Pilger on the appauling treatment of first Australians by successive white lens governments for the sake of ‘saving’ them. Now the call is ‘fiscal savings and poor lifestyle choices’ accompanied by silence around the real MO of further pilaging the nation’s underground wealth.
The photo above symbolises the awe-inspiring nature of what science can explain and the reason I write this post. The beautiful contrast of colour against the black background inspires me to shine in times or darkness…. but lets see.
Given the latest rush on religious flavours and fervour spurred on by dubious MSM and political persuasions I have been very irritated. I know there are many of us out there who, while having more than a passing interest in what people believe, and who consider spiritual paths that may help us towards more enlightened viewpoints, harbour little or no religious affinity.
I just read a post: The Rise (or Return?) of the Post-Secularists (see here) about an article published in the American Sociological review based on data from the General Social Survey of American households and their attitudes towards religion and science as well as questions about their familiarity with both.
I also heard an ABC radio program this morning where they discussed recently funded efforts by our illustrious leader to fill Australian children with religion, where an Anglican minister ticked all the ‘post secular’ boxes mentioned in the above post. He superficially blended and blurred religion and science in a hybrid view that the writer of the blogpost called ‘a patchwork world view that is comfortable’ and ‘intellectually dishonest’. Very neo-lib really.
Current questions in Australia around replacing social workers or welfare officers in schools with ‘pastoral care’ workers and dubious religious instructors is concerning as is the constantly repeated statement from our government that we ‘share the values of the US’. They obviously feel the pressure of the rising tide of ‘no religion’ in this country alongside their fear of the ‘other’ that is Islam. (despite Abbott’s repeated mantra that his ‘death cult’ label bears no resemblance to Islam, Muslims still scare his Opus Dei pants off.)
I decided to check some stats at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The question on religion included in all Australian Censuses is optional.
ABS reports The non-response rate was 8.6% in 2011 (11.2% in 2006). The recorded total population in the 2011 census was 21,507,700 people.
The 2011 Census used the question on religion among others listed below to “provide a picture of Australia’s cultural profile”.
- In which country was the person born?
- Was the person’s father born in Australia or overseas?
- Was the person’s mother born in Australia or overseas?
- If born overseas – what year did the person first arrive in Australia to live here for one year or more?
- What is the person’s ancestry? (Provide up to two ancestries only).
- Is the person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin?
- Does the person speak a language other than English at home?
- How well does the person speak English?
- What is the person’s religion?
Of the 91.4% who answered this question, 61% of people identified as Christian, 23% of them born overseas. That’s 13, 150,600 of us.
The ‘type’ of Christianity shows 86% identify as Catholic or Protestant. (% rounded)
Those who identified a religion other than Christianity including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, and ‘other’ non Christian faiths (I am sure some of those include Jedi!) Make up around 0.8% of our total population, 1,546,300 people. (Interesting that the term Islamism was not used, maybe next time!)
The largest cohort is the Buddhists at 2.5% (69% born overseas). Islam, 2.2% (62% born overseas) Hindu 1.3% (84% born overseas) Judaism 0.5% (49% born overseas) and ‘other’ 0.8% (57.2% born overseas). Hinduism experienced the fastest growth since 2001, increasing by 189% to 275,500, followed by Islam (increased by 69% to 476,300) and Buddhism (increased by 48% to 529,000 people).
The most interesting category ‘No Religion’ is 22.3% (22.5% born overseas). That’s 4,796,800 people from the 2011 stats population of 21,507,700 (total includes includes atheism agnosticism and what ABS describe as ‘inadequately described religions and people who did not state a religion”.)
An article on the ABS site Cultural Diversity in Australia – reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/2071.0main+features902012-2013 provides;
Between 2001 and 2011, the number of people reporting a non-Christian faith increased considerably, from around 0.9 million to 1.5 million, accounting for 7.2% of the total population in 2011 (up from 4.9% in 2001)……….. The number of people reporting ‘No Religion’ also increased more strongly, from 15% of the population in 2001 to 22% in 2011. This is most evident amongst younger people, with 28% of people aged 15-34 reporting they had no religious affiliation. (my emphasis)…….
