As readers of my blog may remember, I have discussed the Australian Census several times before (use the search bar to review old posts) and how the religion question is skewed toward people noting they have a religion when in fact many of them are actually not religious. Like many other countries which are having a census this year (UK, Ireland, NZ) campaigns are in motion to get these people to mark ‘No Religion’ on the census form if they are not religious. The Atheist Foundation of Australia are spearheading the campaign in Australia and currently plan to have billboards across the nation in major cities stating “Census 2011: Not religious now? Mark ‘No religion’ and take religion out of politics.”
The billboards will look like this (click pic for full size image):
NOTE: I have changed my Header picture to the above picture and will have it there until after the census, as long as the AFA don’t mind?
They also have a nice round logo (click pic for full size image):
The AFA are asking for donations to help fund the billboards, if you are interested check the AFA’s site for details. Plus they have a range of products for sale on the cafepress site to help raise much needed funds. Why not do your bit? If you can’t afford to spend any money at least spread the word.
There is an active discussion of the Census 2011 topic on the AFA’s forum if you want to keep abreast with news and updates. I posted the following on the site today:
Great to see the Census campaign has started up, but I have an important question.
Has the AFA contacted like minded organisations (eg: Political parties who would be interested such as the Secular Party of Australia or the Sex Party ; or like minded organisations like The Rationalist Society of Australia or the Australian Skeptics; or campaigning organisations like Getup) ?
Whilst I’m sure a Billboard will have some impact to the people who see it and, if we are lucky, a further impact from mainstream media if they pick it up as a story; having more organisations involved would surely help our cause, and assist in reaching the message to a wider audience?
I also agree that a facebook and twitter account should be available for those who like to spread a message via online means.
I have sent a tweet this morning linking to the AFA site.
Apologies if the AFA committee are already in the process of contacting like minded organisations.
Well it looks like the AFA committee are in the process as David replied that they have “an extensive list of media outlets and other organisations. They have been contacted.”
So lets spread the message and see if we can’t get a more accurate measure of the non-religious in Australia at this years census. Remember your tax dollars go toward funding various religions and their activities and the government hands out these tax dollars. Perhaps the government wouldn’t be so inclined to spend so much tax money on religions if they found out there isn’t as many religious people as they thought?
Remember mark ‘No Religion’ on your census form this year, and mark ‘No Religion’ for all your children, as Dawkins says children shouldn’t be labelled little christians or little muslims just because that’s what religion their parents follow. Children are too young to have formed a viable opinion as to what religion, if any, they are.
In 2011 you will be able to fill in your Census form online via the eCensus. You can also register to deliever and collect census forms if you are so inclined. Check the ABS Census page for information
More to follow as the Census 2011 and Census 2011 ‘No Religion’ campaign progresses.