COMMENT

 John Wren: on Israel Foleau:

First off, ..... Nobody is saying [Israel] Folau can't practice his faith, he just can't publicly promote aspects of it that breach his employer's diversity and inclusivity policies.

Secondly, Folau doesn't actually have "personal time". A significant part of his role is being a role model for Rugby Australia, being a magnet for sponsors and a reason for people to play and be involved in the sport. As such, anything he does in public reflects on Rugby Australia, its brand and reputation. There is a reason Folau's contract was so expensive. It's compensation for having to behave 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. Therefore, the post was made on Rugby Australia's time, not his own.

PM WRONG: SECULARISM IS NOT A 'BELIEF'. IT IS THE RIGHT TO HAVE ONE

Many Australian politicians believe they can rule according to their religious beliefs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently said that Australia is not a secular country, and that secularism 'is just one belief system among any belief system you choose', with 'no greater claim than any other on our society' and '[t]he constitution provides for freedom of religion, not from religion'.
Dear Prime Minister, you need to do your research. Secularism is NOT a belief like any other religious or non-religious life-stance. It is a political process. It is not a belief: it is the right to have or not have one. The concept has been wrongly equated with atheism. Due to fear of being branded an atheist and anti-religious, people avoid identifying with it, or even discussing it. We can distinguish between the two concepts of secularisation and secularism. Whereas secularisation denotes concentration on worldly matters by religious communities, secularism is the process by which government is concerned with cohesion and welfare of diverse religious and cultural communities. The two are distinct.
Politicians repeatedly misrepresent the meaning of political secularism and state-religion relationships. This has become tedious, and they should know better.
As a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Australia recognises that reigion and non-belief are equal rights. A simple logical analysis of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief in Article 18 of the Covenant, and s.116 of the Australian Constitution, means the government has undertaken to remain neutral on the matter of religion.

But as Max Wallace says in the video  below, this does not happen.

Continue: Why Secularism?

THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL : HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT ?

Despite Australia's membership of the  UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) ,the Council's working group on arbitrary detention has condemned as arbitrary and illegal our indefinite incarceration of refugees and asylum seekers, issuing critical statements on five individual cases of detention in a year. But those unlawfully held remain in indefinite detention, where they have been held for up to nine years without charge,  

Although seemingly committed to the concepts of equality, individual freedom and the rule of law, states with atrocious human rights records have secured membership and great influence on the  Council, established to "uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights".

Members generally have failed to condemn human rights abuses in e.g., the Sudan, Byelorussia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, says Ibn Warraq. It is largely influenced by nations who have signed a Muslim-based Human Rights Convention. In June 16, 2008, discussion of religious questions was banned  by the president.of the Council, forbidding criticism of religious human rights breaches.

The UN recently voted to re-elect Saudi Arabia to the Council for the 2017-2019 term, despite its atrocities  in Yemen and at home. The Council placed Saudi Arabia in 2015 at the head of a committee that selects investigators to scrutinise human rights in other countries.

It is also noted that failure to take appropriate means to prevent adverse effects of climate warming is a breach of human rights. Torres Strait Islanders have taken Australia to the UN Human Rights Committee arguing that our Government is in breach of tgheir rights ito meets its obligations under international agreements.

DR MAX WALLACE - SOFT THEOCRACY

NSL 29 April 2019

DR MAX WALLACE - ATHEIST CONVENTION

RECENT

LORDS COMMITTEE: RESPECT THE LAW BEFORE “THE VALUES OF OTHERS”

Public policy must put "respect for the law" before "respect for the values of others" and defend "the shared values of British citizenship", a House of Lords committee has said. See here.

‘RIGHT-WING RELIGIOUS NATIONALISTS LAUNCH DRAMATIC NEW POWER PLAY’

" ...the power of the presidency isn't the only way Christian nationalism is advancing its agenda in America today... A  coalition of Christian right groups have organized a major legislative initiative called "Project Blitz." Its goal is to pass ... Christian-right bills at the state level, whose cumulative impact would be immense." see here

RELIGIOUS CHAPLAINS HAVE NO PLACE IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

PRESS RELEASE: NSW Rationalist Association refutes claims that chaplains do not foster their religious beliefs. See here.