Another observation from the same article states;
Recent arrivals were less likely than longer-standing migrants to report an affiliation to Catholicism (18% and 26% respectively) and Anglicanism (7% and 13% respectively). In contrast, a higher proportion of recent arrivals reported Hinduism (10.0% compared to 3.0%), Islam (8.4% compared to 4.7%) and Buddhism (7.7% compared to 6.6%). These differences reflect the larger number of new arrivals from non-European countries. New arrivals were also more likely than longer-standing migrants to report ‘No Religion’ (24% compared to 19%).
Given we are told by our successive governments (since we shed shackles from the British Empire merely to replace them with those of the US Empire) tell us “we share the same values with the US.” what is the situation there?
Interestingly the US census site states;
“Public Law 94-521 prohibits us from asking a question on religious affiliation on a mandatory basis; therefore, the Bureau of the Census is not the source for information on religion.”
But with a topic so high on the agenda you can bet that this is not a secret to the US government authorities. So what can we find out?
Around 320,289,000 people currently live in the US. In 2008 there were 228,182,000 estimated adults in the population. A document titled “Self-Described Religious Identification of Adult Population” on the census site provides the following 2008 information on this estimated adult population. The data includes the proviso that,
“figures are based on projections from surveys conducted on the mainland states. Because of the subjective nature of replies to open-ended questions, these categories are the most unstable as they do not refer to clearly identifiable denominations as much as underlying feelings about religion. Thus they may be the most subject to fluctuation overtime. Estimates for subpopulations smaller than 75,000 adults are aggregated to minimize sampling errors.”
178,342,000 people identified as Christian from so many denominations I will not bother listing them. That’s 78% (again I have rounded my percentages)
2,680,000 identified as Jewish (1.2%) It must be said this appears to in terms of following Judaism.
1,349,000 identified as Muslim (0.6%)
1,189.000 as Buddhist (0.5%)
582,000 as Hindu (0.3%)
34,169,000 No religion specified (includes Athiests, agnostics, humanists and ‘other’) (15%)
11,815,000 refused to answer the question. (5.2%)
Comparative Australian US statistics on responses;
|RELIGION||AUSTRALIA (2011)||USA (2008)|
Discrepancies in totals not being 100% explained by alternative religions, rounding up or down the figures to decimal points.
Some significant points about the figures from Australia. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features30Nov+2013
- People who had studied Physics and Astronomy had the highest rates of reporting no religion (46%), and people who had studied Philosophy and Religious Studies had the lowest rates (9%).
- People who studied creative arts (37%) and sciences (36%) were the most likely to report no religion, while those who had studied education (21%) or health (22%) were the least likely.
Trend over time
- From 1971, reporting no religion has increased at an average of 3.9 percentage points per decade, with the sharpest increase (6.8 percentage points) between 2001 and 2011.
- Younger people make up a high proportion of those reporting no religion (around half who did so being less than 30 years old).
- Older people in Australia are considerably more likely than younger Australians to report a religion: only 10% of people aged 65 years and over reported no religion in 2011
- When there was a difference between what was reported for children and their parents, it was more evident in families where a child reported no religion but neither of their parents did
- Around the age of 15, rates of reporting no religion start rising, reaching their highest point between the ages of 22 and 24.
- Rates of reporting no religion were not particularly affected by whether someone lived in a major city or regional or remote Australia, however people living in very remote areas were less likely to report no religion (19% compared with 22% on average for the rest of Australia
Place of birth
- Australians born in China had the highest rates of reporting no religion (63%), followed by those born in Japan (53%) and Macau (45%).
- Of people aged 15 years and over in couple relationships, those with no religion were more likely to be in a de facto relationship (29%) than those who reported a religion (12%).
