were flown Goat Class from Kabul to Indonesia’s gateway where agents were on hand to fast-track them to their boat trips to luxury accommodation

    They joined tens of thousands of other lucky winners already staying in hotels all over Australia

    Our most popular destinations also include the Baxter’s reef and the world famous Christmas Island resort

    If you still don’t understand the rules, don’t forget, there’s no need to phone a friend or ask the audience

    Just apply for legal aid.

    Hundreds of lawyers, social workers and counsellors are waiting to help.

    It won’t cost you a penny.

    It could change your life forever .
    So play today.

    Iraqi terrorists, Afghan dissidents, Albanian gangsters, pro-Pinochet activists, anti-Pinochet activists, Kosovan drug-smugglers, Tamil tigers, bogus Bosnians, Rwandan mass murderers, Somali guerrillas…


    Get along to the Indonesia fishing ports

    Don’t stop in Thailand or Bali

    Go straight to Australia

    And you are:


    to be one of tens of thousands of lucky winners in the easiest game on earth.

    Everyone’s a winner, when they play


    … then I know the man I once held dear has died.

    And may they put Anglo Jesus in the ground with him, before I piss on it.

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  • Postcards to say something: 017 – In The Pink


    It’s a bit of a crackup. Is Benny in the dark, or does he think everybody else is?

    And while it’s dark, watch out for Father Kidfidlan.

    Come on, you lot! Out of the cloister, out of the closet, and admit that women are people too!

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  • Griffith chemist Trevor Dal Broi and catholic dogma that restricts choice

    Trevor Dal Brois boss

    Trevor Dal Broi's boss and moral compass

    Trevor Dal Broi a chemist in Griffith, has stopped stocking condoms and is telling women that are using oral contraceptive pills for birth control to take their scripts elsewhere. He is also banning the sale of emergency contraception morning-after pills from his shop.

    Chemists have a social responsibility with the priviledge they hold to be the gateway to legal drugs and the right of women to have control over their bodies, and choice. The morning after pills are available legally without prescription, but Trevor has removed himself as a gateway to accessing these drugs. They are not there to put their judgement on the women that come to them and restrict those womens choice over what they do with their own body.

    Unplanned pregnancies and rates of sexually transmitted infections would be so much higher without access to condoms and contraceptives in our communities.

    In A Strange Land gives some very relevant information in regard how chemists in Australia are partially government funded via pricing and subsidy rules for medicines, and thus should have a social responsibility to the people they serve. Indeed the businesses are protected as there are strict rules about where new chemists can be located. (Community Pharmacy Agreement PDF – go to p. 22).

    25.1. The objectives of the Location Rules are to ensure:
    a. all Australians have access to PBS* medicines;
    b. a commercially viable and sustainable network of community pharmacies dispensing PBS medicines;
    c. improved efficiency through increased competition between pharmacies;
    d. improved flexibility to respond to the community need for pharmacy services;
    e. increased local access to community pharmacies for persons in rural and remote regions of Australia; and
    f. continued development of an effective, efficient and well-distributed community pharmacy network in Australia.

    * Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

    In A Strange Land rightly points out that this man is ‘getting in the middle of the relationship between doctor and patient’.

    It’s ironic that these are the same people that crow about how their god gives choice, and are the same ones that attempt to take that away from others, specifically women. It’s lack of empathy that comes from the teaching of their scripture as truth and the standard for morals in the catholic patriarchal system. These people honestly think they are doing the right thing taking away others ability to freely choose what they do with their own body.

    This man has a position of trust, he has a position that has been given him by the community and in doing so should not be able to abuse that privilege in restricting others choices by pushing his personal religious attitude onto the women that come to him. By all means he doesn’t have to wear a condom, but if he doesn’t want to be a trusted gateway to drugs, he should not be a chemist, and apply for that position of trust in the Australian community.

    Shame Trevor Dal Broi, for removing the choice that you claim your ‘higher being’ gave to people, for playing god, for passing your judgment onto these women from your position of power that you claimed from the community and received in good will, injecting your religion upon others.

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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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  • Postcards to say something: 007

    Licensed to feel ill…

    Looks like the fluffy bunny and kitty will have the legally-sanctioned hatred of the church to deal with in Victoria. (Let Sean the Blogonaut tell you about it.)


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