A new political party has been started to voice concerns about the role of religion in modern society.

Since the events of Sept 11, 2001, and the “war on terror”, Party President, John Perkins, says: “Many people who are not allied with any particular religion have become worried that ancient religious conflicts are now being conducted using the weapons of modern technology. The world seems to have forgotten that secularism was invented a couple of centuries ago to solve just this kind of problem”.

The Secular Party says that secularism is a humanist political philosophy based on reason, rationality, impartiality and peace between religions. To promote this vision, the Party has policies that seek to separate religion from state institutions and to protect human rights, especially those of children, from the adverse influence of frightening and divisive religious doctrines.

We are becoming less religious, but the influence of religion is increasing. As well as political statements by religious leaders such as Archbishop Pell, and presentations to church groups by both Mr Howard and Mr Rudd, there are now new religious political parties and groups such as the Australian Christian Lobby.

“It is time for a debate about religion in politics. The Secular Party Australia has been established to voice this need. We offer a positive alternative, based on the secular humanist ethical values of compassion, honesty, freedom and justice” Dr Perkins says.

The Secular Party of Australia launched its 2007 election campaign on Friday 9 November, 5pm at Drummoyne RSL, 162 Victoria Rd, Drummoyne 2047.

Nov 7, 2007