Non-religious grow in Australia

Cool. 2011 Census results are out! I love Census data – it’s always so interesting.

As a militant atheist, though, the first thing I checked out was the religious affiliation breakdown. Great news: we’re continuing our advance.

Self-identified Christians still dominate – at 61.1% of the population. I do wonder how many of these are “cultural Christians”, though, as opposed to active believers. Certainly church attendance even on the high holidays of Christmas and Easter doesn’t approach anywhere near 13 million people.

But – self-identifying “no-religion” types (out-of-the-clost atheists and agnostics) are now the second largest identifying group. 22% of the population self-identifies as having no religion – almost one in four. There are now more no-religion types than Anglicans and Uniting Church members combined! That’s huge!

On top of that, the largest statistical group remains people who don’t answer the question – 6,334 million people, or 29.4%. Now, call me cynical, but very people with strong religious views hesitate to identify as such. It’s reasonable to assume that very few of these people would be Christian, but if as few as a third of them are non-religious (which seems likely to me) “in-the-closest” atheists or agnostics, then the no-religion group would be the largest group by far.

So – given that nearly 40% of the country self identifies as non-Christian, and the bulk of Christians are merely “cultural Christians” without strong religious beliefs, why the hell do we allow things like chaplains in the public school system??? I mean, look at the main provider of chaplains – Scripture Union Australia. They’re a Pentecostal group, mostly, but they also represent Baptists, and have a primary focus on evangelism. And those two Christian sects account for just 2.7% of the population. Even if you lump all Christians together (and a Pentecostal isn’t going to want to be grouped with a Catholic), a chaplain can’t provide “spiritual guidance’ to 40% of students – at least. What a waste of funds.

Author: Robert Watkins

My name is Robert Watkins. I am a software developer and have been for over 20 years now. I currently work for people, but my opinions here are in no way endorsed by them (which is cool; their opinions aren’t endorsed by me either). My main professional interests are in Java development, using Agile methods, with a historical focus on building web based applications. I’m also a Mac-fan and love my iPhone, which I’m currently learning how to code for. I live and work in Brisbane, Australia, but I grew up in the Northern Territory, and still find Brisbane too cold (after 22 years here). I’m married, with two children and one cat. My politics are socialist in tendency, my religious affiliation is atheist (aka “none of the above”), my attitude is condescending and my moral standing is lying down.

3 thoughts on “Non-religious grow in Australia”

  1. Do you find it interesting at all that the Bible says that in the latter days of history, when knowledge and travel will increase tremendously, there will be a massive falling away from the Church, corresponding with an simultaneous increase in atheism and homosexuality? I mean, it is ironic isn’t it, that the thing that atheists rejoice in, a falling away from the Christianity, is prophesied in the Book that Christians hold most dear?

    Beyond that, hope you have a good one. Good luck on your journey.

  2. Thesauros, even if the bible does say that (and I am not 100% sure it does), does it really matter? If, for a moment, we assume that man wrote the bible for their own purposes then it is likely they thought that one day people will travel to other parts of Earth where christians do not exist and then learn about other cultures. At the very least they thought that the ‘scam’ (again, we are assuming that man wrote this for their own purposes, and therefore in such a case it would be a scam) would not work forever but perhaps it could be prolonged by stating that eventually people will stop believing. What is interesting is that the prediction itself never has to come to pass. It is very easy to say ‘well we obviously have not arrived at the level of knowledge and travel required yet’ and therefore it can never be wrong but has the chance to be right.

    I should start making predictions based on deductions or extremely likely inductions based off premises that are vague. Then I will truly be a prophet.

    1. +1. The Bible is a work of fiction, written – and extremely heavily edited – with a political goal in mind.

      Then there are the changes made during translation, etc, etc. Each of these impose other viewpoints. Anyone saying that the Bible holds the one true way is revealing their own ignorance about the history of a document that they claim to hold above all others.

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