National Day of Secularism
May the 26th
Welcome one and all, to Australia's first National Day of Secularism.
Planned for today is a number of events designed to show one and all that Australia is the warm and tolerant place that we all know and love.
There'll be fun for young and old as we show all and sundry that we love and value every point of view, but none more so than the 13th commandment:
Thou shalt not impose thy religious view upon thy brother or sister. (Cyril 13:13)
Starting this morning will be morning teas all around the nation. In Melbourne, the party starts in Fitzroy Gardens, as Premier Steve Bracks operates the tea trolley himself, bringing steaming cups of Darjeeling round for all the punters to drink with their bacon and egg rolls or their spinach croissants. After which, Mr Bracks plans to say a few words where he gives thanks to our religious brothers and sisters for obeying the injunction against proselytising that was handed down in the High Court, only yesterday.
After this, there will be activities for all the kids, including the world's biggest jumping castle. Lord Mayor John So has told us that he plans to get his shoes off and show the rest of Australia why he's known as Jumping Johnny.
In Sydney, there will be a concert on the Opera House forecourt featuring Powderfinger, Midnight Oil and a re-united Redgum. Prime Minister John Howard will motor over the water from Kirribilli House to say a few words, climaxing with why courting the Hillsong vote was a silly idea, and apologising to Aboriginal Australia for past injustices. He also plans to mention that the Dreaming is every bit as valid a religious philosophy as those imported from around the world.
A highlight of this gig will naturally be the PM, current Labor MP Peter Garrett and former card carrying Democrat John Schumann pictured together laughing and telling stories about their kids.
In Brisbane today, there will be a series of speakers at a function in Southbank praising the Fathers of Federation for their foresight in the inclusion of Section 116 in our nation's constitution:
The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
Kevin Rudd, the Opposition Leader will use this opportunity to announce to the rest of Australia he will actively campaign to ensure that Christmas is renamed "Midsummer", Easter is moved to June and relabelled "Midwinter", as well as adding the following holidays to the Australian public holiday roster:
- UNESCO World science day - 10 November
- International cannabis day - 20 April
- International talk like a pirate day - 19 September
- Pi day - 14 March
- Pi approximation day - 22 July
- No pants day - First friday in May
This is expected to be wildly popular, so get there early, folks.
Finally, there will be a free concert in Canberra on the slope leading up to Parliament House.
The night will culminate in merriment when Mufti of Australia, Sheik Taj El Din al-Hilaly and the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell drop their strides and dance the Eagle Rock.
Head of World Vision Australia, Rev Tim Costello promises to use the proceeds of the oversized novelty cheque that he receives for good and not for proselytising purposes.
What a shame none of this will really happen.
In reality, 26 May has been labelled the National Day of Thanksgiving by a group who appear to think that it should be co-opted by all and sundry as a "National Day of Thanksgiving". This National Day of Secularism blogfest is one way to protest this.
This group's agenda is up for all to see at their website and it should be clear from their "vision" that there is nothing secular about this group's agenda:
The concept of a National Day of Thanksgiving was in the hearts of many Australians for a number of years. Many people wrote to the Australian Prayer Network expressing a desire to see our nation called to prayer one day each year to acknowledge our Christian heritage and the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our nation.
The Australian Prayer Network took such thoughts and dreams to other national prayer and ministry organizations and church leaders. They received overwhelming encouragement to pursue the concept. The decision to proceed with a National Day of Thanksgiving was confirmed at a meeting of National ministry leaders at Parliament House Canberra on the 17th June 2003. They voted unanimously to support the Australian Prayer Network in their initiative. It was decided to hold a National Day of Thanksgiving on the Saturday of Pentecost weekend each year and to seek to have the day included in our national calendar.
It's interesting to note that they've got a spot where you can leave your "testimony" for all to see. I've testified that this is one step towards a theocracy that I didn't want to see our nation take.
But given that it's heavily moderated, I doubt that it'll ever be seen.