Each state makes it illegal to discriminate against a person on the ground of religion in employment decisions. These anti-discrimination rules apply to public schools and their hiring decisions. See here.

Also, federal and some state governments have STOPPED COUNTING COMPLAINTS against the school chaplains program and NO STATES KEEP RECORDS of the faith of chaplainns.  See here.


PREVENTING CLIMATE WARMING A MATTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  in 2014 unequivocally confirmed that greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of climate change. This, it determined would result in extreme weather events and natural disasters, rising sea-levels, floods, heat waves, droughts, desertification, food and water shortages, and the spread of tropical and vector-borne diseases as some of the adverse impacts of climate change.


These phenomena directly and indirectly threaten the full and effective enjoyment of a range of human rights by people throughout the world, including the rights to life, water and sanitation, food, health, housing, self-determination, culture and development.


The Preamble of the Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change makes it clear that all States "should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights"
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called on States and other duty-bearers (including businesses) to consider their human rights responsibilities in establishing climate change-related agreements, policies, and actions. The OHCHR sets out 10 specific requirements that should be reflected in all climate action (here).


These requirements specify that nations ensure that all persons have the necessary capacity to adapt to climate change, including provision of meaningful and informed participation, accountability and effective remedies for human rights harms caused by climate change. States are to mitigate climate change and to prevent its negative human rights impacts through sustainable, human rights-based development based on equality and non-discrimination.  It also recognises the need for international cooperation, provision for everyone of the maximum available resources and benefits of science and its application.


[In 2015 by signing the Paris Agreement  which governs emission reductions from 2020 on through commitments of countries in Nationally Determined Contributions, lowering the target to 1.5 °C. The convention enjoys broad legitimacy, largely due to its nearly universal membership.
The Climate Council, Australia's leading climate change communications organisation, advised by some of the country's leading climate scientists, health, renewable energy and policy experts, says that 'Australia's current 2030 greenhouse gas pollution target is weak, and we are not on track to meet it.' It says that the Federal Government confirms, in its Emissions Projections, that Australia is not on track to meet its 'woefully inadequate 2030 emissions reduction target.'  Also, our greenhouse gas pollution levels are expected to continue to go up over the next decade, and in 2030 they are expected to be higher than today. Thus, the claim by our Prime Minister that Australia will meet the Paris target "in a canter" is incorrect.


The Federal Government's own Emissions Projections clearly show Australia is not on track to meet its Paris commitments. The Federal Government has no credible climate policy in place to tackle our rising greenhouse gas pollution.

HUMAN RIGHTS UNDER ATTACK IN AUSTRALIA, SAYS THE UN

The Australian Government has been strongly criticised for the "chilling effect" its actions have unleashed on human rights defenders in Australia in a UN report released last week, and Special Rapporteur Michel Forst told the UN's Human Rights Council he was "astonished" to observe "mounting evidence of regressive measures" being pursued by the Government. See here.

CHAPLAINCY PROGRAM IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS LEGALLY QUESTIONABLE

Each state makes it illegal to discriminate against a person on the ground of religion in employment decisions. These anti-discrimination rules apply to public schools and their hiring decisions. See here.

Also, federal and some state governments have STOPPED COUNTING COMPLAINTS against the school chaplains program and NO STATES KEEP RECORDS of the faith of chaplainns.  See here.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT - IT'S MY RIGHT!

An EU campaign has been launched by religious and non-religious groups promoting freedom of belief . They absolutely defend the right of belief through secularism, but not the right to impose that belief on others. See here

HUMAN RIGHTS UNDER ATTACK IN AUSTRALIA, SAYS THE UN

The Australian Government has been strongly criticised for the "chilling effect" its actions have unleashed on human rights defenders in Australia in a UN report released last week, and Special Rapporteur Michel Forst told the UN's Human Rights Council he was "astonished" to observe "mounting evidence of regressive measures" being pursued by the Government. See here.

OCCASIONAL PAPERS

Occasional Papers No.1 June 2018
CULTS AND PUBLIC POLICY: Protecting the Victims of Cultic Abuse in Australia..Stephen Mutch

Occasional Papers No.2, February 2019
THE RATIONAL SELF.. PierreLouys
POTENTIALISM Humanity or Sovereignty A Road Map for the 21st Century.. CallumGolding

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RATIONALISTS IN THE PACIFIC

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