- People in same sex-couples were just as likely to report a religion as not (47% reporting a religion, and 48% reporting no religion).
It would seem in Australia increasing numbers of people identify as having no religion. Nearly 1 in 4 of us. Around half of these being under 30. The numbers of people identifying as ‘Christian’ has declined from 95% in 1911 to 68% in 2011 while the proportion of Australians in non-Christian religions continues to rise.
Australia is not alone in the trend towards no religion.
- New Zealand’s latest Census data showed a rise from 30% in 2001 to 35% in 2006
- England and Wales went from 15% in 2001 to 25% in 2011
- Canadian rates rose from 16% to 24% over the same time.
- Ireland’s 2011 census shows people who identify as having no religion are now 2nd largest grouping behind Catholics, with the number increasing more than four-fold since 1991 to 6%
- While the US do not include religion in their Census, the General Social Survey shows the rate of American adults reporting no religion to be 20% in 2012 compared with 14% in 2000. (see also http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/03/12/non-believers/ )
I now feel more vindicated in my thoughts about increasing numbers of ‘non-believers’.
- The 1 in 4 get little say in this country, particularly on policy direction.
- We didn’t vote for a religion although neo-conservatism is steeped in it.
- The values held here are not necessarily the same as those across the Pacific (we just need a big brother now mother is dying and so so far away). An obvious one is that of the right to bear arms…..which I would think is fairly significant.
I’m tired of hearing about how we should respect people’s religion (which really means don’t ask questions or debate), when the same respect is not held nor supported towards my godless belief (thankfully on the increase through the growing number of young educated people and people who couldn’t care less).
So what is going on for the Yezidi in Sinjar? Why did this massive ‘problem’ fall off the radar after US decision to bomb IS in Iraq and Syria? What do the 200 girls taken by Boko Haram have that the Yezidi don’t in order to make their situation stay on a public radar? Does our media only care about Christians and Jews?
I subscribe to Syria Comment and received this post yesterday. It is a fascinating 26 minute youtube video of an interview with Mathew Barber where Joshua Landis probes the circumstances in Sinjar for the Yezidi with IS fighters and discusses the situation in Mosul for Christians confronted by IS. The nonsensical framed hierarchy of religious fundamentalism is discussed with a focus on the simplistic term of being “of the book”.
Take some time with this its worth it. All you people with free downloads and unlimited spare a thought for those of us who pay exorbitant rates for bytes and think yourself privileged! For others get to a free wi-fi spot now.
Brief Post Script: On worthy blogging, ‘pain blindness’, bloody Tony Abbott and his Nazi friends
I have had some time away from my blog to consider where it is going and where it is taking me. Someone said they other day if my blog was about Arabs or Israeli’s they were ‘over that shit’ and we should just ‘nuke them all’ because things would ‘always be fucked over there.
I defended my postings saying the problem I was confronting was this sense that people who were comfortable didn’t care about most things happening outside their own lives until it directly effected them.
They recognised this was the case but maintained their position on ‘nuke em!’.
I then pointed out that mainstream information was pap and lies designed to deceive and maintain that ‘dumbed down’ zone.
They agreed and said they were sick of hearing about IS. They asked if I was writing about Putin. I told them I had some posts on the Ukraine situation, and said my work was not solely on the Middle East. ( I must remember to put something on Abbot’s disgusting ‘matey’ bullshit with Poroshenko yesterday but maybe it’s enough to give you a link to read Stephen Lendman’s article on Global Research Dec 7th in new window, here. )
I told them I also had some music, I had posted political cartoons that might not be seen oversees and some posts relating to issues for Aboriginals and that I was not solely writing about the Middle East.
I was basically told I was wasting my time because most people didn’t want to read this stuff, especially if it was too long.
Point taken, and stored for further reflection. Like many bloggers I am not writing for ‘followers’ I am writing because I have an interest in questioning dominant discourse – especially bleedingly obvious lies and propaganda. But the black holes are equally intriguing if not more so.
