"Religious Captivity in the Secular State," a Commentary by Jocelynne A. Scutt

January 30, 2007

Author: Jocelynne Scutt

Source: On Line Opinion


You’re an atheist. Would you want to give all your private details - bank accounts, date of birth, job applications, positions held, educational status, assets (if any), marital status, number of children, number of dependents and any other personal data to the Salvation Army? You’re a committed Buddhist. Would you choose to reveal your personal information to the Catholic Church? You’re a Methodist. Would you want the Anglicans to know all your private business?

No? Then make sure you hang on to your job and don’t become unemployed. Put up with whatever conditions your employer imposes or, like every other Australian dependent upon CentreLink because out of work, you’ll be hooked up to a church agency and obliged to disclose everything.

Despite privacy laws and section 116 of the Australian Constitution purportedly enshrining the principle that there shall be religious freedom and no state religion in this country, the current federal government has created a church-state monopoly.

The unemployed are no longer allowed to maintain their privacy or demand constitutional coverage. They are at the mercy (sic) of the Salvos, Anglicare, Mission Australia, Centrecare and all those other profit-making arms of the Christian (sic) churches in Australia.