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The New Australian Religion

It’s not sport, not the beach, not even real estate investment. Can you guess?

Annabel Crabb published an article during the week that analysed the attitudes of Australians to religion and its place in our society. It contained a number of interesting surprises:

  • While it’s reasonable to believe that over 70% of religious adherents believe that there is indeed religious discrimination in Australia, you might not have expected that 68% of those who follow no religion agree with them;
  • But mostly, they don’t see this as a problem - over 60% of Australians want people to keep their religious opinions to themselves;
  • In addition, only 15% of Australians think our society would be better off if we were more religious. And that’s including those who practise a religion!
  • 70% of us don’t trust religious leaders; half of these don’t trust such leaders at all.

But perhaps of greater significance than all of this is how Australians are choosing to define themselves. Religious belief is relatively unimportant, but so is occupation, sexuality and ethnicity. Gender and nationality are more significant, but the top of the pack is political belief. We are what we vote for, apparently. Our worship is the expression of our right to choose. Civic religion is in, despite our cynicism about politics.

Of course, you might not believe me...

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