Submission on the Proposal to Replace the Parliamentary Prayer

The Senate Standing Committee on Procedure is considering submissions related to a proposal to replace the parliamentary opening prayer with an invitation for silent reflection or prayer.

As humanists we believe that sectarian (in this case Protestant) prayers are inconsistent with the diversity of beliefs of the Australian community that MPs are elected to represent. The 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census reported that we are a very religiously diverse nation, with 30% stating they have no religious beliefs. We believe in the separation of church and state, and that Australians have the right to live in a secular society, following any or no religion as they see fit. It is not appropriate for government proceedings to be called to order in the name of a God that a significant proportion of the population do not believe exists.

Read our full submission here.

Responses to Our Open Letter on Marriage Equality

Our open letter to the Prime Minister on Marriage Equality was forwarded to the Attorney General George Brandis. You can view his response here.

We also sent copies to Andrew Barr, Zed Seselja, Katy Gallagher, Andrew Leigh, and Gai Brodtmann. Of the replies we received, the one from Katy Gallagher was the most thoughtful. Read it here.

Mary-Anne Cosgrove
ACT Humanist Society