‘Compassion fatigue’ was a term used to describe the withdrawal of people particularly in the ‘helping professions’ from the pain of others tragic tales. I think that was a very generous term when it was globally used to define populations.
The term I prefer to use is ‘Pain Blind’.
I would still like to catch some ‘pain blind’ readers if I can to provide them with something to think about.
I have also made some blogging decisions;
- Only re-blog if;
a) Its interesting and not something readily available.
b) Put some of yourself into the repost, why you like it what it says to you etc.
- Hone your writing skills.
- Master categories and tags.
- Chose your battles, write soundly.
He is a comedian’s joy and a political cartoonist’s creative inspiration…..
BUT HE’S OUR EMBARRASSMENT!
For those who don’t know what a shirtfront is….
“The goal of the terrorists is to scare us out of being ourselves.”
SECURITY = INCONVENIENCE
This ‘inconvenience’ which wasn’t discussed, would allow us to ‘live normally’ under the basic freedom of being able to “walk the streets unharmed, and sleep safely in our beds at night”. Terrorists, he said, do not want ordinary Australians to live normally, “The goal of the terrorist is to scare us out of being ourselves.” Abbott identified that we had ‘not sought involvement in what many Australians will believe is a conflict ‘far away’ but that this was ‘a conflict that had reached out to us’. It had reached out through the 60 fighting Aussies in Syria and Iraq, the 20 who had returned and the 100 (or so) supporting people in Australia He referenced the recent ‘security raids’ in Sydney and Brisbane and identified that 800 police and security services operatives undertook 30 raids and charged 1 person with ‘serious terrorist offences’. He advised that they had uncovered an ISIL plot where ‘operatives in Syria urged their contacts in Australia to plot insurgence here. He then said they had been ‘instructed’ that ‘a knife, a camera and a victim’ was all that was required to do that. Abbott said $630 million had gone to Federal Police, ASIO, ASIS, ONA, additional biometric screens at airports, and increased ‘borderforce personel’. Be nice if it went to Aboriginal Health, Public Housing, Domestic Violence and Child Protection The new counter terrorism legislation yet to be tabled is promoted as ‘centred on the problem of foreign fighters’. Abbott called the Middle East (yes all of it) a “witches brew of complexity and danger” (sorry but I think the witches brew thing is really off, there he goes speaking disparagingly about women again, any witch worth her salt would have done a better job!) The brew thing would also explain his governments approach to boats of asylum seekers. Tomorrow he’s off to the US to represent us internationally at the special session of the United Nations Security Council in New York chaired by Obama to discuss the IS issue. ‘The Conversation’ report today by Michelle Grattan (open in new window here) states that Abbott said 80 nations were effected by the issue of foreign fighters. 80 Nations effected? How? Much was made of the ‘bipartisan agreement’ between the Liberal and Labour parties on the involvement (anyone surprised?) and that leaders of both parties had recently farewelled the pre-deployment group of Australian planes and special forces to the Middle East. It is clear from ‘The Conversation’ article that Labour do however have ‘some concerns’ about the proposed legislation. “Shadow attorney general Mark Dreyfus said the opposition has not yet offered to support the legislation. AAP/Lukas Coch “Labor will await the bill and the public consultation on it before making a final decision,” he told The Conversation. But he stressed that Labor would work “co-operatively with the government”. The bill will give the foreign minister power to proscribe certain places to which people are not allowed to travel without a legitimate reason.” It will also prohibit advocacy of terrorism. Brandis said he believed the proscribed localities should be “quite narrowly described” rather than being a whole country. “A town or even a village might be the subject of such a declaration.” He denied that the provision against encouraging terrorism was focused on Islamic preachers. “This is a law of general application, it is not directed at any section of the community.” It was not about prohibiting people from engaging in political commentary or commentary about international affairs. “There is all the difference in the world between expressing opinions and urging violence.” Abbott went a bit further than Brandis’ ‘proscribed localities’ today he named that it would be “an offense to be in a designated area…..for example Raqqa” (al-Raqqa) and that Telco metadata would be able to be made available to police and security agencies. (He never mentioned travelling overseas to kill children in Palestine with the IDF!) He said it was….
- “the Australian instinct to assume the best of everyone” (and send them back to where they came from)
- “to welcome newcomers” (and tow their boats back out to sea)
What bullshit! At least Shorten raised the issue of taking in more Syrian and Iraqi refugees, but that’s all he did. Lets hope they do their job with the legislation. I believe Senate crossbencher David Leyonhjelm’s concerns the ‘new’ provision was there to allow Australian Security Intelligence Organisation agents to torture suspects managed to get them to insert that it would be illegal to do so…(whoops forgot that one) Numerous Laws covering inciting or encouraging violence and terrorism already exist. You are welcome to peruse the numerous terrorism related laws at your leisure. (Austlii link here in new window) More legislation is before Parliament for strengthened anti-terrorism powers including amendments drawn up to include the parliamentary intelligence committee’s 17 recommendations for greater parliamentary and executive oversight of those additional powers. Attorney General Brandis (there is no such thing as Occupied Palestinian Territories) was reported in ‘The Conversation’ as advising that Abbott asked police and ASIO whether they needed further powers. ASIO was satisfied with the legislation the AFP wanted to expedite obtaining ‘urgent’ control orders issued by courts (to allow imposition of certain restrictions and requirements such as wearing a tracking device. AFP apply to the court for issue with AG consent. “The government wants the agency powers legislation through this fortnight and the foreign fighters legislation passed in coming weeks. Does that mean they can go back and arrest the guys they had to let go after the 800 police and security personnel raided those 30 properties and could only charge 1 man? I recall when additional Domestic Violence Legislation was introduced in NSW in the late 80’s it was clear police already had powers to arrest and charge they just chose not to, a prominent Feminist lawyer, Jocelyn Scutt said we really did not need new laws, what we needed was police to do their job. The one thing new legislation did do was raise public awareness of the issues. Perhaps this has the same ring about it but its purpose is raising the public fear. Its the Abbott government that keeps people awake at night not the thought of terrorists. Lets see if he turns on going into Syria after his US visit this week.
For good measure I have included my lyrics rendition of Jello Biafra’s Dead Kennedys song Holiday in Cambodia, just because the Abbott al-Raqqa thing made me do it!
I mean no offence to the suffering people of al-Raqqa who, by the way also sit at the edge of the Zionist territorial dream of “the Nile to the Euphrates”.
“Holiday In al-Raqqa”
So you’ve finished school
For a year or two
And you’re on the welfare trail
You got no car
Think you wont go far
If you stay you know you’ll fail
The racists hate
In this country you called yours
Your not wanted? Take a tour
The Brothers will understand
In the Caliphate Promised land
It’s time to taste what you don’t fear
Caliphate will help you here
Brace yourself, my dear………..Brace yourself my dear
It’s a holiday in al-Raqqa
It’s tough, kid, but that’s life
It’s a holiday in al-Raqqa
Don’t have to pack a wife
You’re a star, praise Allah
In your brand new car
You want everyone to act like you
Brothers by your side
On the road to paradise
Now the whole world is scared of YOU
They’ll work you hard
With a gun on your back
Get a Humvee for your wheels
And a kid for a wife
Kaffir’s head with a knife
Sell the oil from a truck, make your deals
Now you can go
where people are one
Now you can go
where they get things done
What, you need, my son….what , you need my son
Is a holiday in al-Raqqa
Where people dress in black
A holiday in al-Raqqa
Kill Kaffir or crack
Caliphate, caliphate, caliphate, [etc]
And it’s a holiday in al-Raqqa
Where your name is mud
A holiday in al-Raqqa
Where the streets all drip with blood.
See Jello’s real version below and sing along punks!